Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2e Symposium, OCD, Anxiety, ADHD, Parenting, More

WE'RE BACK from a few days in California attending a great symposium put on by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy. Watch for coverage in the next issue of the newsletter. Two focuses (foci?) were honoring pioneers in the 2e community and providing a forum for those running 2e-friendly schools to share information. The picture here is of, L-R, newly inducted 2e Hall of Fame members Elizabeth Nielsen, Dennis Higgins, Lois Baldwin, and Mary Ruth Coleman; 2e Center Director Susan Baum and Bridges Academy head Carl Sabatino; Hall of Famers June Maker, Joanne Schwartz, and Linda Brody; and symposium speaker Scott Barry Kaufman.



JONATHAN MOONEY spoke at the 2e Center symposium last weekend, and by coincidence just had an opinion piece published in The New York Times called "You Are Special! Now Stop Being Different." In it, you can read some of the points and stories he offered to the audience at the symposium. Find the piece.

WEBINAR TOMORROW. SENG is offering a webinar on Thursday, October 19, titled "Empowering Gifted Learners Through Self-Advocacy." Find out more.

OCD. John Green, a writer of young adult novels, did a book based on his own OCD, attempting to dispel the "mad, creative genius" myth. The heroine is a 16-year-old girl who is "trying to understand the world around her, but cannot escape the prison of her own thoughts." Read the first-person piece by Green in Costco Connection,

ANXIETY is common among children in the 2e community. How do you help them? A New York Times Magazine article (ie, lots of words) might provide some hints. Find it.

ADHD -- several items.
  • MedPage Today describes a Finnish study indicating that children born in the fall and winter have more ADHD. Find the article
  • The Child Mind Institute has posted an article about tantrums, outbursts, and defiance in kids with ADHD -- and how to help them behave better. Find the article
  • Science Daily reports on research indicating that children with ADHD) are likely to also have trouble with touch (tactile) processing. The study found finds that they fare worse on several tests of tactile functioning, including reaction time and detecting a weak stimulus on the skin (detection threshold). Find the study write-up
  • And Canada's CBC reports that "Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may fidget, tap and swivel around in a chair much more than normally developing children because it helps them to learn complex material.." The research indicated that kids with ADHD move twice as much when learning. Find the article
TiLT's latest podcast is about advocating on behalf of differently-wired kids -- like yours. Find the podcast.

HEALTH -- YOURS. Jen the Bloggers is offering an eight-week online course on self-care for the parents of complicated kids. Jen, who has 2e in the family, says she and her co-presenter "created what we would have wanted and needed. This is a course for you, not a parenting course. Our goal is to help you help yourself, because every family is different and the only expert is the parent." Read more.

HEALTH: YOUR KIDDO'S. Blood pressure monitoring isn't only for adults. Hypertension in children and adolescents has been "on the rise" for decades, apparently, with approximately 2 million children diagnosed. Read guidelines for blood pressure in children.

HEALTH: YOUR FAMILY'S. If you've wondered about the relative benefits of wild salmon and farmed salmon, we ran across an informative source about pros and cons; find it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Sleep, and More

THIS IS OCD AWARENESS WEEK. According to The International OCD Foundation, about 1 in 200 children have OCD, which the organization says is about the same number of children with diabetes. Find out more about OCD Awareness Week.

READING, MATH DIFFICULTIES CONNECTED? Education Week wrote about recent research findings indicating that students with dyslexia often have problems with math, and that interventions helping one of the difficulties might help with the other. Read more.

SENG "MINI-CONFERENCE." The organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted has scheduled a one-day conference for November 18 at Bridges Academy in Studio City, California. If you're in the LA area, find out more.

MENTAL HEALTH CARE AT THE PEDIATRICIAN'S. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation comments on research results released last summer on the effectiveness of interventions for anxiety and depression given in the pediatrician's office. BBRF says, "Children who received this treatment responded better than those who were referred to outpatient mental health care..." and that "One way to improve access to mental health care may be by delivering it at a place where children are more likely to visit—the pediatrician’s office." Read more.

ALSO ON ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION, a new study has provided the strongest evidence to date that exposure to bullying causes mental health issues such as anxiety years later. However, the study also showed that the detrimental effects of bullying decreased over time. Find out more.

AND MORE: Teenagers who start high school before 8:30 a.m. are at higher risk of depression and anxiety, even if they're doing everything else right to get a good night's sleep, a recent study suggests. Find the study write-up.

AND MORE ON SLEEP. Australian researchers tracked over 3600 young people over seven years, finding that more than 25 percent reported sleep problems. Different factors seemed to cause problems at different ages, but the researcher noted that depression and anxiety were included among the causes: "It's a vicious circle. Depression and anxiety are well-established risk factors for sleep problems and people with sleep problems are often anxious or depressed." Read more.

