Thursday, August 14, 2014

2e Research, Depression, Anxiety, Autism, More

APA GTLD SYMPOSIUM. An American Psychological Association symposium last week on gifted students with learning disabilities featured Megan Foley-Nicpon and other researchers/authors from last year's issue of Gifted Child Quarterly devoted to twice-exceptionality. Several recent studies discussed at the symposium are described in a blog at edweek.org, as is the message we all know -- that 2e kids need better screening and supports for both strengths and weaknesses. Foley-Nicpon is quoted as saying, "We're becoming more and more rigid in our classrooms, and the lesson of these twice-exceptional kids is flexibility, and that it's OK to be a little bit different." Read more. (Registration might be required.) If you never read that special issue of Gifted Child Quarterly, NAGC has made it freely available to all at http://gcq.sagepub.com/content/57/4.toc until August 31.

DEPRESSION is in the news after Robin Williams' death. Harold Koplewicz, the director of the Child Mind Institute, has a nice piece on the power of depression at the Institute's site. In it, he speculates that Williams, at least in public, downplayed his depression even though he could riff on alcoholism and addiction during his routines. And Koplewicz mentions the same Terry Gross interview with Williams that partner Linda told us about this morning, where Williams says of his depression simply, "I get bummed, like I think a lot of us do at certain times." So: watch for downplaying of depression in that 2e kiddo of yours, and reach out if you think you need to. Read the piece at Child Mind Institute.

ANXIETY is in the news, too, partly because it's back-to-school time. The Child Mind Institute offers 10 tips for managing this problem; find them. Separately, a Loyola University
 (Chicago) psychiatrist offers his own tips, including, most importantly, talking to your child about their fears and feelings; find them.

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH ADHD is the topic of a slideshow at the site of ADDitude, offering the "40 best school accommodations for your ADHD child." Find the slideshow.

ADHD BIOMARKER. We've blogged previously about other potential biomarkers for ADHD. Now, researchers at Tel Aviv University have found that involuntary eye movements can provide what the researchers call a foolproof indicator. The research compared the involuntary eye movements in three groups: subjects without ADHD; medicated subjects diagnosed with ADHD; and the same ADHD subjects unmedicated. Read more.

ADHD AND MORE. Researchers at the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre have traced the origins of ADHD, substance abuse and conduct disorder, and found that they develop from the same neurocognitive deficits, which in turn explains why they often occur together. Besides reducing the stigma of these conditions, the findings may also lead to ways to treat these disorders. Read more.

AUTISM MODEL. A press release from the University of Montreal describes research there on autism. An analysis of autism research covering genetics, brain imaging, and cognition has provided insight into why autism potentially occurs, develops, and results in a diversity of symptoms. “One of the consequences of our new model will be to focus early childhood intervention on developing the particular strengths of the child’s brain, rather than exclusively trying to correct missing behaviors, a practice that may be a waste of a once in a lifetime opportunity,” states one author. Read more.

BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK isn't until next March, but that's when the winners of the fourth annual Dana Foundation "Design a Brain Experiment" competition will be announced. Says the organization, "Submissions must test an idea about the brain. Beyond that criterion, they can do anything from examining the effects of art on the adolescent brain to exploring alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Students should not complete their experiments, so be creative!" Find out more.

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