Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Javits, Special Ed, Dyslexic Advantage, the Brain, and More

JAVITS FUNDING is not imperiled for 2017, according to the NAGC's Jane Clarenbach. She writes, "this is the first time in many years that the fate of the Javits program does not hang in the balance until the last possible moment in the appropriations process." That's good news. Maybe the funding will be doubled or tripled sometime soon, to a level where it could do more good (our opinion, not NAGC's). Read Clarenbach's optimistic report.

DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE. This non-profit's July newsletter is out, and it includes lots of features: an article on "Finding Dory" and how Dory's parents treat their "different" child; a profile of a dyslexic photographer; an article on Roald Dahl and his dyslexia; and much more. Find the newsletter.
THE LAW AND SPECIAL ED. First, Wrightslaw, in Special Ed Advocate, starts a four-pert "summer school" around the topic of documenting and recording IEP meetings. Part 1: "Learn why, and how, to tape-record IEP meetings." Find Special Ed Advocate. Second, an article at Disability Scoop details what happened when a school retaliated against a mom who was advocating for her daughter's special ed services. Go to the article.
TiLT PARENTING presents another in its series of podcasts, this one about a mom who found how nature could relieve her differently-wired daughter's anxiety. Find the podcast.
UNDERSTOOD offers a couple of possibly 2e-relevant items. One is about the importance of avoiding burnout for kids with learning and attention issues; find it. The other is an upcoming live expert chat with a clinical neuropsychologist about back-to-school anxiety and stress; find it.
BRAIN STUFF. Some significant news items about the brain, predicting intelligence, and academic performance: 
  • Brain map. A new map by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis lays out a very detailed landscape of the cerebral cortex – the outermost layer of the brain and the dominant structure involved in sensory perception and attention, as well as distinctly human functions such as language, tool use and abstract thinking. Find a press release/study write-up; find an article in The Washington Post
  • Intelligence. Human intelligence is being defined and measured for the first time ever. It turns out that the more variable a brain is, and the more its different parts frequently connect with each other, the higher a person's IQ and creativity are. Find the study write-up
  • Academic achievement. Scientists have used a new genetic scoring technique to predict academic achievement from DNA alone. This is the strongest prediction from DNA of a behavioral measure to date. Find the study write-up. (Don't get too excited, however -- the researchers were able to explain only 10 percent of differences in achievement, leaving 90 percent to other variables.)

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