Friday, December 30, 2016

The Difference Teachers Can Make, Gifted and Well Adjusted, Year-end "Best of," and More

THE DIFFERENCE A TEACHER CAN MAKE. A teacher tells in a blog posting about a student who entered his school as a freshman. "He was intelligent but feared school, and as a result, he under-achieved. On the first day of enrollment at Midwest Academy he was unable to leave his parents’ car to enter the building. I was sent to fetch him." What happened next was the start of a long process by which the student eventually overcame his fear of school and found some success. Read more, and thanks to Nancy M for pointing us to this story.

OVERCOMING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. Carrie Fisher was noted as a mental health advocate, speaking candidly about bipolar disorder and how it affected her life. Read more.

GIFTED ... AND WELL ADJUSTED? Gifted individuals are more likely to be well adjusted, according to research recapped in a Psychology Today piece posted earlier this year. Two caveats:
  • "...specific subgroups of gifted children that teachers fail to identify, due to underachievement or in education undervalued talents such as creativity, are at risk for lower levels of psychological well-being.”
  • "Overall, gifted students go on to be high achieving well-adjusted adults. However... this does not mean gifted student’s don’t face problems or challenges. Many do, and without appropriate academic challenge and acknowledgement of the psychological issues they might face, this can potentially do harm."
Find the article.

WHEN IS THE BRAIN "DONE"? There's no simple answer, according to an article in The New York Times. The ongoing development of neural networks confers different capabilities at different times. An expert quoted in the article said, “Sixteen-year-olds are just as good at logical reasoning as older people are." But not when it comes to keeping their emotions under control. And, "In the frontal lobe, in the front of the brain, new links are still forming at age 30, if not beyond." So when will that 2e kiddo's brain be "done"? Who knows. Find out more.

IT'S THE END OF THE YEAR, and lots of media outlet compile "best of" or "most read" lists. Here are a few that might be of interest to the curious, intelligent members of the 2e community:
  • The Washington Post "On Parenting" column shared the 10 most-read pieces of 2016. One was "6 ways good parents contribute to t heir child's anxiety." 
  • The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation chose the top 10 advancements and breakthroughs by those who received foundation grants. Research findings were in the areas of treatment-resistant depression, ketamine for depression, the gut-brain connection in certain psychiatric disorders, how treating metabolic deficiencies can help depression, and more. 
  • Education Week posted its most-viewed education stories (including one on the growth mindset and a couple on the potential effects of the election on education in the U.S.) and top education commentaries (including iconoclast Jim Delisle on "Why I'm Tired of Grit"). 
TEN YEARS AGO, the November/December issue of 2e Newsletter featured the topic of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. See what we included in that issue. And if you want to see what we were writing about in this blog five years ago, at the end of 2011, you can find that here.

DON'T FORGET the set of videos on 2e topics we've posted. You can access them here.

AND HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Back in January. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2e-Friendly School, ADHD Matters, Dyslexia, and More

LONG ISLAND 2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL OPENING. The Long Island Whole Children's Academy will welcome its first class this January, according to NY Metro Parents. Founded by Ellen Richer, former head for school for Quad Prep in Manhattan, the school will serve students in third through eighth grades at its campus in Melville, New York. Find out more.

TEST ACCOMMODATIONS: No Help for Students with ADHD? A blog posting at Education Week reports that accommodations do not improve standardized test scores for test-takers with ADHD. A study found that students with ADHD who received accommodations such as extra test time did no better than students with ADHD who did not receive accommodations. Find the blog.

AND MAYBE NEUROFEEDBACK DOESN'T WORK. We missed this last April, apparently. A study reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found no significant effects of neurofeedback on the symptoms of ADHD. The study was a meta-analysis, and it focused on trials that were randomized and controlled. Trials that were "blinded" -- where the person rating behaviors did not know what kind of intervention the subjects had -- showed no significant differences in behavior. Commenting on the study, Journal Watch said: "Findings from randomized, controlled studies with blinded raters are negative and do not support the use of electroencephalography-based neurofeedback training for ADHD. Families seeking nonpharmacological interventions — because of family preference or the children's intolerance of ADHD medications — need to be informed of these results."

