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: "...in 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.

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