Monday, July 29, 2013

News Items, Resources from the Publishers of 2e Newsletter

SPD: REAL. A couple weeks ago we noted the publication of research showing that sensory processing disorder apparently has a detectable neurological basis. Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, founder of the SPD Foundation, has issued a statement in reaction to that research. The statement reads in part, "“Dr. Mukherjee and Dr. Marco’s research is groundbreaking and provides the first biologic evidence that SPD is indeed a valid disorder, answering the claim of some that SPD is not a ‘real’ disorder. In the recent release of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (edition 5), the application of the SPD Scientific Workgroup to include SPD as a valid diagnosis was turned down. This new study suggests perhaps that the decision should be reconsidered.” Read the statement.

ADHD OVERDIAGNOSED? An article recently posted at notes that ADHD is being diagnosed with increasing frequency, so that as many as one in five high school boys may have received such a diagnosis at one time. The writer, a clinician, offers several reasons for the increased diagnoses, including inappropriate evaluation and increased exposure to "environmental risk conditions for ADHD" -- a phrase we've not heard before but that can be a catch-all category for certain ADHD links we've blogged about in the past. Find the article.

CHILD PRODIGIES probably have extremely high working memory capabilities, as well as uneven cognitive profiles -- this according to a study of eight children published in the journal Intelligence. A review of the study provides a couple of profiles of the prodigies, along with patterns discovered by the researchers. For example, IQ scores ranged from 108 to 147; working memory was at the 99th percentile or better; and four of the prodigies have family members or close relatives with autism. The writer goes on to compare prodigies to savants and to speculate on the role of dedication and intensity in allowing prodigies to blossom. Find the review. And read another review of the same study in Time.

SEE THE TRAILER: "NEUROTYPICAL." Yep, that's right -- a broadcast billed as "an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves." It premiers on PBS today, July 29, and will apparently be available online through August 28. Find out more.

NEW RESEARCH INTO DYSLEXIA. A Binghamton University researcher has received a grant to perform a five-year study of children with and without dyslexia to try to identify types and degrees of the condition. Study participants will go from K through grade 4 with researchers collecting voluminous EEG data. In the Binghamton area? The researchers are looking for participants. Find out more.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has on its site an article titled "A Teacher's Guide to ADHD: What it is, and how you can help children who have it." That sums it up. Check it out if you're an educator looking for tips.

BIPOLAR DEPRESSION. "Among youths with bipolar spectrum disorder, depressive symptoms more adversely affected their psychological functioning and quality of life than did manic symptoms," according to a study widely quoted on the web. Depression, not mania, predicted negative outcomes for the 54 study group members, average age of 9. Read more.

PRUFROCK PODCAST. Through iTunes, Prufrock Press has launched a second podcast, this on differentiating instruction in a mixed ability classroom. Find it.

EIDE WEBINAR. A video of a presentation by Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide is available at YouTube. It's titled, "A Critical Review of the Neurobiology and Co-Morbidity of Learning Disorders," and addresses dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. Watch it.

UNWINDING AUTISM is a series of presentations from July 11 to August 3 from doctors, therapists, educators, and others with something to contribute on the topic. Rich Weinfeld, one of the presenters, pointed us to this site, which says that registration is free. Find out more.

LINKEDIN. If you're on LinkedIn, there are a couple current, lively discussions that might interest you. One is on the use of IEPs, or alternatives, especially for kids with ADHD or executive function issues; find it. The other also concerns organization difficulties and whether they should be "seen as a distinctive disorder that needs specific intervention"; find it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

AUTISM DIAGNOSIS. Researchers have developed a quantitative screening method based on the analysis of movement in those who have autism. According to a study write-up, the method "factors the importance of changes in movements and movement sensing, thus enabling the identification of inherent capabilities in each child, rather than just highlighting impairments of the child's movement systems. It measures tiny fluctuations in movement as the individual moves through space and can determine the exact degree to which these patterns of motion differ from more typically developing individuals, and to what degree they can turn into predictive, reliable and anticipatory movements." A potential benefit: earlier diagnosis and treatment. Read more.

