Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ATTENTION MUST BE PAID. Last Friday we posted about a column refuting the belief that the fast pace of society "causes" AD/HD. Today, The New York Times printed three responses to that column, including one pointing out a character in Jane Eyre who likely had AD/HD, and another from the book Distracted that might have inspired the column in the first place. (The NY Times letters are always such a forum for civil, informed discourse, don't you think? :-)) Find the letters.
GOT SENSORY INTEGRATION ISSUES in that bright young person you raise or teach? The magazine S.I. Focus is moving to all-electronic distribution starting in January -- and at a lower price. Check it out.
VIDEO GAMES AND VIOLENCE. Exposure to violent video games or television is not a predictor of aggression in youth, according to a study from Texas A&M -- but depression is. The study contradicts earlier findings -- but read it if the issue concerns you.
HOW CAN SUCH A SMART KID NOT GET IT is the title of an article in the current issue of Gifted Child Today. One of the authors is Nina Yssel, the coordinator of a cool summer camp for 2e kids at Ball State University in Indiana, unfortunately no longer in operation (the camp, not the university). You can read the article if you have a sub to Gifted Child Today or are a member of Encyclopedia Britannica Online Premium; otherwise you'll have to settle for an excerpt.
IEPs... SPECIAL ED... ADVOCACY... PRETTY FUNNY. Wrightslaw has put together an issue of Special Ed Advocacy focusing on the humor in it all. The edition includes the following disclaimer: "If you are one of those humor-challenged individuals who believe there is absolutely nothing funny about children with disabilities, we urge you to stop reading now, and go back to biting your nails down to your elbow." Find the issue, including a Dr. Seuss parody "Do you like these IEPs?"
THE iPAD AS ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. LD Online offers hints and pointers; find the column.
PREDICTING WHICH DYSLEXICS WILL READ. Researchers have used brain imaging to predict which teens with dyslexia would be able to learn to read. The key was extra activity in the part of the brain known as the right inferior frontal gyrus. Find out more.
ASD AND SEARCH SKILLS. A study of the comparative abilities of ASD kids and typical kids has found that ASD kids were less successful in searching a test room for a hidden object -- possibly because they failed to pick up on a pattern, that 80 percent of the objects were hidden on one side of the room. The researchers suggested that "ASD children have a hard time applying rules of probability to larger environments—especially those in which they have to physically orient themselves and navigate." Find the article.  
INTELLIGENCE. In a New York Times interview with a string-theory/cosmologist physicist, the topic of intelligence came  up. The interviewer whether the physicist thought that SAT scores defined intelligence. He replied, "No. They define the capacity to answer questions on an SAT test." Then he provided his own definition of intelligence, which you can read here.  
AND FINALLY, THERE'S THIS. Madame Tussauds is opening a US Presidents Gallery in Washington, DC, which "will be the only place in the world where people can see and interact with US presidents." (Now, if only we could get the members of the US Congress to interact.) Actually, Madame Tussauds has built a curriculum for educators focusing on the history of US presidents, for use when visiting the attraction with students.  Get a preview on YouTube. Or visit the museum's site.

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