Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tax Gift? Plus Holiday "Candy," Food for Thought, and More

LAW AND POLICY. There's some good news in the revised tax plan for those  parents in the 2e community trying to afford private schools. The 529 education savings plans will now apply to elementary and high school education. The catch: having enough money in the first place to afford a private school for that 2e kiddo -- but maybe the tax provisions will help. Read more.

HOLIDAY CANDY. Producer Tom Ropelewski has released another sneak peek from the upcoming documentary "2e: Teaching the Twice Exceptional." The clip is called, "The Value of Arguing." Ropelewski tells us to expect the documentary in March of 2018. Find the clip.

GIFTED ED 2017 is the theme of psychologist Gail Post's most recent communique at "Gifted Challenges." As she describes it, the post highlights "My top picks for interesting, controversial, and thought-provoking articles from the past year." In the mood for "thought-provoking"? Find the blog.

TECA. Twice-Exceptional Children's Advocacy has announced its January schedule of online parent support groups. Check it out.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Landmark College has announced the next courses in its professional certificate program, "Executive Function and LD: Integrating Strategies, Study Skills, and Technology." The courses are also available on an individual basis. Find out more

UNDERSTOOD has scheduled an early January online chat entitled "Activities for Developing Your Child’s Executive Functioning Skills," with Stephanie M. Carlson. Find out more.

DEPRESSION. The Dana Foundation has posted a new article titled "Neuroimaging Advances for Depression." The editor's intro to the article says: "While neuroimaging applications for identifying various types of depression have made enormous strides in recent years, no findings have been sufficiently replicated or considered significant enough to warrant application in clinical settings. Our authors are well equipped to tell us what the future may bring." Find the article.

CONDUCT DISORDER. Medical News Today often publishes press releases but sometimes offers what we guess is original content, as with a recent article on conduct disorder. The article provides an intro, a description of symptoms, and information on diagnosis, treatment, and causes. The article notes that conduct disorder occurs frequently with other conditions, including ADHD, ODD, anxiety, and depression. Find the article.

NUTRITION. The interesting premise of a study write-up at Medical News Today is this: "A good night's sleep and a higher IQ could be achieved by eating fish at least once per week — for children, at least." The IQ payoff: 5 points. Read more. And another study indicates that "children who eat healthfully are more likely to be happy, and those who are happy are more likely to eat healthfully." Researchers found there is an association between adherence to healthy dietary guidelines and better psychological well-being -- which includes fewer emotional problems, better relationships with other children, and higher self-esteem -- two years later. Read more. And on the flip side, the popularity of energy drinks and junk food might have unique risks for teenagers who consume too much of them during the later stages of brain development, according to new research. These are just two of the factors potentially affecting teen brain development examined in a new special issue of Birth Defects Research: The Teenage Brain. Read more.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Advocacy, Requests for Help, "Motivationally Gifted," and More

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR GIFTED CHILDREN (NAGC) has reacted by letter to the Q&A that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued recently concerning the Endrew F decision and its impact. The letter is supportive of some of the language in the Q&A regarding the opportunity (via IEPs) for students with disabilities to "meet challenging objectives." The letter goes further in support of twice-exceptional students, stating: "NAGC respectfully encourages the U.S. Department of Education to further clarify that IEP Teams should enable twice-exceptional children to be involved in and make progress towards above grade-level challenging objectives when appropriate." Our compliments to NAGC for stepping up for the kiddos in the 2e community! Find the letter.


  • For a 2e prospective PhD student in the Boston area, can anyone recommend a tutor to help strengthen math skills and enhance GRE scores? The ideal tutor would be comfortable both with higher math (statistics, etc.) and working with a gifted adult who has 2e strengths and deficits. The right recommendation will help this student succeed! Email Mark at you-know-where.
  • A family new to the 2e community is looking for a 2e-friendly school in the San Diego area. If you know of one, please let us know.
"MOTIVATIONALLY GIFTED" people are the subject of an article at Quartz. See what contributes to it, how these people compare to "regular" gifted people, and the significance of the research behind the article. Read it.

