Wednesday, September 4, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

KIDS AFFECT PARENTING. That's the conclusion of a study involving thousands of identical and non-identical twins. The hypothesis: Genetic differences in kids affect the family environment and parental behavior. Researchers estimated that these genetic differences accounted for about 23 percent of parenting differences. Not raising your kids the same way? Find out why.

PARENTS AFFECT ADHD TREATMENT. Do you as a parent of an ADHD child emphasize academic performance? Then you're probably more likely to prefer medication to treat the child's ADHD. Are you worried about behavior? Then you might choose behavioral therapy first. Those are the conclusions of research reported at Health Day. Read more.

ADHD AND THE BRAIN. From an article preface at Cerebrum: "Ten years ago a landmark study showed that the structure of the brains of children with ADHD differs from that of unaffected children. Since that study, enhancements in imaging have given researchers a better look at key hubs in the brain and how they network—advances that could prove useful in the control and treatment of ADHD in both children and adults." The article covers the history of what we know about brain structure and ADHD, discusses whether structural differences are cause or effect when it comes to ADHD, and briefly gets into developmental structural changes and what those can mean for growing out of ADHD -- or not. Find the article.

PARENTING CONFLICT is the topic of an article at the site of the Child Mind Institute. You know what it's about -- consistency in messaging and discipline when it comes to raising  kids. If this is an issue at your house and you want to see how it affects other families -- and what to do about the issue -- read the article. Separately, there's an older article on the site about what to look for in a school search for your special needs child; the article doesn't mention "twice exceptional," but the tips apply. So if you've ever done, or are considering, looking for a new school for that great twice-exceptional child you raise, you might be interested in this article.

MISSED THIS AT THE WORLD CONFERENCE. At the conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children last month in Louisville, the Council elected Professor Humphrey Oborah of Kenya to be its president for the next four years. The Council has over a million members, according to The Star of Kenya. Read more.

GIFTED IN OHIO: NOT GETTING MUCH. That's the assertion in an article in the Marion Star, which notes that most traditional public schools in the state have been graded C or lower for "gifted student growth." In Ohio, as in many other states, gifted children are identified but services are not mandated. The result? “There’s a whole bunch of kids identified as gifted who are not being served by the school in which they attend,” one education analyst is quoted as saying. Find the article.

WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION? It's hard to tell, because not many methods are subjected to a randomized "clinical" trial as methods and interventions are in medicine and the sciences. But the Institute of Education Sciences in the United States, part of the Department of Education, is conducting such randomized studies to find what works and doesn't. According to The New York Times, one discovery so far is that the quality of instructional materials can have as much effect as the quality of the teacher. The Institute has a "What Works Clearinghouse" describing methods that might work or that haven't be adequately tested as of yet. (Note: the Institute focuses on math and science education.) One section of the clearinghouse focuses on interventions for students with special needs as identified by IDEA 2004. A search for "dyslexia" there brings up 13 results. Unfortunately, many of the results start out, "No studies of [method name] that fall within the scope of the Students with Learning Disabilities review protocol meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards." On the other hand, one program cited in the special needs area "was found to have no discernible effects on external behavior and emotional/internal behavior, and potentially positive effects on social outcomes and academic performance for children classified as having an emotional disturbance." If nothing else, this is a great start for bringing rigor and clarity to interventions and education for all kids, not just twice-exceptional children. Check it out to see if the issues you're concerned with are covered; maybe you'll be lucky.

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