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.

  • 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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2e Achiever, Overdiagnosis of ADHD, SEL, Growing Up 2e, More

GROWING UP POOR, LD, AND BLACK... and becoming an orthopedic surgeon is a good trick. The surgeon describes at the site of The Good Men Project three C's that help him be a better father -- communication, compassion, and compromise. He doesn't describe his LD in the piece but throws in a powerful story about saving lives. Find the piece.

ADHD OVERDIAGOSED? Jerome Kagan of Harvard is a developmental psychologist who is ranked as one of the most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. Looking back on his career in an interview with Der Spiegel (it's in English), he expresses doubts about quick diagnoses and resulting pharmacological treatment for conditions such as ADHD and depression. His positions are nuanced but certainly worth reading. Find the interview.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING as a way to get schools to fit the kids is the topic of an article at Education Dive. The thesis: "Social-emotional learning (SEL) can help all students achieve — not just those who have experienced trauma or have behavior issues. SEL also creates a school culture that is 'inclusive of and responsive to' diversity." Find the article.

DYSLEXIA, ADVOCACY, LEARNING TO READ. An NPR article describes how a group of Ohio parents, with the help of a special ed attorney, took on a school district that was not identifying dyslexic students nor helping them read in the proper way. The article explains the difference between the "whole language" approach to teaching reading versus a phonics-based approach. Find the article.

UNDERSTOOD offers a "Parent Journey" blog posting about a young man diagnosed with ADHD at age 6 and some of his resultant trials and tribulations on the way to young adulthood. His mother recounts a moment at age 21 when he said, "“I’m tired of having ADHD. I thought it would be gone by now.” His mother took it as a sign of self-awareness and resilience. Find the blog posting.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers an insightful first-person account from a young adult about his struggles with ADHD and AS/NLD. He concludes: "To others who share challenges similar to those I’ve described here, know you’re not alone. There is a path forward that includes accepting your strengths and weakness, working on improving the areas that you can, and finding places that bring out the best in you." Find the account.

EQUITY IN GIFTED ED. Some prominent members of the National Association for Gifted Children have drafted a document titled "A Culturally Relevant Equity-based Bill of Rights for Students of Color." One of the authors introduces the document this way: "Each year, over 500,000 Black and Hispanic students lack access to gifted education services and programs... This Bill of Rights was envisioned with the singular goal of effecting change based on equity and cultural responsiveness. " It involves rights concerning advocacy, access, the nature of gifted programs, educators, curriculum, social/emotional issues, and family/community. Check it out.

TiLT PARENTING, in its 99th podcast, talks to Barry Prizant about his book Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism. From the preview: "As you listen to our conversation, you’ll know exactly why I was so excited to bring Barry onto the show. He is at the forefront of the revolution in helping to change the way neurodiversity is perceived in the world and frankly I’m just so grateful there are people like him in the world doing this critical work." Find the podcast.

FLEXSCHOOL EXPANSION. The founder and co-founder of FlexSchool, currently a 2e-friendly, two-school learning network in New Jersey and Connecticut, are holding an information session in Rye, New York, on March 21 to explore interest for a third campus in the Northern New Jersey or Westchester County, New York, area. Find out more.

IEP RESEARCH. A recent study explored "how educators wrote, used and conceptualized the role of IEPs for students with specific learning disabilities within inclusive general education settings." The results? "...the content of the students' IEPs offered limited guidance on providing students with special education supports and services," said the researcher. Read more.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Myth-Busting, 2e Programs, 2e Movies, Telomeres, and More

MYTH-BUSTING. In Part 3 of a series of blog postings, psychologist Devon MacEachron, who specializes in gifted/2e children, gives her take on essential oils as a treatment for ADHD. She discusses the nature of the oils, the companies distributing them, the evidence that they work (or not), and their safety. If you're using or considering these oils, check out the piece.

2e IN IOWA. Waterloo radio station KWWL covered what it calls the first program in the state for twice-exceptional students, at an elementary school in Waterloo. The program, which sounds like a pull-out program rather than full-time, was made possible by a private donation. Read more.

TiLT PARENTING talks to Tom Ropelewski, the force behind the movies "2e: Twice Exceptional" and "2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional." TiLT's Debbie Reber says of her newest podcast, "In our conversation, Tom shares his story and personal why behind making these films, talks about the educational model at Bridges, describes how his films are helping to bring awareness of 2e kids’ into the mainstream, and gives us a sneak peek at his new film coming out later this year." Find the podcast.

RAISING CHILDREN WITH CHALLENGES is a free online summit scheduled for March 20-22 with lots of guests you'll recognize, including Debbie Reber (see above) from whom we first found out about the summit. Here are some of the "qualifying questions" for engaging in the summit: "Does your youngster struggle with impulsivity, focus, or social relationships? Is your child a little quirky or differently-wired? Does anxiety limit your child’s ability to enjoy life? Do you have a youngster with a physical or learning disability? Does she struggle with heightened sensitivity or sensory overload? Is your son or daughter on the Asperger’s/ Autism spectrum?" You get the picture. Find out more.

BREAKTHROUGHS CONFERENCE. Early-bird registration ends on March 13. Find out more about this NYC 2e conference.

SYCAMORE SCHOOL in Arlington, Virginia, a 2e-friendly school, is one of the sponsoring locations for Camp Pursuit, described by the organizers as "a week-long, mixed-age STEAM academic summer camp based on the premise that students must pursue their passions until they become their talents!" Sycamore School's event is listed at the Camp Pursuit website under "Virginia."

GIFTED AND MEDICATED. Psychiatrist Jerald Grobman did an article for Gifted Research and Outreach on medication for gifted individuals. From the article summary: "Short-term use of psychotropic medication can be a useful adjunct to a psychiatric intervention when other methods have failed....Evidence-based recommendations for best practices indicate that these medications achieve the best results when administered in the context of a therapeutic relationship. Often this means medications need only be used on a short-term basis. The clinician who understands the elements of a gifted endowment and a gifted personality can avoid the pitfall of misdiagnosis and not mistake a gifted individual in crisis with a gifted individual who may have developed a genuine psychiatric syndrome or pathological personality disorder." Find the article. Go, GRO!