FIRST-PERSON BOOK. Peter Flom, who has written for 2e Newsletter, has a book out called "Screwed Up Somehow But Not Stupid: Life with a Learning Disability." From the Amazon blurb: "When Peter Flom was five years old, his parents were told that he had 'minimal brain dysfunction' and would never go to college. Peter skipped one year of high school, did college in three years, got his BA at twenty and now has two MAs and a Ph.D. He’s married and has two sons. He also has a different diagnosis: Nonverbal Learning Disability. In “Screwed Up Somehow but Not Stupid,” Peter describes what it’s like to live life with a learning disability, but also with some abilities." Find the book.

TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is titled "Jessica Lahey Talks about the Gifts of Failure for Our Kids." TiLT's Debbie says, "Jess shares her insights about how we can best prepare our kids for an independent, successful adulthood in the way we practice autonomy supportive parenting versus overparenting, what it means to let our kids 'fail' to help them thrive, how we can help our kids learn how to 'sit with frustration,' and much more." Find the podcast.

  • A live event in Los Angeles featured experts at a "Depression Grand Challenge" on the causes and treatment of depression, and also on what UCLA is doing in the field. Read more.
  • An article at Psychiatric News notes that antidepressant prescriptions for young people are rising, in spite of a drop a decade ago after "black box" warnings about the meds and suicidal ideation. Researchers write, “A return to the rates of antidepressant use before the black-box warning raises concern that this thoughtful accounting of the risks and benefits may have dissipated over time.” Read more. (Reading this article alone, however, begs further investigation into the risks of antidepressants for young people; as always consult with a qualified professional.)
  • From Medical News Today: "A new method to measure brain connectivity — as tested by the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom — has found that people with depression have changes in the brain systems involved in memory and reward." Read more
EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. The revisions to the U.S. tax law passed this week will have effects on education, but we'll wait a bit for the dust to settle and analysts to study the final legislation. Hopefully we'll have analyses next week.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Events, A Newsletter, and Lots of Research

EVENT: ATTITUDE. ADDitude's free webinar with Dr. William Dodson on December 19, titled "How ADHD Shapes Your Perceptions, Emotions, and Motivation," is full -- but a replay will be available the afternoon of the 19th. Find out more.

EVENT: SENG. The organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the gifted offers a webinar on December 21 titled "Isolated Identities: Perspectives of Gifted LGBTQ+ Teens and Young Adults." A fee applies. Find out more.

EVENT: WALLACE SYMPOSIUM. Belin-Blank has released more information about the spring Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development, which it holds in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University. The event website now has a speaker list; go there.

NEWSLETTER. The Davidson Institute's Educators Guild winter newsletter is out, featuring the topic of acceleration. The newsletter also points to professional development resources, general resources, and news items of interest to those who teach gifted students. Find the newsletter.

ON EDUCATION, in general. You might have heard of recent research about schools across the country that provided some surprising results -- such as Chicago students learning faster than most other districts. An article in The New York Times takes a look at that research, which examines learning growth and the socioeconomics of various districts. Read the article.

  • Depression -- the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation notes a study that may point to a new class of antidepressants based on tianeptine, which targets opioid receptors in the brain. Read more
  • ASD -- Science Daily says, "Scientists are examining the feasibility of treating autistic children with neuromodulation after a new study showed social impairments can be corrected by brain stimulation." Find the study write-up
  • ADHD -- MedicineNet reports on research indicating that ADHD has different effects in the brains of boys than girls. Read more
  • Dyslexia -- A new study has found that the brain responses of infants with an inherited risk for dyslexia predict their future reading speed in secondary school. Find the study write-up.
  • Working memory -- From NewsWise: "Mount Sinai researchers have found a positive relationship between the brain network associated with working memory—the ability to store and process information relevant to the task at hand—and healthy traits such as higher physical endurance and better cognitive function." Read more
  • The brain and disorders -- New findings will help to identify the genetic causes of brain disorders: researchers have presented a systematic catalog of specific variable locations in the genome that influence gene activity in the human hippocampus. Find more at Science Daily
AND FINALLY, THIS. Hold that kid. "The amount of physical contact between infants and their caregivers can affect children at the molecular level. The study of DNA methylation patterns showed that children who had been more distressed as infants and had received less physical contact had a molecular profile that was underdeveloped for their age. This is the first study to show in humans that the simple act of touching, early in life, has deeply-rooted and potentially lifelong consequences on genetic expression." From Science Daily.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Advocacy, Policy, Resources, Blogs...

