Thursday, July 3, 2014

LD PhD, Sleep Deprivation, Columbus Group, and More

LOTS OF ITEMS today, July 3, right ahead of our Independence Day observation here in the U.S., where we celebrate the formation of our country and ditching mean old George III of England.

THE ITEM MOST LIKELY TO BE OF GENERAL INTEREST today is one that came to us via TheFreep (thanks), and it's a first-person account of what it's like to be a PhD scientist in the biological sciences while having a couple LDs and processing language at a 14th percentile level. It's a great account of perseverance, thinking differently, and good hopes for others with LDs. By the way, in his account the scientist makes a statement that makes it seem as if someone's fudging numbers: "Scientists and engineers (S&E) with LDs is not unheard of: approximately 0.9 percent (311) of all (34531) S&E doctoral recipients in 2011 self identified as having one or more learning disorders." Point nine percent? Some of these PhDs aren't fessing up. Find the article.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE offers Part 2 of a series on sleep deprivation in teens, "What Happens When Teenagers Don't Get Enough Sleep." We all know they get grumpy, but the article explains how being in a haze can lead to increased risk of injury, poor self-regulation, and substance mis-use. Find the article. In Part 3, coming up, what's to be done.

COLUMBUS GOES TO NEW ZEALAND -- the Columbus Group, that is. Next April, the 10 members of the so-called Columbus Group of experts on giftedness will be presenting a symposium in New Zealand. The group's focus is on giftedness as asynchronous development and heightened intensity. Kathy Kearny and Linda Silverman are both members of the Columbus Group who serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of 2e Newsletter -- but we haven't yet heard any invitations from them to accompany them, expenses paid, to cover their tour there. :-) Find out more. (Thanks for Jo Freitag for this item.)

POLICY WONKS might be intersted in a CEC "Issue Brief" called "Investing in Special and Gifted Education." It lays out the need for special ed, the historical background of major initiatives such as IDEA, and the federal government's woeful record of underfunding IDEA programs. Find the brief.

CBT AND MEDS -- better in combination for pediatric depression. That's the conclusion of a study that indicates a lower relapse rate in children who received both modes of treatment. Find out more.

SMARTPHONE AS TREATMENT TOOL. Data collected by a smartphone app can help clinicians treat disorders such as bipolar disorder by opening a "window" into patients' activities. During a clinical trial, "the app acquired data from patients' phones and sent the information to distant computers, where advanced algorithms analyzed the data to detect changes in patients' sleep, communication, mobility, and vocal patterns." Find out more.

ONLINE AUTISM STUDY. A study on the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of autism symptoms is billed as "the first pediatric autism study conducted entirely online." During the study, researchers recruited families online, confirmed eligibility for the study, and gathered feedback from parents and subjects' teachers on the subjects' behavior. And the hypothesis? There was no statistically significant effect on behavior from the fatty acids. Read more.

WRIGHTSLAW SUMMER SCHOOL. Lesson 2 of Parent Rights and Responsibilities in the IEP Process is now available: identifying problems and clarifying issues at IEP meetings. Find it.

PRETEND YOU'RE A CLINICIAN. An article at the site of Clinical Psychiatry News gives an approach for differentiating the underlying problem in an irritable, inattentive, and disruptive child. (Hungry and tired?) Read the article for tips on differentiating ADHD and bipolar disorder.

AND WE'RE OFF -- for the long weekend, part of which might involve standing in front of a grill, part of which might involve rereading a chapter on the American Revolution, and part of which will likely be spent prone in contemplation. 

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