Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Three Items on ADHD, Access to AP Courses, More

SQUIRM TO LEARN -- cute phrase, and it's used in the title of a research write-up explaining that kids with ADHD need to move to remember information and think through problems. So instead of telling these students to sit still, "you need to be able to facilitate their movement so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities," according to one of the researchers. Activity balls and exercise bikes are two examples of tools that might help these kids perform well academically. Find the write-up.

ANTIPSYCHOTIC FOR ADHD KIDS. Researchers at Ohio State University have previously said that physically aggressive kids with ADHD could be helped by a combination of parent training, a stimulant med, and an antipsychotic drug. Now those researchers say the same combination, for the same type of kids, also reduces anxiety and social avoidance as rated by teachers. The reduction in anxiety supposedly leads to less disruptive behavior. Read more.

ADHD ITEM #3. Researchers have found, in animal models, that the absence of a certain enzyme causes a syndrome resembling ADHD. The study paves the way for a greater understanding of this childhood and adolescent disease, aiming at innovative therapeutic approaches. What did researchers see in animals lacking the enzyme? "We had seen that these mice had overly hectic movements, troubles in concentrating and learning, and they finally showed deficits in social interactions." Sounds familiar. Read more.

ACCESS TO AP COURSES. Many schools still have rules restricting enrollment in AP, IB, or other challenging coursework that would hinder typical twice-exceptional students from gaining access to those courses. These "gate-keeping" mechanisms might consist of GPA requirements, a good grade in a prerequisite, or obtaining a teacher recommendation. A writer involved in compiling the Washington Post's "Most Challenging High Schools" list noted the discrepancy among schools, saying " many schools still keep average students out of their best courses even though research shows they do better in college when given that opportunity." The writer was not writing specifically about 2e students; we're making that connection ourselves. Find the article.

THE TEEN BRAIN is always a topic that's good for discussion. A writer at the site of the Dana Foundation offers insights into the neurobiology of the teen brain. Find out how she and other researchers are trying to understand why so much teen behavior begs the question, "What were you thinking?"

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION FOR THE GIFTED. The spring newsletter of this organization is out, with a brief review of the association's recent annual conference and an interesting framework for applying conference content back in the classroom. Also in the newsletter: a link to handouts by presenters at the conference, some directly relevant to parents and educators of 2e children. Find the newsletter.

SUMMER CAMPS. Early Childhood Education Zone has released a list of 50 of what they call the best summer camps in the country. According to the organization, factors considered included camp accreditation, resources, experiences and programming for campers, and camps that best fit different kinds of children. The camps fall into several different categories including family camps, camps for boys and girls individually, camps for children with special needs, sports camps, co-ed camps, faith-based camps and educational camps. One of the camps mentioned is the Summer Institute for the Gifted. Find the list. (2e Newsletter's listing of camps comes out in the May issue.) Early Childhood Education Zone is the organization that 
in March released a list of "50 Best Playgrounds in America."

THE COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION. Does the school (or you) want to terminate IEP services? Wrightslaw offers advice in Special Ed Advocate about what you should know and do. Find the newsletter.

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