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June 1st E2e Briefing

In this Issue

Subscriber Alerts

Giftedness and Exceptionalities in the News

From Other Newsletters and Digests

Resources

Research, Studies

Education Policy and Law

Events

 

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
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MAY/JUNE ISSUE. Issue 88 of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, focusing on "through the eyes of 2e," will be out shortly. Paid subscribers, watch for it!

FACEBOOK. If you're on Facebook, drop by to comment, to "like," or to see whatever we've posted lately. Or follow us on Twitter: @2eNewsletter.

Giftedness and Exceptionalities in the News
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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.

NEED A SHRINK to diagnose or treat your twice-exceptional young one? You're likely to have a tough time finding one in most parts of the United States, according to a study by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reported by Physician's Briefing. The AACAP has published a color-coded map showing the adequacy of psychiatrist-to-population coverage in all states, with green being "mostly sufficient," yellow being "high shortage," and red being "severe shortage." There are no green states. Most are red. Find the write-up and click on "Workforce Maps" to see the coverage.

MINDFULNESS FOR CHILDREN. 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, and don't forget what psychologist Devon MacEachron advised in her recent blog: that "...it’s not a “quick fix” but more of a 'lifestyle change' requiring a significant commitment to see results."

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. Here's the earlier write-up on the role of social media in creating anxiety.

TAKING TO TASK. An eighth-grader in the Warren Township (New Jersey) schools took to task the district's board of education for its attitude and practices around neurodiversity -- in his case, autism. The young man, who has experience in both honors and special ed classes, delivered these messages: different is not deficient, and autism doesn't need a "cure." What he said was extraordinarily mature and highlighted his intellect and talents. He invoked Einstein, Mozart, and Grandin, and quoted experts in education. You'll enjoy his criticism of two particular actions by school administrators. Read more.

CELEBRITIES, MENTAL HEALTH. US News notes, "It's become the new norm for stars to divulge vulnerabilities once kept closely guarded." The news organization gives plenty of examples and quotes a psychologist about the benefits of de-stigmatization and normalization by such revelations. The article also points to the campaign #MyYoungerSelf by the Child Mind Institute, currently returning for year two in Mental Health Awareness Month (May). Find the article. Find #MyYoungerSelf.

TEACHER CONTRIBUTIONS. When you think about what teachers bring to the classroom as they try to make sure their students do well, consider that they also buy classroom supplies, on average about $500 worth per year -- on a salary that usually doesn't reflect their value to society in the first place. Read more.

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 
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ADDITUDE offers on its website an explanation of executive function disorder (EFD) and how it fits with ADHD and/or LDs. "When a professional evaluating a child or adult finds evidence of EFD, it is essential for her to clarify whether the disorder results in ADHD, LD, or both. Only then can the child or adult receive the appropriate treatment for his specific problem," says the article. Find it.

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE explores in a recent article on its website whether sensory processing issues lessen with time? Find it.

DAVIDSON INSTITUTE. This organization's May newsletter is out, with news about the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, the World Science Festival, barriers for low-income gifted students, various Davidson initiatives, and education legislation/policy in the U.S. Find the newsletter.

DEVON MACEACHRON has released Number 7 in her mythbusting 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.

EDUCATION WEEK. 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 an individual conversation with the student about their attention issues, with results she says "can be truly profound." Read more. Separately, an educator/author writes in Education Week about various perspectives on labels and how they can help or hinder. He cites a study showing that the lack of labels can have a positive impact on educational achievement. In the end he quotes what he says is an old saying in education: "If it's good enough for a special education student, it should be good enough for any student." (And that statement, we think, would be equally as meaningful substituting "2e" for "special education.") The meaning? "Students shouldn't need a label to get good teaching and impactful interventions that will help them become better learners." Read more.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. In our last blog we pointed to a post by psychologist Gail Post about the dangers of assuming that a condition like anxiety was the result of giftedness and not the result of another underlying cause that should be attended to. For Mental Health Awareness Month, Post has gathered a number of her writings about topics related to giftedness and various mental health topics. If you haven't been a regular reader of Post -- or if you'd like a refresher -- check out her blog.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers tips on preparing for college and paying for it, along with a "College Preparation Checklist." Find the resources. The organization also offers "Why College Is Daunting for LD Students." The reasons include pressure, workload, personal responsibility, and seven more. Find out more about college traps to anticipate.

TiLT PARENTING's newest podcast is a conversation with 13yo Asher about learning and education. Says TiLT's Debbie Reber, "...we’ve been having lots of conversations about this ourselves lately and we thought it might be interesting to share it for the podcast. So today we talk about how Asher learns, what he thinks schools get wrong when it comes to supporting atypical learners, and what ideas he has for schools becoming more inclusive." Find the podcast. Separately, TiLT is offering a pre-order special on the forthcoming book Differently Wired. The special includes four bonuses. Find out more.

TECA, Twice Exceptional Children's Advocacy, has announced dates for its June online parent support groups, each of which will deal with transitions. Find out more.

Resources for Parents and Educators
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MANHATTAN SUMMER CAMP. Quad Manhattan provides summer programs for twice-exceptional K-10 children, and says there are still spaces available. The organizers offer to "Build psychosocial/emotional and executive functioning skills in a fun and talent-based 6 week program this summer." Find out more.

LANDMARK PD. Landmark College offers a summer institute for those who educate "students who learn differently." Find out more.

