Thursday, February 28, 2013

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

SHARED GENES. Autism, AD/HD, and depression may have certain genetics in common, says HealthDay. These gene variations that govern brain functioning could be targets for prevention or treatment. The research has implications for disease classification as well. Read more.

ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH. Science Daily reports on three studies of factors that affect mental health in adolescents. One studied the effect of an intervention on allaying antisocial behavior in young people at risk for it; a second concluded that levels of "urgency" in young people are linked to depression; and the third studied the effect of genetics on the development of depression, distraction, and brooding. Find the write-ups.

SENG. The organization's February newsletter is out, and it includes a preview of this year's conference,  a listing of upcoming "SENGinars," a reflection on what gifted kids are not, and other articles. Find the newsletter.

ADDITUDE has a series of free webinars on AD/HD-related topics coming up, including one on positive parenting, strategies for play dates, and working with school for your child's success. Find out more.

WRIGHTSLAW, in the most recent Special Ed Advocate, offers information about RTI as it applies to kids with LDs, including an article with the scary title "Trapped in RTI." Find the newsletter.

ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. One of David Rabiner's recent study reviews is posted at SharpBrains.com. It's on the topic of "mindfulness training for children with AD/HD and their parents." Find it.

KNOW A CODER? Or a potential programmer? A video at the site code.org features luminaries like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and their observations on programming and learning to program. Check it out.

PRUFROCK FREEBIE. Prufrock Press is offering a free download from its book Why Can't My Daughter Read. Find our more.

KIDS AND ANXIETY is the topic of an article at the Child Mind Institute site; its perspective is "the parents' role in treatment." We know lots of 2e families have anxiety as an issue. Find the article.

AND FINALLY, THIS. March 2 is Dr. Seuss' birthday. If  you're interested in observing the occasion, go to seussville.com to find related materials.

Monday, February 25, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

PARENT GROUP ON DYSLEXIA. The Huffington Post reports on a group of parents in New Jersey who started a group called "Decoding Dyslexia" with the purposes of raising awareness, empowering families, and informing policy-makers. The group has not only had an impact on state-level politics in New Jersey but has inspired the formation of similar groups in other states. If that 2e child you raise or teach is of the dyslexic persuasion, check out this article

YOUNG AND DYSLEXIC IN MISSISSIPPI? You're going to get screened (and hopefully discovered) in the spring of your kindergarten year and the fall of your first-grade year -- by law. Dyslexic students will then be eligible for placement in therapy. Read more

GIRLS AND AUTISM. Time Magazine says that researchers might have discovered why boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism. Researchers analyzed data from a sample of fraternal twins to try to see if something was "protecting" girls from autism and found that girls with autism came from families "with significantly greater risk levels" of the disorder than boys did. The researchers can only speculate on the exact "protection" -- whether it's hormonal or some other metabolic factor. Read the article

GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS QUARTERLY. The spring edition of this journal is out, and it features articles covering gifted enrichment, intellectualism, stimulating gifted students' creative thinking, STEM education, and Vladimir Nabakov. Find the journal

AND FINALLY, THIS. Seals evidently can sleep with half their brains at a time. They do this in water, but apparently sleep as humans do when on land. Maybe 2e kids have adapted this technique for use at school, which could explain their peaks and valleys in performance. ("Right-brain task? Um, sorry, it's asleep.") Anyway, this discovery gives new meaning to the expression, "I've got half a mind to..." Read about seal sleep

Thursday, February 21, 2013

News Items, Resources from 2e Newsletter

TV AND KIDS. A large study has shown that kids between 3 and 5 who watch less video with violent or aggressive content showed better behavior. That's not less TV overall -- just less "bad" content. Find out more. A separate study, however, indicates that too much TV per se for kids is linked to health and mental health issues later on -- and, interestingly, to a higher likelihood of a conviction or antisocial behaviors. Read more. Ah, Sarnoff, what have you wrought?

BRAIN MAP ACTIVITY PROJECT -- that's the name of a proposed decade-long effort to examine and map the human brain. The objectives: greater insights into the way the brain works; ways to understand how brain diseases work; and ways to find new therapies. Read more.

TREATMENT FOR CAPD. A Kansas State University program involving speech-language pathologists uses a variety of activities to try to improve auditory processing skills in kids with CAPD. Among those activities, according to a press release, are:
  • Phonemic training to address the brain's ability to process speech sounds
  • "Words in Noise" training to address the brain's ability to process speech with background noise
  • Phonemic synthesis training to address the brain's ability to process speech sounds across words.
Find out more.

BULLYING: LONG-TERM DAMAGE. Maybe it's a "duh" conclusion for you, but a study by researchers at Duke University shows that bullied children grow into adults who are at increased risk of developing anxiety disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The longitudinal study involved 1270 children from 9 years into adulthood. Read more.

MULTILINGUALISM AND WORKING MEMORY. They're linked. Kids who are bilingual develop a better working memory, which holds, processes and updates information over short periods of time. The lead researcher is quoted as saying, "The results of this study suggest that bilingualism does not only improve the working memory in an isolated way, but they affect the global development of executive functions, especially when they have to interact with each other." Read more.

