BACK TO SCHOOL. Right, we know. It seems a little early to think about that, even though we saw those words for the first time this season as we scanned news items for the blog and briefing today. However: for our September issue we'd like to do an article on ways to get the new school year off to a good start for 2e kiddos. We're betting that our resourceful, astute, and persistent readers have discovered some pretty good techniques, and if you'd like to share them we can base the article on what we hear. Some potential examples: writing an explanatory letter to the teacher (what do you put in it that works?); meeting with the principal (how do you make it a productive meeting?); implementing strategies/systems of various sorts. Please share by email with Mark at you-know-where. Thanks! (And sorry to interrupt your summer.)
2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, THE MOVIE. This movie's producer offers up a "bonus clip" in which the a family discusses the issues involved when their twice-exceptional son chooses not to go to college after high school and takes an unusual “gap year” instead. Find the clip.
INTERVENTION FOR AT-RISK COLLEGE ENTRANTS. In The Washington Post, Daniel Willingham reports on an intervention that can help ensure the college success of two types of at-risk students: those from disadvantaged backgrounds; and those who are the first in their families to attend college. The brief, online intervention was trialed in three varieties, all of which were effective: one acknowledging that feeling out of place was common but noting that most young people do okay; one focusing on the growth mindset; and one combining the first two. Find out more.
ALZHEIMER'S LINK TO CHILDHOOD. Brain scans of almost 2,000 children revealed structural and size patterns associated with a gene known to play a role in about 25 percent of Alzheimer's cases, according to the Los Angeles Times. The gene also was related to cognitive function, working memory, and attention in the children. The newspaper noted that the findings "suggest that Alzheimer’s may be much more than a disease related to the brain’s inability to clear beta amyloid plaques. Instead, it may be useful to think of it as a developmental disorder." Read more.
- Children as young as 9 months-old prefer to play with toys specific to their own gender, according to a new study. The research suggests the possibility that boys and girls follow different developmental trajectories with respect to selection of gender-typed toys and that there is both a biological and a developmental-environmental components to the sex differences seen in object preferences. Find the study write-up. (These results are probably no surprise to the parents reading this.)
- A single brain receptor is responsible for a range of symptoms in mice that are reminiscent of obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to a new study. The findings suggest that OCD and other psychiatric disorders could be amenable to treatment using a class of drugs that is already being investigated in clinical trials. Find the study write-up.
- Fathers play a surprisingly large role in their children's development, from language and cognitive growth in toddlerhood to social skills in fifth grade, according to new research. Find the study write-up.