Saturday, October 30, 2010

LDs AT HARVARD. Most of us would admit that Harvard University students are likely to be pretty bright. But, like students everywhere, some of them have LDs and other conditions that affect academic performance. And, like other universities, Harvard has an office that helps those students succeed. An article in the Harvard Crimson profiles some of the 250 students who take advantage of the office. Read the article. Separately, the Monterey County Herald highlighted several area colleges that "enable the disabled"; find the article
NAGC CONFERENCE COMING UP. The annual convention of the National association for Gifted Children takes place Novembef 11-14 in Atlanta, Georgia. The audience consists primarily of educators, but the conference also features a Parent Day. Plenty of sessions usually are relevant to raising and teaching twice-exceptional children. More information.
DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. The 2010 Davidson Fellows received their awards in a ceremony in Washington, DC, in September. In her blog "Gifted Exchange," Laura Vanderkam profiles some of the Fellows. The Institute has also announced that applications for 2011 Davidson Fellows Scholarshipse are available, as are applications for the 2011 THINK Summer Institute. Find out more at the Institute site.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ALMOST CAUGHT UP... Which is a good thing, because the November briefing will come out in a few days, and items in the briefing will come from this month's blog posts. Read on...
UP AND RUNNING: THE LANG SCHOOL. Micaela Bracamonte's new private school for 2e students 6 to 11 was featured in an article at recently. Bracamonte, who has documented her thoughts on 2e education in a recent article for 2e Newsletter, currently hosts 13 children. Find out more.
ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. David Rabiner's latest issue is online, and the topic is "friendship quality in children with AD/HD." Rabiner discusses a study that showed, overall, that friendships of children who have AD/HD are of lower quality. Read more about the results and the implications.
WRIGHTSLAW. The most recent edition of Special Ed Advocate contains another chunk of information on assistive technology -- strategies for negotiating about it with the school, how to include it in an IEP, and a success story. Find the newsletter.
ELECTRONIC READERS AND READING PROBLEMS. Education Week covers the pros and cons of e-readers (eg, Kindle, iPad) for students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. If your bright student has reading difficulties, check out the article.
PRECOCIOUS AND DYSLEXIC. That's the subject of an article in the Arizona Republic about a young boy who as falling behind in his early grades, then diagnosed with severe dyslexia. He overcame many issues with the help of a reading-intervention therapist, and now, at 14, enjoys reading, art, and guitar, according to the article. Read more.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

STILL BEHIND but catching up. Here are today's offerings from recent new reports, resources, and websites concerning giftedness, LDs, child development, parenting, and teaching. 
TURNING AD/HD INTO A BOOK. A writer/reporter in California has written a book about AD/HD, her son, and herself. NPR highlighted the book and published an excerpt. Find it.
POLLING ABOUT LDs. A poll taken earlier this year of 1000 adults shows misconceptions about learning disabilities, according to an article in Education Week. For example, most people consider AD/HD to be a learning disability, although it's not. Read more.
EDUCATOR'S RESOURCE. Edutopia offers a free resource guide on strengthening the connection between school and families. Find the "Home to School Connections Guide" at the Edutopia site.
RADICAL ACCELERATION. The Daily Herald, a Chicagoland newspaper, carried an article focusing on several profoundly gifted young people and the way they was accelerated in their education, culminating in some cases in early admission to college. Read the article.
DIAGNOSIS VIA MRI. Two recent news items concerned  the use of MRIs to diagnose various second exceptionalities. One article covered a study that used MRIs to differentiate AD/HD and bipolar disorder; the other covered a study using MRIs to diagnose autism.
RICK RIORDAN ON READING. The author of the Percy Jackson series reflects in a Wall Street Journal blog about four things he's learned about helping children with learning challenges become lifelong readers. The Percy Jackson series began as bedtime stories for Riordan's AD/HD and dyslexic son, now 16. Read the blog.
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. Wrightslaw has added to its site a page on assistive technolololgy. The October 19th edition of Special Ed Advocate offers several articles on the topic. If your gifted/LD child needs AT, find out more about the topic.
NEW BOOK ON DIFFERENTIATION. Minnesota educator Richard Cash is interviewed in about his new book Advancing Differentiation, published by Free Spirit Press. In the interview, Cash also touches on topics such as a longer school year, learning styles, and heterogeneous classrooms. Find the interview.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WE'RE WAAAY BEHIND. We took a two-week vacation, intending to post while we were gone. But good intentions did not translate to action. We'll post often until we catch up.
MENSA FOR YOUR GIFTED CHILD? USA Today carried an article noting that Mensa has members of all ages, including more than 1300 under the age of 18. One young member was quoted: "I have the coolest group of friends, and that's only grown over the years. I've learned so much. Not the type of academic learning we're used to in school, but learning though conversation, interacting." Find out more
BASHING MEDIA USE. A British study indicates that more than two hours a day of TV or computer games may lead to a 60 percent higher risk of psychological problems in children. Concerned about media use in your gifted or 2e child? Read more. Separately, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement on media use. The Academy encourages pediatricians to ask at least two questions related to media use in each patient visit. Read the updated policy statement.
DYSCALCULIA. LD Online has posted information about math-related LDs, including strategies to overcome math difficulties, how the brain processes math-related information, and resources to remediate dyslcalculia. Find the information.
IMPULSIVITY -- CAUSE AND CONTROL. According to Science Daily, a research team has pinpointed the area of the brain that controls impulsive behavior and the mechanisms that affect how impulsive behavior is learned. Furthermore, the team trained rats to control impulsive responses until a signal was presented. The findings may help 2e kids with AD/HD and OCD. Read more.
MENTAL PROBLEMS IN ADOLESCENTS. Anxiety is the most common disorder in adolescents, according to NIMH researchers, followed by behavior disorders, mood disorders, and substance use disorders. Forty percent of those with one disorder had a second, comorbid disorder. Overall, disorders are suffered by about one child in five, 22 percent. Read more

