Saturday, April 29, 2017

SPD, Gifted with ASD, Special Needs & Military Families, and More

IS SPD REAL? That's the question that Slate takes on in a recent article. Why does that question matter? According to Slate, "It matters because tens of thousands of parents are convinced that their children’s behavioral issues are the result of sensory processing difficulties. They don’t believe, or can’t believe, that the real problem is anxiety, ADHD, or autism. It also matters because barrel-loads of money are on the line." Read more.

GIFTED, AUTISTIC, UNDER THE RADAR. Giftedness can obscure or delay identification of many "e's" because of the child's ability to cope and adapt. A first-person-based article at describes one family's situation, where a gifted daughter was not diagnosed with attendant high-functioning autism until she was nine years old. As in the item above, a diagnosis opens the doors to obtaining appropriate services. Find the article.

DISABILITY SCOOP writes about the special situation of military families who have a child with special needs. Those families have different experiences than the rest of us because of, among other things, frequent moves and the absence of one spouse for lengthy periods of time at sea or in combat zones. The Armed Services offer some help, but families take the main burden -- and they probably have to learn new state laws and processes with each move, as well as renegotiating previous IEPs with a new school. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING observes its one-year anniversary in a special podcast. Writes TiLT's founder, Debbie Asher, "Asher and I wanted to sit down and talk with you about what’s happened with TiLT over the past year, share how it’s impacted our relationship, give you some inside scoop into how we do things here at TiLT central, and talk a little bit about what’s happening in the coming year, including my sharing a bit of big news for TiLT." Fans can find out more at the TiLT website.

SUMMER RESOURCE FOR EDUCATORS. The Belin Blank Center at the University of Iowa offers professional development opportunities for educators involved in gifted programming. Find out more.

LEARNING AND THE BRAIN is sponsoring a workshop in Santa Barbara, California, described as "intensive training on the topics of executive functions and memory that have applications in classrooms." Neurologist/educator Judy Willis presents. Find out more.

ROSS GREENE WORKSHOP. Transdisciplinary Workshops has scheduled Ross Green, Ph.D., to present advanced training in July on Greene's model for understanding and helping behaviorally challenging kids. The intended audience: educators and mental health providers. Find out more.

MINDFULNESS PANACEA. Mindfulness group therapy has an equally positive effect as individual CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) for the treatment of a wide range of psychiatric symptoms in patients with depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders, according to new research. Find a study write-up.

THE CEREBELLUM, THE PONS, AND COMORBIDITY. Nearly half of people with one mental illness also experience another mental illness at the same time. This is leading researchers to shift their focus away from individual disorders and search instead for common mechanisms or risk factors that might cause all types of mental disorders. Researchers have now linked specific differences in the cerebellum and pons to many types of mental illness such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and OCD, according to Science Daily. Find out more.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Neurotypical and Not, Test Stress, Julia, Teaching the Gifted, and More

MORE ON ENDREW F. Writing at Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, an education advocate takes a different view of the recent Supreme Court decision that a FAPE must be more than "de minimis." The advocate writes, "Under the de minimis standard, there was almost nowhere to go but up, and the Court went up only a very little. An 8-0 vote by a Court that is usually sharply divided is a sign that the decision may lack clarity or bite." Read more. Also at the site of Smart Kids, psychologist Devon MacEachron makes the case for getting a private evaluation rather than using a school-supplied evaluation. Find out what she says.

JEN THE BLOGGER, as part of a blog hop called "Revisiting 2e," tells of recent interactions with a neurotypical teen and compares those to life in her house of chaos. Jen mentored the teen through a project, compared it to her experiences with similar projects involving her sons, and decided "the dichotomy stings." But she concludes: "this wildly different is perfectly normal life is all mine, and after twelve years I’m finally embracing the weird it has brought to my life." Read the post.

TEST STRESS. Neurologist and educator Judy Willis offers tips and techniques for getting the better of test stress. She tells how to build a positive mindset in the test-taker, and lists five things a parent can do on test day to help. Go to Edutopia to read more.

JULIA ON SESAME STREET is a new character on the spectrum, and a writer from The Washington Post gives the show high marks for the way Julia is portrayed and for the way the show's other characters respect and understand her. From the review: "Little kids are funny creatures, but they’re also perceptive and can be incredibly accepting of differences, once they understand them... [T]he Muppets model for kids how to reach out to people who don’t always respond in expected ways." Read more.

HOW SHOULD THE GIFTED BE TAUGHT? For example, how are they like non-gifted learners and how are they different? According to The High Flyer, a new publication offers 20 research-based guidelines for teaching the gifted. The guidelines cover how the students think and learn, motivation, the importance of social context, classroom management, and assessment. The High Flyer says, "Each principle is described based on evidence from research with gifted populations. The brief description is followed by practical suggestions for the classroom and references from both the regular and gifted education literature." Read more.

TiLT PARENTING offers a podcast on ADHD and nutrition, a topic evidently much requested by TiLT fans. The podcast features a childhood nutrition expert and covers applicable research, nutritional challenges in ADHD, and dealing with those challenges. Find the podcast.

GIFTED HOMESCHOOLERS FORUM. This organization offers online summer classes, for which registration is now open, and school-year classes, for which registration opens May 1st. GHF says, "GHF Online is 2e-friendly and willing to work with you to make reasonable accommodations for your child's individual needs." Find out more.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS DURING PREGNANCY do not evidently increase the risk of ASD or ADHD in offspring, according to new research, although there is a slight risk for premature birth. Read a study write-up.

TOURETTE'S. A new computer-based brain simulation shows that motor tics in Tourette syndrome may arise from interactions between multiple areas of the brain, rather than a single malfunctioning area. Find a study write-up.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

More Endrew F, Sit Still, Gifted Funding, More

WRIGHTSLAW REACTION TO ENDREW F. As expected, Wrightslaw has released information about the recent SCOTUS decision the Endrew F case involving the benefit that schools must provide with IEPs. Included in that information is Pete Wright's analysis of the decision. Go to Wrightslaw.

"GIFTED" VERSUS "HIGH ACHIEVING" is the topic of an article at, from Virginia. The author writes, "Some gifted students are also high achievers but many are not. What other parents and teachers often don’t see are the hidden components of being gifted, including emotional overexcitability, crippling anxiety, existential angst and other social and emotional issues resulting from asynchronous brain development." Find the article.

SIT STILL AND FAIL TO PAY ATTENTION. The need for activity and exercise during the school day is the subject of an article at The Washington Post's "Answer Sheet" feature. It details the disadvantages to just "sitting still" -- and offers ways to "defend our children's right to move." Find the article. Separately, The New York Times just ran an article on that same subject, "Why Kids Shouldn't Sit Still in Class." One expert is quoted this way: “Activity stimulates more blood vessels in the brain to support more brain cells. And there is evidence that active kids do better on standardized tests and pay attention more in school.” Find the article.

