Tuesday, June 17, 2014

2e Definition, plus ASD, Anxiety, and More

DEFINITION OF 2e. Sally Reis, Susan Baum, and Edith Burke are co-authors of an article in Gifted Child Quarterly titled "An Operational Definition of Twice-exceptional Learners: Implications and Applications." The abstract of the article says, "In addition to introducing this new definition, the authors provide a research-based rationale for the definition, offer a clear profile of twice-exceptional youth, and summarize the development of new programs and practices to enable these students to develop their gifts while simultaneously compensating for their deficits." If you're an NAGC member, you have access to the article through your membership. For those of you who are not members, the definition offered by the authors of the 15-page article is this: Twice-exceptional learners are students who demonstrate the potential for high achievement or creative productivity in one or more domains such as math, science, technology, the social arts, the visual, spatial, or performing arts or other areas of human productivity AND who manifest one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility criteria. These disabilities include specific learning disabilities; speech and language disorders; emotional/behavioral disorders; physical disabilities; Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD); or other health impairments, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These disabilities and high abilities combine to produce a unique population of students who may fail to demonstrate either high academic performance or specific disabilities. Their gifts may mask their disabilities and their disabilities may mask their gifts.

AUTISM SPEAKS AND GOOGLE are joining forces in genomic research on autism spectrum disorder. Autism Speaks will use the Google Cloud Platform to manage its library of genomic information on ASD. Autism Speaks' goal is to sequence the entire genomes of 10,000 individuals worldwide who are affected by autism. Read more.

ANXIETY. Medscape has published an account of a session on anxiety presented during May's annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. The session described the use of cognitive-based therapy for children and adolescents, especially exposure therapy. In addition, the presenter also described some of the experiential and neurological factors that seem to cause heightened anxiety in some individuals. (Our old buddy the amygdala figures into this.) Research was cited concerning the conditions in which exposure therapy seems to work or not. While the article gets somewhat technical with terms like "BDNF Val66Met polymorphism," most of the information in it should be accessible to the parent of a twice-exceptional child. Read more. (Free registration required.)

IEP SUMMER SCHOOL. Wrightslaw is offering its annual summer school for parents. The topic is "Parent Rights and Responsibilities in the IEP Process." It's a six-part, self-study course of instruction for parents who want to empower themselves to participate fully in the IEP process. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- violent video games and lack of empathy. A New York Times blogger uses the occasion of E3, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, to ruminate on whether violent video games desensitize players to violence and its effects. The blogger cites recent research in favor of the desensitizing effect, and also -- ironically -- queries attendees at the show about the hypothesis. Read more.

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