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.)

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