Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BOOSTING IQ. Supplementing children's diets with fish oil, enrolling them in quality preschool, and engaging them in interactive reading all turn out to be effective ways to raise a young child's intelligence, according to researchers, who have also built a Database of Raising Intelligence. Omega-3 fatty acids in pregnancy and after birth contributed to a 3.5 point boost; interactive reading contributed 6 points, and preschools could add 4 to 7 points. Find out more

LIVING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA. An article in The New York Times on that topic was interesting in its own right for the story it told: about  a woman who, after diagnosis, was told she would never live independently or hold anything but a menial job; she is currently a chaired professor and the recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant." But later in the first-person article, the professor covers points that can apply to twice-exceptional people as well -- how successful people with schizophrenia have techniques to keep their disorder at bay; how work is important; and, the point that struck us most, how looking for individual strengths is important. Find the article

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. A video currently on CMI's site covers the topic of children's mental health and pediatricians. While pediatricians may be the first to be consulted, the video asks whether they're properly trained to deal with these problems. Find the video

AD/HD AND SLEEP. Got a kid who has trouble falling asleep? An article at dailyrx.com describes differences in sleep patterns between typical and AD/HD kids and suggests appropriate activities leading up to bed-time. Read more

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's eNews-Update newsletter is out for January, and includes information about summer programs (including residential) for gifted kids. It's never to early to think about summer camp! Find the newsletter.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Got clutter? A University of California web TV series, "A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance," follows a team of UCLA anthropologists into the stuffed-to-capacity homes of dual-income, middle-class American families in order to truly understand the clutter that fills them. The short, three-part series is available for free online viewing at http://www.uctv.tv/clutter and the UCTV Prime YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/uctvprime.

Friday, January 25, 2013

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


EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, HIGHER-LEVEL THINKING. A study indicates that children can begin to show signs of higher-level learning early (age 4 1/2) but that those skills don't necessarily depend on knowledge but on executive function. A write-up on the study says, "High, early executive function skills at school entry are related to higher than average reasoning skills in adolescence. Growing research suggests that executive function may be trainable through pathways, including preschool curriculum, exercise and impulse control training." Find out more.

TEACHING DYSLEXICS. A tutor and blogger at Huffington Post offers tips for teaching students with dyslexia. The tips include: being visual; reducing distraction; playing to strengths; and five more. Check out the tips.

EDUTOPIA has posted an article on using technology to improve post-secondary outcomes for students with autism. Part of the article deals with online education as a way to facilitate college-level learning, with alternative formats for accessing content and for assessing learning. Read more.

LANG SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE. If you're in Manhattan and raising a twice-exceptional child, be aware that the Lang School is offering an open house the evening of February 4th at their space at 11 Broadway. Find out more.

SENG VINE. The Jaunary edition of the newsletter of the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted is out. The newsletter announces two new SENG board members, previews upcoming SENGinars, and, in a neat commentary by SENG's president, explores the issue of loving and accepting the child you have, not the one you want(ed). Find SENGVine.

GIFTED EDUCATION AWARD. The Institute for the Development of Gifted Education at the University of Denver has announced a call for nominations for the Palmarium Award. The award will go to an individual who exemplifies the Institute's vision: "A future in which giftedness will be understood, embraced, and systematically nurtured throughout the nation and the world." Know someone? Find out more.

EXPLORE HISTORY'S MYSTERIES during a virtual field trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Sponsored by Scholastic and featuring author David Baldacci, the event will allow students to "meet renowned museum curators, go behind the scenes, and investigate some of the most fascinating moments in American history." Find out more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

News Items and Resources from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newslettter

MORE KIDS WITH AD/HD -- that's the observation of researchers publishing in the journal  JAMA Pediatrics. Between 2001 and 2010, the rate of kids with an AD/HD diagnosis increased by 24%. Increased awareness is a probable contributing factor. The study used health records of almost 850,000 Southern California children. Read more at HealthDay.com.