PREVENTION DRUG FOR DEPRESSION, PTSD? A drug under investigation in mice for its effects in enhancing resilience -- thwarting depression and PTSD -- is discussed in a TED talk from September of 2016. The presenter notes that current anti-depressants probably treat symptoms, not the cause -- comparable to using a painkiller to dull pain stemming from an infection. In contrast, the drug, Calypsol, acts like a vaccine, in a preventative manner. Find the talk and the transcript.

DYSLEXIA AND ADAPTIVE LEARNING. A recent study was reported at the site of Time, and the study indicates that dyslexia may be due to inefficient "adaptive learning." Says Time, "When the brain sees something new, whether it’s a word, object, voice or experience, it expends a lot of neural energy to gather as much information about the novel stimulus as possible. But if it does this every time it hears the same voice, or encounters the same dog barking, for example, that wouldn’t be efficient." So reading is compromised by problems with adapting to new (or un-new) stimuli such as sounds and words. Read more. Find another write-up of the study, which was published in Neuron, at Science Daily.

WEBSITE ADDITION. We've added an "Advocacy" page to the resources section on our website. The page provides resources and news aimed at helping parents become effective advocates for their children and to help young people who are twice-exceptional become effective self-advocates. Find it.

TiLT PARENTING has added a resources section to its website: "some of our favorite podcasts, posts, books, and websites specifically geared to support a variety of neurodifferences." The section includes material on twice-exceptionality, and TiLT calls the section a work in progress. Find the new section.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Synesthesia is a condition where sensory input is experienced in ways outside the norm. For example, hearing a sound might lead to the visualization of a particular color. Apparently a gastoral synesthete who is a world-class chef experiences all sensory input as tastes. Read more.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Education, Psychotherapy, Books, The Senses, and More

SINGLE-SESSION TREATMENT? Can one session of psychotherapy successfully treat childhood disorders? A recent study indicated that such sessions could be effective for treating anxiety and conduct disorders, but not depression substance abuse, or eating disorders. The study was in the November 25 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Journal Watch, from the NEJM, commented this way on the study: "...these data supporting the effectiveness of single sessions for treating childhood anxiety and conduct disorders may be profoundly useful to clinicians. The finding that less-costly single psychoeducational sessions were as effective as those requiring specialized training (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy) further strengthens the feasibility of implementing single-session treatments."

A LIST OF GREAT CHILDREN'S BOOKS written by dyslexics is what Dyslexic Advantage offers for "holiday reads." Dr. Fernette Eide's list includes Peanuts, books by Roald Dahl and Henry Winkler, and more. Find the list.

UNDERSTOOD notes that ADHD and sensory processing issues can have some of the same signs, and offers a table differentiating the two. If you're wondering what's behind the meltdowns in your house, or fidgeting and squirming, or issues of personal space, check out the table.

SENSORY EXPERIENCE in general is the topic of an article at the site of the Dana Foundation. The article addresses the question of how much sensory stimulation is optimal for development of the brain. A couple mouse studies provide clues. In one study, lab mice were given a much larger environment to live in and explore than such mice usually have. In another study, mice were exposed to an environment comparable to what we'd call "overstimulation" for our kiddos. Both studies resulted in brain changes, and you'll have to read the article to find out more.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Psychologist Gail Post has blogged about what are, in her opinion, the best articles on gifted education of 2016. Among the topics: acceleration, resilience, grit, cultural disparity when it comes to gifted ed, and the "play gap." Find Post's post.

ADHD IN PRESCHOOLERS is the topic of a new article at the site of the Child Mind Institute, covering how it might be diagnosed, behavioral treatment, and considerations for meds. Find the article.

WCGTC is the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, a global organization that holds a biennial conference somewhere on the planet. (Next July the conference is in Australia.) If you're interested in what's going on with WCGTC, check out the organization's December newsletter -- especially if you're an international member of the 2e community.

TiLT PARENTING, in its most recent podcast, addresses a topic that is a fact of life for some families of gifted or 2e kiddos -- parents who are no longer together, and what they can do to best support their -- in TiLT's words -- "differently-wired kids." If this topic is relevant at your house(s), check out the podcast.

