Friday, January 9, 2015

2e: The Movie, Anxiety, Depression, More

"2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL" -- THE MOVIE! True. Filmmaker Tom Ropelewski has finished his documentary, which will have its world premier at the Richmond International Film Festival, Richmond, Virginia, on February 28. Ropelewski followed members of the Class of 2011 at Bridges Academy as they prepared for life after high school. A reviewer says of the film: “2e: Twice Exceptional is an honest, up-close look at what it’s like to be – or to be the parent or teacher of -- a young person who’s both gifted and coming to terms with a learning difference. Essential viewing for anyone interested in understanding where our next generation of game-changing outliers may be coming from.” To watch the official trailer, for information on upcoming events and screenings, or to inquire about scheduling a screening, says Ropelewski, visit the film’s official website at Way to go, Tom!

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE, with a new article on its site, addresses the bugaboo of many 2e kids, anxiety. The author suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy, rather than medication, should perhaps be the tool of choice for remediating anxiety. Find out why.

DEPRESSION is another 2e bugaboo, and a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry shows just how prevalent and serious depression can be in adolescence. Read about the study at Science Daily. Separately, another study noted at Science Daily looks into genetics and depression, along with gene/environmental interaction. So far, researchers have not found the kind of genetic "loci" for depression that they have for conditions such as bipolar disorder. Read more.

PREDICTIVE BRAIN SCANS. Brain scans may be useful in predicting the outcome of therapeutic interventions or even identifying students who might have difficulty learning particular subjects, for example math. One psychiatrist is already using the technique to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which patients will successfully complete smoking cessation therapy. The researchers say that the technique might be usable by "the general public" in perhaps five years. Read more at NPR or at Science Daily (slightly different takes).

DIFFERENTIATION DOESN'T WORK, writes educational cynic Jim Delisle in Education Week. Lumping differentiation with other "cure-alls," Delisle reviews the history of differentiation over the past few years, and notes how difficult it can be to implement in practice. He writes about the typical classroom, "Toss together several students who struggle to learn, along with a smattering of gifted kids, while adding a few English-language learners and a bunch of academically average students and expect a single teacher to differentiate for each of them. That is a recipe for academic disaster..." Read the article and see if you agree.

SLEEP AND ACADEMICS. We blog about sleep often, it seems, partly because it seems to be important for the functioning of our kids and partly because it's something that's theoretically under our (or their) control. The most recent study on the topic points out that a good night's sleep is especially important for subjects depending on executive functions, subjects like math and languages. The researchers urge parents and pediatricians to be on the lookout for possible sleep problems. Read more.

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