Monday, June 18, 2012

TEACHING HIGHLY ABLE LEARNERS. In Education Week, a former teacher and principal reflects on the difference in services available to special needs students versus gifted students, and offers some tips from Carol Ann Tomlinson for addressing gifted and talented learners. He also suggests using a growth model (versus achievement) to make sure that high ability learners not only achieve -- but progress. Find the article.
STIMULANTS AND "CHEATING." The New York Times article on the misuse of AD/HD stimulant medications by students to study and achieve has received yet another response in another publication, this one by Nancy Rappaport in the Huffington Post. The author downplays the role of psychiatrists in playing along with a "con" to prescribe meds to a student who doesn't need them. She concludes, "...I have seen the value of a balanced approach, and I only wish the Times piece had been balanced as well." Read more.
SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING for those with high-functioning autism seems to have lasting results, according to a study at UCLA. Disability Scoop says that "the teens continued to use their new social skills and in some cases showed further improvement." Read more.
TRAINING FOR CHARACTER can work -- and it can make you happier, apparently. Researchers from the University of Zurich trained adults on specific character traits such as curiosity, gratitude, enthusiasm, etc. Compared to a control group, those receiving the training improved particularly well in those strengths and achieved a better sense of well being. Find the study write-up.
ADDITUDE. This week's newsletter from the AD/HD organization includes an article on five supplements and vitamins that, when combined with a high-protein, low-sugar diet,can apparently improve AD/HD symptoms. Find the newsletter.
RESOURCE. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers "Facts for Families" on its site. One is a primer on complementary and alternative medicine; three others are on medications for children and adolescents. Find the "Facts for Families" main page.
TEACHING THE WORK ETHIC. Start early, says Carla Crutsinger of Brainworks in her latest newsletter -- as early as three or four. She says it'll pay off, especially when it's time to leave for college. Read the newsletter.
SOMETHING MORE TO WORRY ABOUT. You know the ill effects of BPA that have gotten so much publicity in the recent past, including effects on brain development and disruption of the endocrine system? Well, in mice, researchers have "demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that BPA has trans-generational actions on social behavior and neural expression." Looks like we'll be living with BPA's effects for a long time. Read more. Cheers!

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