Friday, April 22, 2016

Gifted Ed, Depression, ASD, Gap Year, and More

IDENTIFYING, SERVING GIFTED STUDENTS. "Once we have a clear idea of what giftedness is and acceptable criteria for identifying these kids, then we need to invest time and effort on what we are doing with these kids." That's what a professor from the University of Alberta said after investigating gifted ed in Edmonton, Alberta, and finding a variety of criteria for defining giftedness and a variety of ways to try to serve gifted students. He noted that gifted kids are a heterogeneous group, which means that any interventions must be tailored to particular needs. Read more

DEPRESSION, TEENS. Depressed teenagers who received cognitive behavioral therapy in their primary care clinic recovered faster, and were also more likely to recover, than teens who did not receive the primary care-based counseling, according to a study published in the current issue of
Pediatrics. One of the focuses was on effectively treating those teens who decline to take medication for depression. Find a Science Daily write-up of the study. Separately, a large study on behavioral genetics has identified two genetic variants associated with depression, this in a study that also sought to identify genetic variants that lead to feelings of well-being or of neuroticism. One of the researchers, however, indicated that "the genetic variants do not determine whether someone develops depressive symptoms, neuroticism, or have a poor sense of well-being." Read more.

GENETICS AND AUTISM. Autism is a diverse disorder, linked to dozens of different genes, and treatment based on genetics could go a long way toward personalized medicine. An article in The Washington Post describes a large initiative to gather DNA and other information from tens of thousands of families in which autism is present. Find the article; or, go to the site of the sponsoring organization, the Simons Foundation.

MIND THE GAP YEAR. That's the message of an article at the Well feature in The New York Times, explaining the advantages and perhaps helping parents, especially, reframe such an interlude. Find the article. Also in Well -- a look at why girls may tend to be more anxious than girls; find it.

SUMMIT CENTER NEWS. This organization's April newsletter is out, and in it is a preview of a article that is
 a review of literature on the anatomical and physiological differences in the gifted brain. A Summit Center consultant was part of the team preparing the article, which you can find here

DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE. This organizations April newsletter is out, and in it is the announcement of winners of the Karina Eide Memorial College Scholarship and the Young Writers Award Winners; a profile of a "superhero film director" with dyslexia; free stuff to help teachers of students with dyslexia; technology to help those with dyslexia; and lots more. Find the newsletter.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has posted a new article on the topic of parent training programs -- i.e., which programs can help parents deal with difficult behavior in their kids. The programs described are:
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Parent Management Training (PMT)
  • Defiant Teens
  • Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)
  • The Incredible Years.
Find the article.

NEW YORK EVENTS. On 7:30 p.m. on May 2, the Hewett-Woodmere SEPTA and Twice-Exceptional Children's Advocacy will screen the documentary 2e: Twice-Exceptional, at Hewett High School. A panel discussion will follow. RSVP to And on May 11 at 7 p.m. at the Garden City Waldorf Schooll, Dr. Edward Hallowell will present "Stress, Screens, and ADHD: How to Thrive, Not Just Survive." A $15 fee applies. Find out more. 

NAGC RESOURCE. Last December, after the U.S. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, NAGC's Director of Public Education Jane Clarenbach and Executive Director Rele Islas put on a webinar about the gifted ed provisions in that legislation. NAGC has posted the one-hour webinar at its website; find it.
AND FINALLY, THIS. You are what you think, apparently. A team of researchers has recorded the brain activity of 50 people wearing an electroencephalogram headset while they looked at a series of 500 images designed specifically to elicit unique responses from person to person, for instance, a slice of pizza, a boat, Anne Hathaway, and the word "conundrum." They found that participants' brains reacted differently to each image, enough that a computer system was able to identify each volunteer's "brainprint" with 100 percent accuracy. Read more.

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