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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.
Roseville Press-Tribune (CA)
Patrick MacAuley is on his school's honor roll. The 13-year-old earns 100 percent on many of his assignments. There are few red marks on his homework and hardly any corrections or comments. That's precisely what concerns his mom. As a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia, Patrick was enrolled in what's known as a Special Day Class at Warren T. Eich Intermediate School in Roseville last year. But his mother Dodie MacAuley calls it "babysitting."
Gainesville Times (GA)
Georgia private schools are feeling a bit misunderstood. In 2007, the General Assembly passed a law establishing the Special Needs Scholarship, a voucher system that gives disabled students a way to attend a private school of their choice. Parents see notable academic improvement, and students actually like going to school again. But there are a few kinks.
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram (WI)
Tammy Tillotson was a bit surprised when she got a call from the Masons last October. Tillotson, who is on the board of directors for the Wisconsin branch of the International Dyslexia Association, had just been on a local television station promoting Dyslexia Awareness Month. Eau Claire Masons had been trying for years to bring a free tutoring center for dyslexia to Eau Claire.
The Independent (United Kingdom)
Millions know him as "the Fonz", the slick-haired, leather-jacketed mechanic whom he played in the hit 1970s sitcom Happy Days. Now, Henry Winkler is reinventing himself as a best-selling children's author. He has written a set of 17 books featuring a young dyslexic child, Hank Zipzer, which have already sold 2.5 million copies in the US and are now being published in Britain.
Special-education advocates fear that as the budget crisis in Illinois filters into classrooms, more school districts will skimp on services to children with disabilities or take money from regular education programs to pay for them.
Neither attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) nor medications used to treat it have a long-term impact on kids' growth, a new study published online in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests.
Clinton Herald (IA)
Bob Clausen, 61, was in his 30s when he learned to read. He had difficulty in school and could not grasp reading. Bob said now he knows part of his problem was that he simply needed glasses. He said another part of his problem is dyslexia. When Bob was 10, after he had failed first grade once and the second grade twice, the school system told his parents he could not be taught.
At least three states have asked for permission to cut back on the money they provide districts for special education, under a built-in escape clause in the federal special education law that is aimed at financially struggling states.
About 177,000 students are in the city's special education classes, in programs that were protected from possible budget cuts, but now city and state are looking to make cuts where they never did before.
Project Eye-to-Eye's mentoring program puts students together who share the same disability. At Golf Middle School in Morton Grove, 7th graders with learning disabilities are mentored by college students who also have learning disabilities.
Journal Times (WI)
Andrew Kittel expected seventh grade at Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School to be just as bad as sixth grade, or maybe even worse. For Andrew, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, sixth grade was filled with peers that bullied, staff that didn't always understand and classes where he strayed off topic and off task, sometimes doing poorly.
As the federal government seeks input on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, educators need to emphasize the critical importance of arming teachers not only with the freedom to support each child's individual learning style, but also with the knowledge to properly educate those with learning disabilities.