NAGC offers two items of possible interest to the 2e community. One is on planning for summer, with guidelines for checking out camps and programs. (Of course, an additional guideline would be to disclose your child's twice-exceptionality and ask how the camp or program is structured to handle that.) Find the guidelines. The second item sounds hopeful: "At a gathering of gifted learning community leaders... in the nation’s capitol, a first-of-its-kind poll was released by the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA), that finds overwhelming bipartisan public support for increased funding for programs and resources for gifted students." The trick is, as always, in translating words into actions. Find the item.

SCHOOL POLICY AND LAW. Education Week has published an article outlining some of the pros and cons of school choice when it comes to children with disabilities. Find it.

PRESENT AT CEC? The Council for Exceptional Children hasn't yet held its 2017 conference, but it's calling for proposals for 2018. If you've got a topic to share with CEC attendees, get a move on -- the 2018 deadline is March 31, 2017. Find out more.

MEET THE SCIENTIST. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation is offering a free webinar on April 11 on the topic of depression. According to BBRF, these
"Meet the Scientist" webinars allow you to "hear mental health experts present the latest research in new technologies, diagnostic tools, early intervention strategies and next-generation therapies." Find out more.

RESTLESS IN LA is the title of a recently-published novel. The author, Robin Finn, evidently has a child with severe ADHD and went through experiences many readers here have likely been through in terms of research, advocacy, and feeling like a failed parent. According to one book review, Finn "is an ADHD warrior, spiritual seeker, mother of three, author, essayist, advocate, and coach. She spent years advocating for a twice-exceptional child before she began writing about it." In the Los Angeles Times, Finn writes about how the novel came to be: "I didn’t want to write about parenting and ADHD. I thought people might get angry or judgey. I thought I didn’t have time. I thought it was too private. But something desperately wanted to be expressed, even though I had an opposite and equally powerful desire to hold the creativity in." Find the LA Times piece. We haven't read this book, just want to point it out, and we have a feeling that "twice exceptional" is not its focus so much as some of the heroine's "extracurricular" activities. Lots of reviews on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SCOTUS and IEPs, Unemployed with ASD, Policy, and More

ENDREW F DECIDED. The Supreme Court has handed down a decision in the case of Endrew F affirming that an IEP must enable a covered child to make progress under IDEA. Special ed attorney Matt Cohen calls it a "huge win" for parents and advocates, and says, "Although it will likely require years of litigation to fully understand what the new rule means, it can only mean that the schools must do much more than the minimum required by standards that have been used in the past." Find our more at the Supreme Court blog; Education Week; or via the AP. Wrightslaw has some material on its site and is likely to add more.

SMART, ASD, UNEMPLOYED. Crain's Detroit Business profiled Steven Glowacki, a man with an IQ of 150 and three degrees but who is apparently unable to hold jobs because employers don't understand the needs of employees with autism. Quoted in the article, the president of the Autism Alliance of Michigan says, "Steven is wasting away. He's brilliant, but employers can't see past his disorder — and he's not alone. We're inducing poverty and a poor quality of life for people that can contribute ... in big ways." Find the article, and thanks to Nancy M for pointing us to it.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's March eNews Update is out, featuring news of the various Institute programs, information on the Regeneron Science Talent Search, books on gifted ed, pointers to legislative news, and pointers to web-based resources of interest to members of the gifted community. Find the newsletter.

LANDMARK COLLEGE offers professional certificates and individual courses as professional development for those who educate students who learn differently. The registration deadline for a course titled "Self-regulation, Motivation, and Student Engagement" is coming up on April 9. Find out more.

TECA has announced the date of its fall conference, October 13 at Molloy College in New York. "More information coming soon," says TECA.

TiLT PARENTING has released Episode 49 in its podcast series, "Setting Up Your Home to Support Your Child's Growth," with Simone Davies, a Montessori teacher/consultant. Of the podcast, TiLT founder Debbie Reber says, "Today Simone and I are talking about the 'spaces' in our home—specifically how we can best design and set them up to support our differently-wired kids." Find the podcast.

POLICY 1. NAGC has released a statement on the U.S. federal government administration's proposed budget insofar as it affects the Department of Education. From the statement: "Voters overwhelmingly support providing federal funding for gifted and talented education," said M. René Islas, Executive Director of the National Association for Gifted Children... "It is our hope that the Administration's final detailed budget maintains funding for the Javits program and reflects the will of the voters. Supporting gifted and talented children, particularly those from underserved backgrounds, is part of the transformational change needed to ensure all students have the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential and personal best." Find the statement.

POLICY 2. The organization Understood has also issued a response to the administration's budget proposal, focusing on $9 billion it would "take away from our students and teachers." Understood urges readers to tell Congress to reject the budget. Find the missive.

Friday, March 17, 2017

ASD, Asperger's, Summer Camp, Parenting, ADHD, More

AUTISM DOCUMENTARY. Starting on April 4, U.S. PBS television stations will show a documentary seeking to describe the sensory experiences of those with autism, according to Disability Scoop. Find out more. Separately, The New York Times also describes a documentary about a man with Asperger's in which a high point is a "rare filmic experience of the sensory overload of autism." Find a description of this film.

BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK is just about over, but you can find out more about its origins, what it has accomplished, and what's next for the observation at the site of the Dana Foundation.

SUMMER CAMP. Registration for Camp Summit West in California is now open. This camp, scheduled for June 18-24, is for gifted and twice-exceptional children. Find out more. Camp Summit East, in Maryland, is scheduled for August 20-26. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING. Podcast Episode 48 is out, a conversation with TiLT founder Debbie Reber about surviving the first year of homeschooling. If homeschooling is something you're considering for your differently wired kiddo, perhaps check it out.

LONG-TERM ADHD MEDS. In a study that followed more than 500 children with ADHD into adulthood, extended use of stimulant medication was linked with suppressed adult height but not with reduced symptoms of ADHD. Remember, this is just one study and parents should rely on advice from a licensed professional, but we pass this on FYI. Find the study write-up.

CAUSE OF OCD DISCOVERED? An overactive molecular signal pathway in the brain region of the amygdala can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder. A research team has now established this connection.Find a study write-up.

2e MOVING SCREENING. The documentary "2e: Twice Exceptional" is scheduled for a screening and panel discussion on March 30 at 6pm on March 30 at SUNY Old Westbury. (And if you know what that means, you're probably close enough to attend.) Find out more.

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. The following headlines should tell you whether the articles will be of interest to you.
  • NEA Criticizes Supreme Court Nominee's Judicial Record on Special Education. Find the article
  • Trump Education Dept. Releases New ESSA Guidelines. Find the article
  • No, Congress Didn't Vote to Scrap ESSA: Answers to Your FAQs. Find the article
  • The senate just blocked ESSA accountability rules — here are three ways states, districts can carry on without federal regulations. Find the article

Monday, March 13, 2017

Breakthroughs Conference, Processing Speed, 2e Achievers, and More

ACCORDING TO QUAD PREP, the "Breakthroughs" 2e conference on Wednesday and Thursday of this week in New York City is on, snow or no snow. Quad Prep says, "Our speakers are here and ready to go!" (The subject line of their email announcement was "Breakthrough the SNOW!" The NYC area is supposed to receive possibly 12-18 inches of snow tonight and Tuesday.) 2e Newsletter, unfortunately, will not be there. Southwest Airlines cancelled our flight to NYC. We hope that the conference draws many hardy and curious members of the 2e community. More about the conference.