MERCURY AND AUTISM: NO LINK? A new study claims that children exposed in the womb to low levels of mercury from fish are no more likely to show autistic symptoms. Read more.

BREASTFEEDING AND ADHD -- inversely linked. An Israeli study seems to indicate that breastfeeding decreases the risk of a child developing ADHD. Researchers are not sure of the mechanism. Find the study write-up.

SCHOOL FOR 2e KIDS. The School on the Quad, in Manhattan, has announced that beginning with the 2013-2014 school year it will offer programming for twice-exceptional students that features one-to-one instruction and support for multiple intelligences. The school will begin with one mixed-age middle school class this fall, expanding to grades 6-12 in the coming years. Find out more at the Quad Manhattan website.

NCLB REWRITE: CEC NOT PLEASED. The U.S. House has revised legislation covering education. The Council for Exceptional Children says that the rewrite "reduces accountability for students with disabilities" and "ignores the needs of high ability students," among other shortcomings. Read more.

PANDAS SCREENING RECOGNIZED. An Oklahoma company has been recognized for its work in developing a testing panel that can identify PANDAS and PANS, diseases which can cause neurobiological effects whose causes may not be apparent to many physicians. The benefit to the test: positive results allow effective therapy. Find out more.

NEW BOOK FROM GPP. If parents of gifted and 2e kids didn't have enough to worry about with learning challenges, anxiety, and depression, consider existential depression based on a child's search for meaning in the world. Psychologist James Webb has just published a book, Searching for Meaning,   dealing with this topic through his company, Great Potential Press. Read about the book and see a preview.

ADDITUDE WEBINAR. On July 20, ADDittude offers a free webinar titled "Secrets of the ADHD Brain: What You Need to Know About the Condition" with ADHD expert William Dodson, M.D. You can post questions in advance. Find out more.

TED RADIO HOUR. NPR offers programs based on TED talks, and one recent program is titled "The Unquiet Mind." The blurb says, "In this hour, TED speakers share their experiences straddling that line between madness and sanity — and question if we're all in the gray area between the two." Feeling brave? Find out more.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

IT'S BEEN A WEEK since our last post, sorry. We were at the annual SENG conference, this one in Orlando at the World Center Marriott resort. We sat in on some good 2e-related sessions that we'll write up for the next issue of the newsletter. It was great to see other members of the 2e community there, including parents just starting on "the journey." SENG's annual get-together is a cozy, 400-plus-person event that's satisfying because many people there are on the same mission -- to help twice-exceptional kids meet their potential. (And to rail against those obstructing that mission; for example, as one mom vehemently told us in conversation at our exhibit table, "That teacher was sent from hell to kill my child.") Frustrated parents notwithstanding, many of the attendees were educators who "get it" when it comes to twice-exceptional learners. it was a good conference.

SENG stands for "Social-Emotional Needs of the Gifted." It seems as if the Montgomery, Maryland, County Public Schools will now use social-emotional measures to ascertain student achievement. According to the Washington Post, "Montgomery is joining hundreds of districts across the country in trying to quantify how students feel about school and their lives so school officials can work to improve academic outcomes by improving school culture." Read more.

DSM-5 AND AUTISM. A recent study reported in Clinical Psychiatry News says that almost half of toddlers diagnosed with ASD under the DSM-IV will no longer meet diagnostic criteria for autism in the DSM-5, with has a more stringent threshold. Find out more.

ASD ADVOCACY. Autism Speaks has released an "Advocacy Tool Kit," which the organization says is intended to "provide a basic knowledge of advocacy and negotiation skills... [and] show how to apply these skills to different situations throughout the lifespan of an individual with autism." Find out more.

ULTRASOUND AND MOOD. A University of Arizona researcher wondered if ultrasound in a certain frequency range might affect mood in the human brain, because certain protein structures within the brain tend to resonate in that frequency range; the structures are known to be linked to mood and consciousness, according to Science News. We'll let the researcher, Stuart Hameroff tell the rest of the story:
I said to my anesthesiology colleagues, "We should try this on chronic pain patient volunteers." His colleagues respectfully suggested he try it on himself, first... After 15 seconds with an ultrasound transducer, a standard ultrasound imaging device, placed against his head, Hameroff felt no effect. "I put it down and said, 'Well, that's not going to work.' And then about a minute later I started to feel like I'd had a martini." 
The effect has possible implications for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Read the write-up.

