Saturday, October 29, 2011

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

A GRAMMY AND AD/HD. About.com, in its AD/HD section, provides an interview with a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter who was diagnosed with AD/HD in his early teens.Adam Levine, of Maroon 5, describes  his early difficulties, how AD/HD has affected his adult life, and his advice to kids or teens with AD/HD. Read more.
GIFTED RESOURCE. Thanks to Carolyn K for pointing us to Cogito.org, an online community for gifted kids interested in math and science. Sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, the site features interviews, news, forums, links to sites and tools, and extracurricular programs. Go to the site
DAVID RABINER pointed us to a free download from ADDitude, titled "40 School Accommodations for Your ADD/LD Child." If your gifted young person is of the AD/HD persuasion, check it out.
UNWRAPPING THE GIFTED. Tamara Fisher writes about using Symbaloo in gifted education. Symbaloo, she says, is "a place where you can collect a plethora of links on various topics and organize them however you want."  She has created one containing resources for her gifted students to use then they do projects. Find out more.
THE WEINFELD EDUCATION GROUP has created a blog on topics related to its areas of expertise. The first posting is by Russell Barkley and titled "Understanding AD/HD -- Part 1." Find it.
PREDICTOR OF MATH LD. Young children who cannot associate small quantities with the numerals that represent those quantities are more likely to develop math LDs, according to a new study. The study also identified other predictors of later math difficulty. Dyscalculia in your family? Check out the study.
THE DANA FOUNDATION has posted two new articles on its website. One provides evidence about how childhood trauma -- physical or sexual abuse -- leads to later psychopathology; read it. The other provides a tutorial on brain imaging technologies and  how they are used in neuroscience; it looks like a must-read for all neuroscience mavens. Find it
SHARP BRAINS has posted articles on the impact of stress, emotion, and self-regulation on the structure and performance of the brain. Find them
TESTING AD/HD DRUGS. Researchers used used brain scans on mice to determine whether treatment drugs increased dopamine levels in the brain, and thus would be effective. The study concerned a type of attention deficit caused by "neurofibromatosis type 1" -- NF1 -- which affects about 100,000 people in the U.S., according to Science Daily. Find out more.
NOT TO LATE TO GET IRATE. If you live in the U.S., you may -- once again and maybe for the last time ever -- attempt to block legislative attempts to scuttle the Javits Act, which is, according to CEC, "the sole Federal investment in gifted education." Seems that the Javits Act is one of 43 programs deemed "inefficient and unnecessary." CEC has more.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

IQ NOT CONSTANT? Recent research indicates that IQ can change significantly during adolescence because of changes in the structure of the brain. The research involved comparing the results of testing and imaging done four years apart. Performance on the tests changed by as much as 20 points during that time. Imaging showed changes in certain brain areas that were associated with changes in verbal and non-verbal IQ scores. Read more, or visit NPR to hear a piece on the topic.
PREDICTING RITALIN'S EFFECTIVENESS. Some kids respond to Ritalin (methylphenidate) and some don't. The reason may be variations in genes affecting the transport and reception of dopamine in the brain. No mention of whether cheap-and-easy DNA tests are available to help spot this difference (we'd guess not), but you can find out more from ScienceDaily.
RITALIN FOR TODDLERS. A New York Times article discusses the pros and cons of medicating preschoolers for symptoms of AD/HD. The article is in response to the AAP's recent change in stance on AD/HD treatment. Does your bright, active preschooler have AD/HD, or is he or she just healthy and normal? And what, if anything, should you do? Read more.
iPADS FOR TODDLERS? The AAP recommends no TV for kids under two. How about the iPAD? Experts give varying opinions. Read them.
BY AND FOR AUTISTICS. A Chicago-area man with autistic traits has written three books featuring characters with autism. His latest is titled Teddy Turbine: A Quarterback with Autism. Find out more.
APPS FOR ASPERGER'S. A pediatric psychologist has developed an app for youngsters who have difficulty with social situations, as with Asperger's. One feature: a "What Did That Mean" program where a user can enter a hard-to-understand phrase like "go jump in the lake" to find out what it means. Find out more.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