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN often comes through school, according to an piece at the Washington Post. Education writer Valerie Strauss gives space to a parenting educator and author and says, "This post is a primer for parents about how they could approach finding help for a child with a mental illness." Read it.

UNDERSTOOD has an upcoming expert chat on March 15 titled "Boosting Your Child's Executive Skills." Understood promises you can "learn about the key skills involved in executive function and how you can boost your child’s executive functioning skills." Find out more

MORE ON ENDREW F. Advocate Rich Weinfeld and special ed attorney Michael Eig discuss "the implementation of Endrew F. and how it redefines a student’s right to an appropriate education." Find the discussion.

INCLUDED TODAY, items we wouldn't have dreamed of when we started publishing 2e Newsletter over 14 years ago: a myth-busting article by a psychologist specializing in 2e kiddos; movies about the twice-exceptional and the teachers who educate them; a conference devoted to educating the twice-exceptional; an actual 2e-friendly school; and an online summit with big names discussing the challenges exhibited by twice-exceptional children. It's been a long time and a long road.

AND FINALLY, THIS, from Science Daily: "Researchers found that women who have given birth have shorter telomeres than those who haven't. Telomeres are the end caps of DNA on our chromosomes, which help in DNA replication and get shorter over time. The length of telomeres has been associated with morbidity and mortality previously, but this is the first study to examine links with having children." Now consider what having a twice-exceptional child (or two or three) might do to your telomeres. Find the study write-up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

2e in School, Evaluations, C.H.A., Screen Time, More

DEALING WITH SCHOOL. A mom and licensed therapist describes her travails with school in a piece at The problems? Her son is you-know-what, and school can't seem to provide the services he needs. She describes her situation and offers several pieces of advice to parents in similar situation, including this: "But most of all don’t give up or let the school system beat you into submission." Find the piece.

INSIDE AN EVALUATION FOR LEARNING DISORDERS is the topic of an article at the site of the Child Mind Institute. The article covers who can do an evaluation, the components, the possible need for a neuropsych eval, the process, and more. Find the article.

WHAT'S CHA? The initials refer to complementary health approaches, alternative treatments that can include things like mindfulness but also massage, vitamins, and aromatherapy. An article at The New York Times says that about a third of parents will disclose CHA to their doctors, although that number might be low. The article encourages parents to have open conversations with the child's healthcare provider about anything being provided at home for health reasons. Find the article.

MORE ON SCREENS. Yes, we know we presented several items in our previous blog, but here's a new one with potentially significant ramifications. It's an article by a researcher describing what he found about the link between screen time and depression plus suicide attempts. For example: "We found that teens who spent five or more hours a day online were 71 percent more likely than those who spent less than an hour a day to have at least one suicide risk factor (depression, thinking about suicide, making a suicide plan or attempting suicide)." Read more. (NOTE: While the site where the article appears, is unfamiliar to us, a media credibility site indicates that IFLScience publishes accurate information.)

GHF has announced that its summer online class schedule is available now and that its fall schedule is coming soon. GHF is 2e-friendly, so if you're looking for enrichment or something for homeschooling, check it out.

2e CENTER PD. The 2e Center for Research and Professional Development in Studio City, California, has scheduled a six-day professional development experience for educators of 2e students. Titled “Master Classes in 2e Education,” the June event is an opportunity to explore practical strategies in strength-based instruction, multi-modal curriculum, literacy development, and mathematics through understanding. A seminar series in academic and emotional regulation and in executive function will provide insight and unique approaches for student success, says the 2e Center. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING talks to the producer of the movies "2e: Twice Exceptional" and "2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional." TiLT's Debbie Reber says, "In our conversation, Tom [Ropelewski] shares his story and personal why behind making these films, talks about the educational model at Bridges, describes how his films are helping to bring awareness of 2e kids’ into the mainstream, and gives us a sneak peek at his new film coming out later this year." Find the podcast.

DYSLEXIA. From Science Daily: "Many of the current US Federal and State dyslexia laws should be scrapped as they ignore scientific evidence and privilege some poor readers at the expense of huge numbers of others, according to a leading expert in reading disability." Find the article.

DEPRESSION. Lots of items over the past weeks. Here are the headlines.

Monday, March 5, 2018

2e Classroom, Left Brain/Right Brain, Blogs, Webinars, More

FINDING A PLACE. A school in the Minneapolis area, Lionsgate Academy, was the topic of a recent NPR story for its classroom devoted to twice-exceptional students. Its website says, "Lionsgate Academy is a public charter school with a mission to serve all students, including those previously diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and those on the autism spectrum in their transition years (grades 7 through 12)." The story profiles a young man, Joey, whose giftedness wasn't being served in the public system. Of that kind of neglect, one of Joey's classmates, a possible future engineer or astronomer, says in the article, "We've been degraded all our lives by society in thinking that we're, quote, 'retarded,' but we've proven that even being part of this class we're not, and we're exploring that even further." Find the article.

LEFT BRAIN, RIGHT BRAIN, fact and fiction, is the topic of an article at Medical News Today. Read the article to find out what research says about brain dominance and brain activity during specific tasks.

SCREEN TIME, yet again. From the Washington Post: "Screens aren't completely bad for kids, according to new book." Find it. From Medical News Today: "Too much TV in childhood takes its toll as a teen." Find it. Want even more? Check "The hidden costs of letting your children be raised by screens and smart devices" at CNBC. Then flip a coin to determine your family's screen time strategy.

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. The U.S. Department of education is revising the way it investigates civil rights discrimination; these cases include discrimination based on learning disabilities. Some observers fear a weakening of civil rights enforcement. Find out more. Note that this action comes after a rise in disability discrimination complaints in 2017. Separately, the DOE has released its annual report to Congress on the implementation of IDEA. At almost 300 pages, it's formidable, giving details on numbers served in various age branches, how services were provided, and graduation rates of those served. Check the "Key Findings" section starting on page xxi. Find the report.

