News from the Blog — Thursday, October 27, 2016

In this blog we include items on giftedness, exceptionalities, parenting, education, and child development.

LD VICTORIES. The Child Mind Institute has published a group of videos called "Our Stories" in which young people, parents, and advocates describe "victories" in children who have learning differences or mental health issues. The Institute invites us to see and read the stories, then to share. "Together," says the Institute, "we can start a new conversation and change the way we treat children struggling with mental health and learning disorders." Find the stories. 

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DESTIGMATIZING LDs. Education Week Teacher carried a "first person" account by a teacher who came up with a way to let learners know it was okay to have a learning difference, and okay to talk about it. Her technique was simple but effective: have selected older students in the school talk on a panel to younger students, sharing experiences, offering advice, and answering questions. One of the younger students commented afterward, “I am very grateful for the 8th graders who shared. I had planned to keep my dyslexia secret all year.” Find the article. 

DO A WEBINAR FOR CEC. The Council for Exceptional Children has issued a call for proposals to give webinars in 2017. We urge members of the 2e community to consider proposing a webinar on a 2e-related topic. Interested presenters may find a list of CEC's suggested topics and submit a proposal at this page. We know there's lots of experience, skill, and talent out there. Go for it!

NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS, MEDICAL CONDITIONS. On the site of the Dana Foundation is an article about how neurodevelopmental disorders like bipolar disorder and major depression may be linked via genetics to medical ailments. An example: autism and gastro-intestinal problems. From the article: "...a new study suggests that looking at the genetic intersection of NDDs and commonly shared physical ailments could offer new insights into the origins of these conditions and, ultimately, help direct more effective and precise treatment." Read more. 

2e: TWICE EXCEPTIONAL, the movie, is being screened on November 3 at 7 p.m. in Montclair, New Jersey, as part of ReelAbilities Montclair. Find out more. 

GOT AN IEP at your house? Wrightslaw suggests that parents involved in the IEP process need to know how to use psychological and educational achievement test scores to measure educational growth, and, in Special Ed Advocate, explains what to know. Find it. 

2e PARENT ONLINE MEETUP. The organization Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy reminds parents that TECA's next Online Parent Support Group will be held on Wednesday, November 2, at 8:00 p.m. The purpose: to talk in a safe, supportive, private environment about the unique struggles and joys of raising a 2e child. A fee applies. Find out more,


  • Unlike physical disorders where blood tests or other objective tests enable a reliable diagnosis, there are no such measures to determine whether someone is depressed. The standard rating scales used by healthcare professionals and researchers to diagnose this disease often differ in the symptoms they list, perhaps explaining why a one-size-fits-all treatment has to date been so ineffective. Read more
  • Studying brain tissue from deceased donors, scientists have found common groups of genes disrupted among people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The commonly affected genes sets, identified with RNA sequencing methods, engage in making proteins, controlling brain cell communications and mounting an immune system response, the researchers say. Read more

TOURETTE'S RESEARCH. Researchers have identified areas in the brains of children with Tourette’s syndrome that appear markedly different from the same areas in the brains of children who don’t have the neuropsychiatric disorder. Read more.

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