Monday, March 9, 2015

Lots of Items -- ASD, UDL, ADHD, Depression, More

THE CARE AND NURTURING OF THE GIFTED CHILD is the title of an article at the Huffington Post. The author, an arts critic, uses a variety of media works to illustrate and comment on issues such as living up to expectations; the discipline needed to develop gifts; parental pressure; and more. For example, he refers to a documentary called Alphabet about the differences between what adults expect and the directions children would develop on their own. The author says that the filmmaker's thesis is, "Too much of our educational system is based on an 'alphabet' that steers young minds down a path designed to support capitalism rather than creativity." Find the article, and think about governor Scott Walker.

UDL AND BEYOND. Universal Design for Learning is a framework for adapting education in ways that fit all students. Now a group of UDL pioneers is trying to tackle issues besides cognitive or physical impediments to learning -- they're going after emotional impediments, the things that de-motivate learners. Focusing on struggling middle-school readers, the researchers are developing ways to present materials that engage in a mode/medium that's accessible and to keep learners engaged using social and interactive techniques -- showing what classmates thought about given articles, for example. Into UDL? Read more.

LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM is the subject of a documentary having its premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival this April. "Autism in Love" examines the reality of autistic adulthood... [and] the challenge of keeping romance alive," according to festival officials quoted at Disability Scoop. Read more -- but not much more -- at Disability Scoop.

COLLEGE WITH A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE can be a big challenge. The Detroit Free Press points out the challenges of leaving home and support, what the Americans with Disabilities Act requires of colleges, and provides pointers to more resources. Find the article.

EXECUTIVE FUNCTION INTERVENTIONS might not work. Or, at least, there's not much evidence that they boost student achievement, according to research published in the journal Review of Educational Research. The research consisted of a meta-analysis of 67 other studies. The authors get into causal versus correlative and all that, but conclude, “Although investing in executive function interventions has strong intuitive appeal, we should be wary of investing in these often expensive programs before we have a strong research base behind them.” Read more.

EXERCISE, THE BODY, AND THE MIND. A twins study in Finland reveals that when one sibling stops exercising it can lead to big differences in not only the body but in the brain. Active twins had more "significantly more grey matter than the sedentary twins, especially in areas of the brain involved in motor control and coordination." Use this study to motivate that sedentary, video-game-playing teen you know.

DEPRESSION THERAPY for pre-adolescents is more effective when it's family based, says a study write-up at Science Daily. Is depression an issue with your young person? Find out more.

DEPRESSION shares some underlying mechanisms with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, evidently, and these seem to tie back to a brain receptor for glutamate. If you're into the mechanics of neurotransmitters, check out this article.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Apparently a surprising -- to us, anyway -- proportion of toddlers get coffee to drink. Caffeinated coffee. A study in Boston found that 14 percent of 2-year-olds got coffee, usually just an ounce but up to four ounces, and 2.5 percent of 1-year-olds imbibed. Read more.

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