Monday, July 30, 2012

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

SUMMER CAMPS. A summer day camp in the Detroit area caters to kids with AD/HD and "strives to build teamwork, leadership, goal-setting and coping skills in kids with ADHD," according to an article about the camp. The article quotes a camper: "People think we're kind of stupid, but we're really quite smart. We just have a hard time curbing our really big flaws." Find the article. Separately, a camp in Connecticut serves kids with Asperger's and NVLDs and employs counselors who have disabilities similar to the kids they're counseling. Find the article.
DEPRESSION is the topic of three articles on our desktop today. One article describes the efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat depression not responding to antidepressant meds. The second article notes that girls between age 12 and 15 suffer a rate of major depressive episodes three times higher during those years, and that those girls are also three times more likely than boys the same ages to experience such episodes. Finally, college students who are depressed apparently use the Internet differently. Says the article, "depressed students tended to use file-sharing services, send email and chat online more than the other students. Depressed students also tended to use higher 'packets per flow applications, those high-bandwidth applications often associated with online videos and games, than their counterparts."
OFF TO COLLEGE. College admission officers, like employers, may use social media to evaluate prospective students. The Wake Forest dean of admissions says the college uses social media to find out more about students "for more good than anything else." Nonetheless, the dean offers guidelines for crafting one's "digital personae." Read more
2e GROUP IN QUEENSLAND. A newly-launched group for twice-exceptional children in Queensland, Australia, has a Facebook presence at http://www.facebook.com/groups/391486154238273/, under the name "Sunshine Coast Super Kids -- Twice Exceptionals. The group is a learning group, meeting monthly, with activities centered around defined projects. The founder says that the group focuses less on support than on "really cool stuff the kids have asked about for years."
DAVIDSON INSTITUTE eNEWS UPDATE. The July edition of this newsletter is out, noting some of the winners of the Google Global Science Fair and providing information about various DITD resources and services, such as the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum. Find the newsletter.
CHICAGO-AREA EVENT. If you live in the Chicago area and bullying is an issue of concern, note that the Glenbard Parent Series on August 27 will present the author/director of "Bully" in an evening program titled "Bully and the Bully Project: Putting an end to the most common form of violence among our youth." Find out more.
MATH AND GENDER. Boys and girls have different approaches to arithmetic, according to a new study, with boys' results coming faster (from memory) and girls' results coming more slowly but accurately (from computing the answer by counting.) Find out more.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

HOMESCHOOLING, DYSLEXIA BOOK. Last Monday, when we posted about a free e-book on the topic of homeschooling a child with dyslexia, we failed to mention that the author, Kerry Jones, has written for 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. In July of 2009 we ran Jones' article "Resources to Boost Homeschool Learning for 2e Kids," focusing on how technology can help a homeschooling parent. So good going, Kerry Jones, with your new book
DOPAMINE, IMPULSIVITY -- they appear to be related according to new research. Higher levels of dopamine in the brain seem to decrease impulsivity, at least in adult research participants.  Researchers used the drug tolcapaone to increase levels of dopamine in the subjects'  brains; the drug is used to treat Parkinson's disease. Read more.
AD/HD MEDS FOR STUDYING. The Diane Rehm show on NPR aired a segment focusing on the issue of the misuse of prescription AD/HD meds as a study aid. Find the show.
TECHNOLOGY FASCINATION. A New York Times article described how even some Silicon Valley technology leaders are making an effort to step away from the addictive effects of technology -- at least once in awhile. The concern: "that the lure of constant stimulation — the pervasive demand of pings, rings and updates — is creating a profound physical craving that can hurt productivity and personal interactions." Got a kid who's hooked? Find the article.  
WRIGHTSLAW is blogging this week from the Institute of Special Education Advocacy. Looks like real-time, live coverage of sessions such as "Alternative Dispute Resolution Under IDEA 2004," "Strategies for Working with Schools," and more. Way to go, Wrightslaw bloggers. Find the blog.
UNWRAPPING THE GIFTED. From Edufest, Tamara Fisher writes about advocacy groups for parents of gifted learners, relating her experiences as an educator with parents of gifted kids and pointing to resources that can help parents in their advocacy efforts for their gifted children. Find her blog.
ADDITUDE this week features an article titled "AD/HD Support: How One Woman Conquered Adult AD/HD and Depression." The subject of the story is a bright young woman who excelled in high school, graduated from a top college -- and then ran into trouble with jobs and roommates. The story includes the points of view of the young woman and of her AD/HD support coach as the young woman turned her life around. Read the story.
THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE currently has articles on its site about what happens when a teen rejects the AD/HD diagnosis; and on family dinner as a means to keep a family close. Go to the site. 
MISCELLANEOUS. If you have a particular interest at your house in homework battles or if you're about to send off a child to college, you might be interested in the articles "Ending the Homework Battle" or "Facing the Empty Nest: Five Tips for Parents of College Freshmen."
MORE NEWS ITEMS SOON!