PARENTAL ADVOCACY. A young woman in West Australia was refused extra time on a standardized university-admission test, despite having been granted extra time in high school because of her dyspraxia. The girl's mother, not happy about the lack of accommodation, teamed with an expert and the media to get the story out and hopefully raise awareness of twice-exceptionality. Read more, and remember that you can do this too.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS, VOUCHERS, DISABILITIES. The move to vouchers has led to concerns about how private schools would be accountable for handling students with disabilities. CEC's Policy Insider is paying attention, and tells of a recently released report on the topic done by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). According to Policy Insider, "the GAO found overall that private school choice programs lack consistency with regard to accountability, lack mechanisms for providing accurate information to the public and families and fail to provide parents with information about changes in rights afforded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act." Read more.

LD IN COLLEGE: RESOURCE. Here's what Wrightslaw says about its most recent issue of Special Ed Advocate, which focuses on college and LDs. "...this issue of the Special Ed Advocate provides loads of resources, in-depth information guides, and good advice about what to look for and how to choose a continuing education program." Find the newsletter.

LANDMARK RESOURCE. Landmark College offers a resource for working with diverse learners. The college says, "It is brief and intended to be used as a tip sheet and reminder of these practices, not as an in-depth guide." Find it.

RESOURCE FOR DR. VISITS. At the Homeschooling/2e blog, the author writes about the frequent lack of understanding by pediatricians and doctors of giftedness and 2e and the consequent effect on appointments and diagnosis. As part of the blog, she mentions the Gifted Homeschoolers brochures that parents can print out and give to doctors, explaining those two topics we live with. Find the blog.

JEN THE BLOGGER is unusually contemplative in her most recent blog post. The theme? "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree"... and how the label on the apple might mean something for the tree. Read it if you dare.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is "A Conversation with Susan Hyatt about Launching Her Differently Wired Son." Debbie writes, "...many of us question whether or not our kids will ever launch at all. I hope you find this conversation, as well as Susan’s infectiously positive and powerful outlook on life, inspiring!" Find the podcast.

SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW! In our most recent blog posting we noted SENG's call for proposals for next year's conference. Now we note NAGC's request for proposals for its 2018 convention next November, submission deadline January 21. We urge you to check out NAGC's request, think about it, and submit a proposal if you think what you have to say would benefit attendees at the NAGC convention, who are mostly (but not limited to) educators.

AND FINALLY, THIS. Got a young musician? There might be a benefit. According to Science Daily, "New research links brain structure to an individual's likelihood of experiencing hallucinations and to their musical aptitude. Participants with higher musical aptitude showed lower hallucination proneness." Read more.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Endrew F and FAPE; "This Thing Called Autism"; And More

IDEA, ENDREW F. The U.S. Department of Education has released a Q&A document to provide guidance on the implications of this year's Endrew F ruling by the Supreme Court. It addresses questions such as
  • How did Endrew F. clarify the standard for determining FAPE and educational benefit?
  • How can an IEP Team ensure that every child has the chance to meet challenging objectives?
  • Is there anything IEP Teams should do differently as a result of the Endrew F. decision?
Find the Q&A. Separately, Education Week reported on commentary by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on the Endrew F case in which she said: "Personalized, student-centered education can help all children thrive, especially children with disabilities. Their education should embrace their diverse traits and aspirations, rather than limiting them with a one-size-fits-all approach." Read more

BOY TO CLASSMATES: "I have this thing called autism." A fourth-grader crafted (with help from his parents) a video to communicate to his classmates the reasons he might seem different and explaining what life and school are like from his perspective. For example: “I can hear and see a lot of things and sounds all at the same time, which sometimes makes it hard to focus on one sound or thought.” The video evidently opened up communication with his classmates. Find an article about the video and also a link to the video. 

