Monday, November 20, 2017

Serving Those with LDs, 2e and Honors Classes, Dyslexia, and More

LDs AND INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM. Remember last year's investigation by the Houston Chronicle revealing that school districts in Texas were capping the number of students enrolled in special ed services? As a result of that investigation, the Texas Education Agency has now stated that it is obligated to serve all students needing special ed, and the number of students served has grown by about 14,000. Read more.

ENDREW F. Two recent items deal with the Endrew F case decided this year by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Hechinger Report clarifies what the ruling meant in terms of the rights of students with disabilities, in this case ASD. For example, Hechinger says, "...parent-advocates should hesitate to 'overreach' and leverage the case as a tool to make unreasonable demands, which may not accord with the Endrew holding and may only perpetuate a counterproductive 'parent versus school' narrative." Read more. And Chalkbeat describes how the parents of Endrew are resisting being painted as the "poster family" for school choice by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Find out why.

DUKE TIP offers a Q&A column at its website, and a recent question dealt with getting a 2e student into honors classes -- the trade-off between challenge and engagement versus workload, plus the question of accommodations. Find the Q&A, and note that the column invites questions from readers.

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. This organization presented a "summit" on the topic of mental health needs of children and adolescents and the need for parents, teachers, and children to be aware of mental health disorders. Hillary Clinton was one of three participants. You can read a summary or see a video of the summit at the site of the Child Mind Institute; go there.

DYSLEXIA is the topic of three recent items:
  • District Administration describes how schools that understand dyslexia and intervene early help students succeed. Read more
  • Education Dive tells how universal screening for dyslexia in kindergarten and first grade can help students succeed. Read more
  • And Medical News Today describes dyslexia in adults. Read more
BLOGS
  • Jen the Blogger turns to verse with a piece called "I See You" about recognizing the twice-exceptional, believing in them, and advocating for them. Find it
  • Julie Skolnick reflects on "letting go" of your 2e kiddo; her starting point is her daughter's junior year in high school, which gets her thinking... Find it
PROFESSIONAL'S RESOURCE. One of the contributors to 2e Newsletter pointed us to the second edition of the book The Clinical Practice of Educational Therapy: Learning and Functioning with Diversity. Our contributor says this about the book: "The intended audience is allied professionals in related fields who have interdisciplinary perspectives.... In particular, there is a case study in chapter 5 is of a 2e student across the lifespan." Find out more at Amazon.

EDUCATION LAW AND POLICY. Regardless of our individual political views, we in the 2e community are all advocates for governmental efforts to recognize and serve twice-exceptional students, we believe. As advocates, it's incumbent upon us to pay attention to what's happening at the federal level and express our support or our displeasure with what we see. Here are recent items concerning law and policy in education in the United States.
  • The president has nominated a candidate to be the top official responsible for special education. The post, according to Disability Scoop, is "tasked with overseeing the federal government’s implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws." Read more
  • In Teen Vogue, the former Secretary of Education offers his views on how education in the U.S. has changed over the past year. His opinion: "The promise of the American Dream is under assault, and we need action to preserve it." Find it
  • And an article in The Washington Post describes how the current Secretary of Education is moving toward her goal, "to return control of education back to states, localities and parents." Read more

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Special Ed, OCD, ADHD, Depression, and More

SPECIAL ED: FAILING STUDENTS? A story from The Hechinger Report concludes that most students with disabilities are capable of graduating from high school on time, but many don't. From the article: "There are 6.6 million public school children enrolled in special education in the United States, 13 percent of all public school students....Their disabilities shouldn’t keep them from achieving the same standards as their peers — and experts estimate that up to 90 percent of students with disabilities are capable of graduating high school fully prepared to tackle college or a career if they receive proper support along the way." Read more. Of note is a chart accompanying the story that shows the range of graduation rates, by state, for students with disabilities. Highest: Arkansas, at 82 precent; lowest, Nevada, at 29 percent.

FOLLOW-UP TWO on John Green's YA novel on OCD, Turtles All the Way Down: the Child Mind Institute says, "What we wished, reading it, is that Aza [the book's main character] could have gotten better treatment. And so, with Aza in mind, this week we share resources on childmind.org that explore OCD: what it is, what it looks like in the classroom and how the gold standard treatment for OCD — exposure therapy — works."

ADHD
  • Should parents try to diagnose ADHD early, or is it better to wait? That question is addressed at US News; find it
  • Cutting back on yelling, criticism and other harsh parenting approaches, including physical punishment, has the power to calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study. Find a write-up of the study
  • A new study indicates that subjects with different types of ADHD have impairments in unique brain systems, indicating that there may not be a one-size-fits-all explanation for the cause of the disorder. While the subjects were supposedly clinically indistinguishable, each of the three different subgroups defined by the study showed dysfunction in different brain regions. Read more
DEPRESSION. This doesn't sound as if it would lead to effective treatments: "Adolescent patients included in clinical trials of therapies for major depressive disorder differ considerably from depressed adolescents encountered in daily practice, researchers report. Read more.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY is the topic of the most recent LD Online Newsletter; find it.

UNDERSTOOD offers "6 Steps for Requesting a School Evaluation." Is that on your to-do list? If so, find the steps.

tDCS -- transcrainal direct current stimulation -- is being examined for use in treating many conditions, as readers here know. An article at Psychiatric Times give a good background on what studies and science say so far about the technique. Find the article.

BLOGS
  • Jen the Blogger compares raising 2e kiddos to a marathon her most recent posting, "The 23rd Mile." Read it
  • A blog at the site of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum is titled "That Mom" -- and it's about how moms of gifted kids need "community" (as in a mom's group) just like moms of neurotypical kids. However, according to the blogger, because her parenting concerns turned out to be different than the others in her mom's group, her community quietly edged her out. Find the blog.
TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is "The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius," and it features psychiatrist Gail Saltz. The podcast title is also the title of Dr. Saltz' new book. Find the podcast.

AND APROPOS OF NOTHING, except maybe for a laugh from the audience here. "In many species, males tend to do somewhat stupid things that end up getting them killed in silly ways, and it appears that may have been true for mammoths also," says a researcher about her findings on the causes of death for these creatures. Read more.



Monday, November 6, 2017

Mentoring with LDs, ADHD Therapy, Brain Stuff, and More

EYE TO EYE is a mentoring organization that connects children with LDs to college student who have the same learning challenges. Its founder is David Flink. Its second employee was Marcus Soutra, who was recently profiled by his college's news organization in conjunction with the bestowal of the college's Alumni Achievement Award. So know, O Good Reader, that there are organizations and people out there willing to help that 2e kiddo you know as he or she grows up through the grades. Find the college's article. Find out more about Eye to Eye.

NEW THERAPY FOR ADHD? From Healio: "Data presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting indicated efficacy of monotherapy external trigeminal nerve stimulation for ADHD in children." This therapy would present an alternative to meds or behavioral therapy. The treatment is apparently still awaiting FDA approval. Read more. Find out more about the trigeminal nerve at the site of the therapy's developer.

