News about Exceptionalities, Giftedness, and More

From the July/August Issue

Intensities

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury died on June 5 at age 91. On June 4, The New Yorker had published a short reminiscence of his called “Take Me Home,” in which Bradbury described his early fascination with science fiction and storytelling. Some of our subscribers may relate to the way he described himself reading Buck Rogers stories in 1928. “I went a trifle mad that autumn. It’s the only way to describe the intensity with which I devoured the stories. You rarely have such fevers later in life that fill your entire day with emotion…. It was one frenzy after one elation after one enthusiasm after one hysteria after another. I was always yelling and running somewhere, because I was afraid life was going to be over that very afternoon.”

Bradbury said that he memorized Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan” and “John Carter of Mars” books, repeating the stories “to anyone who would sit and listen.” Interestingly, Bradbury never attended college. Read his reminiscence at this shortened url: http://goo.gl/RzCc1.

Smart Kids with Disabilities

One of our readers reported to us that her son attended the Smart Kids with Disabilities Event in June where he received a Junior Honorable Mention Award. The reader had heard about the contest and event through our communiques. The president of JetBlue Airways, who apparently has dyslexia and could not read as a child, spoke at the event. “He was very encouraging to the youth attending the event,” says our subscriber. “It was good for me as a parent to hear the same frustrations and similar experiences from other parents of children with learning disabilities.”

The Lang School

Micaela Bracamonte says that the Lang School she founded in Manhattan for twice-exceptional children is moving to a much larger location at 11 Broadway, one block north of Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, with a view of the Statue of Liberty. Expanding over three years to 7,000 square feet, the school will be K-8 during this upcoming school year and K-12 beginning the following year, growing by one 10-student classroom per year. The 2012/13 school year will see the startup of a drama program, an industrial arts program, and weekly talent development days. The school will offer afterschool programming on site. Find more information at TheLangSchool.org.

Center for Talent Development

Each fall, the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University hosts a conference for educators, informing them of best practices in gifted education and inspiring them to strive toward mastery of their craft and better instruction and support for gifted students. This year’s Educators Conference, held in cooperation with The Avery Coonley School and Quest Academy, will be on Saturday, October 13, 2012. The keynote speaker for the 2012 Conference will be Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Professor Emerita at College of William & Mary. In her workshop, VanTassel-Baska will discuss Common Core State Standards. For more information, visit www.ctd.northwestern.edu/outreach.

Published

Pediatric neuropsychologist Paul Beljan has published an article in Applied Neuropsychology: Child. Titled “The Impact of Variability in Defining and Measuring ADHD and Executive Functioning on Medication Efficacy,” the article appeared in the June issue of the publication. You may view the abstract at http://goo.gl/PqHga.

Belin-Blank 2e Grant

The Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa has received a $150,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to help provide services to twice-exceptional students. The grant will help NITE (National Institute for Twice-Exceptionality) train and support educators as well as provide scholarships for 2e kids to attend enrichment programs at the Belin-Blank Center. Find out more at www.uiowa.edu/2012/06/twice-exceptional.

Pat Schuler Changes Practice

Psychologist Pat Schuler is ending two aspects of her practice, counseling and evaluations, in order to spend more time helping her daughter in her struggle with Huntington’s Disease. Schuler says she will continue to consult with families and schools and do presentations/training on gifted kids, especially those who have other exceptionalities. Starting in September she will work from her home. Reach Schuler at gpjs@berk.com.

Additionally, in late June Schuler presented a workshop on twice-exceptional kids to over 85 educators, OTs, PTs, and psychologists from Achievements (www.Achievements.org), an agency serving 10 New York State counties. Schuler says that Achievements will offer twice-exceptional services for pre-K and Kindergarten students beginning in September.

2e Yahoo Community in Australia

According to Helen Dudeney, GLD Australia has started an online Yahoo group open to anyone interested in GLD/2e who requests an invitation. Members discuss issues such as: interpreting IQ assessments; raising and teaching GLD children and teens; liaising with schools and teachers; and applying for special provisions for state exams, NAPLAN, and scholarship tests. Also addressed are a wide variety of therapies and learning disabilities and other learning challenges, such as AD/HD and ASD. In keeping with the GLD “recipe” of both feeding the gifts and accommodating/remediating the disabilities, topics about supporting “plain” gifted are also included. GLD adults are encouraged to share their journeys. Carol Barnes is the national GLD coordinator: carol@bartink.com.au.

Michigan School Caters to 2e Kids

A K-12 school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is planning to offer extra support to twice-exceptional students beginning this fall. Clonlara School will offer a progressive educational program designed to meet the needs of gifted children who are experiencing difficulty due to autism, sensory issues, or delays in math and reading. According to the school, the new program will provide students with a special level of service and the opportunity to integrate into an inclusive classroom. 2e children will be clustered with other gifted children to work on topics they have chosen. Students will have ample time to be social, to explore their interests, and to work individually on subjects that challenge them. Guided by the parent and student, the teaching team will create an individually tailored program that will allow each child to discover a love of learning and the importance of hard work. Other professionals, such as therapists, tutors, or educational consultants, may be involved in the specialized programming for the student. Go to www.clonlara.org for more information.

Davidson Academy and Davidson Institute

The application for the 2013-2014 school year is now available at the website for the Davidson Academy of Nevada, on the “How to Apply” page. The Academy is specifically designed to meet the needs of profoundly gifted middle and high school students who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests, such as the SAT or ACT.

Each month during the school year, The Davidson Academy hosts a tour for prospective students and their parents. At these tours, visitors meet current Academy students, parents, faculty, and staff, and are able to ask specific questions about the school. Upcoming school tours will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on the following Fridays: Sept. 28, Oct. 19, Nov. 30 and Dec. 14. For details, including directions to The Davidson Academy and RSVP information, please visit the “Tours” page. For additional information, contact the Academy at outreach@davidsonacademy.unr.edu.

Separately, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers high-achieving young people across the country the opportunity to be named a 2013 Davidson Fellow, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000, or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, music, philosophy, or “outside the box.” The 2013 scholarship requirements have been posted; the 2012 Davidson Fellows will be announced in August. To find out more, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org/Fellows.

Nielsen & Higgins: Grandparents Again

Elizabeth Nielsen and Dennis Higgins, both involved for decades in 2e education and consulting, became grandparents for the second time on July 7 with the birth of Roberto Dennis Armijo to their daughter and son-in-law. Higgins noted the birth with a photo and comment on his Facebook page.

The Doctors Eide

In their Dyslexic Advantage newsletter, Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide announced receipt of a grant for a Dyslexia and Talent Conference funded by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. They’re in the process of lining up speakers and checking out venues convenient to attendees on the East Coast. We’ll keep you posted on dates and locations.

Gifted Summit in the Midwest

On August 15, the non-profit group Midwest Center for Gifted is hosting a summit in Des Plaines, Illinois, featuring two three-hour curriculum workshops, one by Joseph Renzulli and one by Joyce Van Tassel-Baska. Conference organizers say that each professor has promised to focus not just on theory but on how to implement theory in real-world settings. Participants in the workshops can expect to take away concrete skills and ideas on how to help children learn to think creatively without fear of failure. Go to midwestgifted.org for more information.

2e Seminar

Beverly Trail is presenting a seminar on twice-exceptional learners on October 10, 2012, titled “Maximizing Outcomes for Twice-Exceptional Children: What Educators and Parents Need to Understand and Be Able to Do.” The seminar is to be held at the Center for Gifted Students at Western Kentucky University. More information is at www.wku.edu/gifted/twice_exceptional.php.

That’s It!

More news in September. Check our blog and briefing for current items.