PROCESSING SPEED -- more specifically, slow processing speed, is a topic of interest to many parents and teachers of the twice-exceptional. A blog at the site of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds provides an introduction to processing speed, with a sequel promised soon on coping with the condition. The blog describes processing speed deficits as potentially occurring during reception of stimuli, processing, or in responding.. The author provides results from several studies -- eg, that boys are more affected than girls -- and points out the importance of acceptance, accommodation, and advocacy. Find the blog.

2e ACHIEVERS are the topic of a book called The Power of Different, reviewed by CNN. The term twice-exceptional is not mentioned in the review, but the message in the book "is that those same brain differences that cause disorders such as dyslexia, depression and autism can lead to more creativity and artistic abilities, more empathy and an ability to visualize things in a different way." One takeaway from the review: the book's author firmly believes in addressing strengths as a priority. Read more.

BIOMARKER FOR ADHD? A recent study found that reported symptoms of ADHD were correlated with reduced gray matter in part of tahe prefrontal cortex. According to Medical News Today, "This relationship was particularly true for symptoms of inattention." Read more. Separately, the symptoms of ADHD foster important traits associated with entrepreneurship, according to researchers who found that entrepreneurs with ADHD embrace new experiences and demonstrate passion and persistence. Their intuitive decision making in situations involving uncertainty was seen by the researchers as a reason for reassessing existing economic models. Find a study write-up.

LANDMARK COLLEGE WEBINARS. Landmark College is dedicated to students who learn differently, and the college presents occasional professional development opportunities for educators. Coming up on March 31 is a webinar titled "How to Use the Science of Emotion Regulation to Facilitate Successful Learning." A fee applies. Find out more.

SUMMER CAMP. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities offers tips for finding the right camp when the 2e kiddo in question is a first-time camper. To help find a good fit, the article offers seven questions to ask. Find the tips.

JEN THE BLOGGER muses on the nature of giftedness -- what others might see versus what the holder of the "gift" might see and experience. Find out how she describes what's inside the "gift box."

RAISING A 2e GIRL? A talk on this week's TED playlist might be of interest to you. It's titled, "To raise brave girls, encourage adventure." From the blurb: "Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul." Find the talk.

DON'T FORGET that our recent special offer for the second editions of the parent's and teacher's booklets from the Spotlight on 2e Series is still in effect -- for a few more days, anyway. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- something else to worry about. A recent pilot study from Oregon State indicates that some chemicals added to furniture, electronics and numerous other goods to prevent fires may have unintended developmental consequences for young children. According to one of the study's authors, "When we analyzed behavior assessments and exposure levels, we observed that the children who had more exposure to certain types of the flame retardant were more likely to exhibit externalizing behaviors such as aggression, defiance, hyperactivity, inattention and bullying," Find a study write-up.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ability Grouping, Creativity & Neurodiversity, Imaginational OEs, and More

GIFTED CHALLENGES. This blog, in a recent posting, takes on the topic of ability grouping, contending that it works and that it's essential once a student gets to middle school. Psychologist Gail Post debunks the rationale for the mixed-ability classes and points out why middle school is an important time. Find the blog.

TiLT PARENTING presents a podcast with Kathryn Haydon on the connection between creativity and neurodiversity, especially giftedness. According to podcast host Debbie Reber, "Kathryn’s passion for gifted and creative education are incredibly inspiring, and her vision for helping schools and parents use a “strengths-based” approach in the way they teach and parent is one we can absolutely get behind!" "Strengths-based" is certainly a term readers of 2e Newsletter have heard over the years. Find the podcast.

HOW'S YOUR IMAGINATIONAL OE? Yes, you, the gifted adult reader here. If you've got one and you're a gifted adult, you're invited to participate in an online survey from the University of Denver on fandoms, a community dedicated to the love of a particular person, team, fictional series or a character, etc. Find out more.

LD DOCUMENTATION can be important when it comes time for the transition to college, points out an article from Landmark College. According to the article, there is a "disconnect between the disability documentation available to students when they graduate from high school and the type of documentation expected by postsecondary service providers." The article discusses the legal underpinnings of required disability documentation, and describes how "disability documentation is now morphing into a portfolio of evidence." Find out more. Separately, Landmark now offers an online dual enrollment program for high school students who learn differently. Find out more.

AUTISM PREVALENCE is potentially determined by several factors besides the "real" incidence -- for example, diagnostic criteria and rising awareness. An article at Scientific American explains how these factors and and others have contributed to the decades-old rise in the incidence of autism diagnosis. Find the article.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has posted a first-person piece on self-acceptance. Written by an intelligent young woman with dyslexia, it recounts the shame of not knowing why one is not achieving like one's friends are, the relief of a diagnosis, and a special "aha moment" you'll have to read about for yourself. Find the piece.

HEAD INJURIES can adversely affect hundreds of genes in the brain that put people at high risk for diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, post-traumatic stress disorder, stroke, ADHD, autism, depression, and schizophrenia, life scientists report. The researchers have identified for the first time potential master genes which they believe control hundreds of other genes that are linked to many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Scary? Find the study write-up.

U.S. EDUCATIONAL POLICY AND LAW. Anyone interested in how proposed or enacted changes to educational policy and law might affect twice-exceptional students can check these recent articles:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Parenting, Advocacy, Resources, Policy & Politics

ADVOCACY. Parents with a purpose can make a difference, as an article at the Washington Post explains. A mom, Katherine Spurlock, "wanted to make sure that her daughter, who has dyslexia, received appropriate interventions and placement in school but learned that Montgomery County — nor any other county in Maryland and perhaps across the United States — did not compile data about how much money was being spent on early academic or behavioral interventions for students who need them." What did she do? Got state legislators to introduce legislation to address that problem. Read more.

SCREEN TIME FOR KIDS is something we often write about, but it seems that research on the topic is often contradictory. Two recent studies are no exception. According to a write-up at Science Daily, "Chances are that your children will turn out OK even though they spend hours playing video games or watching TV, according to a new study that found that there is only a negligibly small association between excessive screen time and higher levels of depression and delinquency among teenagers." Find the write-up.On the other hand, HealthDay reports on a study indicating that too much TV can make kids less ready for kindergarten -- especially lower-income kiddos. Read more.

WEBINAR FOR EDUCATORS. The CEC is holding a webinar titled "Multi-sensory Math Methodologies for Students with Learning Difficulties" on Wednesday, March 8. A fee applies. Find out more.

THE INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT offers a couple programs for which registration deadlines are coming up. One is the Catherine D. Bradley Scholarship, which the organization calls "the only merit-based, need-blind high school scholarship to highly gifted students across the United States" The deadline is April 11. Find out more. The other program is Explore, which, according to IEA, "matches high-potential and gifted high school students with distinguished mentors, hands-on research opportunities, and professional experience in their field of interest. With the support and guidance of volunteer mentors and IEA staff, students learn about working in a variety of professional settings and advance their skills through the pursuit of knowledge and exposure to optimally challenging learning experiences." The deadline is April 10. Find out more.

