Giftedness and Exceptionalities in the News
2e IN ASIA... and coming "home" for support. An American mom who has lived abroad extensively writes about how Singapore schools could not/would not support her twice-exceptional child, and the support the family received once they moved back to the U.S. Read more.
TALKING ABOUT ANXIETY, OCD, and depression is the topic of an article at Vogue, which describes a live talk in New York by two women in media and a clinician titled "Growing Up with Anxiety." The point: “There’s this shame around [anxiety and depression] when it should be treated like it’s high cholesterol. It’s that treatable and it’s that common. The shame is keeping everyone from moving forward.” If you have a kiddo worried about his or her anxiety or depression or OCD, perhaps check out the Vogue article.
GIFTED SUPPORT AT WKU. Western Kentucky University is in the news this month because of its support for Gifted Education Month in Kentucky, which concludes with the annual Kentucky Association for Gifted Education conference on February 27-28. From a news story: "Housed at WKU, KAGE provides a resource network for educators and parents as well as advocacy for gifted education. WKU is also home to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, The Center for Gifted Studies and The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky." Now that's support for the gifted. Read more.
LET'S SWITCH FOCUS away from our gifted and 2e kiddos for a moment. An article at Bustle, a media outlet "for and by women who are moving forward as fast as you are," according to its website, is titled "How Being a Gifted Kid Affects You as an Adult." Chances are you fit that category. From the article: "Giftedness isn't a curse we carry into adulthood, but it does definitely change the game a bit, according to science. Here's how." Find out exactly how.
DYSLEXIA AND THE ARTS is the topic of a piece at NPR, where various artists describe how the condition has affected their creative process. The artists all presented narrative and visual works telling how they felt about dyslexia. Find the piece.
ON AUTISM. Two significant items concerning autism appeared in our inbox last week. One was an extensive article from the Dana Foundation on the causes of autism. The article starts with the results of a twins study that attempted to tease out genetic versus environmental causes, then turns to possible in-utero environmental influences that include infections and drugs/toxins, then turns to possible postnatal factors. Find the article. The second item of interest is from the American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry. The organization has developed a "Parents' Medication Guide" for ASD; the guide is for practitioners to share with patients. You can find a copy here.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION has a newly-confirmed leader who went through a contentious confirmation process based in part, upon perceptions of her knowledge of the law when it comes to serving children with disabilities. The Council for Exceptional Children, CEC, which fought the confirmation, has issued a statement which reads in part, "Now is not the time to turn back the clock on over 6.7 million children and youth with disabilities. CEC will hold the U.S. Department of Education accountable to ensure that all children and youth are guaranteed a free appropriate public education." Find the statement. Separately, CEC has listed three points it intends to pursue going forward:
* IDEA funding must be protected and increased, and it must be used for its intended purpose.
* Policies that restrict public education’s ability to do its job or that go against the principle of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) are unacceptable.
* Children and youth with exceptionalities and their families have civil rights that must be guaranteed.
DEPRESSION. U.S. News has published an article titled "What Parents Should Know about Teen Depression." It covers how teens experience depression, how to tell if your teen is depressed, and how to help. Find the article.
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
THE BELIN-BLANK CENTER for high-ability kiddos, located at the University of Iowa, has posted a blog entry titled "How Should I Study?" It offers a variety of tips for making studying more effective. Find the posting.
CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. This organization offers "Lessons from a Depressed Childhood," a conversation between the institute's president, Harold Koplewicz, and writer/critic Daphne Merkin. In the conversation is advice for both parents and children. Find the conversation.
COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN The second issue of CEC's journal Teaching Exceptional Children is out, featuring the topic of mathematics. For example, one article is titled "Intensifying Intervention for Students With Persistent and Severe Mathematics Difficulties." Find the journal.
DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. Summer's still coming, but the Davidson Institute, in its most recent e-newsletter, highlights resources for parents looking to get their high-ability kiddos into some kind of camp or program. Also in the newsletter: more news about Davidson, including its new online high school. Find the newsletter.
DISABILITY SCOOP says: "Disability advocates this week threatened to sue the Texas Education Agency unless the state permanently ends its special education enrollment benchmark within the next month." If you're a frequent reader of our blog and this briefing, you know what the issue is; if not, you should. Find Disability Scoop's latest coverage.
EDUCATION WEEK covered education reform -- in New Zealand. After shocks to its economy in the 1970s caused by oil prices, leaders in New Zealand decided that its workforce "would have to be among the best educated and trained in the world," according to an article at Education Week. The article describes how the country is going about that, and the results so far (good). Of interest to education policy fans is that the solution described in the article is a combination of central government standards and local school responsibility. Find the article.
GHF RESOURCE. If you're looking for online courses aimed at gifted or 2e kiddos, check out GHF Online. Registration for spring classes is now open. Topics include Latin, chemistry, statistics, and more. Find out more.
GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE has published its February newsletter. According to its publisher, "This month's Newsletter focuses on 2e kids and the classroom - addressing perfectionism, letting go of our adult egos, successfully diffusing challenging behavior, and noticing gender bias. The bottom line? Making personal connections allows us to be our best selves and brings out the best in others." Find the newsletter.
GIFTED ED MATTERS. "Understanding the 2e Brain" is the title of a recent post at the site of Gifted Ed Matters. Written by Michael Postma, Ph.D., the blog post focuses on the role of chemistry in the often-baffling behavior of those 2e kiddos. In the blog, he describes some of the work of psychologist Beth Houskamp. Find the blog.
