Wednesday, December 26, 2012

News Items from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

FAILING THE GIFTED. Chester Finn, a speaker at last month's NAGC Convention, notes in an opinion piece in the Atlantic that "gifted students have 'special needs' too." He writes, "despite plenty of evidence that America is failing to nurture its gifted students, the problem fails to awaken much interest from education leaders and philanthropists. Why is this so?" Then Finn proceeds to provide seven possible explanations, such as fear of elitism. Find the article.  

WHAT'S AD/HD LIKE?  At ADDitude.com, those with AD/HD describe what it's like to them: "like there is always noise in my head"; "like I need an 'off' button for my brain"; and "sometimes the funniest thing ever." Find more descriptions

AUTISM: COMPLEX GENETIC ORIGINS. Potentially hundreds of genetic mutations are related to autism, according to recent research. The research was based on studies of 1.000 families and used "high-throughput sequencing" to discover relevant genes. Read more. Separately, Autism Speaks has published its "Top 10 Science Autism Research Advances of 2012"; find them

IQ AND MATH ACHIEVEMENT. According to a new study, it's not how smart students are but how motivated they are and how they study that determines their growth in math achievement. The study involved thousands of German students and revealed that motivation and study skills were the most important factors of long-term (five-year) growth in math achievement. Find out more

ED SERVICES FOR AUTISM. An article in District Administration provides background on how K-12 districts might go about choosing and implementing educational services for students with autism. Noting that each student is different, the article also covers requirements of the law in providing such services. Read the article

AUTISM AND ANXIETY. Anxiety and anger are common in children on the spectrum, according to a study report at MedicalDaily.com. The report notes that because many ASD kids might be achieving well in school, educators might not recognized the amount of anxiety those kids experience. Find the report

DON'T FORGET: SMARTKIDS AWARD. The 2013 SmartKids application process for the 2013 Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award closes January 31. The award (along with honorable mentions) is presented to a young person with an LD or AD/HD on the basis of notable accomplishment in any field. Find out more.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

News Items and Resouurces from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

LOTS OF ITEMS TODAY...

ASPIE FEAR. Perceived connection between Asperger's and violent acts arose again this past week, and at least four articles we read addressed the issue. Two were in The New York Times, the first titled "Don't Blame Autism for Newton" and the second titled "Fearing a Stigma for People with Autism." Both react to media characterizations of last week's killer, and both point out that there is no evidence that people with autism are  more likely to commit violent crimes. At the site of the Child Mind Institute is an article titled "After Newtown: Why Amateur Diagnoses Are Dangerous," which states, in part,  "to blame this violence on Asperger's or a personality disorder, as many media outlets currently are, is a serious mistake." Finally, at its site, Autism Speaks has posted interviews given by its experts on "misconceptions about a linkage between autism spectrum disorders and planned violence." 

OCD, AD/HD.  An Israeli researcher warns of the consequences of mistaking OCD for AD/HD, even though symptoms may seem similar. He points out that the underlying mechanisms leading to the behaviors in each disorder are different, and that mistakenly applying the treatment for one condition to a patient with the other may have ill effects. Read more

DR. LARRY SILVER ON GT/LD. Past Q&As from Dr. Larry Silver at the site of LD Online illustrate three cases in which giftedness and LDs coexist. If  you're interested in how twice-exceptionality plays out in families other than yours, check out the stories and the advice

IQ: NOT JUST ONE NUMBER. A Canadian online study that included more than 100,000 participants indicates that "when a wide range of cognitive abilities are explored, the observed variations in performance can only be explained with at least three distinct components: short-term memory, reasoning, and a verbal component." Participants were asked to complete 12 cognitive tests and a survey about their background and lifestyle. Intrigued? Read more

BULLYING CHANGES GENETIC EXPRESSION, apparently altering a gene involved in regulating mood. According to the researchers, this alteration makes victims "more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age." Find out more

IDENTIFYING BIPOLAR DISORDER. According to a press release, researchers from the Black Dog Institute and University of NSW have used brain imaging technology to show that young people with a known genetic risk of bipolar but no clinical signs of the condition have clear and quantifiable differences in brain activity when compared to controls. The lead researcher commented, "Our results show that bipolar disorder may be linked to a dysfunction in emotional regulation and this is something we will continue to explore." Read more. (And consider what a cool name for an institute is "Black Dog.")

