News about Exceptionalities, Giftedness, and More

From the May/June, 2018, issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

In Case You Missed These in Our Blog and Briefing

MINDFULNESS FOR CHILDREN. Psychologist Devon MacEachron has released Number 7 in her myth-busting series on alternative therapies for 2e learners, this one on mindfulness meditation. She reviews the research on mindfulness for kids. What does she think? Here’s part of her conclusion: “I often recommend mindfulness meditation to the families of 2e learners I work with, as I do think it can help. I am concerned, though, that instruction and methodology can be a bit vague and many families may not know how best to go about it. Also, it’s not a quick fix but more of a lifestyle change requiring a significant commitment to see results.” Read the full blog post at https://goo.gl/YW2ey9. Separately, The New York Times “Well” section recently included an article by that title, giving guidelines for the practice. Advice covers parents with infants; toddlers; young children; older children; and teenagers. Find the article at https://goo.gl/cgbhHx.

SOCIAL MEDIA. Does social media cause depression? That’s the question addressed in an article at the site of the Child Mind Institute. As the article notes in its opening paragraph, “In several recent studies, teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 percent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the least time.” Read more at https://goo.gl/8KeHcN. Separately, social media can “steal childhood,” contends an article at Bloomberg.com. “Now researchers say social media could be making more teens depressed, and there’s plenty of parental panic about the attention-sapping effects of the smartphone age.” We mentioned the research a few weeks ago, but this article takes a broader look at the problem, the research, what the government and social media companies might do, and even a “reference shelf” for further reading. Check out the article at https://goo.gl/NpWHTH.

GROWTH MINDSET. Trendbuster? A new study found that “growth mindset interventions,” or programs that teach students they can improve their intelligence with effort -- and therefore improve grades and test scores -- don’t work for students in most circumstances. Find the study write-up at https://goo.gl/GwzESr.

GETTING IT. A teacher writes in Education Week about students who have trouble paying attention. She says, “Some of my brightest, most creative, and capable minds are the ones who struggle to pay attention in class.” Does she tell them, “listen better” or “focus”? Nope. Instead, she’ll have individual conversations with students about their attention issues, with results she says “can be truly profound.” Read more at https://goo.gl/WE767Z.

LD IN THE WORKPLACE. When we saw the title of the article, we figured it would be an interesting read: “8 Top Tips for People with Learning and Attention Issues to Find Success in the Workplace.” It’s in Forbes. And it starts off with the thoughts of David Flink, who has built Eye to Eye, an organization that helps people who learn differently — and that hires people who learn differently. It’s about pride, self-acceptance, and more. The last tip: “Make Your Goal To Be Yourself (Not to Fit In).” Sound advice for any young person in the 2e community. Find the article at https://goo.gl/vp2hv1.
ENDREW F. “Any way you slice it, it hasn’t changed the trends. The same folks are still winning — the districts.” That’s what an education law expert says a year after the Endrew F decision supposedly gave a higher standard for special ed services provided by school districts; this is according to an Education Week article. Read more at https://goo.gl/tCJhZp.

ADHD, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION. The Hechinger Report offers a good explanation of executive function and how a new study “makes a compelling case that certain executive functioning difficulties can emerge as early as kindergarten and they dramatically increase the likelihood of serious academic problems in the first half of elementary school. Troubles with executive function can put these children on a low and sluggish learning curve that they are unlikely to break out of.” Find the article at https://goo.gl/BjpwXJ. Separately, ADDitude explains how lagging executive functioning skills can challenge a child, and how parents can help improve those skills. Find the ADDitude article at https://goo.gl/A8Kmji. Separately again, The New York Times quotes a developmental pediatrician who suggests that parents view ADHD as “a delay in self-management skills,” which, with the right support, can be overcome. An interesting aside in the article is a child psychiatrist’s allusion to a Peanuts cartoon in which Linus proclaims, “There is no heavier burden than a great potential.” (A link in the article takes you to a site where you can buy a refrigerator magnet with that saying if you’re so inclined.) Find the Times article at https://goo.gl/UABEsg

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