ADHD MEDS, BONE DENSITY. Research indicates that the use of stimulant meds is associated with lower bone density in the children who took such medications. In fact, about 25 percent of those children met the criteria for osteopenia, a thinning of bone mass that's not as severe as osteoporosis. According to one write-up of the research, "although a link between osteopenia in childhood and osteoporosis in later life has not been confirmed, low bone density in children could potentially have long-term consequences, including poor bone health in adulthood, because childhood is when bones gain mass and strength." Read more.
TWO RELATED ITEMS ON ADHD. First, apparently young people who misuse stimulant medications (like those prescribed for ADHD) do so with meds obtained from someone else. Read more. Second, an editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia calls for "more careful assessment and diagnosis" of ADHD to prevent overprescription of stimulant meds and consequent misuse of those meds. Read more.
DEFIANCE? OR ANXIETY? A mom (who is also a writer of middle-grade and YA novels) writes in the Washington Post about her son and her journey in parsing defiance from anxiety. She passes along six tactics for helping a child cope with his behavior. Among those: give names to the various "worry monsters" that plague the child. Read more.
HOMESCHOOLING BENEFIT. Teens who are homeschooled benefit from healthier sleep habits than those who go to most private and public schools, a new study has concluded. The findings provide additional evidence of teens' altered biological clocks and support an argument for starting traditional high school later in the morning. Find a write-up of the study.
CELLPHONES AND MENTAL HEALTH. Is cellphone use detrimental to mental health? A new study finds that addiction to, and not simply use of, mobile technology is linked to anxiety and depression in college-age students. Find a write-up of the study.
DBS AND TOURETTE'S. A recent study shows that targeting the thalmus region with deep brain stimulation can be effective in treating severe, medication-resistant Tourette Syndrome. Find out more.
LD ONLINE has issued its March newsletter, focusing on helping students who struggle with written expression. Find the newsletter.
FOR NUMBERS NERDS, 1. The U.S. government has a facility with which you can see how many people are the websites of particular agencies, which pages they're on, where they're from geographically, and whether they're sitting at their computers in their pajamas (just kidding about that last one). Want to see? Try the site of the U.S. Department of Education.
FOR NUMBERS NERDS, 2. Big and small numbers are processed in different sides of your brain. Yup. The Internet tells us so, so it must be true. Actually, scientists at the Imperial College London tell us so. Find out more.
FOR POLICY NERDS. The U.S. government has compiled a list of FAQs about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
- For example: "Where can the public access the text of the act?" (Answer: The full text of the ESSA is available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS- 114s1177enr/pdf/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf. In addition, the full text of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, is available at http://legcounsel.house.gov/Comps/Elementary%20And%20Secondary%20Education%20Act%2 0Of%201965.pdf.)
- Example: "What must a State and its LEAs include in State and local report cards with respect to AYP, since a State is no longer required to submit AMOs to ED for review and approval?" If you're so much of a policy nerd that you 1) understand the question and 2) need the answer, go to the FAQs.