TOURETTE'S, TICS. If you happen to read the current issue of Deutsches Ă„rzteblatt International, you'll evidently find a report on the available modes of diagnosis and treatment for Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders in children. According to a write up of the article in Science Daily, "Tic disorders usually take a benign course; in about 90% of patients, the tics regress spontaneously in adolescence. Specific treatment is indicated only if the tics are severe or cause evident psychosocial stress. On the other hand, 80% to 90% of all patients with Tourette syndrome have comorbid disorders such as attention deficit—hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder." Read more

PRESENTING AT NAGC. If you're interested in presenting at the next NAGC convention, the organization's proposal submission site is now ready to take your proposal. Find it

ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. You may find a list of all of David Rabiner's AD/HD study reviews for 2012 at his website. The studies reviewed covered topics such as cognitive behavioral therapy, working memory training, creativity, over-diagnosis, and more. Go to helpforadd.com

AND FINALLY, THIS. Rudolph's reindeer nose is indeed more red than a human nose because of a rich supply of blood vessels. Further, the redness apparently will show up on infrared thermal images, according to Science Daily. Read more, and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Items that Might Be of Interest to the 2e Community

TAMARA FISHER posted a thoughtful, timely piece titled "To a Bright Kid with Trouble(s)." It's about being quirky, odd, or misunderstood, angry or frustrated, perhaps feeling like lashing out -- and how to reach out. Read it

AD/HD DOWN THE ROAD. A 30-year study indicates that children with AD/HD who carry the condition into adulthood are more likely to face "a greater risk of stress, work problems, financial troubles, physical health issues and additional mental health issues, such as depression or antisocial personality disorder," according to a report at WOWK-TV. Not exactly cheery news, but perhaps forewarned is forearmed. Read more

SCHOOL FOR DYSLEXICS. The state school board of Louisiana has approved plans to establish a charter school in Baton Rouge to serve students "afflicted" with dyslexia, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which publishes 2000 miles away from Baton Rouge. If you're closer to Baton Rouge than that, check out the article

PRUFROCK FREEBIE. Prufrock Press keeps cranking out free sample downloads of books relevant to those who raise and educate twice-exceptional children. The latest is a partial download of School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Find out more

DYSLEXIC OPTICIAN. An optician in Scotland who in her 30s discovered that she was dyslexic is especially tuned to solving others' vision and reading issues because of her condition. The "mum-of-two," according to The Scotsman, "is able to empathise with clients with reading difficulties, and has even spotted the signs that someone is dyslexic before they knew themselves." The optician makes some use of colored overlays to improve reading speeds. Find the article

WHAT WE READ. We scan a variety of digests of news in the fields of education, science, LDs, and giftedness to find items we think will be of interest to our readers. Today, some of the headlines we encountered were truly unusual. We offer them to you:


Have a good day!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

News and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

EMOTION RECOGNITION APP. The mother of a gifted young man with autism has developed an app to help people like her son recognize emotions in others. The app is available at the website of Autism Speaks, according to an article at Cincinnati.com. The article also describes the early interventions the family provided for the young man, who was diagnosed with autism at 18 months of age. Find the article

GIFTED IN VICTORIA. The state of Victoria, Australia, is implementing a new policy on gifted education as a result of a parliamentary inquiry into the opportunities there for gifted students. The policy provides guidelines for acceleration and for enrichment, and also addresses the issue of underachieving gifted students. Find the article

GLOBAL ACHIEVEMENT. Want to know which countries have students who achieve at the highest levels in math, science, and reading? Check out an article at Science Daily, and you'll find that it's not students in the U.S. 

BETTER FITNESS, BETTER GRADES. A recent study connects physical fitness with academic performance. Middle school students who are more physically fit make better grades and outperform their classmates on standardized tests, according to the study. Find out more

SUSPEND TESTING? According to the Washington Post, the head of the Montgomery County, Maryland, schools wants a three-year moratorium on standardized testing and a halt to evaluating teachers based on test scores. He thinks the education establishment is trying to do too many things concurrently, for example Race to the Top, NCLB waivers, and Common Core State Standards. Read the article

BELIN-BLANK IN AUSTRALIA. Professors Susan Assouline and Nicholas Colangelo are scheduled to present one-day master classes at the University of South Wales this coming January. Susan's topic is "Neurobiology of Learning and Memory: Implications for Gifted Education"; Nicholas' is "Counseling Gifted Students." Find out more. (Thanks for Jo Freitag for bringing this to our attention in her Gifted Resources newsletter.)

