Sunday, August 9, 2009

From the Week of August 2nd

KNOW A DISTRACTIBLE KID? Blame working memory. Science Daily reports on a study of how a person's working memory capacity affects distractibility. As you might expect, students with a high memory storage capacity are better able to ignore distractions. Read about the study.

EDUCATIONAL JUSTICE FOR ALL. At, Michael Shaughnessy interviews Robert Denham, the head of a program teaching educational justice to doctoral students. Denham defines educational justice as "
providing education to all students on an equitable basis."
In the interview, Denham touches on educational justice for students with special needs. Read the interview.

EDUCATIONAL INJUSTICE? If so, on whose part? A Pennsylvania School District has sued the mother of two gifted children, one 2e, to recoup attorney's fees expended in dealing with "frivolous and harassing" legal maneuvers by the parent under IDEA. According to an article in The Morning Call, the parent has requested 22 due process hearings and demanded a Mandarin interpreter at special education meetings. Will this have a "chilling effect" on parental requests for their gifted and twice-exceptional students? Read the article.

IF YOU'RE THE MOTHER OF A 2e KID, THIS WILL SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU. Forbes profiled several working-professional moms who have kids with special needs like AD/HD and LDs. 2e Newsletter readers will be familiar with many of the terms used in the article to describe how the moms deal with their kids and with school: "expert jugglers"; "Herculean amount of time," a "second job"; to "champion"; and "negotiation." Find the article.

VISUAL PROCESSING AND "READING" OTHERS. Researchers suggest that visual processing problems may contribute to the problems experienced by autistic and Asperger's individuals in identifying emotions in others. Find a report.

DAVIDSON ACADEMY. USA Today published an article about the Davidson Academy in Reno, Nevada. The Institute is a free public school for profoundly gifted young people. The article focuses on one student and includes quotes from the Academy's Colleen Harsin and NAGC's Jane Clarenbach. Find the article.

ASPIE ACHIEVER. The Hinesville, Georgia, Coastal Courier profiled a young man with autism who graduated from his high school as valedictorian and will enter college as a sophomore. Find out what the young man has to say about his challenges and his school experiences. Separately, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article on a California college for autistics; read it. Still more on ASD: The New York Times notes that three new movies revolve around Asperger's Syndrome. Says one of the directors,
The more I learned about Asperger’s, the better metaphor it felt like for the condition of all of us in terms of a desire for connection to other people.” Find the article.

WRIGHTSLAW SUMMER SCHOOL. Special Ed Advocate has issued Part 2 of "Summer School for Advocates." Wrightslaw promises: "
Learn how to use IDEA, NCLB, and state academic standards to get schools to provide the programs and services a child needs. You'll also learn what the law requires and where to find it." Find the newsletter.

BEING DIFFERENT. Kansas State University researchers are looking into how children perceive peers with characteristics such as obesity, aggressiveness, and AD/HD. Empathy may come from having personal experience with the characteristic, or from feeling that the characteristic is not under the control of the peer. Otherwise, children may respond unfavorably. Read about the study.

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