CAG SYMPOSIUM. The California Association for the Gifted is putting on its third Northern California CAG Symposium, a day-long affordable conference, on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at American Canyon High School in Napa County. According to the Association, the event will have over 60 workshops for parents and educators of gifted children, including workshops that address the needs of twice-exceptional children. Folks with questions about this event can contact Karen Littell at or (707)539-5046. Find out more.

PERSPECTIVE. We post a lot of research-related items here. A blogger at the New York Times offers some perspective on research. The title of the post is "Dear Parents: Please Ignore the Latest Research." Read it.

NEUROEDUCATION. A blog posting at Edutopia makes the case for teachers to know about and use neuroscience. Judy Willis says, "Now that the neuroscience research implications for teaching are also an invaluable classroom asset, it is time for instruction in the neuroscience of learning to be included [in the curriculum] as well in professional teacher education." Read more.

FREE PLAY. Do you believe in the benefits of free play for children? Now there's an Encyclopedia of Play Science, established by the National Institute of Play with support from the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association. The Encyclopedia establishes the field of play science and is free and open to the public, providing resources for those interested in the science behind the free play movement. Find the encyclopedia, but remember where the funding  came from.

AND FINALLY, THIS. It's summer in the Northern Hemisphere. A Loyola Medical Center Psychologist cautions that vacation travel also can pose risks to your mental and physical health. A news release from the medical center, in Maywood, Illinois, lists the health risks, including "conflict with fellow travelers" -- presumably children and spouses as well as strangers. The news release also talks about travel's benefits, however. Read more.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

TODDLER TANTRUMS? Maybe it's not ODD or the new label Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, but simply not enough sleep. A recent study linked behavior problems to lack of sleep -- to less than 9.4 hours of sleep a night, to be precise. (The nightly average for four-year-olds in the US is 10.5 hours, evidently.) Read more.

BRAIN WAVE DIAGNOSIS FOR ADHD? The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has approved an EEG-based device, the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid, to help clinicians be more certain in their diagnoses of ADHD. The device measure theta and beta brain waves, and the results are intended to be used on conjunction with other diagnostic tools such as behavioral questionnaires. Some clinicians are skeptical, according to The New York Times. Read more.

SPATIAL REASONING ABILITY can predict, along with intelligence tests, later creativity and innovation and accomplishment. A longitudinal study dating to the late 1970s tracked very intelligent young people based on their SAT scores at age 13 and their spatial reasoning ability at that same age. According to a study write-up, "...spatial ability at 13 yielded additional predictive power, suggesting that early spatial ability contributes in a unique way to later creative and scholarly outcomes, especially in STEM domains." Find out more.

AUTISM DIAGNOSIS. Early intervention with autistic kids pays off, and early intervention depends on early diagnosis. A Vanderbilt University research program trained community pediatricians in Tennessee on autism diagnosis. Participating pediatricians were able to better screen for and diagnose autism with accuracy rivaling specialists. Read more.

DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE. Today's webinar on "erasing math anxiety" is full, but the session will be recorded and posted at the site of Dyslexic Advantage and on YouTube. Find out more.

BELIN BLANK. To commemorate 25 years of programming and support for high-ability students, the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa has produced and released a video. You may find it on YouTube.

WRIGHTSLAW, for its Summer School 2013, is presenting a four-part series on becoming a special ed advocate. If you're the parent of a twice-exceptional child, those could be skills that are useful to you. Find out more at Wrightslaw.

SENG. To observe National Parenting Gifted Children Week (July 21-27), SENG is offering four free webinars next Monday through Thursday, a different webinar each day. Registration for these webinars was $40 each when they originated. Find the schedule in the SENGVine Newsletter.

OUR BRIEFING. We'd like to know whether we should be worried about formatting our bi-weekly email briefing for delivery on mobile devices. To help us, please tell us whether you often read such items on your smartphone or tablet. Find the poll. Thanks!

