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.

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