HOW MANY OF YOU are confident that you know how to bring up your children in exactly the right way? That's the lead-off question in a TED talk on parenting, inspired by findings in a 70-year longitudinal study of children in Britain. The parent/scientist/journalist talked about factors that seem to lead to "success" in child development -- such as parents talking to the children, or putting the children to bed at a regular time -- and also about factors working against success -- such as being born poor. However, while the line "choose your parents very carefully" got a laugh during the talk, even children born into poor circumstances were affected positively by certain parental behaviors. Find the talk, and know that (for those who read faster than they listen) there's also a transcript (although you'll miss listening to a nice British accent, which most of us in America enjoy).

Friday, October 6, 2017

Resources, a Couple Newsletters, and More

NEAR CHICAGO? Know that Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, which has a message concerning learning differences and potential, is speaking at a free event on Monday, October 7, in Glen Ellyn. The event is from 7-8:30 and sponsored by the Glenbard Parent Series. If you're in the 2e community and haven't heard Kaufman speak, you're missing a treat. Find out more.

THERAPISTS WHO WORK WITH KIDS provide 21 truths in a piece at BuzzFeed. The therapists in question are from the NYU Child Study Center and from the Mayo Clinic. Example: "Kids as young as 2 can start showing signs of an anxiety or a behavior disorder." Find the other 20.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY. From NCLD: "The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships offer financial assistance to two graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities and/or ADHD who are pursuing post-secondary education." Chances are you know such a student. Find out more.
PD RESOURCE. Landmark College, which caters to students who learn differently, offers a variety of resources and PD for educators. An online course coming up is titled "Academic Strategies and Executive Function Supports for Students with LD, ADHD, and ASD." Find out more.
GIFTED & DISTRACTIBLE, the newsletter from With Understanding Comes Calm, is out in its October edition. It starts off, "There is so much trauma in the world right now; nature-made and human-made. Anxiety reduces everyone's ability to be their best selves.This issue of Gifted & Distractible encourages positive assumptions, strengthening relationships and understanding our children/students so we can be there when they need us." As usual, the newsletter is filled with pointers and tidbits relevant to the 2e community. Find the newsletter.
TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is described this way by TiLT's founder: "Today I’m excited to be bringing to the podcast Peter Shankman, a multiple-startup founder, best-selling author, and the creator of Faster Than Normal, a leading ADD/ADHD podcast, focusing on the benefits of being gifted with ADD/HD, which describes who Peter is." Find the podcast.
LOOKING TO HELP YOUR CHILD deal with his or her ADHD? Researchers have discovered that brief online or in-person behavioral therapy for parents is equally effective in improving children's behavior and parental knowledge -- a potential game changer for parents strapped for time and access. Read more.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Identifying that "e," Dyslexia, Anxiety, Events, Research, More

DID IT TAKE A WHILE for you to figure out your child's "e's"? Don't feel bad -- Tony Atwood, a prominent psychologist who is, according to the Guardian, "known for his knowledge of Asperger syndrome in children," finally realized when his son was 35 that he (the son) had Asperger's. The breakthrough: watching some old home movies that showed Atwood trying to interact with his 4yo son. His son eventually developed severe anxiety, then drug dependence, for which he has been imprisoned. Read the article.

FEEL-GOOD STORY. A young woman with dyslexia struggled with science, and had a chemistry teacher who discouraged her ambition to be an anesthesiologist. Later, after having children, she decided to try nursing school. Go read a Marketplace transcript to find out what happened next.

ANXIETY IN TEENS. From an NPR story: "Teens and children struggling with anxiety are often prescribed medication or therapy to treat their symptoms. For many, either drugs or therapy is enough, but some young people can't find respite from anxious thoughts. For them, a study suggests that using both treatments at once can help." Find it.

BEAUTIFUL MINDS, the newsletter from Scott Barry Kaufman, is out in its October edition. It points to a variety of podcasts, interviews, videos, articles, and other resources of possible interest to those in the 2e community. For example, there's a pointer to an article on introversion and extroversion; to a video by Scott Barry Kaufman on the limits of IQ testing; and to an interview on the topic of grit. Find the newsletter.

