Thursday, August 23, 2012

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

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE is the topic of a blog posting at the Scientific American site. The blogger says of the Institute, "an extraordinary cluster of professionals are working to understand, improve and advise the rest of us about the mental health of our children." Noting that the Institute is just three years old and the only U.S non-profit devoted to children's mental health, the blog describes some of the troubles the Institute may help with, including anxiety, AD/HD, and ODD. Find the blog.
THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE is a source we often point to for information and resources for the twice-exceptional community. This week the organization's site features two articles on the topic of AD/HD. In an "Ask an Expert" column, a pediatric psychopharmacologist (whew!) addresses the question "Is AD/HD really a psychiatric disorder?"; find the column. And a blog at the site reacts to the recent New York Times opinion piece about problems in diagnosing AD/HD; find the blog, titled "When the AD/HD Diagnosis is Wrong."
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR SPECIAL NEEDS is the title of a recent NPR program in which three moms share their experiences and opinions on a topic many of us have been through. One mom, a lawyer, has a son with AD/HD and other issues; a second mom has two daughters with Down Syndrome; and a third mom, who son is on the autism spectrum, has blogged about her family's journey. Guided by the program host, the moms/experts offer sound advice such as "remember that you are the expert on your child"; and educate yourself to be your child's best advocate. Listen or read a transcript at the NPR site.
EDUCATION REVOLUTION. We enjoy Costco because it offers quality at a value price. Even their ad-filled customer magazine, Costco Connection, often contains surprisingly useful information. The current issue features an interview with Sir Ken Robinson (the hook: he's a Costco member) titled "Teach Your Children Well" (okay, cheap title) that presents Robinson's views on the current state of education and what, ideally, could be done about it. He calls the current system "industrialized" and developed to suit the mindset of the industrial revolution. He discusses  how great schools will personalize education rather than mass-produce it, and how good educators will "take account of how different children actually learn" -- a not-too-startling concept to parents of twice-exceptional children but still, evidently, news to most people. Anyway, there are passages in this interview that will likely resonate with you if you take the time to read it. Find it.
AUTISM AND DAD'S AGE. They're linked, evidently, according to a new study reported in The New York Times and published in Nature. The link could account for as much as 20 to 30 percent of autism cases.
STUDY HARD, CHANGE YOUR BRAIN -- at least, that's what happens to students prepping for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), according to a new study. Researchers found that intense prep for the test "actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning." Read more.
MUSIC AND LISTENING. Kids who play musical instruments, if only for a few years, turn out to be better listeners later in life, their brains better able to process complex sounds. Say the researchers, "Based on what we already know about the ways that music helps shape the brain, the study suggests that short-term music lessons may enhance lifelong listening and learning." Find out more.
AND FINALLY, THIS. Each August, the U.S. Census Bureau issues back-to-school-related statistics. This  year's press release notes that 27 percent of students 12 to 17 were in a gifted class in a recent year, and that 70 percent of students 6 to 17 reported being highly engaged in school. The words "twice exceptional" were not in the press release, but you can read it anyway if you like.

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