Friday, September 5, 2014

Depression, ADHD, Hard Work versus Talent, and More

CHILDHOOD DEPRESSION can be difficult to distinguish because it manifests differently than adult depression, according to an article in the Washington Post. The article says that even preschoolers can show signs of depression, however, and provides characteristics of depression in children and in adolescents, along with signs that should tell parents to seek help for their kids. Find the article.

AGGRESSION WITH ADHD sounds like a tough combination for any parent to handle. Recent research indicates that a combination of drug therapies (stimulants and antipsychotics) plus parent training can help. A study compared two groups differing only in whether the antipsychotic risperidone was part of the treatment and found that "augmenting stimulant medication and parent training in behavior management with risperidone may result in additional behavioral improvement in aggression, anger, and irritability over the short-term for children," according to one of the researchers. Read more.

HARD WORK. You probably know Carol Dweck's hypothesis that praising effort rather than native talent is more effective in terms of encouraging healthy achievement. A Michigan State University study indicates that simply telling people that hard work is more important than genetics causes positive changes in the brain and may make them willing to try harder. "Giving people messages that encourage learning and motivation may promote more efficient performance," said the lead investigator. "In contrast, telling people that intelligence is genetically fixed may inadvertently hamper learning." Find out more in an MSU press release about the research. Separately, other research shows that how a student reacts to setbacks -- eg, a failed exam -- depends at least in part on how much control the student feels he or she has over what happened. And there's evidently a physiological basis for the difference in the reaction, as evidenced by activity in areas of the brain that deal with goal-setting based on past experience and with flexible regulation of emotion. The findings have implications for how to present news of a setback to students; read more

IT'S STILL BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME, and this week a couple organizations offered advice for "connecting" with school. At the site of the Child Mind Institute is a list of seven things to tell the teacher about your child, including health conditions (including ADHD), strengths and weaknesses, and learning style; find it. And this month's newsletter from LD Online offers tips and resources to strengthen home/school communication; read the tips

SPEAKING OF BACK TO SCHOOL -- we're offering our Spotlight on 2e Series booklets at reduced prices this month. Parents, perhaps consider buying a copy of Understanding Your Twice-exceptional Student for your 2e child's teacher, or stocking up on other titles for yourself. Find out more at our website

SENG has made a major change to membership. Supporters can now choose to become "official" members with dues that range from $20 (student) to $75 (professional) per year. The paid memberships come with a variety of discounts and other benefits, such as discounted conference fees and one free SENG webinar per year. Not sure yet which category we fit best, but you can be sure we'll be joining. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- one more thing to worry about, phenols. Some of them may interfere with fetal development in boys. Exposure can come from mom's exposure to parabens (in cosmetics and healthcare products) and triclosan (in some soaps and toothpastes). The compounds are classified as endocrine disrupters. In some ways, it's not a friendly world out there. Read more.

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