EVENTS. Coming up:
  • An October 5th webinar from Understood titled "Evidence-based Approaches to Help Kids with Dyslexia"; find out more
  • A live, free event on October 4th in Sacramento, California, by the UC Davis MIND Institute titled "Navigating a New Autism Spectrum Diagnosis." find out more.
  • And an October 5th webinar from SENG, "Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children," featuring James Webb, SENG's founder and lead author of a book by the same name; find out more. (SENG has its own name for webinars, preferring to call them SENGinars. This one, however, is truly a "Webb-inar." 😃)
RESEARCH.
  • The microbiome and emotions. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation has posted on how microbes in our gut affect emotions. Find it
  • Video gamers. Neuropsychologists let video gamers compete against non-gamers in a learning competition. During the test, the video gamers performed significantly better and showed an increased brain activity in the brain areas that are relevant for learning.Find the study write-up

SELF-CARE FOR PARENTS of 2e kiddos -- that's the topic of Jen the Blogger's latest piece.It's called, "Caring for Your Soul in this Age of Fear." Need that advice? Find it.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

IEPs & 504s, Communication with School, Carol Dweck, and More

GIFTED, ASD, WITH ANXIETY -- and only five years old. That's the lead in a Washington Post story about IEPs and 504s -- and which might be best for your kiddo. Here's a quote from the article about August, the five-year-old in question, that might ring true to readers here: "When August didn’t follow their instructions, [pre-school staff] told his parents that he was a defiant child who refused to stop making noises in class. [His mother] was confident that it wasn’t that her son wouldn’t stop making noises, but instead that August couldn’t stop." August's situation is the springboard for the article's considerations of the suitability of either an IEP or 504. Find the article.

AND ON THE SAME TOPIC, Wrightslaw's current issue of Special Ed Advocate offers to help you learn what the law says about IDEA, IEPs, and similar topics. Find Special Ed Advocate.

AND ON A SIMILAR TOPIC, Understood offers:
  • Parent-Teacher Boot Camp: Getting Ready for Your Next Meeting; find it
  • 8 Sentence Starters to Use When Talking to Teachers; find it
CAROL DWECK AWARDED $4M. The first issuance of an education research award established by a Chinese tech billionaire has gone to Carol Dwek for her work on "growth mindset," according to Education Week. The award is to "empower the change-makers in education, build a global community of education leaders and, ultimately, create long-lasting, enlightening impacts on mankind as a whole." Dweck's work has pointed out the importance of effort and its effects on motivation and performance. Read more.

DEBUNKING NERDINESS. Need some ammunition to help your kiddo feel more comfortable about the "gifted" label? The website of The Best Schools has profiles of 29 celebrities -- smart people with, says the article, "a true commitment to knowledge, education, and self-betterment." These are PhD and master's-credentialed actresses and MD actors, PhD pro basketball players, PhD rock guitarists, a JD pro football hall of famer, and -- well, you get the idea. Find the article.

FREE ONLINE DYSLEXIA SUMMIT. The organization Reading Horizons is offering an online event on October 12 featuring three presentations on dyslexia-related topics. Find out more.

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER is the topic of the most recent podcast from TiLT Parenting. It features Carol Kranowitz. Says Debbie of TiLT, "it was a thrill and honor to get to chat with Carol about what sensory processing is, how to recognize it in kids, what it looks like at different ages, as well as to hear Carol’s thoughts on efforts to get SPD fully recognized as a disorder." Find the podcast.

RESEARCH.
  • From Medical News Today: "A new study confirms the link between inflammation of the brain and the prevalence of suicidal thoughts in people diagnosed with major depression. This is the first study of its kind to measure relevant biomarkers in living individuals." Find the article
  • From Science Daily, for brain mavens only: "New research advances understanding of the function of the brain's anterior cingulate cortex and its tie to human learning." Find the article.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sleep & ADHD, Policy & Law, Parenting, More

SLEEP, ADHD. A few weeks ago we mentioned a research study contending that sleep problems and ADHD might have a stronger connection that previously thought. Several journalistic outlets have picked up on that study. The Washington Post ran a story titled "Could some ADHD be a type of sleep disorder? That would fundamentally change how we treat it.? And Education Week also covered the topic, including reporting on a study where students had to give up any screen time for two hours before bed.

PARENTING 2e KIDDOS. A writer at Chicago Now offers "three things you should know about being the mom of a twice-exceptional child." We're sure you've got your own list of things to offer, but if you'd like to compare notes, check it out.

EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW.
  • A court told a Pontiac, Michigan, Catholic school that it could not discriminate against a student with dyslexia who was denied admission to the school. The Michigan law used by the judges mentions both public and private schools. Attorneys for the school said the law didn't apply because it didn't refer to religious schools. Read more, and thanks to Nancy M for bringing this to our attention. 
  • A request for input from the U.S. Department of Education brought about 15,000 comments, many from people and organizations worried that the department would relax enforcement of civil rights, which applies, of course, to our 2e kiddos getting an appropriate education. Read more
DEVON MACEACHRON has posted a new piece on her blog, this one on assistive technology for dyslexia. MacEachron is a psychologist specializing in 2e kiddos. Find the blog.