LANDMARK COLLEGE, a 2-year school in Vermont that focuses on educating students with LDs, was featured in an article and video by USA Today. Besides academics -- or, rather, as a foundation for them -- Landmark teaches organizational and compensatory skills. Landmark can serve as a springboard to attendance (and graduation from) a four-year college. Go to USA Today
THE EDUCATORS GUILD NEWSLETTER for October is out and posted on the DITD website. In it are an article by Jim Delisle on the peer relations of gifted students; gifted news; and news about DITD. Find it.
THE SENG VINE newsletter is also out, including articles on GT kids and behavior, the role of a pediatric doctor in caring for gifted kids, and more. Find it.
PRODIGY: WHAT NEXT? In Deborah Ruf's October Talent Igniter newsletter we found a pointer to a story on a young prodigy, now 13, who at age 9 got perfect 5's in five AP math and science tests. From the article: "When he's not in class, he's working through a stack of books at home; he keeps a list of everything he has read. He's absorbed 52 textbooks on science and math: read the physics lectures of Richard Feynman, and books on robot programming, systems biology, immunobiology, fractals, Latin (a new passion), music theory and the work of Fibonacci, René Descartes, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, among others." Read more
EDUCATOR'S RESOURCE. Adobe offers a free curriculum and resources for educators to  "create breakthrough learning experiences for young people." Find out more
AD/HD AWARENESS EXPO. During AD/HD Awareness Week, visitors may attend a free online Awareness Expo. Find out more
NO TV FOR KIDS UNDER 2 -- That's what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. On the other hand, this current recommendation is evidently less restrictive than the AAP's prior issuance on the topic. Got an almost-toddler? Read more.


Monday, October 17, 2011

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

AD/HD AWARENESS WEEK is this week, October 10-22. At the AD/HD Awareness Week site you can find resources concerning the condition. In the meantime, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just updated its guidelines on diagnosing and treating AD/HD in younger children and in adolescents. Emerging evidence, says AAP, makes it possible to diagnose and manage AD/HD in children from ages 4 to 18 (previous AAP guidelines covered ages 6 to 12). The new guidelines describe the special considerations involved in diagnosing and treating preschool children and adolescents. They also include interventions to help children with hyperactive/impulsive behaviors that do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for AD/HD. Find out more. To help parents understand the new guidance on AD/HD, the AAP has published a detailed and updated consumer resource book entitled “ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know.” Parent information is also available at www.healthychildren.org/adhd. 
MORE ON AD/HD. The New York Times has initiated a discussion on AD/HD, posing the questions, "Are Americans More Prone to AD/HD?" along with "Do the American and educational systems inflate the numbers?" So far the discussion has generated seven pages of posts. Read or contribute
AUTISM DOCTOR DISCIPLINED. Parents of autistic children are often desperate to find treatments that will help their children. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has filed a complaint against an Illinois doctor who used methods such a chelation, hormone modulation, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, stating that "none... has been proven to influence the course of autism." Read more
SCHOOL AVOIDANCE was the subject of an article on HealthDay recently -- and we're betting that many 2e kids have the desire to avoid school because they might not fit in one way or another. Find the article, along with a pointer to AAP information on the topic. 
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR WRITING. Education Week covered a variety of assistive technologies for kids who have problems writing, including a list of free resources. Got a student or offspring with this problem? Find the article
FOR IDEA WONKS. CEC has released a side-by-side comparison of updated IDEA regulations and those from 1999. If IDEA is a big part of your life, check it out.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

GIFTED AND STUTTERING. A gifted 16-year-old New Jersey boy who is taking two college classes described how his professor had asked  him not to speak in class because of  his stuttering. According to an article in The New York Times, about five percent of people stutter, and it is thought to have genetic and physiological causes. Find the article.  In response to the article, the Stuttering Foundation issued a response that includes eight tips for teachers; find it. (The foundation website also notes that for both Winston Churchill and James Earl Jones, "Stuttering didn't stop them. Don't let it stop you."

EDUTOPIA has a blog entry on its site titled "How to Support Gifted Students in Your Classroom." It notes the importance of identifying such students and of having a gifted, intuitive teacher to serve gifted students. Find the blog.

MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES. We received an email directing us to a site by the name of Bytes Power Smarts, which is apparently deigned to help kids 8-11 "recognize and appreciate their strengths and talents," as manifested in the eight multiple intelligences recognized by Howard Gardener. The site contains stores for the children to read relating to those intelligences. Find it. (We recognized at least one name on the staff listing as being involved in the 2e community.)

OCD. CNN has an article on its website about OCD in children, and the article profiles two young people with different sets of symptoms. It describes how each young person has confronted the disorder. Find the article.

THE GIFTED DEVELOPMENT CENTER newsletter for October is out, and it brings news of the organization's move out of downtown Denver to more spacious quarters. (We visited the Center several years ago and would characterize their present space in an old house as pleasantly unique, but could see how they could use more space.) The newsletter also notes Linda Silverman's five decades of experience in the gifted field. Read the newsletter.

CURETOGETHER: ANXIETY. CureTogether, a site that provides information and support for persons with a variety of conditions, has posted information stemming from a 6200-patient survey on which treatments for anxiety work best and which are most popular. If you have a gifted child with anxiety, this will be of interest to you. The top three treatments in terms of effectiveness: exercise, Xanax, and then yoga. The treatments reported least effective: Wellbutrin, Amitripyline, and Paxil. Find the site.