CONNECTOTYPES -- a new word to us, evidently meaning "a distinct pattern of functional brain connectivity... or brain fingerprint." Research described at Science Daily says that connectotypes are individually unique but show family and heritable relationships. The hope is that connectotypes will help provide personalized, targeted treatments for conditions such as ADHD and ASD. Read more.

BRAIN-BASED TEACHING. Education World offers a three-part series in which, it says, "neuroscientist Marilee Sprenger reveals the latest research on the brain and discusses how it affects teaching and learning." Find the series.

UNDERSTOOD EXPERT CHAT. On November 13, Understood presents an "expert chat" featuring Ellen Braaten on "How Anxiety and Slow Processing Speed Fuel Each Other." Find out more.

MINDFULNESS IN KIDS is the topic of an article at the site of The New York Times. If you've been wondering what it is, or about its benefits -- eg, minimizing anxiety -- perhaps check out the article. (And if you wonder exactly why kids and young people might be helped by mindfulness, read the story at the UK Daily Mail about rising rates of depression and mental illness in US teens.)

TiLT PARENTING. TiLT founder Debbie Reber is finishing up a book, Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World. In it, she says, "I lay out a new vision for not only redefining the way neurodiversity is perceived in the world, but shifting the parenting paradigm so parents raising extraordinary kids can do so from a place of peace, joy, and most importantly, choice." She's also forming a "Book Team" to help spread the word about the book. Find out more.

UPCOMING EVENTS
  • The Utah Association for Gifted Children holds its Winter Symposium on Saturday, February 10, featuring Shelagh Gallagher. More information
  • The Oklahoma Association for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative holds its annual conference on February 16 at Oklahoma State University. More information
EDUCATION POLICY, LAW, ADVOCACY
  • The Hechinger Report notes how the U.S. in recent years has reduced the amount it spends on education; at the same time, other countries are increasing what they spend on elementary and high school education. Read more
  • CIVIL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION. A group of education organizations and civil rights groups have formed the Education Civil Rights Alliance, which will, according to US News, "focus specifically on safeguarding the rights of students with disabilities, immigrant students, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students...." Twice-exceptional students are afforded special protection under the law because of their disabilities. Read more

Thursday, November 2, 2017

2e Success Story, Un-Success Story (So Far), Good Blog Postings, More

FAMILIAR TUNE, NEW TWIST. A high school dropout turned cook turned ice sculptor turned Harvard graduate turned advocate is profiled in the LA Times, and it's a good story. One turning point is, hopefully, familiar to those here: "Most of my life, they focused on what I was bad at,” the subject of the profile, John Rodriguez, is quoted as saying. “When you focus on what you are good at, things just start happening.” Even after he'd achieved success doing things he was good at, there was still another turning point: when he was sitting in a college counseling office and saw a poster with the title "Signs that you have dyslexia." Read the profile.

FROM DECATUR, ILLINOIS: A mother writes a long, reasoned letter to Decaturish.com describing her positive experience with the Decatur school system as an employee but also relating how the school has not addressed her son's dyslexia, with effects on son and mom that are familiar to readers here. She describes her own efforts to help her son (Orton-Gillingham, tutoring) but remains frustrated by the district's inaction: "Some acknowledgement of my child’s true learning obstacles must occur within the school day for him to really be able to compensate for his learning difference." Find the letter.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Psychologist Gail Post writes on the topic of "Get your gifted boy through middle school." Starting from the thesis that boys are not necessarily "built" for school, she covers pitfalls, challenges, and ways to help. Underachievement (not via LDs) is one pitfall; others are peer pressure; gifted sensitivity; and identity formation and existential depression (with a nod to James Webb). Find Post's blog.

PLATO PARENTING is a term coned by psychologist Devon MacEachron, who practice specializes in gifted and 2e children. Based on "know thyself," her parenting tips are intended to help that gifted or 2e kiddo "develop into the happy, productive young adults they are meant to be." Can't argue with that. Find out more about Plato Parenting, and watch for an article by MacEachron in an upcoming issue of 2e Newsletter.

DIFFERENT PERCEPTIONS OF GIFTED PROGRAMS. Ethnicity has a lot to do with how parents perceive the value of gifted programs, whether the parents might "game" the system for entrance to such a program, and even what parents look for in terms of a good classroom for their child. An article in The Atlantic provides interesting perspectives on how white, Hispanic, and black families view gifted programs. Find the article.

WRIGHTSLAW, in Special Ed Advocate, offers information about FAPE and how it might affect your child. Included are articles on the legal concept of FAPE, the Endrew F case, and what the law requires. Find Special Ed Advocate.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast: "Dr. Ross Greene Explains How Collaborative and Proactive Solutions Benefit Atypical Kids." Find it.

NEWSLETTERS
  • The most recent communique from the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children is now available; find it. Also from WCGTC: the next conference is scheduled for July 24-28, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. That's in the U S of A. 
  • Gifted and Distractible's monthly newsletter is out. "'Letting Go' is the subject of Julie's blog this month. Many people are recalibrating expectations and adjusting to ‘new norms’ globally -- in the face of natural and man-made disasters. Letting go is an essential strategy to successfully move forward." Find the newsletter.
TECA reminds us of its online parent support groups, one for parents of teens, one for parents of 13-and-unders, and one for all parents. Find out more.

RESEARCH AND STUDIES
  • YOU'RE SO SMART! An Education Week article reminds us of the dangers of praising children simply for being smart. According to a study, one such danger is cheating. Read more
  • Science Daily has a recent study write-up on detecting the risk of dyslexia before a child learns to read; find the write-up.
  • Also from Science Daily: "Depression is on the rise in the United States. From 2005 to 2015, depression rose significantly among Americans age 12 and older with the most rapid increases seen in young people. This is the first study to identify trends in depression by gender, income, and education over the past decade." Find the write-up
POLICY, LEGISLATION
  • Those on either "side" of the issue of public funding for private and charter schools might be interested in a Politico article about some of the backers who favor of that funding; find it
  • The educational process in the U.S. is becoming politicized. Politico also offers an "Essential Guide to Legislation" explaining the federal (House, Senate) legislative process. Current or prospective advocates on particular issues might be interested in this. Find it
AND FINALLY, THIS. Next time you plan to approach a teacher, perhaps related to issues of twice-exceptionality, perhaps keep in mind the results of a recent survey indicating that teachers feel more stressed than average people. A little empathy can go a long way. Read more.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Problem Behavior, Recess, Bullying, Anxiety, and Daydreaming

C.P.S. "...what would be the point of punishing a child who literally could not sit still?" That's a sentence from an article on kids who misbehave starting early in school, and who therefor face punishments of various sorts. The article's title: "The 'Problem Child' Is a Child, Not a Problem." It describes a behavior modification technique called Collaborative Problem Solving (C.P.S.) which is designed to help build self-regulation skills. Another sentence from the article: "C.P.S. replaces a traditional philosophy of 'children do well when they want to' with one that 'children do well when they can.'" We have a feeling that sentence might resonate, given your presumed experiences with that 2e child you raise or teach. Find the article.