TED offers two talks on this week's playlist that might appeal to you or that 2e kiddo you know. One is called "Math is forever," and TED says of the talk, "With humor and charm, mathematician Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón answers a question that’s wracked the brains of bored students the world over: What is math for?" Find the talk. The other is titled "A science award that makes you laugh, then think," and the description of it is: "As founder of the Ig Nobel awards, Marc Abrahams explores the world's most improbable research. In this thought-provoking (and occasionally side-splitting) talk, he tells stories of truly weird science — and makes the case that silliness is critical to boosting public interest in science." Find it.

JEN THE BLOGGER IS BACK with her first new post in months. After her hiatus, she writes that she's re-imagining chaos ("Laughing at Chaos" is the name of her blog), and she seems to have come up against -- or with, hard to tell -- a new self-concept. Future blogs will evidently not feature the goings-on of her now teenage sons whose stories used to resonate with the parents of twice-exceptional children. Find the blog post, and the usual language warnings apply.

  • Education Week has an article raising the possibility that federal education funding would follow the student instead of flowing to the state. For kiddos needing special ed services, that's an intriguing idea. Read more
  • The Washington Post warns that civil rights enforcement in education could be rolled back in the new administration. What does that matter to the 2e community? For one, the DOE Office of Civil Rights has intervened in the past when 2e kiddos were treated inequitably. Read more
  • ESSA OVERTURN. The Council for Exceptional Children notes this: "The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to overturn the U.S. Department of Education’s regulation implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) core requirement that schools be held accountable for the performance of historically marginalized students, including students with disabilities." CEC urges its members and others to write their senators against this repeal. Read more.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Survey of 2e Adults, Parenting, Test Accommodations, Steve Jobs, and More

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. A psychology student working on his senior thesis at Dominican University in California is seeking twice-exceptional adults to respond to a survey about their experiences. Find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES examines common test accommodations for kiddos with ADHD, describing a recent study indicating that such accommodations might not help. Read more.

PARENTING RE-EXAMINED. A story from the newsroom of the University of Nebraska Medical Center describes a new book from a professor there, a book proposing a parenting paradigm shift to help kids succeed in the 21st century. The professor has identified seven "QI" skills (pronounced "key") to nurture in a child beginning early -- for example a WOBBLE skill for adaptability and agility. Sound interesting? Find out more.

NURTURING THE GIFTED is the topic of an article at It lists five issues gifted kiddos might have, issues familiar to you such as intensities, underachievement, sensitivities, social struggles, and -- yes -- LDs. The writer also offers tips for nurturing. Of special interest to us was the inclusion of a poem supposedly written by Steve Jobs about smart misfits. Find the article. Find a video version of the poem supposedly narrated by Jobs here or here.

THE STIGMA IN ADMITTING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES is the topic of an article at the site of BBC, and it asserts that about half of a group of young people 16-25 surveyed in the UK said they had experienced a mental health problem -- and a third of them worried about disclosing the problem for fear of stigma. Read more.

JOURNAL WATCH commented on a recent study of students with ADHD and their transition to college, where those students might run into problems with self-management skills, adherence to meds, and social supports. Journal Watch commented that clinicians should talk to these students months before the transition and help them plan for the source of their meds at school; academic accommodations; self-management; and what to do about peers who want to "share" their meds.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is on ADHD, and it features a Danish ADHD coach of whom Debbie Reber, the podcast host, says: "His focus is on development his client’s cognitive skills and behaviors to help them be better at managing their time, focus, and temperament, as well as rebuilding their self-worth." Find the podcast.

WRIGHTSLAW deals with the issue of signing an IEP, which is apparently 
not as simple as it might seem, depending on where you live or even which particular version of the IEP you're signing. Wrightslaw says, "In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will learn the benefits of signing the IEP, how to document your dissatisfaction or express concerns, and where to find your state requirements." Find Special Ed Advocate.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE, the newsletter from With Understanding Comes Calm, is out in its March edition. Of this issue, Julie Skolnick says, "This month's newsletter has lots of information about co-existing conditions. Many articles this month address the importance of being vigilant with appropriate strategies to bring out the best in our 2e kids!" Find the newsletter.

PRUFROCK PRESS is offering a free excerpt from a newly-published book, Anxiety-Free Kids, by Bonnie Zucker, Psy.D. Find it.

EDUCATION POLICY is in flux in the United States. If you're following it, you might be interested in a couple recent articles.
  • The Washington Post provides the full remarks of the new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a recent conference; find them
  • The Council for Exceptional Children gives its rationale for urging members to resist any overturn of ESSA; find it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

ADHD, Parenting, Research Participation Opporunities, and a Seussian Take on IEPs

BEHAVIORAL THERAPY FIRST FOR YOUNG KIDS WITH ADHD. That's the conclusion from a report from the Centers for Disease Control on how to address ADHD in kids under six years old, according to an article in The Washington Post. Read it.

THERAPY DOGS IN SCHOOL. The Supreme Court has ruled on an appeal of a decision from a lower court on when parents are entitled to sue the school district over its prohibition of a service dog, in this case for a girl with cerebral palsy. In a decision that didn't really address the issue of the right to a service dog, the high court directed the lower court to rework its decision using guidelines handed down by the high court, says Disability Scoop. Read more.

ADDITUDE is offering a free webinar replay titled "Beyond Hello: Building Conversation Skills in Children with ADHD." In her practice, speech/language pathologist Anna Vagin, the webinar presenter, serves the twice-exceptional, among other audiences. Find out more.

SHARP BRAINS reports on a study that indicates sleep difficulties might impair children as much as ADHD does. The article notes that between 70 and 85% of children with ADHD might have co-occuring sleep difficulties, and that sleep difficulties "may be an important contributor to apparent ADHD symptoms, and could contribute to a child being incorrectly diagnosed." Read more.

TiLT PARENTING offered up two new items this past week: a podcast where 12yo Asher, son of TiLT's founder, answers readers'/listeners' questions -- for example, on how he stays positive when he gets in trouble just for being who he is. Find the podcast. Second is a blog posting by Debbie, Asher's mom, on the topic of how do do a "reset" in a difficult parenting situation. She describes a four-step process. Find the blog.

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITIES. The Social Competence and Treatment Lab at Stonybrook University on Long Island, New York, currently has two studies in progress that might be of interest to some members of the 2e community:
  • One study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to learn more about the role that different biological and psychological factors play in kids’ and teens’ “real world” social functioning. This study will help better understand how effective social competence develops, and to create more effective and precise treatments for youth with ASD. The study is recruiting children between 11 and 17 with ASD; it requires three in-lab visits totaling about 4.5 hours, according to the researchers. For more information, contact and refer to the "I-SPY" study. 
  • A second study, to better understand how attending to social interactions may affect behavior, seeks young people 18 or older with ASD. This, too, requires several in-person visits to the lab. Go to and see the "Paying Attention to Social Interactions" study.
KID PROJECTS. Got a 2e kiddo who likes (or who you wish liked) hands-on projects? TED has a playlist of eight talks "to inspire projects with kids." They include turning trash into toys for learning; hands-on science with squishy circuits; and more. Find the talks.

