Monday, August 22, 2016

Caught in the Act, Events, Something to Think About, and More

CAUGHT IN THE ACT. Three families in the Portland, Oregon, public school system have filed a complaint, saying that the district denied their children admission to a gifted program because of their disabilities, apparently learning disabilities. Of special interest is a copy of an annotated evaluation form for one of the students. On the form, a "flag" is circled, "Twice exceptional SPED and TAG," and a notation says "Asperger's." We'll keep you posted if we find out more. Find the article and see the form for yourself.

LANDMARK COLLEGE SYMPOSIUM. On September 30, the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training will hold its fourth annual LD Innovation Symposium. The Putney, Vermont, college caters to college students who learn differently. According to the college, the symposium is for "secondary and post-secondary educators, educational technologists, and administrators, as well as students, alumni, and parents." Find out more.

SENG has scheduled a 90-minute webinar (SENG calls it a SENGinar) on September 25. According to its description of the event, "Dr. Leslie Hosey will discuss the over-identification of under-served populations as having educational disabilities (e.g. Specific Learning Disabilities, emotional impairments, etc.). What are the effects of this over-identification? How do typical diagnostic protocols confound appropriate referral to gifted programs?" A fee applies. Find out more.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. Valerie Strauss' column in the Washington Post recently contained commentary about WEIRD societies -- western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic. The thesis is that in many ways members of these societies are outliers when compared to the rest of the world. Among those ways are child-rearing and education. For example, take a child we'd diagnose as having ADHD, a child who is probably energetic, sociable, independent, and even funny. The author's commentary says, "'Experts' in our WEIRD society tell us these children are learning disabled; they have poor impulse control; they lack organizational skills; they are oppositional. One in twenty, one in ten, one in seven of our precious bright-eyed children, we are told, have some kind of organic brain defect that disables them as learners. But any Maori parent knows that you have to watch a child patiently, quietly, without interference, to learn whether he has the nature of the warrior or the priest." Find the commentary.

GOT A MATH PHOBE IN YOUR HOUSE? TED has published a playlist of eight TED talks titled "Math in unexpected places." TED says, "These talks are here to set the record straight and illuminate the unexpected ways formulas and fractions influence everything, from love and war to origami and coral reefs." Find the talks. Maybe they'll help.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. The author of this blog, psychologist Gail Post, has compiled some of her writings on the topic of back to school for gifted teens, middle-schoolers, and their parents. Included are posts on gifted underachievement, procrastination, and surviving public school. Find the compilation.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES also offers some back-to-school advice on making the move to high school. Find it.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Maybe it's too late to cancel that vacation -- or maybe you've already taken a family vacation this year -- but new research indicates that "divorce is seasonal during the periods following winter and summer vacations," the months of March and August. According to a write-up of the research, "The seasonal nature of divorce filings may reflect the disillusionment unhappy spouses experience when vacation time does not live up to their high expectation, the research team points out." Find the write-up, but know that this research only applies to other families, not yours. Yours is just fine. 

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