UNDERSTOOD offers an article on bullying as it relates to children with learning and attention issues. The article covers causes, types, effects, and how to help and prevent. Find the article.

ADDITUDE is offering a free webinar on March 15 titled "Cracking the ADHD Medication Maze," advice on getting, affording, and refilling prescriptions. Find out more.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Psychologist Gail Post has written two blog articles recently. One, titled "Stop ridiculing gifted kids," is a response to another online article Post read and evidently felt compelled to react to. She asks, "Why is neurotypical learning ability fair game" for labels like "obnoxious." Find the post. In her second post, she tells what gifted children will not learn from academics and how parents can help instill traits/skills like tolerance, humility, endurance, and others. Find the post.

SENG is offering a March 8th webinar on "Evidence-based Stress and Anxiety Management for Gifted Students." A fee applies. Find out more.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE, a newsletter for the 2e community by Julie Skolnick, is out in its March edition, with Julie's blog, articles, and pointers to events and resources. Find the newsletter.

TiLT PARENTING offers Part 2 of "A 'Masterclass' in Executive Functioning with Seth Perler." Find it.

AET CORRECTION. The dates and place for the annual conference of the Association for Educational Therapists are November 2-4 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois (a northwest suburb of Chicago). Find out more.

Monday, February 26, 2018

ADHD Treatment "Myth Busting"; Depression Treatment; and Resources for Educators, Parents

MAVERICK? PSEUDOSCIENTIST? Psychologist Devon MacEachron, in Part 2 of her "Myth Busters: Alternative Therapies for 2e Learners," takes on the Amen Clinics. Dr. Daniel Amen has a chain of clinics and purports to treat ADHD, addiction, anxiety, depression, etc, etc. Using her own family's experience with one of the clinics as well as her PhD background, MacEachron lays out three reasons why she wouldn't recommend the treatment... and backs that up with opinions from two prominent experts in the field of mental health. Find Myth Busters.

AND SPEAKING OF ADHD, Smart Kinds with Learning Disabilities has a new post centering on the question, "Is Your Child (with ADHD) Ready for Babysitting." Find it.

DEPRESSION. NewsWise has posted an article on the evidence (and cautions) concerning the use of ketamine as a fast-acting treatment for depression, especially in patients who seem "treatment-resistant." Also discussed: other drugs in the "glutamatergic" category. Find the article. Separately, The Atlantic just published an interview with the author of Blue Dreams, which "explores the history of antidepressants, the science behind them, and the novel treatments that might soon replace them. " The interview focuses on SSRIs and their effectiveness (or lack thereof). It touches on psychedelics for use in the treatment of depression. And it makes an interesting point about the supposed targeted, "site-specific" nature of treatment with SSRIs: "’s almost preposterous to think that you can target just the serotonin system in the brain, because the serotonin system is linked to the dopamine system, which is linked to the norepinephrine system, which is linked to the other neurotransmitter systems." Think about that for a while. Find the interview.

FOR EDUCATORS OF THE GIFTED, the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa has an annual Fellowship Program in Gifted Education. This year the program is from June 24-29. The organizers say, "Participants live on campus for a week, collaborating with others who have a commitment to understanding more about high-ability learners, as well as understanding research-based strategies that facilitate authentic talent development among their district’s most capable students." Find out more.

2e SUMMER CAMP. The Quad Manhattan runs a six-week summer day camp for twice-exceptional children; age grouping range from pre-K/K to 7th grade and up. Find out more.

SENG is offering a weekly online parent support event on the topic of 2e parenting. The group runs from February 27 through April 3. Find out more. This is through SENG Connect, a variety of services available to paid SENG members free of additional charge. Find out more about membership.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Items about Policy and Law

EDUCATION FUNDING. The National Center for Education Statistics has released a report and database showing how much each state spends on education and where those funds come from. Total education spending on K-12 schools in the US in the recent year analyzed: $628 billion. Education Week reported on this; find it and find your state. (The interactive database tool also displays the changes in funding sources (state, local, federal) between 1990 and now.)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. A recent survey showed that while Americans have an overhelmingly favorable opinions about the Postal Service, about 42 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the Department of Education. What's the deal? The research doesn't say; find it.

K-12 529 PLANS AND THE STATES. Now that 529 plans are allowed to provide a vehicle for parents to save for K-12 education expenses and spend. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 30 states provide tax breaks for those who contribute -- but the worry is that more of those breaks will decrease total state revenue. Read the article.

IMPLEMENTNG SCHOOL SAFETY. The organization Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys posted its position on school safety and looks at what schools can do, part of which is making sure IDEA is fully implemented to help those who might become marginalized. It also notes, "Schools can build strong social, emotional, and behavioral programs." The statement goes on to note that the most recent federal funding proposal would reduce funding for programs aligned with these efforts. Find the statement. Separately, US News notes, "President Donald Trump is calling for a focus on mental health and school safety in response to shootings like the one that took 17 lives in Florida, but his budget would cut funding in both areas." Find the US News article.

AND FINALLY, THIS, from Science Daily: "A new research report shows that a high ranking in the Human Development Index is connected with the availability of mental health services. In a comparison between 17 European and Asian countries, Norway, Switzerland and Finland had the highest ratio of child and adolescent psychiatrists." The study didn't include the United States. The best ratios of availability were around one child psychiatrist for every 2100 children. Find the study. In the United States, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, there are 8300 child psychiatrists. With an estimated child population of 73 million, the ratio of psychiatrists is one to about 8800 children.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lots of Pointers to Blogs/Podcasts, Other Resources

BLOG HOP. The folks at Gifted Homeschoolers Forum have posted another "blog hop," this one about "The Light at the End of the Tunnel." And the blogs are not just about gifted... or homeschooling... but also about "differently wired" kids -- like ours. Go to "the hop," which includes some of our favorite writers.

