Tuesday, May 6, 2014

From the Publishers of 2e Newsletter

OUR BEST REGARDS today, National Teacher's Day, to all of you teachers in the 2e community who do your best to help twice-exceptional learners succeed. Thanks for your efforts!

MAY/JUNE ISSUE OUT. The May/June issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter just came out. If you're a paid subscriber and haven't received your copy, please let us know.

AUTISM RISK. Heritability and environmental factors are about equal when it comes to pinning down causes for autism, according to a new study. While the study showed that genetics is still very important -- a child whose sibling has autism is 10 times more likely to develop it as well -- the weight given to genetic factors is lower than the 80 to 90 percent sometimes cited. Environmental factors covered by the study included birth complications, maternal infections, and medications during pre-or perinatal period. Read more.

DEPRESSION BIOMARKER. Researchers have identified a protein that can be measured in the blood which helps maintain serotonin levels. The protein, a "serotonin transporter," works the same way in the blood as it does in the brain to regulate serotonin levels. Depression diagnosis through blood tests is a possibility in the not-to-distant future, according to a write-up of the study; find it.

GIFTED HOMESCHOOLERS FORUM, in its current newsletter, offers an article titled "The STEAM-Powered Education of Gifted Kids." (STEAM is STEM plus Arts.) The author describes her family's experiences and how they came to home schooling. Find the article. The author is also the creator of a website called SteamPoweredClassoom.com; find it. Of particular interest there is a page called "The Dream School: A Visioning Document."

TESTS AND ASSESSMENTS. We often get questions from readers about testing and assessment concerns for twice-exceptional students, especially questions dealing with parents' rights and schools' obligations. We usually wind up referring questioners to the Wrightslaw website. As it happens, Wrightslaw is now releasing a new book titled Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments. We haven't seen the book, but given what we know about Wrightslaw we'd bet that it's pretty useful. The book ships in June, just in time for over-the-summer study. Pre-publication price: $11.22. Find out more.

SUMMER PROGAMS AT BELIN-BLANK. The Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa offers residential summer programs for middle school and high school students of high ability. For some programs, students need to be nominated by their schools; for others, self-nomination is fine. Areas of study include computer technology, language, and other advanced-level topics. Find out more.

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