Thursday, December 19, 2013

News, Resources from the Publishers of 2e Newsletter

MORE ADHD. In the most recent briefing, on December 15, we included an item from The New York Times about how pharma companies might be contributing to "marketing the ADHD diagnosis to the public" -- and, consequently, to a rise in prescriptions to "treat" ADHD. That article has engendered quite a bit of discussion, both at the site of the Times in other places. From some of the letters to the Times:
  • "A strange competitive culture has arisen among my generation, wherein those who can boast the most severe symptoms — “Oh, I’m so A.D.H.D.!” — get an exemption from responsibility and accountability."
  • "For a 9-year-old boy to sit still in a classroom for five or six hours a day and pay attention to things he is not necessarily interested in is a fairly unnatural act, and he may have trouble focusing. If that same child is a leader on the playground, a not unusual observation, or excels at certain sports because he is able to shift attention in a rapidly changing environment, can we fairly consider it a pathology? Or that it should be medicated?"
Find the letters. Separately, an opinion piece at the site of the Child Mind Institute takes a more moderate view than the writer of the New York Times article, saying, " What [the writer] doesn't do is offer any evidence that these marketing efforts are the major, or even a major, factor in the increase." Go to the Child Mind Institute article

RESOURCES FOR THE GIFTED. In the most recent briefing we also noted a New York Times editorial on support for gifted and talented children in the United States. That article, too, engendered lots of reaction. You can read some of it at the Times site.

TEEN GENE. Researchers have discovered a gene labeled DCC that could help explain why some mental health issues emerge during the teenage years. Discovery of the gene could help address illnesses triggered by the gene. "We know that the DCC gene can be altered by experiences during adolescence," said the lead researcher. "This already gives us hope, because therapy, including social support, is itself a type of experience which might modify the function of the DCC gene during this critical time and perhaps reduce vulnerability to an illness." Read more.

GIFTED CHILD QUARTERLY published an issue devoted to twice exceptionality, which we blogged about last month. What we just discovered (thanks, Del) is that GCQ has a blog where you can see videos of some of the authors -- including Megan Foley Nicpon, guest editor of the issue --  discuss their contributions to the issue. Find the blog.

SENG NEWSLETTER. December's SENGVine is out, featuring a great "good-bye" article from outgoing SENG Board President Lori Comallie-Caplan; an introduction to the new SENG online Parent Support Groups; an article on the psychosocial development of gifted chidlren; and an article on helping gifted children "discover their passion." Find the newsletter.

THE SCIENTIST IN THE CRIB. Long-time readers of this blog and our newsletter know we're fans of the work of Alison Gopnik, a psychologist who studies the cognitive development of young children. In an edition of the NPR program "To the Best of Our Knowledge," Gopnik describes some of her work about logical thinking in these kids; the edition is titled "The Scientist in the Crib." Find it.

IT'S THE SEASON for "best of" lists. NCLD offers "Our Top 10 Inspirational Quotes of 2013," featuring on motivational ideas from a variety of people; find the quotes. Separately, The New York Times offers "The Top New York Times Best-Selling Education Books of 2013." Some of the titles look as though they would be of interest to those who raise or educate gifted and twice-exceptional children; find the list.

IT'S THE SEASON, TOO, for all kinds of organizations to take a break from normal activity during the last two weeks of the year. Depending on how much news we find, our postings might be fewer until 2014. But regardless, we wish you a happy holiday season!

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