Thursday, April 4, 2013

THRIVING WITH DYSLEXIA. The Wall Street Journal has posted the story of a young woman who tested as gifted in preschool but ran into trouble when reading entered the curriculum. She was in a Manhattan private school, according to the story, and was "subtly asked to leave." It turns out that dyslexia touches several of her family members. The young woman spent two years at a school that used the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading, then returned to public schools, accomplishing straight A's. Read more.

FIRST PERSON: GROWING UP AUTISTIC. A young man with high-functioning autism described to CNN the challenges he faced growing up -- social skills, and getting a driver's license, for example -- and also tells how he found ways to fit in. He's looking forward to graduating from a four-year university and to "a future of great possibilities." Read more.

AD/HD INCREASE. Time Magazine takes a look at the recent announcement by the CDC of the apparent increase in diagnoses of AD/HD in children. The article notes some limits on the way the data was collected along with possible implications for the higher rate of diagnosis. Find the article.

ON EDUCATION. Thomas Friedman of The New York Times offers ways in which education must be changed for the 21st century, drawing on an interview with a Harvard education specialist. Knowing facts will be less important; innovation and motivation will be increasingly important. The specialist notes that Finland is "the only country where students leave high school 'innovation-ready.'" Read more.

AUTISM ONE CONFERENCE. The group AutismOne has a conference scheduled for May 22-26 in the Chicago area with dozens of sessions on topics covering the biomedical aspects of autism and its treatment, advocacy, diet, therapies, and more. See the sessions or get more information at the organization's website.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has a quiz on its site about children's mental health. Through the quiz, you can find about roadblocks to children's mental health care plus earn some money for the CMI -- $.20 for every question you answer. Sample question: "There are more taxidermists in the United States than there are child and adolescent psychiatrists. Yes/No." Find the quiz.

NCLD. The site of the National Center for Learning Disabilities has a feature called "Out-of-the-Box Advocacy," where a parent advocate offers advice for ways to "take a stand and create change for your kids." Her advice covers social media as well as talking to the community and school about LDs. Find this resource.

ON PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS. A new article in Cerebrum, at the Dana Foundation site, is titled "Psychiatric Drug Development: Diagnosing a Crisis." The author describes the history of modern psychopharmacology and the apparent slowdown in the drug industry's willingness to invest for new psychiatric drug development. "During the past three years the global pharmaceutical industry has significantly decreased its investment in new treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders," says the author, noting that the drug companies are focusing more on treatments for conditions such as cancer, metabolism, and other disease areas. The author, however, remains optimistic about the implications for psychopharmacology of discoveries in the area of genetics. Read the article.

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