UPCOMING EVENT. The Summit Center has scheduled a one-hour webinar on January 25 addressing the topic of supporting smart girls. The intended audience consists of parents of girls 6 to 16. Dr. Lisa White presents, and a fee applies. Find out more

QUIZ. What Oklahoma school district is in potential hot water with the DOE OCR for discrimination against a 2e kiddo? Hint: You should have read Tuesday's blog post.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Sometimes we get lost in the weeds of education. An article at the site of The Washington Post would snap our focus back on a simple question with a complicated answer: What are schools for? The writer proposes one overarching aim: "Maximize learner ability to make sense," which has lots of aspects that go beyond what the writer contends are the currently-emphasized skills of recalling and applying information. So if you'd like a brief respite from IEPs, 504s, diagnoses, accommodations, enrichments, and everything day-to-day, check out the article.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Don't Cross the Mom of a 2e Kiddo, Plus Items on Anxiety, ASD, and More

DON'T CROSS THE PARENT of a 2e kiddo. A school in Oklahoma might have done that by refusing to acknowledge that a mon's gifted son also had ADHD and should have accommodations. She told the school she was filing a civil rights complaint. They fired her from her substitute teacher work. Now the DOE OCR is checking into the matter. Read more.

CBT FOR ANXIETY. New resesarch indicates that CBT alone might be the best treatment for social anxiety disorder, skipping the meds. According to a study write-up, "Nearly 85 per cent of the study participants significantly improved or became completely healthy using only cognitive therapy." Read more.

U OF IOWA COURSE ON 2e. The University of Iowa is offering a between-semesters online course for educators titled "Nurturing the Potential of Twice-Exceptional Students / Practical Guidelines for Understanding and Supporting 2e Students," to be taught by Alissa Doobay, Ph.D. Doobay is a frequent presenter at conferences as part of the Belin-Blank team. The course starts on December 28. Find out more.

ASD, ONE PROTEIN. A significant portion of those on the spectrum might be lacking a single protein in the brain, one called nSR100, or SRRM4. It evidently plays a part in brain development. Its identification by Canadian researchers could lead to new treatments. Read more.

HUMOR AND LD? In the most recent issue of Special Ed Advocate, Wrightslaw promises this: "we invite you to lighten up and laugh. If you have a sense of humor, spend some time on the Lighter Side of Special Education." Find out if your sense of humor matches theirs.

PERSPECTIVES. The worlds of giftedness and twice-exceptionality can sometimes seem pretty insular, due to no one's fault in particular. We invite you to check out what are, to us, some out-of-the-ordinary perspectives from individuals of color and/or disadvantaged backgrounds to understand what they've faced as they strive to achieve and learn.

  • A young man attending an excellent east-coast college, described as having a "love of learning," tells what it's like when he goes home for breaks. As the title of the article says, "most people at his prestigious college have no idea what he's facing there." Find the article
  • "As a black woman from a tough part of the Bronx who grew up to attain all the markers of academic prestige, Dena Simmons knows that for students of color, success in school sometimes comes at the cost of living authentically. Now an educator herself, Simmons discusses how we might create a classroom that makes all students feel proud of who they are." This is a TED Talk; find it. (There's also a transcript.)
  • And a young woman who grew up in poverty wrote this: "As a Wellesley student, a woman who will, and is a part of academia, I am also a hillbilly, an Appalachian, and a Kentuckian. While the students in my classes who came from strong school backgrounds are able to transition to college and even find work study jobs while succeeding, I struggle to keep up with the new formats and challenging material..." Read more
Thanksgiving is past, but these pieces might make you thankful -- and inspired.

Monday, December 19, 2016

FAPE (Again), The Time of Year, and More

"SOME" BENEFIT VERSUS "MEANINGFUL." That's the crux of the Supreme Court case that Disability Scoop and other news media have been writing about over the past month or two. Another issue is the cost burden on public schools of providing "meaningful" benefits to students who might require intensive services and/or therapy. Read more in Disability Scoop.

DR. DAN has an article at the site of The Huffington Post; it's called "Parenting in Uncertain Times," which we're certainly in the midst of right now. If you think your family might be in need of "positivity and peace"as we approach the New Year, perhaps check out Dan Peters' tips.

