Sunday, June 7, 2009

From the Week of June 7th

GIFTED EDUCATION QUARTERLY'S Maurice Fisher is the subject of an interview at Fisher talks about starting the publication, the current issue, and his choices for topics which need more discussion in the area of gifted education. Find the interview.

FOLLOW-UP. Our posts during the week of May 17th included one about three high-achieving Emanuel brothers, one of whom, Ari, has AD/HD and dyslexia. A New York Times article this week profiling Ari includes mention of the difficulties and quotes Ari as saying that, for dyslexics, efforts to overcome their disabilities
“actually provides them with insight to find inventive solutions to life and in business that others when they’re in those situations probably never find." The article also mentions a YouTube video in which Emanuel discusses his dyslexia. Find the article (it's mostly on Emanuel's business activities). Find the YouTube video (Ari is about 5 minutes into the video).

FOR PARENTS. The issue of the extent of parental control exists in any parent/child relationship, but with gifted children it may take on additional significance. A movie called "Vitus" portrays a young man who is intellectually and musically gifted. His parents put a lot of pressure on him in terms of how he should use his gifts; and Vitus' reaction to that pressure is at the crux of the movie. From a review in the Los Angeles Times: "
It's admittedly cynical and materialistic when it comes to some of the things Vitus uses his brilliance for, but its warmth and allure takes your mind off its baser instincts. So few films successfully capture the wonders of childhood or the challenges faced by families with gifted children." Read the review. Your amateur movie critics at 2e Newsletter recommend this movie.

DO YOU FOLLOW HIGH SCHOOL RANKINGS? Newsweek has issued its annual ranking of public high schools; find it.

PROFOUNDLY GIFTED? Check out the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) at Mary Baldwin College. But be forewarned, it's for young women only. The typical student starts after middle school and graduates in four years. An article in Education Week describes the program; find it.

MORE ON MUSIC THERAPY. You might remember two mentions of music as therapy in previous posts. An article in the New York Daily News describes how one doctor contends that music can help people with different kinds of brain damage and conditions such as autism and AD/HD through such effects as establishing new pathways, increasing dopamine production, or coordinating areas of the brain. Read it.

ADAPTING TO LEARNING PROBLEMS. One of the lead paragraphs in an article in the Pennsylvania Patriot-News went like this: "'She seemed to struggle and yet was so very bright,' said Jenny Rubin of Harrisburg. 'On one of her first spelling tests, all the words were correctly spelled but were mirrored letters.'" The article went on to discuss parents' reactions to the discovery of LDs, reading problems and interventions, and how kids can adapt or overcome such problems. Find the article.

EXERCISE AND LEARNING. Exercise helps students in lots of ways, and here's a kernel from an article in Edutopia that says it all. "Not only can regular workouts in the gym or on the playground improve attention span, memory, and learning, they can also reduce stress and the effects of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and even delay cognitive decline in old age." Find out more at Edutopia.

EEG TO DIAGNOSE AD/HD? We've mentioned in previous posts that most doctors don't recommend brain imaging as a diagnostic tool, but that may be changing. An article in MIT's Technology Review describes a product from an Israeli company that builds on recent enhancements in the technology to detect brain patterns characteristic of conditions such as stroke victims and individuals with AD/HD. The company hopes to have a product ready for clinical use in 18 months. Read the article.

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