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February 1st E2e Briefing

In this Issue

Subscriber Alerts

Giftedness and Exceptionalities in the News

From Other Newsletters and Digests


Research, Studies

Education Policy and Law



Welcome to this edition of The E2e Briefing for 2e Newsletter subscribers and others with an interest in twice-exceptional children -- children who are gifted and have LDs, learning difficulties that go by many names. These semi-monthly email briefings are a supplement to our bi-monthly, subscription-based electronic publication 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter. (See sample copies.)

Subscriber Alerts
The upcoming January/February issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, out in a few days, will address topics related to advocacy for 2e kiddos.

FACEBOOK. If you're on Facebook, drop by to comment, to "like," or to see whatever we've posted lately.

Giftedness and Exceptionalities in the News
DYSLEXIC ACHIEVER. An alert reader noticed in an obituary of Ikea's founder that he was dyslexic... and also a somewhat unusual person. Thanks to Nancy M for bringing this to our attention. From the obit: "He grew up on a farm in the lake-dotted province of Smaland, in southern Sweden, a dyslexic boy who milked cows and found it hard to concentrate in school. His family was poor, and he earned money selling matches and pencils in villages." Read more.

EQUITY IN GIFTED ED. The Fordham Institute released a report today calling for universal screening for giftedness in children to ensure equitable access to gifted ed for children in varying demographics. NAGC, which has its own initiatives for equity, praised the release of the report. Find NAGC's comments. From there you can find more about the report -- and a link to the report itself.

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA can consist of things such as parental divorce, death in the family, and more. NPR interviewed a pediatrician, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who has written a book called The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity. She writes of childhood trauma, "It can tip a child's developmental trajectory and affect physiology. It can trigger chronic inflammation and hormonal changes that can last a lifetime. It can alter the way DNA is read and how cells replicate, and it can dramatically increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes — even Alzheimer's." In her practice, she uses a screen to try to determine how much trauma a child has been exposed to. Find the interview.

ACCOMMODATING STUDENTS WITH ASD is the topic of an article at The article describes an "explosion" of students on the spectrum, and also describes how schools there are providing services and accommodations. One of the students profiled is twice exceptional. Find the article.

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.

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.

Note: Some of these news items came to our attention through CEC SmartBriefs, Education Week, LD Online Newsletter, ScienceDaily, and other aggregators.

From Other Newsletters, Digests, Websites, and Blogs 
DEVON MACEACHRON blogs on ADHD, giftedness, and the ability to hyperfocus. The starting point is something she says she often hears from parents: "I don’t think my child has a problem with attention – he can focus really intensely on his cartoon-drawing (or video-gaming or Lego-building or reading) for hours at a time! In fact I can barely get him to stop. But his teachers complain he’s inattentive and distracted in the classroom." If that's a familiar contradiction to you, find MacEachron's blog.

THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE has posted its "2017 Children's Mental Health Report," featuring the teen years. Find it.

EDUCATION DIVE. They graduate high school, but then a third of top-performing students don't finish college, according to Education Dive. The reasons listed vary, but you-know-what and lack of support could certainly impede progress for our students. The article also points to a video news release about the report that is the basis for the findings mentioned. Find the article.

EDUTOPIA. "Debunking Myths about Gifted Students" is the title of a recent (last month) article at Edutopia. Among the myths: Gifted students don't need scaffolding. Find the article. Another 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.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Articles on the gifted draw the attention of psychologist Gail Post. At Gifted Challenges, she points to 10 "no-frills articles" on college planning for gifted kids. Find her blog post.

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.

LANDMARK COLLEGE has two upcoming online courses relevant to educators who work with neurodiverse learners. One is "Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners." The other is "Student Engagement, Self-regulation, and Motivation." Find out more.

LDA, the Learning Disabilities Association of America, is holding its annual conference in Atlanta on February 21-24. This could be a resource for families and educators focusing on the non-gifted exceptionalities, because the association describes itself as "the 'go-to organization for the latest information on specific learning disabilities." The word "gifted" does not appear in the conference program, nor does the term "twice-exceptional," but a look at the program reveals sessions on SLDs that could be of particular interest to you, and sessions on topics such as advocacy and law. Find out more about the conference.

PARENT FOOTPRINT. Jonathan Mooney and psychologist Dan Peters talk in a recent "Parent Footprint" podcast. The podcast intro says, "Dr. Dan and Jonathan have a deep and deeply moving discussion about self-advocacy, why students should have a participatory role in their own education, the empowerment that comes from choices, and so much more. Jonathan also talks about his inspiring mother, his challenging relationship with his own father, differences don’t have to be deficits or less than, and the impact of shame." Find it.

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. Scott Barry Kaufmann's new book is out. It's titled Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties. In an article at Scientific American, Kaufman says the book "provides cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches to creating an environment where twice-exceptional students can thrive. Viewing the 2e student as neither exclusively disabled nor exclusively gifted, but, rather, as a dynamic interaction of both, leading experts offer holistic insight into identification, social-emotional development, advocacy, and support for 2e students." Subscribers to 2e Newsletter will recognize many chapter authors.

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

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES takes on some common myths about special ed. For example: if you get passing grades, you don't need special ed. Or: anxiety doesn't qualify you for special ed. Find the myths and explanations.