Friday, July 12, 2013

News, Resources from the Publisher of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

BIOMARKER FOR SPD. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have found that children affected with sensory processing disorder have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other neurodevelopmental disorders, according to materials released by UCSF. The researchers found abnormal white matter tracts in the SPD subjects, primarily involving areas in the back of the brain, that serve as connections for the auditory, visual and somatosensory (tactile) systems involved in sensory processing, including their connections between the left and right halves of the brain. Maybe this'll answer the question, "Is SPD real?" Read more. By coincidence, the Child Mind Institute this week published the third of a series of articles on SPD, this one titled "The Debate Over Sensory Processing" -- a look at t he dispute over whether it's actually a disorder and whether treatment for it works. Find that article.

STUDY DRUGS DON'T WORK? The Wall Street Journal recounts recent research, including last month's study from Quebec, on whether ADHD stimulant medication can actually improve grades. The research covers both students who have ADHD and are medicated and students without ADHD. Read the article.

LABELS AND MINDSET. The publication of the book Ungifted, by Scott Barry Kaufman, has triggered a number of articles about and examinations of intelligence lately. In The Atlantic, a writer provides excerpts from the book that chart Kaufman's arc with regard to labels and achievement, and also brings into the discussion Carol Dweck's concept of mindset, tying that to labels. The article writer says, "when teachers and parents get lazy, and allow labels to supplant cultivation of potential, we fail. We fail our children, and we fail as educators and parents. For far too many children, the assignation of a label signals a death knell for future effort, learning, and academic achievement." Sound relevant? Read the article.

AUTISM RESEARCH. A collaborative formed by Autism Speaks "has found full genome sequencing examining the entire DNA code of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their family members to provide the definitive look at the wide ranging genetic variations associated with ASD," according to a news release. The study was able to link genetic risk to the manifestation of ASD in about 50 percent of the study participants. Read more. Separately, other researchers have linked the presence of extra brain fluid in infants to a high incidence diagnosis of autism later in childhood. If the results are valid, this would provide a biomarker for ASD in very young children. Read more.

ADHD WEBINAR. ADDitude is offering a free webinar on July 16th titled "Time Blindness and ADHD: Strategies for Becoming More Aware of Time." Interested? Check it out.

DYSLEXICS SPEAK ON CIVIL RIGHTS. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity (YCDC) is launching the Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative (MDAI) on August 4-5, 2013, with a two-day meeting of educators, legislators, policy makers, scholars and philanthropists at Yale University. Among those scheduled to address dyslexia as a civil rights issue are entertainer and social activist Harry Belafonte; British space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock; former US senator and ambassador Carol Moseley Braun; entrepreneur Daymond John; and Pulitzer Prize nominee Victor Villasenor. Drs. Bennett and Sally Shaywitz, Co-Directors of the YCDC and members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, will provide the audience with the scientific underpinnings of dyslexia and its practical implications for policy and practice. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS. A start-up company has developed a "digital diaper" that can, in conjunction with a smartphone app, detect baby's UTI, kidney dysfunction, or dehydration. The diaper includes patches of colored squares that react to different conditions; the smartphone app takes a picture and uses color changes to analyze the diaper. The phone can also upload the information for physician reference. Read more.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e Newsletter

IT'S A STRANGE TIME OF YEAR. The news releases we're reading are mentioning both "the start of summer vacation" and "back to school." Plus the news machine seems to have shifted into low gear this week. But here's what we've found relating to giftedness, LDs, child development, parenting, and education -- all to help inform you as you raise or teach those twice-exceptional children you know.

PARENTING: BEDTIME for kids should happen at a regular time, according to a recent study in the UK. Kids with irregular bedtimes may not perform as well cognitively, scoring lower on school tests -- and we surely don't want that for our bright young ones. Read more.

SUSAN ASSOULINE is profiled in an article at the University of Iowa website. Assouline is the director of the Blank-Center there, which is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. Assouline describes the influences and pathways that led her to her position and talks about some of the impacts the Center has had. Assouline is a
 member of 2e Newsletter's Editorial Advisory Board. Find the article.