MENTAL HEALTH AND THE YOUNG. NBC News did a piece on mental health issues in teens and children in the U.S., noting that while 20 percent of American children have a diagnosable mental issue, only 20 percent of those actually receive treatment. The article notes how depression may first manifest in irritability or anxiety. Find the piece

LANDMARK COLLEGE, in particular its president, Peter Eden, was the focus of an article at Education Dive. The president explains Landmark's approach to serving its student body -- for example, the use of universal design for learning, UDL. He also covers the research and professional development work done at the college, which has $3 million in grant funding for its research center. Eden is quoted: "At the end of the day, what we do is provide an opportunity for young people who do not do well in a traditional one-size-fits-all higher ed model, we give them an opportunity to show us their strengths and their potential." Read more

FACEBOOK APP FOR KIDS. Of the recent release of a Facebook app for kids, The New York Times has this to say: "Facebook immediately reignited a furious debate about how young is too young for children to use mobile apps and how parents should deal with the steady creep of technology into family life, especially as some fight to reduce the amount of time their sons and daughters spend in front of screens." Read more about the different sides of the debate. Separately, the Dana Foundation recently published an article titled "The Truth about Research on Screen Time"; find it

LYING. A guest blogger at ADDitude writes on "The Ugly Truth about ADHD and Lying." The blogger has a twice-exceptional son who evidently, as the saying goes, has a fluid relationship with truth. Find the blog

  • A new article presents the challenges in using three major diagnostic manuals from a scientific perspective and offer some recommendations for re-conceptualizing the mental disorders they describe, according to Science Daily. The researchers "identified four challenges to understanding and classifying mental disorders: what varied combinations of factors cause them, how to diagnose them given that they are not actually distinct categories, thresholds for diagnosis and other purposes such as treatment, and co-morbidity -- the fact that most people with mental illness meet the diagnosis for multiple mental disorders." Read more
  • Newswire reports on research that will help clinicians decide whether to prescribe talk therapy or medication to treat anxiety. An EEG-based test evidently will predict the efficacy of CBT. Read more
  • And finally, this. Making eye contact with an infant makes adults' and babies' brainwaves 'get in sync' with each other -- which is likely to support communication and learning. Read more.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Dyslexia, OEs, Labels, Events, More

BAD NEWS FOR DYSLEXICS. American Public Media has found that “across the country, public schools are denying children proper treatment and often failing to identify them with dyslexia in the first place.” Says Radio WAMU, which aired a story on the situation: "The APM findings also show that the way schools handle recognizing and educating students with dyslexia could have implications for how all children are taught to read. We look at how one special needs population affects early childhood education and literacy rates across the board." Listen here, and be sure to check the comments on the broadcast's page. You'll see some familiar situations. 😣

BAD NEWS FOR SMART PEOPLE? Scientific American notes a couple of seemingly contradictory findings. While people of high intelligence tend to be healthy and successful, a survey of Mensa members revealed that they were more likely to suffer from mood disorders, anxiety, ADHD, and autism. The researchers evidently explain this by suggesting a "hyper brain, hyper body" hypothesis -- your basic overexcitabilities. Read more.

MORE ON LABELS. In our last blog we referred to a piece on how the "gifted" label can be important for those who fit it, even though it might have disadvantages. Now a piece in Education Week considers labels of disability -- the advantage (or necessity) in obtaining services, but also the the downside of perception by others. The authors write, "We wonder how those children are waiting to be seen as whole young people and not as labeled with an anchor that prevents their ability to soar." Read more.

