Thursday, May 31, 2012
From the Publishers of 2e:Twice-Exceptional Newsletter
WORKING MEMORY TRAINING: NOT USEFUL? A meta-study published by the American Psychological Association indicates that working memory training may not be useful in treating AD/HD. While the training improved performance on tasks involved in the training, the performance improvement does not appear to "generalize" to other tasks. The study's lead author is quoted as saying, “In the light of such evidence, it seems very difficult to justify the use of working memory training programs in relation to the treatment of reading and language disorders. Our findings also cast strong doubt on claims that working memory training is effective in improving cognitive ability and scholastic attainment.” Read more.
ANTIOXIDANT TREATMENT FOR AUTISM. A Stanford University pilot study found that the antioxidant N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) "lowered irritability in children with autism as well as reducing the children’s repetitive behaviors." The university says, "Although the study did not test how NAC works, the researchers speculated on two possible mechanisms of action. NAC increases the capacity of the body’s main antioxidant network, which some previous studies have suggested is deficient in autism. In addition, other research has suggested that autism is related to an imbalance in excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. NAC can modulate the glutamatergic family of excitatory neurotransmitters, which might be useful in autism." Read more.
DEPRESSION AND BIOMARKERS. If depression is one of the learning and living challenges your twice-exceptional child faces, you might be interested in a new article at the Dana Foundation site. The article describes advances made in finding biomarkers for depression and using those biomarkers to determine which anti-depressants might be most effective. The article also provides a look at current thinking on the causes of depression. Find the article.
THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has posted several items relevant to those who raise and teach twice-exceptional children. One is an article is called "Mindful Parenting: How to Take the Stress Anxiety out of Raising Kids." A second item is a short video, "The Pain of Hiding OCD," describing how kids may hide OCD at school and then "explode at home."
DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE. In their blog, the Drs. Eide raise a concern about proposed revisions to the DSM criteria for dyslexia, a change the Eides say "will reduce the likelihood that dyslexia is specifically recognized and remediated." More to the point for parents and educators of twice-exceptional students is that the changes might lead to less use of the ability/achievement discrepancy to uncover problems; without such testing, say the Eides, "many gifted dyslexic students won't be recognized for their gifts or dyslexia." Find the blog.
GIFTED PARENT BLOG. Chicagoan Matt Kelley blogs and posts resources for the parents of gifted and 2e kids at giftedparent.org, "dedicated to all gifted and twice exceptional children and parents"; find the blog. At another site, giftedprograms.org, Kelly provides information about services and resources for the 2e community; find that site.
DON'T FORGET VISION. A story at the site of Chicago radio station WBEZ "focuses" on the importance of proper vision in effective learning. A vision expert is attributed as finding that "of academically and behaviorally at-risk children ages 8 to 18 years old, 85 percent had vision problems that were either undetected or untreated." Find the article.
GREAT POTENTIAL PRESS has established a guest blogger series by pediatrician Marianne Kuzujanakis, M.D. The first few weekly postings are on the connections between giftedness, AD/HD, autism, and misdiagnosis. Find the blog, which has four posts to date.