Tuesday, September 17, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

GIFTED, TALENTED, AND LABELS are the inter-linked themes of several items we've come across in the past few days. See what you think...

EXPECTATIONS. An article in Scientific American notes that "every single day, extraordinarily talented and creative individuals sit in our classrooms bored out of their minds. What we must realize is that potential is not enough. Potential needs a catalyst; a reason for expression." The article notes how "negative expectations" on the part of teachers can affect students with learning challenges, even to the point of causing neurobiological changes. The article also describes a study of adolescents in two groups -- gifted (on the basis of GPA); and talented (highly competent in at least one nonacademic activity). There was quite a difference in the two groups; read the article to find out more, and to reflect on what we need to provide our "gifted" kids.

TIME TO REDEFINE "GIFTED AND TALENTED"? That's the question posed in a blog at KQED.org. The article asserts that many GT programs are ineffective for high potential learners, and that “The field of gifted education lacks convincing research as to what works." Even the way we select students for GT programs may be flawed, according to an author cited in this provocative article. Read more.

GIFTED WORKERS. What happens to those gifted kids when they grow up and enter the workforce? A book excerpt from Gifted Workers: Hitting the Target at BusinessInsider.com examines what can go wrong in the interplay between a gifted worker and the workplace environment, especially an environment that leaves little room for individual differences. If you want to worry about your child's future in the workplace, check out this excerpt.

LABELING. A writer at PsychCentral.com takes on labels -- ADHD versus "having a short attention span" or "always in motion"; ODD versus "has a rebellious nature." The writer also covers the danger of labeling in a way that "the child becomes the diagnosis" -- eg, "an ADHD child" rather than "a child with ADHD." Find the article.

GIFTED PROGRAMS. A county in Georgia has changed from "pull-out" gifted programs to self-contained classes for the gifted, who number 4,000 out of 27,000 in the district. (That's about 15 percent of the students. Use what you know from the previous items to ask yourself about how the students were selected and whether they are "talented" as well as "gifted.") Find the article.

ADDITUDE WEBINARS. Upcoming free webinars from ADDitude cover topics such as reducing school stress, organization, and ADHD coaching. Find out more.

ASPERGER'S WORKSHOPS. Transdisciplinary Workshops, in Portland, Maine, is offering two workshops in October by author David Finch. One, for teens, is titled "Square Pegs: The Gift of Being Different." The other is by Kristen Finch, spouse of David, on "Strategies for Thriving in Neurobiologically Mixed Relationships," a topic that might be of interest to parents in the 2e community.

OMEGA-3 AND READING. A UK study examined the correlation of blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and reading ability. From the study's author: "From a sample of nearly 500 schoolchildren, we found that levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood significantly predicted a child's behaviour and ability to learn. Higher levels of omega-3 in the blood, and DHA in particular, were associated with better reading and memory, as well as with fewer behaviour problems as rated by parents and teachers." Read more.

GUT BACTERIA AND OCD, ADHD. A teenager with symptoms of OCD, ADHD, and digestive problems tested too-high for a high level of a certain kind of gut bacteria. The treatment: probiotics, then antibiotics. The results: the symptoms disappeared over the course of a year. The lesson: the power of gut bacteria. Read more.

OCD, CBT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can aid depression associated with OCD, depression that might not respond to medication alone. Find out more.

COMPETITION. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition is now open for creative teens in grades 7-12. The competition offers opportunities such as exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Find out more.

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