Thursday, June 21, 2018

Brain Balance Centers, Self-Advocacy, SPD, and More

BRAIN BALANCE CENTERS. If you're considering obtaining treatment from a Brain Balance Center for your child, you might be interested in a recent NPR story on the organization. We also pointed to psychologist Devon MacEachron's blog posting on this alternative therapy several weeks ago.

EDUTOPIA presents a piece on self-advocacy for young people with LDs -- why it's important, what the research says, and how we can change things to allow young people to become better self-advocates. One "take-off" point: using the IEP as a learning experience for this skill. From the article: "Research shows that students who practice self-advocacy skills (those skills associated with understanding one’s rights and needs and communicating and acting on that understanding) and self-determination (the capacity to be the primary agent in one’s learning and life) have improved educational and life outcomes when compared to those who don’t." Find the article.

SENSORY PROCESSING. Understood offers resources on sensory processing issues:
  • A fact sheet to "get essential information about how sensory issues can affect kids" -- and to give to teachers. Find it
  • Pointers to what Understood calls "eight sensory-friendly games to help meet your child’s sensory needs." Find it
  • And "7 Tips for Taking Kids With Sensory Processing Issues to the Movies." Find the tips
EDUCATION POLICY, LAW. The Council for Exceptional Children's "Policy Insider" provides information on what education funding will look like for FY2019. Basically spending is unchanged from 2018, although it could be worse. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is a discussion with psychologist/author Dawn Huebner about her new book, Outsmarting Worry: An Older Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety. Find the podcast.

SCIENCE, RESEARCH.
  • ADHD meds. "Results of a prospective longitudinal cohort study published in Pediatrics suggest that long-term medication adherence among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is correlated with treatment acceptance and parent perception of medication need." Find the study write-up
  • Southpaws and mental health treatment. "Treatment for the most common mental health problems could be ineffective or even detrimental to about 50 percent of the population, according to a radical new model of emotion in the brain." Find the study write-up
  • Vitamin, dietary supplements in young people. "A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that since 2003, the use of alternative medicines, such as herbal products and nutraceuticals, among children has doubled. The University of Illinois at Chicago researchers who conducted the study cite an increased use of Omega-3 fatty acids and melatonin among adolescents ages 13 to 18 as the primary driver of the change, despite clinical recommendations against use of such supplements in children." Find the study write-up

Monday, June 18, 2018

Impulsive & Excitable; ACT & SAT?; "To My Class Clown"; and More

AN IMPULSIVE, EXCITABLE 7-year-old is the focus of an advice column at the Washington Post. Mom says, "He was doing okay, but it gets worse as the school year winds down and they are doing more fun, less-structured activities. I can help him at home, but it seems like his excitability and inability to manage his emotions are getting worse as he gets older." The columnist reminds us that impulsivity is a hallmark of childhood and discusses the maturation process, then offers a plan for dealing with the issues. The plan includes getting some testing, involving the school, and more. Importantly, the columnist writes: "Know this exploration is not a way to change your son; instead this is what parents and caretakers do to support the child we have in front of us." Find the column.

COLLEGE: NEED THAT ACT OR SAT? The University of Chicago is joining a few other institutions in eliminating the requirement that applicants submit ACT or SAT scores. According to USA Today, "The new policy, which is being implemented starting with the Class of 2023, is meant to help even the playing field for students coming from low-income and underrepresented communities, university officials said." Read more.

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. In light of a couple recent high-profile suicides, the Child Mind Institute reminds site visitors of its parent's guide to helping a child in distress, "What to Do If You're Worried About Suicide." Hopefully you're not in need of this, but here it is.

WCGTC BIENNIAL CONFERENCE. Time flies, and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children has announced the dates a location for its 2019 conference -- July 24-28 in Nashville, USA. Find out more.

ADDITUDE points to an article posted on its site -- can't tell if it's new or not -- titled "Culture Vs. Biology: What Really Causes ADHD?" Their article "tease" invites the reader to "Contrast and compare the controversial new theory that our fast-paced, stressed-out, consumer-driven lives cause ADHD with other scientific evidence to the contrary." Find the article.

RESEARCH, STUDIES

  • Reading, dyslexia. From Newswise: "Using MRI measurements of the brain's neural connections, or “white matter,” UW researchers have shown that, in struggling readers, the neural circuitry strengthened — and their reading performance improved — after just eight weeks of a specialized tutoring program." Find the study write-up
  • Depression. From Science Daily: "A simple, in-office EEG-based test can help determine if a depressed patient will do better on antidepressants or talk therapy." Find the study write-up
  • Autism. From the Deccan Chronicle: "Children with ASD are more than twice as likely to suffer from a food allergy than children who do not have it, according to the study from the University of Iowa.." Find the study write-up

EDUCATION WEEK TEACHER contains a letter written by a teacher to her class at the end of the school year. In it, she addresses her "class clown," her "quiet one," her "daydreamers and slow workers," and others -- and seems to have kind, understanding, encouraging words for all of them. Her great attitude toward her students is summarized in one of her concluding lines: "I wish I had more time with all you to watch you grow into the best versions of yourselves." Find the letter.

Friday, June 15, 2018

OEs, 2e in College, Resources, Events

THE CONCEPT OF OVEREXCITABILITIES is part of the gifted/2e culture -- a ubiquitous topic at conferences, in articles, and in conversations in the gifted/2e community. There's just one problem: The research supporting the concept may not be that strong.
  • Psychologist Devon MacEachron, in her most recent blog posting, examines the research and offers her perspective. MacEachron specializes in psychoeducational assessment and educational planning for children who are twice-exceptional. Read her blog
  • The author of the Homeschooling 2e blog reacted to MacEachron's article this way: "I KNOW overexcitabilities are real. I live with them." Find Homeschooling 2e
  • And if you're a believer in OEs, know that the 13th International Dabrowski Congress is scheduled for July 12-14 in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. Find out more

COACHING GIFTED COLLEGE STUDENTS is the topic of an article in Psychology Today by psychologist Dan Peters of California's Summit Center. In the article, he and colleague Paula Wilkes explore the issues that might affect gifted college students, how coaching can help, and the mechanics of the process. Find the article.

SUPPORTING COLLEGE STUDENTS WITH ADHD is the topic of a recent article in the Research and Training Blog at Landmark College. The article covers pharmacological support, educational support, psychosocial support, and behavioral support. Landmark is a college that recruits students who learn differently. Find the article.

TiLT PARENTING. If you're interested in finding out more about Debbie Reber's new book Differently Wired, check out a podcast at TiLT in which she discusses the book with a colleague. Find the podcast.

MORE ON GROWTH MINDSET. Education Dive takes a look at recent research on the effectiveness of this concept/practice. Read more.

UNDERSTOOD is offering an "experts chat" on the topic "How to Use and Incorporate Strengths in Your Child's IEP." The chat is scheduled for June 18. Find out more.

EARLY BIRDS: The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) has opened registration for next February's conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The organization says, "Join over 1,000 educators, researchers, practitioners, parents, adults with learning disabilities and others who have an interest in the field." Register early.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Suing Over 2e, Failure/Success, Events, and Articles

PARENTS OF GIFTED AND 2e STUDENTS have filed a federal lawsuit against the largest school district in Portland, Oregon, over its ACCESS Academy, which serves K-8 gifted and 2e students. The school district had planned to split ACCESS into two campuses. The parent group, "Save Access Academy," maintains that such a split would reduce the benefits students received and would, furthermore, run afoul of:
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Section 504
  • The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • Oregon law.
You may find the details of the parents' complaint in the lawsuit; other information is also in a news article on the topic. [Don't mess with parents of 2e kiddos!]

