Thursday, February 2, 2012

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

RITALIN NAY-SAYER REBUTTED. The New York Times opinion piece "Ritalin Gone Wrong" has drawn firm responses from a variety of people and organizations. The Child Mind Institute posted a point-by-point commentary on its website. Letters to the editor of The New York Times on the topic are here. And Dr. Edward Hallowell (author of books on AD/HD) has written a response to the opinion piece that  you may find here
AD/HD AND THE DSM-5. One observer contends that the next edition of the DSM might have the effect of increasing the chances that a child may be diagnosed with AD/HD, the opposite of what observers fear will happen with ASD. Will "lowering the bar" for an AD/HD diagnosis lead to more diagnoses, more help -- and more meds? Read more.
SPEAKING OF ASPERGER'S, we found three pieces over the past few days dealing with the diagnosis of that condition in the past and in the future. In one article, the writer recounts how "For a brief period... I had Asperger syndrome" -- diagnosed by his mother, a psychology professor and Asperger's specialist, of all things. Read how the writer says after college his symptoms vanished. In another article the author claims that the Asperger's label is perhaps overused, calling it a tide of pathologizing; find the article. And finally, Atlantic ran an article called "Can My Kid Still Get Treatment? Why Autism's Definition Matters," explaining the positive impact of a diagnosis on the author's own child; read it.
AD/HD DRUG WARNING. Reuters reports that advisers to the U.S. FDA have asked that Focalin carry a warning about the risk of suicidal thoughts in those who take the medicine. The number of instances involving those thoughts appears to be small compared to the number of children taking the drug, four linked to the drug and four others where the link was not clear. Read more.
MORE ON SPECIAL SERVICES. We recently posted that the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has changed the definition of who should get special services under 504 plans. Read more about it, including pointers to the guidance issued by OCR and a list of questions an answers on the topic.
SSRI's FOR ANXIETY. A psychiatrist recommends that clinicians should be "pushing the doses of these [SSRI] medicines so that you can give kids a chance to respond the best they can," contending that the usual "start low, go slow" advice might not lead to anxiety being controlled adequately. Got a bright but anxious kid? Read more.
SMARTKIDS YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The organization Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities has opened nominations for its annual Youth Achievement Award, $1000, which "recognizes the strengths and accomplishments of young people with learning disabilities and ADHD." The deadline for nomination is February 28. Find out more.
AD/HD SCHOLARSHIPS. About.com has news of the Shire AD/HD Scholarship for those with AD/HD pursuing higher education. Fifty scholarships are awarded, each including $2000 plus a year of AD/HD coaching. Find out more.
NEAR DURANGO? Colorado, that is. Liberty School in that area is holding a dyslexia conference on March 16-17. Find out more.
GEORGIA SCHOOL FOR DYSLEXICS. A private school for elementary and middle schoolers with dyslexia is in the works in Marietta, Georgia,and scheduled to open in the fall. Read more about it.
EDUCATION WEEK OPEN HOUSE. Until February 5, Education Week is hosting an "open house" on their website. One feature there is titled "The Virtual World of Learning," and visitors may also download a white paper on online education. Go there
RTI WEBINAR. RTI (response to intervention) can help all kids, including those who are gifted or twice-exceptional. One of NAGC's Webinars on Wednesdays (WOW) will address the topic on March 28 at 7:00 pm. Titled "What Parents and Educators Should Know about RtI," presenters include Mike Postma, Minnetonka Public Schools, Minnetonka, Minnesota; Bobbie Gilman, Gifted Development Center, Denver, Colorado; Dan Peters, Walnut Creek, California; and Kathi Kearney, Project Excel, Berwick, Maine. Find more information.

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