LD ONLINE's current issue of LD News focuses on executive function, along with its relationship to motivation (or the lack of it.) Parents and educators of bright kids who tend to be labeled "lazy" might want to check out the articles. Find the newsletter.

BRAIN STRUCTURE AND DEPRESSION. Recently we blogged about fMRIs that could detect increased activity in the amygdala in depressed preschoolers. Now comes a study showing connectivity differences in depressives in other areas, namely between the the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the medial temporal lobe. The study write-up is a little dense (or else we are), but researchers are trying to figure out the implications -- and causal relationships -- involved in their findings. Find the write-up.

Friday, July 5, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

FIGHTING FOR FAPE. The Hovem vs Klein ISD case is dead, thanks to the US Surpreme Court's decision not to revisit a lower court's reversal of all the Hovem family had achieved in the family's long-running battle with the high school that allegedly violated their son's rights under IDEA. We've written about this case over the years; see "Fighting for FAPE" in the articles section of our website. Signe Hovem has written and posted an eloquent and disappointed reaction to the end of the family's fight. We'll write more about this in the newsletter, but read her account at

ADOLESCENT SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS has a definite "cerebral" component, according to a study at Harvard. The study involved:
  • A participant-completed instrument indicating how the participant responds to social evaluation
  • An in-the-fMRI measure of how participants reacted when they thought they were being watched by a peer.
Certain late-developing regions of the prefrontal cortex did indeed "light up" much more in adolescents than in children or adults. Find out more.

DEPRESSED PRESCHOOLERS have different brain function than healthy peers, according to a Washington University study. The difference -- elevated activity in the amygdala -- could lead to ways to identify and treat depressed children earlier in the course of the illness, potentially preventing problems later in life. Read more.

ADHD AND GAMES. An article at explores how kids with ADHD are attached to reward-providing games and devices, and how their concentration differs from neurotypical kids. It also explains why separating these kids from their devices isn't easy, especially when "reality" is marked by less-than-satisfactory social relationships -- and how maybe the devices can be used as part of a solution to problems of social skills. Read the article.

NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION. If you're interested in how the membership of the National Education Association views certain issues in education, check an Education Week blog called Teacher Beat, blogging live from Atlanta during the NEA's convention July 2-6. One item from the blog: a new business item urging the removal of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was voted on. (It failed to pass.) Find out more.

THE GUT AND AUTISM. In our last post we pointed to an item on the gut and the brain that mentioned connections between the gut and behavior and mood. Today we ran across an item exploring the difference in gut bacteria between autistic kids and typical kids. A study has shown that children with autism host fewer types of gut bacteria. Researchers think that the findings "may ultimately be used both as a quantitative diagnostic tool to pinpoint autism and as a guide to developing effective treatments for ASD-associated GI problems," according to a write-up of the study. Read the write-up.

MIDWEST 2e EVENT. Consultant, author, and speaker Susan Baum is scheduled to present at the Midwest Center for the Gifted on August 22nd. It's billed as "a roll-up-your-sleeves, highly interactive workshop focusing on strength-based, talent-focused learning." The Midwest Center, in Des Plaines Illinois, is a non-profit organization that serves as a channel for best practices and an incubator for new ideas in educating, guiding, and parenting gifted children and teens. Find out more about the event.

YOUTUBE has a variety of education channels, and an NBC news segment explores them. The channels mentioned in the segment cover science, math, biology, history, government, Japanese, and ESL. Find the segment.

ADHD STATISTICS. The Child Mind Institute pointed us to a tool whereby you can find statistics on ADHD by age, region, gender, medication status, and more. If you're curious about how your household or school stacks up against your state or the rest of the country, find the tool. The site also provides information on the incidence of ASD and other measures of physical and emotional health.

GOT AN IEP? Wrightslaw, in the current issue of Special Ed Advocate, explains how a recent court decision interprets the importance of parental participation in IEP meetings. In the decision, "The Court held it was not reasonable for the DOE to prioritize strict deadline compliance over parent participation at the IEP meeting. Parent attendance at the IEP meeting must take priority over the attendance of others." Find Special Ed Advocate.