DAVID FINCH IN PORTLAND. The Aspie author of The Journal of Best Practices is scheduled to present a workshop in Portland, Maine, on February 1, 2013. In the area? Check it out

AND FINALLY, THIS. Co-publisher Linda forwarded to us a pointer to a web page titled "UltraViolet's Holiday Gift Guide: A non-sexist Guide to 21st Century Holiday Shopping," with gifts for ages 4 and under, 5-8, 9-12, and 13 and up. Looks like an emphasis there on gifts for young women -- eg, The Daring Book for Girls. Find the site.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Things We Find" from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

LEFT BEHIND. In the news recently are two articles about whether gifted kids have been "left behind" lately because of lack of services, funding, etc. An article at ArgusLeader.com blames it on NCLB. And an opinion piece in the Denver Post, drawing on the writer's experience at last month's NAGC Convention in Denver, asked whether both gifted and special-needs kids are being left behind; the piece quotes presenters such as Jonathan Mooney, Linda Silverman, and Daniel Pink. Find it

DSM-5. We've seen a couple pieces reacting to the recent finalization of the DSM-5. One was at the site of the National Center for Learning Disabilities and focused on LDs and the DSM; find it. The other was in the New York Times and focused on the revision process as well as the results. (Evidently, from now on revisions will be made continuously rather than in batches.) Find the Times article

PRUFROCK PRESS is offering a free sample download from the book The Underachieving Gifted Child, by Del Siegle. Go to Prufrock

WEBINAR RESOURCES. The education company Pearson offers free webinars on topics that may be of interest to those who raise and educate twice-exceptional children. Called "Cause and Effect" webinars, topics include the neuropsychology of emotional disorders, the role of attention and executive functioning in learning, cognitive factors in learning, RTI and neuropsychology, and more. Find the webinars. (Thanks for Fernette Eide for pointing the way to these.)

DEFINING GIFTEDNESS: MORE. After NAGC, Stephanie Tolan blogged about "gifted" -- and "child" -- and "school" -- in a post titled "Are We Redefining the Wrong Word?" Her thoughts on these topics are worth reading. Find them

MEDICATING FOR AD/HD is the name of a recent "Sunday Dialog" in the New York Times in which readers respond to what they've read about this topic in the Times recently -- which is quite a variety of pieces, if you've been following this blog. If you're involved in any aspect of the AD/HD medication "issue," you mind find others' opinions interesting. Find them.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

OVER-ACCELERATION? Montgomery, Maryland, Public Schools have adopted what parents are calling "one size fits all" math programming, according to the Washington Post. The school district, for its part, says it "aims to correct a system that over-accelerated students," a system in which MCPS students were already ahead of the nationwide standard. Also in the mix: Common Core State Standards. Find out more

THE SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST. If you're a reader of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter (especially of the May, 2010, issue), you know what a school psychologist does. But to a lot of people -- especially the kids being "psychologized," the job is a mystery. At the Child Mind Institute site, a real school psychologist shares student conceptions of what her job is. Find it

ABOUT.COM, to which we sometimes refer readers for its articles on topics such as AD/HD, now has a Facebook page on that topic, with, not surprisingly, links to all kinds of AD/HD information and resources. Find the page

MIND INSTITUTE. The UC Davis MIND Institute holds monthly lectures on a variety of topics, free and open to the public but also recorded for online play. The next four lectures, December through March, are on various aspects of autism. For example, on December 12 Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D., is scheduled to present on "On the Origins and Development of Language and Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorder." Got an interest? Check out the lectures

COPAA is the Council of Parent Attorney's and Advocates, "a national membership association dedicated to securing high quality educational services for children with disabilities," according to the organization's website. The site offers resource information on disabilities, legal and advocacy resources, a listing of attorneys/advocates by state/territory, and more. Note that the emphasis is on disability, but we in the 2e community are used to borrowing from both sides, right? Find COPAA.

Monday, December 3, 2012

News Items from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

DSM-5 APPROVED. According to The Wall Street Journal, the content of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has been approved by the board of directors of the American Psychiatric Association. The Journal reports, "The DSM-5 will combine subcategories such as Asperger's syndrome, a mild version of the condition, and 'pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified' into a single category of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)." Additionally, the Journal says that there have been no changes to dyslexia -- not specifically mentioned in either the DSM-IV or DSM-5, in spite of some chatter we've seen about supposed changes. Find the article. Separately, take a poll on our website if you have an opinion on whether the DSM-5 will affect the diagnosis and treatment of twice-exceptional children. 