2e NEWSLETTER. Some of the material from our January/February issue is now available on our website, including columns by Sylvia Rimm and Bob Seney. Find the material.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Wrightslaw has on its website a poem, "IEPs According to Dr. Seuss," by an unknown author writing in the Seussian style. Find it, and thanks to TECA for pointing us to it. "I do not like these IEPs..."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Breakthroughs Conference, Time-outs, 2e-friendly School, Cats, and More

THE ANNUAL "BREAKTHROUGHS" CONFERENCE in New York City is coming up in March. If you're considering attending, you can find the presentation titles and descriptions at the site of Quad Prep, co-sponsor with AEGUS of the conference. For example, Susan Baum, who is on the Editorial Advisory Board of 2e Newsletter, has a keynote titled "The Power of Strength-based, Talent-focused Education for Twice Exceptional Students." Among the many other speakers are Rose Blucher, Katharina Boser, and the director of the Lerner Lab, which does research on ASD. Find out more. The conference home page is here.

TIME-OUTS may be something you use to try to instill respect for rules at your house. According to the Child Mind Institute, the use of this technique has its critics. Find out more about the pros and cons of time-outs.

TOURETTE'S may not be, unfortunately, something most children outgrow. This according to the results of a recent 6-year study in Denmark, which found that the majority of those followed still had tics at age 19. Journal Watch noted the lack of
certain controls but commented this way: "...these data attest to the need for continued clinical attention to tics and comorbid ADHD and OCD as children age.... That ADHD persisted in a third of cases is important — for many Tourette patients, especially those with mild or moderate tics, ADHD symptoms may be more bothersome than the tics." (Journal Watch is by subscription only.)

GOT A HIGHLY SENSITIVE KIDDO? A writer at Psychology Today offers ways to turn what can be a challenge into an asset. Find the article.

ARE YOU REALLY "INTO" CHILD PSYCHIATRY? Pediatric News offers an article titled "50 years of child psychiatry [and] developmental-behavioral pediatrics." According to the authors, the evolution of the field "includes the approach to diagnosis, the thinking about development and family, and the approach and access to treatment during this dynamic period." Find the article.

A NEW ZEALAND WEBSITE called "Stuff" describes a 2e-friendly school there. Summit Point School in Auckland. The school's founder started with one- and two-day programs in 2013, and then, according to Stuff, "was pushed to open a full-time school by parents, who found their dyslexic children had a great need for help, both academically and emotionally." Find out more.

U.S. EDUCATION POLICY. If, for the sake of that 2e kiddo you raise or teach, you're keeping track of potential changes to educational policy in the United States, here are some sources of information:
  • An Education Week article on the the U.S. budget process and possible effects on K-12 education
  • A piece in the Huffington Post titled "What DeVos Means for Special Education" 
  • An article on vouchers -- and research into their effectiveness -- in The New York Times
  • An NPR piece on how new administration appointees might influence education
  • An Education Week article on efforts to overturn ESSA
  • And finally, a CEC announcement on how some enlightened legislators have introduced a bill to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.
BUT KNOW THIS! New research has found no link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms, casting doubt on previous suggestions that people who grew up with cats are at higher risk of mental illness. Read more.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Reading, Writing, RTI, and More

MOTHERWELL, a digital publication about modern parenting, has published a piece called "When reading at grade level is not good enough." Two factors are behind the title: the writer's own self-admitted perfectionistic tendencies, and the fact that her seemingly smart daughter doesn't have the same proficiency at or interest in reading as her peers. The mom's conundrum: "Like everyone else, I have to figure out how to parent my child without strapping my demons on her back, while simultaneously giving her what she needs to succeed." Read more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES posted a new piece today, also on the topic of reading. It's called "Does Your Child's Reading Program Make the Grade?" It focuses on five key components of reading: phoneme awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Find the article.

GIFTED DEVELOPMENT CENTER. Psychologist Linda Silverman writes at this site about writing difficulties in gifted kiddos, a not uncommon occurrence. She covers causes, a diagnostic checklist, and possible accommodations. Find the blog.

INSPIRED ATTENTION. Kimberly King has posted a blog entry sharing her perspectives on twice-exceptionality as "a grown up twice exceptional person who works with 2e people and families. I [also] have a house full of them." She offers some new and interesting metaphors for twice-exceptionality and validates everyday thoughts and feelings of those in the 2e community. For example: "How can you love learning and hate school? Think of the tiger in Antarctica. Tiger loves to hunt and eat and cannot do so in an environment that does not value any of the tiger’s strengths and instincts, not to mention a tiger stands out like a sore thumb on white snow." Find the blog.

TECA. The group Twice-Exceptional Children's Advocacy has issued its February newsletter. In it is an article on self-help -- being able to take care of others well because you take good care of yourself -- and an article written by an attorney on preparing for an IEP meeting. Find TECA's newsletter.

POLICY WONKS may find an article at the site of Education Week about RTI -- variances in implementation across districts, its role in ESSA, and more. One contention is that RTI's "soft spot" might be in identifying students with LDs. Find the article.

THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA -- the Program for International Student Assessment, that is. We've noted previously that U.S. scores in this test tend to be middle-of-the-pack. Valerie Strauss, in The Washington Post, uncovers some reasons for that, and the reasons might not be so much the U.S. as the way some other countries administer the test. Find the article, titled "Three global indexes show that U.S. public schools must be doing something right."

LATER HIGH SCHOOL START TIMES. Higher attendance and graduation rates are the result, says an article from Reuters. "Mixed results," says an article at U.S. News. You figure it out.

BRAIN STUDY IN ADHD. A large study has found that overall brain volume is smaller in children with ADHD, particularly in five of seven regions: the caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, and hippocampus. The researchers "suggest that their findings show that ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by delayed development in several brain regions," according to Medical News Today. Find the study write-up.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Temple Grandin, FAPE, ASD, Anxiety, Depression, Gifted Ed, More

TEMPLE GRANDIN has been named to the National Women's Hall of Fame, according to Disability Scoop. She was chosen for her work as an autism advocate -- and also for her work in animal science. Read more.

HOW HYPER IS TOO MUCH? Here's the first sentence from an article at Psych Central that should let you know whether you want to read it: "Every day, millions of parents wonder if their son’s hyper behavior is a normal product of age and gender, or if it’s something that needs to be addressed with a doctor." Go to Psych Central to read more.

NPR, in its "How Learning Happens" feature, describes the use of improv to help children with autism show emotion and understand emotion in others. Find the feature

SUSAN BAUM is presenting in Greenwich, Connecticut, on February 22 on the topic "Gifted and LD: Finding and Supporting Your Child's Strengths." The event is sponsored by Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities. Find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers a primer on the "appropriate" part of free, appropriate public education. It's set within the context of the current U.S. Supreme Court case, Endrew F, the resolution of which might provide more clarity in this matter. Find the primer.