2e EVENT. The Iowa Talented and Gifted Association is holding a two-day workshop on twice-exceptionality next April 13-14 in Cedar Falls. The intended audience consists of educators and administrators. The goal: to "assist district teams in developing plans to address [2e] challenges and to learn instructional approaches that emphasize rigor.... Each team attending will leave with a district plan draft for serving twice exceptional students as well as strategies designed to provide appropriate classroom instruction." Find out more

UNDERSTOOD EVENTS. The organization Understood has frequent Facebook chats and other interactive events on topics of interest to those who raise and educate twice-exceptional children. Coming up: accommodations for reading and writing; dyscalculia; and technology for reading. Some chats are in Spanish. Find out more and check back often.
RISPERDAL is being increasingly prescribed to children for aggression or irritability. If a health professional has mentioned that drug to you, check out a new article at the site of the Child Mind Institute.
SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES is launching a campaign to profile kids who pursue achievement in spite of LDs. Not only can you read the stories of others, but the organization says, "These are your children’s stories. Please share them with our Smart Kids community..." Read more.
GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE. The newest edition of Julie Skolnick's newsletter is out, featuring a blog post by Julie on loneliness plus pointers to articles and news of what she is doing in the 2e community. Find the newsletter.
TiLT TALKS TO SENG. The latest podcast from TiLT Parenting is a conversation with Michael Postma, executive director of the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted. The topic: the plight of gifted and 2e kids. Find out more.
  • Education Dive, in its annual awards of recognition, has named the Every Student Succeeds Act as the "Policy of the Year." If you're looking for a primer on what this law is, go to Education Dive
  • U.S. K-12 spending is still below what it was before the recession that began in 2008-9, according to Education Week, which refers to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive think-tank. From the article: "Experts in general say states' school spending is being squeezed by pension and Medicaid costs, declines in capital, sales and commodity tax revenue, and a series of tax cuts in a handful of especially conservative states." Read more. This topic is also covered at The 74
  • Medscape reports this: "Cognitive-behavioral sleep interventions provide the greatest benefits to adolescents with higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, whereas other adolescents with sleep problems respond less well." Find the item
  • Science Daily reports on the effects of lack of sleep in teens -- mood disorders and even addition. Read the study write-up
  • Also from Science Daily: "People with major depressive disorder have alterations in the activity and connectivity of brain systems underlying reward and memory, according to a new study. The findings provide clues as to which regions of the brain could be at the root of symptoms, such as reduced happiness and pleasure, in depression." Find the study write-up.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lots of Good Stuff!

ZONA, an Arizona publication "focused on spreading the word about all the good kids in our communities," recently published a piece about a high-achieving young lady who is a talented musician and does very well academically. She also has ADHD. From the profile: "Sometimes it can be difficult for Olivia to stay on task, but she is aware and works hard to self advocate and most of all, to never give up." Read more about Olivia.

READING BETWEEN THE LINES. Sometimes in an article about a public figure there's a tidbit that makes you wonder if the subject is in reality a member of the 2e community. Money Magazine did a recent article on Chip Gaines, who appears on HGTV in Fixer Upper. The tidbit: Gaines couldn't read in first grade. According to his account of first grade, "...they said 'Hey, here’s a simple book we want you to read' I said 'Hey, that’s great, sounds fascinating! What do you do with this thing? Chew on it?'" And at that early age he became, in his words, a salesman and a BS-er. Sound suspicious? Read the article and form your own opinion.

PARENTS BUILDING AWARENESS. Three families in Solon, Ohio came together in support of 2e issues and ended up sparking an expanding dialog which has now become a statewide conference hosted by the Summit Educational Service Center (ESC) in Cuyahoga Falls. Expert speakers will present on a variety of high-impact topics facing families and educators: executive functioning; gifted operating standards; social emotional support; identity development; and parent/self advocacy. The conference is on March 10. Find out more.

THE GIFTED LABEL. It's important, says psychologist Gail Post, and she gives lots of reasons why identifying and labeling gifted children helps. "If we can't give it a name, we can't adequately address it. Until we recognize that giftedness must be understood and served within the educational system, gifted children's emotional and academic needs will suffer. And they will continue to receive misdiagnoses and inaccurate labels." Find Post's blog.