AND SPEAKING OF THE NEW YEAR, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities offers, from its Parent Advisory Committee, "New Year's resolutions for making a positive change in their children's lives." For example: Stay involved. For example: Follow my instincts. Read more.

THE END OF THE YEAR is often a time for giving. We urge you to consider giving to a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the 2e community. (Not to us, thanks -- we're supposedly "for profit." 😃 ) Consider organizations such as (in alphabetic order): the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges AcademyDyslexic Advantage; Gifted Homeschoolers Forum; Hoagies' Gifted; various NAGC funds; or the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted. You might also contribute to a 2e-friendly school you think could use your support.

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. Megan Foley-Nicpon at the U of Iowa Belin Blank Center is directing a study on the effectiveness of the CogMed Working Memory Training Program for kiddos with ADHD. The study will be handled online, so participants can live anywhere. Study participants will be recruited from all ability levels. Find out more.

  • Evidently there's a debate about whether dyslexia is real. Really? Education Week Teacher reports on some recent conference presentations asserting that dyslexia was mythological. The writer was, understandably, a little incredulous, but went on to stress the importance of being able to identify dyslexia in the classroom and then to provide supports that can allow dyslexic students to succeed. Find the article. In the meantime, we'll wait for Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide, and others, to comment on the mythology of dyslexia. 
  • A friend of 2e Newsletter (thanks, Jill) recently pointed us to a new book titled Dyslexia: Profiles of Success. It's from the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, and it profiles 61 achievers in a variety of fields. The book is $20. Find out more

AND ON DEPRESSION. Bear with us, lots of items here, it's just that we've heard from parents over the years that depression and anxiety are big bugaboos for 2e kiddos.
  • Four depression subtypes. Research has identified biomarkers for four specific types of depression, which should help in the diagnosis and treatment of depression. According to Medical Daily, "The study found that distinct brain patterns differentiated the four biotypes. These subtypes were linked with specific symptoms...." Read more
  • Response to rewards. According to research from Washington University in St. Louis, the brains of depressed children react "less robustly" to rewards than the brains of neurotypical children. Read more
  • Situational depression. An article at Medical News Today differentiates clinical depression and situational depression, a "natural response to a traumatic event." The article explains how clinical depression is diagnosed, how to treat situational depression, and options for treating clinical depression. Find the article
  • Anxiety, irritability. Last week we wrote about a study that noted how anxiety and irritability can be indicators of depression in children. Journal Watch, from the New England Journal of Medicine, issued some commentary on that study: "Observable antecedents of depression in children and adolescents are especially of interest to pediatric practice, where prevention is a major goal. It is not surprising that fear and anxiety occurred prior to the onset of depression; depression and anxiety often coexist, and fear (in excess of developmentally normal fears) is a core component of anxiety. Irritability, a state of abnormal excitability and agitation, may be a symptom of an emerging depression."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dyslexia, ASD (and Buzzies), and More

DYSLEXIA SCREENING IN OREGON. A recently-enacted law in Oregon requires that every student in kindergarten and first grade be screened for dyslexia, with the aim of implementing early intervention if needed. Other recent legislation in the state addresses teacher training for dyslexia. The Bulletin says that Decoding Dyslexia Oregon pushed for the legislation -- another example of good grass-roots advocacy, we say. Read more.

THE BUZZIES. Fox News in Wisconsin reports on a doctor -- and mom of 2e children -- who invented a device using bilateral stimulation to "interfere with your body's stress response" and make it possible for children with autism to focus better. A set of Buzzies consists of two devices, one worn on each side of the body. Find the article. Find a site that sells Buzzies. (Caveat: We have no first-hand experience with Buzzies; do your own due diligence. 😐 )

SMARTKIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers "6 great gifts for children with LD and ADHD." But these are not "traditional" gifts. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING offers Episode 37 in its podcast series, this one about girls on the autism spectrum and featuring a behavioral and educational consultant. From the preview: "In our conversation we talk about what high-functioning autism looks like in girls, the importance of letting kids in on their diagnoses as early as possible, why schools are missing catching autism in girls, and what the real challenges are for girls versus boys with the same diagnoses—low self-esteem." Find the podcast.

