Saturday, April 29, 2017

SPD, Gifted with ASD, Special Needs & Military Families, and More

IS SPD REAL? That's the question that Slate takes on in a recent article. Why does that question matter? According to Slate, "It matters because tens of thousands of parents are convinced that their children’s behavioral issues are the result of sensory processing difficulties. They don’t believe, or can’t believe, that the real problem is anxiety, ADHD, or autism. It also matters because barrel-loads of money are on the line." Read more.

GIFTED, AUTISTIC, UNDER THE RADAR. Giftedness can obscure or delay identification of many "e's" because of the child's ability to cope and adapt. A first-person-based article at describes one family's situation, where a gifted daughter was not diagnosed with attendant high-functioning autism until she was nine years old. As in the item above, a diagnosis opens the doors to obtaining appropriate services. Find the article.

DISABILITY SCOOP writes about the special situation of military families who have a child with special needs. Those families have different experiences than the rest of us because of, among other things, frequent moves and the absence of one spouse for lengthy periods of time at sea or in combat zones. The Armed Services offer some help, but families take the main burden -- and they probably have to learn new state laws and processes with each move, as well as renegotiating previous IEPs with a new school. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING observes its one-year anniversary in a special podcast. Writes TiLT's founder, Debbie Asher, "Asher and I wanted to sit down and talk with you about what’s happened with TiLT over the past year, share how it’s impacted our relationship, give you some inside scoop into how we do things here at TiLT central, and talk a little bit about what’s happening in the coming year, including my sharing a bit of big news for TiLT." Fans can find out more at the TiLT website.

SUMMER RESOURCE FOR EDUCATORS. The Belin Blank Center at the University of Iowa offers professional development opportunities for educators involved in gifted programming. Find out more.

LEARNING AND THE BRAIN is sponsoring a workshop in Santa Barbara, California, described as "intensive training on the topics of executive functions and memory that have applications in classrooms." Neurologist/educator Judy Willis presents. Find out more.

ROSS GREENE WORKSHOP. Transdisciplinary Workshops has scheduled Ross Green, Ph.D., to present advanced training in July on Greene's model for understanding and helping behaviorally challenging kids. The intended audience: educators and mental health providers. Find out more.

MINDFULNESS PANACEA. Mindfulness group therapy has an equally positive effect as individual CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) for the treatment of a wide range of psychiatric symptoms in patients with depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders, according to new research. Find a study write-up.

THE CEREBELLUM, THE PONS, AND COMORBIDITY. Nearly half of people with one mental illness also experience another mental illness at the same time. This is leading researchers to shift their focus away from individual disorders and search instead for common mechanisms or risk factors that might cause all types of mental disorders. Researchers have now linked specific differences in the cerebellum and pons to many types of mental illness such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and OCD, according to Science Daily. Find out more.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Neurotypical and Not, Test Stress, Julia, Teaching the Gifted, and More

MORE ON ENDREW F. Writing at Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, an education advocate takes a different view of the recent Supreme Court decision that a FAPE must be more than "de minimis." The advocate writes, "Under the de minimis standard, there was almost nowhere to go but up, and the Court went up only a very little. An 8-0 vote by a Court that is usually sharply divided is a sign that the decision may lack clarity or bite." Read more. Also at the site of Smart Kids, psychologist Devon MacEachron makes the case for getting a private evaluation rather than using a school-supplied evaluation. Find out what she says.

JEN THE BLOGGER, as part of a blog hop called "Revisiting 2e," tells of recent interactions with a neurotypical teen and compares those to life in her house of chaos. Jen mentored the teen through a project, compared it to her experiences with similar projects involving her sons, and decided "the dichotomy stings." But she concludes: "this wildly different is perfectly normal life is all mine, and after twelve years I’m finally embracing the weird it has brought to my life." Read the post.

TEST STRESS. Neurologist and educator Judy Willis offers tips and techniques for getting the better of test stress. She tells how to build a positive mindset in the test-taker, and lists five things a parent can do on test day to help. Go to Edutopia to read more.

JULIA ON SESAME STREET is a new character on the spectrum, and a writer from The Washington Post gives the show high marks for the way Julia is portrayed and for the way the show's other characters respect and understand her. From the review: "Little kids are funny creatures, but they’re also perceptive and can be incredibly accepting of differences, once they understand them... [T]he Muppets model for kids how to reach out to people who don’t always respond in expected ways." Read more.

HOW SHOULD THE GIFTED BE TAUGHT? For example, how are they like non-gifted learners and how are they different? According to The High Flyer, a new publication offers 20 research-based guidelines for teaching the gifted. The guidelines cover how the students think and learn, motivation, the importance of social context, classroom management, and assessment. The High Flyer says, "Each principle is described based on evidence from research with gifted populations. The brief description is followed by practical suggestions for the classroom and references from both the regular and gifted education literature." Read more.

TiLT PARENTING offers a podcast on ADHD and nutrition, a topic evidently much requested by TiLT fans. The podcast features a childhood nutrition expert and covers applicable research, nutritional challenges in ADHD, and dealing with those challenges. Find the podcast.

GIFTED HOMESCHOOLERS FORUM. This organization offers online summer classes, for which registration is now open, and school-year classes, for which registration opens May 1st. GHF says, "GHF Online is 2e-friendly and willing to work with you to make reasonable accommodations for your child's individual needs." Find out more.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS DURING PREGNANCY do not evidently increase the risk of ASD or ADHD in offspring, according to new research, although there is a slight risk for premature birth. Read a study write-up.

TOURETTE'S. A new computer-based brain simulation shows that motor tics in Tourette syndrome may arise from interactions between multiple areas of the brain, rather than a single malfunctioning area. Find a study write-up.