Saturday, August 21, 2010

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH AN LD. The Washington Post offers advice for parents of children with LDs or conditions such as AD/HD who are starting the school year. Drawing on the experience of Pam and Pete Wright as well as other experts, the article offers tips such as: know your rights; communicate ahead of time; prepare a statement of your concerns; and more. Find the article.

2e RESOURCE. Another reminder for the beginning of the school year -- the Colorado Department of Education has an online, 118-page resource book titled Twice-Exceptional Students: Gifted Students with Disabilities. The resource book contains information on identifying 2e students, IDEA considerations, planning and problem-solving, and case studies. Find the resource book.

AD/HD IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. Dr. David Rabiner pointed us to a piece on the ADDitude site about AD/HD in middle school and how to help students there with homework, classwork, social skills, and organizing. If your bright young person needs this help, check out the site.

ASD AND SENSORY PROCESSING. Science Daily reports on a study showing that children on the autism spectrum process sensory information differently than typically developing children. They apparently have difficulty dealing with sensory input from multiple sources
-- sight, sound, and touch. ASD kids' brains responded more slowly and to a lesser level to multi-sensory stimuli. Read more.

MEDITATION CAN HELP REGULATE BEHAVIOR? A study showed that students trained in meditation developed new fibers in the part of the brain that helps regulate behavior, but study write-ups did not evaluate changes in subjects' behavior, just the structural changes. The type of meditation is IBMT (integrative mind-body training), evidently not currently available in the United States. Read more.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. A columnist for ZDNET reviewed a smartpen by Livescribe recently, then did a follow-up column on the pen's possibilities for students with learning challenges. The pen allows users to record what is written (using special paper) and also what is being said. The sound and writing capture are synchronized. Read the initial review, where the reviewer claims "This is a genuinely disruptive [in a good sense] tool that can change the way students and teachers interact in the classroom." Read the follow-up, in which he gets more specific about how kids with special issues can use the pen.

"WE DO NOT ACCELERATE" -- and so a gifted Canadian 10-year-old who has completed Grade 8 in a private school will not be allowed to enter public school at the Grade 9 level. Instead, the board wants him to enter at Grade 6. The boy, according to the article, says "I'd get really bored doing Grade 6 again." Find the story.

PESTICIDES AND AD/HD. More to worry about -- CBS News reports on a study linking pesticides used in food production to a two-times-higher risk of receiving an AD/HD diagnosis. One thousand kids were tested in the study, which was reported in Pediatrics. Read the CBS report. See the Pediatrics abstract.

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