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. A doctoral student in special ed at Vanderbilt University is interested in IEP meetings and about the experiences that parents or legal guardians of students with disabilities have during these meetings. She says, "If you choose to participate in the study, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about yourself, your child, your child’s most recent IEP meeting, and your relationship with the members of your child’s IEP team. The study will take about 30 minutes to complete." There's also a chance to win a gift card. Prospective participants may find the survey here.

PROSPECTIVE CONFERENCE PRESENTERS: We know you're out there. We urge you to consider submitting a proposal to present at SENG's 2018 conference in San Diego, California. Think about something you know that would benefit others, then check out SENG's call for proposals. But don't procrastinate; the deadline is December 29.

RESOURCES. Sharp Brains has provided a list of "Top Resources for Educators on Learning and the Brain." Included: books, conferences, and websites. Find the list.

SEQUEL TO "2e: Twice Exceptional," the movie. Here's what producer Tom Ropelewski says: "While we're putting the finishing touches on the new film, '2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional,' here's Sneak Peek #2 -- M.S. Humanities teacher Stuart takes a creative approach to teaching perseverance to 2e students. I hope you enjoy it!" Find the sneak peek.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

IDEA, ASD in College, Depression, and More

IDEA: 42ND ANNIVERSARY. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) points out that November 29 (yesterday) was the 42nd anniversary of the signing of the legislation that became IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Today, according to CEC, about seven million children, many of them presumably twice-exceptional, receive IDEA services. Find out more. Separately, you can read an account of a high-profile IDEA case -- Endrew F -- at the site of The Denver Post. The article describes the family's long fight with schools and the courts, a fight that they eventually won in the Supreme Court of the United States. Find the article. Separately again, Wrightslaw's Special Ed Advocate in its most recent edition promises to teach you about "tutoring as a direct service under IDEA, not an accommodation or modification. Find out why some schools say no to services." Find Special Ed Advocate.

CAMPUS LIFE ON THE SPECTRUM. US News recently ran a piece titled "Families: Learn How to Find Autism-Friendly Colleges." The theme: "consider the type of support that is helpful for their high schooler and look for colleges that can provide these services." According to the article, about 60 colleges have autism support programs. Read more. Separately, NPR has a series called "Been There: Lessons from a Shared Experience," and a recent piece from the series dealt with how to navigate life on campus when you're on the spectrum. Find it.

DEPRESSION. In The Washington Post, a resident physician in psychiatry offers his perspective on the treatment of depression -- meds, therapy, or both. He describes the use of cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants, along with research on the effectiveness of either or both. Also covered: alternative treatments such as exercise and transcranial magnetic stimulation. If depression is a challenge for your 2e kiddo, check out this article -- but, as always, rely on the advice of a professional familiar with your particular situation.

PSYCHOLOGIST DEVON MACEACHRON, in her blog, takes on the question of whether giftedness or effort is a bigger factor in "success." She notes how in the 1980s and 90s practice and effort were seen as the major factors, and how the pendulum has lately been swinging back toward innate ability. She notes how a model by Francoys Gagne, "A Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent," involves factors besides innate ability, even factors such as chance and the environment. MacEachron's conclusion: " many domains, it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition to predict high achievement. The development of gifts into talents is a process impacted by environmental, intrapersonal, and chance factors." But you should read the blog yourself. 😀

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is a conversation with Seth Perler, an executive functioning coach. TiLT founder Debbie Reber says, "Seth explains what executive functioning is and how it impacts our kids, talks about the challenges we face in supporting our kids in the current educational paradigm, and gives us suggestions for how we can prioritize our efforts to help our kids while also keeping our eye on the big picture and what’s really important (hint: It might not be what you think). Find the podcast.

DYSLEXIA. Science Daily reports this: "Researchers have recently looked at the purely motor aspects of writing in children diagnosed with dyslexia. Their results show that orthographic processing in children with dyslexia is so laborious that it can modify or impair writing skills, despite the absence of dysgraphia in these children." Read more.

