Friday, May 13, 2011

Lots of good items today...
STEPHEN HAWKING ON DISABILITY. Scientist/cosmologist Stephen Hawking was profiled and interviewed in Wednesday's New York Times. In the interview, Hawking, who has Lou Gehrig's disease and communicates using a computer-generated voice, covered his daily life, his condition, his works, and -- most interesting to us -- his advice on disability. He said, "My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with." Find the article.
2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL IN CONNECTICUT? A member of the 2e community who is moving her family to Connecticut is looking for a 2e-friendly school there for her 6YO son. If you can help, please sign up at the 2e Newsletter Network on Ning.com (http://2enewsletter.ning.com/?xgi=5fRjVktrpoYhb5) and respond to her query in the Forum, or else contact us directly to relay your referral. Thanks!
MATT COHEN ONLINE. Special ed attorney Matt Cohen, who has contributed to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, offers a column of legal advice at LDOnline.org. In May's column he covers a number of issues of interest to parents of 2e kids, among them: how schools are required to use peer-reviewed, scientifically-based programs, when possible, to help students; whether a school can deny an IEP because of academic success; the assumption that colleges are required to comply with 504 plans; whether a school counselor may suggest medication; and the extent to which a school must accept an evaluation from an independent professional. Find the column.
WRIGHTSLAW. On the  topic of education law, in the current issue of Special Ed Advocate, the Wrights comment on Compton v. Addison, where a school allegedly failed to evaluate a student for disabilities and is being sued for negligence. They also cover the Child Find Mandate, meant to identify children who might need special ed services. Find the issue.
MOMS WITH AD/HD was the topic of a recent NPR program. NPR interviewed the writer and the subject of a recent Washington Post article on the topic. Read about the mom's discovery of AD/HD and what it means to her and her family (which includes an AD/HD son).
NCLB AND GIFTED CHILDREN. Education Next discussed the issue of whether gifted kids in the U.S. have been shortchanged by NCLB. Members of the discussion noted, among other things, that top-performing 17-year-olds in the U.S. perform no better now than 20 years ago, and that the U.S. is 41st out of 56 participating countries in one measure of advanced mathematical achievement. Find the discussion.
BIOMARKER FOR MAJOR DEPRESSION. A study by scientists at Wayne State University has revealed a new way to distinguish children with major depressive disorder (MDD) from not only normal children, but also from children with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).The study found different patterns of cortical thickness for patients with MDD versus OCD. Researchers call the results "an exciting new way to identify more objective markers of psychiatric illness in children." Read an abstract of the journal article announcing the study. Read an article based on the press release by Wayne State. Separately, an Oxford University study of depression finds that "overgeneral memory" -- where past events are recalled in an overly broad manner -- is linked to depression. Studies are underway to determine whether overgeneral memory in teens foretells later depression. Read about it.
PAYING ATTENTION TO THE SCREEN. Parents of twice-exceptional children often notice that many kids are able to pay tremendous amounts of sustained attention to those glowing screens. A recent article on the topic explains a variety of views on why this might be so -- video games as self-medication; video as an ameliorative for poor social skills, etc. Read more.
THE BEST BOOKS MONEY CAN BUY. The American Coal Foundation got caught spreading its "clean" view of coal to school kids by paying Scholastic Corporation to write materials for 4th-graders called "United States of Energy." Three advocacy groups took note of how the materials seemed to fail to mention the negative effects of coal and are drawing attention to the collaboration between Scholastic and the foundation. The larger issue is, how many "educational" materials produced and distributed to students are similarly biased. Read more.
AND FINALLY, THIS. If your 16-year-old kid's only out-of-school activity is reading books, know that your child has a better than average chance of becoming a manager or professional later in life, according to an Oxford University study. No other studied activities had such a correlation. Reassuringly, however, the study also found that computer gaming did not decrease a child's chances for later managerial or professional status. Read about the study.


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