RECESS REBOUND? According to District Administration, some states are requiring schools to provide recess. From the article: "In Florida and Rhode Island, recess laws took effect this year. Four other states already require it, and 11 others officially recommend it. Meanwhile, eight other states mandate “general activity,” ranging from 30 minutes daily to 600 minutes monthly." Read more. Exercise, many believe, can help students, especially some 2e students, focus and learn.

NOVEMBER 18 is the date for an HBO telethon to raise money for autism schools, programs, and services. Read more.

BULLYING is often a problem for kids who are "different" in any way. TED offers "9 pieces of practical advice about bullying" that might be appropriate to share with a young person you know. For example: "telling someone about being bullied is not snitching." Find the advice.

FOLLOW-UP. We wrote recently about a New York Times piece on the prevalence of anxiety in young people. The Child Mind Institute later followed up with its own perspective on the problem. Find it.

SCREENING TO FIND THE GIFTED. Pinellas County, Florida, is screening all second graders. The purpose? To identify those who are gifted. It's universal screening, intended to not overlook children who could qualify and benefit from gifted services, especially minority or disadvantaged children. Read more, then consider how great it would be if every school district did this type of universal screening with instruments that would not only identify gifted learners but also twice-exceptional learners.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers some resources for the college application process for students with ADHD or learning differences. Find them.

TiLT PARENTING. The most recent podcast is a conversation between TiLT founder Debbie and her son. Debbie writes: "...we talk about everything from how Asher feels about having ADHD and what helped him get through the difficult transition of moving abroad when he was nine years old to what he thinks are the qualities of a good teacher, how he keeps track of his schoolwork, and much more." Find the podcast.

GOT A DAYDREAMER? That's okay. A new study suggests that daydreaming during meetings isn't necessarily a bad thing. It might be a sign that you're really smart and creative. People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering. Find the study write-up.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

ODD, ADHD, College, Policy, Resources, Events

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. This organization has published an article on oppositional defiant disorder. If you have an especially "willful" kiddo and are wondering if the label applies, the article might be of use. In fact, the Institute says: "Whether your child has oppositional defiant disorder (or ODD) or not, learning about the disorder can be helpful. That’s because the behavior management strategies used in treatment are evidence-based techniques that all parents will benefit from knowing." Find the article.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has a new article about online college degrees, the pros and cons. Sample "pro": flexibility. Sample "con": lack of support services. Read more. Separately, an opinion piece in the Hechinger Report is titled "Stop driving kids crazy — A four-year college degree isn’t the only answer"; find it.

FOLLOW-UP. In our last blog posting we noted that the U.S. D.O.E. was rescinding 72 regulations and letters of guidance pertaining to special ed. The Council for Exceptional Children says, "After an initial review by CEC, it appeared that the 72 guidance documents were either outdated or unnecessary as there has been subsequent policy established either through the Reauthorization of IDEA, including the promulgation of regulations and guidance that supersedes the 'outdated' policies." Find out what else CEC says.

MORE POLICY. NCLD notes this: "Despite the increasing popularity of school vouchers, education savings accounts (ESA), and tax incentive programs, many parents of children with disabilities struggle to find quality information and are left with important questions about how these programs work and might impact a child with a disability." Then NCLD goes on to offer a number of resources to help parents make informed decisions about these programs; find them. Separately, Education Dive has an article titled "Charters urged to improve services for special needs students"; find it.

EVENT: EXPERT CHAT via Understood on the topic "ADHD and Twice-Exceptional Kids," by Thomas E. Brown, a psychologist and professor of psychiatry, on November 2 at 12 ET. Find out more.

EVENT: SENG WEBINAR on the topic "The Inconvenient Student" (and you know who that is), by Michael Postma, author of the book by the same name, on Monday, October 30. The catch (or the opportunity): the event is for members of SENG Connect, a new initiative by the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted. SENG Connect is part of a paid Premier ($129.99) annual membership to SENG. Find out more.

RESOURCE FROM BELIN-BLANK. This organization offers a free Ning discussion/resource group on gifted ed and talent development. Find out more. In addition, this organization's October newsletter is out, featuring new of a new Javits-funded project "to increase educators’ capacity to identify and provide talented and gifted programming to underrepresented students in Iowa." Find the newsletter.

SCHOLARSHIP RESOURCE. The application deadline for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation college scholarship program is November 14. The organization says, "Current high school seniors are eligible for this scholarship. Receive up to $40,000 per year to complete your bachelor's degree, as well as opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding." Find out more.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE RESOURCE. This organization has a Young Scholars program, which provides "free services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18 (students must be between the ages of 5 and 16 when applying)." And yes, 2e kiddos can be Young Scholars. Find out more.

PARENTING RESOURCE ON MEDIA USE. We discovered Common Sense Media, which provides guidance on media use by kids. Here's what the organization says about itself: "Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives." Go to the organization's website or Facebook page.

DON'T FORGET that for a few more days you can subscribe to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter for $25 -- $10 off the regular price of a one-year PDF subscription. Plus, you'll get seven bi-monthly issues for the price of six, because you'll get the September/October issue immediately, but your subscription will officially start with the November/December issue, featuring the importance of relationships for 2e children. This offer is good only until October 31st. New subscribers only, please. See the offer.

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Feel-Bad Story, Media Use, OCD, Resources, and More

AND IF THIS WAS YOUR KID? Via Disability Scoop: "An elementary school teacher forced a 9-year-old boy with autism to stand in front of his class twice last year while classmates voted on whether the boy was 'annoying,' a federal lawsuit alleges." Read more.

PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS currently have a magnet school for gifted students, but wants to split it into eight separate campuses. According to a news report, many parents are upset, including parents of 2e students who receive both gifted and special ed programming. Read more.

UNDERSTOOD offers several goodies this week:

  • An October 24th expert chat titled "How Motor Skills Affect Learning and Making Friends." Find out more
  • An article, "6 Tips for Responding When People Are Insensitive About Your Child's Learning and Attention Issues." Find it
  • An article on a related topic, "What to Say When Other People Interfere With Your Parenting." Find it
MEDIA USE. Want a benchmark on media use for children 0 to 8? The organization Common Sense Media has issued a report which it says provides a "clearer view of how young children's media use has evolved over time and provides a foundation for how we can use technology to support children's learning, play, and growth." Among the findings: kids in this age group spend about 48 minutes a day on their mobile devices; and that's just a third of their total screen time. Find more information.

ASD BLOGS. Medical News Today has compiled a list of what it feels are the 10 best blogs on the topic of autism. Find the list.

FOLLOW-UP. We noted a while ago a first-person piece on OCD by young-adult author John Green and how his OCD led him to create a novel with a 16yo female protagonist who has OCD. Green has also done an interview with NPR about the book and about himself. Find the interview.

SIGNS OF TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION are highlighted in a "slide show" at the site of Psychiatric Times, which lists six factors to watch for. Duration and severity are two. You can ignore the final factor, old age, if it's your kiddo you're concerned about. Find the slide show.

