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.)

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