BIOMARKERS FOR DEPRESSION, ANXIETY IN YOUTH. The University of Cambridge says that scientists have discovered a cognitive biomarker – a biological indicator of a disease – for young adolescents who are at high risk of developing depression and anxiety. The test for the unique cognitive biomarker, which can be done on a computer, could be used as an inexpensive tool to screen adolescents for common emotional mental illnesses.  According to the university, as the cognitive biomarker may appear prior to the symptoms of depression and anxiety, early intervention (which has proven to be one of the most effective ways of combating mental illness) could then be initiated. Read more

"DO WE SEE WEED OR DO WE SEE AN HERB?" That's the question Thorkil Sonne of Denmark asks to get listeners to recognize that the strengths of autistic workers may depend on the beholder. Sonne makes available autistic workers to technology companies, spurred by his experiences with his own autistic and remarkably capable son. We've blogged about this before, but the New York Times Magazine just published a story about it. Find the story

DEFINING GIFTEDNESS. In a recent blog and in our December 1st briefing we referred readers to an article by Jim Delisle concerning NAGC's hotly-discussed 2011 definition of giftedness. At Hoagies' website, the repository of all things gifted, is Delisle's article and also a point-by-point rebuttal of it by a member of the task force that crafted the NAGC definition. Anyone interested in how giftedness is defined is encouraged to read the second article as well as the first; find it


MATT COHEN, special ed attorney, has an article on the ADDitude site in which he dispels 10 common myths about AD/HD and special ed laws. Got a twice-exceptional child of the AD/HD persuasion? Check it out. 

DR. JUDY WILLIS has issued her November/December newsletter on neuroscience, which also notes her free ASCD webinar titled "The Essentials of Neurolearning," to be held from 3-4pm EST on December 11. Find the newsletter.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Updates from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

DSM-5 AND DYSLEXIA. Examiner.com notes that the definition of "learning disorder" in the proposed revisions to the DSM has been changed to "specific learning disorder" and that previous LDs such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and disorder of written expression are no longer recommended. The article notes the linkage of the proper label to legal rights as specified in IDEA or ADA, and also notes that the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity is petitioning against the removal of dyslexia as a diagnosis. Check out the article

DSM-5 AND PERSONALITY DISORDERS. The spectrum of personality disorders in the new DSM is also a candidate for change, according to the New York Times, and the Times also provides a history of the diagnosis of such disorders. As with the proposed changes to dyslexia diagnosis (see above) changes to the diagnoses of personality disorders are facing increasing criticism. Find the article.

IDEA REG ON EVALS UPHELD. According the Education Week, judges on the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, have upheld a U.S. Department of Education regulation that school districts may have to reimburse parents for independent evaluations of kids with disabilities. The case involved a district that refused to provide reimbursement. The article says, "The board argued that the regulation exceeded the scope of the IDEA because the statute itself did not authorize such reimbursements." Find out more, and bet that this will be covered on Wrightslaw soon.  

AUTISM NEWS. Three articles in the Archives of General Psychiatry are on the topic of autism:
  • An article noting a link to increased autism risk from traffic pollution
  • An association between autism and changes in immune function
  • An MRI study noting differences in brain surface area in autistic young men.
Read more

EFFECTS OF AD/HD MEDS. Time Magazine examines the risks and benefits of medications given to  young people with AD/HD, including the effect on crime rates, misdiagnosis, the children's opinions on the drugs, and more. Find the article

AD/HD AND COLLEGE. About.com has updated an article titled "The College Planning and Application Process for Students with AD/HD: Successfully Navigating the Process and Finding the Best Fit College." The title says it all, so if you've got a college-bound youngster with AD/HD, you might want to check this out

WRIGHTSLAW. The current edition of Special Ed Advocate answers "questions about behavior assessments, positive intervention plans and supports, and what you can do to get help for children with behavior problems. You will also find behavior & discipline parenting and teaching tips." If this is of interest at your home or school, find the newsletter.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Remember how "seven" was the number of chunks of information we could supposedly keep in short-term memory at the same time? After 50 years, a researcher now says that number is four. Find out more