TiLT PARENTING'S newest podcast is "A 'Masterclass' in Executive Functioning," with Seth Perter. Debbie Reber says, "In this episode, Seth shares with us his protocol for setting up a child for success in their developing executive functioning skills. In part 2 next week, Seth will go in-depth into his specific strategies surrounding building these skills in school and in life." Find the podcast.

BULLYING. A "Mind Matters" podcast on bullying features 2e Newsletter contributor Cathy Risberg, who with the podcast host discuss "the impact of bullying on the learning ability and environment of gifted kids." Find the podcast.

THE BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR RESEARCH FOUNDATION sponsors a video series titled "Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein." Topics include concussion and anxiety in youth, among others. Find the series.

GIFTED RESOURCES NEWSLETTER, from Jo Freitag in Australia, is back after a hiatus. Find the current issue and say "welcome back" to Jo.

CONFERENCE. The annual conference of the Association of Educational Therapists is scheduled for October 20-22 in Irvine, California. The theme: 'technology and innovative practice" Chances are you might encounter and educational therapist somewhere in your 2e journey. The organization says, "Educational therapists provide a broad range of individualized educational interventions for children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges." Find out more.

UNDERSTOOD offers an article titled "The Difference Between Typical Anxiety and an Anxiety Problem." Find the article.

  • ASD diagnosis. Medical News Today reports on the development of a blood/urine test that predicts ASD with a 92 percent accuracy. Find the study write-up, or read about it in Newsweek
  • Depression treatment. A recent study, a meta-analysis, examined the effectiveness of 21 types of antidepressants. Time says, "The researchers found that every type of antidepressant they studied was more effective at lessening symptoms of depression over time than placebo. They considered a drug “effective” if it reduced depression symptoms by 50% or more." Read more
  • The normal brain. From Science Daily: "There's nothing wrong with being a little weird. Because we think of psychological disorders on a continuum, we may worry when our own ways of thinking and behaving don't match up with our idealized notion of health. But some variability can be healthy and even adaptive, say researchers, even though it can also complicate attempts to identify standardized markers of pathology." Find the study write-up
  • Mental health and pets. From Medical News Today: "A new meta-analysis of 17 academic papers finds evidence that having a pet benefits people with mental health problems. The research also reviews the pet owners' testimonials, laying out the various ways that pets offer them much-needed solace." Read more

Monday, February 19, 2018

Request for Input, Events, Mental Healthcare, More

WE'RE OBSERVING "PRESIDENTS DAY" in the U.S. -- a time to take inspiration from past leaders who have been instrumental in our nation's founding and survival, and to reflect on how much difference an effective president might make on everyday issues important to the 2e community, such as FAPE, mental health, and civil rights. A tip of the hat to George, Abe, and our other illustrious presidents.

ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES. The editor of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter would, for an upcoming issue, like to know what has and hasn’t worked in terms of using online instruction. The editor would like to hear parent stories about the role that online learning resources play in their children’s lives:
  • As their primary means of learning (such as attending a virtual school)
  • As a supplement to homeschooling or classroom learning
  • As a means of pursuing interests or developing talents
Got a story to share? Email "editor" at Thanks!

2e CENTER SYMPOSIUM. If you didn't attend last October's symposium sponsored by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development in Los Angeles but are curious about what you missed, you can read a "compendium" of the weekend's events online. Find it.

ITAG 2e WORKSHOP. The Iowa Talented and Gifted Association has posted details about its April workshop for educators on meeting the needs of twice-exceptional students. Find the details.

MENTAL HEALTHCARE. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation has shared comments by a former director of the National Institute for Mental Health on challenges facing mental healthcare in this country. The remarks were by Dr. Pardes at the David Rogers Health Policy Colloquium at Weill Cornell Medical College; find them.

2e2: TEACHING THE TWICE EXCEPTIONAL is the name of the sequel to the movie "2e: Twice Exceptional." The first announced screening we've seen of the sequel is at the Whole Child Academy on Long Island on March 15th. Find out more.

ADVOCACY RESOURCE. Wrightslaw puts on workshops across the country, often sponsored by a local organization. Some of the workshops have provisions for scholarships; others are reasonably priced and may even offer a couples package. Spring workshops are scheduled in Florida, Missouri, and Maryland. Find out more about the session in your state.

TECA is offering an encore of a workshop, "Parenting and the Art of War," on March 1st. This is a video conference featuring Neil Weintraub, who TECA says "brings a truly unique perspective to parenting twice exceptional children. Calling upon strategies first laid out in ancient Chinese texts thousands of years ago, Mr. Weintraub outlines a fresh paradigm for thinking about parent-child interactions." Find out more

REMEMBER FENIKS? it's the Dutch 2e drop-out center we wrote about in our coverage of last fall's NAGC convention, and we suggested that readers be on the lookout for the presenters of the session because they were planning on spending months in the U.S. in 2018. An upcoming opportunity is February 21 in San Mateo, California, at a benefit for the Gifted Support Center. Organizers say, "Main topics discussed will be perfectionism, intrinsic motivation, performance anxiety, peer relationships and mindsets." Find out more

  • Reading and eye exams. From Science Daily: "Elementary school children who read below grade level may have challenges with their eyesight even if standard tests show they see 20/20, according to a new study." Find the study write-up
  • Identifying reading challenges. Education Dive says that new methods of screening can help identify reading challenges earlier. Read more
  • Depression. An article at NewsWise notes the shortage of child psychiatrists but says pediatricians can play an important role in diagnosing and treating depressing in adolescents. Read more

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Endrew F, Personalized Learning, Events, Science, More

ENDREW F. This case continues to reverberate. COPAA, the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys, notes that in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision the case went back to a U.S. District court. COPAA says, “The district court affirmed that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Endrew F. does in fact require a ‘new standard’ for determining progress on a child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) goals and that such goals that must be appropriately ambitious and challenging. COPAA has long advocated that every child’s IEP is developed and implemented to ensure educational progress is both the goal and the outcome. Every child with a disability should have the opportunity to achieve commensurate with their non-disabled peers and this new standard requires every state, district and school to do what it takes to make that happen.” Read more. Separately, Understood has released an "Endrew F Advocacy Toolkit." It includes talking points for advocating for a student and a worksheet for improving an IEP. Find the toolkit.

