Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Posting of 2010

WE THOUGHT WE WERE IN A NEWS DROUGHT during the first week of 2010, that perhaps we'd used up all of the news on twice-exceptionalities, child development, and gifted education in the last weeks of 2009. But, thankfully, not so. First, though, two non-news items.

REACTION TO "BAD RAP ON LEARNING STYLES." One of our readers, a clinical psychologist with a research degree (Ph.D.) who describes herself as a "
fairly educated individual who has spent many years on the inside of the research bubble arguing over and interpreting this kind of research," had this to say about the item we posted on December 19th: "I would interpret this article to suggest that the evidence for or against learning styles is inconclusive because the many studies reviewed lacked equivalent methodologies. This often happens when a meta-analytic study is done... There may indeed be such a thing as learning styles but the current research methods we use have not been able to clearly identify it. Like the authors, I would recommend more research that uses standardized protocols, which can be done. Reading this review from the standpoint of a parent and general consumer, I would be led to conclude that there is no such thing as learning styles, and that would be sad, because I have been able to provide better help to both my son and daughter with their schooling with the info I've gleaned on learning styles." Thanks, Janet.

THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY ISSUE OF 2e NEWSLETTER is on its way to subscribers. The 25-page issue focuses on what we can do for 2e children in the area of strategies to promote learning. Also included: Part 2 of Marlo Payne Thurman's article "Too Tired: Energy and Wellness in 2e Children." The Bridges Academy "Mythology of Learning" series concludes with a piece on ways to encourage organization in 2e children. Dr. Sylvia Rimm addresses stuttering in a bright young person, and Bob Seney enthusiastically reviews The Unfinished Angel. Columns and the Bridges article will be posted on the public area of within a week. Subscribers to the newsletter will then be able to find all content from this issue in the subscriber-only area.

SPEAKING OF RESEARCH, as we did in our first item, the Belin-Blank Center has announced this year's Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development, to be held on the University of Iowa campus on May 16-18. The Center describes the event as "internationally renowned for being one of the premiere scholarly conferences where the latest in gifted education research is presented." Find out more.

The New York Times ran an engaging story about a gifted young man at Princeton who had escaped the poverty and drug violence of Columbia, received his American schooling in a "gritty factory town," achieved valedictory honors, and was admitted to Princeton, where he continued to achieve in and out of the classroom. The problem: his green card was fake, and Princeton was asking to see his documents in response to a federal government requirement. How does the story end? You'll have to read the article.

AD/HD MEETS fMRI. Researchers at the University of Texas are using functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain activity of people with AD/HD, both on and off the drug Concerta. Evidently the researchers are still looking for additional subjects, so if you're in the San Antonio area and interested, check out the article.

AUTISM IN THE NEWS. Two news releases report on autism research. From the first: "
Researchers at UC Davis have identified 10 locations in California where the incidence of autism is higher than surrounding areas in the same region. Most of the areas, or clusters, are in locations where parents have higher-than-average levels of educational attainment. Because children with more educated parents are more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, one need look no further for a cause, the authors say. The other clusters are located close to major autism treatment centers." Find it. The second release describes an Israeli researcher's definition of "a new, integrated interpretation of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which makes it easier to understand both the commonalities and differences between ASD and other conditions." You can read the release here, but it looks as if you'll have to find the December issue of The Neuroscientist to get the details. Separately, President Obama's nomination to a seat on the National Council on Disability, a 22-year-old, outspoken Aspie, is thought by some to be "not quite autistic enough," according to a news article. Find out more.

UC DAVIS MIND INSTITUTE. The University of California at Davis, as we found when we went to the site to check out one of the press releases above, is home to the M.I.N.D. Institute, self-described as "a collaborative international research center, committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention, care and cure of neurodevelopmental disorders." On its site, the Institute offers a resource center with pointers to resources in a number of areas of interest to those who raise, teach, and counsel twice-exceptional children. Find it.

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