Thursday, December 20, 2012

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


ASPIE FEAR. Perceived connection between Asperger's and violent acts arose again this past week, and at least four articles we read addressed the issue. Two were in The New York Times, the first titled "Don't Blame Autism for Newton" and the second titled "Fearing a Stigma for People with Autism." Both react to media characterizations of last week's killer, and both point out that there is no evidence that people with autism are  more likely to commit violent crimes. At the site of the Child Mind Institute is an article titled "After Newtown: Why Amateur Diagnoses Are Dangerous," which states, in part,  "to blame this violence on Asperger's or a personality disorder, as many media outlets currently are, is a serious mistake." Finally, at its site, Autism Speaks has posted interviews given by its experts on "misconceptions about a linkage between autism spectrum disorders and planned violence." 

OCD, AD/HD.  An Israeli researcher warns of the consequences of mistaking OCD for AD/HD, even though symptoms may seem similar. He points out that the underlying mechanisms leading to the behaviors in each disorder are different, and that mistakenly applying the treatment for one condition to a patient with the other may have ill effects. Read more

DR. LARRY SILVER ON GT/LD. Past Q&As from Dr. Larry Silver at the site of LD Online illustrate three cases in which giftedness and LDs coexist. If  you're interested in how twice-exceptionality plays out in families other than yours, check out the stories and the advice

IQ: NOT JUST ONE NUMBER. A Canadian online study that included more than 100,000 participants indicates that "when a wide range of cognitive abilities are explored, the observed variations in performance can only be explained with at least three distinct components: short-term memory, reasoning, and a verbal component." Participants were asked to complete 12 cognitive tests and a survey about their background and lifestyle. Intrigued? Read more

BULLYING CHANGES GENETIC EXPRESSION, apparently altering a gene involved in regulating mood. According to the researchers, this alteration makes victims "more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age." Find out more

IDENTIFYING BIPOLAR DISORDER. According to a press release, researchers from the Black Dog Institute and University of NSW have used brain imaging technology to show that young people with a known genetic risk of bipolar but no clinical signs of the condition have clear and quantifiable differences in brain activity when compared to controls. The lead researcher commented, "Our results show that bipolar disorder may be linked to a dysfunction in emotional regulation and this is something we will continue to explore." Read more. (And consider what a cool name for an institute is "Black Dog.")

TOURETTE'S, TICS. If you happen to read the current issue of Deutsches Ă„rzteblatt International, you'll evidently find a report on the available modes of diagnosis and treatment for Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders in children. According to a write up of the article in Science Daily, "Tic disorders usually take a benign course; in about 90% of patients, the tics regress spontaneously in adolescence. Specific treatment is indicated only if the tics are severe or cause evident psychosocial stress. On the other hand, 80% to 90% of all patients with Tourette syndrome have comorbid disorders such as attention deficit—hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder." Read more

PRESENTING AT NAGC. If you're interested in presenting at the next NAGC convention, the organization's proposal submission site is now ready to take your proposal. Find it

ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE. You may find a list of all of David Rabiner's AD/HD study reviews for 2012 at his website. The studies reviewed covered topics such as cognitive behavioral therapy, working memory training, creativity, over-diagnosis, and more. Go to

AND FINALLY, THIS. Rudolph's reindeer nose is indeed more red than a human nose because of a rich supply of blood vessels. Further, the redness apparently will show up on infrared thermal images, according to Science Daily. Read more, and Happy Holidays!

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