Friday, February 6, 2015

Personalized Education, GT Programs, ADHD Meds, Picky Eaters, More

PERSONALIZED EDUCATION is the topic of an article in the Deseret News. Woven into the story are Bennington College, parental sacrifice, and a bright young man with dyslexia whose education helped him discover what career path would probably be best for him. Interestingly, the young man is now a programmer and "data visualizer." This is a great article about what education could be and should be for twice-exceptional kids, and for all kids. Find the article.

"GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAMS Dumb Down Our Students" is the title of a piece at Time.com. It starts off, "Intelligence should be seen as the end goal, not the starting point." Coming from a Dweckian point of view, the writer decries our belief in fixed intelligence because it can lead to the conclusion that "needing to work hard is a sign of low intelligence." There's some food for thought in this article, especially if you haven't read about the research of Carol Dweck. Find the article.

THE ADHD MED DECISION. A parenting columnist in The Washington Post tells the story of her family's decision to medicate for their son's ADHD. She says the decision wasn't easy, and advises, "Do your own research, explore all the options, and be open-minded." For the family, the results were profoundly positive. After a few weeks of meds, the child confided, “Mom, I used to be really stupid but now I am a genius." Read more. (By the way, this article has the rather ugly title "Why I Decided to Drug My Child.")

CREATIVITY AND RISK-TAKING may be characteristics of those with ADHD. The discipline of engineering does not traditionally value those characteristics, according to an article at a University of Connecticut blog, but research at that institution has the goal of finding a better way to teach engineering to those with ADHD and hopefully tap those traits. Find out more, and thanks to Tammie for pointing us to this.

OUR OLD FRIEND THE AMYGDALA is in the news, this time as a marker for potential depression or anxiety down the road. By measuring activity of this area, which is crucial for detecting and responding to danger, researchers say they can tell who will become depressed or anxious in response to stressful life events, as far as four years down the road. The discovery has implications both for predicting and treating anxiety and depression. Read more. Separately, if you're really into the science of the amygdala, check out a study at PLOS One titled "Preschool Anxiety Disorders Predict Different Patterns of Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity at School Age." Then tell us what it says.

SCREEN TIME is something mentioned often in this blog, partly because it seems to affect so many different aspects of a young person's life. A new article at the site of the Child Mind Institute offers guidelines for screen time for kids of all ages. Find the article.

QUAD PREP CONFERENCE. Speakers and schedule for the March 7th conference on 2e in New York City have been posted. The schedule includes two keynotes and three break-out sessions by a variety of presenters, some of whom are familiar to readers of 2e Newsletter and some who -- hopefully -- will be after we write up their sessions for the newsletter. Find out more.

2e LEARNERS BIBLIOGRAPHY. We've posted on our website, courtesy of the FPG Child Development Institute, an annotated bibliography of research and writings on the topic of twice-exceptional learners that includes resources from 2009 through 2013. We thank the Institute and Mary Ruth Coleman for making this resource available to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. Find the bibliography.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Picky eaters. Got one? We'd bet the chances are good. A new study assures us that picky eaters really do exist -- "that picky eaters do exhibit definable preferences and mealtime behaviors." The study write-up actually lists four kinds of picky eaters -- sensory dependent, behavioral responders, preferential eaters, and general perfectionists. Find out more about which type your picky eater is and what you might be able to do about it.

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