PERSONALIZED LEARNING, something that can help twice-exceptional students -- and all students -- is put in context by an article at the Hechinger Report. Over the past centuries, says the report, education went from being localized to mass produced -- resulting in less flexibility, better quality,and higher access. "Time for the next transformation... from industrial to post-industrial; from mass production to mass personalization; more flexibility, higher quality." The conclusion of the article is that "the future of learning as blended, individuated, fluid and hands-on. Learning science supports his vision. The question is whether schools can be reorganized to do the same." Find the article.

CAG CONFERENCE. The program for the CAG (California Association for the Gifted) annual conference is now online; find it.

SUMMER ADVOCACY INSTITUTE. The annual William and Mary Law Institute of Special Education is scheduled for July 29 to August 3. Says Wrightslaw, "The purpose of this program is to provide training in special education advocacy for experienced advocates, law students, new attorneys, and attorneys who are new to special education law. The program will include 22+ sessions on applicable laws, ethics, best practices in advocacy, strategies in working with parents and schools, and dispute resolution procedures, taught by national leaders in the field.. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is conversation about "The Art of Screen Time" with Anya 
KamenetzSays TiLT founder Debbie Reber, "In our conversation, Anya shares what she learned about kids and screen time, as well as her takeaways on the latest research surrounding screen time and differently wired kids. I can’t promise this episode will end screen time struggles in your home (if you have them), but it will give you some food for thought regarding how much is too much, what problematic screen usage looks like, and more." Find the podcast.

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. This week was federal budget proposal week in the United States. Here are a couple reactions to and analysis of education-related budget proposals.

  • The Council for Exceptional Children frankly doesn't like the education budget proposal, stating "President Trump’s FY 2019 budget proposal undermines public education and neglects children and youth with exceptionalities, slashing the U.S. Department of Education’s budget by approximately 5.4 percent." Read more
  • The Associated Press says, "School choice advocates will find something to cheer in Trump’s budget," then lists reasons why. It concludes, "Overall, the budget calls for a $7.1 billion, a 10.5 percent decrease from 2017. On the chopping block is $5.9 million in teacher preparation and aftercare programs." Read more. (Scroll down to the "Education" section.)

  • New research shows common patterns of genetic activity in five disorders that include autism and depression. Said a researcher, “Psychiatric disorders have no obvious pathology in the brain, but now we have the genomic tools to ask what actually goes awry in these brains.” Read more
  • Other research offers the first solid evidence that functional MRI scans of brain entropy are a new means to understanding human intelligence, according to Science Daily. "NYU School of Medicine researchers used a specialized imaging technology to measure patients' brains for entropy, the variety of nerve circuits used to interpret the surrounding world." Find the study write-up, and be advised: the use of the word "entropy" in the research may be different than you're used to. 
  • OCD is the subject of two recent studies. Newswise says, "UCLA researchers have developed a way to use brain scans and machine learning — a form of artificial intelligence — to predict whether people with OCD will benefit from cognitive behavior therapy." Read more. And Science Daily writes, "Adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have widespread learning and memory problems, according to new research. The findings have already been used to assist adolescents with OCD obtain the help they needed at school to realize their potential -- including helping one individual go on to university." Find the study write-up
AND FINALLY, THIS, from the American College for Sports Medicine. “Energy drinks are extremely popular and concerns about their consumption are coming from every sector of society,” said John Higgins, MD, FACSM. “Our review of the available science showed that excessive levels of caffeine found in energy drinks can have adverse effects on cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, renal and endocrine systems, as well as psychiatric symptoms. More needs to be done to protect children and adolescents, as well as adults with cardiovascular or other medical conditions.” Read more.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Parental Challenges, 30 Years of 2e, Screen Time, Mooney, More

THOSE RAISING 2e kiddos often feel their families are different than others. How would you feel if someone observed you and your bright ODD child -- or Asperger's child, or SPD child, or ADHD -- in public and called the police because it didn't look like you were bringing up your child correctly? Read about a family who had this experience.

SUSAN WINEBRENNER, a writer and consultant concerned with 2e issues, wrote a piece called "A tale of 2 twice-exceptional learners, 30 years apart." In it, she relates the long-ago story of a gifted but disorganized boy who, with the attention of school staff, was identified and served in a way that allowed him to graduate from high school at 15. Her current example is one of "cluster grouping" that purposefully includes "atypically gifted" students in gifted cluster groupings. It helped a young gifted student with work refusal issues and behavior problems "integrate" into the curriculum. Find Winebrenner's piece.

SCREEN TIME IS ALL RIGHT, at least for this week. That according to an Inc. report on a 20,000-family study in the UK. The lead researcher is quoted: "Our findings suggest that there is little or no support for the theory that digital screen use, on its own, is bad for young children's psychological wellbeing." Read it, and wait to see what research brings us on the topic next week.

JONATHAN MOONEY brings his brand of neurodiversity advocacy to California State University/Channel Islands this week on the 13th. If you're a fan -- or haven't ever heard Mooney -- find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABIITIES has a new post titled "ADHD Supports Are Often Ineffective." It refers to a study showing that for most students with with services in IEP or 504 plans, "the supports were not evidence-based practices known to help students with ADHD." Read more.

GIFTEDNESS, ACHIEVEMENT. Last week we pointed to a GHF blog hop on the relationship of giftedness and achievement. By coincidence, a bog at Michigan State University GATE on the meaning of giftedness included a section addressing the question "Are high achievers and gifted learners the same?" Find the blogger's answer.

