Friday, July 13, 2018


Please follow our blog at its new location at the "refreshed" Glen Ellyn Media website. Thanks!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Parenting, Mental Health, Equity in Education, More

COMING SOON: National Parenting Gifted children Week, the third week in July, co-sponsored by SENG and NAGC. It’s official – at least, you can find it at the “National Day Calendar” – but we’re not seeing much about it this year. How come?

SENG is offering a webinar with psychologist Devon MacEachron on July 12. The topic: “Plato Parenting,” based on “uncovering and nourishing your child’s passions.” A fee applies. Find out more.

  • The Washington Post covers tech tools that can assist in mental health, “from apps to avatars” they say. The article acknowledges the “wild west” nature of the field but points to several apps that, for example, help connect those in need to those who might help at any particular moment. Find the article.
  • Two states have enacted laws requiring schools to provide mental health education as part of the curriculum. Find out more about how New York and Virginia hope to help students become aware of and deal with mental health issues.
SOMETHING WE’D NOT THOUGHT OF – that’s the topic of a book on how the design of the world around them can influence and shape children. The New York Times asks the author of the book The Design of Childhood questions about her book. It’s a brief intro to the topic and book. The author says, “For anyone interested in child development, design or architecture, my book uncovers the thinking behind toys and children’s spaces and shows how parents, teachers and planners can foster kids’ independence and creativity.” Find the piece.

ADDITUDE’S most popular article last week was evidently one titled “Face It – People with ADHD Are Wired Differently.” From the article: “The most current research on brain imaging is starting to let us trace the wiring, so we can untangle the misconceptions that experts, as well as those with ADHD, have about the disorder and the brain. Our new understanding of the brain promises to change the way we treat ADHD.” Find the article.

  • Depression. A psychedelic concoction made from Amazonian plants is being tested as a potential help for treatment-resistant depression. Find a study write-up
  • IQ. Scientists have developed a way to predict a person’s intelligence based on resting-state fMRI scans. Find the study write-up
  • Anxiety. Most young people (78 percent) treated for anxiety disorders do not remain anxiety-free. Find the study write-up

  • We wrote last week about a Michigan judge who dismissed a suit brought by students against Detroit schools claiming that conditions and outcomes in their schools violated their right to access to literacy. According to Chalkbeat, the decision will be appealed. 
  • You’ve heard about recent instances of people getting into trouble for selling bottled water while black (as a kid) and campaigning for public office while black (as an incumbent). USA Today reports the story of a young man whose situation we interpret as “being smart while black.” Despite that fact that he was the valedictorian of his graduating high school class at a public charter school in Rochester, New York, he was denied a chance to give a valedictory speech – possibly because of past run-ins with the school principal. The town’s mayor invited him to present his talk. Read more.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Dyslexia, The Right to Education, SENG Conference, More

2eNEWSLETTER.COM. We recently moved our domain registration for to a new registrar and are getting some flaky results when we try to access the site. We suggest omitting "www" and using We're working to resolve the issue.

SUCCESS STORY. Perhaps you've heard of the RXBAR, protein bar developed by young entrepreneurs in the Chicago area and sold to Kellog's for lots of money. One of the entrepreneurs is profiled in Forbes, which brings out the fact that the young man is dyslexic; the author of the article writes that the young man was "long accustomed to everything being more difficult." Find the article. There's a wrinkle here. The young man, Peter Rahal, grew up across the street from our family in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. (His uncle was an Indy race car driver.) We say, good for him!

DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE has an article by a clinical psychologist on how parents and teachers can help with the social and emotional side of dyslexia. Find it.

A SETBACK? A Michigan judge, ruling against a lawsuit brought by students in Detroit schools over their education, apparently thinks that a decent education is not a constitutional right. According to an article in The New York Times, the judge said that “access to literacy” — which he also referred to as a “minimally adequate education” — was not a fundamental right. Find the article.

