Thursday, October 6, 2016

Special Ed, Cursive, ADHD, and More

TEXAS, THE FEDS, & SPECIAL ED. The U.S. Department of Education is coming down on the state of Texas for its alleged capping of special ed services at a percentage of students significantly less than other states serve -- 8.5 percent versus a national average of about 13 percent. “It appears that the state’s approach... may be resulting in districts’ failure to identify and evaluate all students suspected of having a disability and who need special education," wrote a D.O.E. official, according to Disability Scoop. Read more.

HANDWRITING WARS. We have the feeling that for lots of families with 2e kiddos handwriting is an issue -- and that the issue can be compounded by the *style* of handwriting required by the teacher or the school. We're talking about cursive. Thanks to a reader who has a son with dysgraphia and bad experiences with cursive, we point you to an article titled "Cursive Handwriting and Other Education Myths," written by a (left-handed) writer/author. Find the article, and thanks, Nancy!

ADHD AND THE LAW. Wrightslaw devotes an issue of Special Ed Advocate to students with ADHD, covering the recent U.S. D.O.E. guidance for schools concerning those students; how students with ADHD are entitled to special ed services; and legal resources and information concerning ADHD students. Find Special Ed Advocate.

A CHICAGO-AREA FILM-MAKER wants to create a documentary titled "Behind the Silence" about a young couple with a son whose diagnosis of autism is affecting their marriage. The topic is likely to resonate with families in the 2e community. If you'd like to find out more about the film and consider "crowd-funding" it, go to this page. Find out more about the filmmaker here.

TiLT's most recent podcast is titled "Understanding and Combating Negative Stigmas Associated with Neurological Differences." TiLT's founder interviews Ann Douglas, author of Parenting Through the Storm. Find the podcast.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has posted about low-tech assistive technology, noting that there's a lot more to A.T. than "the latest and greatest high-tech gadgetry." For example, don't neglect the old yellow highlighter. Find out more.

SLOW PROCESSING SPEED, a topic of interest to many in the 2e community, is to be addressed in a event put on by Transdisciplinary Workshops on November 29 in Maine. The full title: "Bright Kids Who Can't Keep Up: Helping Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed, and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World." Find out more.
DEPRESSION is the topic of several recent studies or articles.
  • writes how collaborative care, involving doctors, family support, and a depression case manager -- can be an effective approach for adolescent depression. Find the article
  • A press release notes that Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a new pathway in the brain that can be manipulated to alleviate depression. The pathway offers a promising new target for developing a drug that could be effective in individuals for whom other antidepressants have failed. Find the release
  • And an article at The Huffington Post is titled "9 Things People with High-Functioning Depression Want You to Know." Find the article
HORMONES AND THERAPY. If your bright kiddo gets counseling for anxiety, fears, or phobia, it might serve that kiddo best if you schedule counseling sessions for the morning, if new research is to be believed. That's because levels of cortisol are highest in the morning, and that hormone "is thought to facilitate fear extinction in certain therapeutic situations," according to a press release. Read more.
ADHD, DOGS, AND BLOOD MARKERS. Apparently mechanisms of ADHD in dogs are similar to those in humans, and scientists have found markers in the blood of dogs who are hyperactive. One of the researchers says, according to Medical News Today, "Our discovery supports the existing belief that human and canine diseases are similar, which suggests dogs can serve as excellent models for human illnesses." Read more.

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