Friday, September 7, 2012

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

NCLD. Last month the National Center for Learning Disabilities surveyed 1800 adults in the United States concerning their attitudes and beliefs about learning disabilities. As you read about the survey at the NCLD site or in articles about the survey in the media, please keep in mind that the survey respondents were chosen to be representative of the U.S. adult population, not to be representative of the readers of this blog or of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. Nonetheless, while some survey results are comforting, others are not. For example:
  • Most people (two thirds) do not know what dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyspraxia are, although 91 percent know what dyslexia is.
  • Forty-three percent of respondents think that LDs correlate with IQ.
  • Sixty-three percent know someone with an LD.
  • Sixty-four percent say their child's school doesn't provide information on LDs. 
Find the survey results at the NCLD site, or read about the survey in the Washington Post or the Sacramento Bee. Separately, NCLD has refreshed its website; see the new look.
EDUCATION WEEK offers us information about RTI, a somewhat controversial topic when it comes to identifying and serving twice-exceptional children. In a multi-part series, experts cover what RTI is, examine RTI laws by state, and provide a checklist for assessing a school's legal compliance in identifying students with specific learning disabilities. Find the series. The Education Week site is also offering some free downloads of their "Spotlight" series, including one download on Response to Intervention; find it.
GENETICS. If you follow the topic of genetics as it relates to learning challenges, you might be interested in a New York Times article on recent findings in genetics from a large multi-national project. The project focused on the non-gene parts of DNA, which apparently include millions of switches that control genes, determining which are used and when. The findings will help explain environmental influences on genetic expression, since the switches can be altered by environmental factors. The article is general in that it does not specifically discuss genetics in terms of LDs, but it provides a platform that may help us understand how genetic expression may lead to certain LDs. Find the article.
AUTISM AND BULLYING. Teenagers on the autism spectrum are much more likely to be bullied at school, according to a survey published this week. The rate of incidence -- almost 50 percent. Find out more. 
THE NEUROSCIENCE OF GAD. A study has shown that people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have certain brain connections that are weaker than in people without GAD. The connections in question are between the amygdala (the "fight or flight" center) and the brain's center of emotional control in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex. (See our "brain primer" at the 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter website.) Read more about the study.
SO WHAT DO THE KIDS SAY? A British study asked kids being treated with AD/HD meds what they thought about the use of meds. In the study, respondents said the meds helped them but didn't change who they were. Read more
ABOUT.COM has updated and posted an article on AD/HD and reading comprehension, specifically on recall of information. Find the article.
GIFTED DEVELOPMENT CENTER. The September newsletter from this organization reviews the recent 10th International Dabrowski Congress, previews Linda Silverman's upcoming book Giftedness 101, chronicles Silverman's upcoming speaking events, and highlights GDC community member Bruce Allen, an educator and poet. Find the newsletter.
ADDITUDE currently offers an article on morning strategies for getting kids with AD/HD up and out in the morning, plus a variety of online conversations on topics such as behavior modification and IEP accommodations. Go to ADDitude

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