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. If you've been following the U.S. Department of Education's reported shift to a narrower enforcement of civil rights discrimination (eg, based on LDs and other disabilities), check out a piece at ABC News on the topic. On the same topic, special ed attorney Matt Cohen says this in his more recent newsletter: "The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has developed a preliminary revision of OCR Guidelines for how complaints will be handled that, if adopted, would substantially change the way the office handles complaints and limit the scope of the complaint process. Two major changes being discussed are 1) to limit investigation of individual complaints to the complaining party's situation, rather than investigating whether the alleged misconduct was part of a systemic violation, and 2) allowing OCR to potentially resolve complaints with the school district before even informing the parent of the outcome of the investigation. These changes have the effect of limiting OCR's ability to pursue systemic problems and limiting the ability of parents to have equal involvement with the school districts in the complaint process." Find the newsletter.

Monday, November 27, 2017

"Making It" with Dyslexia or Autism; Labels; Research Participation Opportunity; More

THE HECHINGER REPORT published a first-person piece from a young person with dyslexia. "For most of my childhood, I always felt just a little bit too slow, or just a little bit too dumb. I knew I was smart, but it seemed like I could never quite get there." Read more about how this student succeeded.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT of the Dog in the Night-Time is a story about a mystery-solving teen boy with autism. The novel was turned into a hit Broadway play. A staging in Syracuse, New York, features as its lead actor Mickey Rowe, who is, according to The New York Times, "thought to be the first openly autistic actor to play the role." The article highlights how "role" can be important in the life of an autistic person. For example, Rowe tells the reporter during an interview, “This is easy-ish for me because you’re a reporter; I’m the interviewee, We have specific roles. If we met on the street, that would be more scary.” Find the article.

LABELS, MINDSET. A Stanford professor teaching high-achievers began to see, according to KQED News, "how being labeled 'gifted' or 'smart' as children stunted even these bright and successful young people." The professor made a short video in which Stanford students talk about the labels they grew up with and the effects. Find the article and the video. (Thanks for TiLT for bringing this item to our attention.)

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. The organization Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) will be conducting focus groups in December to gather information on charter schools, choice, voucher programs, and implications for students with disabilities. COPAA says, "The findings in this report will primarily serve to assist policymakers, including the White House and Congress, and state and local education agencies with insight needed to make policy decisions designed to improve the outcomes for students with disabilities in charter schools and voucher programs." COPAA seeks "
Parents of students with disabilities or students who are attending, have attended or tried to attend a charter school." Find out more.

TESTS AND ASSESSMENTS are crucial in identifying and securing services for twice-exceptional children. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities offers a primer on IQ tests and index scales; find it. For a deeper dive, check out Wrightslaw's book All About Tests and Assessments, now in its second edition.


  • The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University holds an annual seminar on twice-exceptional learners, saying "The yearly seminar provides parents, educators, and students with information and strategies on supporting these learners..." This year's presenter is Lois Baldwin. The event is scheduled for January 24 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Find out more
  • The Weinfeld Group has announced the featured keynote presenter for its "Diamonds in the Rough" conference scheduled for March 9-10 in Rockville, Maryland. The keynoter is Joyce Cooper-Kahn, author of Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parent's Guide to Executive Functioning. A 2e Newsletter staff member who has covered other presentations by Cooper-Kahn calls her "really good." Find out more
  • "Surviving the College Transition: A Gifted Undergraduate's Perspective" is the title of November 30 SENG webinar. Got a transition coming up? Check out the webinar
POLICY, LAW. The Council for Exceptional Children has come out in favor of the new nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. Why is this post important? CEC notes that the person in it can "ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education and early intervention services." Read more.

TED sponsors local TEDx Youth events for young people, designed, according to TED, "to empower and inspire young people." One such talk is titled "Activism Needs Introverts." Acknowledging that for introverts "traditional forms of activism like marches, protests and door-to-door canvassing can be intimidating and stressful," the talk suggests involvement through craftivism, "a way to get people to slow down and think deeply about the issues they're facing, all while engaging the public more gently." Intrigued? Find the talk. Or, find out more about TEDxYouth.