FAILURE can be daunting to young people with the "gifted" label. The Atlantic writes that knowing how students like Einstein experienced failure can improve highschoolers' grades. The Teacher's College at Columbia University has creted the Education for Persistence and Innovation Center to study failure and success. The head of the center says that her main purpose "is to help students realize that failure is a normal part of the process of learning." Find the article.

ADDITUDE WEBINAR. On June 26, ADDitude has scheduled a free webinar titled "Parent Different: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World." The presenter is Debbie Reber of TiLT, and author of the book Differently Wired. Find out more.

UNDERSTOOD has posted what looks like a new article on changing from stimulant to non-stimulant medication or vice versa. Find the article.

SMARTKIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has posted a new, short article titled "Best Sports for Your Child with ADHD." Find it.

TiLT. Don't forget that Debbie Reber is on a U.S. book tour promoting Differently Wired. The schedule: June 15, Seattle, WA; June 18, Portland, OR; June 20, Campbell, CA; June 21, Washington D.C.; June 23, Naperville, IL; June 26, New York City; June 27, Maplewood, NJ. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS. The New York Times has what it calls The Learning Network, a site about teaching and learning which uses Times content. During the year, the Times solicits entries for an annual Student Editorial Contest, where, says the Times, "teenagers were invited to write on the issues they care about most." The Times has published excerpts from some of those essays, and they provide a fascinating look at what's on the minds of the authors. Find the excerpts.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Parent's 2e Resource, Newsletters & Podcasts, Education, Anxiety

WOW! IS WHAT WE THOUGHT when we looked through the resource guide for parents on twice-exceptionality published by the Davidson Institute. It's a 57-page PDF available on this link. It's divided into eight sections:
  1. Defining Twice-Exceptionality, noting the varying definitions of 2e and offering a parent tool to "write your own 2e definition" 
  2. Identification and Assessment, with an "Expert Q&A" with Megan Foley Nicpon, some resource highlights, and a side note about that bugaboo, labels
  3. Moving Forward, including an explanation of the strengths-basd approach, and a tool for building a strengths-based plan
  4. The 2E School Experience, addressing concerns common to the 2e experience in school, plus a Q&A with Heidi Molbak
  5. School Advocacy, with some especially useful-looking tools on skills such as framing issues appropriately
  6. IEPs and 504 Plans -- what they are, the differences, and resources for using them
  7. Educational Alternatives, including Expert Q&As with Wes Beach and Suki Wesling
  8. Life Outside of School, with information and tools to support your child's emotional needs, developing executive functioning skills, resources such as SENG, and more. 
This is a very impressive document. Our compliments to the Davidson Institute!

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IN THE CLASSROOM. At teacher describes at Education Week what it was like to try a certain kind of love for her students. "I wanted a love that could embrace unappealing characteristics and behaviors with humor, tranquility, and curiosity. It would not be transactional or affected by my students’ daily or cumulative decisions. It would accept that they would all disappoint me at various times, some more than others," the teacher wrote. It sounds difficult. The teacher would have to "go toward the most difficult students with additional compassion, rather than retreating in frustration when my initial attempts to change them failed." The change in mindset improved the teacher's experience... and students' experiences as well. Read more, and consider the implications for teaching this way to twice-exceptional students.

NEWSLETTERS, PODCASTS.

  • The June "Gifted Resources Newsletter" from Australian Jo Freitag is out. Find it
  • Julie Skolnik writes about summer, her upcoming plans, articles she's found of interest, and an in-the-works October virtual conference titled "2 Days of 2e." Find the newsletter
  • And in TiLT's latest podcast, writes Debbie Reber, "we’re talking about bad behavior. Specifically, The Good News About Bad Behavior. That’s the name of a new book by journalist, author, speaker, and parent educator, Katherine Lewis, and in this episode, Katherine and I talk about what our kids’ behavior is telling us and how we as parents, teachers, and other adults in kids’ lives can best respond to it while encouraging our kids to develop into healthy adults." Find the podcast
EVENT. Next week is the Utah Association for Gifted Children summer conference, in Park City. Find out more.

EDUCATION. We offer these items as perspective for the services our gifted and 2e students may get or not get.
  • Education funding. In the U.S. we collectively spend over a half trillion dollars a year on education. Education Week explains factors affecting this flow of dollars. Find the article
  • Spending by state. Education Week also provides information on per-pupil funding by state. How does yours stack up? Find out
  • Why teachers are striking. The New York Times looks at the reasons teachers are protesting, going back to decisions made during the Great Recession. Find the article
ANXIETY. Here are some recently-published items on the topic of anxiety, a condition which is not uncommon among twice-exceptional children.
  • An article from UConn says, "For anxiety, a single intervention is not enough." Find it
  • The Clay Center for Healthy Young Minds published an article by Ellen Braaten on generalized anxiety disorder. Find it
  • Science Daily says this: "Neuroscientists have identified a neural circuit in the amygdala, the brain's seat of emotion processing, that gives rise to anxiety. Their insight has revealed the critical role of a molecule called dynorphin, which could serve as a target for treatment of anxiety-related disorders..." Find it.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Gifted Going to College; ADHD Treatments; Mental Health; and More

SENDING A GIFTED KIDDO TO COLLEGE is the subject of a new post by psychologist Gail Post at "Gifted Challenges." She describes families unprepared for the competitive nature of college admissions; and the lack of appropriate guidance from school or even parents. She offers tips on helping a young person plan for college and finding colleges t hat offer the right fit. Find the blog, and be advised that you, dear parent, have some important responsibilities. Related to this is a post a month or so ago at Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities about  the pitfalls of college for students with LDs; find it.

ADHD TREATMENTS

  • Reuters Health reports on a study: "Researchers examined results from 54 studies of non-pharmaceutical ADHD treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, parent training, special diets, and supplements like omega-3 fatty acids. Overall, these studies were too small, brief or varied in how they measured results for researchers to draw firm conclusions about which approaches might actually work for kids with ADHD." Read more
  • On the other hand, an article in the Orlando Sentinel described a family in which the parents wanted to avoid medication to treat ADHD, using therapies like a diet free of gluten, sugar, and dairy. The article says, "Most experts agree that the combination of medication and holistic approaches, including behavioral therapy, exercise and talk therapy, offer the strongest treatment plan for most children," and then goes on to quote experts who may prioritize yoga and herbal supplements above medications. Read more
  • And then there's the possibility of using virtual reality as an ADHD treatment to lessen distractibility. ADHD expert David Rabiner, in an analysis of a study involving VR, noted that while it might have improved task performance, it did not change parent ratings of ADHD symptoms -- this in contrast to studies involving medication. Read more
  • The upshot? Try to figure out what's right for your situation... with the guidance of a professional. 

MENTAL HEALTH issues are now "a leading cause of disease burden in children aged 5 to 14 years" in both Europe and the Americas, according to recent research. What's more, the prevalence is not decreasing, as it is with other preventable diseases. Read more. On the same topic, an article at Psychology Today suggests that integrative behavior health is a promising way to deal with mental health problems in young people. With this approach, behavioral interventions are delivered to children by a pediatrician. Read more.