GIFTED ED PD RESOURCE. Educators might be interested in the summer professional development program held annually at the Belin Blank Center at the University of Iowa. This year's program is July 10-14. The organization says, "This exciting professional development experience allows educators (classroom teachers, school counselors, and administrators) to learn more about gifted and talented students and ways to meet their needs. Participants live on campus for a week, collaborating with others who share their commitment." Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING turns out podcasts and blog postings almost faster than we can keep up with them. The most recent podcast deals with sex education for differently-wired kids (that's your kid). It features Amy Lang, an expert on the topic. Find the podcast. And in a blog posting, Debbie Reber and son Asher converse about vacations and what makes them go more smoothly. Again the perspective is that of a family of which a differently-wired kiddo is an important part. Find the blog.

MICHELLE RONSKLEY-PAVIA, an academic at Australia's Griffith University, has authored a number of papers and studies on the topic of twice-exceptionality. The latest is titled "Listening and responding to twice-exceptional students: Voices from within." Also at this site are her papers on topics such as acceleration, OEs, and more.

MEDITERRANEAN DIET, ADHD. We recently pointed to a study on the link between the Mediterranean diet and the incidence of ADHD. While the study showed that participants with ADHD were less likely follow to a Mediterranean-type diet, Journal Watch has issued some commentary on the study. Journal Watch says, "In this cross-sectional study, ADHD is associated with lower intake of a Mediterranean diet, but whether poor diet causes ADHD, or the reverse occurs, cannot be known without longitudinal data. A trial of Mediterranean foods may be useful for families reluctant to try medications, especially if they can deal with the logistics (e.g., what to do at birthday or pizza parties)." [What, no Mediterranean pizza?]

DEPRESSION is the topic of two recent articles:

  • People with depression can have trouble processing information and solving problems. Scientists studying a rat model for depression are identifying on a molecular level how the condition could affect thinking. The findings could lead to the development of new depression treatments that would address associated cognitive problems. Find the study write-up.
  • An article at NPR covers the topic of depression and teen girls, and how it can affect them especially hard. Find the article
ANXIETY. Likewise, anxiety is in the news.
  • U.S. News contends that dealing with anxiety can be taught like other skills. "We can start by creating a plan, modeling the steps by showing them and practicing the task together, and gradually children will practice the technique independently." Read more
  • And a recent study concluded this: "Decreased connectivity in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex may mediate emotion dysregulation among youth with anxiety and irritability." Find the study write-up
  • Finally, in a new study, researchers have described how two important molecules in the brain work together to trigger intense anxiety. Find the study write-up.

Monday, February 13, 2017

2e in Asia, Talking about Anxiety, ASD, and More

2e IN ASIA... and coming "home" for support. An American mom who has lived abroad extensively writes about how Singapore schools could not/would not support her twice-exceptional child, and the support the family received once they moved back to the U.S. Read more.

IDEA SITE BACK UP. The Department of Education website for IDEA went down last week, causing some consternation in light of recent administration transitions, but it was evidently a technical, not a political, problem. Find the affected site. Read some reactions to the problem at Education Week and at Disability Scoop. IDEA is important to the 2e community, of course, because learning disabilities are under its scope of governance. Disability advocates have been a little nervous, according to Disability Scoop, because "Last month, nearly every disability reference was removed from the White House website after the Trump administration took over."

TALKING ABOUT ANXIETY, OCD, and depression is the topic of an article at Vogue, which describes a live talk in New York by two women in media and a clinician titled "Growing Up with Anxiety." The point: “There’s this shame around [anxiety and depression] when it should be treated like it’s high cholesterol. It’s that treatable and it’s that common. The shame is keeping everyone from moving forward.” If you have a kiddo worried about his or her anxiety or depression or OCD, perhaps check out the Vogue article.

ON AUTISM. Two significant items concerning autism appeared in our inbox last week. One was an extensive article from the Dana Foundation on the causes of autism. The article starts with the results of a twins study that attempted to tease out genetic versus environmental causes, then turns to possible in-utero environmental influences that include infections and drugs/toxins, then turns to possible postnatal factors. Find the article. The second item of interest is from the American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry. The organization has developed a "Parents' Medication Guide" for ASD; the guide is for practitioners to share with patients. You can find a copy here.

PARENTING AND THE ART OF WAR. Well, it can sometimes seem like war. But the organization Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy is offering an online workshop by that title. The March 8th event is to be conducted by Neil Weintraub and, according to TECA, "outlines a fresh paradigm for thinking about parent-child interactions." Find out more.

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN DYSLEXIA. A new study indicated that "Boys had lower average and more variable reading performance than girls, which was partially mediated by differences in processing speed and inhibitory control." Read more (but not much more) here or here.

THE BELIN-BLANK CENTER for high-ability kiddos, located at the University of Iowa, has posted a blog entry titled "How Should I Study?" It offers a variety of tips for making studying more effective. Find the posting.

STUDY PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY, via Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities. A Harvard study is looking for Boston-area infants 2 to 8 months old for a study on the causes of dyslexia. Find out more.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Education Policy, 2e-friendly School, and Lots of Resources

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION has a newly-confirmed leader who went through a contentious confirmation process based in part, upon perceptions of her knowledge of the law when it comes to serving children with disabilities. The Council for Exceptional Children, CEC, which fought the confirmation, has issued a statement which reads in part, "Now is not the time to turn back the clock on over 6.7 million children and youth with disabilities. CEC will hold the U.S. Department of Education accountable to ensure that all children and youth are guaranteed a free appropriate public education." Find the statement. Separately, CEC has listed three points it intends to pursue going forward:
  • IDEA funding must be protected and increased, and it must be used for its intended purpose. 
  • Policies that restrict public education’s ability to do its job or that go against the principle of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) are unacceptable. 
  • Children and youth with exceptionalities and their families have civil rights that must be guaranteed. 

2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL IN HOUSTON. A Ph.D. student is co-founder of a small, 2e-friendly school in Houston, Texas. Journey School was written up by The Daily Cougar of the University of Houston; find the article.
HARD-CORE ADVOCATES might want to know about the annual William and Mary Summer Institute of Special Education Advocacy, held this year from July 30 to August 4. It's for experienced advocates, law students, new attorneys, and attorneys who are new to special education law. Find out more at Wrightslaw, a co-sponsor of the institute.
THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE offers "Lessons from a Depressed Childhood," a conversation between the institutes's president, Harold Koplewicz, and writer/critic Daphne Merkin. In the conversation is advice for both parents and children. Find the conversation.

