Friday, November 11, 2016

NAGC, Anxiety, ASD, Some Events, and More

NAGC. We attended NAGC's annual convention, this one at Disney World last week. Watch for coverage of 2e-related sessions in the upcoming November/December issue of 2e Newsletter. NAGC has introduced a new strategic framework, announced at the convention, centered on Minds, Policies, and Practices. Find out more. As part of the framework, NAGC has launched a campaign called "Giftedness Knows No Boundaries." Of the campaign, NAGC Executive Director Rene Islas says, "Through this campaign we will allow the public to look into the eyes of gifted children and hear their pleas to "see me, understand me, teach me, and challenge me." Find out more about the campaign, and spread the word if you think it's a good idea. Separately, we noted earlier in the week how Susan Assouline was recognized at the convention with NAGC's Distinguished Scholar Award. In addition, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, director of the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development and a past president of NAGC, received a Distinguished Service Award. Find out more about NAGC award recipients.

ANXIETY IN YOUTH is the topic of an article written by a psychiatrist in Vogue. The writer notes that up to 20 percent of children and adolescents will face anxiety-related issues, yet four of five children with anxiety won't receive treatment. He offers this possible reason for what he calls a health crisis: "We are both putting stress on our children and trying to protect them from the uncomfortable feelings that can be an appropriate response to stress." Read more.

AUTISM NEWS. Disability Scoop reports that a Phase III trial is underway for a drug that might treat aspects of autism. The drug is based on the fact that "many children on the spectrum are deficient in an important enzyme used to digest protein into its building blocks." The drug, an enzyme, is being offered to young patients on the spectrum, including those who are high-functioning, to see if it leads to symptomatic improvement. Find out more. Separately, a recent study reviewed in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology described a trial of the drug Arbaclofen to treat symptoms of ASD, specifically social withdrawal/lethargy. While the trial did not find improvement in that symptom, apparently the drug had other beneficial effects, for example on social skills. Journal Watch, of the New England Journal of Medicine, comments this way on the use of the drug: "Arbaclofen was associated with improvements in social behaviors and global severity, but not in the primary outcome of social withdrawal and lethargy. For people with ASD, gains in even one area, especially social behaviors, are important. Therefore, it seems reasonable to offer a trial of arbaclofen to children with ASD (through caregivers) and to high-functioning independent ASD patients, so long as realistic expectations are established." (Journal Watch is available by subscription only.)

GHF. The Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, looking ahead, has announced the opening of registration for online classes in the spring of 2017. On its website, GHF says, "Our small online classes provide abundant opportunities for interaction among students and instructors. Our classes offer students the opportunity to learn advanced, interdisciplinary content without being overburdened by heavy workload demands." Find out more.

DAVID RABINER, ADHD expert, is presenting in a free online webinar titled "What you need to know about attention and ADHD," a 1.5-hour event to be held on November 17. Find out more.

PROCESSING SPEED. Transdisciplinary Workshops has scheduled a workshop for November 29 titled "Bright Kids Who Can't Keep Up: Helping Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed, and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World." All you have to do is make your way to Freeport, Maine (and pay the registration fee). Find out more.

IS DYSLEXIA AN LD? Yep -- but some schools might try to avoid serving dyslexic students with an appropriate special ed program, according to Wrightslaw. Wrightslaw offers you ways to counter such reluctance. Find out more.

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