DOE OCR CASES. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights now has 
on its website a listing of pending cases in K-12 and college institutions. The cases are listed under the headings of race/national origin discrimination; sex discrimination; and -- of most interest to those here -- disability discrimination. Go there to see if a familiar institution is facing investigation.

GIFTED EQUITY. We noted last week that student of color can be underrepresented in gifted programs, and that one of the reasons might be parental unfamiliarity with how to "game" the system. An African-American writer at Black Enterprise gives her perspective on the issue. She writes, "It isn’t enough to be a well-educated parent or high-income. You can have several Ph.D.’s and earn six figures, but what counts is knowing how to work the system, being motivated enough for your children’s sake to persist in working it, and having the means to do so." Read more.

UNDERSTOOD has an upcoming webinar titled "You're Ready to Advocate for Learning and Attention Issues. Now What?" It features experts from NCLD, the National Center for Learning Disabilities and is scheduled for 2pm ET this Thursday. Find out more.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos held a Q&A with reporters last week about her first year in office, covering topics such as school choice, regulatory rollbacks, ESSA, Congress, and her priorities for 2018. Find the Q&A.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Withholding Special Ed Services; "Resolving" ADHD?; Blog Hop; And More

SPECIAL ED SERVICES can be part of the mix for a 2e student. Remember how the state of Texas capped enrollment in special ed at an arbitrary percentage of the student population? Now it seems that the Chicago Public School system did an "overhaul" two years ago that resulted in a loss of services to the special ed population. The situation was exposed by pubic radio station WBEZ in Chicago, and it can serve as instruction in how a school system -- maybe even yours -- can shirk its federally mandated responsibility to provide a free, appropriate public education to students with learning disabilities, and can obfuscate in the process. Find the article. Special ed attorney Matt Cohen, who has written for 2e Newsletter, is quoted in the article and is part of a coalition demanding a state investigation of Chicago's special ed practices.

HOPE? OR HYPE? Bloomberg Businessweek reports on the Brain Balance Achievement Centers that promise to "help children who have recognized conditions such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, as well as harder-to-pin-down varieties of academic and social struggles." The founder of the centers is Robert Melillo, a chiropractor, who, according to the reportage, specializes in functional neurology.... "Melillo believes he’s developed a cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism—although he wouldn’t use the word 'cure.' Where establishment doctors see chronic disability, Melillo sees an imbalance in the brain, a lag in development and connectivity on one side or the other that can be, in his preferred term, 'resolved.'" He charges lots, and parents are evidently paying. Find the article. (One quote from the article about the lack of research underlying Brain Balance's methods: "Just because something’s not proven, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.")

BLOG HOP! Gifted Homeschoolers Forum hosts blogs hops in which bloggers address a particular topic from their particular perspectives. A current topic is "Why Is High-Achieving Synonymous with Being Gifted?" Sounds like lots of room for discussion there. Find the blogs -- at the hop. ("Well, you can rock it you can roll it / You can stop and you can stroll it at the hop..." 😃)

TiLT PARENTING'S latest podcast is with Michelle Garcia Winner on social thinking. TiLT's founder Debbie says, "In our conversation, we talk about the concept of social thinking—what it is and why it matters for our kids, how it can be taught and learned, how we as parents can nurture social thinking in our kids, and much more." Find the podcast.

UNDERSTOOD offers an article on "How to Decode Teacher Comments for Signs of Learning and Attention Issues." If you read this blog or 2e Newsletter, chances are pretty good you already have a concern with those issues, but the article might provide clarity when you hear comments such as “The stories he tells are great, but I don’t see nearly the same detail and imagination in his writing journal." Find the article. Separately, Understood has an upcoming "Expert Chat" on ADHD and executive functioning issues. Find out more.

FOR GIFTED ADVOCACY MAVENS. NAGC has scheduled its 2018 Leadership and Advocacy Conference for March 18-20 in Washington, DC. Find out more.

ADHD RESEARCH. From Science Daily: "Five novel genetic variants associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have been identified by exploiting genetic overlap between ADHD and educational attainment." Find the study write-up.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Advocacy, Playtime, Parenting, More

CELEBRITY IN THE HEARTLAND. The Bloomington, Illinois Pantagraph reports that Patricia Palacco visited a local elementary school last week. As Bob Seney fans know, Palacco writes children's literature, some of which is especially appropriate for 2e kiddos because she is dyslexic. She told the class, ““If you’re getting special help, you stick out your chest. If he were alive now, Albert Einstein would be in that room with you. “Every single one of you is gifted, but we don’t open our gifts at the same time. Cut yourself some slack.” Find the article, and find Seney's reviews of her books at our website.

PLAYTIME for kids is something to take seriously. At The New York Times, read about research on play and what the experts say. From the article: "As children get older, we need to keep an eye on whether their schools give them time to play, we need to help them go on engaging with the world around them, and we might even be able to make that world a better environment for learning and play." Find the article.

PLAY, EDUCATION, MORE. But over at Education Dive, we get a slightly less varnished view of play from Sir Ken Robinson as part of an address at the 38th Annual Future of Education Technology Conference. "Play is also important in feeding collaboration and creativity, but Robinson noted the conformity, compliance and competition reform approach, interwoven with digital culture, has seen play fall by the wayside to the point that some experts act as if there's been some sort of breakthrough when it's reintroduced and improves performance." His wit was apparent in other topics he addressed, for example noting that the educational testing business has revenue exceeding that of the National Football League and then claiming “And none of it has led to an iota of improvement in schools themselves, or in the motivation of kids or the morale of teachers." Find the article to get a new perspective on education... and play.

PARENTING THE TWICE-EXCEPTIONAL can be difficult, as we all are aware. A guest blogger at ADDitude offers tips for keeping the marriage together during such parenting. The title is, “Raising an Extreme Child Requires an Extreme Marriage.” Find the blog.

GIFTED EQUITY. ABC News reports on one form of gifted inequity, where African-American and Hispanic students may miss out on opportunities for gifted programs because of the expense of private evaluations or the knowledge of the appeals process that might secure a seat at prestigious magnet schools. Read more.