IMAGINATION CHALLENGE. Sikorsky Aircraft is sponsoring a challenge for children 9 to 16 -- to envision a helicopter capable of addressing global issues likely to be encountered by mid century. Find out more. (Note: the home page of the site has images of cool flying machines and explanations that will likely engage the target audience for this challenge.) (Another note: be aware that many Sikorsky helicopters are used mainly for combat and defense purposes.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

AUTISTIC HYPERCONNECTIVITY. A study of 20 children with high-functioning autism indicates that they have higher-than normal connectivity among five major brain networks. Hyperconnectivity to and from one area, the salience network, means that a greater-than-normal number of brain areas are activated at the same time. This hyperconnectivity could lead to restrictive and repetitive behaviors, according to the researchers. Find out more from a news release, or read a fuller article in the Los Angeles Times.

OMEGA-3 AND MOOD DISORDERS. An Ohio State professor of psychiatry is studying the effect on mood disorders of omega-3 oils plus a psychotherapy called psychoeducational psychotherapy. The disorders include depression and bipolar disorder NOS (not otherwise specified). The researcher notes epidemiological studies showing an inverse relationship between the consumption of the certain omega fatty acids and mood disorders. Read more.

IRON AND MOOD DISORDERS -- and ADHD and autism. A researcher thinks that iron deficiency anemia is linked to all of those conditions. A write-up of the study notes that iron is "necessary for the proper function of the brain’s chemical messenger systems—including those that regulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine." Those chemicals sound familiar if you're a parent or educator of twice-exceptional children, right? The write-up hedges on causation, but says that a serum iron level check would be a good idea in any child with a psychiatric disorder. Read more.

VISUAL WORKING MEMORY IN TODDLERS evidently can hold 1.3 to 1.8 objects at a time, according to researchers at the University of Iowa. This compares to 3 to 4 objects for adults. The researchers used optical neuroimaging in three- and four-year-olds to come to their conclusions, and think that the research can help with earlier identification of conditions such as ADHD. Find out more.

DMDD -- get used to it. It's a new diagnosis in the DSM-5, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, and it's like tantrums on steroids. An article at explains it, starting with a great picture of what looks like a very testy young person. Find the article.

THANKS TO THE NAGC, you can find out what's happening in terms of gifted ed legislation in the U.S. Go to NAGC's "Capital Update."

DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE is planning a series of webinars on topics relevant to dyslexia, including one called "High School Dropout to Harvard." Sign up at to find out more.

TED ON ED -- education, that is. TED has bundled nine talks on the topic, covering the importance of champions for kids, feedback for teachers, ways to spark learning, "gangland daughter to star teacher," and more. Find them.

SENG CONFERENCE. The last day to register online for the conference is July 3, according to the organization. If you're thinking about attending, check out the conference site.

THE GUT AND THE BRAIN. We've blogged previously about studies showing a connection between gut bacteria and the brain, but Cerebrum has posted a lengthy article on the topic. From the article: "Remarkably, these naturally occurring, ever-present commensal bacteria may be instrumental in how our brain develops, how we behave, react to stress, and respond to treatment for depression and anxiety." Have a "gut feeling" the article might be interesting? Find the article.

ADDITUDE has two articles posted online which might be of interest. One is on fish oil dosages for ADHD, the other is on how to get your ADHD child to talk to you. (Although sometimes we'd be just as happy when they don't talk to us.)

CYBERSCHOOLS. We're usually skeptical of press releases from organizations touting their products or services, but one from a Pennsylvania charter school caught our eye. It told story  of a ninth-grader with Asperger's who was about to drop out of high school... but who instead became a National Merit Scholar by way of the charter school. Find the press release.

ANOTHER THING TO WORRY ABOUT. A rat study showed that nursing mama rats exposed to the antibacterial soap ingredient triclocarban adversely affected their offspring's chances of survival. Now, this was just a rat study... and there are balancing factors for the use of antibacterial soap... but if extrapolating from these study results makes you nervous, check out the study write-up.