Thursday, October 29, 2015

2e Newsletter, ADHD, ASD, Dealing with School, More

OUR WEBSITE now has some features from the September/October issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter posted in the public area. Find a commentary on ADHD eight-year-olds in handcuffs; news and findings from the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development; and more. Go to our home page.

VIDEO GAMES (SIGH) AND ADHD. A video game maker has developed a product that is says can improve working memory and attention, as well as some symptoms apparent to parents. Coming up: a full, randomized trial of the game. Read more.

PUSHING THE SEASON IN HOMESCHOOLING. The Gifted Homeschoolers Forum has announced its Spring, 2016, lineup of online classes. If you're homeschooling that 2e kiddo, maybe GHF has a resource for you. Find out more.

ASD OVER-DIAGNOSED? A government study suggests that more than nine percent of autism diagnoses in children may be incorrect. Reasons for over-diagnosis range from imprecise screening, choosing the wrong reason for language delays, or -- in some cases -- the availability of more services to kids with the ASD label. Read more.

GET READY FOR PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES with a worksheet from the organization Understood. The worksheet helps organize discussion in the areas of homework, class participation, academics, and more. Find the worksheet.

IEPs, 504s. Know the difference? The current issue of Special Ed Advocate from Wrightslaw can help. Find it.

NEAR DURANGO? Liberty School, a private school in Durango, Colorado, is hosting a fundraiser on November 14. The school serves dyslexic, gifted, and twice-exceptional children. Find out more.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dyslexia, ADHD, ASD... The Usual

SEEING A CLINICIAN. Many families with twice-exceptional children see professional service providers of one sort or another, often on a recurring basis. A new article at the site of the Child Mind Institute offers "tips for knowing whether your clinician is following best practices" to provide good care. For example, does the treatment have a specified goal? It's your kid and your money -- find the tips.

SENG has announced that its Interim Executive Director, Elizabeth Ringlee, has been appointed Executive Director. We offer our congratulations. Find out more about SENG.

DYSLEXIC "TRIBE." Psychologist Dan Peters describes in the Huffington Post what it was like to attend the most recent Dyslexia and Innovation Conference, put on by Dyslexic Advantage -- finding a tribe and returning "home." Besides that, he shares some of the things he learned at the conference, for example how Singapore has teacher training for dyslexia as well as national programs for the condition. Find the article.

UNDERSTOOD LIVESTREAM TODAY. The organization Understood is offering a live online event today at 6:30pm ET on the topic of ADHD. Find out more. Separately, the organization offers an article on how to create a sensory-friendly Halloween; find it.

2e, THE MOVIE. Another screening of this movie has been added to the schedule, this one on Tuesday, October 27, at 6:30pm, at the Harkins Theather, Tempe Marketplace 16, 2000 E Rio Salado Parkway #1160, in Tempe, Arizona.

ADHD AND GENDER. Evidently ADHD is structurally and functionally different in girls than it is in boys, according to new research reported at HealthDay News. The differences were in the white matter that faciliates communication between different regions of the brain. Researchers speculated that the brain differences might explain differences in the way ADHD behaviors manifest in boys and girls. Read more.

AUTISM ON SESAME STREET. A new character on Sesame Street, according to the New York Times, gets upset over loud noises, knows the words to lots of songs, and flaps her arms when excited, among other behaviors. This new character, Julia, has appeared in a digital storybook and has generated coverage in the NY Times, the LA Times, Disability Scoop, and Medical Daily. That's quite a splash in the news for a fictional character, albeit part of America's most storied kids' program.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Things to Worry About, Not Worry About, and Take Action On

AUTISM AND THE "SOCIAL BRAIN." New research indicates that high functioning children with ASD are characterized by brains that are organized differently. In particular, the "pruning" of neurons that occurs in most children as they grow older doesn not occur, resulting in lots of neurons and lots of blood flow to the frontal areas of the brain. Also noted: less connectivity between nodes in the front and back of the brain, suggesting "impairment in the default mode network in people with ASD," according to a write-up of the research. "The default mode network is a major brain network used in social and emotional processes, self-reflection and the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others." Read more.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT teen mood swings, says a new study. They decline as the perpetrator gets older. The study also identifies when such mood swings might be a cause for worry, however. Read more.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT late blooming, says a blogger at Motherlode in The New York Times. Citing the tale of Leo the Late Bloomer as well as her own experience as a mother and as a middle school teacher, the blogger explains 
why you might not need to worry about a child developing on his or her own schedule. Find out more.

