Tuesday, February 8, 2011

JACK KENT COOKE YOUNG SCHOLARS. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has a Young Scholars Program which provides financial assistance and other help to high-achieving eighth-graders and high-schoolers who have financial need. Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development is assisting in building awareness of the program, and has established a web page of information about it. The application deadline for the 2011 year is April 25th. Find out more.
TEACHER'S RESOURCE. E-School News reports on a service called VuSafe to assist educators in finding relevant, safe YouTube videos for use in the educational process. Find the article.
SMART KIDS WITH DISABILITIES. This organization publishes an e-newsletter. In January's edition, you may read articles on tackling writing problems, teaching your child about friendship, and a profile of Olympian Greg Louganis, who had childhood difficulties with reading and speech. Find the newsletter.
THE DANA FOUNDATION has a "neuroeducation" page that contains "news, events, and commentary on bridging neuroscience and education." We are sure that you, O Inquisitive Ones, will find it interesting. Go there.
CO-MORBID WITH AD/HD. Kids with AD/HD are prone to other issues as well. Research evidently reported in Pediatrics indicated that nearly 70 percent of kids with AD/HD have one or more other co-morbid mental or physical problems. The issue is not posted on the Pediatrics website, but WebMD has a long article on the research; find it.
SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION. We don't like to think about this topic when it comes to gifted kids, but twice-exceptional kids sometimes have behavior issues that can get out of control. (Remember the elementary school boy whose school filed police charges after his Aspie outburst?) The current Special Ed Advocate from Wrightslaw deals with behavior problems and the rights of kids in this area. Read the newsletter
THERAPY DOGS AND AUTISM.  The website of television station KSDK has an article and video about an autism specialist who uses a therapy dog to relax her young patients  Find it.
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL SKILLS TRAINING apparently works, improving not only attitudes and behaviors but also academic performance -- this according to a study reported by the Ivanhoe Newswire. Read more.
AND FINALLY, THIS. We've blogged often about the adolescent brain and how it differs from the adult brain. The National Institute of Mental Health website contains a report of a study of the difference in functioning of adolescent versus adult rats in a learned task involving a reward. The twist -- researchers tracked the firing of individual neurons. At the moment of reward, there was less inhibition in certain neurons in the adolescent brain -- meaning neuronal activity was stronger. Here's what the researchers concluded: "The reduced inhibition they saw in adolescents suggests that they may respond more intensively than adults to reward. These more powerful responses may help explain the increased vulnerability of adolescents to the rewarding effects of alcohol and drugs. In addition, findings of differences in the regulation of neuronal firing observed in adolescents may ultimately help explain why schizophrenia—a disorder thought to represent an imbalance in inhibitory and excitatory activity in the brain—so often has its onset during adolescence and early adulthood. The exaggerated balance of excitatory and inhibitory activity in the brain observed in this work, superimposed on a genetically determined vulnerability to schizophrenia, might be a factor tipping someone towards illness." The original study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience this year. Go to the NIMH site.

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