Friday, April 25, 2014

News, Resources from 2e Newsletter

THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY has passed legislation to help students with dyslexia be identified and properly served. According to the Press of Atlantic City, students who manifest a reading problem will be screened by second grade, and educators will receive two hours per year of professional development in reading disabilities. Find out more.

A "RESERVOIR" OF SELF CONTROL? Researchers hypothesize that self control can be depleted by long periods of exerting self control, and that drugs like Ritalin can prevent that depletion. The suggestion: "methylphenidate may help to boost performance of the specific circuits in the brain's prefrontal cortex that are normally compromised after sustained exertion of self-control." Read more.

EXECUTIVE FUNCTION ISSUES is the topic of an article at the site of the Child Mind Institute -- specifically, how to know whether your child has those issues. The article is "a guide to tests that identify problems with organization." Find it.

NCLD has posted an article about the benefits of mentoring for kids with learning and attention issues, pointing out the benefits, types of mentors, and how to find one. Find the article.

GIFTED ED AS SPECIAL ED. A dialog in the Albuquerque Journal has a reader giving reasons why gifted ed should be, in New Mexico, anyway, subsumed in the existing administrative framework for special ed. The writer, attorney Mike Osborn, also points out in his letter the challenges that gifted students can face. (Way to go, Mike!) Find the letter. Or, read the editorial that prompted the letter, an editorial asserting that New Mexico "has historically tried to game the system by lumping 'gifted' students in with disabled students, skewing the real and perceived needs."

NEUROTIC is not a term we hear much anymore -- not since we stopped watching Woody Allen movies, at least -- but  some researchers are still looking into the topic. They define it as "a personality trait defined by the experience of chronic negative affect -- including sadness, anxiety, irritability, and self-consciousness -- that is easily triggered and difficult to control. Neurotic people tend to avoid acting when confronted with major and minor life stressors, leading to negative life consequences." The researches studied about 4,000 college students in 19 countries to find out more about how neurotics deal with life. If you know a kid who fits the definition above, check out the research.

GHRELIN AND DEPRESSION. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone, but a new study suggests that stimulating its production can quickly affect depression. How? In the words of the researchers, “After identifying the mechanism of ghrelin’s anti-depressant actions, we investigated whether increasing this ghrelin effect by directly enhancing hippocampal neurogenesis with the recently reported P7C3 class of neuroprotective compounds would result in even greater anti-depressant behavioral effects.” Evidently it did, so there you go. Read more.

EDUCATION WEEK has posted a ton of materials on Common Core in a special report. If you're interested in this topic, check out the report.

NAGC has posted information about highlights of its November, 2014, conference, to be held in Baltimore. 
Find the highlights, which include information about keynotes, certain "Signature Sessions," pre-convention sessions, and registration.

NCLD reminds us about its LD Advocates Guide, a 30-page piece published in 2012 containing basic material about LD advocacy along with sections on working with policymakers and working with the media. Also included: a glossary, a resource listing, and appendices relating to special ed law. Find it.

SPECIAL ED INFOGRAPHIC. Someone at has compiled an interesting infographic illustrating "the cost of compassion" -- how government supports special needs children's programs. The graphic shows such things as the percentage of public school children served under IDEA; how much various states spend on special needs; and some sources of help for parents. Find the infographic.

NEW WAYS TO STUDY WITH ADHD is the topic of a 12-slide piece at Maybe you know these -- maybe there's something new. Find it.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- our culture for the day. Sometime this week was probably the birthday of "Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere," according to old baptism records -- good old Bill the playwright. This year is the 450th anniversary of his birth. Want to read more? Google the topic, then have a good time seeing what it means to different people and institutions. As for us: we just hope that no one ever says about this blog that "it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5, not a particularly cheery scene but one that sticks in one's mind.)

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