Friday, January 15, 2010

THE NEW ISSUE OF THE DUKE GIFTED LETTER IS OUT, and it contains articles dealing with the myths of giftedness; advocating for gifted kids; advanced placement classes; and "proficiency" and gifted students. Find the issue.

THE CURRENT ISSUE OF 2e NEWSLETTER has been posted at Subscribers may find the complete content in the subscriber-only area; non-subscribers may read select articles and columns here, including the concluding article in the "Mythology of Learning" series and columns by Bob Seney (on books for 2e kids) and Dr. Sylvia Rimm (advice for parents of gifted and 2e kids).

THE FACE OF DYSLEXIA, this year, anyway, is a 17-year-old student at Miami University of Ohio, Jessica Byington. The award is given by the International Dyslexia Association to a student who refuses to be hindered by dyslexia. In the case of Byington, she went from finding words to be meaningless symbols in first grade to -- after lots of tutoring and work -- being able to read at the 12th-grade level when she was in grade 4. Find out more.

BIOFEEDBACK IN AD/HD. UK researchers have shown that EEG biofeedback can help impulse control in children with AD/HD. The children played a computer game while wearing a helmet that used EEG to track attention; if attention wavered, the game would stop. One researcher said, "Mind-controlled educational computer games technology is the only intervention shown to reduce the core symptoms of ADHD, historically medication may have been prescribed for the child." Read more.

DIAGNOSING AD/HD. Up until now, diagnosing AD/HD had depended on behavior observation; there has been no physical evidence. However, a study from the UC Davis MIND Institute indicates that two brain areas fail to connect when children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder attempt a task that measures attention. The disconnect was found by measuring electrical brain rhythms. Read more.

NEW DRUG FOR AD/HD. Current Psychiatry Online reports on a recently-approved extended release drug for AD/HD, Guanfacine. Those of you interested in the technical details -- such as the fact that Guanfacine extended release (GXR) is a selective α-2 adrenergic agonist that enhances noradrenergic pathways through selective direct receptor action in the prefrontal cortex -- may go here. The brand name is Intuniv; the manufacturer is Shire.

IDEA ADVOCATES, UNITE -- and go to the site of the Council for Exceptional Children to see how you can influence Congress in terms of funding IDEA.

BLOGGING ABOUT BOYS. Jennifer Fine, a freelance writer and homeschooling mom, recently brought up the topic of "twice exceptional" on her blog. She also offers a survey for those who homeschool boys. Find the blog.

CRAZY LIKE US. We recently heard Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us, interviewed on NPR. His book is subtitled "The Globalization of the American Psyche." Watters contends that we have exported the way we look at mental health, and in doing so we change symptoms and disease prevalence in other societies and cultures. He addresses the question, how does culture affect mental illness? On YouTube, you can see a three-minute, publisher-sponsored video of Watters talking about the book; watch it. (One good line, "We are homogenizing the way the world goes mad.")

ANOTHER REASON TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT BEING A PARENT. Science Daily reports on a new Brigham Young University study which found that parenthood is associated with lower blood pressure, particularly so among women. A researcher cautions making hasty decisions based on the study results, however, saying, "This doesn't mean the more kids you have, the better your blood pressure. The findings are simply tied to parenthood, no matter the number of children or employment status." Read the report.

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