Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dyslexia, Advocacy Opportunity, PD, and More

REMEMBER MEL BROOKS? He married Ann Bancroft, and they had four children. One of them, Max, is dyslexic. Here's part of what Max, age 45 and a dad, says about his dyslexia when he was growing up: "Dyslexia in the late '70s, 1980s was unheard of. Dyslexia — they didn't even call it a disability back then; it was just 'laziness,' 'goofing off,' 'you're not trying hard enough.' 'You can do it but you don't want to do it' — that was a big one of my teachers." His mother put her career on hold to help. Read more at NPR

ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITY: QUICK DEADLINE. We just heard from our friend Heidi, who is an adviser to the Untapped Potential Project (UPP). working to change education policy at the state level for kids who learn differently. UPP is asking for short video statements recorded on mobile phones. Here’s what UPP says: "UPP is submitting a video to potentially participate in America Succeeds Edventure Shark Tank. In our pitch, we would like to support the stories of individual families and their experience with the current educational system as well as build research on the 'State of 2E.' UPP is compiling clips from kids and families to help us tell the story of the problem. If you have a twice-exceptional child (or know a parent who does), we would appreciate it if you can send a video recording from your phone describing your child's experience in regards to the following questions:
  • Why didn't the current system work? 
  • Why did IEPs (or not qualifying) not do the job? 
  • Was the current system sympathetic to your needs? 
  • Were the proper accommodations made? 
  • How about the current charter school system as an alternative - did it work? 
  • How about private schools - were they the solution, and if so, tell us about the costs. 
  • What would be perfect? Is it some new system of personalization of all of the above or something else? 
"Please use all three of these methods in your video:
  • One word 
  • 3-4 words 
  • 2-3 sentences 
[NOTE: The three alternative deliveries give the video producers flexibility in terms of how they incorporate content into the final product. –2e Newsletter]
"Please send your video to sinthu@powerupp.org by Friday, August 18th. Here's the link to a sample video; feel free to reach out if you have any questions!" [NOTE: If a minor 2e child supplies his or her own video statement, the parent will need to sign a release available from sinthu@powerupp.org.]

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY. Gifted Research and Outreach, a California organization active in the gifted and 2e communities, is offering a one-day continuing education event in LA titled "A Multidisciplinary Approach to Serving the Gifted Population." Some content is 2e-related, and participants will receive a copy of Great Potential Press' Misdiagnosis book. Find out more

AND MORE PD. September 4 is the deadline for applying to an online course from Landmark College, "Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners." Says Landmark, "This course provides a core understanding of learning theories, frameworks, and best practices for working effectively with students who learn differently. Participants will explore definitions, research, historical trends, and legal mandates related to learning disabilities (including dyslexia and dyscalculia; ADHD; and autism spectrum disorder (ASD)). Students will deepen their understanding of innovative practices, incorporating Universal Design, executive function supports, and emerging educational technologies. They will explore how these approaches can be applied and adapted to provide optimal learning." Find out more.

GENERAL INTELLIGENCE. So what's the "g" factor? A researcher involved in a new study poses different ways to conceive of it: "Is it a causal factor, an artifact of the way we create cognitive tests, the result of our educational environment, a consequence of genetics, an emergent phenomenon of a dynamic system or perhaps all of these things to varying degrees?" Their conclusion: cognitive abilities such as reasoning skills and vocabulary reinforce each other in a "mutualism" model. Read more.

AND FINALLY, THIS. According to Science Daily, scientists have used magnetism and injected magnetic particles to activate tiny groups of cells in mouse brains, inducing bodily movements that include running, rotating and losing control of the extremities -- an achievement that could lead to advances in studying and treating neurological disease. This magneto-thermal stimulation, says Science Daily, "gives neuroscientists a powerful new tool: a remote, minimally invasive way to trigger activity deep inside the brain, turning specific cells on and off to study how these changes affect physiology." Find out more, and consider whether this tool would ever allow you to have a remote control for your misbehaving kiddo.

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