Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adolescence, Code Words, ADHD, More

TEEN RISK: NOT THE PFC? Many professionals blame teen risk-taking and lack of planning on an immature prefrontal cortex (PFC). Recent research from the University of Pittsburgh suggests that "the teen prefrontal cortex is not much different than in the adult, but it can be easily overruled by heightened motivation centers in the brain. You have this mixture of newly gained executive control plus extra reward that is pulling the teenager toward immediate gratification." Read more to find out how the researchers came to that conclusion.

ADHD AND BIPOLAR DISORDER. ADDitude presents two resources for either differentiating the two or treating bipolar disorder in individuals with ADHD. ADDitudemag.com has a page called "The ADDitude Guide to Mood Disorders"; find it. And the organization offers a free webinar on Wednesday, February 18, titled "Identifying and Treating Bipolar Disorder in ADHD Adults and Kids"; find out more.

LEARNING APPS. Vanderbilt University offers some guidance to parents looking for education apps for youngsters, including general tips for app selection and recommendations of favorites in the areas of reading/writing; math; computer programming and problem solving; and preparing for kindergarten. The apps are tagged by appropriate age range. Find out more.

JEN THE BLOGGER STRIKES AGAIN, this time on the topic of "those gifted code words." You know them -- does "challenging" sound familiar? Parents of twice-exceptional kids will likely appreciate this blog posting.

WRIGHTSLAW. Special Ed Advocate has run a three-part series on "Mistakes People Make." Not just ordinary people, but people important to those of us in the GT/LD world, like evaluators/assessors and even parents. This latest issue of the newsletter covers mistakes school systems can make. Find it.

AND FINALLY, THIS. The Washington Post ran a piece titled "7 Odd Inventions that We've Come to Love." They're all interesting, but the one that justifies mention here is a product called the Necomimi. It's a headset that consists of cat ears connected to little motors connected to EEG sensors that read brainwaves. The device puts the ears into four states representing relaxed, mild interest, strong interest, and focus. It's affordable -- $49 -- but it begs the question of whether it would be ethical to outfit your child with one as a cross-check on what said child is telling you verbally. We'd be tempted. Find out more. (And, in the same piece, check out the "ostrich pillow" for weary parents.)

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