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NPR, Shots Blog
Ambidextrous kids are more likely to suffer from language and learning problems, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), than their right- or left- handed peers. Researchers found that ambidextrous children were twice as likely to have difficulties with language, and by ages 15 to 16, they were twice as likely to exhibit symptoms of ADHD.
With the Obama administration and many state governors calling for more charter schools, it may be time for policymakers to address directly the issue of these schools' imbalanced enrollment of students with disabilities.
Due process hearings have increased nationally over the last two decades, a trend mirrored in Pennsylvania, according to Perry Zirkel, an education and law professor at Lehigh University and a special education expert. Broadening definitions have put more conditions under the special education umbrella and parents' increasing awareness of their child’s legal rights have contributed to increased special education enrollment and litigation.
Hilton Head Monthly (SC)
Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Whoopi Goldberg have two things in common. First, they all suffered from learning disabilities. Second, their photos line a wall in The Learning Center on Hilton Head Island, serving as inspiration to the students there.
Newark Star-Ledger (NJ)
Legislation inspired by an Ocean City girl who overcame severe dyslexia has been signed into law in New Jersey. The measure creates a reading disabilities task force, which would help determine the best methods for diagnosing, treating and educating special needs students.
There is a link between exposure to phthalate chemicals and the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in school-aged children according to a study published in Environmental Health News.
When Macy Parrott visits her former elementary school teachers, they're amazed to learn she's applying to colleges. "They didn't see much in me," Macy said. "I thought I wasn't a good learner and that I had no academic potential." Macy has a processing disorder and dyslexia. Her determination has earned her the Celebration of Ability Award from the Learning Disabilities Association of Kentucky.
Washington Informer (DC)
District of Columbia officials are reaching out to families who suspect that their small children may have developmental delays. D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Michelle Rhee and District Mayor Adrian Fenty unveiled a new, state-of-the art diagnostic testing facility on Wed., Jan. 13 at the Walker Jones Education Campus in Northwest.
Few things are as tough on a child's confidence as having trouble learning to read. So after Morag Bamforth's son was diagnosed in first grade with dyslexia, she enrolled him at the Carroll School in Lincoln, Massachusetts. The Carroll School's specialized mission - to give students with language-based learning disabilities the tools they need to succeed - is striking a chord with more families despite the dismal economy.
Special education costs have soared in Massachusetts school districts during the past five years, driven by higher program costs, continued demand for those programs by parents, and cutbacks in state and federal aid.
Oxford Press (OH)
Jessica Byington remembers crying as a young girl when it was time to read. The words on the pages, just meaningless symbols to her, were impossible to read. Byington was diagnosed in first-grade with dyslexia, a language-based learning disability. Today, she is a confident 17-year-old and the face of the International Dyslexia Association.
Times of Trenton (NJ)
Disputes in special education revolve around whether a student with a disability has an appropriate educational program and whether the school placement is least restrictive. Many more disputes could be defused and resolved by the use of alternative conflict resolution procedures to avoid costly hearings and litigation.
The Georgia Board of Education will vote today on new rules for providing vouchers to students with disabilities who want to transfer to other public or private schools. The policy was crafted to clear up confusion about application criteria, parent notification and qualifications for private schools receiving students in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program.
Oakland Tribune (CA)
Tennessee Reed just returned from a nationwide book tour promoting her sixth book, a memoir titled "Spell Albuquerque." Not bad for someone who, when she was in kindergarten, was told by teachers and various education experts that her multiple learning disabilities, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, would prevent her from ever reading or writing, much less accomplishing much in life at all.
Wall Street Journal
Florida's Broward County Public Schools saved as many as 900 jobs this school year. Nevada's Clark County School District just added more math and tutoring programs. And in Connecticut's Bloomfield Public Schools, eight elementary- and middle-school teachers were spared from layoffs. These cash-strapped districts covered the costs using a boost in funding intended for special education, drawing an outcry from parents and advocates of special-needs children.
Iowa City Press-Citizen (IA)
A University of Iowa student has managed to overcome learning disabilities and ADHD on her march toward a master's degree. Kristi Starnes, 28, was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder two years ago and also has dealt with learning disabilities for reading, writing and mathematical reasoning since fifth grade.
Southern Maryland Online
Ms. Anne Fogel, a special education teacher at Spring Ridge Middle School in Lexington Park, MD, had been named the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year by the Learning Disabilities Association of America.
The stuff on Samantha Ravelli's holiday wish list was pretty much standard fare for a 12-year-old. A digital camera, a watch, a laptop. Her number-one wish, however, was in a class of its own. She wants Gov. Corzine to sign her bill. The Ocean City, N.J., seventh grader and her mother, Beth, have been working the last few years to pass a law that would create a task force to better ensure that reading-disabled children like Samantha get the help they need.
Single mother Kimberly Matthews shares lessons learned through her struggle with dyslexia. Reflecting on the people who have supported her, she seeks to pass on wisdom to her son, who has autism, and daughter.
The Guardian (UK)
Police, courts and prisons will test all adult offenders for attention deficit disorders in a bid to reduce reoffending rates and cut aggressive behavior in prisons. The scheme is being set up by the Department of Health after research revealed a disproportionately high number of undiagnosed and untreated sufferers in the criminal justice system.