Monday, October 13, 2014

Gifted Ed, Autism Study, Depression, More

GIFTED ED. In a recent column in the Washington Post, educational columnist Jay Mathews wrote a piece titled "Why Gifted Education Doesn't Make Sense." He focused on the exclusion of kids who just miss the gifted program cut-off, and on "the fact that gifted advocates have no evidence that gifted services produce results any better for the brightest children than the efforts many schools are making to provide challenging courses for the students who want them." Coincidentally, an article in the Indianapolis Star appeared around the same time Mathews' column did, with the title "Why Separate Classes for Gifted Students Boost All Kids." Based on research at Purdue University, the article reports that clustering high-achieving students allows other students more teacher time and the chance to grow academically. So that's kind of an unexpected, back-door rebuttal to Mathews' assertion; but Mathews promises more columns on gifted ed coming up.

A FAILURE OF PREDICTION was the catch-phrase in recent write-ups of MIT research on the cause of symptoms and behaviors in autistic people; we blogged about the item last time. TheFreep sent us John Elder Robison's response to the findings. Robison, author of the books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, and Raising Cubby and a self-described autistic and autism advocate, calls the research conclusions "just wrong." He goes on to say, "with all due respect, this paper seems to be a perfect example of what happens [when] autistic behavior is interpreted by neurotypicals, as opposed to having the behavior explained by those who live it." Find the paper (click on the Adobe Acrobat symbol for the full PDF); and find Robison's rebuttal. (If you haven't read any of Robison's books, we thoroughly enjoyed Look Me in the Eye.)

ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION. Girls are evidently more vulnerable to depression caused by the stress of adolescence, according to a recent study. One possible contributing factor: "girls seemed to be exposed to a greater number of interpersonal dependent stressors" during adolescence. Got a 2e teen of the female persuasion in your house? Read more.

2e EVENT IN LA. The Greater Los Angeles Gifted Children's Association is sponsoring a November 1st event with a 2e thread. The Master's Class on Gifted Education, to be held at the Pasadena Convention Center, will feature Susan Baum presenting "The Twice Exceptional Learner: 5 Essentials for Meeting Their Needs" and "Strength-based, Talent Focused Education: A Positive Approach for Meeting the Needs of Twice Exceptional Students." Also presenting, Jennifer Krogh, with a session titled "Overexcitabilites and Sensitivities in Gifted Learners and Strategies/Interventions to Meet Their Needs." Find out more.

LD ONLINE FIND. Sometimes when we're on the trail of items for the blog we stumble across unexpected things we find interesting. That happened the other day at the side of LD Online, where we found a "personal story" about the world-famous artist Robert Raushenberg, who is dyslexic. The story describes several ways his dyslexia was instrumental in his artistic success. Find the article.


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