Monday, November 26, 2012

News Items, Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

2e IN THE WASHINGTON POST. Education writer Jay Mathews, in his Washington Post column "Class Struggle," addressed the topic of how homework can be "torture" for some gifted students -- twice-exceptional students whose particular challenge make writing difficult, or repetitive  homework painful. He tells the story of a DC-area mom with two 2e kids, a son and a daughter, and points out the obstacles parents can run into trying to get a decent education for 2e kids. (As a bonus, the column supplies another candidate for Wrightslaw's "hall of shame": “I feel sorry for your son," the head of a school management team evidently told the mom when she asked for accommodations. "You are clearly pressuring him to make A's.”) Way to go, Jay Mathews. Find the article

TEEN DEPRESSION may go away without treatment, according to a team of researchers who found that to be true in about  half of such cases. Two things seemed to predict improvement without treatment -- the severity of the depression and whether the symptoms lasted six weeks. Read more on this topic of interest to the parents of twice-exceptional children.  

GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS QUARTERLY. The Winter issue of this newsletter is out, and in one article in it Jim Delisle writes that he is "disturbed" by NAGC's most recent (2011) definition of giftedness -- and disturbed on five counts, which he enumerates and explains in this article. Of the article and Delisle's views, GEPQ publisher Maurice Fisher says, "I agree with Jim’s assessment of this convoluted definition, and believe it is destructive to the gifted education field." Find GEPQ and the article. Find the article on Hoagies' website

ADDITUDE this week offers advice about tics/twitching in AD/HD kids being treated with stimulant meds, and also previews two free webinars this week:
  • Tools to Help  Your AD/HD Child in School
  • Getting School Accommodations wiwth AD/HD
Find out more

TED-ED VIDEOS. The organizers of TED, a non-profit devoted to "ideas worth spreading," have collected a few videos on education at YouTube on topics such as "The Beauty of Algebra," Einstein and the Special Theory of Relativity," and more. TED presentations are by engaging, respected presenters. Find the TED-Ed videos

TALENT ACT. An individual has started a petition at whitehouse.gov to encourage the federal government to pass the TALENT act and better support gifted education. If you're a believer, find the petition. As of today, the petition has 1,022 signatures out of the 25,000 required for the government to consider the petition.

Friday, November 23, 2012

SENSORY INTEGRATION THERAPY: NOT FOR ASD? Researchers reviewed 25 studies of sensory integration therapy for those on the autism spectrum and failed to find scientific support for claims that the method aids children with ASD. The therapy uses weighted vests, bouncy balls, and other stimuli. Read more

THE ARTS AND DEPRESSION. A study has linked participation in extracurricular arts activities -- music, drama, and painting, for example -- to increased rates of self-reported depressive symptoms. The lead author commented, "This is not to say that depression is a necessary condition for either a teen or an adult to become an artist, nor are we showing that participating in the arts leads to mental illness." Read more

YOUNGER STUDENTS, MORE AD/HD. Younger students in each grade may perform at a lower academic level and may be prescribed AD/HD meds more frequently than their older classmates, according to a recently published study. The take-away? The researchers said, "Educators and health care providers should take relative age and gender into account when evaluating children's performance in school and other criteria for ADH/D diagnosis." Read more.  

WRIGHTSLAW ON 2e. Wrightslaw's Special Ed Advocate is always informative when it comes to working with schools on LD issues. The current issue covers twice-exceptional children, and it contains "articles, advocacy advice, resources, book recommendations, and free publications about making good educational decisions for a twice-exceptional child." Find the issue

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. DITD's eNews-Update for November is out and provides a variety of news items about giftedness, Davidson activities, and legislation that affects gifted education. Find the newsletter
SENG has two upcoming webinars on its schedule, one on December 20 with Jean Sunde Peterson titled "Talking with Teens," about communicating with gifted adolescents, and the other on January 17 with Susan Jackson titled "Solutions for the Anxious Gifted Child." Find out more in the November SENG newsletter

GLD AUSTRALIA is a new online community concerned with the needs of Australian gifted kids and adults who have specific learning disabilities or other learning challenges, according to Jo Freitag's Gifted Resources Newsletter. It is a closed Yahoo group list affiliated with the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented. Membership is free; email gld.australia@yahoo.com.au to join. Find out more

PRUFROCK FREEBIE. Prufrock Press offers a a free sample download from its book Children with High-Functioning Autism: A Parent's Guide. The 33-page download includes the table of contents, introduction, and Chapter 1. Find it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

