Friday, July 25, 2014

Gifted Camp, Behavior Problems, ADHD, Depression

GIFTED SUMMER CAMP. A program at Drury University, in Springfield, Missouri, attracts gifted middle-schoolers from across the Midwest, according to television station KSPR, presumably located somewhere near Springfield. The program is somewhat unusual (in our perspective) because if offers a residential camp experience to the younger set of gifted kids. Find the KSPR report; or, find more at Drury's site

SO HOW'S THE SUMMER GOING? Seeing more of the kids because they're not in school? Noticing behaviors that might be labeled "antisocial"? An article at Science Daily offers guidelines for what to do about that sort of behavior; find it.

AND IF YOU DO THINK YOUR CHILD HAS A PROBLEM, a Cincinnati television station offers ways to open up conversation with your teen. In the story, two clinicians offer advice such as watching nonverbal actions; noting dramatic behavioral changes; trying to use a relaxed moment where the child can open up; and not judging or penalizing based on what you hear. Read more.

AND IF YOUR CHILD HAS ADHD, About.com offers 10 things not to say to him or her; for example, "Everybody has a little ADHD. It isn't a big deal." Find the list.

IF YOU THINK YOUR DAUGHTER HAS ADHD, the Child Mind Institute has posted an article urging you to "look beyond the stereotype," because girls tend to cluster in the inattentive type, according the writer, a young woman un-diagnosed until 21. This is the second part of a series on "How to Help Girls with ADHD." The writer explains how various aspects of ADHD may express in girls, and some of the consequences of having ADHD. Find the article.

PREDICTING DEPRESSION. Research at Washington University in St. Louis has uncovered what could be a predictor for depression and other stress-related mental issues. Children with high degrees of "life stress" show certain patterns of activation in specific brain regions -- including our old friend the amygdala -- when presented with certain stimuli. The underlying assumption: life stress and trauma cause at least some forms of depression, so detecting the stress is somewhat predictive. Find out more.

FAST DEPRESSION TREATMENT? Antidepressant meds generally take weeks to become effective. So does transcranial magnetic stimulation. But low field magnetic stimulation, according to Harvard researchers, shows promise to have "rapid mood-elevating effects" if a recent double-blind study on depressed patients is any indicator. A portable device delivered 20 minutes of low strength, high frequency waves into the brains of subjects. Find out more.

PSYCHOQUACKERY for children and adolescents was the focus of a recent survey of professionals reported in the Journal of Clinical Child Adolescent Psychology. Survey participants (139 experts) came to consensus that assessments like biorhythms or handwriting analysis, and treatments such as past life regression therapy and crystal healing, were of little or no use. According to a write-up of the survey, quack therapy "addresses a challenging or hard-to-treat problem by proposing an overly simple solution. Psychoquackery also is usually in sync with the spirit of the times and is often promoted by a charismatic expert." Read more. (Want to solve all your problems? Subscribe to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. :-) )

AND FINALLY, THIS. A developing fetus will learn to recognize a nursery rhyme after a certain point in pregnancy, remember the nursery rhyme, and respond to it weeks later even if a stranger's voice reads it. The fetus evidently responds to familiar sounds with a lowered heart rate. The study's lead author says, “As a take-away message I would want mothers to understand is that their speech is very important to the developing fetus. When a mother speaks, not only does the fetus hear, but also the whole spine vibrates" -- which is pretty cool. Read more and marvel at the power of moms.

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