DO WORRY ABOUT whether the rewrite of the U.S. Elementary and Secondary Education Act will make schools responsible for achievement in all students, including those with LDs. That's the message from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, which urges parents to urge lawmakers to write and pass a bill that will serve kids with LDs effectively. In the words of the NCLD, "This means that schools should be required to provide evidence-based interventions and support when students—including those with disabilities—aren’t making progress." You can take action here.

WORRIED ABOUT ADHD and your child? Understood can help, with a live streaming event covering "science, skillbuilding, [and] success" when it comes to ADHD. From the event's blurb: "On October 26, Understood will gather top experts for a unique panel discussion on the science of ADHD and ways parents and educators can help children build skills, and you can join thousands of parents across the country for this livestreamed event." Find out more on Understood's Facebook page.

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, the movie, is scheduled to be shown at a recently-announced screening on October 28 at Bluffton University, Stutzman Lecture Hall, at 7:30 pm. It's free. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion. Presumably, if you know where Bluffton University is you're close enough to attend.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

ADHD & Meds, New to 2e, and Conferences

ADHD MEDS, ANXIETY. Apparently stimulant meds used to treat ADHD reduce anxiety in children, something we, anyway, wouldn't have intuitively guessed. This finding comes from a meta-review appearing in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and reported at PsychCentral. Read more.

A MOM'S ACCOUNT of the beginning of her journey in the 2e world appears in the publication Edge Magazine Online, apparently an East Coast oriented venture with a variety of features. (There's no "About Us" section to help dummies like us figure out what Edge is.) In the article "A School for Little Man," Lavinia Lee Mears describes he son's strengths... and challenges. We read her reaction to the evaluation of her son... and read her "lessons learned" as she jumps into dealing with schools, IEPs, and everything else. Find the article.

UNDER THE RADAR. The Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted (WATG) is holding its annual conference on November 5th and 6th, with the 6th featuring sessions for parents. Also featured, a teen conference. We missed notice of this conference and have not heretofore included it in our listings, sorry! Find out more.

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, the movie, will be screened as part of the New England Conference on Gifted Education and Talent Development, held October 22-24, in Cromwell, Connecticut. In case you're looking for another reason to attend this event, the movie screening will be moderated by Susan Baum, a member of the 2e Newsletter Editorial Advisory Board. Find out more.

AND ONE MORE CONFERENCE. Don't forget the International Dyslexia Association conference coming up October 28-31 in Grapevine, Texas. According to the website, it's actually two conferences, one for professionals and one for families. One 2e-related session is a symposium chaired by Professor Jeffrey Gilger, a researcher who emphasizes twice exceptionality in his work. Also participating: Susan Assouline, a member of the 2e Newsletter Editorial Advisory Board, and Betsy McCoach. Find out more about the symposium.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

ADHD Meds, Linda Silverman, Anxiety, Depression, and the ICD-10

ADHD MEDS. If that 2e child you raise has ADHD, you're probably familiar with at least some of the medications prescribed to help him or her function best. The site of the Child Mind Institute has just published an article on ADHD meds, subtitled "A look at the alternatives, and how they work." If you're looking for more information, this could be a good starting place. Find the article.

LINDA SILVERMAN INTERVIEWED. Pyschologist Linda Silverman, a member of the 2e Newsletter Editorial Advisory Board, was recently interviewed in print and audio by two different publications, The Sun ("print" online) and New Hampshire Public Radio. Silverman is head of the Gifted Development Center in Colorado, which performs testing and evaluation of gifted and twice-exceptional children. According to GDC, the radio interview "focused on defining giftedness, the characteristics of giftedness, parenting the gifted, twice exceptional children, what can happen if gifted children are not identified or served, and the use of IQ tests with culturally diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged children."