PAYING TEACHERS. In an interesting choice of headline wording, Education Week says that "Nearly Half of Public School Teachers Are Satisfied with their Salaries." Why the headline wasn't "More than Half of Public School Teachers Are Not Satisfied with their Salaries" we'll never know. On the same topic at the Washington Post, a headline says, "New polls find more Americans say teachers are underpaid -- and many would pay higher taxes to fix it." You can find out more about how much teachers get paid, and paid in your state -- at this link


LAST WEEK, TED.COM featured talks that might be of interest to that young person you raise or teach -- or to YOU. The Talk of the Week is by a young woman who at age 13 became the youngest winner of Google's Science Fair by inventing a "smart bandage" to track wound healing. And the Playlist of the Week consists of four talks on introversion, often a trait in the gifted/2e community. Of the four talks, one might appeal especially to young, would-be activists... and another especially to young tech geeks.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Child Psychiatrist Availability, Summer Offerings, Research Items, More

NEED A SHRINK to diagnose or treat your twice-exceptional young one? You're likely to have a tough time finding one in most parts of the United States, according to a study by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reported by Physician's Briefing. The AACAP has published a color-coded map showing the adequacy of psychiatrist-to-population coverage in all states, with green being "mostly sufficient," yellow being "high shortage," and red being "severe shortage." There are no green states. Most are red. Find the write-up and click on "Workforce Maps" to see the coverage.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers tips on preparing for college and paying for it, along with a "College Preparation Checklist." Find the resources.

TiLT PARENTING'S Podcasat 110 is a conversation with 13yo Asher about learning and education. Says TiLT's Debbie Reber, "...we’ve been having lots of conversations about this ourselves lately and we thought it might be interesting to share it for the podcast. So today we talk about how Asher learns, what he thinks schools get wrong when it comes to supporting atypical learners, and what ideas he has for schools becoming more inclusive." Find the podcast.

MANHATTAN SUMMER CAMP. Quad Manhattan provides summer programs for twice-exceptional K-10 children, and says there are still spaces available. The organizers offer to "Build psychosocial/emotional and executive functioning skills in a fun and talent-based 6 week program this summer." Find out more.

LANDMARK PD. Landmark College offers a summer institute for those who educate "students who learn differently." Find out more.

SENG is presenting one of its "mini-conferences" in Columbus, Ohio, on August 11. It's described this way: "A one day conference exploring the social & emotional needs of the gifted. Topics include, but are not limited to: supporting twice-exceptional students, empathy, mental health, gifted literary characters, using creativity as a window, facilitating dialogues, gratitude & growth, and what to do when a gifted student struggles in mastery learning." Find out more.

ADHD RATING SCALES. If ADHD is a concern at your house, you might be interested in an article at Medical News Today explaining the different scales and what they measure. Find the article.

RESEARCH, SCIENCE
  • AUTISM. A major study examining the fish-eating habits of pregnant women has found that they are not linked to autism or autistic traits in their children. Scientists looked at the assumption that mercury exposure during pregnancy is a major cause of autism using evidence from nearly 4,500 women who took part in the Children of the '90s study. Find the study write-up
  • ADHD. Increases in the rate of diagnosis of ADHD (and consequent medication prescriptions) has led to more mis-use of the meds and more calls to poison control centers. Read more
  • ADHD. Can the use of the drug DES by grandmothers increase the odds of ADHD in grandchildren two generations later? Yes, according to new research
  • ADHD. Can in-utero exposure to phthalates increase the risk of ADHD in children? Evidently. Read more
  • IQ. Does breastfeeding make a kid smarter? Probably not, according to new research. Read more
  • IQ. Does a dad's exercise provide brain benefits to his offspring? Looks like it might. Read more

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2e2 Movie, Events, Mindfulness, Social Media, Trevor Noah, and More

2e2: TEACHING THE TWICE EXCEPTIONAL. The official trailer for this documentary is now available on Vimeo, according to producer Tom Ropelewski. This sequel to "2e: Twice Exceptional" focuses on -- as the title suggests -- education. Find the trailer.

SENG. Here's a chance to share in the resources that SENG offers to its members -- and to do it free of charge. A recent SENG email promotes a May 30th workshop on "Provocative teaming ideas that build hope for 2e students, parents, and educators" -- this in the context of meetings and conferences about topics such as IEPs. The presenter is educator/presenter/researcher Linda Collins. We didn't see information about the event on the SENG website (yet), but you can register online.

MINDFULNESS FOR CHILDREN. The New York Times "Well" section recently included an article by that title, giving guidelines for the practice. Advice covers parents with infants; toddlers; young children; older children; and teenagers. Find the article, and don't forget what psychologist Devon MacEachron advised in her recent blog: that "...it’s not a “quick fix” but more of a 'lifestyle change' requiring a significant commitment to see results."

SOCIAL MEDIA can "steal childhood," contends an article at Bloomberg.com. "Now researchers say social media could be making more teens depressed, and there’s plenty of parental panic about the attention-sapping effects of the smartphone age." We mentioned the research a few weeks ago, but this article takes a broader look at the problem, the research, what the government and social media companies might do, and even a "reference shelf" for further reading. If the scene depicted by a photo at the start of the article (see below) bothers you, check out the article.



CIVIL RIGHTS FOR LDs are part of changes at the U.S. Department of Education that have some observers worried. The administration says the changes are for efficiency, including an effort to weed out "serial complainers." Others see, according to Education Week, "an abdication of the office for civil rights' duties." Read more and decide for yourself whether you should be worried about the civil rights of your gifted/LD young person.

SELF-ADVOCACY is the topic of an upcoming event co-sponsored by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Organizers say: "During the briefing, a group of distinguished panelists will offer actions that students, parents, community members, educators, and policymakers can take to ensure self-advocacy and self-determination are integrated into personalized learning systems." You may attend in person or watch the event online. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- insight (or a reminder) of how children might think, from Trevor Noah's book "Born a Crime."  There’s a condition kids suffer from… that makes them do things they themselves don’t understand. You can tell a child, “Whatever you do, don’t draw on the wall. You can draw on this paper. You can draw in this book. You can draw on any surface you want. But do not draw or write or color on the wall. The child will look you dead in the eye and say, “Got it.” Ten minutes later the child is drawing on the wall. You start screaming, “Why the hell are you drawing on the wall?!” The child looks at you, and he genuinely has no idea why he drew on the wall. As a kid, I remember that feeling all the time. Every time I got punished, as my mom was whooping my ass, I’d be thinking, “Why did I just do that? I knew not to do that. She told me not to do that.”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

BOE Take-down, Mindfulness for Kids, Growth Mindset, and More

TAKING TO TASK. An eighth-grader in the Warren Township (New Jersey) schools took to task the district's board of education for its attitude and practices around neurodiversity -- in his case, autism. The young man, who has experience in both honors and special ed classes, delivered these messages: different is not deficient, and autism doesn't need a "cure." What he said was extraordinarily mature and highlighted his intellect and talents. He invoked Einstein, Mozart, and Grandin, and quoted experts in education. You'll enjoy his criticism of two particular actions by school administrators. Read more.

FOLLOW-UP. Those who read the item last week about baseball and 2e in North Carolina will be interested in a follow-up article containing additional information, although the cause of the ineligibility ruling is still not clear. Find the latest coverage.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's May newsletter is out, with news about the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, the World Science Festival, barriers for low-income gifted students, various Davidson initiatives, and education legislation/policy in the U.S. Find the newsletter.