NEW HIGH SCHOOL IN CHICAGO. 
Wolcott School, Chicago’s first high school for college-bound teens with language-based learning differences, including dyslexia, will open this fall at 524 N. Wolcott, northwest of the Loop. The school is now accepting applications from students who will be entering freshman and sophomore years in September 2013. Wolcott will feature a state-of-the-art learning environment, numerous extra-curricular activities, after-school programming, and a wide range of academic support services to foster individual strengths, cultivate confidence, and promote lifelong achievement, according to a press release. Class size will average about 10 students. The school's website is www.wolcottschool.org.

NCLD has posted an article called "Celebrities with Dyslexia and Other LDs," in case you happen to be looking for a story to inspire that great twice-exceptional kid you teach or raise. NCLD sums up the lesson to take away from the examples: "learning disabilities do not mean a lack of ability." Find the article.

WRIGHTSLAW has published the first of two issues of Special Ed Advocate dealing with RTI and how it can affect kids with LDs. The coverage should apply at least in part to kids who are twice-exceptional. Find the newsletter.

SOMETHING ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT. BBC reports on why we might want to pay attention to the discovery of the characteristics of the Higgs boson. According to one theory, a possible implication of the nature of the particle would be that "every so often all space is renewed." BBC puts it another way: "A concept known as vacuum instability could result, billions of years from now, in a new universe opening up in the present one and replacing it." It won't happen before your twice-exceptional child is all grown up, but hey, it's never too early to start worrying. Read more.

Monday, February 18, 2013

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

IDEA, PARENTS' RIGHTS. A New York Times article provides a primer on ways to make sure a child with an LD is getting the help needed, such as an IEP. The article offers tips on communicating with the school, parents' rights, and "thinking creatively." Special ed attorney Peter Wright is quoted in the article. Find the article

JUST FOUND. An article last fall in a University of Iowa publication featured Megan Foley Nicpon, an occasional contributor to 2e Newsletter, and her team's research into gifted children with AD/HD. The team performed a study which found that gifted kids with AD/HD are twice as likely as typical gifted peers to have lower self-esteem, perceive their own behavior less positively, and be less happy overall. On the other hand, the subjects with AD/HD "felt just as smart, popular, and self-reliant as their gifted peers without AD/HD," according to the publication. Find it

SOCIAL THERAPY FOR AUTISM.  Yale University researchers have found that Pivotal Response Treatment, a therapy to improve social engagement of kids on the spectrum, is correlated to brain changes that indicate the children are better processing social stimuli, based on fMRI results. Find out more

ALL KIDS EXCEPTIONAL? If you're on LinkedIn, there's an interesting current discussion started by the questions, "What if we focus on the child's needs and consider them all exceptional? Do you think labels get in the way?" The discussion currently has 115 comments covering both LDs and twice-exceptionality. Find the discussion. (You might have to join the CEC group on LinkedIn to access it.)

RESOURCE. Landmark College, in Vermont, caters to college-capable kids who have learning challenges such as AD/HD, ADD, dyslexia, etc. The college has established an "ask the experts" site where one may query professionals from the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training on issues such as those. Current Q&A covers academic writing, whether dyscalculia is real, executive function, and more. Find the site

HORMEL SYMPOSIUM. The Fifth Annual Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium is scheduled for June 10-13 in Austin, Minnesota. Intended for educators, counselors, administrators, and parents, A number of the sessions will deal with 2e-related topics. Find out more

NCLD now has a presence on Pinterest, an online "pinboard" where members can share items of interest on given topics. NCLD's board is here; you can find out more about it at the NCLD site

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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

AD/HD TREATMENT. Nine out of 10 young children with moderate to severe attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) continue to experience serious, often severe symptoms and impairment long after their original diagnoses and, in many cases, despite treatment, according to a federally funded multi-center study led by investigators at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. In addition, children who had oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder in addition to AD/HD were 30 percent more likely to experience persistent AD/HD symptoms six years after diagnosis, compared with children whose sole diagnosis was AD/HD. Read the press release.

DWECK UPHELD. What psychologist Carol Dweck has been saying about praising effort versus traits is substantiated by a new study described at HealthDay.com. In examining the effects of parental praise, the researchers found that "in situations in which parents tended to praise actions more than a child's characteristics, the children reported having more positive attitudes toward challenges, were better able to come up with ways to overcome setbacks and believed that they could improve with hard work." Find out more.

MIX AND MATCH EDUCATION for the gifted is the topic of an article at Scholastic.com. The article describes how some school districts allow gifted students to study at home or a tutoring center, or even to take advanced classes at a community college. Read the article.

MUSIC AND THE BRAIN. Research done at Concordia University suggests that musical training before the age of seven has a significant effect on the development of the brain, and that those who began early had stronger connections between motor regions. According to materials provided by the university, the study provides strong evidence that the years between ages six and eight are a “sensitive period” when musical training interacts with normal brain development to produce long-lasting changes in motor abilities and brain structure. Read more.

WRIGHTSLAW. The current edition of Special Ed Advocate is devoted to college for kids with LDs, including which colleges might be best, accommodations, and dealing with life post-IEP. Find the newsletter.

