Friday, January 19, 2018

Landmark College, ADHD, Plus Debbie, Jen, Julie, and More

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION interviewed Peter Eden, president of Landmark College, where all students are "neurodiverse." Eden covers the college's approach to instruction, including universal design; how there's been a culture change regarding learning differences over the past decades; and his own career path from molecular biologist to college president. Find the interview.

ON UNIVERSAL DESIGN: Find out more about how UDL can help students who learn differently in a recent article at Education Dive.

ADHD MEDS, YOUNG WOMEN. "The percentage of young adult women who filled prescriptions for drugs used to treat attention deficit disorder has increased more than fivefold since 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday." This from The New York Times. Read more.

GIFTED AND TALENTED AND COMPLICATED is a review about a book on child prodigies, but, as the review says, "The best advice for managing a child prodigy may be a wise strategy for parenting any child, including the many, many nonbrilliant ones." The reviewer also writes, "The special challenge for prodigies is that they are exceptional in more ways than one." (Sound familiar?) The reviewer notes the prevalence of ADHD, OCD, or Asperger's among gifted young people. The long book recaps the lives of a variety of young prodigies. Find the review.

HEALTH BARRIERS TO LEARNING include problems with vision or hearing, uncontrlled asthma, and mental health and behavioral problems, among other barriers. A recent study notes that while these problems might be caught in an annual checkup, many children do not receive those. Part of the research showed that only 49 state require a comprehensive health exam before entering school. Find out more, but then consider the benefits to requiring as part of school entrance a comprehensive evaluation for learning strengths and weaknesses.

JEN THE BLOGGER offers her opinion on certain critical skills a 2e teen should have before leaving home. For example: how to say no and how to accept no. Find her blog.

TiLT PARENTING has made the content of a couple recent podcasts available as transcripts, notably Debbie's conversation with the author of Neurotribes and with Dan Siegel on helping kids develop a "yes" brain.

THE DAVIDSON INSTITUTE'S January newsletter is out, and it focuses on upcoming DITD opportunities and the deadlines for taking advantage of those opportunities, such as the Davidson Fellows Scholarship, THINK Summer Institute and Davidson Academy's Online High School. Find the newsletter.

UNDERSTOOD has an upcoming Twitter chat titled "Supporting Kids with Dyslexia." It's scheduled for January 24 at noon Eastern time. Find out more.

SYCAMORE SCHOOL. We recently noted this new 2e-friendly middle/high school in Arlington, Virginia. The school has regular tours for parents and prospective attendees to become acquainted with Sycamore's offerings, and has also scheduled a talk by Julie Skolnick on "understanding Your Twice-Exceptional Child." Find the school's event schedule.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ADHD, Education Tips, Events, More

PROBLEMS THAT MIMIC ADHD. "...ADHD isn’t the only problem that can cause a child to have trouble with concentration, behavior, or school performance. There are actually lots of problems that can cause symptoms that mimic ADHD, which is why it’s really important to do a careful evaluation before giving that diagnosis." This from the Harvard Health Blog. The post lists five common problems that can confound the process of determining whether a child has ADHD. Find out more. (Free sign-up might be required to access this.)

2e SEMINAR. We've mentioned this seminar elsewhere, but an article at the WKU Daily News provides information about the January 24th event at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green. Julia Link Roberts is quoted. Find the article.

EDUCATION TIP. An article at Edutopia explains that how students "process" and their learning preferences are key to effective classroom Q&A. Noting that the average teacher waits just .9 second after asking a question, the writer suggests that teachers wait five to 15 seconds before calling on students, noting "there is a real need to increase the time granted to students to process what they know and to make sense of what they do not understand." Read more to see if this applies to your learner.

LANDMARK COLLEGE's Institute for Research and Training has published its January newsletter. In it is an article titled "A Call for Collaboration Between Disability Services and Academic Advising." That collaboration surely makes sense, but the article states "Generally, little direct interaction takes place between DS professionals and advisors..." Read more. Separately, the newsletter notes an upcoming webinar for March 2 titled "Supporting Students with Learning Differences in the College Search." Find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers a new post titled "Making Friends in College." In the post are four tips for new colleges students, provided by what sounds like a recent college student who was apparently successful at this crucial college task. Find the post.

