Friday, June 7, 2013

News & Resources from 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

AUTISM, ADHD COMORBIDITY. The Kennedy Krieger Institute says that about one third of children with autism also display symptoms of ADHD. What's more, the combination seems to lead to increased impairment in several areas of functioning, more impairment than is found in children who have just autism. Read more.

ADDICTED TO THAT PHONE? Teens who spend too much time on their smartphones or on the Internet exhibit signs of psychopathology and problem behavior, according to a Korean study. The problems include "increased likelihood of somatic symptoms, withdrawal, depression or anxiety, thought problems, delinquency, attention problems, aggression, and internalizing or externalizing problems" -- quite a list. Find out more.

JOB DEMAND FOR AUTISTICS. Some employers actively recruit people on the spectrum, seeking "neurobiological diversity" in their workforces and looking for people who "think differently." Two such employers are the software company SAP and the U.S. home mortgage company Freddie Mac. Read more.

NCLB WONK? CEC's Policy Insider has information about pending revisions to NCLB/ESEA. CEC offers a "short list" of changes as well as links to a summary of the propose new legislation and the full bill (in case you're really serious). Go to Policy Insider.

YOGA FOR ADHD? Research at the University of Illinois indicates that 20 minutes of yoga can help practitioners to better focus, as well as to accept, use, and retain new information. Whether the results are from the "mindfulness" aspects of yoga or from something else is unclear. Find out more. Separately, scientists have also discovered how meditation can reduce anxiety by identifying the brain functions involved. The study revealed that meditation-related anxiety relief is associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, areas of the brain involved with executive-level function. Find out more.

BIPOLAR DIAGNOSIS WITH MRI -- it's possible, say researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center. They used scans to differentiate people with bipolar disorder from neurotypical people with an accuracy of 73 percent, supposedly comparable to other medical tests. Read more.

DBS FOR OCD? By activating a brain circuit that controls compulsive behavior, MIT neuroscientists have shown that they can block a compulsive behavior in mice -- a result that could help researchers develop new treatments for diseases such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome. So says a press release from MIT about a study where researchers used optogenetics -- light-activated stimulation -- to control neuron activity. The technique is not yet ready for use in humans. Find out more.

BLOOD SCREEN FOR ASD? A blood marker for autism has been discovered by researchers. They found that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) showed significantly decreased metabolism of the amino acid L-tryptophan when compared to both typical controls and individuals with other neurodevelopmental disorders. Cells from individuals with autism metabolized L-tryptophan at a decreased rate whereas cells from individuals without autism did not show this change, according to a press release. The study could lead to a "simple, early blood screening test for autism." Find out more.

ADDITUDE has two items on its site that might be of interest to those who raise or teach children of the ADHD persuasion. One item deals with positive ways to explain to a child an ADHD diagnosis. The second concerns misdiagnosis -- when something else is confused with ADHD.

HE'S EVERYWHERE! Psychologist Dan Peters has recently blogged about the recent Eide conference on dyslexia and co-authored an article in the current issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. Now you can find him on video at the site of the organization Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented talking about "taming the worry monster -- anxiety in gifted children." Find the video.

DEPRESSION WEBINAR. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation is sponsoring a webinar on June 11 titled "Depression in Children and Adolescents," to be presented by Dr. Karen Dineen Wagner. Find out more.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has posted a two-part lecture. The first part was on mood disorders in kids, by a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics. The second part featured musician Naomi Judd, who discussed her issues with anxiety and depression. Find the lectures and watch them, or read more about them here and here,

AUTISM AND DSM-5 AND TEMPLE GRANDIN -- how's that for using everything contemporary in one headline. But a LinkedIn discussion pointed us to an article at where Grandin discourses on the DSM and on labels.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Channel-flipping leads to ADHD -- that's the assertion in a recent "Candorville" cartoon. Find it.

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