AD/HD WEBINARS. ADDitude is offering a no-cost "expert webinar" on AD/HD at 1pm on January 28 titled "Use Alternative Therapies to Manage AD/HD." Registration is required.  Recordings of past webinars are available for listening as well.

HALF EMPTY, HALF FULL. Glass half empty: A Swedish study indicates higher criminal conviction rates among both males and females with AD/HD. Glass half full: Subjects under medication treatment for AD/HD had lower conviction rates than untreated subjects. Subjects in the study were 15-40 years old. David Rabiner reviewed the study in December's Attention Research Update. Find it.

ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, GIRLS. An article at the site of the Child Mind Institute this week covers mood disorders in teenage girls -- why girls are vulnerable, plus signs and symptoms. The article also covers the importance of early intervention and what to look for in terms of related disorders such as suicidal thinking, eating disorders, and self-injury. Find the article.

MEET THE NEW BPA, SAME AS THE OLD BPA. Apparently, a compound replacing BPA (bisphenol A) in "BPA free" bottles and food containers also disrupts the endocrine system. BPS (bisphenol S), the substitute, has a similar chemical structure to BPA and is also disruptive at very low levels of concentration. If we didn't know that container manufacturers certainly had our best interests at heart instead of market share, we'd think that this substitution seems like a very cynical action. Read more.

Friday, January 18, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

FIGHTING FOR FAPE. Subscribers who remember the 2e Newsletter article "Fighting for FAPE," about a family's struggle for educational justice, will undoubtedly be saddened to know that the 5th Circuit Federal Appeals Court overturned a lower court decision awarding reimbursement to the Hovem family for placing their son in an appropriate school setting after the public school district failed him. The family is now trying to take their case to the US Supreme Court. Read Signe Hovem's eloquent account of the past few years at http://smhovem.tumblr.com, under the heading "May I Have a Moment of Your Time." Pass the word if you can.

OUTGROWING AUTISM? A small study indicates that some children may outgrow autism and perform as well as typically-developing peers. All of the autistic children in the study had confirmed diagnoses. Read more

DYSLEXIC ACHIEVER. A young woman with dyslexia got to give her college's valedictory address recently, beating the odds faced by people with LDs against even earning a four-year college degree. Read more.  

TALKING ABOUT MEDS to kids is the topic of a recently-posted video at the site of the Child Mind Institute. In the video, the author of a book exploring the experiences of young people taking psychotropics offers advice to parents based on her research. Find the video. Separately on the site, an article explores how animals can help kids "calm, motivate, and teach kids"; find it.

GIFTED DEVELOPMENT CENTER. If you're in the Denver area, know that the GDC is hosting an open house and book signing on January 25, 5-7pm. Books available for signing include Giftedness 101, just out; Picture It; and Upside-Down Brilliance. Find out more at the GDC site

TEACHER "RESISTANCE" TO AD/HD? The site About.com has an article exploring why some teachers minimize or misunderstand AD/HD. If  you're up against that issue, read the article

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

MISS MONTANA is, according to the Great Falls Tribune, intelligent, capable, and friendly. She also is on the autism spectrum with a diagnosis of borderline Asperger's. She says as a student she was awkward at socializing, didn't get jokes, and flunked classes. Her presentation for the Miss Montana competition was “Normal is just a dryer setting — Living with Autism.” Find out more about Miss Montana and how she lives on the spectrum.

PARENTS AND TEACHERS. The New York Times says the parent-teacher relationship can be "a deeply rewarding partnership or the kind of conflict found in some joint-custody arrangements." An online "opinionator" who is both a parent and a teacher offers guidelines on establishing and maintaining successful relationships. Read more.

SNORING, SLEEP, AND AD/HD. We've blogged about this before, but a new article/press release from an ENT specialist explores the links between nasal congestion, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea on behavior and learning. A quote from the article: "Children with sleep problems such as snoring, apnea, and mouth breathing are 40-100% more likely to develop AD/HD-like behavioral problems, as published in the March 2012 journal Pediatrics." Got a kid with sleep problems? Find out more.

