Monday, August 21, 2017

Research Participation Opportunity, Back to School, Brain Manipulation, and More

[NOTE: This statement is from the researcher. Please direct any questions to her. --2e Newsletter]
Did you know that researchers know very little about twice-exceptional students compared to other groups of children and adolescents? You have the opportunity to help us learn more about how middle school students view their friendships!
Interested individuals are invited to participate in a research study examining the perceptions of friendship quality amongst middle school students. This information may help researchers better understand how twice-exceptional students perceive their friendships compared to their peers, which may later help clinicians develop and modify social skills interventions.
We are looking for students in Grades 6, 7, or 8 (or the equivalent) who have completed standardized assessments (e.g., Iowa Assessments, Wechsler Assessments, CogAT, etc.) and would be interested in participating in our study. You will also be asked to provide demographic information about your child along with documentation of their cognitive ability (such as Iowa assessment scores from school) and ADHD diagnosis (if it applies). To participate, students will complete an online survey. The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete.
The first 50 individuals to complete the survey will receive a $10 electronic Amazon gift card!
If you are interested in learning more, please contact the PI (Staci Fosenburg, for more information about how to participate in this study. Thank you!

BACK TO SCHOOL. Here are a few resources...
  • Gifted Homeschoolers Forum has posted its fall of online classes, which may be useful to homeschooled 2e kiddos or to "schooled" 2e kiddos needing enrichment. Find out more
  • Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities offers four tips to "start the year off right." Find them
  • Newswise offers back-to-school tips for parents of children who have ASD or ADHD. Find them
  • And Understood is presenting an "Expert Chat" on Thursday, August 31, on processing speed, with tips for helping your child keep up this year. Find out more

GET AHEAD OF THE GAME with the new school year. TiLT Parenting's podcast Episode 70 is on parental burn-out -- what it is and how to recover. Find the podcast.

FOR EDUCATORS. Landmark College, in partnership with MIT, is putting on an "LD Innovation Symposium" in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the end of September. The focus: how technology can improve teaching and learning for students with LDs. Find out more.

SENSORY-FRIENDLY CLOTHING. Target is introducing versions of some of its clothing for kids that address certain sensory-sensitive issues. For example, seams are flat and there are no tags. In addition, the chain will introduce this fall what it calls "adaptive styles." Disability Scoop says, "Those offerings will likely include items with zip-off sleeves, side openings to make dressing easier or openings in the back for those who are sitting or lying down." Read more.

CALIFORNIA ADDRESSES DYSLEXIA. According to Edsource, the state of California has released a set of 132-page California Dyslexia Guidelines to inform schools about dyslexia and highlight effective interventions. The guidelines are not mandatory, however. Farther down the article, the reader finds the fingerprints of the organization Decoding Dyslexia, which led the lobbying for the legislation. Find the article, and think good thoughts about Decoding Dyslexia and the state! Or, go straight to the guidelines.

SEL, ANXIETY, AND SCHOOL. Here's a good quote: “School culture is the foundation of academic achievement. How a child behaves isn’t something separate from how they perform academically.” And article at District Administration describes new approaches to address social-emotional learning and anxiety in the context of academic instruction. The four main suggestions start with "rethink behavior" -- eg, from what's wrong with the student to what happened to this student. Read more.

OCD RESEARCH. The Brain and Behavior Ressearch Foundation reports that new research has linked inflammation in certain brain "circuits" (in the basal ganglia, if you must know) to adult OCD. Caveats: the study was small and didn't by itself prove a causal connection. Nonetheless, researchers sound like they think they're onto something, for example paving the way to find a pharmaceutical treatment for OCD. Read more.

REDUCING FEAR WITH OPTOGENETICS. Scientists established a fear response in mice, discovered that synaptic connections related to the stimulus for the fear response had been strengthened, and then weakened those connections with optogenetics, using genetically modified neurons which could be switched off or on by light. Is this kind of neurological manipulation coming soon to a brain near you? Probably not, but read more.

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