Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Super Visual Genius" Kiddo with ASD, Jane Clarenbach, $200K College Scholarship, and More

A PHYSICIAN AND AUTHOR, writing at the Huffington Post, describes her son Jack's WISC-V experience at the hands of a special education consultant. “Jack," says the evaluator, "you, my friend, are a visual super genius." Jack also has an autism diagnosis. The physician/author/mom writes, "I discovered a new term -- twice exceptional or 2e. Twice exceptional refers to children that are intellectually gifted with some form of disability." Welcome to the 2e community. Find the article.

JANE CLARENBACH RETIRES. You might not know her name, but for more than 20 years attorney Jane Clarenbach has served NAGC in a variety of ways, among them coordinating NAGC's efforts for legislation and funding to benefit U.S. gifted children. Clarenbach's last day with NAGC is today. Find out more.

ASD, 16, WITH A $200.000 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP. Disability Scoop pointed us to an article in the Hartford Courant about a 16yo young man on the spectrum who entered Trinity College in Hartford this fall riding a four-year scholarship valued at $200,000. The article notes, "He had top test scores and grades, as well as recommendations from his high school noting his brilliance in math and music, and his contribution to the Quiz Bowl Team, the Cryptography Club and the concert and jazz bands. Even for him, however, some schools didn’t want to take a chance." Find the article.

CEC RESOURCES. The Council for Exceptional Children has prepared "issue briefs" on a variety of gifted and special ed topics, encouraging advocates to use the briefs in preparation for encounters with legislators and policy-makers. Thinking about getting more involved in advocacy? Find the briefs.

LANDMARK COLLEGE, dedicated to students with learning challenges, has issued a new edition of its "Insider" e-newsletter. In the newsletter are items about this fall's convocation for 176 new students; a new professional certificate program from the college's Institute for Research and Training; federal funding for a five-year program involving STEM for students with LDs; the upcoming symposium on September 30, mentioned in a recent blog posting here; and another symposium titled "Understanding our Neurodiverse World: A Symposium on Best Practices for Teaching Business and Economics to Students Who Learn Differently." Find the newsletter.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has posted an article on RTI focusing on student rights when RTI is applied. The intro to the article: "Response to Intervention (RTI) was designed for early identification of children with learning difficulties, but critics suggest it may have the opposite effect. The Department of Education provides clear guidelines to ensure that RTI does not interfere with your child’s rights to be evaluated for LD." If RTI is an issue for your child, find the article.

TiLT PODCASTS now number 25, and the newest is devoted to an OT-developed app, SnapType, for kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia. TiLT says the creator "designed SnapType to give kids who have learning disabilities that impact their handwriting an easy way to fill in worksheets so they don’t fall behind in class. Created only two years ago, SnapType has been downloaded more than half-a-million times and is being used in more than fifty countries." Find the podcast.

THE PROCEDURAL DEFICIT HYPOTHESIS OF MATH DISABILITY is the name of a theory to explain why some people have so much difficulty learning math skills. Under the theory, abnormalities in "procedural memory" cause the difficulty. According to a write-up of the theory, "Procedural memory is a learning and memory system that is crucial for the automatization of non-conscious skills, such as driving or grammar. It depends on a network of brain structures, including the basal ganglia and regions in the frontal and parietal lobes." Interestingly, this same system has been implicated in dyslexia. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- about "selfies." Regularly snapping selfies with your smartphone and sharing photos with your friends can help make you a happier person, according to researchers. The types of photos in question involved a smiling selfie; a photo of something that made the photographer happy; and a photo the photographer believed would make someone else happy when they received it. So even though the act of snapping selfies can be obnoxious, maybe it has an upside. Read more.

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