Monday, January 30, 2012

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

RITALIN NAY-SAYER. Yesterday's New York Times contained an opinion piece by a psychologist who is down on the use of drugs to help AD/HD. He writes, "...when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth. Sadly, few physicians and parents seem to be aware of what we have been learning about the lack of effectiveness of these drugs." He contends that the drugs are only effective for a matter of weeks or months, and disputes certain findings of brain differences based on brain imaging. Find the article
UNIVERSITY PROGRAM FOR ASPIES. Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, has established a program to help high-functioning autistics for the "real world." From an article about the program, which also featured a highly intelligent young man: "Mercyhurst's program, which costs about $4,000 a year above tuition, includes social tutoring and the option of not having a roommate, but pushes students toward self-sufficiency. Students, with varying levels of monitoring, become responsible for their own food and medication -- often for the first time -- and must adhere to the same code of conduct as every other student." Read more.
AUTISM DIAGNOSIS. A new study indicates that brainwave patterns can indicate a risk of developing autism as early as six months of age. The study found differences in the waves between at-risk and "typical" children when they were shown pictures of of faces looking at the child... and then away from the child. Read more.
DYSLEXIA DIAGNOSIS. MRI scans can show differences in the brain activity of children at risk for dyslexia even before the children learn to read, according to a study at Children's Hospital Boston. Find out more. Separately, a blogger at the NY Times site responds to a mother's request for apps to help a dyslexic child with reading and math. The blogger suggests a few and readers provide many more. Find the blog.
THE DAVIDSON INSTITUTE eNEWS UPDATE for January is out, featuring information about challenging summer programs, the Google 2012 Global Science Fair for gifted kids 13-18, and more. Read the newsletter. Separately, a thread on the DITD Gifted Issues Discussion Forum begins with a post from a mom worried that her gifted daughter might get an AD/HD diagnosis... and then continues in a discussion of "AD/HD versus gifted" and possible confusion between the two. Find the thread.
THE SHARPBRAINS NEWSLETTER, just out, features an article on dyscalculia and working memory and one on neurofeedback for AD/HD. Go to the newsletter.
AND FINALLY, THIS. As we ready the upcoming issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, featuring in part apps for 2e kids, we received a press release on something that sounds like a sure-fire winner --  a $14.95 app for the iPad called "Inside the World of Dinosaurs." According to the release, it features hundreds of interactive 3D models of dinosaurs, 200 pages of original text, five hours of narration, and dozens of videos, pictures, dinosaur sounds (really?), and descriptions of dinosaur hunters (modern-day, presumably). What we'd guess will be the biggest attraction: "40 fully interactive 3D recreations of dinosaurs in mid-fight," viewable from any angle. What gifted kid will be able to resist? Find the app's website

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