Monday, April 30, 2018

HIdden Giftedness, Events, Resources, Depression Research, More

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

ADHD, Executive Function, Discipline, and More

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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