Thursday, April 23, 2015

Achieving with LDs, ADHD & Writing, More

CAN YOU BE A GOOD STUDENT and still have learning disabilities? That's the title of an essay at the site of the Child Mind Institute. All of us here know the answer to that question, of course, even though we would probably qualify the answer to "yes, but." The author is a board member for the Institute and an achiever in business. In the essay she tells of the toll that her own LDs exacted as she was growing up. Many of the teacher comments she relates from growing up will resonate -- eg, "Is she not interested?" Find the essay.

AUTISM, PRODIGY: A GENETIC LINK. Researchers at Ohio State University have uncovered the first evidence of a genetic link between prodigy and autism. The scientists found that child prodigies in their sample share some of the same genetic variations with people who have autism. Read more.

ADHD AND WRITING. An article at describes six challenges faced by students with ADHD when it comes to writing, and then offers solutions for each one. For example: to minimize the student's difficulty in concentrating on or grasping the assignment, give clear and concise instructions. Find the tips.

EXTRA TEST TIME: CHEATING? The website Understood tackles the issue of extra test time and how it can seem to be "cheating" to friends of the recipient of that accommodation. A writer offers ways to make sure the recipient understands the why and how of the situation, and then to help the recipient practice ways to explain the situation to friends. Find the article. Separately, Understood is asking its users and fans to vote for Understood in the competition for the annual Webby Awards. The site is in the "family/parenting" category. If you're a fan, add your vote. Voting ends today.

BPA, NEWBORNS. We've written about BPA and its effects on the body and mind. A new study indicates that infants are apparently surprisingly able to handle the BPA they come into contact with, chemically altering it into an inert form. Find out more.

MODELS OF EXCELLENCE. A blogger at Education Week compares performance models in athletics with models in academics, and contends that what we need in academics are tangible, analyzable models of work products that can illustrate what students should strive toward. He acknowledges that there are educational standards, as in the Common Core Standards, but goes on to make this analogy: "Picture the difference between reading a rubric of proficient play in soccer, and watching an Olympic soccer game." He also says that such models of excellence can work well in conjunction with the Common Core standards. Read the blog. (If you can't access the Education Week site, the same posting is here.)

AND FINALLY, THIS -- a mother's affect on teen driving. Researchers observed that teens driving alone found risky decisions rewarding. Blood flow to the ventral striatum, a "reward center" in the brain, increased significantly when teen drivers chose to ignore a yellow stoplight and drove through the intersection anyway. A mother's presence, however, blunted the thrill of running the yellow light. Read more.

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