SENG has opened registration for its 2018 conference in San Diego, scheduled for July 20-22. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is with the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. TiLT's Debbie Reber says, "In our conversation, Steve and I talk about neurodifference, acceptance, tolerance, changing cultures, systemic change, and so much more. ...Steve brings an incredible breadth of knowledge, as well as passion for the neurodiversity movement, to the show." Find the podcast.

UNDERSTOOD offers an upcoming chat, "How Motor Skills Affect Learning and Making Friends," scheduled for January 23 at 2pm ET. Find out more.

AND FINALLY, THIS -- not especially 2e-related but possibly relevant to an issue at your house. The Washington Post, in its "On Parenting" section, has an article about what teens wish parents knew about social media. The author shares some secrets (like how teens can use fake accounts to confound parental monitoring)... and also some things kids would like parents to do (such as, "Talk with us about the apps we like to use and why.") Find the article.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Texas, NAGC, Child Mind Institute, Huge Teen Brain Study, and More

DEAR TEXAS. The New York Times reports: "In a letter to the Texas Education Agency, which oversees education in the state, regulators from the federal Department of Education said the state agency’s decision to set a 'target' for the maximum percentage of students who should receive special education services had violated federal laws requiring schools to serve all students with disabilities." Read more.

NAGC is elaborating on its "Minds. Policies. Practices" strategic framework, which is focused on initiatives to enhance the identification of and services to gifted students. One element of the framework is a campaign called Giftedness Knows No Boundaries; if you haven't looked there recently, it includes draft legislation to help support the initiatives -- for example, draft legislation to create a state Office of Gifted and Talented Education Programs. According to NAGC, during 2018, the organization will add extra emphasis to implement a "practices" element of its strategic framework -- practices at home, school, and in the community. Find out more.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has just posted an article on borderline personality disorder -- what it consists of, how to diagnosis it, and how to treat it. The article explains that people with BPD are emotionally sensitive and reactive. "BPD develops when one of these emotionally vulnerable people is confronted with an environment that doesn’t validate her feelings — that is, acknowledge them, make her feel understood, and respond appropriately." Find the article.

DEPRESSION, ANXIETY -- advice on these from a college student to fellow college students. An student at Penn State did some first-person "experiments" to see if practices like exercise, diet, and mindfulness helped her keep anxiety and depression under control. Find the article.

RESEARCH -- A new study has identified a key brain region of the neural circuit that controls social behavior. Increasing the activity of this region, called the habenula, led to social problems in rodents, whereas decreasing activity of the region prevented social problems. Find the study write-up.

THE TEEN BRAIN will, hopefully, give up some of its mysteries to a huge study called The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, which involves brain imaging, biological data, and information on the cognition, psychology, and environment of each subject. Science says, "In addition to providing the first standardized benchmarks of healthy adolescent brain development, this information should allow scientists to probe how substance use, sports injuries, screen time, sleep habits, and other influences may affect—or be affected by—a maturing brain." Read more. (We think this is a big deal. Studies like this could recast the system of diagnosing and treating mental disorders.)

THOSE HERE who do not yet subscribe to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter have until Monday the 15th to do so at a reduced, promotional price. We offer this promotion because we know everyone here 😃 made a New Year's resolution to do the best they can for their 2e kiddos -- and the newsletter can help! Find out more.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Lots of Resources and Events

THOSE HERE who do not yet subscribe to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter have a seven-day window to do so at a reduced, promotional price. We offer this promotion because we know everyone here 😃 made a New Year's resolution to do the best they can for their 2e kiddos -- and the newsletter can help! Find out more.

LET'S GET REAL about gifted kids, writes psychologist Gail Post, "and stop wasting time debating whether giftedness exists or if gifted services are necessary. Let's devote our energy toward ensuring that they receive the educational services, the encouragement, and the understanding they deserve. Just like we would want for any other child." Read more in Post's blog.

