Sunday, April 18, 2010

KIDS AND MEDS. Here's an interesting dilemma. You have a 12-year-old son with a disorder that could be helped by medication, but the child refuses to take the meds. Should you try to sneak the med into his food? Doctors queried on this issue by The New York Times, in conjunction with an inquiry from parents of a child with OCD, recommended against "sneaking" the meds. The professionals suggested that the older the child, the more active the child's role should be in his healthcare. Read the column.

SHUT-DOWN LEARNERS. Michael Shaughnessy interviewed Dr. Richard Selznick, author of a newly-released book called The Shut-down Learner. Selznick's basic formula is:
Cracks in the foundation + time + largely ignored skill deficits + emotional issues developing = shut down learner. Selznick also believes that hands-on, tactile learners are more at risk for being shut down. Read the interview.

INTERACTING WITH BOOKS. A Kansas State University professor finds that using Kindle and its interactive features allow children to become more involved with what they're reading. The e-reader has features that make the text audible, increase or decrease font size and let readers make notes about the book. The professor said that sometimes students make comments summarizing the plot, therefore reinforcing their understanding of the book. Other times they ponder character development, jotting down things like "If I were him, I'd say no way!" Find out more.

DYSLEXIA BLOG. The author of Dyslexia My Life recently posted a blog interview on the topic of giftedness and learning disabilities. The interviewee was Dr. James Russell, who teaches on the topic of assessing exceptional students; he also counsels and assesses adults and adolescents with learning disabilities. Russell discusses some the burdens of being GT/LD. Find the blog.

DIAGNOSING CHILDHOOD BIPOLAR DISORDER. The National Institute of Mental health reports on a series of imaging studies that apparently reveal that the brain works differently in youth with bipolar disorder (BD) than in chronically irritable children who are often diagnosed with pediatric BD. The update discusses the differences between BD and chronic, severe irritability distinct from BD, and also describes how the brain differences were detected. Find it.

ON TEMPERAMENT. Developmental psychologist Jerome Kagan has a new book out, titled
The Temperamental Thread, describing the nature of the traits that shape our responses to our experiences. At the Dana Foundation website, he is interviewed about temperament -- "how temperament affects personality, whether it can predict your future, and how it might influence a doctor deciding which medical treatment may work best for you." Find the interview, and see if it explains anything about that temperamental gifted child you raise or teach.

THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN. While browsing the Dana website looking for recently-added material, we found an article from 2007 titled "The Adolescent Brain -- The Dana Guide." The topics covered are: sorting out adolescence from puberty, behind the scenes in the adolescent brain, healthy risks, unhealthy risks, mental disorders, and the kaleidoscope of changes. Got a gifted or 2e adolescent you can't figure out? Read it.

GIFTEDNESS IN THE NEWS. If you like to keep track of news pertaining to giftedness or gifted education across the United States, the National Association for Gifted Children maintains a page of current news items -- 20 for the most recent week. Find the page.

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