  • From Science Daily: Physical fitness in children may affect their brain structure, which in turn may have an influence on their academic performance, new research indicates. Find the study write-up.
  • From Medical News Today: "A new study examined how obstructive sleep apnea in children may interfere with memory consolidation, and it also uncovered a potential method of predicting the level of disruption caused by the associated sleep loss." Find the study write-up
  • From Newswise: University of Kentucky researchers have developed an after-school program using "small group activities and novel learning strategies" to help students with ADHD succeed at school. Read more
  • And from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: "New Analysis Finds Behavioral Therapy Should Be Combined with Medication to Relieve Severe Anxiety in Children." Read more.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A 2e School Program, Items on ADHD and Anxiety, and Lots of Research -- Plus Thanksgiving

WE'VE COME A LONG WAY, in some respects and in some places. In Waterloo, Iowa, the Waterloo Schools Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to help start the "Expanded Learning Program" in Waterloo schools. The program focuses on 2e students. Explaining 2e to the school board, the program coordinator said, “it’s gifted with a disability. So we turn it into a strengths-based instead of a deficit model.” Our compliments, but too bad it often takes private grants and non-budgeted funds to start such programs. Read more.

ADHD. Medical News Today offers a list of "The 10 best blogs for ADHD." If this is an "e" you're concerned about, check out the list.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has published an article about the behavior behind ADHD. From the preface: "Understanding what drives the behavior of your child with ADHD may help you respond in supportive and compassionate ways rather than with anger and resentment." Find the article.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's November newsletter is out, featuring what's new in gifted ed; news of Davidson's various ventures; legislative and policy news, possibly from your state; resources from the web; and news items. Find the newsletter.

TiLT PARENTING. The latest podcast from TiLT is with the founder of the "Hey Sigmund" website, Karen Young. TiLT founder Debbie says the podcast concerns anxiety in children. "Karen will tell us exactly what it looks like, how we can recognize it in our kids, what to do about it, and how to talk with our kids about it. Karen also tells us about her new book which she wrote specifically for children with anxiety, called Hey Warrior." Find the podcast.

HECHINGER REPORT published a first-person piece from a young person with dyslexia. "For most of my childhood, I always felt just a little bit too slow, or just a little bit too dumb. I knew I was smart, but it seemed like I could never quite get there." Read more about how this student succeeded.

RESEARCH: ADHD. Healthday published the results of a study indicating that "calm, positive parenting" can help children deal with their emotions and behaviors. (And we all know how difficult staying calm can sometimes be.) Read more.

  • A recently-published study followed the treatment trajectories (psychotherapy, drugs, or no treatment) and results in terms of suicide attempts or hospitalization. Of interest: the lowest incidence of those adverse outcomes came with psychotherapy alone. Read a study write-up
  • Researchers using MRI have discovered a common pattern of structural abnormalities in the brains of people with depression and social anxiety, according to a new study. Read a study write-up.
  • Other research examines the co-occurrence of ASD and depression. According to US News, "individuals who have both autism spectrum disorder and depression are different than those who have just one or the other – and inflammation of a certain protein may be one of the causes. There isn't treatment for these individuals currently, nor is much known about why or how depression in autism spectrum disorder develops." Read more
RESEARCH: AUTISM. From Science Daily: "Researchers from the University of Surrey have discovered that experiences of social and emotional exclusion in mainstream schools can adversely affect how pupils with autism view themselves, increasing their risk of developing low self-esteem, a poor sense of self-worth and mental health problems." Read more.

  • One study has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be a very effective treatment for OCD. Read more at PsychCentral or Science Daily
  • Another study says that CBT plus something called POsitive Fammily Interaction Therapy reduces symptom severity in OCD. Read more
AND FINALLY, THIS, apropos of nothing but Thanksgiving, a story title from the Washington Post: "What I learned when I tried to make my blended family a gluten-free, kosher, no-soy, vegan, organic, low-acid, no-dairy Thanksgiving." Find the story.

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
  • 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 that explore OCD: what it is, what it looks like in the classroom and how the gold standard treatment for OCD — exposure therapy — works."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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...


  • 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
  • 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.