Tuesday, June 14, 2016

ASD in College, False Claims on Treating ASD and ADHD, and More

ASD IN COLLEGE. "Richard was one of the brightest kids in his high school class," starts a story produced by the Hechinger Report and featured at the site of Disability Scoop. The story focuses on the challenges faced by college students on the spectrum, no matter how smart they are -- challenges such as potentially intense reactions to events in class; hearing "literally" (keep your mouth zipped); and general communication issues. Also included: what some colleges are doing to help such students. Find the story.

"CURES" FOR ASD, ADHD. The developers and marketers of the LearningRx “brain training” programs have agreed to stop making a range of false and unsubstantiated claims and pay $200,000 under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The company and its 80 franchised learning centers claimed their programs were clinically proven to permanently improve serious health conditions like ADHD, autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, and concussions and that the training substantially improved school grades and college admission test scores, career earnings, and job and athletic performance. They also allegedly claimed that LearningRx brain training is 10 times more cost-effective than tutoring. Read more.

THIS IS GIFTED AWARENESS WEEK in New Zealand, and some advocates for gifted kiddos there don't think the government does enough to serve the gifted population. One advocate "believes the needs of gifted learners in New Zealand are largely ignored at government level," according to a press release from the New Zealand Center for Gifted Education. Read more.

A STRAIGHT-A STUDENT and star athlete in high school ponders her issues with anxiety and ADHD as an adult. She'd had lots of strategies to "succeed" as an adult, but one day her psychiatrist asked, “Do small noises distract you to the point of completely derailing you from work?” Her answer led to an evaluation for and diagnosis of ADHD, which led her to pull out old journals looking for evidence. Read more of her story.

SLEEP. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued guidelines for how much sleep children should get. For example, kids 6 to 12 should sleep 9 to 12 hours a day, according to the Academy, and teens 8 to 10 hours. Find out more.

FOR POLICY WONKS. The Hechinger Report offers information about how the legacy of NCLB will affect ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act that replaces NCLB. The article notes some of the strengths and weaknesses of NCLB and how ESSA has been positioned to obviate some of the weaknesses. Read more.

MORE ON EDUCATION. David Brooks, in The New York Times, ruminates on how education depends on "love" -- a secure home life, a respectful and attentive teacher, and a student brought up to be worthy of the attention given by teachers and to want to succeed. Brooks says that over the past generation our students' emotional foundation has collapsed, but that finally attention is turning to the social and emotional needs of all students. He concludes, "Today we have to fortify the heart if we’re going to educate the mind." Find the opinion piece.

ADULT MEET-UP. California's Summit Center is offering a free virtual meet-up for gifted adults on July 21 at 12 Pacific time. To be hosted by Paula Wilkes, the event is billed as a free online video conference to discuss, in an informal setting, concerns such as:
  • Having trouble concentrating at work 
  • A spouse, colleagues, or bosses who just don't seem to "get" you 
  • Having a child diagnosed with something that you might also have. 
Find out more.

NEW BLOG. Chicago-area parenting coach Kimberlee King has initiated a blog at the site of her business, Inspired Attention. Kimberlee is very much part of the 2e community, and in the first posts on her blog she offers her perspective on ADHD and giftedness, "underpaid and underappreciated" (the parent's position), the effectiveness of punishment on ADHD kiddos, and "low-hanging fruit." Find Kimberlee's blog.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Is beauty only skin deep? Children don't seem to think so; like adults and babies, children think the uglier you are, the less trustworthy you are. Find a write-up of the study confirming these findings.

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