Monday, July 23, 2012

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

LD ONLINE NEWSLETTER for July features articles on literacy, social media, parenting a child with AD/HD, cell phone apps that can benefit students with AD/HD, and apps assisting children and families with special needs. Find the newsletter
THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE site currently features articles covering what to do when a teen rejects an AD/HD diagnosis; tips for traveling with challenging children; and more. Also at the site -- a "symptom checker" to help connect behaviors to possible disorders. Find the site
STRATTERA WARNING. Got a gifted kid about to go on AD/HD meds? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has mandated new safety labels for the AD/HD med Strattera (atomoxetine) to reflect the dangers of using it when certain heart conditions are present. Strattera can increase the heart rate and blood pressure; the labeling outlines when the med might be harmful. Read more.
FREE E-BOOK. A writer who is also a homeschooling mom has written an e-book titled Successfully Homeschooling a Child with Dyslexia based on her 12 years of homeschooling experience. According to the distributors of the book, it provides resources and covers topics such as:
  • Recognizing your child’s learning style
  • Dealing with the emotions and feelings related to having (or parenting a child with) dyslexia
  • Reading and writing intervention programs
  • Assistive technology
  • Reading therapists or dyslexia specialists
  • Organizational tips.
Find the book. (And, if you read and use it, please let us know whether we should recommend it as a resource going forward.)
GIFTED ED PROGRAMMING STANDARDS. Prufrock Press is making available another free download of a portion of one of its titles, this one from the book Gifted Education Programming Standards: A Guide to Planning and Implementing High-Quality Services. The PDF download consists of Chapter 1 of this NAGC-edited book. Find the download.
ARE YOU A JACK GANTOS FAN? The award-winning author of children's books is featured in a New York Times "Download" column. You can discover what Gantos is currently reading, listening to, watching, following, and (even) wearing. Go to the column.
ANOTHER THING TO WORRY ABOUT. Evidently BPA is present in some dental fillings, and a study now reveals that children with such fillings are more likely to develop behavior problems and emotional problems, even though the effect is supposedly small. Read more. Or, find an abstract of the Pediatrics article in which the study was reported.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