INTERVENTIONS FOR DEPRESSION, ANXIETY. From Medscape: "A single-session intervention (SSI) can produce long-lasting reductions in depression, anxiety, and internalizing problems in high-risk adolescents, new research shows.... Results showed that compared to the control intervention, the mindset intervention significantly improved depression and anxiety. The benefits continued through the 9-month follow-up period." Find the study write-up.

DON'T FORGET about the advocacy resources at the site of 2e Newsletter -- articles, books, and more on parental advocacy and self-advocacy for that 2e kiddo. Find it.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Equity in Gifted Ed, Service Providers for 2e, Old School Buses, and More

EQUITY IN GIFTED ED. The Fordham Institute released a report yesterday calling for universal screening for giftedness in children to ensure equitable access to gifted ed for children in varying demographics. NAGC, which has its own initiatives for equity, praised the release of the report. Find NAGC's comments. From there you can find more about the report -- and a link to the report itself. (And such universal screening would also presumably reveal you-know-what.)

TECA, Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy, has launched a 2e service provider database. The organization says, "We at TECA know first hand the frustration of continually searching for providers who understand our kids, and parents frequently contact us seeking recommendations for doctors, therapists, schools and other resources that can appropriately address the needs of their children." Find the database. (And keep in mind that a similar 2e Newsletter database can probably complement the TECA offering.)

STRENGTHS-BASED EDUCATION is at the core of what 2e-friendly schools like Bridges Academy do. An article at Edutopia shows how a public school teacher came to focus on the positive. "This light bulb moment made me realize that instead of mirroring students’ attitudes, fears, and anxieties, I needed to show them something different. For this reason, focusing on the positive is one of my most effective teaching techniques." Read more.

2e CONFERENCE. The 2018 edition of "Breakthroughs in Twice-exceptional Education" is on May 10-12 in New York City. The organizers have released additional information about speakers also a call for presentation proposals. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is a conversation with ADHD and autism parent coach Penny Williams. Debbie Reber says, "In our conversation, Penny shares her story of raising her differently wired son, gives us the inside scoop on her books, and shares some of her best strategies for getting through the tough moments with our unique kiddos." Find the podcast.

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. In the U.S. president's state of the union address this week, observers were looking for clues regarding education policy and law. CEC's Policy Insider noted what was in the address... and what was not. Read more.

  • Science Daily: "Amid a steady rise in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD, debate is brewing whether the condition may be a sleep disorder." Read more
  • Understood offers a piece titled "ADHD and Aggression: What You Need to Know." Find it
  • NewsWise: "Florida State University researchers are seeing promising results from “video games” they created as a potential new option to treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder without medication." Read more
  • The American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders ponders the question "Can improved research designs answer questions that come up between doctors and patients, like better understanding the risks and benefits of prescription medicine for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?" See what they have to say
  • And MD Magazine: "Analysis of data from the largest nationally drawn sample of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) collected in the past 2 decades revealed medication and school supports are more commonly provided than psychosocial treatments, and that rates of treatments vary between some demographic groups." Read more
AND FINALLY, THIS. What can you do with an old school bus? Lots of things, if an article at District Administration is any indication. In one district, creative ideas included "a bookmobile, mobile food pantry, an art center, and a space to reward positive behavior." Other districts see maker spaces, STEM labs, and a food bus. Read more.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Dyslexic Achiever, Parenting, Hyperfocus, and More

DYSLEXIC ACHIEVER. An alert reader noticed in an obituary of Ikea's founder that he was dyslexic... and also a somewhat unusual person. Thanks to Nancy M for bringing this to our attention. From the obit: "He grew up on a farm in the lake-dotted province of Smaland, in southern Sweden, a dyslexic boy who milked cows and found it hard to concentrate in school. His family was poor, and he earned money selling matches and pencils in villages." Read more.

PARENTING. New research indicates that the educational attainment of children may depend not only on the genes their parents pass down to them, but also on genes that are not passed down. Many different inherited gene variants influence how much education a child attains, but the variants don't account for all -- or even a majority -- of the results. Another major factor is genes in the parents that cause the parents to influence the child's education -- something called "genetic nurture." Read more.

MORE PARENTING. The Weinfeld Education Group has posted a conversation with one of the presenters at its next "Diamonds in the Rough" conference, a presenter who has co-authored a book called The Self-Driven Child. The authors' thesis is that "your kids are going to be more successful and less stressed, by you doing less"; that by exerting more control over your child, there's less left for the child to exert; and that parents should act more as consultants than task masters. Find the interview.

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA can consist of things such as parental divorce, death in the family, and more. NPR interviewed a pediatrician, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who has written a book called The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity. She writes of childhood trauma, "It can tip a child's developmental trajectory and affect physiology. It can trigger chronic inflammation and hormonal changes that can last a lifetime. It can alter the way DNA is read and how cells replicate, and it can dramatically increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes — even Alzheimer's." In her practice, she uses a screen to try to determine how much trauma a child has been exposed to. Find the interview.

DEBUNKING MYTHS about Gifted Students is the title of a recent (last month) article at Edutopia. Among the myths: Gifted students don't need scaffolding. Find t he article.

ARTICLES ON THE GIFTED draw the attention of psychologist Gail Post. At Gifted Challenges, she points to 10 "no-frills articles" on college planning for gifted kids. Find her blog post.

DEVON MACEACHRON blogs on ADHD, gifteness, and the ability to hyperfocus. The starting point is something she says she often hears from parents: "I don’t think my child has a problem with attention – he can focus really intensely on his cartoon-drawing (or video-gaming or Lego-building or reading) for hours at a time! In fact I can barely get him to stop. But his teachers complain he’s inattentive and distracted in the classroom. " If that's a familiar contradiction to you, find MacEachron's blog.

