Friday, January 30, 2015

Teens, Perfectionists, Dyslexia, Pesticides, and More

GOT A TEEN? You might want to read the advice from the author of The Teenage Brain, written by the chair of the Department of Neurology at an East Coast med school. She offers her advice on topics such as predisposition to addiction, drinking, marijuana, and the search for constant stimulation. Find the advice.

GOT A PERFECTIONIST? A writer at Motherlode in The New York Times offers advice about the condition, including how to spot it and ways to help a young person deal with it. Find the advice.

GOT A KID WITH DYSLEXIA? Actress Jennifer Aniston has revealed that she has dyslexia, so if your child needs help understanding that it's possible to be successful and that others have faced similar trials, perhaps share Aniston's story. You can read more at the website Understood or at the site of the Child Mind Institute.

UNDERSTOOD also has pointed out a new resource for college students with learning and attention issues. The National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities (now there's a snappy name for you), or the TA Center for short, will have the following features, according to Understood:
  • It will provide information for students and their parents about college services.
  • It will offer training for college faculty and staff on how to meet the needs of student with disabilities and improve their college experience.
  • It will maintain an online database of research, policies, accessible instructional materials and helpful information for students with disabilities.
Find out more.

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION. On January 9th, we blogged about an opinion piece written Jim Delisle in Education Week expressing doubt that differentiated instruction could work in a typical classroom. Evidently that piece touched off an "avalanche" of letters to Education Week, and prompted a response by differentiation proponent Carol Ann Tomlinson. Check out the response at Education Week (if you haven't already used up your free views for the month).
GIFTED OUTREACH. The Connecticut Association for the Gifted has launched an ad campaign in a Connecticut county to boost awareness of giftedness. One interesting statement in the press release describing the campaign was this, about parents in certain situations: "They realize that there is a disconnect between the highly curious, engaged child they see at home, and the student who is not engaged at school, but they don’t know what to do." Find out more.
SCHOLARSHIP RESOURCE. The Institute for Educational Advancement offers gifted kids a variety of resources, one being the summer camp Yunasa. Another is the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship. According to the Institute, the scholarship is for U.S. seventh-graders who are "exceptionally gifted young people who seek a rigorous, diversified high school program but need assistance finding or attending the appropriate learning environment that will help them work towards and achieve their full potential." Find out more.
AND FINALLY, THIS, in the category of "something else to worry about." A new study provides strong evidence, using data from animal models and humans, that exposure to a common household pesticide may be a risk factor for ADHD -- or at least, for manifesting several traits of ADHD. The pesticide is deltamethrin, one of the pyrethroid pesticides. The study was done on mice, but researchers also examined medical records of several thousand children and found that children with a metabolite of the pesticide in their urine were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Read more -- and then go check the label on your insecticide spray.

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