News Items and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

COMPUTER-BASED ATTENTION TRAINING. A researcher in Singapore has developed an intervention that uses a computer game along with EEG monitoring to improve symptoms of AD/HD. An eight-week, three-times-a-week course of training led to improved parental ratings for both attention and hyperactivity. Find out more

GIFTED MYTHS. CNN has published an article titled "My view: Ten myths about gifted students and programs for the gifted." What's notable is that reading the article from the point of view of parent or educator of a twice-exceptional child brings no surprises, just "duh." For example, do you think it's a given that "all gifted students work up to their potential" (Myth 6) or that "teaching gifted students is easy" (Myth 7)? Do those need debunking for you? We don't think so. Find the myths

EINSTEIN'S BRAIN. Fourteen recently uncovered photographs of Einstein's brain were the basis for a study by a university evolutionary anthropologist. The findings? The researcher is quoted as saying, "Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein's brain were normal, the prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal, temporal and occipital cortices were extraordinary. These may have provided the neurological underpinnings for some of his visuospatial and mathematical abilities, for instance." Read more

ADVICE FOR PARENTS OF ASD KIDS. The Toronto Star recently carried an article of advice to parents of autistic children, advice provided by families who have been in that situation and from young adults with autism. The article includes such advice as "steel yourself"; "find other parents"; "go with your gut"; and "be willing to accept help." Find the advice

TBI TREATMENT. Newswise reports that the first treatment breakthrough of its kind for survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or stroke will be published in the December 1 issue of the journal CNS Drugs. The study evidently provides clinical evidence that, for the first time, chronic neurological dysfunction from stroke or traumatic brain injury can rapidly improve following a single dose of a drug that targets brain inflammation, even years after the initial event. Go to the Newswise account.
LEARNING IN DIFFERENT CULTURES. An NPR story offers insight into the differences between education and learning in eastern and western cultures. The story starts with an anecdote sure to get your attention -- and possibly make you squirm as you read it. Find the story
NAGC. We just returned from the NAGC convention in Denver, and we'll be providing coverage of the sessions we attended in the newsletter and on the website. In the meantime, check out Tamara Fisher's coverage at her blog "Unwrapping the Gifted."

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. At this site this is an article titled "When Mom and Dad Disagree on the Diagnosis, or the Treatment." It reflects on an article on that topic in Psychology Today. If your household has encountered this situation, you might find the articles interesting. Go to CMI

NCLD. The National Center for Learning Disabilities reminds us that the organization offers resources on dyscalculia, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyspraxia. Got an interest? Check them out. 

WRIGHTSLAW: FREE IN OKLAHOMA. Wrightslaw is offering a free training session for residents of Oklahoma who are parents, attorneys and advocates concerned with special ed and disability law. Living in OK? Check it out
 
PRUFROCK: FREE DOWNLOAD. Prufrock Press is offering a free download of several chapters of the book If I'm So Smart, Why Aren't the Answers Easy? The book is based on interviews with thousands of gifted young adults. Find the download  

ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. David Rabiner has posted the October edition of this newsletter at his site helpforadd.com. He reviews a study of the beliefs of AD/HD college students about their meds in four areas:
  1. Whether the meds improved attention and academics
  2. Whether the meds caused "loss of authentic self"
  3. Social self-enhancement
  4. Common side-effects. 
See how Rabiner interprets the study.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

News Items and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Excpetional Newsletter

AD/HD MODELED. A group of scientists from the University of Copenhagen has created a model that shows how some types of ADHD medicine influence the brain's reward system. The model makes it possible to understand the effect of the medicine and perhaps in the longer term to improve the development of medicine and dose determination. Specifically, the model predicts how dopamine acts in controlling behavior, and the effect of stimulants (Ritalin) on the dopamine system. Read more

AD/HD IN GIRLS is the topic of an article at ADDitude. The article leads with the example of a young woman who wasn't diagnosed until her freshman year in college, but for whom medication helped greatly. The article covers differences in AD/HD in girls versus boys  -- more negative effects, for example. Find the article

APPS FOR DYSLEXIA. A St. Louis University researcher has studied ways to help dyslexic children practice reading activities more comfortably, and he suggest that certain mobile apps and daily visual activities can make that happen. He finds that reading activities can be introduced through interactive, multi-sensory activities that help children actually like the practice they're getting. Read more