FEDS REQUEST "CLAWBACK." CEC reports this: "The Administration recently proposed to rescind $15.4 billion that Congress has already approved. The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) on behalf of 110 national education organizations and institutions including CEC, urged Congress to reject the Administration’s recession proposal. The recession package will cut $7 billion that would otherwise be available for education programs and other services funded through the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019." Find the statement.

FLEXSCHOOL, which currently operates 
two 2e-friendly campuses in the Northeast  is gauging potential interest in the area of Maryland, DC, and Virginia. An exploratory information session is scheduled for June 7 in Rockville, Maryland. If you've been looking for a 2e-friendly grade 5-12 school in that area, check it out.

TiLT is offering a pre-order special on the forthcoming book Differently Wired. The special includes four bonuses. Find out more. Separately, TiLT Podcast #109 is out, featuring Jonathan Fields, author of How to Live a Good Life. Debbie Reber says of the podcast, "I asked him to talk with us about his book and what we as parents raising different wired kids can learn about creating more purpose and meaning in our daily lives, even when we may sometimes feel as though we don’t have the bandwidth or energy or wherewithal to do so." Find the podcast.

DEVON MACEACHRON has released Number 7 in her 
mythbusting series on alternative therapies for 2e learners, this one on mindfulness meditation. She reviews the research on mindfulness for kids. What does she think? Here's part of her conclusion: "I often recommend mindfulness meditation to the families of 2e learners I work with, as I do think it can help. I am concerned, though, that instruction and methodology can be a bit vague and many families may not know how best to go about it. Also, it’s not a 'quick fix' but more of a 'lifestyle change' requiring a significant commitment to see results." Read the full blog post.

SENSORY PROCESSING ISSUES -- do they lessen with time? The Child Mind Institute explores that question with an article on its website. Find it.

TECA, Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy, has announced dates for its June online parent support groups, each of which will deal with transitions. Find out more.

WRIGHTSLAW, observing Memorial Day, dedicates the current issue of Special Ed Advocate to "information and resources to help military families locate programs, services, and supports when advocating for exceptional family members." Find it.

GROWTH MINDSET. Trendbuster? A new study found that 'growth mindset interventions,' or programs that teach students they can improve their intelligence with effort -- and therefore improve grades and test scores -- don't work for students in most circumstances. Find the study write-up.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Attention, Mental Health, Book Tour, and More

GETTING IT. A teacher writes in Education Week about students who have trouble paying attention. She says, "Some of my brightest, most creative, and capable minds are the ones who struggle to pay attention in class." Does she tell them, "listen better" or "focus"? Nope. Instead, she'll have an individual conversation with the student about their attention issues, with results she says "can be truly profound." Read more.

CELEBRITIES, MENTAL HEALTH. US News notes, "It's become the new norm for stars to divulge vulnerabilities once kept closely guarded." The news organization gives plenty of examples and quotes a psychologist about the benefits of de-stigmatization and normalization by such revelations. The article also points to the campaign #MyYoungerSelf by the Child Mind Institute, currently returning for year two in Mental Health Awareness Month (May). Find the article. Find #MyYoungerSelf.

ADDITUDE offers on its website an explanation of executive function disorder (EFD) and how it fits with ADHD and/or LDs. "When a professional evaluating a child or adult finds evidence of EFD, it is essential for her to clarify whether the disorder results in ADHD, LD, or both. Only then can the child or adult receive the appropriate treatment for his specific problem," says the article. Find it.

TiLT BOOK TOUR. Debbie Reber has scheduled visits to a number of cities in the U.S. in June as part of the launch of her book Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World. According to Reber, "[T]he plan for tour stops is simple: meaningful discussions about how we can change the future for differently wired kids, community building through connection, crowdsourcing favorite local resources, no-holds-barred Q&A, and real, authentic conversations. (And potentially some special guests, TiLT swag giveaways, and yummy treats!)" We see four East Coast cities on her list, three West Coast cities -- and Chicago (actually Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville)! Find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers "Why College Is Daunting for LD Students." The reasons include pressure, workload, personal responsibility, and seven more. Find out more about college traps to anticipate.

UNDERSTOOD has an upcoming Expert Chat this Thursday titled "Your Child's Rights in the IEP Process." Find out more.

CAMP SUMMIT WEST in Northern Calilfornia, for gifted (and 2e) kids, still has a few openings, according to its organizers. Find out more.

TEACHER CONTRIBUTIONS. When you think about what teachers bring to the classroom as they try to make sure their students do well, consider that they also buy classroom supplies, on average about $500 worth per year -- on a salary that usually doesn't reflect their value to society in the first place. Read more.

EDUCATION POLICY, PRACTICE, LAW, ADVOCACY. The items below are "big picture" items, things to think about when not immersed in IEPs, homework supervision, therapy sessions, medication monitoring, etc etc etc.
  • Congress in the U.S. is evidently considering rolling back access to higher education for students with disabilities and for underserved students, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities. NCLD gives you a way to take action on the matter. 
  • COPAA, the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys, observes the anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. They quote part of the decision, which provides a vision of education worth contemplating. COPAA relates "Brown" to IDEA, and writes, "COPAA fights to make that promise of an inclusive, high quality education for students with disabilities become and remain a reality." COPAA also refers to current efforts to undermine equal access to education; find the statement
  • Chalkbeat writes about the disproportionate amount of disciplinary actions faced by students with disabilities in Colorado. Go to Chalkbeat
  • Finally, two former U.S. Secretaries of Education write about partisanship and the state of the U.S. education system today. They, too, note the crucial role of education in America. They write, "Higher expectations and strong standards — backed by federal policy that protects the enormous taxpayer investment in K-12 schools and higher education — are bipartisan concerns. Respect for teaching, and the accompanying need for better preparation and support for teachers, must be one unifying goal." Find the piece.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LD in the Workplace, Labels, Post's Posts, and More

LD IN THE WORKPLACE. When we saw the title of the article we figured it would be an interesting read: "8 Top Tips for People with Learning and Attention Issues to Find Success in the Workplace." It's in Forbes. And it starts off with the thoughts of David Flink, who has built Eye to Eye, an organization that helps people who learn differently... and that hires people who learn differently. It's about pride, self-acceptance, and more. The last tip: "Make Your Goal To Be Yourself (Not to Fit In)." Sound advice for any young person in the 2e community. Find the article.

LABELS. They're good. They're bad. They're both. An educator/author writes in Education Week about various perspectives on labels and how they can help or hinder. He cites a study showing that the lack of labels can have a positive impact on educational achievement. In the end he quotes what he says is an old saying in education: "If it's good enough for a special education student, it should be good enough for any student." [And that statement, we think, would be equally as meaningful substituting "2e" for "special education."] The meaning? "Students shouldn't need a label to get good teaching and impactful interventions that will help them become better learners." Read more.

GENDER AND TESTING. The type of question used to measure knowledge in a specific topic might give the advantage to either boys or girls, according to research written up at Journalist's Resource. Math questions? Multiple choice. Advantage, boys. Reading and language? "Constructed response" questions. Advantage, girls. Read more.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. In our last blog we pointed to a post by psychologist Gail Post about the dangers of assuming that a condition like anxiety was the result of giftedness and not the result of another underlying cause that should be attended to. For Mental Health Awareness Month, Post has gathered a number of her writings about topics related to giftedness and various mental health topics. If you haven't been a regular reader of Post -- or if you'd like a refresher -- check out her blog.

