Monday, July 7, 2014

Genetics, ADHD, Parenting, Dyslexia, More

GOT A RELATIVE WHO doesn't believe in learning issues, or ADHD? The National Center for Learning Disabilities offers three tips so that you can "move forward in a way that will be most helpful for your child." Included: how to establish common ground; bringing in reinforcements; and keeping the focus on the child. Find the tips.

GOT A KID who feels bad about the ADHD label? ADDitude offers a brief slideshow of 11 celebrities with ADHD. Hopefully your child will identify with the talents and interests of at least one. Find the slideshow.

FIGURE THIS ONE OUT: adults with dyslexia are five times more likely than non-dyslexic peers to report having been physically abused before the age of 18. Did dyslexia somehow foster the abuse? Or is it the other way around? The researchers who discovered this link aren't sure. Read more.

GENETICS 1. Understanding the basis of psychiatric disorders has been extremely challenging because there are many genetic variants that may increase risk but are insufficient to cause disease. Now investigators describe a strategy that may help reveal how such 'subthreshold' genetic risks interact with other risk factors or environmental exposures to affect the development of the nervous system. This particular research focuses on schizophrenia but could represent "a promising new approach for understanding the mechanisms underlying some of the most intractable psychiatric illnesses." Read more at Science Daily.

GENETICS 2. Researchers have been able to link a specific genetic mutation to a specific subtype of autism. Autism in general is thought to have many genetic contributors as well as a variety of possible environmental influences, but this study isolated 15 children (out of a population of thousands) with a specific mutation who had similar characteristics in appearance (large heads, wide-set eyes), sleep disturbances, and gastrointestinal problems. The researchers then achieved similar characteristics in an animal model by disrupting the same gene. Find out more.

A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL is offered by Jen, who blogs at Laughing at Chaos. She describes changes in her kids that once seemed unimaginable. If you need reassurance that things might get better as your kids grow up, read the blog.

AND FINALLY, THIS. If you read the recent blog item here about the controversy in Common Core math standards, you might be interested in follow-up discussion at the site of The New York Times. As usual, respondents' positions are mixed. Find the discussion.

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