Thursday, June 23, 2016

Google Glass and ASD, Summer, ADHD Stuff, and More

GOOGLE GLASS AND AUTISM. Stanford University has developed an experimental application for Google Glass, one that helps children with autism interpret what others' faces mean, in real time. The children involved in the project use the device and application for three 20-minute sessions each day when interacting with family members. Glass detects emotions on others' faces and flashes the word "happy" or "sad," etc, into the display. Find out more.

CHILD PSYCHIATRISTS. Remember how for the past decade or two there's been a dearth of child psychiatrists? Here's a news flash from NBC News: there still is. Find out why you might not be able to find a shrink for your 2e kiddo when you need one.

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. As of last Monday, it is officially summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Child Mind Institute has posted an article titled "Summer Success Kit for Kids with ADHD." Among the tips for success: keep a schedule; set goals; avoid surprises; and more. Find the article.

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. The Stony Brook University Social Competence and Treatment Lab is now recruiting families to participate in a group social skills intervention study. The Long Island, New York lab, also called the Lerner Lab, seeks families with a child between 8 and 17 who has a diagnosis of ASD or for whom ASD is suspected. Social groups will take place for 1.5 hours in the lab, once per week for 10 consecutive weeks. Find out more.

SUMMER RESOURCE. An organization called "Playful Learning" offers, for a fee, online summer enrichment for kids and their families. For example, this week's lesson was "Backyard Science," described this way: "By sharing what we discover in our own backyards, our children will be able to experience firsthand how wildlife, climate, and geographic landscapes differ across the globe. Through this workshop we have the potential to create an eye-opening experience for our children that will have many lasting positive effects." Find out more.

HANDWRITING (NOT KEYBOARDING) is still essential for learning, according to the Well feature in The New York Times, which reviews research published in The Journal of Learning Disabilities along with testimony from a variety of experts. Handwriting apparently helps kids pay attention to written language, and also helps them master what is a fairly complex task. Also covered is a problem common in 2e kiddos, struggling with writing. Find the Well column.

PANDAS. Beth Maloney's book Saving Sammy is now available as a non-print book for a very low price through Amazon, $1.99 for Kindle or $4.99 for an audio version, some strings attached. Find out more.

DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE. This organization's June newsletter is out, packed full of dyslexia-related features. If dyslexia is an "e" at your house, check it out.

UNDERSTOOD is offering three chats with experts:

Separately, Understood also currently offers on its site a feature on how ADHD medication works; find it.

EXERCISE -- it's good for you.
  • Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms; read more.
  • Exercise changes the brain in beneficial ways, perhaps in one way by boosting a "Miracle-Gro" for that organ; read more
  • Walking in nature changes the brain, according to a new study; read more
  • Exercise may help with depression. Commenting on a recent study showing the effects of exercise on depression, an MD at Journal Watch said: "...these results — together with this research group's earlier findings that exercise improved depressive symptoms, sleep, and cognition — strengthen the evidence for exercise as an effective augmentation treatment for nonremitted MDD. Clinicians should consider exercise as part of the treatment plan for patients with MDD." (Journal Watch is by subscription only.)
WRIGHTSLAW, in Special Ed Advocate, points out something many of us might not know: "A parent’s right to observe his or her child during the school day is supported by federal law." The current issue of Special Ed Advocate, according to Wrightslaw, provides "answers to questions about FERPA, student privacy and confidentiality, and parental rights to observe your child’s classroom." Find it.

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