AUTISM IN PRODIGIES. A study of eight child prodigies suggests a possible link between these children’s special skills and autism. Of the eight prodigies studied, three had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. As a group, the prodigies also tended to have slightly elevated scores on a test of autistic traits, when compared to a control group. In addition, half of the prodigies had a family member or a first- or second-degree relative with an autism diagnosis. Read more in a press release from the researchers.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

News Items and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

ACCEPTING AUTISM, BECOMING AN ADVOCATE. A man diagnosed in adulthood with high-functioning autism has become an autism advocate, according to a CNN article. He is now a co-director of  the Centre for Autism Research, Technology, and Education at the University of Victoria in Canada. The Centre focuses on the use of technology to help people with autism. Of his reinvention, the man says, "I was invisible until I found my inner splendor." Find the article

AD/HD AND MUSIC. A researcher investigating the effect of music or video as a distractor for those with AD/HD found that, for most children, music was not a distraction in terms of focusing. In fact, for one subgroup studied, music "was nearly as effective as medication." Read more

EARLY INTERVENTION FOR AUTISM. A review of more than 100 studies of interventions for young people with autism found "no more than moderate evidence demonstrating the benefits of any of the approaches,” according to the lead author of the study. On the other hand, the researchers said that young people with autism should have access to at least 25 hours a week of treatment for issues such as communication and play skills. Read more

BEATING OCD. A very articulate teenager, in an interview at the site of the Child Mind Institute, describes his OCD: how it started and progressed, how he dealt with it, how it got really bad -- and then how, with the help of a psychiatrist and "exposure" techniques, he beat it. It's a fascinating insight. Find it

AD/HD AND COLLEGE. A federally-financed study called TRAC aims to find out more about the needs of college students with AD/HD and, eventually, increase the probability that those students can graduate. The study will follow students at 10 colleges over a four-year period. Find out more

LD ONLINE. The November e-newsletter from this site features an article on college prep for those in their senior year of high school and an article on difficulties and solutions for the reading portions of tests like the SAT. Find the newsletter

504 PLANS. Sometimes IDEA does not apply to a twice-exceptional child but Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law, does. A video at the site of the National Center for Learning Disabilities explains the 504 plan. Find it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

News Items and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

EDUCATION WEEK has published an article in Teacher titled "Giving Students More Time to Demonstrate Learning." The article leads with a situation that parents and educators of twice-exceptional children will find familiar: smart kid, struggling in school; good grades that prevent attention for possible LDs; and no diagnosis of LD, so no extra time on tests. The author goes on to call timed testing "a false metric" and offers her suggestions for handling testing. Read more

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND. The current issue is on genius, but you can't read it unless you subscribe or hit the newsstand or the library (how 20th century is that?). You can, however, see previews of the articles at the magazine's site

RAISING A PRODIGY. In The New York Times Sunday Magazine is an article on this topic that includes interviews with older prodigies on how they were raised. The author concludes that "all parenting is guesswork," but the stories themselves are fascinating. Find them

BRAIN TRAINING. Want to make  your student "smarter"? Try brain training to "enhance comprehension and the ability to analyze and mentally manipulate concepts, images, sounds and instructions," according to The New York Times. The article describes what brain training is and where you can get it, and includes comments from believers and from skeptics. Read more

GIFTED DEVELOPMENT CENTER. The November e-newsletter from this organization is out, featuring a preview of Linda Silverman's new book Giftedness 101 and a preview of some of the sessions at NAGC to be delivered by GDC professionals -- including three on the topic of twice exceptionality. Find the newsletter

SENG has posted a call for proposals for its 2013 Conference. A good portion of SENG Conference sessions typically deal with twice-exceptionality, so if you've got the urge to present on the topic, check out SENG's site

SMARTKIDS has opened nominations for its 2013 Youth Achievement Award, a "$1,000 award recognizes the strengths and accomplishments of young people with learning disabilities and ADHD," according to the organization. "It will be given to a student 19 or younger who has demonstrated initiative, talent and determination resulting in a notable accomplishment in any field—including art, music, science, math, athletics or community service." Got an achieving 2e child? Check it out

ADDITUDE is offering two free AD/HD Expert Webinars this week, one on November 6th on the topic of meds and AD/HD by Dr. William Dodson, the other on the 8th titled "Understanding Your AD/HD" with Dr. Ned Hallowell. The latter webinar seems to be geared to adults rather than kids, but perhaps older teens would find it useful. Find out more