SAVE THE DATE. Quad Prep Manhattan has announced the date for its fourth conference "Breakthroughs in Twice-exceptional Education" in New York City -- May 10-12. The May date, rather than the previous March dates, should obviate the danger of a blizzard disrupting the conference as happened this year. Find out more.

THE US DOE has rescinded 72 guidance documents outlining rights for students with disabilities, according to news outlets. The Washington Post provides a list of the documents sorted by legislative type -- eg, IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act. A quick glance didn't reveal any documents we know to affect twice-exceptional children, but we'll wait for experts to weigh in. In the meantime, find out more at The Washington Post or Disability Scoop.


IF YOU'VE BEEN WAITING for a "deal" to sign up for 2e Newsletter, now's your chance. This week, subscribe to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter for $25 -- $10 off the regular price of a one-year PDF subscription. Plus, you'll get seven bi-monthly issues for the price of six, because you'll get the September/October issue immediately, but your subscription will officially start with the November/December issue, featuring the importance of relationships for 2e children. This offer is good only until October 31st. New subscribers only, please. See the offer

Friday, October 20, 2017

Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, and Some Resources

SOMETIMES the items we scan seem to fall into just a few topic buckets -- like today...

MOOD DISORDERS

  • Social media and technology may be linked to a higher rate of depression in girls, according to a new study. Find out more
  • Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a 'reset' of their brain activity, according to a London study of treatment-resistant depression. Read more
  • The Child Mind Institute has posted an article on mood disorders (depression, anxiety) in teenage girls, including signs and symptoms parents can look for. Find the article
  • From Psychiatric Times, "The latest news in the treatment of depression covers patient self-management apps, antidepressant efficacy in older adults, and strategies to improve adherence." Find it here and here.  
  • NPR describes strategies educators can use to help kids with anxiety return to school. Find the piece
  • Psychiatry Advisor discusses anxiety prevention interventions and their effectiveness. Find it
  • And if YOU'RE depressed, the Huffington Post has tips for talking to your kids about it. Go there
ADHD
  • Medical News Today considers micronutrients to improve the symptoms of ADHD. Read more
  • Understood has an upcoming expert chat on October 26 titled "ADHD Treatment: What Are the Options?" Learn more
  • And ADDitude offers an "ADHD Awareness Month Toolkit" to spread the right message about ADHD. Find it
GOING TO NAGC? A colleague says, "This year the annual business meeting of the Twice Exceptional Special Interest Group (SIG) will be held, during NAGC, on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm in room 206A. Please plan to join us."

DYSLEXIA. In the "On Parenting" section of The Washington Post, a mom describes her efforts to talk to her 8yo daughter about the daughter's dyslexia. Some of the tactics don't go well. The daughter's self-esteem had been touched: "I don’t want to be me. I want to be someone who can read.” Read more.

GHF is opening registration for its spring online courses on October 23. GHF states, "GHF Online is 2e-friendly and willing to work with you to make reasonable accommodations for your child's individual needs." Find out more.

2e RESOURCES. Psychologist Devon MacEachron, who specializes in children with twice exceptionalities, has posted a list of resources for those in the 2e community -- books, websites, and even 2e Newsletter. Find the resource list




GOT A SOCIALLY AWKWARD KID? That's okay, according to a Parent Footprint talk psychologist Dan Peters had with the author of AWKWARD: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That's Awesome. Find out more


CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION FOR THE GIFTED. This organization has released some information about its March, 2018, conference along with a "call for presenters." Find out more.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2e Symposium, OCD, Anxiety, ADHD, Parenting, More

WE'RE BACK from a few days in California attending a great symposium put on by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy. Watch for coverage in the next issue of the newsletter. Two focuses (foci?) were honoring pioneers in the 2e community and providing a forum for those running 2e-friendly schools to share information. The picture here is of, L-R, newly inducted 2e Hall of Fame members Elizabeth Nielsen, Dennis Higgins, Lois Baldwin, and Mary Ruth Coleman; 2e Center Director Susan Baum and Bridges Academy head Carl Sabatino; Hall of Famers June Maker, Joanne Schwartz, and Linda Brody; and symposium speaker Scott Barry Kaufman.



JONATHAN MOONEY spoke at the 2e Center symposium last weekend, and by coincidence just had an opinion piece published in The New York Times called "You Are Special! Now Stop Being Different." In it, you can read some of the points and stories he offered to the audience at the symposium. Find the piece.

WEBINAR TOMORROW. SENG is offering a webinar on Thursday, October 19, titled "Empowering Gifted Learners Through Self-Advocacy." Find out more.

OCD. John Green, a writer of young adult novels, did a book based on his own OCD, attempting to dispel the "mad, creative genius" myth. The heroine is a 16-year-old girl who is "trying to understand the world around her, but cannot escape the prison of her own thoughts." Read the first-person piece by Green in Costco Connection,

ANXIETY is common among children in the 2e community. How do you help them? A New York Times Magazine article (ie, lots of words) might provide some hints. Find it.

ADHD -- several items.
  • MedPage Today describes a Finnish study indicating that children born in the fall and winter have more ADHD. Find the article
  • The Child Mind Institute has posted an article about tantrums, outbursts, and defiance in kids with ADHD -- and how to help them behave better. Find the article
  • Science Daily reports on research indicating that children with ADHD) are likely to also have trouble with touch (tactile) processing. The study found finds that they fare worse on several tests of tactile functioning, including reaction time and detecting a weak stimulus on the skin (detection threshold). Find the study write-up
  • And Canada's CBC reports that "Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may fidget, tap and swivel around in a chair much more than normally developing children because it helps them to learn complex material.." The research indicated that kids with ADHD move twice as much when learning. Find the article
TiLT's latest podcast is about advocating on behalf of differently-wired kids -- like yours. Find the podcast.

HEALTH -- YOURS. Jen the Bloggers is offering an eight-week online course on self-care for the parents of complicated kids. Jen, who has 2e in the family, says she and her co-presenter "created what we would have wanted and needed. This is a course for you, not a parenting course. Our goal is to help you help yourself, because every family is different and the only expert is the parent." Read more.

HEALTH: YOUR KIDDO'S. Blood pressure monitoring isn't only for adults. Hypertension in children and adolescents has been "on the rise" for decades, apparently, with approximately 2 million children diagnosed. Read guidelines for blood pressure in children.

HEALTH: YOUR FAMILY'S. If you've wondered about the relative benefits of wild salmon and farmed salmon, we ran across an informative source about pros and cons; find it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Sleep, and More

THIS IS OCD AWARENESS WEEK. According to The International OCD Foundation, about 1 in 200 children have OCD, which the organization says is about the same number of children with diabetes. Find out more about OCD Awareness Week.

READING, MATH DIFFICULTIES CONNECTED? Education Week wrote about recent research findings indicating that students with dyslexia often have problems with math, and that interventions helping one of the difficulties might help with the other. Read more.

SENG "MINI-CONFERENCE." The organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted has scheduled a one-day conference for November 18 at Bridges Academy in Studio City, California. If you're in the LA area, find out more.