DEMYSTIFYING LDs in a way that allows students to understand their strengths and challenges can empower those students. An educator writes about her success with the "demystifying" process on an extremely smart ninth grader with AD/HD. The educator writes, "When we were finished with our conversation, it was like a light bulb had gone off in his head. He had always had the tools to succeed – he just didn’t know what they were." Chances are you know someone who might need "demystifying" -- find out more.

HIGH IQ, LOW TEST SCORES. Sound familiar? In this case, the subject is a young man with dyslexia, described in an article in the Rapid City Journal. The young man is in college now, using technology to help him make school manageable, but he and his mother still have bad memories of earlier school years. His mother says of having to have a private tutor in spite of school accommodations, " It's like taking your own medicine to the hospital." Read the article.

HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM. Kids with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders can respond well to intensive, five-week, five-day-a-week intervention, according to a study. From a report on the study: "Following the 5-week program, children in the treatment group demonstrated significantly higher scores on child measures of non-literal language skills and knowledge of appropriate social behaviors, as well as significantly higher parent-ratings for targeted and broader social skills and significantly lower ratings of autism symptoms compared to children in the control group." Read more.

ASD AND BULLYING. Recent study findings say that not only are kids with ASD more likely to be bullied, but that most of those bullied will suffer both short-term and long-term trauma from the incidents. Read more.

FMRi AND BIPOLAR DISORDER. Ever wonder how bipolar disorder affects brain activation patterns? A recent study tackled that issue and found that abnormal activation in manic and depressed patients was the result of different stimuli. Study subjects were shown happy faces, sad faces, or neutral faces, and activation patterns depended on the phase of the bipolar cycle. Find out more.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

EAGLE PROJECT. According to the Sugar Land Sun, a Houston-area Boy Scout's Eagle project involved creating a dyslexia and LD resource and support book titled "Know No Obstacles." In addition to providing the book to children with dyslexia, the young man speaks to groups about facts and myths around LDs. (For those unfamiliar with Boy Scouts, Scouts who achieve the Eagle rank tend to be bright and achieving.) Read more

TEEN AD/HD. An article at the site of the Child Mind Institute covers AD/HD in teenagers from the perspective of the increasing expectations on teens in terms of academics and social life versus decreasing structure and supervision by adults. The article offers tips for how parents can help in areas such as academics, peer relationships, emotional functioning, and more. Find the article

EXECUTIVE FUNCTION. An article at the site of the National Center for Learning Disabilities describes how executive function weakness can affect academic performance and offers strategies for dealing with such a weakness. The strategies include goal setting, flexible thinking, organizing ideas, and more. Linked to the article are three other articles from a series on executive functioning. Read more

ADDITUDE offers free AD/HD "expert webinars." Webinars this month deal with how to stay on task with adult AD/HD; improving working memory; and alternate therapies for managing AD/HD symptoms. The webinars seem to be geared to adults but might be suitable for teenagers with AD/HD. Find out more

SENG offers for-fee webinars in January that cover how to help the anxious child (January 17, Susan Jackson), and an introduction to overexcitabilites and Dabrowski (January 22, Susan Daniels). Thanks to a funding grant, SENG also offers free webinars to educators on working with gifted children. Find out more

KNOW A YOUNG SCIENTIST? The Discovery/3M "Top Young Scientist" competition is open to students in grades 5-8. This year's competition "encourages young people to solve everyday problems using science and innovation," according to the organizers. Find out more

Monday, January 7, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

AD/HD AND LIVE LONGER? Researchers have concluded that a genetic variant linked to those with AD/HD, among other conditions, may help people live longer. Such genes lead to "active personality traits," which motivate  people to engage in social, intellectual, and physical activities. A Science Daily write-up of the research says, "The variant gene is part of the dopamine system, which facilitates the transmission of signals among neurons and plays a major role in the brain network responsible for attention and reward-driven learning. The DRD4 7R allele blunts dopamine signaling, which enhances individuals' reactivity to their environment." The gene appears in significantly higher rates in older persons -- meaning that those without the gene die out earlier. Read more

INTERNEURONS, THE CORTEX, AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS. Apparently, "genetic lesions known to be associated with autism and other behavioral diseases disrupt cellular and molecular mechanisms that ensure normal development of a key type of cortical neuron: the interneuron." AD/HD is also linked to this process, according to a new study with the catchy title "Cxcr4 regulation of interneuron migration is disrupted in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome." Read more.  

