Friday, August 3, 2012

News Items from the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

SPRINGSTEEN, DEPRESSION. Musician Bruce Springsteen revealed in a profile in The New Yorker that he has had bouts of depression for decades. The Child Mind Institute noted the profile and commented on its importance, saying "his candor could actually save lives other than his own. The biggest contributor to teenage suicide is unrecognized mental illness. Especially at risk are teenage boys who hide their depression and anxiety from their parents and friends, because they are ashamed to admit their feelings of despair and worthlessness. What we need most... is prominent role models to tell teenage boys that it's not unmanly to ask for help." Way to go, Bruce. Read the Child Mind Institute piece.
VIDEO GAMES AND AD/HD. The Child Mind Institute also has a piece on its site titled "Do Video Games Cause AD/HD?" Quickly, the piece says the answer is no -- but goes on to examine the attention-holding appeal of video games. Read more. Separately, a Wall Street Journal article describes how two start-up companies are developing video games to treat AD/HD, and are trying to get FDA approval for those games. Find the article
VIDEO GAMES AND DEPRESSION.New Zealand psychiatrists have developed a video game for 13- to 17-year-olds which helps them fight depression. Aimed at teens who might not seek help, the seven-level game involves, in part, blasting negative thoughts with fireballs. The game is based on cognitive behavioral therapy. Find out more.
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION. University of Miami researchers have tested an approach to treating coexisting anxiety and depression in children. Called Emotion Detectives Treatment Protocol (EDTP), the treatment involves weekly group therapy; in a study, the therapy greatly improved participants' anxiety and/or depression. Read more.
AD/HD, GIRLS, SOCIAL SKILLS. This week the Child Mind Institute posted an "Ask an Expert" column that answers the question, "How can I help my daughter with the social issues that come with AD/HD?" Structured play dates are part of the answer. Read more.
THE BRAIN. Imaging of the brain can detect some of the structural and functional differences that point to high intelligence -- overall brain size and prefrontal cortex activity, for example. Researchers now suggest that the strength of the neural pathways connecting the left prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain is another factor, one that can explain perhaps ten percent of individual differences in intelligence. According to one of the researchers, "This study suggests that part of what it means to be intelligent is having a prefrontal cortex that does its job well; and part of what that means is that it can effectively communicate with the rest of the brain." Find out more.
THE BRAIN AND AD/HD. Researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health studied the brains of typically developing kids and those with AD/HD, finding that from age 10 to 17 the kids with AD/HD had brains that developed more slowly in some respects. Specifically, the area of cortical surface in the frontal regions reaches a milestone in AD/HD kids almost two years later than in typically developing kids. One researcher says, "As other components of cortical development are also delayed, this suggests there is a global delay in AD/HD in brain regions important for the control of action and attention." Find out more.
UNWRAPPING THE GIFTED. Tamarra Fisher starts tweeting, and offers other sources of tweets that those in gifted education might want to follow. Find her recommendations.
WRIGHTSLAW. Special Ed Advocate in late July covered documentation for special ed -- and if your gifted child has an IEP or 504 plan, you might want to know what Wrightslaw thinks you should do to organize, date, and store documents related to those plans. Read the newsletter.

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