EDUCATION WEEK published an article, available to non-subscribers, about the various types of reading problems (eg, phonemic awareness) and reading programs that work for those various types. Find it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

DISRUPTIVE MOOD DYSREGULATION DISORDER -- haven't heard of it? It's being proposed as a new diagnostic category, and, by providing a label, it could improve diagnosis and care for kids who have problems regulating mood and temper. Read more about it in the Los Angeles Times. Separately, the Dana Foundation pointed us to an article on mental health screenings of teens by schools. The purpose: "to identify those at risk and, if necessary, help them get treatment." One advocate calls such screening "a non-pressured way to ask for help." Read more.
LDs AND THE LSAT. A Minnesota man who wanted accommodations on the Law School Admission Test has received them. Twice rebuffed in his request, he apparently enlisted the US Department of Justice in pressing his case; the DOJ decided that the man had submitted appropriate documentation, and that the organization administering the LSAT had violated the ADA. Find out more.
EDUCATOR RESOURCE. Edutopia has posted about a school that has the lowest per-pupil funding in Arizona and yet has excelled in education -- at least partly because of differentiated instruction. Find out more at the Edutopia site
SENG has issued a call for proposals for speakers at its 2012 conference in Milwaukee, to be held July 13-14. Interested in addressing the attendees at this 2e-oriented conference? Visit a post on LinkedIn; the information is not yet on the SENG site. If you visit the SENG site, however, you'll find the announcement of the appointment of the organization's new executive director, James. D. Maloney.
A PEDIATRIC MRI appears not to cause inordinate risk unless it involves intravenous contrast dye or sedation -- in which case, according to a report from The Hastings Center, "an MRI increases the odds of harm and makes them unacceptably high." The study compared the risk of physical injury or death from the MRI experience to risks from "everyday" activities of healthy children. Read more.
GIFTEDNESS: POWER AND PERILS is the topic of a blog at the Psychology Today website, in which the writer uses the occasion of a friend's son's recent evaluation (99th percentile, 150 IQ) as a springboard on what it takes -- besides giftedness -- to succeed. Find the blog.
NAGC offers a variety of resources on its website for the 2011-2012 school year, including information about RTI, gifted programming standards, FAQs, and more. Go there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

ASSESSING ASPIE INTELLIGENCE. A new study indicates that individuals with Asperger's rate higher on an intelligence test called Raven's Progressive Matrices than on scales such as the Wechsler tests. The Raven's test evidently emphasizes reasoning, novel problem-solving abilities, and high-level abstraction. A ScienceDaily report on the study concluded, "...the authors emphasize that autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated." Read the report.

UNWRAPPING THE GIFTED. Tamara Fisher says "gift a teacher a book about gifted education," and provides a list of books suggested  by her readers. Find it. Along with her idea, we suggest that if your child is twice-exceptional you gift a book on that topic -- or a subscription to the ever-handy 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. 

ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. The September edition of David Rabiner's newsletter, now posted on his site, describes a study of how the "stigma" of being treated for AD/HD might affect adolescents. Got a 2e adolescent with AD/HD? Check out Rabiner's newsletter.

ANESTHESIA IN YOUNG CHILDREN can be something to worry about, according to the Mayo Clinic, becuase it can increase the chance of learning disabilities by over 100 percent.  Got a child under two? Read more.

FORDHAM STUDY. If you paid attention to the recent Fordham study that asked whether current educational practice underdevelops gifted kids, you might be interested in a discussion of the topic at The New York Times site. 

CASH FOR AP ACHIEVEMENT. The New York Times reported on a Massachusetts experiment that provided cash incentives to both students and teachers for success in Advanced Placement courses. The results? More students taking those courses, and a higher percentage qualifying for college credit. Read more.

GIFTED TEEN SURVIVAL GUIDE. Free Spirit Press has released the fourth edition of this book, which is based on surveys of almost 1,400 gifted teenagers. One of the revisions: inclusion of new information on twice-exceptionality. (Way to go, Free Spirit!) Find out more about the book at the publisher's website.

VIDEO COMPETITION. If you have a smart, young, penurious media maven in your house, the American Bankers Association has a video competition that might appeal. The competition aims to "inspire teens to explore the value of saving money and share their thoughts for all to see," according to the sponsors. Find out more at the ABA site.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Thinking of starting your child into team sports early? Say, at age 3? It might not be a good idea, according to at least one researcher, to immerse them in organized sports rather than unstructured play.  In fact, the researcher says, "Most children should not commit, or specialize, in one sport until they are age 15." Find out more in Health News from UPI.