CEC RESOURCE. The second issue of CEC's journal Teaching Exceptional Children is out, featuring the topic of mathematics. For example, one article is titled "Intensifying Intervention for Students With Persistent and Severe Mathematics Difficulties." Find the journal.
GHF RESOURCE. If you're looking for online courses aimed at gifted or 2e kiddos, check out GHF Online. Registration for spring classes is now open. Topics include Latin, chemistry, statistics, and more. Find out more.
LD ONLINE's February newsletter is out, and it features articles on reading comprehension. If that's an issue with the 2e kiddo you raise or teach, check it out.
TiLT PARENTING keeps cranking out information on how to raise and educate "differently wired" kiddos. TiLT has issued Episode 43 in its podcast series, "Why Fostering a Culture of Respect in Our Schools Is Critical," with Courtney Macavinta, an author and life coach. Find the podcast. And in a blog post, TiLT's founder tells about books that "have been leading me through my off-road parenting journey." Find the blog.
LANDMARK COLLEGE has issued its February newsletter. Landmark is dedicated to students who learn differently, and, according to the newsletter, the college has now partnered with area educational organizations to provide programming for middle and high school students who learn differently. Also in the newsletter: news of a new career readiness service, and news from the college's Institute for Research and Training. Find the newsletter.
AND FROM 2e NEWSLETTER. We've updated the sample issues available for download for those who want to know more about the content of 2e Newsletter before subscribing. The three new sample issues feature the topics of getting the proper diagnosis, attention and impulse issues, and college for 2e students. Find them. In addition, we've released second editions of two of the booklets in our "Spotlight on 2e" series -- Parenting Your Twice-exceptional Child (for parents) and Understanding Your Twice-exceptional Student (for educators, or for parents to give to educators). You can see the tables of contents for these second editions at our website.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Education Reform, Gifted Ed in Kentucky, Gifted as Adults, and More

GIFTED SUPPORT AT WKU. Western Kentucky University is in the news this month because of its support for Gifted Education Month in Kentucky, which concludes with the annual Kentucky Association for Gifted Education conference on February 27-28. From a news story: "Housed at WKU, KAGE provides a resource network for educators and parents as well as advocacy for gifted education. WKU is also home to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, The Center for Gifted Studies and The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky." Now that's support for the gifted. Read more.

LET'S SWITCH FOCUS away from our gifted and 2e kiddos for a moment. An article at Bustle, a media outlet "for and by women who are moving forward as fast as you are," according to its website, is titled "How Being a Gifted Kid Affects You as an Adult." Chances are you fit that category. From the article: "Giftedness isn't a curse we carry into adulthood, but it does definitely change the game a bit, according to science. Here's how." Find out exactly how.

EDUCATION REFORM -- in New Zealand. After shocks to its economy in the 1970s caused by oil prices, leaders in New Zealand decided that its workforce "would have to be among the best educated and trained in the world," according to an article at Education Week. The article describes how the country is going about that, and the results so far (good). Of interest to education policy fans is that the solution described in the article is a combination of central government standards and local school responsibility. Find the article.

STILL RAGING IN TEXAS. From Disability Scoop: "Disability advocates this week threatened to sue the Texas Education Agency unless the state permanently ends its special education enrollment benchmark within the next month." If you're a frequent visitor here, you know what the issue is; if not, you should. Find Disability Scoop's latest coverage.

MORE ON EDUCATION POLICY. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities has weighed in on the confirmation of the U.S. president's nominee for education secretary, which has turned into a contentious issue. The article recaps some of the contention; find it. Separately, you can find out more about various aspects of U.S. education policy in a variety of recently posted articles: about school vouchers at Education Week; about school choice at The Washington Post; and about possible education policy-related changes at Education Week.

SUMMER'S STILL COMING, but the Davidson Institute, in its most recent e-newsletter, highlights resources for parents looking to get their high-ability kiddos into some kind of camp or program. Also in the newsletter: more news about Davidson, including its new online high school. Find the newsletter.

ARE YOU RAISING A "CHANGEMAKER"? Then you might be interested in an upcoming webinar by SENG, Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted. From the webinar blurb: "Youth need to know when we push against an inequitable system, it pushes back. Together we can expedite equity by defining what it means to be a changemaker, explaining obstacles to expect along the way and sharing proven practices that support evolution. Please join us in supporting youth in being the change they wish to realize in the world." Find out more.

DEPRESSION. U.S. News has published an article titled "What Parents Should Know about Teen Depression." It covers how teens experience depression, how to tell if your teen is depressed, and how to help. Find the article. Separately, a new study published in Biological Psychiatry offers new insights into how antidepressants work; find a write-up.

ASD RESEARCH. A recent study found that, for high-functioning young kids on the spectrum, failing to have a positive connection with a teacher can exacerbate ASD-related problems. Says the lead researcher: "A major goal that follows from this research is educating and supporting teachers so they understand how important their interactions with children are during this transitional time." Find out more at Science Daily.

AND FINALLY, THIS. The January/Feburary issue of 2e Newsletter 10 years ago focused on the emotional side of 2e kiddos. Paid newsletter subscribers can find it in the subscriber-only area of the website; you know where that is, hopefully. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Highly Gifted People, Highly Sensitive People, and More

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY pointed to and summarized an article called "From Terman to Today: A Century of Findings on Intellectual Precocity." Psychology Today says the article "serves as an excellent resource for parents, students, and educators who are interested in the findings of two major longitudinal studies of the gifted which roughly span the last century, and more broadly the historical progression of research on the gifted." Read more.

HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSONS often inhabit the gifted and 2e communities, it seems. A TED talk by a woman entrepreneur addresses the topic and explains why we need to change the prevalent cultural narrative around highly sensitive people. She describes highly sensitive people this way: "I invite you to imagine living with all your senses on high alert. You also have a vivid inner world, where all of your emotions are magnified. Sadness is a deep sorry, and joy is pure ecstasy. You also care beyond reason, and empathize without limits. Imagine being in permanent osmosis with everything around you." Find the talk; there's also a transcript.

DYSLEXIA AND THE ARTS is the topic of a piece at NPR, where various artists describe how the condition has affected their creative process. The artists all presented narrative and visual works telling how they felt about dyslexia. Find the piece.

NEW AT TiLT PARENTING: "This episode is the first of several solocasts I’ll be doing focusing on homeschooling—not so much the nuts and bolts of it, although I will eventually share some strategies—but more the emotional side of what it was like to make the decision to homeschool. Because, as I’ve said in previous episodes, I was very much a ‘reluctant homeschooler.’" Find Episode 42 from the parent of a "differently-wired kid."

UNDERSTANDING THE 2e BRAIN is the title of a recent post at the site of Gifted Ed Matters. Written by Michael Postma, Ph.D., the blog post focuses on the role of chemistry in the often-baffling behavior of those 2e kiddos. In the blog, he describes some of the work of psychologist Beth Houskamp. Find the blog.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE has published its February newsletter. According to its publisher, "This month's Newsletter focuses on 2e kids and the classroom - addressing perfectionism, letting go of our adult egos, successfully diffusing challenging behavior, and noticing gender bias. The bottom line? Making personal connections allows us to be our best selves and brings out the best in others. " Find the newsletter.

