Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A LITTLE HELP FROM THE 2e COMMUNITY, PLEASE. A family moving to the Edwardsville, Illinois, area is looking for a school for their nine-year-old 2e son, who is thriving in his current IB elementary school, according to the family. Now, Edwardsville is near St. Louis, and our reader says she doesn't mind if her husband "has to drive awhile" to get to work in Edwardsville, which should widen the choices. If anyone has suggestions or advice, please post here with your email address (we won't make it public) or email us and we'll forward it on for direct communication with the family. (Subscribers, you know where to find us anyway.) Thanks!

YES I CAN! CEC has announced the winners of the 2010 "Yes I Can" awards, which will be presented on April 23rd. The awards recognize achievement by young people with disabilities in nine areas -- academics, arts, athletics, community service, employment, extracurricular activities, independent living, self-advocacy, and technology. See the winners and their stories at the CEC site.

UNWRAPPING THE GIFTED. Blogger Tamara Fisher previews upcoming webinars on giftedness from NAGC and SENG. Read more.

SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, on a roll with the topic of IEPs, continues its coverage this week with articles on documenting IEP concerns, getting the IEP revised, including parent and teacher training in an IEP,and using academic standards to develop IEP goals. If that twice-exceptional child you know has an IEP, check out the issue.

INSTANT REWARDS LIKE MEDICINE. British researchers have reported that the brains of AD/HD kids respond to instant rewards the same way they respond to medications such as Ritalin, although not to the same degree. One researcher, according to the report, says that the combination of drugs and incentives produced the best results, and might mean children with AD/HD could take lower doses of drugs while maintaining control of their behavior. Find out more from BBC.

SOLVING THE PUZZLE OF AUTISM is the title of a new article posted at the Dana Foundation site. Like most articles there, this is not "light reading," but rather a 3,700-word piece about which the editor says in a preface: "Desperate to understand and to cure autism, many activists argue that the disorder can be traced to a single source. But in order to understand autism, writes Alan Packer of the Simons Foundation, we first need to determine the genetic, neuronal, and behavioral elements at play. These elements, argues Packer, are more complex than those involved in cancer. Researchers will then need to translate their understanding of autism into treatments, an undertaking that will require a long-term, interdisciplinary approach." Read the article.

LEARNING SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. The New York Times points to some websites that help those interested in using all of "mind-boggling volume" of free educational material on the web. The sites include Academic Earth, Connexions, the OpenCourseWare Consortium, Open Culture, ITunesU and YouTube, and Highlights for High School. Find the article and educate yourself -- or that gifted young person in your life.

HARD 2 SPEL DAD is the title of a play in performance in Dallas. It's the result of a long chain of dyslexic-related experiences by several families and organizations, starting with a mother whose daughter's diagnosis in the 1970s made her feel "like someone had run over me with a large truck." The mom came up with her own teaching methods and introduced her daughter to theater. The play, scripted a generation after the daughter's diagnosis but based on her experiences, features a young actress who also has dyslexia. Read more.

EDUFEST. If summer's coming, so is EduFest, the annual, late-July Idaho skill-building conference for educators, school psychologists, and administrators involved in gifted education. The conference also features a parents' day on the Saturday prior to the conference, July 24th. Session descriptions have been posted. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS, from an April 21st press release by the U.S. Census Bureau. "Today marks the birthday of a German educator most Americans have never heard of but whose ideas about how young children learn have had a profound effect on many generations. His name was Friedrich Froebel, born in 1782. He believed that directed play was an important part of each child's education -- a theory that led to the establishment of the first kindergarten -- literally, "children's garden." The first kindergarten in a U.S. public school opened in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1873. Underlining the acceptance of Froebel's ideas across the country, more than 3.5 million youngsters now go to public school kindergarten each day. A half-million attend private kindergartens." To see more census "daily features," go here.

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