Tuesday, January 11, 2011

LANDMARK COLLEGE. Readers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter have heard about Landmark College, a two-year institution in Vermont that caters to students with learning disabilities. The New York Times just published a profile of the college, which also mentions other colleges that focus on LD students. A quote from the article: “We’re dealing with really bright students here,” says Michael Nieckoski, Landmark’s director of educational technology services. “In some ways they may be even smarter than your average undergraduate, because they’ve spent most of their lives trying to either overcome their diagnosis or outsmart everyone.” Find the article
AD/HD AND WHAC-A-MOLE. Researchers in the UK used the Whac-a-Mole game to show why kids with AD/HD may have trouble concentrating unless they're doing something that interests them. Evidently these kids have trouble switching off what's called the brain's "default-mode network" (DMM), brain regions involved in mind wandering. However, with either increased incentives or with AD/HD medications, the children were able to switch attention as readily as typically developing kids. Find out more.
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. Do you raise or teach a gifted child with dyslexia, dysgraphia, or AD/HD? Assistive technology might help that child comprehend written materials, express  him- or herself, and take tests. The New York Times just published an article on the text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies. Find it. Separately, a press release made us aware of DynaVox Mayer-Johnson, which provides speech generating devices and symbol-adapted special education software used to assist individuals in overcoming speech, language and learning challenges. The company offers products that let educators create accessible lessons and activities, and products allowing learners to access those lessons on a PC. Find out more.
DEVELOPMENTAL OPTOMETRY BLOG. If vision issues are of concern to you, check out the VisionHelp Blog, with contributors who specialize in the optometric specialty called behavioral/developmental/rehabilitative optometry. Find the blog, where you may also subscribe to it.
WRIGHTSLAW lists their top 10 articles from 2010, along with top 10 topics, top 10 cases, and top 10 blog posts. Find the lists
QUALITY COUNTS is the name of the annual Education Week report on the state of education in the United States, and it's just been released. Topics include state report cards, state highlights, how to grade your state using your own rating scheme, trending charts, economic snapshots, and more. Find the report.
AUTISM RESOURCE. The Autism Support Network has posted a worldwide database of resources for those looking for professionals or services to deal with autism-related issues. You may search by country and then by province or state. (2e Newsletter is listed in Illinois.) Find the database.
AND FINALLY, THIS. Not sure if this is cause and effect, but it appears that those with more friends on Facebook have larger amygdalas. And, of course, you know from reading brain articles in 2e Newsletter that the amygdala is involved in the brain's emotional response to stimuli good or bad. Find out more.

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