Thursday, March 20, 2014

From 2e Newsletter

ADHD, MEDS, BMI. A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that children treated with stimulants for ADHD experienced slower body mass index (BMI) growth than their undiagnosed or untreated peers, followed by a rapid rebound of BMI that exceeded that of children with no history of ADHD or stimulant use and that could continue to obesity. The earlier the medication began, and the longer the medication was taken, the slower the BMI growth in earlier childhood but the more rapid the BMI rebound in late adolescence, typically after discontinuation of medication. Researchers concluded that stimulant use, and not a diagnosis of ADHD, was associated with higher BMI and obesity. Read more from Johns Hopkins.

FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS. "The genuine concern is, we know we’re not identifying all of this population. We’re not getting nearly enough, and we’re losing them.” That's what a researcher says about gifted kids, about kids who aren't identified early or who don't get special attention at school. And you know that your twice-exceptional kid might be one of those. Read more. (The article quotes Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, former NAGC president, about the disparity between federal funding for the gifted and for special ed.)

MORE ON GIFTED LEARNERS. NAGC Executive Director Nancy Green and Helaine Zinaman, of a Maryland gifted ed group, comment on recent developments that have made it a little easier for some gifted kids to get extra attention -- legislation in Maryland and in Washington, DC. They note that Maryland now requires districts to identify and serve gifted students, joining 27 other states. (Although the mandate is, as often happens, unfunded.) And they also note the restoration of some Javits Program funding, $5 million out of a federal budget of $1.1 trillion. These optimistic gifted leaders conclude their article, "Now is the time to build upon these gains to ensure the precious resource of our talented students is squandered no longer." Find the article, and way to go Nancy and Helaine. 

NON-TALKING TEEN? Not talking to you, the parent, that is? An article at the site of the Child Mind Institute addresses that problem. The article provides guidelines on whether you should really be worried and what you can do. Find out more. Also at Child Mind Institute: a "symptom checker" allowing you to find ot more about disorders that might be affecting your child. For example, you may start by choosing "I'm concerned that my child has trouble paying attention." The tool then asks other questions, and you select conditions that apply, such as "My child has difficulty following directions." The tools asks about life experiences of the child (adopted?) or family history (ADHD?) and then presents a possible disorder to learn more about. The usual disclaimers apply. Find the tool.

WEBINAR: TEACHING DYSLEXICS. On March 26, Education Week will facilitate a "sponsored webinar" in which "leading researcher and educator Dr. Louisa Moats will define dyslexia, provide essential facts, and discuss groundbreaking practices in professional development to help teachers learn what they need to know to help students with this condition succeed in the classroom." Registration is free but required for this one-hour event. Find out more.
ON LINKEDIN? A discussion in the CEC group centers on the "pathologization" of immature childhood traits. Psychologist James Webb weighs in. Find the postings. (The original poster also refers to a Psychology Today article on the topic; find it.)

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