Monday, May 18, 2009

From the Week of May 17th

GIFTED/LD ACHIEVER. The Emanuel family in the Chicago area has provided the nation with President Obama's chief of staff (Rahm), a special adviser to the Office of Management and Budget (Ezekiel), and the CEO of the second-largest talent agency in Hollywood (Ari), according to an article in The New Yorker. Which of the three gifted brothers has an LD? Ari, who had to achieve in spite of dyslexia and AD/HD. From the article: "Ari’s grades were invariably the lowest. Because he is dyslexic, he had trouble with words. And, because he has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, he had trouble concentrating on the words he was having trouble with." Read about some of Ari's childhood challenges.

GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS QUARTERLY's summer edition is out, with articles gifted education in China and parent/school communication in gifted education, among others. Find the Quarterly.

AUTISTIC ADVOCATE. Newsweek profiled 21-year-old Ari Ne'eman, an Aspie college student who has founded the non-profit Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. According to the article, Ne'eman champions "neurodiversity" and sees autism not only as a disability but as a different way of being. Advances in genetics related to autism bother him, and he's especially leery of any genetically-based prenatal test for autism. Read the article.

SENDING THAT BRIGHT, LD KID TO COLLEGE? Find out about the rights and protections your child has under Section 504 and ADA in this week's edition of the Wrightslaw Special Ed Advocate. Also read about accommodations, self-advocacy, and resources. Find Special Ed Advocate. You can also read a separate article from the Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram about college choices for young people with LDs; go there.

SYNCHRONICITY. The last issue of 2e Newsletter featured differentiation, and last week's EdWeek chat with Carol Ann Tomlinson was on the same topic. Now comes notice that Prufrock Press is offering a 20 percent discount on a book for teachers titled Differentiation Made Simple, by Mary Ann Carr. We've not read about the book or seen reviews, but if you believe in cosmic timing or things happening in three's, you can check it out at the Prufrock site.

YOU KNOW YOUR KID'S BRAIN IS DIFFERENT THAN YOURS. A study reported in Science Daily tells how:
Instead of having networks made of brain regions that are distant from each other but functionally linked, most of the tightest connections in a child's brain are between brain regions that are physically close to each other. But even though the brains may be organized differently, children as young as seven have brains that are capable. Says a researcher, "It's differently organized but at least as capable as an adult brain." Unfortunately, the article didn't say much about what the difference means in the real world of family and school. Read the report.

MORE ADVANCED PLACEMENT. EdNews.org's Michael Shaughnessy interviewed a researcher analyzing the use of AP classes and exams in the United States. Students are taking more courses and exams, evidently to help with college applications. Find out more.

ASPIES: LACKING EMPATHY OR FEELING TOO MUCH? The Toronto Star reported on a theory that Aspies feel too much -- that they are hypersensitive to experience and have an overwhelming fear response. Find the story. (On the other hand, the article also quotes an Asperger's Association official as saying, "If you've seen one Aspie, you've seen one Aspie.")

MOTHERS: HERE'S YOUR JUSTIFICATION for that morning sickness you had. You were carrying a bright kid. Researchers at a Toronto hospital studied a group of women who had morning sickness during pregnancy and compared them with a group who didn't have morning sickness. The result: the children of morning-sick mothers were somewhat more intelligent than children from the other group of mothers, as manifested in performance IQ scores and certain language skills. Read the article.

MORE NEWS as the week goes on...


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