TiLT's newest podcast is "Dr. Laura Anderson on Gender Nonconformity and Differently Wired Kids." Find it.

2e2: TEACHING THE TWICE EXCEPTIONAL. If you're in LA, you can get a sneak preview of this film on May 20 at 2 pom at the United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills. Producer Tom Ropelewski says that admission is $10 per person, and all are welcome. A Q&A and short reception will follow the showing of the film. Seating is limited, he says, so to reserve a spot please RSVP to Jon Baum.

ANXIETY IN TEENS AND KIDS. Here's another write-up on the role of social media in creating anxiety.

EDUCATION POLICY, LAW. "Full funding" for IDEA. The Feds don't cough up the amounts they promised in order to pay for IDEA in states and districts across the country. Thanks to an interactive map, you can find the shortfall in your state -- money that should be there (but isn't) to help kids like yours. Find the map.

RESEARCH

  • ASD. A new study analyzing more than 1,000 brain scans reveals surprising new insights into brain networks in people with autism, after applying a new personalized approach to brain mapping. The new approach provides a way to examine the location of individual brain networks with more precision. Find the study write-up
  • OCD. A new study reports that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) feel more distress when viewing images to provoke OCD-related emotions than their unaffected siblings. Although the unaffected siblings showed lower levels of distress, they had higher levels of brain activity in regions important for attention. The findings suggest that the family members may draw on additional brain resources to compensate for potential abnormalities in emotion regulation. Find the study write-up
  • ADHD. Physician's Briefing says this: "For children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), participation in after-school activities (ASA) is associated with reduced odds of moderate-to-severe ADHD and having seven or more missed school days, according to a study..." Find out more

Monday, May 14, 2018

2e and Baseball, Performance Anxiety, Brain Size, Tech, More

2e, BASEBALL. Imagine you're a bright teen who is also non-verbal and suffers from anxiety. You find that being part of the high school baseball team is something you like a lot, that it gives you confidence, that you feel accepted. Now imagine that near the end of the baseball season, someone judges that you were ineligible to play because of academic reasons that aren't clear. As a result, your team is forced to forfeit all of the games it won during the season, and is denied a chance to participate in the state playoffs. How do you feel? It happened to a young man in North Carolina. Read more.

EDUCATION DIVE did a quick wrap of recent 2e-related news, some of which you've already read here. They cover Scott Barry Kaufman's NPR interview; Understood's coverage of 2e; how some schools support 2e students; and the plight of minority 2e students. Go to Education Dive.

TED TALK. On the weekly TED playlist we get was one titled "Why you should make useless things." A young woman inventor describes the toothbrush helmet she made, and the vegetable chopper and others -- none of which turned out to be useful. But usefulness wasn't the point. In the talk she says,"The true beauty of making useless things [is] this acknowledgment that you don't always know what the best answer is." For her, it was also an opportunity to deals with issues of performance anxiety, even though she achieved straight A's in middle and high school. Find the talk.

DANA FOUNDATION. For brain mavens, the Dana Foundation offers an article called "The Skinny on Brains: Size Matters." The blurb says, "This month’s article examines the evolution of the neocortex, a part of the cerebral cortex concerned with sight and hearing in mammals, regarded as the most developed part of the cortex." Find the article.

UNDERSTOOD offers "Tech Finder," information about apps and games for the child with learning and attention issues. You can search by issue (eg, reading), grade, and technology type. Find Tech Finder.

TECH IN THE CLASSROOM. The writer at Jen Reviews has posted "9 Amazing Benefits of Technology in the Classroom" along with 18 ways to incorporate said technology. Example: improve knowledge retention using blended learning, or games. Find the article.

SENG WEBINAR. On May 17 SENG has scheduled "Natural Approaches for Common Medical and Psychiatric Conditions." The session description says, "Many gifted and talented children and adults exhibit both medical and mental/emotional symptoms. Often these individuals are very sensitive and may not respond well to conventional treatments with numerous side effects..... Many integrative, functional, natural, holistic solutions are available and effective for these sensitive and bright G, T & 2E individuals." Find out more.

2e-FOCUSED PANEL DISCUSSION. The Institute for Educational Advancement is presenting a panel discussion on Tuesday, May 22, in Pasadena on the topic of twice-exceptionalities. All panelists are parents/professionals who have 2e kiddos. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS. An MD-turned-teacher reflects on the disparity in "respect" accorded each profession, the impediments to teacher respect and effectiveness, and some possible solutions. "As a pediatrician, it is hard for me to understand this widespread devaluation of those caring for and educating our nation’s children. Both teachers and doctors work tirelessly to decrease suffering and enhance well-being through essential and complementary methods." Read the perspective and consider the benefits to our kids and our country of a change in attitudes and practices.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kaufman Interview, Mythbusting, Breakthroughs Video, Spring Sale, More

SCOTT BARRY KAUFMAN fans might enjoy an NPR interview with him about "ways schools and teachers can help these twice exceptional, or '2E,' students thrive." It's prompted by his recent book, an edited compilation on the topic of twice-exceptionality featuring many authors familiar to the readers of 2e Newsletter. Find the interview.

SENSORY PROCESSING THERAPY. Psychologist Devon MacEachron, in Part 6 of her "Mythbusters" series. tackles the topic of the usefulness of sensory integration therapy for autism. She takes a conservative view. Read "Mythbusters."

MISDIAGNOSIS? OR REAL DIAGNOSIS? Psychologist Gail Post starts off a recent blog entry this way: "...while gifted intelligence and social/emotional issues can provoke their own set of unique troubles, sometimes... sometimes... the issue is a mental health problem." Don't ignore symptoms or simply attribute them to giftedness, she urges, and get help when needed. Read more.

BREAKTHROUGHS IN TWICE-EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION starts today in Manhattan. (Find out more.) Julie Skolnick, of With Understanding Comes Calm, is there and promises live Facebook interviews with presenters and attendees. To get the flavor of the event, check out Julie's Facebook page.

SPRING SALE. Until May 15, our "Spotlight on 2e" series booklets are on sale. See our website. Paid newsletter subscribers, check your inbox for even better prices.

HOW FAR WE'VE COME is Jen the Blogger's look-back (in apparent astonishment) at her experiences with 2e kidsos (her own) over the past decade or two. If you're just starting on your 2e journey, this post is definitely something you want to read. Yes, things can turn out well. Find it.

TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is about Eye to Eye and its mission of matching mentors to kiddos with learning challenges. Eye to Eye has released an app which, according to TiLT, makes "Eye to Eye’s mentoring and advocacy skill building program accessible to kids from around the world." Find the podcast.

DOES SOCIAL MEDIA CAUSE DEPRESSION? That's the question addressed this week in an article at the site of the Child Mind Institute. As the article notes in its opening paragraph, "In several recent studies, teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 percent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the least time." Read more.

NAEP REPORT CARD. You've probably seen references to "The Nation's Report Card" on educational progress released recently. One part of the report card deals with the progress of students with disabilities. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities gives a quick snapshot of the lack of progress there. Read it.

STUDENT SELF-ADVOCACY is the topic of a blog entry at the site of the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT). At Landmark College, self-advocacy is built into the curriculum as a "student learning outcome" for year one. Read the blog. Separately, the application deadline for LCIRT summer PD courses in June 17. Find out more.