MENTAL HEALTH CARE AT THE PEDIATRICIAN'S. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation comments on research results released last summer on the effectiveness of interventions for anxiety and depression given in the pediatrician's office. BBRF says, "Children who received this treatment responded better than those who were referred to outpatient mental health care..." and that "One way to improve access to mental health care may be by delivering it at a place where children are more likely to visit—the pediatrician’s office." Read more.

ALSO ON ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION, a new study has provided the strongest evidence to date that exposure to bullying causes mental health issues such as anxiety years later. However, the study also showed that the detrimental effects of bullying decreased over time. Find out more.

AND MORE: Teenagers who start high school before 8:30 a.m. are at higher risk of depression and anxiety, even if they're doing everything else right to get a good night's sleep, a recent study suggests. Find the study write-up.

AND MORE ON SLEEP. Australian researchers tracked over 3600 young people over seven years, finding that more than 25 percent reported sleep problems. Different factors seemed to cause problems at different ages, but the researcher noted that depression and anxiety were included among the causes: "It's a vicious circle. Depression and anxiety are well-established risk factors for sleep problems and people with sleep problems are often anxious or depressed." Read more.

HOW MANY OF YOU are confident that you know how to bring up your children in exactly the right way? That's the lead-off question in a TED talk on parenting, inspired by findings in a 70-year longitudinal study of children in Britain. The parent/scientist/journalist talked about factors that seem to lead to "success" in child development -- such as parents talking to the children, or putting the children to bed at a regular time -- and also about factors working against success -- such as being born poor. However, while the line "choose your parents very carefully" got a laugh during the talk, even children born into poor circumstances were affected positively by certain parental behaviors. Find the talk, and know that (for those who read faster than they listen) there's also a transcript (although you'll miss listening to a nice British accent, which most of us in America enjoy).

Friday, October 6, 2017

Resources, a Couple Newsletters, and More

NEAR CHICAGO? Know that Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, which has a message concerning learning differences and potential, is speaking at a free event on Monday, October 7, in Glen Ellyn. The event is from 7-8:30 and sponsored by the Glenbard Parent Series. If you're in the 2e community and haven't heard Kaufman speak, you're missing a treat. Find out more.

THERAPISTS WHO WORK WITH KIDS provide 21 truths in a piece at BuzzFeed. The therapists in question are from the NYU Child Study Center and from the Mayo Clinic. Example: "Kids as young as 2 can start showing signs of an anxiety or a behavior disorder." Find the other 20.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY. From NCLD: "The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships offer financial assistance to two graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities and/or ADHD who are pursuing post-secondary education." Chances are you know such a student. Find out more.
PD RESOURCE. Landmark College, which caters to students who learn differently, offers a variety of resources and PD for educators. An online course coming up is titled "Academic Strategies and Executive Function Supports for Students with LD, ADHD, and ASD." Find out more.
GIFTED & DISTRACTIBLE, the newsletter from With Understanding Comes Calm, is out in its October edition. It starts off, "There is so much trauma in the world right now; nature-made and human-made. Anxiety reduces everyone's ability to be their best selves.This issue of Gifted & Distractible encourages positive assumptions, strengthening relationships and understanding our children/students so we can be there when they need us." As usual, the newsletter is filled with pointers and tidbits relevant to the 2e community. Find the newsletter.
TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is described this way by TiLT's founder: "Today I’m excited to be bringing to the podcast Peter Shankman, a multiple-startup founder, best-selling author, and the creator of Faster Than Normal, a leading ADD/ADHD podcast, focusing on the benefits of being gifted with ADD/HD, which describes who Peter is." Find the podcast.
LOOKING TO HELP YOUR CHILD deal with his or her ADHD? Researchers have discovered that brief online or in-person behavioral therapy for parents is equally effective in improving children's behavior and parental knowledge -- a potential game changer for parents strapped for time and access. Read more.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Identifying that "e," Dyslexia, Anxiety, Events, Research, More

DID IT TAKE A WHILE for you to figure out your child's "e's"? Don't feel bad -- Tony Atwood, a prominent psychologist who is, according to the Guardian, "known for his knowledge of Asperger syndrome in children," finally realized when his son was 35 that he (the son) had Asperger's. The breakthrough: watching some old home movies that showed Atwood trying to interact with his 4yo son. His son eventually developed severe anxiety, then drug dependence, for which he has been imprisoned. Read the article.

FEEL-GOOD STORY. A young woman with dyslexia struggled with science, and had a chemistry teacher who discouraged her ambition to be an anesthesiologist. Later, after having children, she decided to try nursing school. Go read a Marketplace transcript to find out what happened next.

ANXIETY IN TEENS. From an NPR story: "Teens and children struggling with anxiety are often prescribed medication or therapy to treat their symptoms. For many, either drugs or therapy is enough, but some young people can't find respite from anxious thoughts. For them, a study suggests that using both treatments at once can help." Find it.

BEAUTIFUL MINDS, the newsletter from Scott Barry Kaufman, is out in its October edition. It points to a variety of podcasts, interviews, videos, articles, and other resources of possible interest to those in the 2e community. For example, there's a pointer to an article on introversion and extroversion; to a video by Scott Barry Kaufman on the limits of IQ testing; and to an interview on the topic of grit. Find the newsletter.

EVENTS. Coming up:
  • An October 5th webinar from Understood titled "Evidence-based Approaches to Help Kids with Dyslexia"; find out more
  • A live, free event on October 4th in Sacramento, California, by the UC Davis MIND Institute titled "Navigating a New Autism Spectrum Diagnosis." find out more.
  • And an October 5th webinar from SENG, "Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children," featuring James Webb, SENG's founder and lead author of a book by the same name; find out more. (SENG has its own name for webinars, preferring to call them SENGinars. This one, however, is truly a "Webb-inar." 😃)
RESEARCH.
  • The microbiome and emotions. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation has posted on how microbes in our gut affect emotions. Find it
  • Video gamers. Neuropsychologists let video gamers compete against non-gamers in a learning competition. During the test, the video gamers performed significantly better and showed an increased brain activity in the brain areas that are relevant for learning.Find the study write-up

SELF-CARE FOR PARENTS of 2e kiddos -- that's the topic of Jen the Blogger's latest piece.It's called, "Caring for Your Soul in this Age of Fear." Need that advice? Find it.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

IEPs & 504s, Communication with School, Carol Dweck, and More

GIFTED, ASD, WITH ANXIETY -- and only five years old. That's the lead in a Washington Post story about IEPs and 504s -- and which might be best for your kiddo. Here's a quote from the article about August, the five-year-old in question, that might ring true to readers here: "When August didn’t follow their instructions, [pre-school staff] told his parents that he was a defiant child who refused to stop making noises in class. [His mother] was confident that it wasn’t that her son wouldn’t stop making noises, but instead that August couldn’t stop." August's situation is the springboard for the article's considerations of the suitability of either an IEP or 504. Find the article.

