Monday, May 20, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

ONE IN FIVE KIDS suffers from some sort of mental disorder, according to the US Center for Disease Control, at a cost of $247 billion per year to society. The leading disorders in terms of prevalence are ADHD, ODD, depression, anxiety, and ASD. Causes for the increased rate of childhood mental illness include increased diagnosis but also environmental factors (chemicals, social trends, etc). Read more.

MATH AND BRAIN STIMULATION. A small study found that a brief course of cognitive training combined with a form of electrical stimulation to the part of the brain where arithmetic skills reside may improve brain function when it comes to calculation -- and the results seemed to be present six months after "treatment." Some neuroscientists quoted by CBS' reporting of the technique were skeptical, but you can read more and then decide whether to buy a transcranial random noise stimulation machine to use on that math-averse young person you raise or educate.

DSM-5: FINALLY off the presses this week, and The New York Times has one last (probably not) article on the topic, presenting pluses and minuses. Find it. Separately, at the site of the American Psychiatric Association, publishers of the DSM, you can find a listing of resources explaining the new organization and features of the manual; go there. (Your can also order your own copy for US$199.)

GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS QUARTERLY. The summer issue is out with articles titled "The Forgotten Gifted Child"; "Divorcing the G-Word: A Parent's Suggestion for Defining Giftedness"; and comments on Jim Delisle's critique of NAGC's definition of giftedness. Free subscription required; go to http://www.giftededpress.com/.

LD ONLINE reminded us that SENG has a 15-minute video on YouTube concerning gifted children who are misdiagnosed with disorders like ADHD or Aspergers. Find the video.

NCLD recently held a webinar titled "Diplomas at Risk: A Critical Look at the Graduate Rate of Students with Learning Disabilities." You may access a recording of the webinar and also download a copy of the NCLD report "Diplomas at Risk." Find out more.

EDUTOPIA has posted an article extolling the benefits of the "abundance model" for education over the deficit model, and relating both to the role of standardized testing. The abundance model is logically the best way to reach twice-exceptional students. Here's what the article says about it: "Meet the child where he/she is academically, socially, and emotionally then utilize those jewels through personalized instruction to help that student grow." Read the article.

VIRTUAL Q&A. Got questions about depression in children and adolescents? Check out a free online event sponsored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation on that topic, scheduled for June 11 at 2:00 ET. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS. A press release from the University of Michigan's Poll on Children's health notes an interesting finding: that while only 1 in 100 parents of teens believes their teen uses "study drugs," this does not track with what teens say. Other surveys peg the usage rate of stimulants not prescribed by a doctor at 10 or 12 percent. Be advised and read the press release. Or, be suspicious and read a 2012 overview of key findings on adolescent drug use.

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