DIFFERENTIATION. A blogger at Edutopia offers "five collaborative grouping strategies" to help educators work together to provide differentiated instruction. If this topic is of interest to you, check out the blog.

HELPING YOUR CHILD COPE WITH ANXIETY is the topic of an article at PsychCenteral. Included in the strategies: help them label; encourage them to face their fears; expose them gradually to their fears; and reflect back questions. Find the article.

ABOUT DEPRESSION. Medical Daily has posted a video about six myths of depression. Myth 1: that it's rare. Find out more about the myths.

QUAD PREP: BREAKTHROUGHS 2016. The Quad Preparatory School has announced the date for its second annual "Breakthroughs" conference: Friday, March 18. It will be hosted at the Cooper Union. The "call for submissions" for the conference opens October 15, so be alert if you're interested in presenting. If you're interested in attending, check back at the site of Quad Prep later for more information. Quad Prep serves twice-exceptional students in New York City; the conference focuses on "breaking through walls" for twice-exceptional education.

AND FINALLY, THIS. October 1 was the roll-out of new medical diagnostic codes under the ICD-10 system. The codes are used by physicians, healthcare organizations, and insurers to classify injuries and illnesses. ICD-10 has more than four times the number of codes as its predecessor system, which in theory should help everyone be specific in classifying and analyzing medical conditions, but The Washington Post had a little fun with the new codes and their specificity, noting codes such as "bitten by a squirrel" or "injured while knitting or crocheting." Our favorite, however, was "walked into lamppost, initial encounter W22.02XA" -- something that actually happened to one of our children. Read more and pick your favorite. (Codes can be combined, eg to designate the type of injury and where it occurred, which brings up the possibility of a code for something like falling off a swing while under the influence of ADHD. :-) )

Friday, October 2, 2015

Who Are the Gifted, Three "Awareness" Events, and More

"WHO ARE THE GIFTED AND TALENTED, and What Do They Need?" That's the title of a piece at the site of NPR that covers the definition of giftedness, the identification of the gifted, and how schools should serve the gifted. The piece quotes experts familiar to the readers of 2e Newsletter, including Linda Silverman, Scott Peters, and Scott Barry Kaufman. The piece notes the lack of state standards for treating gifted students. However, Kaufman is quoted as saying that in a perfect world, every student would have an IEP. And Peters, referring to past emphasis on getting everyone to a minimal standard of proficiency, says "There seems to be a change in belief now — that you need to show growth in every student. That's huge." It is. Read more.

IT'S ADHD AWARENESS MONTH, and ADDitude has suggestions about what you can to to observe the month. Find out more. Separately, next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation can tell you more about that; go there. It's also Dyslexia Awareness Month.

TOOLS FROM CHADD. The organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has announced a new benefit for its parent members to help improve ADHD treatment monitoring. DefiniPoint is a HIPAA secure suite of online tools that improves communication, enabling clinicians to easily gather feedback from parents and teachers about the efficacy of ADHD treatment. With this information clinicians are able to make a more informed decision on the child’s ADHD care, says CHADD. Find out more about DefiniPoint. Find out more about CHADD.

WORKING MEMORY TRAINING -- does it work? A study funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research indicates that CogMed's working memory training may not work, at least not in college students with ADHD. Read more.

THEATER-BASED TRAINING FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN can help them improve social skills, according to a study funded by the U.S. NIMH. According to a write-up of the study, "The treatment group showed notable changes in the ability to identify and remember faces...more group play with children outside the treatment setting, as well as improvement in social communication at home and in the community that was maintained for at least two months." Find out more.

DEPRESSION. Researchers are getting closer to explaining how a new class of antidepressant works, one that targets glutamate. The explanation involves a neuronal receptor called mGluR5 and gets a little technical (this study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry), but you can find out more at NewsWise.

FORGET DRUGS for treating depression, let's use ultrasound! That's what one clinical trial is doing. The technique focuses ultrasound to destroy (ablate) a small area of brain tissue linked to severe depression. Read more.

SENG PARENT GROUP IN CALIFORNIA. Judy Wiener will lead a six-week discussion group for parents of gifted kids in the Oak Park, California, area. The group is sponsored by the school district's GATE advisory council, and a fee applies. Find out more.