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.

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