NEED A SECTION 504 PRIMER? Wrightslaw devotes a recent issue of Special Ed Advocate to Section 504, "the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities." As Wrightlaw notes, "Compliance is not optional." Find Special Ed Advocate.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE is on Facebook, of course. (And Twitter, and Instagram.) Social media mavens can find the Facebook site here. It's a great resource for families and for educators. The website is here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lots of Research, A Little Politics


  • Patients with depression can be categorized into four unique subtypes defined by distinct patterns of abnormal connectivity in the brain, according to new research. Find a write-up
  • What to look for to find depression in kids? Watch for anxiety and irritability, according to British researchers. Find out more
  • Early-onset major depressive disorder (MDD) is common in individuals with a family risk of depression. So what signs or symptoms might precede that initial onset of MDD during adolescence among a high-risk group of children with depressed parents? Read more
AUTISM. In children on the spectrum, anxiety is often masked by the symptoms of autism. But a new variant to a standard anxiety screening method has now proven effective in separating the two and it is leading to important diagnoses. Find a write-up.

PERSONALITY. A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has identified six loci or regions of the human genome that are significantly linked to personality traits, report researchers. The findings also show correlations with psychiatric disorders. Find a write-up.

  • Genetics is part of ADHD, and new research provides more information on exactly how a "risk gene" might work. Read more
  • "There is growing evidence that the first approach in addressing ADHD should be either nonpharmacologic therapy, especially in younger children, or a combination of medication and lifestyle changes." This is from an article at Medscape on ADHD and whether to use meds. Find it
GENDER. Slight gender variations in attention scores have been well documented, but a new study from Harvard Medical School suggests that these minor gaps widen significantly in places with lower gender equality. Read more.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to poorer reading skills in the first three school years in 6-8 year old boys, according to a new study. The study investigated the longitudinal associations of physical activity and sedentary time with reading and arithmetic skills in 153 children aged 6-8 years old in Grades 1-3 of the primary school. Find a write-up.

PARENTING. When children are falsely successful at games and other challenges, it can lead them to ignore important information in and about the world around them, according to a new study. Find a write-up. And do you ever wonder what your picky eater will do when he or she grows up? The New York Times addresses that question; find the article.
GUT FEELINGS. The microbiome may affect mental illness and interact with treatment. All of us who have experienced a 'nervous stomach' under periods of stress suspect that there is a link between our gut and our mood. Now researchers have received strong scientific support for exactly this link. Find a write-up.

AND SOME POLITICS. Like it or not, the new administration in the U.S. federal government will likely mean changes that affect the 2e community. Here is one area of concern. The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights handles double the number of complaints now as it did eight years ago. This is relevant insofar as the OCR enforces equal access to education for all, including kiddos with disabilities. Read more. Education Week also has an article on the future of the OCR; find it.

Monday, December 12, 2016

2e in Texas, 2e-friendly Resources, and -- Harry Potter

2e IN TEXAS. Evidently 2e students in Texas -- or any student needing special ed supports -- might not have been well served by the Texas Education Agency during the time the agency imposed percentage caps on the number of students eligible for special ed services. The U.S. Department of Education is stepping in and holding "listening sessions" for Texas parents (those are this week; see below), but according to, parents have already been airing complaints on the DOE site. Here's an example: "My 8 year old son has been formally diagnosed as ADHD, general anxiety, social anxiety, mild depression (that’s a new one after his first grade year), and a severe sensory deficit. He’s also highly gifted." He was evidently denied services. Find the article. The unit of the DOE that will be conducting the listening sessions during the week of December 12 is the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS). Texas parents can find a schedule of the listening sessions -- dates and locations -- at the OSERS site. As of this Monday morning, you can also read 97 comments from what appear to be mainly parents, many of the comments quite lengthy. (We didn't read all 97, sorry.)

2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL FORMING. The Edison Academy in San Luis Obispo, California, has sent out a call for input, saying, "We are in the beginning stages of forming a public charter school and need your input." The call for input also lists the educational principals of the proposed school, and they sound good. For example: "Providing dual differentiation: curricular modifications that simultaneously take into account both a student’s cognitive abilities and learning challenges." Find out more.