LANDMARK COLLEGE has issued its February newsletter. Landmark is dedicated to students who learn differently, and, according to the newsletter, the college has now partnered with area educational organizations to provide programming for middle and high school students who learn differently. Also in the newsletter: news of a new career readiness service, and news from the college's Institute for Research and Training. Find the newsletter.
LD ONLINE's February newsletter is out, and it features articles on reading comprehension. If that's an issue with the 2e kiddo you raise or teach, check it out.
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY pointed to and summarized an article called "From Terman to Today: A Century of Findings on Intellectual Precocity." Psychology Today says the article "serves as an excellent resource for parents, students, and educators who are interested in the findings of two major longitudinal studies of the gifted which roughly span the last century, and more broadly the historical progression of research on the gifted." Read more.
SENG. Are you raising a "changemaker"? Then you might be interested in a February 16 webinar by SENG, Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted. From the webinar blurb: "Youth need to know when we push against an inequitable system, it pushes back. Together we can expedite equity by defining what it means to be a changemaker, explaining obstacles to expect along the way and sharing proven practices that support evolution. Please join us in supporting youth in being the change they wish to realize in the world." Find out more.
SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES points readers to a Harvard study looking for Boston-area infants 2 to 8 months old for a study on the causes of dyslexia. Find out more.
TiLT PARENTING keeps cranking out information on how to raise and educate "differently wired" kiddos. TiLT has issued Episode 43 in its podcast series, "Why Fostering a Culture of Respect in Our Schools Is Critical," with Courtney Macavinta, an author and life coach. Find the podcast. And in a blog post, TiLT's founder tells about books that "have been leading me through my off-road parenting journey." Find the blog.
Resources for Parents and Educators
IDEA SITE BACK UP. The Department of Education website for IDEA went down last week, causing some consternation in light of recent administration transitions, but it was evidently a technical, not a political, problem. Find the affected site. Read some reactions to the problem at Education Week and at Disability Scoop. IDEA is important to the 2e community, of course, because learning disabilities are under its scope of governance. Disability advocates have been a little nervous because, according to Disability Scoop, "Last month, nearly every disability reference was removed from the White House website after the Trump administration took over."
PARENTING AND THE ART OF WAR. Well, it can sometimes seem like war. But the organization Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy is offering an online workshop by that title. The March 8th event is to be conducted by Neil Weintraub and, according to TECA, "outlines a fresh paradigm for thinking about parent-child interactions." Find out more.
2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL IN HOUSTON. A Ph.D. student is co-founder of a small, 2e-friendly school in Houston, Texas. Journey School was written up by The Daily Cougar of the University of Houston; find the article.
HARD-CORE ADVOCATES might want to know about the annual William and Mary Summer Institute of Special Education Advocacy, held this year from July 30 to August 4. It's for experienced advocates, law students, new attorneys, and attorneys who are new to special education law. Find out more at Wrightslaw, a co-sponsor of the institute.
VOUCHERS, SCHOOL CHOICE. You can find out more about various aspects of U.S. education policy in a variety of recently posted articles: about school vouchers at Education Week; about school choice at The Washington Post; and about possible education policy-related changes at Education Week.
HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSONS often inhabit the gifted and 2e communities, it seems. A TED talk by a woman entrepreneur addresses the topic and explains why we need to change the prevalent cultural narrative around highly sensitive people. She describes highly sensitive people this way: "I invite you to imagine living with all your senses on high alert. You also have a vivid inner world, where all of your emotions are magnified. Sadness is a deep sorry, and joy is pure ecstasy. You also care beyond reason, and empathize without limits. Imagine being in permanent osmosis with everything around you." Find the talk; there's also a transcript.
Know of a resource you think we should share? Let us know!
Research, Recent Studies
ON THE TOPIC OF ADHD. The Mediterranean diet might protect against ADHD, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics and summarized at Medical News Today, which says "Compared with children who had high adherence to a Mediterranean diet, those with a low adherence were more likely to have received a diagnosis of ADHD, the researchers report." Read more.
* A recent study found that, for high-functioning young kids on the spectrum, failing to have a positive connection with a teacher can exacerbate ASD-related problems. Says the lead researcher: "A major goal that follows from this research is educating and supporting teachers so they understand how important their interactions with children are during this transitional time." Find out more at Science Daily.
* Treating the gut microbiome to increase microbe diversity resulted in reduced gastrointestinal symptoms associated with ASD as well as improving sleep habits and social skills, according to a recent study. Read more.
DEPRESSION. A new study published in Biological Psychiatry offers new insights into how antidepressants work; find a write-up.
DYSLEXIA. A new study indicated that "Boys had lower average and more variable reading performance than girls, which was partially mediated by differences in processing speed and inhibitory control." Read more (but not much more) here or here.
GENETICS. An international team of scientists has unlocked some of the genes responsible for cognitive ability. The findings bring scientists a step closer to developing new -- and potentially better -- treatments for cognitive disorders of the brain, such as schizophrenia and ADHD. Find the study write-up.
March 1-3, Annual Conference of Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education, Little Rock, Arkansas. More information.
March 2-5, Annual Conference of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Dallas, Texas. More information.
March 3-5, Annual Conference of the California Association for the Gifted, San Diego, California. More information.
March 15-16, 2017, third annual Breakthroughs in Twice Exceptional Education conference, New York City. More information.
April 19-22, CEC 2017, Boston, Massachusetts. More information.
July 20-23, 22nd Biennial World Conference, Sydney, Australia. By the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. More information.
August 4-6, SENG 34th Annual Conference, Naperville, Illinois. More information.
November 9-12, 64th Annual Convention of the National Association for Gifted Children, Charlotte, North Carolina. 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.