Thursday, November 11, 2010

EPIGENETICS AND  MENTAL DISORDERS. The New York Times wrote about how environment and experience affect the function of genes in allowing -- or not allowing -- the expression of  mental disorders. For example, well-mothered rats alters genetic expression in offspring to better handle stress. If you're interested in how experience and environment may affect the development of your children, read the article.
ART CHASING LIFE. The television show "Parenthood" features a family in which an 8-year-old boy has Asperger's, which evidently is a focus of the program. Disability Scoop recently ran an interview with Max Burkholder, the young actor who plays the Aspie. Burkeholder tells how he's like the character and not, and how he preps for the part. Find the interview.
VISUAL VERSUS SPATIAL. Scientific American examines the topic of spatial intelligence, noting how in one long-ago study of genius two future Nobel prize winners were excluded because their IQ scores didn't place them in the top 1 percent. The article says that a possible explanation is that the Stanford-Binet IQ test, along with others, fails to recognize spatial ability, critical to engineering and science. The authors contend that "Due to the neglect of spatial ability in school curricula, traditional standardized assessments, and in national talent searches, those with relative spatial strengths across the entire range of ability constitute an under-served population..." Find the article.
STUDY AID. Scientific American also carries news that indicates a light electrical current applied to the right place in the skull can improve numerical learning. Apply it to the other side of the skull and subjects experience a fall in the ability. Is this math aid for your bright student? Find out more.
LANG SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE. The evening of November 18, the Lang School for 2e children in New York City will host an open house for parents and professionals with an interest in learning more about the school. Find more information at the school's website
HOMEWORK HELPERS. As The New York Times notes, "some harried parents with cash to spare have been turning to homework helpers who teach organizational skills and time management, or who sometimes just sit there until the work is finished." Want to know more? Read the article.
NUTRITION, EXERCISE. Want to know how your family stacks up against others when it comes to nutrition and physical activity. Do your children recognize what they should be eating most of ? How often to yiou eat out? Find out where you stand (or sit) with the results of an American Dietetic Association study.
AD/HD. Three items noted in LD Online's email newsletter concern AD/HD: a report that the number of AD/HD children in the US has risen by about a million over the past few years, and the consequences; an op-ed piece in the LA Times where a mother reacts to research indicating that AD/HD may be genetic; and a story titled "The Inner Life of AD/HD," where teens with AD/HD share what it's like to have it.
LD AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. There's a link. While only about 4 percent of children have hypertension, those who do are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with AD/HD or LDs. Read the article.
INSPIRATION FOR TEACHERS. At Edutopia.org, a teacher points out how the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) lectures can inspire, giving links to some particular examples. The breadth of the lectures is likely to mean that parents will find inspiring, relevant lectures as well. Find the teacher's article. Find the main TED site.

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