2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL IN NEW YORK. A representative of West Hills Academy, in Huntington, New York, contacted us to let us know about the school. The representative wrote: "West Hills Academy, built on 24 years of education experience, is a private school for students in grades K-8. We specialize in meeting the needs of students who are struggling with the everyday challenges of the traditional school setting. We understand the importance of getting to know the child YOU know and creating a customized and flexible learning environment in which that child can reach his or her full potential." Find out more. (West Hill's parent organization is the Gersh Academy.)

2e SUMMER CAMP EARLY BIRD OFFER. Quad Manhattan, an after-school and summer "meeting place" for 2e kids, has announced an early-bird discount for next summer's camp. The offer is good through January 3. Find out more about Quad Manhattan; find out more about summer camp. Contact the camp director for more information about the early-bird offer.

2e-FRIENDLY FACEBOOK GROUP. Marcie Carlstedt Booth has established a closed Facebook group, Twice Exceptional/ 2E Network International. It is an outgrowth of her efforts in the Los Angeles area to serve families of bright children who have special needs. You may also contact Marcie by phone with questions: (818) 667-1950. Find the Facebook group.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Education Week Teacher has a blog in which the blogger posts "10 Offers of Wisdom from Fictional Characters." One of the 10 is from the character Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series. Here's the quote and her explanation of it:
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." There are many great quotes JK Rowling has given to Dumbledore throughout the series, but this one is poignant in how we teach kids. It shows how Dumbledore believes in a growth mindset and despite the natural abilities we each come to an experience with, it is the choices we make in important moments that define us, not those talents.
Find the 10 quotes.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Advocacy, FAPE, ASD Diagnosis, PISA, and Resources

SCOTUS AND FAPE. Disability Scoop has published an article on the current status of the US Supreme Court's acceptance of a case involving free and appropriate education. This case is the Colorado case, where parents complained that schools did not offer FAPE to their son with autism and put him in a private school, then asked for reimbursement. According to Disability Scoop, many individuals and groups have weighed in, asking the court to side with the family when the case is heard in January. Read more.

THE DOE OCR? The Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education sticks up for many students, occasionally for "our" students -- ones discriminated against because of a learning disability. The Atlantic has published an article in which experts speculate on whether the new president and his secretary of education will make changes that would affect the OCR. Read more.

DIAGNOSING ASD WITH DSM-5. Those involved in diagnosing ASD might be interested in a Belin Blank study concerning the instruments used to make such a diagnosis under DSM-5. The study indicated that the ADOS (Autism Diagnosis Observation Scale) instrument alone is insufficient for making such a diagnosis, and should be used along with the ADI-R (Autism Diagnosis Instrument -- Revised). Find the study abstract.

PISA TIME AGAIN. The results of the latest Program for International Student Assessment, PISA, are out, and things aren't looking exactly rosy for U.S. students, who tend to score in the middle of the pack. You can read more at the site of The New York Times, which observed the following about what makes for good results: "Generally speaking, the smartest countries tend to be those that have acted to make teaching more prestigious and selective; directed more resources to their neediest children; enrolled most children in high-quality preschools; helped schools establish cultures of constant improvement; and applied rigorous, consistent standards across all classrooms." (We -- the U.S. -- get 1 out of 5 on those criteria.) The Education Week "Inside School Research" blog also discusses the results. So does Science Magazine.

ONLINE DYSLEXIA SCREEN. Our friends at Dyslexic Advantage are looking for volunteers (dyslexic and non-dyslexic) to help with the development of an affordable online test for dyslexia. If you, or a dyslexic kiddo you know, or someone else with an interest in dyslexia can help out, it'll be a service to the 2e community. Find out more; respond to the email address if interested.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has posted a new article with tips for achieving stress-free holidays when your family might include kiddos of a certain persuasion. Find the article.

UNDERSTOOD is hosting an "Experts Live" webinar on December 22 titled "Twice-Exceptional: Helping Gifted Kids with Learning and Attention Issues." Amanda Morin presents. Find out more.