SAMPLE ISSUES OF 2e NEWSLETTER. We've updated the sample issues that potential subscribers can download to see whether the newsletter is a "fit." The issues now include one on technology and 2e students, one providing different perspectives on twice-exceptionality, and one on neurodiversity. Find them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

News Items and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

AD/HD MEDS AND "SELF." Maybe  you've heard it from your gifted and AD/HD child -- that he or she is concerned that AD/HD meds will somehow cause a personality change. David Rabiner, at SharpBrains.com, writes about a study looking into that issue. According to Rabiner, the study found that "nearly 40% of stu­dents who dis­con­tin­ued med­ica­tion reported con­cerns that using med­ica­tion com­pro­mised their true self in some essen­tial way." Read more. Separately, we've noticed that Rabiner has not posted recent  issues of Attention Research Update at his website. If  you're interested in seeing those issues in a timely way, consider signing up at http://www.helpforadd.com/. 

SMARTPENS AT PENN STATE. The university's Office of Disability Services is issuing LiveScribe smartpens to students who may benefit from them. The pens record lecture-hall audio and digitize notes the student takes so that the student may easily access content from the lecture at a later time. Find out more

MISSED THIS AT THE TIME. In August, Dr. Steven Hyman did a Q&A with the Boston Globe on the topic of drugs to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, AD/HD, OCD, and  autism. Interviewer and interviewee noted a bad trend: that big drug companies don't seem interested in developing new drugs for those conditions. Said the doctor, "The pharmaceutical industry is basically giving up and throwing in the towel. Their exit is both a symptom of the difficulty and a problem." Read more

SENGINAR. SENG is presenting a webinar on November 8th titled "Developing Internal Motivation in Gifted Youth." It will be presented by Lisa van Gemert, who is the gifted youth specialist for Mensa. Find out more

WRIGHTSLAW, in the e-newsletter Special Ed Advocate, focuses on FAPE in the most current issue. Fighting for FAPE at your school? Check it out.

Monday, October 29, 2012

News and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

EARLY AUTISM INTERVENTION. An intensive early intervention therapy that is effective for improving cognition and language skills among very young children with autism also normalizes their brain activity, decreases their autism symptoms and improves their social skills, a nationwide study has found. The researchers said the study is the first to demonstrate that an autism early intervention program can normalize brain activity. Read more.

AUTISM AND FLYING. Some airports are now offering parents with autistic children "mock boarding" experiences to help familiarize the children with the process and to prevent anxiety and disruptive behavior. Other than the airport in Atlanta, the participating facilities are all on the East Coast. Find out more.

THE DYSLEXIC BRAIN. Edutopia offers a blog about "four things all educators should understand about the dyslexic brain." The four things cover writing, automated processes, memory, and creativity. Find the blog

DOCUMENTARY ON DYSLEXIA. On HBO today, Monday, is the documentary "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia," in which the director (Robert Redford's son, whose own son is dyslexic) interviews dyslexics who coped with the condition in a variety of ways. The Washington Post says, "The film follows the happy-ending stories of a handful of unusually bright kids..." Read more

GIRLS AND AD/HD -- specifically, "How Girls and Women Can Win with AD/HD" -- is the topic of a free webinar offered by ADDitude on Tuesday, October 20 at 1pm Eastern time. Find out more.  

FISH OIL AND WORKING MEMORY. In what is claimed to be the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have determined that healthy young adults ages 18-25 can improve their working memory even further by increasing their Omega-3 fatty acid intake. Their findings have been published online in PLOS One. The researchers' imaging studies, however, did not explain the mechanisms of the improvement, a topic for further study. Read more

SCHOOL CHOICE. If you're interested in the debate on vouchers and school choice and politics, there's a discussion going on in the CEC section of LinkedIn on the topic. This may be of interest to those in the 2e community because IDEA funds often go to provide services for kids with learning challenges. If you're on LinkedIn, find the discussion

WORLD CONFERENCE. We posted that the World Conference scheduled in New Zealand by the organization World Council for Gifted and Talented Children was canceled; however, it appears that the conference is now scheduled for Louisville, Kentucky, on August 10-14, 2013. Find more information

PAST "BACK TO SCHOOL." As we get further into the school year, the Child Mind Institute offers tips for parents to work with school to promote academic and social achievement -- tips on checking in with the teacher, on conferences, and on getting more help. Read more.