UNDERSTOOD offers a blog posting on how to respond when people ask whether ADHD is real; find it. Understood is also hosting on July 9 an expert chat titled "Early Signs of Reading Issues -- and What to Do." Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING'S latest podcast is on "surviving and thriving over the summer break." Find it.

2e2. The video "2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional" is now available on DVD. Find the official preview as well as information about ordering at the producer's website.

THE ANNUAL SENG CONFERENCE is later this month. If you'd like perspective on what attending the conference is like, check out a somewhat dated but probably still relevant article by this year's conference co-chair, Jane Hesslein. While her tips and suggestions were geared to the 2011 Seattle conference, keep in mind that San Diego, the site of this year's conference, makes transposing some of her tips (such as "get out on the water") easy. Find the perspective.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Help GHF, Mental Health at College, Asych Development & Relationships, More

RESOURCES FOR IMMIGRATION FACILITIES. Gifted Homeschoolers Forum is prepared to ship bilingual informational brochures on giftedness and twice-exceptionality to border detention facilities as part of a package of child development resources. GHF’s stated purpose is to provide “context and understanding to parents, social workers, and facility personnel.” The problem? Money. GHF, a non-profit organization, is asking for donations to help defray the cost of supplying the brochures. You may find out more at the organization’s Facebook page.

MENTAL HEALTH AT COLLEGE. Here’s the introductory paragraph of a Washington Post article on the topic: “Mental-health problems among college students have been climbing since the 1990s, according to the American Psychological Association. And with services increasingly stretched at campus health centers, students have been taking action themselves through peer-run mental-health clubs and organizationsThe approach appears to be paying off…” Find the article.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. In a new blog posting, psychologist Gail Post writes about how asynchronous development can affect relationships. She describes asynchrony and its effects (even into adulthood), and three ways parents can help their out-of-sync children. Find Gifted Challenges.

TiLT PARENTING’S newest podcast is on picky eating. TiLT founder Debbie Reber says, “In this episode of the TiLT Parenting Podcast, I’m talking with Jennifer Scribner, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and the author of the new book, From Mac & Cheese to Veggies, Please. How to Get Your Kid to Eat New Foods, End Picky Eating Forever, and Stay Sane in the Process, which is based on Jennifer’s work with hundreds of clients and details how any parent can dramatically change the diet of their pickiest kids.Find the podcast.

DISSERTATION ON GIFTED UNDERACHIEVEMENT. A Morgridge College EdD’s dissertation was honored by the college. The dissertation, titled “Underachievement of Creatively Gifted High School Students,” examines why underachievement may affect creatively gifted students. The author established the themes of interaction of creativity and underachievement; motivation; student perception of self; and student autonomy (or lack thereof). Read more.

A 2e TEASE. A brief story at St. Louis station left us wanting more information. The Miriam Academy in St. Louis serves students who learn differently, including the twice-exceptional, according to the story. And the school has partnered with a furniture store to give students the opportunity to pick up out-of-the-classroom skills. Find the story – what more of it there is to read.  Or, read more about Miriam Academy.

  • On IEPs, from Science Daily: “Academic struggles can also create significant stress and anxiety for children and families, a new study finds. Using a 15-question survey in families of children on IEP plans, researchers document actionable levels of distress.” Find the study write-up.
  • On ASD training for teachers, from NewsWise: “In a new study, children whose teachers received specialized training “were initiating more, participating more, having back-and-forth conversations more, and responding to their teachers and peers more frequently.” Find the study write-up.
  • On anxiety in young people, from Science Daily: “For the majority of affected youth, anxiety disorders are chronic, even after a successful course of evidence-based treatments, a new study finds.Find the study write-up.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

2e Advocacy, Excellence Gap, Dyslexia, More

ADVOCACY. In 2e Newsletter we sometimes highlight what individuals and groups have done (or can do) to boost awareness of and the rights of twice-exceptional children. A recent issue of The New York Times features an excerpt from a resource the Times publishes called "How to Participate In Politics." The excerpt, titled "How to Lobby Lawmakers," echoes and reinforces some of the tips we've relayed from @NAGCGIFTED Director of Government and Affiliate Relations William Knudsen. Find the excerpt (scroll down to 'How to Lobby Lawmakers")... and then consider how you might put the tips into action for the benefit of your family and the 2e community!