LANDMARK COLLEGE has issued new editions of two e-newsletters, one on the college and one on the college's Institute for Research and Training. In the college newsletter, Landmark College students tell their stories on video, and the college announces other news, such as a $131,220 grant to "integrate, articulate and apply an approach to teaching and supporting writing across the curriculum that is unprecedented in higher education and holds potential for broad dissemination." Find the Insider. LCIRT announces a newly launched blog and upcoming events. The blog already features a variety of posts on topics such as cognitive flexibility, dyscalculia (is it real?) and mindfulness. Find the newsletter.

ADDITUDE WEBINAR. On December 14m ADDitude will present a free webinar by Jerome Schultz titled "An Educator's Guide to Teaching Students with ADHD." Find out more.

WITH UNDERSTANDING COMES CALM. This organization is sponsoring a May 2 screening of the movie "2e: Twice Exceptional" in Silver Springs, Maryland. Find out more. Separately, the founder of With Understanding Comes Calm, Julie Skolnick, is part of the group putting on Camp Summit East this August 19-26. The camp is for gifted kids and is 2e-friendly. Find out more at the site of the Summit Center, founders of the camp.

TiLT PARENTING has released Episode 36 in its podcast series, a conversation with the son of TiLT's founder, 12yo Asher, about diagnoses, labels, and stigmas. Debbie Asher says of the podcast, "In our conversation, we talk about how Asher feels about his diagnoses, why he believes parents should tell their kids exactly what’s going on with them, and why he’s totally fine for others to know about the ways in which he’s differently wired." We've heard Asher on previous podcasts, and he is bright, funny, honest, and engaging. Find out more.

DUKE TIP is sponsoring a writing and illustration contest as part of its 4th-6th grade talent search. If that bright kiddo you raise or teach might be motivated to participate, check it out.

Monday, December 5, 2016

SAT Accommodations, Parenting, Advocacy, More

SAT ACCOMMODATIONS. The College Board, owner of the SAT and other standardized tests, will make it easier for students with disabilities to receive accommodations to take its tests. According to the College Board, "Beginning January 1, 2017, the vast majority of students who are approved for and using testing accommodations at their school through a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan will have those same accommodations automatically approved for taking the SAT®, PSAT™10, PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT Subject Tests™, and AP®Exams." Find the press release. Find a write-up in The Washington Post.

PARENTING STYLE. Psychology Today explains the results of a study of the link between parenting style and children's behavioral problems. According to Psychology Today, "The main finding was that children whose temperament is more “difficult” (they were easily upset, less able to self-regulate) both benefit more from positive parenting and suffer more from negative parenting." Is volatility or self-regulation an issue at your house? Read more.

ADVOCATE! That's the verb form there, imperative mood, to be exact, and it's what the Council for Exceptional Children urges us to do: to "tell Congress to invest in education programs for children with exceptionalities now!" And you, dear reader, should be doubly motivated, seeing how that kiddo you raise or educate is multiply exceptional. Find out more about what CEC wants you to do.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has published a parents' guide to OCD on its website, covering what it is, signs, treatment, related disorders, and working with school. Find the guide.

ONLINE CBT FOR OCD. A recently-published study tested web-based cognitive behavioral therapy on adolescents with OCD. About 30 percent of treated subjects showed improvement effects ranging from moderate-large to very large. Commentary in Journal Watch, from the New England Journal of Medicine stated, "Study limitations included the lack of either an active Internet-based intervention or an in-person control group. If future studies are confirmatory, these positive findings will be especially important for children with OCD because multiple factors impede implementing in-person CBT."

SENG WEBINAR. This Thursday, December 8, SENG offers a webinar titled "Communicating and Collaborating with Your Child's Teacher," to be presented by Dina Brulles. Find out more.

AND THE DOE OCR? The Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education sticks up for many students, occasionally for "our" students -- ones discriminated against because of a learning disability. The Atlantic has published an article in which experts speculate on whether the new president and his secretary of education will make changes that would affect the OCR. Find the article.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE. This newsletter from With Understanding Comes Calm is out in its newest edition, with pointers to all kinds of resources and news. Find it.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Be careful -- that toddler you're talking to might be better than you think at sensing pretend or statements that aren't true, according to a new study. Find out more.