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

NPGCW -- that's National Parenting Gifted Children Week, as SENG reminds us in its July newsletter -- and it's this week, July 15-21. On the heels of the just-concluded 2012 conference, SENG also announces the dates for next year's conference in Orlando, Florida: July 19-21, 2013. Also in the newsletter, an article by Jane Hesslein called "Parenting a Gifted Child Is..." -- a list of what that means to her, such as "having your dinosaur pronunciation corrected." You may find familiar memories. Find the article.
CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. New at this site are articles on "The Secret to Calm Parenting: Quieting the Body to Quiet the Mind," and "Helping Anxious Kids Enjoy Summer Camp."
PRODIGIES, AUTISM -- LINKS?  An article at Disability Scoop starts off this way: "When a team of researchers homed in on a group of eight wildly-talented child prodigies, they found that autism may have something to do with the children’s extraordinary abilities." The study seems to indicate that autism runs in the families of the eight prodigies studied. Read more.
DIAGNOSING DYSLEXIA WITH MRI. MRI scans can detect brain activity that might mark dyslexia, even before a child learns to read. An article on a study from Children's Hospital Boston also states that between 5 and 17 percent of children are affected by dyslexia. Read more.
AUTISM, SALIVA, PUPIL SIZE. A study at the University of Kansas have found two physiological traits in children with ASD. The children had larger resting pupil size and a lower level of a salivary enzyme associated with norephinephrine, indicating that the kids "are in overdrive" when it comes to their autonomic nervous systems. Find out more
NOT JUST FOR KIDS. College-age students are urged by a community health professor to update their vaccinations -- for meningitis, HPV, TDAP, Hepatitis A, and flu, plus vaccines not offered earlier in the student's life, like chicken pox. Find out more
NEW ENGLAND CONFERENCE ON GIFTED AND TALENTED. This is on the site of the Connecticut Association for the Gifted: "The 18th annual New England Conference on Gifted and Talented  Education was scheduled to be hosted by and held in Rhode Island October 2012.  However, due to the unfortunate dissolution of the Rhode Island NAGC affiliate, RIAGE (Rhode Island Advocates for Gifted Education), the event has been cancelled for this year.  NECGT 2013 is scheduled to be held in Maine as planned.  Please contact CAG for information on alternative resources in 2012." 
AND FINALLY, THIS. From Science Daily: "Current research from the University of Luxembourg found that when participants were asked to select gift products after they had played a violent video game, inexperienced players selected more hygienic products, such as shower gel, toothpaste and deodorant, compared to those who played violent video games more often. Inexperienced players also felt higher moral distress from playing violent games." They call it the Macbeth Effect. Read more.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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

GIFTED AND MAINSTREAMED. Maybe it's money. Maybe it's policy. Maybe it's segregation. Those are some of the reasons offered by the Deseret News on why gifted kids aren't getting school services reflecting their gifts. The article quotes Sally Reis: "It's a bad time to be a gifted child in America." Find the article.
AD/HD: IS IT THE GABA? A Psychology Today blog describes a new study that examined the levels of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, in kids with AD/HD compared to typically developing kids. Regions of the brain controlling voluntary movement showed lower concentrations of the neurotransmitter. Researchers noted that it was a small study needing replication, but said that it could open the doors to treatment involving GABA transmission. Find out more.
AT FOR LD. Dell and Microsoft are offering resources to teachers on using assistive technology in the classroom -- either features already built into computers or new products. Find out more.
ADDITUDE has issued a newsletter this week featuring an article called "The AD/HD Food Fix," focusing on nutritional interventions. Also in the issue: a couple of related pointers, one to an article on food coloring  and one to an "alt-treatments" forum. Find the newsletter
BRAIN CAFE. 2e Newsletter partner/publisher Linda says that she's found an interesting brain-related group on Facebook --https://www.facebook.com/groups/133141680107853/ See what you think!
DIAGNOSTIC HOMELESSNESS. That's one of the topics that Carol Barnes, from  Australia, will discuss in a session at the upcoming Dabrowski Congress in the Denver area next week. Her session is titled, "Overexcitabilities? Or Just Plain OverSights? 2e Learners Who are Diagnostically Homeless — a View from Australia." Find out more.

Friday, July 6, 2012

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

FITTING EDUCATION TO THE CHILD. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote today about what might happen if Shakespeare's character Henry V were, as a child, to attend American schools -- nursery school, elementary school, high school, college. Brooks concludes that the young king wouldn't fit in, listing some of the likely outcomes at each level of schooling. Brooks writes, "The education system has become culturally cohesive, rewarding and encouraging a certain sort of person: one who is nurturing, collaborative, disciplined, neat, studious, industrious and ambitious. People who don’t fit this cultural ideal respond by disengaging and rebelling." Brooks goes on to note that most of the misfits are boys, and the solution is for schools to "engage people as they are," not just to engage those who seem to fit the mold. Find the column.

DISABILITIES IN COLLEGE. The  Council for Exceptional Children has published an interview with the author of a new book about the transition from high school to college for students with disabilities. In the interview, "disabilities" is used generically, but this interview focuses on what colleges and universities must do, may do, and should not do when it comes to issues like accommodations, identifying a student as disabled, privacy, etc. The author discusses planning for college and making sure that certain skills (academic and otherwise) are in place before college. Find the interview.

ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. In a recent email to subscribers of this AD/HD-focused newsletter, David Rabiner announced that his relationship with Cogmed, a vendor of working memory training, is coming to a close. For five years, says Rabiner, he has received support (presumably monetary)  from Cogmed, but that arrangement ended July 1.

AS/HD IN GIRLS. A researcher followed girls diagnosed with AD/HD for over a decade. The study found that girls who have AD/HD in early childhood will have poorer executive functioning in adolescence and early adulthood, and that level of functioning is present whether or not symptoms of AD/HD went into remission during the time of the study. Find out more.

SLEEP APNEA IN KIDS. The effects on the brain of obstructive sleep apnea in children are reversible with treatment for the underlying OSA, according to a study. Treatment restores an imbalance of neuronal metabolites, improving verbal memory and attention. If you have a child with possible symptoms of OSA, read the article.

HELENE BARTZ was a gifted educator who founded two schools for the gifted in the Chicago area -- Creative Children's Academy (now Quest Academy) and the Science and Arts Academy. Both schools have educated their share of 2e students. Bartz died in late June at age 87. Read more.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

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

ANTIDEPRESSANTS. We've blogged about recent articles casting doubt on the use of anti-depressants. The issue is important for those in the 2e community because twice-exceptional kids often have anxiety and/or depression along with their giftedness and learning challenges. A lengthy article in proto, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, addresses the issue. The article provides a brief history of antidepressants and then goes on to address some of the contentions espoused recently by anti-antidepressant authors. If your child has symptoms of depression, this article might be worth a look. Find the article.
AUTISM, SCHIZOPHRENIA, BIPOLAR DISORDER. Do they have common, underlying factors? New research indicates that they might. The research studied the presence of ASD in those with parents or siblings who had one of the other two disorders, and found a much higher risk of ASD. Read more.
"OBAMACARE." Will the Affordable Health Care Act affect the treatment your child receives for 2e-related conditions? Psych Central says that it might. Their analysis notes that mental health care will become accessible to more people and that pre-existing conditions won't be a basis for denying coverage, something that might have vexed some parents heretofore. Read more.
AUTISM SPEAKS SPEAKS -- to the members of the DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Disorders Work Group about Autism Speak's concerns with potential changes to the diagnostic process for ASD and Asperger's. See their concerns.
READING PROBLEMS. The head of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, interviewed in the Houston Chronicle, provided  his opinions on the best ways to help struggling readers -- starting early with interventions, for example. One of the most interesting parts of the interview came near the end. Asked what he would do with a "magic wand," the neuropsychologist said that he would eliminate excessive testing in favor of interventions. "I'm a psychologist. We teach assessment. We do too much of it." Find the article.
DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE NEWSLETTER. A new edition is out, but you'll have to sign up for it at DyslexicAdvantage.com if you want to see all the goodies. However, you can see some of the articles at the Dyslexic Advantage blog, including one on the implications of dyslexia for the workplace,and how education should help dyslexics expand their strengths and abilities. Go to the blog.
GIFTED DEVELOPMENT CENTER. The 10th Dabrowski Congress is coming up July 19-21 in Denver. Topics covered will include overexcitabilities (of course), ethical development, gifted children and adults, twice exceptional children, women writers, temperament, introversion, learning style, sensitivity, crisis, inner conflict, loss, courage, peace, service, religious experience, creativity, poetry, authentic educational practice, classroom strategies and homeschooling. CEUs are available for professionals; parents are invited as well. Find out more
2013 WORLD GIFTED CONFERENCE. Thinking about going to New Zealand for this conference? There a web page where you can learn more about the event as it approaches. Find the page
PRUFROCK FREE DOWNLOAD. If you have an interest in RTI, you may download the introduction and two chapters from the  book Response to Intervention in the Core Content Areas. Find the download
AND FINALLY, THIS. Carnegie Mellon research shows that parents are less likely to develop colds than non-parents. See? You knew there was a benefit. :-)  Read more.