ACHIEVEMENT GAP TO EXCELLENCE GAP. The New York Times offers an article on the "excellence gap." If you've been paying attention to NAGC recently you're heard the term; in fact, NAGC's executive director Rene Islas is quoted in the article. Here's a paragraph that might tell you whether you want to read it: "Now, with test-score gaps narrowing but remaining stubbornly persistent after years of efforts, some in the education field are taking a fresh look at programs for advanced students that once made them uneasy, driven by the same desire to help historically disadvantaged groups. They are concerned not just with the achievement gap, measured by average performance, but the 'excellence gap; they hope to get more students from diverse backgrounds to perform at elite levels." Find the article, and note the relatively sparing use of the term "gifted."

DYSLEXIA. A dyslexic writer for Wired takes on a tour of her own personal journey, plus her investigations into the writing assistant Grammerly, fMRI research into brain activity during dyslexic interventions, eyetracking software to diagnose dyslexia, and more. One interesting quote from a researcher: "Research has shown that there are neurons that are literally tuned to [a particular] word. They own this word." Find the article, and thanks to Rich Weinfeld for pointing us to it.

MORE ON DYSLEXIA. Sometimes we learn history from obituaries, as we did this week with the death notice of Diana King, She was, according to her obit, "...a master teacher who helped generations of students struggling to read fluently, write and spell — and being stigmatized for it — because of an often undiagnosed learning disability called dyslexia." An interview a few years ago captured her saying this: "We continue to see the tragedy of a bright child coming home from school in the second or third grade in tears — ‘I’m the dumbest kid in all of the second grade’ — and getting stomach aches before they go to school, and all of this totally unnecessary and totally preventable." Find the obit.

EDUTOPIA offers tips for getting introverts to engage in class. Find them.

UNDERSTOOD has an upcoming expert chat with Ellen Braaten on "Understanding Working Memory." The chat is on July 2 at 12 noon eastern time. Find out more.

  • Causes of ADHD. "A study of 30,000 children from seven European countries found no association between prenatal exposure to air pollution and symptoms of attention-deficit and hyperactivity." Find the study write-up
  • School and IQ. "Children who have a higher early IQ are more likely to stay in school longer, according to a meta-analysis in the journal Psychological Science. But more importantly for teachers, for every year of education, students also gain on average one to five IQ points, with gains that continue into old age." Find the study write-up.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Endrew F Strikes Again; Graduation Advice, Including from a 2e ER Doctor; and More

ENDREW F STRIKES AGAIN. Education consultant Rich Weinfeld served as the expert witness for a 2e student in a case involving the appropriateness of the student's IEP and whether the local school district should pay for the student's placement at the private school to which the student's parents had moved him. According to Weinfeld, "The administrative law judge applied Endrew F throughout and concluded that a student who she had previously ruled was receiving FAPE, was not longer receiving FAPE by the Supreme Court's Endrew F standards. The result was a decision that the school district must fund a private placement that programs effectively for 2e students." You may find a copy of the 54-page decision online. A discussion of the case begins on page 26; the judge's orders are on page 53. Way to go, Rich!

UNEXPECTED. From the Washington Post: "People who know Sef Scott know he doesn’t normally speak. The 17-year-old from Plano, Tex., has autism, and other than quoting lines from favorite movies, he is mostly nonverbal. So the members of the Plano Senior High School Class of 2018 — along with Sef’s relatives and even his father — were stunned June 9 when he took the mic and addressed his fellow graduates." Read more, and view the unexpected -- and moving -- speech.

