Thursday, December 21, 2017

Advocacy, Requests for Help, "Motivationally Gifted," and More

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR GIFTED CHILDREN (NAGC) has reacted by letter to the Q&A that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued recently concerning the Endrew F decision and its impact. The letter is supportive of some of the language in the Q&A regarding the opportunity (via IEPs) for students with disabilities to "meet challenging objectives." The letter goes further in support of twice-exceptional students, stating: "NAGC respectfully encourages the U.S. Department of Education to further clarify that IEP Teams should enable twice-exceptional children to be involved in and make progress towards above grade-level challenging objectives when appropriate." Our compliments to NAGC for stepping up for the kiddos in the 2e community! Find the letter.

TWO REQUESTS FOR HELP

  • For a 2e prospective PhD student in the Boston area, can anyone recommend a tutor to help strengthen math skills and enhance GRE scores? The ideal tutor would be comfortable both with higher math (statistics, etc.) and working with a gifted adult who has 2e strengths and deficits. The right recommendation will help this student succeed! Email Mark at you-know-where.
  • A family new to the 2e community is looking for a 2e-friendly school in the San Diego area. If you know of one, please let us know.
"MOTIVATIONALLY GIFTED" people are the subject of an article at Quartz. See what contributes to it, how these people compare to "regular" gifted people, and the significance of the research behind the article. Read it.

FIRST-PERSON BOOK. Peter Flom, who has written for 2e Newsletter, has a book out called "Screwed Up Somehow But Not Stupid: Life with a Learning Disability." From the Amazon blurb: "When Peter Flom was five years old, his parents were told that he had 'minimal brain dysfunction' and would never go to college. Peter skipped one year of high school, did college in three years, got his BA at twenty and now has two MAs and a Ph.D. He’s married and has two sons. He also has a different diagnosis: Nonverbal Learning Disability. In “Screwed Up Somehow but Not Stupid,” Peter describes what it’s like to live life with a learning disability, but also with some abilities." Find the book.

TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is titled "Jessica Lahey Talks about the Gifts of Failure for Our Kids." TiLT's Debbie says, "Jess shares her insights about how we can best prepare our kids for an independent, successful adulthood in the way we practice autonomy supportive parenting versus overparenting, what it means to let our kids 'fail' to help them thrive, how we can help our kids learn how to 'sit with frustration,' and much more." Find the podcast.

DEPRESSION
  • A live event in Los Angeles featured experts at a "Depression Grand Challenge" on the causes and treatment of depression, and also on what UCLA is doing in the field. Read more.
  • An article at Psychiatric News notes that antidepressant prescriptions for young people are rising, in spite of a drop a decade ago after "black box" warnings about the meds and suicidal ideation. Researchers write, “A return to the rates of antidepressant use before the black-box warning raises concern that this thoughtful accounting of the risks and benefits may have dissipated over time.” Read more. (Reading this article alone, however, begs further investigation into the risks of antidepressants for young people; as always consult with a qualified professional.)
  • From Medical News Today: "A new method to measure brain connectivity — as tested by the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom — has found that people with depression have changes in the brain systems involved in memory and reward." Read more
EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. The revisions to the U.S. tax law passed this week will have effects on education, but we'll wait a bit for the dust to settle and analysts to study the final legislation. Hopefully we'll have analyses next week.

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