ASK FOR A SPECIFIC TEACHER for your child with learning issues? Understood offers advice for parents tempted to do that. Find the advice.
COPAA, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, has released its annual report, covering its mission and goals, structure, activities, and financials. Find it.
GIFTED RESOURCES NEWSLETTER. Jo Freitag's May edition is out. Her Australia-based organization is "an independent not for profit information service which aims to provide news of support groups, conferences, lectures, workshops, programs and resources relating to giftedness and 2e issues which are available online and face to face." Find the newsletter.
NAGC recently announced the release of a "microcredential" to help educators recognize indicators of potential giftedness in students in traditionally underrepresented populations. NAGC has three more microcrentials in development: for supporting social-emotional development in the gifted; for implementing evidence-based instructional practices; and for implementing the appropriate level of challenge to support gifted students. Find out more.

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Reading Suggestion, Depression Research, A Research Participation Opportunity, and More

NATIONAL TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY is May 8, part of Teacher Appreciation Week. If you know a teacher who has helped that great 2e kiddo you know, please take a moment to express  your appreciation. The PTA has some suggestions; so does the National Education Association. To borrow Nike's expression, just do it! 

READING SUGGESTION. A friend in the 2e community sent a suggestion for an article that engaged her. It was originally published by the National Joint Commission on Learning Disabilities in late 2016, and is titled "Learning Disabilities and Achieving High Quality Education Standards." Our friend calls the article, "both beautifully conceived, but also a comprehensive statement of expectations for high-quality education standards." See what you think.

DEPRESSION RESEARCH. A news item from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: "Esketamine Reduced Suicidal Thoughts Within Hours of Treatment in Patients with Severe Depression." The drug is closely related to ketamine. Find the item.

TiLT PARENTING. if you visit this site only for the podcasts, you're missing other resources for parents of "differently wired" kids. For example, Debbie Reber also offers "10 strategies for 2018"; information about her forthcoming "Differently Wired" book; and more. Find the resources.

UNDERSTOOD EVENT. On Thursday, May 10, Understood is offering an expert chat titled "Focus on Strengths-based IEPs." The blurb for the event promises "resources to help you learn advocacy tips and strategies." Find out more.

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. A doctoral candidate is looking for parents with at least two years of experience homeschooling gifted or 2e children to participate in a study. The purpose of this study is to explain the educational processes used by homeschooling families of gifted and twice-exceptional children. The educational processes include the curriculum, instructional methods, and structure used in homeschooling. The study will be conducted through online chat applications. Please contact the researcher directly for more information: Bridgette Whitlow-Spurlock at (719) 238-3443 or bwhitlowspurlock@liberty.edu.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Endrew F Aftermath, Mental Health Month, 2e Achievers, More

ENDREW F. "Anyway you slice it, it hasn't changed the trends. The same folks are still winning — the districts." That's what an education law expert says a year after the Endrew F decision supposedly gave a higher standard for special ed services provided by school districts; this is according to an Education Week article. Read more.

MENTAL HEALTH MONTH -- that's May, a couple of our sources remind us. The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds offers some resources for the occasion; find them. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry also notes the observation and points readers to its "Facts for Families Guide," with information on topics such as ADHD, depression, emotional distress, and more; find the "Facts."

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES says, "Each year Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities honors a group of truly outstanding young people who, despite their learning challenges, are making a difference in their schools and communities through their remarkable achievements." Meet the 2018 honorees, who achieve as they deal with issues such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and more.

FOR THE SUMMER. Bright Math Camp, at the University of Ottawa, is back again, according to its organizer. It's a not-for-profit camp for the promotion of mathematics. Find out more.

TEACHER PD: PARENT INPUT. Understood offers a parent toolkit titled "How to Ask for Schoolwide Teacher Training to Help Kids with Learning and Attention Issues." Topics covered include FAQs about teacher PD; strength-based IEPs; multi-tier systems of support; personalized learning; and more. Find the toolkit.

TiLT PARENTING's Podcast #106 focuses on sibling dynamics, and features author and parent coach Julie King. Find the podcast.

SENG reminds us that early-bird pricing for its July conference ends this month. If you're thinking about attending this conference (in San Diego this year), find out more.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE, the May edition, is now out. Julie Skolnick provides 2e-centered articles, information about events, and book suggestions. Find the newsletter.

ADHD

  • Education Week published "Daydreaming or Distracted? What Teachers Misunderstand about ADHD." Find it
  • Edutopia published "Setting Students with ADHD Up for Success," strategies for educators. Find it.

Monday, April 30, 2018

HIdden Giftedness, Events, Resources, Depression Research, More

FINDING "HIDDEN" GIFTEDNESS. The state of Tennessee and the National Association for Gifted Children are piloting a "micro-credential" program to help teachers identify giftedness in traditionally underrepresented groups, such as students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, non-English-speaking backgrounds, racial/ethnic minorities... and, yes, students with learning disabilities. The four- to six-week program is one of dozens of PD credentials offered by Tennessee. Read more at Education Week or at the site of NAGC.

EVENTS COMING UP.

  • The fourth annual conference "Breakthroughs in Twice-Exceptional Education" is scheduled in Manhattan for May 10-12 at Cooper Union. It's sponsored by the 2e Study Center at the Quad and Quad Preparatory School. Find out more
  • TECA and SENG are putting on a Long Island (New York) regional conference on May 18. Organizers promise a day of speakers on giftedness and 2e; a screening of "2e2: Teaching the Twice-Exceptional"; and SMPG (SENG Model Parent Group) training. Find out more
LDA CALL FOR SPEAKERS. The Learning Disabilities Association of America has issued a call for proposals for presentations at its February, 2019, annual conference. Find out more.

LDA AND UNDERSTOOD have issued a guideline on differentiating ADHD and sensory processing issues. The organizations say, "Does your child have issues with personal space, sitting still, or feeling comfortable in public places? It could be sensory processing issues, ADHD, or a combination of both." Go to the guideline.

SCIENCE AND RESEARCH: DEPRESSION.
  • A global study has found 44 genetic risk factors for major depression, according to Reuters. Read more. Another recent study identified 90 genes linked to depressions; read more. Both studies were done in the UK. 
  • Researchers believe they have uncovered a method that could be useful in predicting a depressed patient's treatment prognosis, prior to starting treatment. The predictions are based on "neural markers," activity in specific brain regions. Read more
SUMMER PD. The Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa offers summer professional development opportunities for educators of the gifted. (The Center is "2e-aware.") Find out more.

MYTHS OF GIFTEDNESS. The South China Morning Post recently published "Five Myths of Giftedness in Children." One myth is titled "The Gifted Only Myth." From the article: "Similar to the myth that giftedness is not a special need is the idea that learning difficulties and giftedness fall on one spectrum together. That you could draw a single line from learning difficulties to giftedness and every child would fall somewhere on that line." (You know how workable that concept is.) Read more.

#MYYOUNGERSELF. Last year the Child Mind Institute featured a number of grown-up achievers who shared "messages of hope" with their younger selves. Now the Institute promises this: "The campaign returns on May 1st, bringing together more than three dozen actors, Olympians, authors, comedians, businesspeople and others to share personal videos throughout the month, speaking movingly to their younger selves about growing up with a mental health or learning disorder." Find out more.