  • The Mediterranean diet might protect against ADHD, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics and summarized at Medical News Today, which says "Compared with children who had high adherence to a Mediterranean diet, those with a low adherence were more likely to have received a diagnosis of ADHD, the researchers report." Read more
  • Treating the gut microbiome to increase microbe diversity resulted in reduced gastrointestinal symptoms associated with ASD as well as improving sleep habits and social skills in a recent study. Read more
  • An international team of scientists has unlocked some of the genes responsible for cognitive ability. The findings bring scientists a step closer to developing new -- and potentially better -- treatments for cognitive disorders of the brain, such as schizophrenia and ADHD. Find the study write-up.

Monday, January 30, 2017

"Have a Day," Parenting, Summer, and More

"HAVE A DAY!" Not, "have a good day"? Nope, different. Read something from that the Huffington Post picked up about why a 2e kiddo wanted his mom to use "have a day" instead of "have a good day." Maybe it applies at your house, too. Read more.

GENDER, BELIEFS ABOUT INTELLIGENCE. Two articles this week cover the topic of girls and their beliefs about intelligence. From an Atlantic article: "Among... 5-year-olds, both boys and girls associated brilliance with their own gender. But among those aged 6 or 7, only the boys still held to that view." A New York Times article covers the same study that was the basis for The Atlantic article. (Is there something culturally wrong with the way we raise girls?)

SUMMER'S COMING, although you wouldn't know it in the Chicago area. But it might be time to start thinking about summer. One reason is that some summer camps and programs fill up early. One example is Yunasa, and their deadline is March 6; find out more. Another example is Camp Summit; find out more. This was all prompted by the Child Mind Institute's decision to feature summer and holiday resources in its newsletter this week, eg "Summer and Sensory Processing Issues"; "How to Keep Kids Reading this Summer"; "Strategies for a Successful Summer Break"; and more. Find the resources.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has a new post on manners -- and not for kids, for parents, more specifically parents dealing with educators in setting such as IEP meetings. Find out what this organization thinks will help you develop a solid relationship with the IEP team.

EMOTIONAL REGULATION -- for parents. An article at Psychology Today addresses the challenge parents face in regulating their emotions while dealing with their children. The article offers a few tips for self-regulation, along with six very good reasons why parents should learn to regulate emotions. Find the article.

MENTORING. LD Online points out that this is National Mentor Month and also describes how how mentors can help kiddos with learning differences. LD Online shares a video featuring David Flink, founder or Eye to Eye, a mentoring organization, explaining how his first mentor influenced him. Find out more.

TALKING ADHD WITH THE PEDIATRICIAN? You're not alone. According to, kids with ADHD account for over six million pediatritian visits a year, up from four million a few years ago. Most of those visits wound up with a prescription for meds. Read more.

GRADE-SKIPPING is apparently done by just one percent of students now days. This compares to two out of seven children who might benefit from such acceleration. While the article provides plenty of reasons why schools don't do grade-skipping, it also points to efforts to jump-start it, such as A Nation Empowered, from the University of Iowa. Got a grade-skipping candidate in your house or classroom? Read more.

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR DEPRESSION? An article at Medical News Today takes on that question, saying, in part: "Essential oils do not cure depression and should not be used as an alternative to the treatment prescribed by a doctor. Essential oils can, however, be used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional treatments, such as behavioral therapy and antidepressants." Read more.

TREATING ASD SOCIAL DEFICITS. A mouse study indicates that an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis might improve social functioning in mice lacking a copy of a gene, PCDH10, associated with ASD. The mechanism is understood, apparently, but more research is required. Also from the study write-up: "Interestingly, the social behavior of male mice was more affected by reduced PCDH10 function than that of female mice, which correlates with the higher incidence of ASD in male humans." Find out more.

Friday, January 27, 2017


We in the 2e community have a stake in the way the U.S. Government’s Department of Education treats students who are gifted and students who have learning disabilities. Many in the education community – the Council for Exceptional Children,, the National Education Association, and Education Week, for example – have expressed concerns about the nominee to head the Department of Education in the current administration, Betsy DeVos. Particular issues you might want to pay attention to as you review her nomination are her inclination to try to privatize public schools by turning them into charter schools, her possible misunderstanding of IDEA, and her credentials in the area of education. We suggest if you have any interest in this issue that you:
This has been a divisive presidential campaign and aftermath in the United States. Our hope is that members of the 2e community will express their informed opinions on this issue of education secretary to legislators based on what members feel is best for their twice-exceptional children.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

FAPE, Section 504, ADHD in College, More

FAPE & SCOTUS. If you're following the Endrew F case in the Supreme Court, know that The Atlantic has an 1800-word piece on the potential effects of the Court's decision -- effects on kids, on education budgets, and on the states. Find the article.

SECTION 504 is the focus of the most recent Special Ed Advocate from Wrightslaw. Included: a new resource guide to Section 504; a "504 IQ" quiz; how to file a 504 complaint; and school retaliation based on 504 requests. Find Special Ed Advocate.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has published a new article, "Helping Kids with ADHD Succeed in College." Covered in the article: the benefits of an executive function coach for college students. Find the article.

NEW BLOGGER ON 2e. Psychologist and educational planner Devon MacEachron, who works with 2e kiddos and their families, has started blogging on the topic. Her first post is an excursion into the often murky and ill-defined areas of exceptionalities, Does a 2e kid have to be "globally" gifted? And how "disabled" does a 2e kiddo need to be. Find the blog.

TiLT PARENTING has released Episode 41 of its podcast series, this one titled "How to Foster a Genuine Love of Reading in Our Children." The guest is Dr. Colleen Carroll. Find the podcast.

COPAA is the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, and its annual conference is coming up in early March in Dallas, Texas. Here's what the organization says about its conference: "The COPAA Conference provides unique opportunities for training and networking with the most experienced and knowledgeable special education advocates and attorneys on special education issues. Participants attend to learn about the most recent cases, legislative changes, and the latest disability specific educational interventions." Find out more.

SURVEY PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. Two doctoral students at Southeastern University are conducting research and are looking for 2e adults. From the survey intro: "The purpose of this research study is to find adults who may identify as both gifted and learning challenged.... We would like to use the results to identify appropriate twice-exceptional subjects for participation in further research. This goal of this line of inquiry is to identify coping skills and personality traits of twice-exceptional adults that have helped them to succeed. Hopefully, we can use that information to help struggling twice-exceptional children." Find out more.

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, the movie, is being screened in Silver Springs Maryland on May 2. The event is hosted by With Understanding Comes Calm along with SENG, and a small fee applies. Find out more.

  • Antipsychotics for ADHD. The Toronto Sun reports on research indicating that 12 percent of Ontario children with ADHD were prescribed antipsychotic meds, in spite of what one expert calls "not a lot of evidence that they work for ADHD, [and] there’s good evidence that they could be harmful.” Read more
  • Relative age and diagnosis. An Australian study indicates that the younger children in a given school class are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and medicated. Find a study write-up
  • Primer. Medical News Today presents a primer on ADHD, noting the three types and covering treatment for the various types. Find the primer
  • Left behind. ADDitude contends that race and ethnicity play a part in whether ADHD is properly diagnosed and treated. "Evidence shows that people of color — black and Latino in particular — are much less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, even though they show symptoms at the same rate as white people. And if they are diagnosed, they aren’t as likely to receive treatment..." Read more.