AND ON THE SAME TOPIC, Wrightslaw's current issue of Special Ed Advocate offers to help you learn what the law says about IDEA, IEPs, and similar topics. Find Special Ed Advocate.

AND ON A SIMILAR TOPIC, Understood offers:
  • Parent-Teacher Boot Camp: Getting Ready for Your Next Meeting; find it
  • 8 Sentence Starters to Use When Talking to Teachers; find it
CAROL DWECK AWARDED $4M. The first issuance of an education research award established by a Chinese tech billionaire has gone to Carol Dwek for her work on "growth mindset," according to Education Week. The award is to "empower the change-makers in education, build a global community of education leaders and, ultimately, create long-lasting, enlightening impacts on mankind as a whole." Dweck's work has pointed out the importance of effort and its effects on motivation and performance. Read more.

DEBUNKING NERDINESS. Need some ammunition to help your kiddo feel more comfortable about the "gifted" label? The website of The Best Schools has profiles of 29 celebrities -- smart people with, says the article, "a true commitment to knowledge, education, and self-betterment." These are PhD and master's-credentialed actresses and MD actors, PhD pro basketball players, PhD rock guitarists, a JD pro football hall of famer, and -- well, you get the idea. Find the article.

FREE ONLINE DYSLEXIA SUMMIT. The organization Reading Horizons is offering an online event on October 12 featuring three presentations on dyslexia-related topics. Find out more.

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER is the topic of the most recent podcast from TiLT Parenting. It features Carol Kranowitz. Says Debbie of TiLT, "it was a thrill and honor to get to chat with Carol about what sensory processing is, how to recognize it in kids, what it looks like at different ages, as well as to hear Carol’s thoughts on efforts to get SPD fully recognized as a disorder." Find the podcast.

RESEARCH.
  • From Medical News Today: "A new study confirms the link between inflammation of the brain and the prevalence of suicidal thoughts in people diagnosed with major depression. This is the first study of its kind to measure relevant biomarkers in living individuals." Find the article
  • From Science Daily, for brain mavens only: "New research advances understanding of the function of the brain's anterior cingulate cortex and its tie to human learning." Find the article.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sleep & ADHD, Policy & Law, Parenting, More

SLEEP, ADHD. A few weeks ago we mentioned a research study contending that sleep problems and ADHD might have a stronger connection that previously thought. Several journalistic outlets have picked up on that study. The Washington Post ran a story titled "Could some ADHD be a type of sleep disorder? That would fundamentally change how we treat it.? And Education Week also covered the topic, including reporting on a study where students had to give up any screen time for two hours before bed.

PARENTING 2e KIDDOS. A writer at Chicago Now offers "three things you should know about being the mom of a twice-exceptional child." We're sure you've got your own list of things to offer, but if you'd like to compare notes, check it out.

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW.
  • A court told a Pontiac, Michigan, Catholic school that it could not discriminate against a student with dyslexia who was denied admission to the school. The Michigan law used by the judges mentions both public and private schools. Attorneys for the school said the law didn't apply because it didn't refer to religious schools. Read more, and thanks to Nancy M for bringing this to our attention. 
  • A request for input from the U.S. Department of Education brought about 15,000 comments, many from people and organizations worried that the department would relax enforcement of civil rights, which applies, of course, to our 2e kiddos getting an appropriate education. Read more
DEVON MACEACHRON has posted a new piece on her blog, this one on assistive technology for dyslexia. MacEachron is a psychologist specializing in 2e kiddos. Find the blog.

PARENTING: FREE ONLINE EVENT. Debbie Reber of TiLT Parenting pointed us to this. Here's what Debbie writes about the event: "Unfortunately, our kids don't come with instruction manuals... but there are people out there who devote their lives to discovering better parenting techniques and practices based on scientific research and knowledge of child development (I consider myself one of them!). And for the first time ever, 24 of these leading experts in child psychology, education, sleep and brain development are all gathered together in one virtual 'place' in what's being called the Be the Best Parent You Can Be." Find out more.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's September e-newsletter is out, featuring news about the 2017 Davidson Fellows; news about Davidson Academy and the Davidson Young Scholars Program; and more. Find the newsletter.

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, THE MOVIE. Producer Tom Ropelewski has announced three upcoming screenings of this movie, one in Washington State on October 13, one in Maryland on November 14, and one in Santiago, Chile, on November 26 (email http://kmlynarzz@gmail.com. for more info). In addition, Ropelewski has posted a preview of his next 2e-related work, tentatively titled "2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional." Find it.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mental Health, Adolescence, Asperger's, and More

25, THE NEW 18. Yup, extended adolescence, and it's the topic of an article at Scientific American. If you thought your 2e kiddo would be (mostly) out the door and off your mind at 18, maybe think again. The article was sparked by research indicating that teens today are less likely to engage in "adult" activities such as sex and alcohol than teens in previous generations. One possible explanation: growing up in a relatively affluent, stable environment, which might lead to a "slower developmental course." Do you buy that? Should you worry about this? Check the article

MENTAL HEALTH. In the story above we found a quote about strategies for setting up older teens for success, from a psychologist who says that "one such strategy might be expanding mental health services for adolescents, particularly because 75 percent of major mental illnesses emerge by the mid-20s." By coincidence, UCLA has announced that it will make mental health screening and treatment available to all incoming students. Read more.

MORE COINCIDENCE. The Child Mind Institute this week features its annual Children's Mental Health Report, with a focus on adolescence. It echoes some of the themes in the Scientific American article, namely that:
  • The brain develops until at least age 25.
  • Most mental health issues surface before age 24. 
  • Awareness and programs can change lives. 
Find the report.

WHERE'S THE "ASPERGER'S" DIAGNOSIS? Not in the DSM-5. Still in the ICD-10. But, possibly, taking on "a culture of its own," according to a piece at Psychiatric Times. Read more.

INTERESTED IN tDCS, transcranial direct current stimulation of the brain? It's become a "thing" over the past few years for brain enhancement. Cerebrum presents an article it describes this way: "Originally developed to help patients with brain injuries such as strokes, tDCS is now also used to enhance language and mathematical ability, attention span, problem solving, memory, coordination, and even gaming skills. The authors examine its potential and pitfalls." Find the article.

JEN THE BLOGGER discourses on whether homeschooling should focus on the acquisition of skills or the accumulation of facts, and offers some perspective on what 12 years can mean in the development of a kiddo in our community. Find "Laughing at Chaos."

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Psychologist Gail Post describes what a recently-issued statement on the importance of social-emotional learning can mean for gifted kiddos. The statement set forth four conditions for students; those who meet the conditions "are more likely to maximize their opportunities and reach their potential." But Post notes how gifted kiddos can be foiled by the four conditions, foiled in ways that are logical when one things about them but ways that one might not have thought of, which is why we should appreciate having professionals like Post around. Each of the four foiling conditions seems to us to apply to 2e kids as well. Find this thoughtful post.