TiLT PARENTING'S newest podcast is an "Asher Special." Debbie Reber says, "In this new Kid’s POV special, Asher and I talk about areas of interest, as in, what it’s like for Asher to have a deep area of interest, how he’d like me as his parent to support his interests, why he gets interested in the things he does, and more. So if you have a child who likes to dive deep into things — Legos or dinosaurs or trains or bugs — you might gain some useful insights from our conversation." Find the podcast.

WEINFELD EDUCATION GROUP. This organization has posted a conversation with one of the presenters at its next "Diamonds in the Rough" conference, a presenter who has co-authored a book called The Self-Driven Child. The authors' thesis is that "your kids are going to be more successful and less stressed, by you doing less"; that by exerting more control over your child, there's less left for the child to exert; and that parents should act more as consultants than task masters. Find the interview.

Resources for Parents and Educators
IDEA mavens can find The 39th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) online. The Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA), which pointed us to the report, says, "The report describes our nation’s progress in (1) providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities under IDEA, Part B, and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families under IDEA, Part C; (2) ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected; (3) assisting states and localities in providing for the education of all children with disabilities; and (4) assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities." Find the report.

WEBINAR. Seng has an upcoming webinar on helping adolescents reach their potential rather than dropping out. The presenters operate the Feniks [Phoenix] Talent Center in the Netherlands, and presented at last fall's NAGC convention. Find out more about the event.

LIVE WORKSHOP. Transdisciplinary Workshops is holding a March 9 event titled "Therapeutic Interventions for Nonverbal Learning Disabilities and Students with Slow Information Processing." 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.

Know of a resource you think we should share? Let us know! 

Research, Recent Studies
PARENTING. New research indicates that the educational attainment of children may depend not only on the genes their parents pass down to them, but also on genes that are not passed down. Many different inherited gene variants influence how much education a child attains, but the variants don't account for all -- or even a majority -- of the results. Another major factor is genes in the parents that cause the parents to influence the child's education -- something called "genetic nurture." Read more.

AMERICAN PRIORITIES. The Pew Research Center has done a poll which indicates that the second highest national priority for Americans is education, just below terrorism and above the economy. (And we say, if that's the case how come we're not doing more about it?) Education writer Valerie Strauss discusses the research at the Washington Post; or you can find out more at the site of the Pew Research Center.

* From Science Daily: A recent article explores how a protein named CK2 could play a key role in the formulation of new antidepressants that work more efficiently and faster for more people. The study authors "are the first ones to identify CK2 as a modulator of a serotonin receptor, 5-HT4. Manipulation of CK2 in the brain decreases depressive and anxious states through the 5-HT4 receptor." Find the study write-up.
* From NewsWise: Depression "education" can help teens affected with the condition. Johns Hopkins University has a long-running depression literacy program that enabled participants to be more knowledgeable, and, therefore, presumably likely to seek help. Read more.
* From Physician's Briefing: A study indicates that teens with depression who did not want to take antidepressants, or who quit taking them, can be helped in a cost-effective way by cognitive behavioral therapy. Find the study write-up.

HEALTH BARRIERS TO LEARNING include problems with vision or hearing, uncontrolled 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 percent of states 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.

HOW'S YOUR KID'S CONNECTIVITY? Brain connectivity, that is. Scientists studying brain scans of people who were asked to come up with inventive uses for everyday objects found a specific pattern of connectivity that correlated with the most creative responses, according to Science Daily. Researchers were then able to use that pattern to predict how creative other people's responses would be based on their connections in this network. Find the study write-up. (Maybe someday fMRIs will be part of a comprehensive evaluation given to all children to find strengths and challenges.)

MENTAL HEALTH. According to a national register study comparing Finnish birth cohorts from 1987 and 1997, an increasing number of adolescents receive a psychiatric or neurodevelopmental diagnosis. The number of diagnosed adolescents increased especially for girls in the younger cohort. Find the study write-up.

GIFTED ED. New research shows that programs aimed at enriching the curriculum and challenging gifted students has tangible, quantifiable payoffs. The German research "examined whether the [gifted-specific] program has effects on children's cognitive skills, academic achievement, epistemic curiosity, creativity, self-control or social competencies." Read more.

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


Education Policy and Law
During the past two weeks, we found no significant articles related to 2e education and policy. See, however, the second item in the "In the News" section."

Upcoming Events
February 7-10, Council for Exceptional Children 2018 Convention, Tampa, Florida. More information.

February 21-24, annual conference of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), Atlanta, Georgia. More information

March 2-4, 2018 Annual Conference of the California Association for the Gifted, San Diego. More information.

March 16-18, Conference by the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children, Auckland. More information.

April 13-14, two-day workshop for educators on twice-exceptionality by the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association, Cedar Falls. More information.

April 27-29, Beyond IQ, Boston, for and about highly/profoundly gifted children. More information.

April 29-May 1, The Wallace Research Symposium, Baltimore, Maryland. More information.

May 10-12, Quad Prep Annual Conference "Breakthroughs in Twice-Exceptional Education," New York City. More information.

Please note: For a listing of upcoming local 2e-related events, see our Facebook page each Friday. For state association conferences relating to giftedness, see Hoagies' website. For additional conferences on learning differences, see the website of the Council for Exceptional Children.

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