AUTISM RESOURCE. The National Autism Academy makes available free videos covering "The Seven Emotional Secrets of Parents with Autistic Children." A sample objective: learn "[h]ow to approach your Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting with power and persuasion to get the resources your child needs." Learn more about the videos.

SUMMER CAMP RESOURCE. The Whole Child Academy on Long Island is offering a variety of summer sessions for gifted and 2e kiddos under the heading "Mentoring Scientific Minds. Find out more.

Friday, April 27, 2018

ADHD, Executive Function, Discipline, and More

NEW SPECIAL ED CHIEF. Education Week interviewed the new head of the U.S. Department of Education's special education efforts. Education Week calls the appointment "a rare point of agreement between the Trump administration and the disability-advocacy community, and says the appointee's "special education bona fides were not in question." Read more.

DO YOU READ TO YOUR CHILD? The New York Times recently wrote about the benefits of that practice. "A new study provides evidence of just how sustained an impact reading and playing with young children can have, shaping their social and emotional development in ways that go far beyond helping them learn language and early literacy skills. The parent-child-book moment even has the potential to help curb problem behaviors like aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention, a new study has found." Read the article.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers "Hot Tips for Cutting Camp Costs." Check it out if camp is in your plans for the summer.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Psychologist Gail Post writes about disciplining your gifted child. She mentions some challenges that gifted kids might pose, challenges that are likely familiar to you. "Whether throwing a tantrum mid-aisle at the grocery store, or questioning your rules with legalistic flair, your gifted child is no stranger to intensity... or conflict... or pushing the limits." She offers tips on what to expect from the child and what you can do about the challenges. Find her advice.

UNDERSTOOD has posted "Classroom Accommodations for Anxiety," strategies for teachers to apply -- or for parents to suggest to teachers. Find the strategies.

ANXIETY, DEPRESSION. Those conditions are diagnosed in about five percent of children and teens in the United States, according to a newly-released analysis reported in Science Daily. Interestingly, the number of children diagnosed with anxiety increased during the years covered by the analysis, but not the number of children diagnosed with depression. Read more.

ASD. Science Daily says, "A new report that finds the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among 11 surveillance sites as one in 59 among children aged 8 years in 2014 (or 1.7 percent)." Read more.

TiLT PARENTING'S newest podcast is with educator Zach Morris on supporting kids as they transform their world view. TiLT's Debbie Reber writes about the episode that she and Morris "go deep into the idea of how we as parents, caregivers, and educators can facilitate what Zach calls 'world-view transformation.' In other words, how can we help our differently wired kids change their thinking and perspective in a way that not only preserves our relationship with them, but results in the best possible outcome for our kids?" Find the podcast.

ADHD, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION. The Hechinger Report offers a good explanation of executive function and how a new study "makes a compelling case that certain executive functioning difficulties can emerge as early as kindergarten and they dramatically increase the likelihood of serious academic problems in the first half of elementary school. Troubles with executive function can put these children on a low and sluggish learning curve that they are unlikely to break out of." Find the article. Separately, ADDitude explains how lagging executive functioning skills can challenge a child, and how parents can help improve those skills. Find the ADDitude article. Separately again, The New York Times quotes a developmental pediatrician who suggests that parents view ADHD as "a delay in self-management skills," which, with the right support, can be overcome. An interesting aside in the article is a child psychiatrist's allusion to a Peanuts cartoon in which Linus proclaims, "There is no heavier burden than a great potential." (A link in the article takes you to a site where you can buy a refrigerator magnet with that saying if you're so inclined.) Find the Times article.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

2e Treatment Myth-busting, The Gifted Label, Help an Author, and More

MYTH BUSTERS, PART 4. Psychologist Devon MacEachron has been doing a series of blog postings on treatments and services related to twice-exceptional children, Her topic in Part 4 of the series: Brain Balance Centers franchise system that claims to treat a vast array of conditions, including ASD, ADHD, and dyslexia. Read her take.

THE GIFTED LABEL, according to psychologist Gail Post, is coming under fire. She gives six reasons in defense of the label, concluding: "Let's stop pretending every child is the same, and instead, focus on understanding and providing educational and social/emotional support tailored to each child's specific needs." Find her post.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's latest e-newsletter is out, covering what's new in gifted ed, summer camp resources, legislative news, and more. Find the newsletter.

TED has released a new playlist of talks on the topic "How can we fix the learning crisis." Some of the talks are older, some are new. Find the playlist.

INPUT, PLEASE. For an upcoming book, author Chris Dendy is asking for input on the transition from high school to adulthood. She says: "The journey from high school graduation to adulthood is often rocky for children who have ADHD. So as a parent of an adult with ADHD, we would like to ask for your assistance by sharing what you learned about supporting your child through the challenging transition years....Take a few minutes now to complete the survey linked below and give others the knowledge we all wish we had received years ago. Please complete the survey by March 26th. We will send you a summary of the results by mid- April, so you can share in the collective wisdom." Here's the link to the survey.

EDUCATION POLICY, LAW. The U.S. Congress passed a funding bill in which education actually received more money rather than the cuts the president had proposed. Hopefully it gets spent in ways that maximally benefit our children. Read more.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sir Ken Robinson, Multiple "e's," Resources, Science & Research

SIR KEN ROBINSON, advocate for educational change, has a new book out directed at parents: You, Your Child, and School, which he describes as "an attempt to engage parents more positively in the conversation" about their children's education. It's about collaboration between school and home, about improving the school experience, and about what parents and teachers can achieve. From an interview concerning the book: "If you’re a parent, you are part of the system. When your child comes home, how you respond to them, what pressure you put them under, how you relax the pressure, the way you relate to the school, the priorities you convey to them and the way you respond to their anxieties—all that’s part of the education system," Read more. And if you've never seen his TED talk on schools, check it out. It's evidently the most-watched TED talk ever.

MULTIPLE "E's" and what you need to know as a parent is an article at Understood, and it says that multiple issues are common; that you've got to treat each issue separately; and that you need to understand which issue causes which challenges. Find the article.

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. This organization offers an article about seven myths about child mental health. One of them: psychiatric disorders result from bad parenting. Find the myths. Also at this site: an article about proactively dealing with anxiety over school shootings. Find it.

SOCIAL MEDIA. From the Washington Post: "Five ways social media can be good for teens." (Example: genuine support through online acceptance.) Find the article. And then there's an article at Science Daily titled "Social media use at age 10 could reduce well-being of adolescent girls; find it.

TBI, ADHD. From Reuters: "Young children who are hospitalized with head injuries may be at higher than average risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later on, a small study suggests." Read more.

"BREAKTHROUGHS" SPEAKERS. Organizers of the Breakthroughs conference on 2e education have released the names of speakers at this May's conference in Manhattan. The keynote speakers are Joe Renzulli, Sally Reis, Jonathan Mooney, and Nancy Tarshis. Find out more.

LANDMARK COLLEGE SUMMER INSTITUTE. Educators can save $100 by registering for this event by March 31. Find out more about the institute.

EDUCATORS' RESOURCE. A award-winning teacher with 12 years of experience starting thinking about "an online space where the best PD resources were compiled on one platform where multiple teachers could come to collaborate, share and learn." With some encouragement from the Gates Foundation, she has launched the site, Curio. Read more.

TMS. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation is sponsoring a free webinar on April 10 on the topic of using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for depression and other diseases. Find out more.

SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
  • Behavior management, from Science Daily. "Most parenting programs aim to teach parents how to reduce their children's disruptive behavior. New research looked at more than 150 studies of these programs, finding differences in what works best according to whether or not children already showed behavior problems." Find the study write-up
  • Autism and the amygdala, from Science Daily: "Researchers have found that typically-developing children gain more neurons in a region of the brain that governs social and emotional behavior, the amygdala, as they become adults. This phenomenon does not happen in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Instead, children with ASD have too many neurons early on and then appear to lose those neurons as they become adults." Find the study write-up
  • From NewsWise: "Researchers publish findings on study involving sleep adolescent stress." Find the study write-up
  • Also from NewsWise:"A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor has co-authored a book analyzing how online communities and social media can provide stress relief for families and individuals with an autism spectrum disorder." Find the press release.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Normal," Resources for the 2e Community, Research Items on ADHD & ASD, More

NORMAL. "...normal is a relative state that depends on time, place, and circumstance. There’s no one right way to be a human, and that applies to mental as well as physical states." That's from a Quartz article on recent research by Yale neuroscientists debunking the idea that any particular person is "normal." Perhaps the article will make you feel better about your household or your classroom. Find it.

RESOURCE: SENG CONNECT. This is a members-only online community; we believe those in the 2e community might find it a worthwhile investment. Coming up is a four-part weekly event, free to Connect members, on gifted homeschooling. Find out more.

NAGC, JACK KENT COOKE. In a statement, the National Association for Gifted Children directed attention to a new report from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation on equity in gifted education. The statement notes that the report's author is the president-elect of NAGC, and goes on to say: "This influential study and analysis assigns states letter grades for their success in fostering academic talent policies that promote high-ability learners as well as those that seek to close the excellence gap between gifted low-income students and their more affluent peers." Sadly, the letter grades are pretty low (our statement, not NAGC's). See how your state ranks. Find NAGC's statement or find the report itself.

DOING POORLY ON PURPOSE is the title of a blog post by iconoclastic educator Jim Delisle. He writes, "More times than not, smart students who choose to do poorly on purpose have very good reasons for being disillusioned with their middle and high school experiences. And these students may be on to something." Find out what

TiLT HITS 100 -- 100 podcasts, that is, with a special format, Debbie Reber on her own. She says, "I’ve decided to record a solocast so I can have a conversation with you…like a couple of friends talking over a coffee…and update you on what’s happening with TiLT, take you behind the scenes of the podcast, talk a little bit about my book Differently Wired which comes out in less than three months and let you know what I’m planning for that, and answer some of the questions I’ve gotten from listeners." Find the podcast

GHF ONLINE has released its class schedule for the fall of 2018, with classes beginning on August 27. (Read an article about GHF Online in the upcoming March/April issue of 2e Newsletter.) Find out more

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS for students with learning disabilities raise lots of issues, as an article at Education Week explains. From the article: "...for students with disabilities -- who often demonstrate their learning in different ways, who can be denied access to rigorous content, and who are particularly vulnerable to disengaging from school -- performance-based assessment systems can be a real game changer." Read more

GERMAN CONFERENCE. Several organizations in Germany host a conference every three years as a platform for researchers, teachers, parents, educators, and education policy-makers to discuss gifted students. This year’s conference is “Gifted Education, Achievement Development, Educational Equality – For All!” It is scheduled for September 19th to 22nd in Muenster. The conference is hosted by the International Centre for the Study of Giftedness (ICBF) and the North-Rhine-Westphalian Centre for Individual Educational Support (lif) in cooperation with the universities of Muenster, Nijmegen and Osnabrueck. Find out more

DISABILITY SCOOP reports on new autism research: "Nearly all children with autism are dealing with at least one other condition — and often several — ranging from anxiety to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sleep, behavioral and gastrointestinal issues." Read more

FOR ADHD MAVENS, the current issue of European Child Adolescent Psychiatry has several articles on ADHD. From the editorial introduction to the issue: "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most frequently diagnosed mental disorder in children and adolescents and topic of a wide range of scientific publications. Heterogeneity is a key characteristic of ADHD. This is true for many aspects of the disorder. ADHD is highly variable with regard to degree of impairment, associated comorbidities, symptom presentation, response to treatment, and etiology. This month’s issue contains no less than six ADHD-related articles, which together deal with a variety of important aspects of ADHD." You can read the entire editorial, but -- unless you subscribe -- will have to settle for reading the abstracts of the other article. However, for non-scientists, that could be better anyway. (Note that one of the articles looked into the effects of omega-3 supplements on ADHD and found no beneficial effect.) Find the issue

AND FINALLY, THIS. Don't blame the hormones for adolescent behavior changes, says a study written up in Science Daily. The research used Siberian hamsters, not human teenagers. Find the write-up.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

ADHD Items, Online Summits, Dan Peters, and More

IN PRAISE OF ADHD is the title of an article at the New York Times, whose author suggests that "Some people with A.D.H.D. may be naturally suited to our turbocharged world." He points to genetics-based research which suggests that a certain ADHD-linked gene variant may be valuable in certain environments. Find the article.

TWO ONLINE "SUMMITS" relevant to twice-exceptionality are scheduled in the next month or so. The first, Raising Children with Challenges," is to be held March 20-22. It's free, and suggests that you'll be interested if you give affirmative answers to questions such as "Is your child a little quirky or differently-wired?" Find out more. The second, on April 25-30, is called "The Bright and Quirky Child Online Summit." It promises strategies to help your child thrive. Content will be free on the days of the presentations, for-fee afterward. Find out more.

ADDITUDE WEBINAR. On March 27, ADDitude will present a webinar titled "Screen Time for the ADHD Brain: Technology Rules and Systems for Easily Distracted Teens." The title seems so say it all. Find out more.

KETAMINE FOR DEPRESSION is the topic of a new article at the site of the Dana Foundation. If depression is an issue at your house, check out the article.

DAN PETERS, psychologist and co-founder of California's Summit Center, has a hand in three recent offerings. One is a "Parent Footprint" podcast with Greg Pincus, author of The Homework Strike and someone familiar with issues relevant to our community. Find the podcast. Peters also authored a timely article at Psychology Today, "How Do We Talk about School Shootings to Gifted Kids." Find the article. Thirdly, Peters' Parent Footprint podcast with Scott Barry Kaufmann is still available; it's about the recently-released book Kaufmann edited (with contributors such as Peters) titled Twice Exceptional. Find the podcast.

SENG MINI-CONFERENCE. SENG has been hosting what it calls "mini-conferences" around the country, and has one coming up on May 5 in Seattle. Find out more about the topics, presenters, and other details.

CONFERENCE RECAP. Those who missed the recent Diamonds in the Rough conference put on by the Weinfeld Group can find a recap and photos at the conference site.

RIP STEPHEN HAWKING. Here's a Hawking quote, courtesy of Valerie Strauss' "Answer Sheet" column: "At school, I was never more than about halfway up the class. It was a very bright class. My classwork was very untidy, and my handwriting was the despair of my teachers. But my classmates gave me the nickname Einstein, so presumably they saw signs of something better. When I was twelve, one of my friends bet another friend a bag of sweets that I would never come to anything. I don’t know if this bet was ever settled, and if so, which way it was decided." — 2013, “My Brief History.' Find more Hawking quotes collected by Strauss.

ADHD DRUGS, MOOD. A new study indicates that at least some ADHD drugs increase the amount of glutamate in certain areas of the brain, which is followed by increases in positive emotion. Find the study write-up.