PARENTING: FREE ONLINE EVENT. Debbie Reber of TiLT Parenting pointed us to this. Here's what Debbie writes about the event: "Unfortunately, our kids don't come with instruction manuals... but there are people out there who devote their lives to discovering better parenting techniques and practices based on scientific research and knowledge of child development (I consider myself one of them!). And for the first time ever, 24 of these leading experts in child psychology, education, sleep and brain development are all gathered together in one virtual 'place' in what's being called the Be the Best Parent You Can Be." Find out more.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's September e-newsletter is out, featuring news about the 2017 Davidson Fellows; news about Davidson Academy and the Davidson Young Scholars Program; and more. Find the newsletter.

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, THE MOVIE. Producer Tom Ropelewski has announced three upcoming screenings of this movie, one in Washington State on October 13, one in Maryland on November 14, and one in Santiago, Chile, on November 26 (email http://kmlynarzz@gmail.com. for more info). In addition, Ropelewski has posted a preview of his next 2e-related work, tentatively titled "2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional." Find it.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mental Health, Adolescence, Asperger's, and More

25, THE NEW 18. Yup, extended adolescence, and it's the topic of an article at Scientific American. If you thought your 2e kiddo would be (mostly) out the door and off your mind at 18, maybe think again. The article was sparked by research indicating that teens today are less likely to engage in "adult" activities such as sex and alcohol than teens in previous generations. One possible explanation: growing up in a relatively affluent, stable environment, which might lead to a "slower developmental course." Do you buy that? Should you worry about this? Check the article

MENTAL HEALTH. In the story above we found a quote about strategies for setting up older teens for success, from a psychologist who says that "one such strategy might be expanding mental health services for adolescents, particularly because 75 percent of major mental illnesses emerge by the mid-20s." By coincidence, UCLA has announced that it will make mental health screening and treatment available to all incoming students. Read more.

MORE COINCIDENCE. The Child Mind Institute this week features its annual Children's Mental Health Report, with a focus on adolescence. It echoes some of the themes in the Scientific American article, namely that:
  • The brain develops until at least age 25.
  • Most mental health issues surface before age 24. 
  • Awareness and programs can change lives. 
Find the report.

WHERE'S THE "ASPERGER'S" DIAGNOSIS? Not in the DSM-5. Still in the ICD-10. But, possibly, taking on "a culture of its own," according to a piece at Psychiatric Times. Read more.

INTERESTED IN tDCS, transcranial direct current stimulation of the brain? It's become a "thing" over the past few years for brain enhancement. Cerebrum presents an article it describes this way: "Originally developed to help patients with brain injuries such as strokes, tDCS is now also used to enhance language and mathematical ability, attention span, problem solving, memory, coordination, and even gaming skills. The authors examine its potential and pitfalls." Find the article.

JEN THE BLOGGER discourses on whether homeschooling should focus on the acquisition of skills or the accumulation of facts, and offers some perspective on what 12 years can mean in the development of a kiddo in our community. Find "Laughing at Chaos."

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Psychologist Gail Post describes what a recently-issued statement on the importance of social-emotional learning can mean for gifted kiddos. The statement set forth four conditions for students; those who meet the conditions "are more likely to maximize their opportunities and reach their potential." But Post notes how gifted kiddos can be foiled by the four conditions, foiled in ways that are logical when one things about them but ways that one might not have thought of, which is why we should appreciate having professionals like Post around. Each of the four foiling conditions seems to us to apply to 2e kids as well. Find this thoughtful post.

PRIVATE EVALUATIONS VERSUS SCHOOL EVALUATIONS. Understood offers a list of the pros and cons of having a child evaluated by the school as opposed to a private assessor. Find it.

TiLT PARENTING's most recent podcast is a conversation between TiLT's founder Debbie Reber and a woman who is a life and leadership coach, founder of Mother's Quest, and -- mother of two differently-wired sons. Says Debbie: "In our honest and open conversation, Julie shares how she has embraced who her children are, how they’ve handled the issue of diagnoses and labels, and her big why for creating Mother’s Quest." Find the podcast.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED about the disparity between a child's ability to focus on schoolwork versus a video game? New research described at Science Daily might shed some light on it for you. Find the write-up.

RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY. The Social Competence & Treatment Lab at Stony Brook University is now recruiting participants for a new employment study, "Improving Outcomes for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder." The autism population, says the lab, is statistically the least employed population worldwide, and the lab has launched a nationwide, online survey intended for employers, parents, and individuals with ASD. The lab says the survey takes about 15 minutes. Find out more.