TOM ROPELEWSKI is a member of the 2e community and the producer of the documentary "2e: Twice Exceptional." He and his wife are also writers and producers, members of the Hollywood community. If you're in the Bay area, you can hear them interviewed on January 22. Says Tom, "We'll be talking about the current state of Hollywood films, television and documentaries, and how we navigated our own paths through the crazy waters of Hollywood and beyond." Find out more.

2e BOOK. Gifted Homeschoolers Forum is publishing a new work titled Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children, by Kelly Hirt. GHF says, "Hirt outlines 12 strategies to design a supportive, safe, and encouraging learning environment for twice-exceptional students. By utilizing Hirt’s strategies, educators will join with parents and students to create an educational experience in which all students can thrive and excel." Find out more.

UNDERSTOOD offers a video that gives an "inside look" as a Child Mind Institute professional evaluates a child for dyslexia. Understood says, "See what kinds of questions kids get asked when being tested for dyslexia. Find out what to do if you’re concerned your child has dyslexia." Go to Understood.

EDUTOPIA offers six ways to support students with dysgraphia as part of a "dysgraphia-friendly classroom." Find the piece.

DEPRESSION manifests differently in black adolescents than other age and racial groups, according to new research written up at Science Daily. The findings will affect how clinicians develop treatment plans. Find the study write-up.

LYING. Got a 2e kiddo who has a fluid relationship with the truth? You might be interested in what the Child Mind Institute has to say about the causes of lying and what parents can do about it; find out more. And a New York Times article takes the stance that "Lying is not only normal; it's also a sign of intelligence." Read it and figure out for yourself whether you should be worried.

EVENT: The early-bird deadline for the Diamonds in the Rough conference is January 15. if you're thinking of attending this DC-area conference, find out more.

EVENT: In Oak Park, California, psychotherapist Judy Weiner will be leading a SENG parenting group beginning in late January and running into March. Find out more.

ONLINE EVENT: TECA's newest topic for its online forum is "Tantrums, Meltdowns, and Explosive Behavior." The next online meeting is on January 17. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING'S newest podcast is with Dr. Dan Siegel, author most recently of The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child. TiLT's Debbie Reber says of the podcast, "we focused on exploring the important concept of brain integration, mindset, and the YES brain as they relate to differently wired kids. I hope you enjoy our conversation!" Find it.

WRIGHTSLAW FANS may find the organization's 2017 progress report at the Wrightslaw site. If you're not familiar with Wrightslaw, you're missing a great resource when it comes to special ed and advocacy. The site also has a 2e section. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

ASD, Psuedoscience Versus Real, Resources, and More

GIFTED (AND 2e) ED IN OHIO now comes under new operating standards, according to an article at The new standards provide for automatic screening for giftedness twice during elementary school, but also allow parents, teachers, or students to request screening at any time. Twice-exceptional students are recognized as, well, under-recognized. The article points out that while students with disabilities must receive services, there is no such mandate for schools to provide services especially for the gifted. So the catch is: schools are required to identify gifted students -- but not to provide services for them. Read more.

ITAG 2e WORKSHOP. Registration is now open for the April 13-14 workshop in Cedar Falls, Iowa, aimed at educators and administrators. Find out more

ASD PEAKING? The Los Angeles Times reports on research indicating that diagnoses of autism in children might have plateaued over the last few years, with about 2.4 percent of children having such a diagnosis. Boys and non-Latino whites were diagnosed more frequently than other groups. Read more

NEW 2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL. Families in the vicinity of Arlington, Virginia, might be interested in knowing about the Sycamore School, which evidently opened last fall. A colleague in the 2e community whose judgment we respect says of the school's founder, "She gets our people." Find out more.

PSEUDOSCIENCE. Members of the 2e community are sometimes in a tough spot when it comes to mainstream science versus non-traditional science. Sometimes members find answers that seem to work in unexpected places. But we think it's probably good to pay attention to the science we get from mainstream doctors versus what might come our way through social media or celebrity. An article by an MD in The New York Times provides perspective on what to be careful about -- and why. Find the article.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE has published its January newsletter. Julie Skolnick describes the issue this way: "In this month's issue, read about what it's like to be an empath in Julie's blog, Feelings, Nothing More than Feelings, and check out articles and information for parents, educators, 2e adults and practitioners. Each resource speaks to living and teaching without regret." Find the newsletter.

