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 klittell5@gmail.com 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.

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