A NEW ZEALAND SITE on giftedness has a section on twice exceptionality, including materials on characteristics, methods of identifcation, strategies for teachers and families, SLDs, and resources. Find the site.

Monday, February 11, 2013

News Items, Resources from 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

GOT AN ANXIOUS KID? Read a first-hand account by an adult who has panic disorder -- what the first manifestations felt like (a heart attack), how he sought care for the panic attacks, and things he wants to share with those who suffer panic attacks or know some who does. Read more.

EDUCATION GENDER GAP. "The Boys at the Back" is the title of an opinion piece in The New York Times that addresses the issue of why boys are less likely than girls to get good grades or go to college. The piece describes a recent study on the matter and the hypothesis that good behavior leads to better grades. The writer goes on to cover reasons for male underachievement and then offers suggestions for improving the situation, citing the example of a high school in New York City that seems to successfully help boys achieve. Read more.

THE DARK SIDE OF AD/HD MEDS. The New York Times also ran a piece about a young man -- an aspiring med student -- whose addiction to stimulant meds caused his death, describing how he was able to keep getting prescriptions to feed his desire for the drugs. Find the article.

THE NEURODIVERSE CLASSROOM was the topic of an Education Week webinar last week, the transcript of which is available online; find it.

DOUBLY SPECIAL is the name of a symposium scheduled for February 23rd in Christchurch, New Zealand. It's billed as "affordable PD for teachers working with our twice exceptional students," and we found out about it via Gifted Resources newsletter. Find out more.

A STAR ATHLETE, dyslexic, evidently made it all the way through college without being able to read, according to lohud.com. "He was called brilliant by one teacher, lazy by another," says the editorial, which suggests various ways that the "system" might be corrected. Read the editorial.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ARTS, AND MATH -- STEAM. An article at EnableEducation.com notes "10 great minds who combined arts and sciences" -- ranging from da Vinci to the first Canadian who walked in space. Find the list.

DYSLEXIA AS A GIFT. An NPR series called "To the Best of Our KNowledge" has featured Maryann Wolf, of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, on the topics of dyslexia as a gift and "the reading brain." You may hear the programs or read the transcripts at ttbook.org.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

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

LD ACHIEVERS. A reader in the Houston, Texas, area tipped us off to an article in a regional publication. Titled "Learning Differences -- All Grown Up," the article profiles successful adults in the Houston area such as a dyslexic orthopedic surgeon, a PhD prep school head with dysgraphia, and a businessman with AD/HD. Our reader in Houston says she showed the article to her twice-exceptional son as encouragement. Find the article. Thanks, Tanya!

AD/HD AND PARENTS. Children in families with parental violence and/or depression are later diagnosed with AD/HD at statistically higher levels, according to a new study. Exposure to just parental depression was linked to later prescriptions of psychotropics. Find out more

SCIENCE AND GENDER. According to The New York Times, girls scored better than boys on a science test taken by 15-year-olds in 65 countries. But not in the United States. An interactive graph shows the study results, and accompanying text offers possible explanations for the disparity. Find the article

SOMETHING ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT. It turns out that some food manufacturers may be adding nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide to their foods, knowingly or unknowingly, but in the US, unlike Europe, acknowledging the presence of those particles on the label is evidently not required. The problem with the particles can be that they enter the blood stream through ingestion or inhalation, passing where larger particles cannot. At the current time, research into the effect of such particles in the body is apparently "limited." Find out more

Monday, February 4, 2013

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

NON-PHARMA AD/HD TREATMENTS may not be as effective as some people think. Medscape noted a European study on the effectiveness of dietary and psychological therapies for AD/HD indicating that many were not, perhaps, supported by reliable evidence -- in particular, the use of blinded studies. Find out more at Medscape or at WebMD.  

TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS. NCLD notes a movement to restrict certain testing accommodations -- read-aloud accommodations or the use of a calculator -- and suggests that concerned parents make their opinions known. Find out more at NCLD

NEW: GIFTED CHILD MAGAZINE. A media-rich e-magazine, now in its fourth issue, is available for parents of gifted children. While the magazine costs $3.99/month or $39.99/year, the Australian publisher is offering the third issue free of charge for those who want to see what it's like. Contributors to the first issues included Deborah Ruf. Find out more

RAISING CREATIVE KIDS is the title of a new book by psychologists Dan Peters and Susan Daniels, just published by Great Potential Press. If nurturing creativity in your twice-exceptional child is a priority, check out the book. Peters has contributed to 2e Newsletter, and we have covered conference sessions on 2e-related topics by Daniels and Peters over the past few years.

SENGINARS coming up from SENG include one on culturally diverse gifted learners; giftedness as a life-long challenge; and part 2 of "living with intensity." The SENGinars are fee-based. Find out more.  

EIDE NEWSLETTER. The Doctors Eide have released the most recent edition of the Dyslexic Advantage Newsletter. It contains a summary of and pointer to a talk on "positive dyslexia"; a pointer to the Eides' talk to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry on the neurobiology of dyslexia; and updates on the Eides' recent activities. If you're a fan, as we are, check out the newsletter