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Julie Grice's 8-1/2-year-old girl can't read. She's dyslexic. Grice's decision to pull her daughter out of Wrightsville Beach Elementary was reaffirmed when Interim Superintendent Edwin West announced on Tuesday he decided against entering into a partnership with The Hill School of Wilmington, which specializes in teaching students with learning disabilities. The partnership would have allowed children with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, to attend school there for half a day to get specialized attention and training in reading, writing and math and then return to their home schools to finish the day.
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
One of the first people Sharon Platter met when she transferred her son to Center Academy, a private school that serves children with learning disabilities and other challenges, was Patricia Lambert, then the school's assistant principal. Platter got the feeling Mrs. Lambert cared about each student and was won over. Mrs. Lambert, who died July 25 at 65, was the school's driving force. A teacher at Center since 1984, she became principal a decade ago, shepherding and challenging its 100 or so students.
As the country marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act this week, the Obama administration and Congress are taking steps to give the disabled greater access to federal jobs and technology. Under a new executive order from President Obama, federal agencies will step up efforts to hire 100,000 disabled employees over the next five years.
The Chart Blog, CNN
Teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) the most common childhood psychiatric condition in the United States are less likely to finish high school on time than students with other mental-health disorders that often are considered more serious, according to a national study. The study, conducted by researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine, found that nearly one third of students with ADHD, twice the proportion as students with no psychiatric disorder, either drop out or delay high school graduation.
A notice to private schools delaying payment of state special needs scholarships was met with criticism recently from lawmakers who said the move was a bureaucratic attempt to "kill" the voucher program. The state DOE has asked that campuses accepting Georgia Special Needs Scholarships now wait until Nov. 29 for their first tuition installment after services are rendered, as the statute requires. Some parents who have to pay up front for their tuition will be asked to foot a larger chunk of the bill and get reimbursed even later.
Portsmouth Herald (NH)
For most teenagers, it's easy to focus on activities they like video games, sports or watching television. But why do they lose that focus for more important things, like homework? Through a two-year, $399,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, University of New Hampshire Professor Jill McGaughy will look closely at why this occurs, diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and how its treatments affect normal adolescent brains.
New York Times
An ADHD marriage? It may sound like a punch line, but the idea that attention problems can take a toll on adult relationships is getting more attention from mental health experts. In a marriage, the common symptoms of the disorder distraction, disorganization, forgetfulness can easily be misinterpreted as laziness, selfishness, and a lack of love and concern.
Michael Murray witnessed firsthand how the Americans with Disabilities Act could change a life. Murray grew up and attended school in Greensboro in the years after the ADA's passage. In the second grade, he was given a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, and told that he had a learning disability involving reading and writing.
Medication may be the most effective treatment for kids with ADHD but it's not a cure-all, a new Consumer Reports survey shows. Parents surveyed by the magazine reported using a variety of strategies to improve their kids' symptoms, such as hiring tutors, switching schools, modifying diets, and changing the way they spoke to their children. Consumer Reports interviewed 934 parents of children with ADHD, asking about a variety of topics, ranging from the impact of medications to the effect of complementary strategies, to which physicians provided the most help.
Heeding protests from parents and educators, District officials have put off implementation of a new rate structure for private schools that serve about 2,700 D.C. special education students at public expense. The District pays about $280 million a year in tuition and transportation for private schools. Parents of disabled children can pursue private placement if it is determined that public schools cannot provide a "free and appropriate" education as required by federal law.
For those who are blind, dyslexic or have diseases like multiple sclerosis and have difficulty turning book pages, reading the latest best seller just got easier. Brewster Kahle, a digital librarian and founder of a virtual library called the Internet Archive, has launched a worldwide campaign to double the number of books available for print-disabled people. The Internet Archive began scanning books in 2004 and now has more than 1 million available in DAISY format, or Digital Accessible Information System.
Districts across the nation have been slow to tap stimulus money that is targeted for specific programs particularly the money intended to bolster programs for students with disabilities or those who come from low-income households. On average, 39 percent of the $11.3 billion in special-education money for states has been claimed.
The fastest-growing teaching segment is in special needs. While growth in student enrollment overall is expected to slow, special education needs are rising, in part because of better and earlier diagnoses of developmental problems. Teachers trained in specialty areas, such as teaching children with autism or those with multiple disabilities, are expected to be in particular demand.
Sun Journal (ME)
Brandon Baizley is smart, but even his parents admit he is a difficult 6-year-old. Brandon was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiance disorder more than a year ago. His parents, Bob and Mary Ann, know that Brandon will constantly test their rules and boundaries, he will push their buttons and try to get that piece of candy, that trip to Build-a-Bear. However, the Baizleys believe Brandon's life could be at risk from the therapeutic restraints imposed on him at school.
Daily Telegraph (United Kingdom)
Three of Annabel Heseltine's children shared a problem with their famous grandfather: dyslexia. How best to deal with it?
Just as it has every June since 2006, the U.S. Department of Education last month delivered a rating to each state and territory based on the performance of its special education programs. But when you ask state and federal officials if the effort has led to better education for students with disabilities, the answer that comes back is: We're not sure.
The administration of D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, seeking to whittle the annual $280 million cost of sending special education students to private schools, said Thursday that it will study several options to return as many as possible to the city's public schools.
The Ledger (FL)
Roberts Academy is a new private elementary school, based at Florida Southern, for children in grades 1 through 4 with dyslexia. The academy is a transitional school, meaning that students are enrolled only long enough to master the necessary reading skills and then return to their regular public or private school. It will be the first such transitional school for dyslexic children in Florida and one of just a few in the United States.
New York Daily News
Beck Johnson, 10, had a business plan, his startup funding a dream of opening an ice cream stand, but first he needed a variance from the Sunapee, NH zoning board to open in a residential zone. He admits being a bit "freaked out" before his presentation, but ultimately got the go-ahead. Beck's mom, Sue Johnson, says her son first got the notion of opening his own business when he was just 6, after a school official told him learning disabilities would probably keep him from going to college.
Salt Lake Tribune
Mental-health professionals estimate that 9 million adults in the United States have ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD and attention deficit disorder, also known as inattentive ADHD, include difficulty paying attention, easy distraction, trouble finishing paperwork, fidgeting, talking too much and procrastination. All these issues can cause workers with the disorder a lot of problems at work, and possibly even get them fired.