AUTISM SPEAKS reviews 2012 from the perspective of autism-related science, covering advances in diagnosis and prevalence, the costs of autism, risk factors, treatments, and more. If the ASD is relevant in your home or classroom, check out the review

CEC is requesting success stories related to special education, one-half of the 2e equation, for inclusion in The Federal Outlook for Exceptional Children, a document distributed to legislators, educators, and federal administrators to spur funding for special and gifted education programs. CEC seeks "personal stories and photos of children and youth participating in special education, early intervention, and gifted education programs across the country. These success stories help put a human touch on the graphs and charts that typically illustrate the need for increased funding for programs such as IDEA and the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act." Find out more. Separately, CEC has announced its newly-elected 2013 board of directors, an apparently well-credentialed group. We have one problem: on the almost 5,000-word web page containing the announcement and credentials of the board, the word "gifted" appears not one time. See for yourself

GIFTED RESOURCES NEWSLETTER pointed us to the site of Kids Like Us, an Australian group founded by a "dual exceptional" kids, most apparently dyslexic, who are supported by a steering group of adults. From "About Us" on the site: "Our first goal is to raise awareness of, and pride in, the good bits of dyslexia and to help you and others cope with the "challenging" bits." The site has a section for "More Info," but seems to be missing one link that might help kids and parents in the group -- a pointer to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. If any of our Australian friends or subscribers are part of Kids Like Us, perhaps gently point out what we offer to the dual exceptional/twice exceptional community! Find the site

Saturday, January 5, 2013

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

RULING IN SPECIAL ED PLACEMENT. According to Education Week, a federal court has ruled that a Colorado school district is liable for reimbursing parents of a child with learning disabilities for the cost of an out-of-state residential treatment facility, even when the parents unilaterally moved the child to the facility. The case pitted the district as well as school boards from the region against the parents and the U.S. Department of Justice. Read more

ANXIOUS GOLFER. A talented professional golfer who has issues with anxiety is the subject of an article in The New York Times. Charlie Beljan, described as "a people magnet," won a recent tournament in spite of an on-the-course panic attack. Of the publicity he has received, he says, "I still think it’s pretty neat that I brought the issue that affects millions daily to the public eye.” Find the article

GIFTED IN GERMANY. A German broadcaster featured the Maximilianeum in Munich, a residential college for some of Bavaria's most gifted students. The name comes from King Maximilian II, who 160 years ago began a foundation for gifted children. Attendance is free; the selection process is rigorous; and students are expected to be well rounded. A German education expert is quoted as saying, "In Germany... we're shy about giftedness." Read more

50 QUESTIONS ABOUT LD. The National Center for Learning Disabilities has compiled a free e-book for parents facing issues related to LDs. Find it at the NCLD site

DC-AREA EVENT. The Weinfeld Education Group is holding its fourth annual Diamonds in the Rough conference focusing on special learning needs. The featured topic this March: family quality of life. The keynote address is to be by Eustacia Cutler, mother of Temple Grandin. Find out more

NEWTOWN FALLOUT CONTINUES. We encountered two more articles recently refuting any connection between Asperger's and the violence in Newtown. One is by a CNN producer and is titled, "I have Asperger's; I am just like you"; find it. The other is on LinkedIn and written by a Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology. He writes "Asperger Syndrome: Not to be mistaken for psycho-pathology." If you're on LinkedIn, find it here

PEDIATRICIANS WANT RECESS -- for kids, that is. A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the need for recess during the day and recommends not taking away recess as punishment. Among the benefits: a better ability to pay attention and better mental performance. Read more

MORE ITEMS SOON.