Friday, October 8, 2010

REMINDER: AD/HD NOT AN LD. An article in USA Today reminds us that some of the learning challenges faced by twice-exceptional children are not actual, legal, learning disabilities. For example, AD/HD  is not an official LD; neither are emotional disorders. The difference is important in areas such as IEPs. See the brief article.
GIRLS AND AD/HD, AUTISM. A Swedish study suggests that many girls with autism or AD/HD who seek professional help might have their difficulties played down or misinterpreted. Read more.
ANXIETY is often one of the conditions our 2e Newsletter subscribers are concerned about in 2e children, according to survey responses from new subscribers. Depending on your attitude toward meds versus nutritional supplements, you might be interested in a study of herbal remedies on anxiety. Some researchers say that some nutritional and herbal supplements can be effective and without serious side effects. Find out which. (Note, however, that the study was probably conducted on adults.)
AD/HD, DEPRESSION. A report says that children diagnosed between ages 4 and 6 with AD/HD are ten times more likely to report depression as adolescents. The lesson: take that early diagnosis seriously. Find out more.
UPCOMING WEBINARS of interest to the gifted and gifted/LD community include:
  •  SENG offers a for-fee webinar on October 28th called "I'm not old enough for college, but I'm ready for to learn -- preparing children with the social-emotional skills for success." Find out more.
  • ASCD offers a free professional development webinar on October 14th called "Strategies for Maximizing Student Memory," with Judy Willis. Find out more.
2e ACHIEVERS. In 2e Newsletter we've begun a series of articles profiling successful adults who are twice-exceptional; our first profile was of economist Diane Swonk. While we see plenty of 2e adults at sites like this one, we would welcome suggestions from readers for people to profile (or votes for people at the Great Schools link) -- at least somewhat well known and successful in spite of (or because of) their combined exceptionalities. Make a suggestion. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NEUROFEEDBACK. "The procedure is controversial, expensive and time-consuming. An average course of treatment, with at least 30 sessions, can cost $3,000 or more, and few health insurers will pay for it. Still, it appears to be growing in popularity." So says a New York Times article about neurofeedback, which has been used to try to address conditions such as AD/HD, autism, depression, and anxiety. The article describes how it works, some personal examples, and the pros and cons of the procedure. Find the article
NEW AD/HD TREATMENT. The US FDA has just approved the use of a new drug, KAPVAY, for treatment of AD/HD in children 6-17. The non-stimulant drug is commonly used to reduce blood pressure in adults. The formulation approved is extended release and is intended for add-on therapy or monotherapy. Find a press release
SEEMS LIKE A NO-BRAINER TO US. A panel of experts proposes training teacher candidates more about child development, according to an article in Education Week. "Developmental science consists of the science underpinning the biological, emotional, ethical, linguistic, psychological, and social development of children and adolescents, and how those fields interact. It also incorporates cognitive science—how children learn to think and process information." Read the article.  
NEW CLINICAL GUIDELINES FOR DEPRESSION. According to PsychCentral, the American Psychiatric Association has released new clinical guidelines for treating patients with major depressive disorder. The editor of the site doesn't seem to think much of the guidelines, but if you've got a 2e child at risk for depression, check out the article.
HOW HEALTHILY DOES YOUR CHILD EAT? Hopefully, better than the typical US child, who now gets 40 percent of their calories from solid fat and sugars. This from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Read more.
HOMESCHOOLING THAT GIFTED CHILD? Check out the latest issue of the newsletter from The Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF). Included is an answer to a reader's question: Can my child have learning difficulties and still be gifted? (You know the answer.) Find the newsletter.
STEM RESOURCE. The National Network of Digital Schools has announced the launch of, a new forum website designed to spark interest in and prepare today's students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM Planet will feature regular blog posts by experts working in STEM fields, forums where students and experts can engage in an ongoing dialogue, and STEM-related activities that students can conduct, discuss, and learn from.