SENG is presenting one of its "mini-conferences" in Columbus, Ohio, on August 11. It's described this way: "A one day conference exploring the social & emotional needs of the gifted. Topics include, but are not limited to: supporting twice-exceptional students, empathy, mental health, gifted literary characters, using creativity as a window, facilitating dialogues, gratitude & growth, and what to do when a gifted student struggles in mastery learning." Find out more.

2e2: TEACHING THE TWICE EXCEPTIONAL. The official trailer for this documentary is now available on Vimeo, according to producer Tom Ropelewski. This sequel to "2e: Twice Exceptional" focuses on -- as the title suggests -- education. Find the trailer.

SELF-ADVOCACY is the topic of an upcoming event co-sponsored by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Organizers say: "During the briefing, a group of distinguished panelists will offer actions that students, parents, community members, educators, and policymakers can take to ensure self-advocacy and self-determination are integrated into personalized learning systems." You may attend in person or watch the event online. Find out more.

FLEXSCHOOL, which currently operates two 2e-friendly campuses in the Northeast, is gauging potential interest in the area of Maryland, DC, and Virginia. An exploratory information session is scheduled for June 7 in Rockville, Maryland. If you've been looking for a 2e-friendly grade 5-12 school in that area, check it out.

CAMP SUMMIT WEST in Northern California, for gifted (and 2e) kids, still has a few openings, according to its organizers. Find out more.

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

Research, Recent Studies
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ADHD
* Physician's Briefing says this: "For children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), participation in after-school activities (ASA) is associated with reduced odds of moderate-to-severe ADHD and having seven or more missed school days, according to a study..." Find out more.
* Increases in the rate of diagnosis of ADHD (and consequent medication prescriptions) has led to more mis-use of the meds and more calls to poison control centers. Read more.
* Can the use of the drug DES by grandmothers increase the odds of ADHD in grandchildren two generations later? Yes, according to new research.
* Can in-utero exposure to phthalates increase the risk of ADHD in children? Evidently. Read more.

AUTISM.
* A major study examining the fish-eating habits of pregnant women has found that they are not linked to autism or autistic traits in their children. Scientists looked at the assumption that mercury exposure during pregnancy is a major cause of autism using evidence from nearly 4,500 women who took part in the Children of the '90s study. Find the study write-up.
* A new study analyzing more than 1,000 brain scans reveals surprising new insights into brain networks in people with autism, after applying a new personalized approach to brain mapping. The new approach provides a way to examine the location of individual brain networks with more precision. Find the study write-up.

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.

IQ
* Does breastfeeding make a kid smarter? Probably not, according to new research. Read more.
* Does a dad's exercise provide brain benefits to his offspring? Looks like it might. Read more.

OCD. A new study reports that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) feel more distress when viewing images to provoke OCD-related emotions than their unaffected siblings. Although the unaffected siblings showed lower levels of distress, they had higher levels of brain activity in regions important for attention. The findings suggest that the family members may draw on additional brain resources to compensate for potential abnormalities in emotion regulation. Find the study write-up.

 

Education Policy and Law
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CIVIL RIGHTS FOR LDs are part of changes at the U.S. Department of Education that have some observers worried. The administration says the changes are for efficiency, including an effort to weed out "serial complainers." Others see, according to Education Week, "an abdication of the office for civil rights' duties." Read more and decide for yourself whether you should be worried about the civil rights of your gifted/LD young person.

TO THINK ABOUT. The items below are "big picture" items, things to think about when not immersed in IEPs, homework supervision, therapy sessions, medication monitoring, etc etc etc.
* Congress in the U.S. is evidently considering rolling back access to higher education for students with disabilities and for underserved students, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities. NCLD gives you a way to take action on the matter.
* COPAA, the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys, observes the anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. They quote part of the decision, which provides a vision of education worth contemplating. COPAA relates "Brown" to IDEA, and writes, "COPAA fights to make that promise of an inclusive, high quality education for students with disabilities become and remain a reality." COPAA also refers to current efforts to undermine equal access to education; find the statement.
* Chalkbeat writes about the disproportionate amount of disciplinary actions faced by students with disabilities in Colorado. Go to Chalkbeat.
* Finally, two former U.S. Secretaries of Education write about partisanship and the state of the U.S. education system today. They, too, note the crucial role of education in America. They write, "Higher expectations and strong standards — backed by federal policy that protects the enormous taxpayer investment in K-12 schools and higher education — are bipartisan concerns. Respect for teaching, and the accompanying need for better preparation and support for teachers, must be one unifying goal." Find the piece.

STATE FUNDING FOR IDEA. The Feds don't cough up the amounts they promised in order to pay for IDEA in states and districts across the country. Thanks to an interactive map, you can find the shortfall in your state -- money that should be there (but isn't) to help kids like yours. Find the map.

Upcoming Events
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July 9-13, Confratute summer institute for educators, University of Connecticut. More information.

July 19-21, Hormel Foundation G&T Symposium, Austin, Minnesota. More information.

July 20-22, SENG Annual Conference, San Diego, California. More information.

July 23-27, Edufest conference on gifted education, Boise, Idaho. More information.

September 19-22, Triennial gifted conference by the International Centre for the Study of Giftedness, Muenster, Germany. More information.

November 9, 2018 Twice-Exceptional Children’s Advocacy (TECA) Conference at Molloy College in New York. More information.

November 15-18, 65th Annual Convention of the National Association for Gifted Children, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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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