MINDFULNESS FOR KIDS is the topic of three recent articles that have come our way. Two are from NAGC, both by Michele Kane. There's "Helping Your Child Manage Stress through Mindfulness"; find it. And then there's "Stressed Out? Mindfulness Works"; find it. In The New York Times you can find "basic tips for children and adults of all ages, as well as several activities that develop compassion, focus, curiosity and empathy." Find the Times article.

DEPRESSION. Medical News Today reports on new research on identifying who might or might not have a positive response to antidepressant treatment. Evidently the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a major player here. Researchers say, "Intriguingly, we finally show that GR-regulated genes are significantly enriched in this cluster of antidepressant-response genes, pointing to the involvement of GR sensitivity as a potential key mechanism in shaping transcriptional changes and clinical response to antidepressant treatment." (Whew!) Read more.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2e in "The Literature"; Depression; Call for Book Chapters; More

WELCOME to our first post of 2018! And it's a relief to be in the new year and escape all of those late-2017 requests for donations.

SEEING AND SUPPORTING TWICE-EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS is the title of an academic paper just published in the journal The Educational Forum. Authored by Chin-Wen Lee and Jennifer Ritchotte, of the University of Louisville and the University of Northern Colorado, respectively, the article lays out four topics, according to its abstract: "Part 1 delineates the evolution of the legislative acts and professional initiatives regarding twice exceptionality. Part 2 discusses the educational rights of twice-exceptional learners. Part 3 presents challenges to understanding and supporting this student population, followed by a call for ongoing personnel training in Part 4." Find the article. Separately, a 2014 academic article titled "Being Twice Exceptional: Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities" just came to our attention. The article covers issues with and interventions for 2e students. Find the article.

DEPRESSION. If depression is a factor with your 2e kiddo, and if you struggle to understand the causes and treatment, you'll be interested in a Quartz article on the topic which takes a contrarian stance to the common "chemical imbalance" cause of depression and SSRI treatment. From the article: "Depression is real. The theory that it’s caused by chemical imbalances is false. Three decades since the antidepressants that helped spread this theory arrived on the market, we need to remodel both our understanding and treatment of depression." Find the article. (But confer with your clinician.)

CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS. From an invitation to contribute to a proposed book to be titled Twice Exceptional (2e) Beyond Learning Disabilities: "Most of the existing literature about the twice-exceptional population focuses exclusively on gifted students with learning disabilities. Little has been written about those with physical disabilities. To address this gap, this book will cover a range of physical disabilities, both those present at birth and those acquired subsequently." Intrigued? Find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES has announced that the application deadline for its 2018 Youth Achievement Award has been extended until January 31. Smart Kids says this: "These awards, celebrating the terrific accomplishments of young people with LD and ADHD are not reserved solely for college-bound high school seniors: Any student 19 or younger is welcome to apply." Find out more.

GIFTED HOMESCHOOLERS FORUM reminds us that its next round of online classes begin January 22. Topics inclue anthropology, computing, math, botany, and more. Find out more. (GHF strives to be 2e-inclusive.)

TiLT PARENTING'S most recent podcast is titled "How to Navigate the High School to College Transition." Remember, TiLT is all about parenting "differently-wired" kids. Find the podcast.

VIDEO GAMES. Here's a CNN headline for you: "WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018." According to CNN, the disorder is defined as a "persistent or recurrent behavior pattern of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning." Read more.

TED ON PARENTING. On finding that balance between too much and too little parenting, TED offers five tips, starting with "Give your kids things they can own and control." The other four seem equally as consideration-worthy. Find the tips.

PERFECTIONISM. NewsWise notes a study finding that perfectionism among young people has significantly increased in the past decades, and that it can have negative effects on psychological health. Find the study write-up.

PROCRASTINATION. Are you still meaning to get a copy of Bob Seney: On Books to use to find reading ideas for that 2e kiddo you know? The introductory price for the newest booklet in the Spotlight on 2e Series is still just $10, but it'll go up sometime. Find out more.