Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gifted Ed in Your State, The "Normal" Brain, More

STATES NOT "ACING" GIFTED ED. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has released a report on how the various states handle gifted ed -- whether the states monitor or report on GT programs, for example; whether schools are held accountable for increasing gifted student performance; or whether GT services are even required in a state. In its "report card," the foundation gave no A's, according to the Washington Post -- but lots of D's and some F's. The foundation's focus in general is on lower-income students, and the report faults states for the support given -- or not given -- to families of those students. Find the Washington Post article. Find the report at a new site called ExcellenceGap.org -- and see how your state ranks. (Ours? D-.)

NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT NAGC. The National Association for Gifted Children has announced its new executive director, Rene Islas, ex consultant and ex US Department of Education. Find out more at NAGC.

PRESCHOOLERS AND ADHD MEDS. Lots of preschoolers are already on meds for ADHD, according to a new report in the Journal of Pediatrics. You may read about this national survey at the Washington Post site; or read the journal report itself.

THE RELEVANCE OF PARENTING TIME has been under discussion recently because of the release of a study that said parenting time doesn't matter. We mentioned that study in our April 1 briefing. Many observers took that study as no joke. A writer at The New York Times dissected the methodology; find that. The Washington Post submitted some reader questions about the study to study authors and published the responses; find it. And the Motherlode blogger at the NY Times also commented on the study; read it. So: does the time you spend parenting matter? We think it does.

GIFTED RESOURCES NEWSLETTER. Jo Freitag's epistle tells us that there is a Kids Like Us fundraiser in Black Rock, Australia, on May 2. Kids Like Us is a support structure for 2e kids. Find out more about the fundraiser. Find out more about Kids Like Us. In Gifted Resources Newsletter you can also find an update on the Columbus Group symposium to be held this month in New Zealand. If you're a member of the 2e community Down Under, check out Gifted Resources Newsletter.

THE NORMAL BRAIN. Do you have one? Does that twice-exceptional child you raise or teach? There is no such thing as a normal brain, according to an essay in the AMA's Journal of Ethics. The essay notes how some conditions termed "disorders" may carry concomitant strengths. (Think, "Dyslexic Advantage.") The author espouses the concept of neurodiversity, saying "a more judicious approach to treating mental disorders would be to replace a 'disability' or 'illness' paradigm with a 'diversity' perspective that takes into account both strengths and weaknesses and the idea that variation can be positive in and of itself." Find the essay.

ADDITUDE is hosting a free webinar on April 8 titled "The Truth About OCD: Recognize Symptoms and Get the Best Treatment." Find out more.

SMART IEPS is a topic that Wrightslaw returns to periodically. The current and most recent issues of Special Ed Advocate give a primer on what a SMART IEP is. If you're involved in IEPs but haven't read Wrightslaw's suggestions, check them out.

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