PRIVATE EVALUATIONS VERSUS SCHOOL EVALUATIONS. Understood offers a list of the pros and cons of having a child evaluated by the school as opposed to a private assessor. Find it.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is a conversation between TiLT's founder Debbie Reber and a woman who is a life and leadership coach, founder of Mother's Quest, and -- mother of two differently-wired sons. Says Debbie: "In our honest and open conversation, Julie shares how she has embraced who her children are, how they’ve handled the issue of diagnoses and labels, and her big why for creating Mother’s Quest." Find the podcast.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED about the disparity between a child's ability to focus on schoolwork versus a video game? New research described at Science Daily might shed some light on it for you. Find the write-up.

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. The Social Competence & Treatment Lab at Stony Brook University is now recruiting participants for a new employment study, "Improving Outcomes for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder." The autism population, says the lab, is statistically the least employed population worldwide, and the lab has launched a nationwide, online survey intended for employers, parents, and individuals with ASD. The lab says the survey takes about 15 minutes. Find out more.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Lang School, Parenting Anxiety, Student Anxiety, ADHD, More

THE LANG SCHOOL for 2e students (profiled in the March/April, 2016 issue of 2e Newsletter), like other similar schools, was founded by a parent, Micaela Bracamonte, who wanted an education for her children that would fit their strengths and challenges. A story at the website Narrative.ly portrays Bracamonte's vision, drive, and independence as she built her school. Those in the 2e community will find a lot to relate to in the story, which will, hopefully, open more eyes about twice-exceptionality and its ramifications. Go to Narrative.ly.

PARENTING ANXIETY. Any sane parent feels anxiety about at least some of her or his parental duties and to the child's development. A parent writing into a column at The Washington Post says, "I manage my parenting anxiety by not reading parenting books. It’s too much contradictory information, and I get nuts about it." The columnist offers suggestions for dealing with the consequences of "too much information." Find the column.

WHAT DO YOU DO when other parents suggest that your child has ADHD? You might have your own favorite response -- but US News has some tips -- like, "consider the source"; how to handle rude people; and more. Find the article.

MORE ON ADHD. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation reports on research providing more clarity in how to diagnose ADHD in a child, in particular when using the Achenbach Scales. Read more.

PARENTS AREN'T THE ONLY ONES who deal with a child's "e's." Education Week has published an article by a teacher who has witnessed the upsurge in students with anxiety over the past decades. The teacher describes the manifestations of the problem -- absenteeism ("I just couldn't face school today"), missed assignments, panic attacks, separation anxiety, and more. The teacher/writer blames our culture for some of this. He also describes briefly how he has changed his engagement style to adapt. Find the article.

ADVICE FROM TEACHERS for other teachers and for parents -- that's what the current TED Talks playlist promises. Among the playlist titles: "3 rules to spark learning"; "Help for kids the education system ignores"; and "How to fix a broken education system." Find the playlist.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has a new article up, "The Benefits of Later School Start Times." If you need convincing, or want something to help your school district be convinced, check it out.

YOUR CHANCE FOR INPUT. The biennial World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children is seeking input on speakers or topics to include. Here's your chance to show how important twice-exceptionality is to you and the 2e community. Find out more and let them know what you think. (The next conference is in Nashville in 2019 -- but now's the chance to advocate.)

SENG has an upcoming webinar this Thursday, "Parenting Adventures in the Digital Realm: From Surviving to Thriving." From the event blurb: "How can we best support our kids in developing the skills necessary to participate creatively and make healthy choices in the digital realm? In this interactive presentation, we’ll explore how to nurture conversations and family practices that reduce conflict, support dialog, and build trust." Find out more.

DO YOU PRAISE THAT KID for being "smart"? He or she might be more prone to cheat if so, according to a new study. Find the study write-up.

DOUBT ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS? Although the clinical efficacy of antidepressants in children and adolescents is proven, it is frequently accompanied by side effects. In addition, the influence of the placebo effect on the efficacy of antidepressants is unclear. A meta-analysis of data from over 6,500 patients has now shown that, although antidepressants are more effective than placebos, the difference is minor and varies according to the type of mental disorder.Find the study write-up.

REMEMBER GOOGLE GLASS, the wearable communications/computing/display technology? It's still around. Now a prototype software application, to be used with the optical head-mounted display, has been designed as a social-skills coach for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Read more.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Going to College, U.S. Education, 2e Resource, More

SENDING THAT 2e KIDDO off to college this fall? At Quartz, you can read how helicopter parenting is bad for college kids, but "a little hovering is just right." Not to put the pressure on you to find the right amount of involvement for your kiddo, but here's what the article's author says: "As a psychotherapist who has worked with students and their parents for more than three decades, I have found that making a healthy, successful transition from home to college is one of the most important tasks of adolescent development — for students and parents alike. But it is also one of the most difficult." Find the article. Separately, The Washington Post's "On Parenting" feature offers tips from college advisers to help freshmen succeed. Find the article.

U.S. ED POLICY AND LAW. Something nice -- or, at least, not bad -- happened this week. As CEC's Policy Insider reports, "The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. No amendments were included. This bill provides $63.8 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, a $29.0 million increase compared to FY 2017. The bill also maintains funding for many programs that were eliminated in the President’s budget." As they way in Lake Woebegone, things could be worse. Read more.

HOWEVER. Two items at Education Week paint a not-so-rosy picture about education in the United States:
  • Teachers in the U.S. face a big pay disparity compared to professionals with similar education levels. Find out more
  • The U.S. trails other nations when it comes to enrolling children in preschool. Find out more
TWICE-EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY (TECA), after a summer break, is resuming its online parent support groups, offering one group for parents of teens and one for parents of pre-teens. Find out more.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. The New York Times reviews the case for later school start times as a way to let teens get the nine or ten hours of sleep they should have. Got a teen? Read the article.
DON'T FORGET NAGC'S campaign "Giftedness Knows No Boundaries," which invites participants to "see, understand, teach, and challenge gifted and talented children from all backgrounds." Find out more at NAGC.
READING. American Public Media has published an article on how American schools fail kids with dyslexia. Says the article, "...across the country, public schools are denying children proper treatment and often failing to identify them with dyslexia in the first place." Find it. Separately, an article at Science Daily about gender differences in reading abilities asks "How should we handle boys who can't read?" Find the article.
ADHD RESEARCH. Here are write-ups of three recent studies:
  1. Gut health and ADHD. "Imbalances in microbes are also seen in many disorders associated with inflammation, which is possibly relevant to ADHD because low-grade neuroinflammation, or activation of immune cells in the brain, has been suggested to contribute to ADHD." Find the write-up
  2. The eyes and ADHD. "A technique that measures tiny movements of the eyes may help scientists better understand and perhaps eventually improve assessment of ADHD." Find the write-up.
  3. Inattentiveness. "Children with or without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who demonstrate inattentiveness during childhood are associated with a worse academic performance up to 10 years later in life." Find the write-up

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Due Process for 2e, Success for ADHD Students, and More

DUE PROCESS. Special ed attorney Matt Cohen won a due process hearing for parents of a bright elementary school student with ADHD, writing difficulties, and other issues. Here's what the firm says in their newsletter about the case: "The parents repeatedly sought assistance from the district for an IEP or a 504 plan to help their son. He was not provided a 504 plan for approximately a year after they began seeking help and was denied an IEP repeatedly over a two year period, despite extensive evidence of the struggles he was having during and after school. [Chicago Public Schools] staff defended the refusal of both a 504 plan and an IEP on the grounds that the student was bright, was getting passing grades and had generally high achievement test scores." The firm's newsletter is not posted at their website, but you can read the hearing officer's opinion here.

