Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gifted Ed, Gifted Creativity, Gifted and Dyslexic, and More

GIFTED IN MISSOURI. An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch paints a picture of how gifted students have been served in that state for the past few decades -- and how those same students are now losing programs aimed at them. The issue is funding at the district level. According to the article, Missouri used to provide tens of millions of dollars to districts, funds explicitly earmarked for gifted education. But changes in funding practices have meant that dollars formerly funneled to gifted programs can now be spent for other purposes. Read more.

BEN FOSS. We recently posted an item about this dyslexic entrepreneur, after which The Freep (thanks!) pointed us to an interview with Foss done in 2009 where he discusses his own experiences with an LD, including learning to self advocate and building a community of support. Of special interest is the inclusion of a portion of writing Foss did in answer to one of the interview questions before he went back to apply any of the several "polishing" techniques he uses on written materials. Find the interview.

PSYCHIATRISTS GIVE "THUMBS UP" TO INSIDE OUT. Newsweek sent six child psychiatrists to view the new Pixar movie Inside Out, about the emotions experienced by an eleven-year-old girl during the unfolding of the plot. The reviewers liked the way the movie portrayed emotions and their interplay, helped put feelings into words, illustrated the subconscious, and more. Read the article.

SPEAKING OF CHILD PSYCHIATRISTS, there's a shortage in the U.S., according to Aljazeera America. The article noted the long wait time for an initial visit, the low ratio of practitioners to prospective patients, and how the health care system might contribute to the shortage. Find the article.

WORKING MEMORY, IMPULSE CONTROL, AND -- SEX. Yep, that charming five-year-old grows up into a fifteen- or eighteen-year-old, but the same problems that plagued him or her as a youngster can lead to risky behaviors with fairly serious consequences. A blogger at Forbes.com describes a recent study of impulsivity and sex, mentioning as well the possibility of parenting practices that can ameliorate the problem. Read more.

NURTURING CREATIVITY. NAGC is making available articles from the current issue and some past issues of Parenting for High Potential on the topic of creativity and how to encourage it in gifted children. For example, one article, by Sylvia Rimm, is titled "Creative Underachievers." Find this resource.

OCD: WHICH TREATMENT? That question might be best answered by brain imaging, according to a study at UCLA. Scans can identify, for example, patients who might benefit most from cognitive-behavioral therapy which actually builds more in-brain connectivity. Read more.

TOURETTE'S: ALSO CBT? A completely separate study shows that cognitive-behavioral therapy can also change the brain functioning of people with Tourette's. If this is an issue at your house, find out more.

ASD AND GUINEA PIGS. Guinea pigs can evidently "calm" kids on the autism spectrum, making these kids "more eager to attend, display more interactive social behavior and become less anxious," according to a blog at The New York Times. While the ASD kiddos will still require social skills training, the guinea pig intervention can help that process. Read more.

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, the movie. Don't forget that this movie has a scheduled screening in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 13, sponsored by With Understanding Comes Calm and the Weinfeld Education Group. If you're in that area, find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- something else to worry about. A mouse study indicates that repeated courses of antibiotics early in life can disrupt the gut microbiome, in effect reprogramming the metabolism and changing the course of development. The researchers say that the findings mean there might be "a biological cost" for repeated antibiotics in childhood. Read more.

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