SPEAKING OF GRADUATION -- The New York Times solicited graduation advice from readers, with the caveat that the advice had to be under 50 words. One example: “Regardless of the walls you bump against during your roller-coaster ride, there will be moments in your life which bring you to tracks of clarity, where what you really want from life clicks.” Find the advice.

AND ANOTHER SPEECH, this one from an emergency room doctor who writes about his grade school experiences, "I had to go to early classes for kids with learning disabilities and, in fact, I was the last kid in my class to be allowed to write with a ballpoint pen." Now practicing in the community where he grew up, he says he still hears this: “You’re a doctor? I thought you were stupid. Can I see some ID, a diploma, something like that?” Read more about the doctor and find some of his speech.

SENG has scheduled a webinar for June 26 titled "The Importance of Supporting Parents and Families of Gifted/Talented and Twice-Exceptional Children and Youth." A fee applies. Find out more.

SCIENCE, RESEARCH, all from Science Daily.
  • Autism blood test. "One year after researchers published their work on a physiological test for autism, a follow-up study confirms its exceptional success in assessing whether a child is on the autism spectrum." Find the study write-up.
  • Genes and psychiatric disorders. "Researchers explored the genetic connections between brain disorders at a scale far eclipsing previous work on the subject. The team determined that psychiatric disorders share many genetic variants, while neurological disorders (such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's) appear more distinct. The results indicate that psychiatric disorders likely have important similarities at a molecular level, which current diagnostic categories do not reflect." Find the study write-up
  • Neurocircuits, treatment. "The findings of the studies highlight the complexity of brain inhibitory systems and the importance of taking a subtype-, circuit- and neuronal population-specific approach to develop future therapeutic strategies using cell type-specific drug delivery." Find the study write-up

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Brain Balance Centers, Self-Advocacy, SPD, and More

BRAIN BALANCE CENTERS. If you're considering obtaining treatment from a Brain Balance Center for your child, you might be interested in a recent NPR story on the organization. We also pointed to psychologist Devon MacEachron's blog posting on this alternative therapy several weeks ago.

EDUTOPIA presents a piece on self-advocacy for young people with LDs -- why it's important, what the research says, and how we can change things to allow young people to become better self-advocates. One "take-off" point: using the IEP as a learning experience for this skill. From the article: "Research shows that students who practice self-advocacy skills (those skills associated with understanding one’s rights and needs and communicating and acting on that understanding) and self-determination (the capacity to be the primary agent in one’s learning and life) have improved educational and life outcomes when compared to those who don’t." Find the article.

SENSORY PROCESSING. Understood offers resources on sensory processing issues:
  • A fact sheet to "get essential information about how sensory issues can affect kids" -- and to give to teachers. Find it
  • Pointers to what Understood calls "eight sensory-friendly games to help meet your child’s sensory needs." Find it
  • And "7 Tips for Taking Kids With Sensory Processing Issues to the Movies." Find the tips
EDUCATION POLICY, LAW. The Council for Exceptional Children's "Policy Insider" provides information on what education funding will look like for FY2019. Basically spending is unchanged from 2018, although it could be worse. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is a discussion with psychologist/author Dawn Huebner about her new book, Outsmarting Worry: An Older Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety. Find the podcast.

  • ADHD meds. "Results of a prospective longitudinal cohort study published in Pediatrics suggest that long-term medication adherence among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is correlated with treatment acceptance and parent perception of medication need." Find the study write-up
  • Southpaws and mental health treatment. "Treatment for the most common mental health problems could be ineffective or even detrimental to about 50 percent of the population, according to a radical new model of emotion in the brain." Find the study write-up
  • Vitamin, dietary supplements in young people. "A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that since 2003, the use of alternative medicines, such as herbal products and nutraceuticals, among children has doubled. The University of Illinois at Chicago researchers who conducted the study cite an increased use of Omega-3 fatty acids and melatonin among adolescents ages 13 to 18 as the primary driver of the change, despite clinical recommendations against use of such supplements in children." Find the study write-up