STUDENTS WITH ADHD -- that's the topic of an article at Education Week Teacher called "10 Tips for a Smooth School Year for Students with ADHD." The article is directed at educators, but parents should find it useful as well. Separately, US News offers parent its tips to ensure (dangerous word) the success at school for a child with ADHD. Find the US News piece.

ESCAP, the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, has published a journal issue focusing on the role of nutrition on child and adolescent mental health disorders. Among the article topics: the microbiome; vitamin D; and elimination diets. The issue also contains an article on sleep and ADHD. Find the journal and read the article abstracts; sadly, the full articles are not available to non-subscribers, but perhaps your local library might be able to provide you with access.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has posted "Normal Is Overrated," observations by a kiddo you'll emphasize with -- bright but with reading issues, ADHD, and a growth disorder. (He was, for awhile, a "runt.") Find the piece.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE, the newsletter from With Understanding Comes Calm, is out in its September incarnation. You can read how Julie Skolnick has been spreading the word about 2e, about 2e-related events in the Maryland area and elsewhere, and more. Find the newsletter.

TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is with one of the co-authors of the new book Child Decoded: Unlocking Complex Issues in Your Child’s Learning, Behavior, or Attention. Debbie of TiLT calls the book "an owner's manual" for parents of differently wired kids. Find the podcast.

DEPRESSION

  • Medical News Today describes research shedding light on the way serotonin works in the brain; find it
  • NewsWise describes research into drugs like ketamine for depression relief; find it
OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH all of the families affected by the recent hurricanes in the U.S. southlands. We wish them a speedy resumption of normalcy... and the fortitude to get through disruptions that the rest of us can only imagine.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Dysgraphia, Misdiagnosis, Events, Research, More

DYSGRAPHIA can be under diagnosed, and a writer at The Huffington Post gives reasons why, leading with this question about her own child who read many grade levels above her age: [H]ow could a child with such advanced reading and comprehension levels disregard proper syntax and grammar when writing?" The writer notes that under-diagnosis can occur because "The testing used to assess written expression disabilities often doesn’t score handwriting or spelling problems..." The writer says that 2e kiddos are especially prone to being missed with the diagnosis, but goes on to offer things to look for and some amelioration for parents who feel guilty about missing the problem. Find the article.

THE UNMOTIVATED STUDENT is the topic of a feature at Education World. Do you know a student meeting the following description? "Although his test scores often convey high potential, his classroom performance suggests something else." The author goes on to offers seven tips for addressing the problem, starting with interrupting the "cycle of failure" for students who are demoralized. Find the article.

MISDIAGNOSIS of the gifted and 2e is the topic of a blog posting by psychologist Devon MacEachron, and she gives her "top 10 reasons" why these learners can be misdiagnosed. One of the reasons ("interaction of the organism with its environment") contains this quote: "“I don’t have a learning disability – my teacher has a teaching disability." Find the blog.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has posted three articles that might be of interest to those in the 2e community:

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has a new post titled "Think Twice before Exiting Special Ed." The post advocates a measured approach to giving up the supports of special ed. If your kiddo is receiving such services, perhaps check out the post.

EVENTS
  • The organization Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy has announced the keynote speaker for its October conference: Katherine Ellison, author of Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, and ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know. Find out more about the conference. 
  • If you were considering signing up for the Landmark College online course "Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners," you still have a couple days. The deadline has been extended until September 10. Find out more
  • We've just learned of an October event in Bellevue, Washington: "Autistics Present: A Symposium on Autistic Culture and Diversity." Find out more on Facebook.

RESEARCH
  • The Washington Post reports on research on the treatment of anxiety in children using medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or both. Meds varied, with SSRIs appearing to be most effective, and the combination of SSRIs with CBT more effective than any other option. Read more
  • Those interested in how seratonin works in the brain will be interested in new research described at Science Daily; find it
  • Other newly-published research indicates that a "tailored physical activity intervention" can improve self-control. The write-up seemed to indicate that the study subjects were adults. Find out more

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. A U.S. Senate committee has approved legislation that, according to Education Week, "seeks to bar the administration from using federal funding for vouchers or public school choice." The committee also rejected some proposed heavy cuts to education funding. Read more.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

TEDx Talk on 2e, Depression, Girls on the Spectrum, More

AS WE MENTIONED in our coverage of August's SENG conference, Scott Barry Kaufman has done a TEDx talk. Here's what he says about it: "My new TEDx talk on redefining intelligence, maximizing human potential, and appreciating twice-exceptional children, is up! Please share if you can, as I'd like to get the word out there about this very marginalized group of children." Find the talk. The release of the talk was announced in the Beautiful Minds, a newsletter from Kaufmann which contains links to podcasts, interviews, talks, and articles. Find the newsletter.

GIRLS ON THE SPECTRUM. Disability Scoop reports on research about the gender differences in ASD, writing "New research finds that girls on the spectrum have more difficulty with planning, organizing, making small talk, and other adaptive skills needed to get up, get dressed, and make it through the day." Read more.

DEPRESSION. What to know how psychiatrists evaluate for the possibility of treatment-resistant depression (TRD)? Find out at the site of Psychiatric Times. Separately, a small study found that neurofeedback seemed to improve symptoms and recovery in TRD. Read more.

BRAIN WONKS will probably appreciate an article at Science Daily on recent research into mapping regions and functional connections in the brain. According to the write-up, the research "will provide new insights into a wide range of psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety, substance use, and cognitive impairment." Of special interest are networks involved in cognition and attention. Find the write-up.

BELIN-BLANK has announced a series of podcasts called The Window and says this about it: "The Window podcast is designed to engage thought leaders on issues relating to maximizing human potential and directing talent toward a larger social good." Find out more.

SLEEP, ADHD. Here's a rather strong statement about the connection between ADHD and sleep from Medical News Today: "Researchers suggest that there may be a stronger link between ADHD and sleep problems than hitherto believed, and that the two may not be completely separate issues after all." Read more.

TiLT PARENTING. A new podcast is out and it's titled "Non-violent Communication, Whole Person Learning, and Neurodiverse Students." Here's one of the things TiLT founder Debbie says you'll learn: "What it looks like when education is grounded in compassion and the principles of nonviolent communication, ecological literacy, and whole person learning (social, emotional, physiological, and academic)." Find the podcast. (Wikipedia says that non-violent communication "is a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one's own inner experience), empathy (defined as an understanding of the heart in which we see the beauty in the other person), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).")

EDUCATION IN FINLAND has often in the past been held up as a benchmark. Education Week reports on a visit to Finland by five "teachers of the year" from the U.S. Find out what they observed and thought.