AMERICAN PRIORITIES. The Pew Research Center has done a poll which indicates that the second highest national priority for Americans is education, just below terrorism and above the economy. (And we say, if that's the case how come we're not doing more about it?) Education writer Valerie Strauss discusses the research at the Washington Post; or you can find out more at the site of the Pew Research Center.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

2e Book, Reports, Podcasts, More

SCOTT BARRY KAUFMAN's new book is out. It's titled Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties. In an article at Scientific American, Kaufman says the book "provides cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches to creating an environment where twice-exceptional students can thrive. Viewing the 2e student as neither exclusively disabled nor exclusively gifted, but, rather, as a dynamic interaction of both, leading experts offer holistic insight into identification, social-emotional development, advocacy, and support for 2e students." Subscribers to 2e Newsletter will recognize many chapter authors. Find out more at Amazon.

MORE READING. IDEA mavens can find The 39th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) online. The Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA), which pointed us to the report, says, "The report describes our nation’s progress in (1) providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities under IDEA, Part B, and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families under IDEA, Part C; (2) ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected; (3) assisting states and localities in providing for the education of all children with disabilities; and (4) assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities." Find the report.

AND ANOTHER REPORT. The Child Mind Institute has posted its "2017 Children's Mental Health Report," featuring the teen years. Find it.

JONATHAN MOONEY and psychologist Dan Peters talk in a recent "Parent Footprint" podcast. The podcast intro says, "Dr. Dan and Jonathan have a deep and deeply moving discussion about self-advocacy, why students should have a participatory role in their own education, the empowerment that comes from choices, and so much more. Jonathan also talks about his inspiring mother, his challenging relationship with his own father, differences don’t have to be deficits or less than, and the impact of shame." Find it.

TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is an "Asher Special." Debbie Reber says, "In this new Kid’s POV special, Asher and I talk about areas of interest, as in, what it’s like for Asher to have a deep area of interest, how he’d like me as his parent to support his interests, why he gets interested in the things he does, and more. So if you have a child who likes to dive deep into things — Legos or dinosaurs or trains or bugs — you might gain some useful insights from our conversation." Find the podcast.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES takes on some common myths about special ed. For example: if you get passing grades, you don't need special ed. Or: anxiety doesn't qualify you for special ed. Find the myths and explanations.


  • From Science Daily: A recent article explores how a protein named CK2 could play a key role in the formulation of new antidepressants that work more efficiently and faster for more people. The study authors "are the first ones to identify CK2 as a modulator of a serotonin receptor, 5-HT4. Manipulation of CK2 in the brain decreases depressive and anxious states through the 5-HT4 receptor." Find the study write-up
  • From NewsWise: Depression "education" can help teens affected with the condition. Johns Hopkins University has a long-running depression literacy program that enabled participants to be more knowledgeable, and, therefore, presumably likely to seek help. Read more
  • From Physician's Briefing: A study indicates that teens with depression who did not want to take antidepressants, or who quit taking them, can be helped in a cost-effective way by cognitive behavioral therapy. Find the study write-up

Monday, January 22, 2018

Not Achieving, Creativity, LDA Conference, More

THEY GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL, but then a third of top-performing students don't finish college, according to Education Dive. The reasons listed vary, but you-know-what and lack of support could certainly impede progress for our students. The article also points to a video news release about the report that is the basis for the findings mentioned. Find the article.

HOW'S YOUR KID'S CONNECTIVITY? Brain connectivity, that is. Scientists studying brain scans of people who were asked to come up with inventive uses for everyday objects found a specific pattern of connectivity that correlated with the most creative responses, according to Science Daily. Researchers were then able to use that pattern to predict how creative other people's responses would be based on their connections in this network. Find the study write-up. (Maybe someday fMRIs will be part of a comprehensive evaluation given to all children to find strengths and challenges. 😀 )

LDA, the Learning Disabilities Association of America, is holding is annual conference in Atlanta on February 21-24. This could be a resource for families and educators focusing on the non-gifted exceptionalities, because the association describes itself as "the 'go-to organization for the latest information on specific learning disabilities." The word "gifted" does not appear in the conference program, nor does the term "twice-exceptional," but a look at the program reveals sessions on SLDs that could be of particular interest to you, and sessions on topics such as advocacy and law. Find out more about the conference. Find the program.

ACCOMMODATING STUDENTS WITH ASD is the topic of an article at The article describes an "explosion" of students on the spectrum, and also describes how schools there are providing services and accommodations. One of the students profiled is twice exceptional. Find the article.

BOOK RESOURCE. The Davidson Institute has a summary in its database of a new book by Jim Delisle. It's titled Doing Poorly on Purpose: Strategies to Reverse Underachievement and Respect Student Dignity, and it's published by Free Spirit Publishing. Read more.

MORE BOOKS. In her last email, TiLT founder Debbie Reber had a pointer to a list of parenting books at Publisher's Weekly. The list also included Reber's new book, Differently Wired. Find the Publisher's Weekly column.

WEBINAR. Seng has an upcoming webinar on helping adolescents reach their potential rather than dropping out. The presenters operate the Feniks [Phoenix] Talent Center in the Netherlands, and presented at last fall's NAGC convention. Find out more about the event.

LIVE WORKSHOP. Transdisciplinary Workshops is holding a March 9 event titled "Therapeutic Interventions for Nonverbal Learning Disabilities and Students with Slow Information Processing." Find out more.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Landmark College has two upcoming online courses relevant to educators who work with neurodiverse learners. One is "Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners." The other is "Student Engagement, Self-regulation, and Motivation." Find out more.

  • According to a national register study comparing Finnish birth cohorts from 1987 and 1997, an increasing number of adolescents receive a psychiatric or neurodevelopmental diagnosis. The number of diagnosed adolescents increased especially for girls in the younger cohort. Find the study write-up
  • New research shows that programs aimed at enriching the curriculum and challenging gifted students has tangible, quantifiable payoffs. The German research "examined whether the [gifted-specific] program has effects on children's cognitive skills, academic achievement, epistemic curiosity, creativity, self-control or social competencies." Read more.