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September 3rd 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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EDUCATORS: Now's the time to set up a group subscription so that your colleagues in gifted ed and special ed can receive 2e Newsletter at significant discounts from individual rates. For example: a 10-member group pays $12.50 per member per year; a 50-member group, just $4. Ask us about a rate for your school or district.

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
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REMEMBER MEL BROOKS? He married Ann Bancroft, and they had four children. One of them, Max, is dyslexic. Here's part of what Max, age 45 and a dad, says about his dyslexia when he was growing up: "Dyslexia in the late '70s, 1980s was unheard of. Dyslexia — they didn't even call it a disability back then; it was just 'laziness,' 'goofing off,' 'you're not trying hard enough.' 'You can do it but you don't want to do it' — that was a big one of my teachers." His mother put her career on hold to help. Read more at NPR,

NOT ALONE. 2e kiddos who take antidepressants are among about 13 percent of the population who take such meds, according to Time. The National Center for Health Statistics released the number (counting only people only 12 and older), which is up two percentage points from a decade ago. Read more.

WHAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT for your child? A poll of parents finds that, overall, about 40 percent of parents worry about two common 2e-related issues, depression and stress. The number one concern: bullying or cyberbullying. The top 10 concerns differed among parents who are black, white, and Hispanic. Go to the Washington Post to find out how your worries compare to other parents'.

MOVING. Got a kiddo with intense emotions, or one with ADHD, and planning a move? An "On Parenting" column provides advice on how to help such children cope with moving and the transitions that go with it. Interestingly, the columnist begins with the parents -- the importance of being "organized, calm, hopeful, and tapped into your emotions." Family meetings are advised, as is tapping into the feelings of the young ones. Find the column.

CALIFORNIA ADDRESSES DYSLEXIA. According to Edsource, the state of California has released a set of 132-page California Dyslexia Guidelines to inform schools about dyslexia and highlight effective interventions. The guidelines are not mandatory, however. Farther down the article, the reader finds the fingerprints of the organization Decoding Dyslexia, which led the lobbying for the legislation. Find the article, and think good thoughts about Decoding Dyslexia and the state! Or, go straight to the guidelines.

SOCIAL (PRAGMATIC) COMMUNICATION DISORDER is an autism-related diagnosis new with the DSM-5. An article at SpectrumNews.com explains more about it and describes research indicating that the diagnosis is useful, suggesting that "SCD captures children with autism features who would not otherwise receive an autism diagnosis." There has been some debate about whether SCD was really a standalone condition or simply "mild autism." Read more.

SEL, ANXIETY, AND SCHOOL. Here's a good quote: “School culture is the foundation of academic achievement. How a child behaves isn’t something separate from how they perform academically.” And article at District Administration describes new approaches to address social-emotional learning and anxiety in the context of academic instruction. The four main suggestions start with "rethink behavior" -- eg, from what's wrong with the student to what happened to this student. Read more.

UNDERSTANDING GIFTEDNESS. A press release from California State University highlights the work of a psychologist who has spent almost 40 years in a longitudinal study of giftedness -- the various types, predictors of later success, and more. He began following his subjects when they were a year old; now they're 38. One interesting part of the article concerns the researcher's work in the area of intellectual giftedness versus motivational giftedness. 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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BELIN-BLANK CENTER. This organization reminds us of two things regarding the Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development, scheduled for next April 29 through May 1:
* Registration for the event is now open.
* A "call for papers" from prospective presenters is open until September 15.
Thinking of attending and/or presenting? Find out more.

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. If you're working (or thinking of working) with a mental health professional for the benefit of your 2e child, you'll be interested in a new article at the site of the Child Mind Institute, "How to Work Well with Your Child's Therapist." Tips include: be forthcoming and transparent; have realistic expectations for treatment; and monitor and reinforce the treatment. Find the article.

DEVON MACEACHRON, a psychologist specializing in the twice-exceptional, has written a blog post about challenges in the transition from college to the workplace, featuring a nifty three-part Venn diagram (strengths, interests, values); advice to acknowledge challenges; and case studies of 2e young people in such a transition. Find the blog.

EDUCATION DIVE. Microlearning-- short bursts of content -- is advocated for some "non-traditional" learners in an article at Education Dive. Find out more.

EDUCATION WORLD has published an article titled "Strategies and Resources for Supporting Students with ADHD," focusing on the teacher's role in identifying, supporting, and teaching those students. The article also highlights a new book on using school teams to help students with ADHD. The article identifies teachers needs as being training; proven, evidence-based strategies for dealing with students with ADHD; and collaboration with caregivers. Find the article.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. Gifted stereotypes and ramifications of those stereotypes are the subject of a new blog posting by psychologist Gail Post. Some, but not all, of the stereotypes may apply to that 2e kiddo you raise or teach. Find the Gifted Challenges blog.

GIFTED HOMESCHOOLERS FORUM has posted its fall of online classes, which may be useful to homeschooled 2e kiddos or to "schooled" 2e kiddos needing enrichment. Find out more.

JEN THE BLOGGER weighs in on emotional intensities that might be part of the makeup of parents of 2e kiddos. You know, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree? Find the blog. Jen also writes about potential pathways for non-traditional learners. She observes how most members of her (and her husband's) family avoided the "traditional" route through four years of college immediately following high school, and how the route of one of her sons seems pretty flexible at the moment. If you're wondering where your 2e kiddo's educational path will go, check out the blog.

SENG. The organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted has established an online community, SENG Connect, which, in SENG's words, "provides gifted individuals and gifted families with a safe haven for discussion, support and learning....Topics such as connectivity, education, gifted adults, diversity, creativity, parenting, social/emotional well-being, and many others will be explored." Find out more.

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES offers four tips to "start the year off right." Find them.

SUMMIT CENTER. The latest newsletter from the Summit Center yielded several tidbits.
* Psychologist Dan Peters offers advice for parents on supporting children during the back-to-school transition. Find it.
* Summit Center will offer this fall a four-session monthly discussion group for parents of gifted and 2e children. The group will follow the SENG Model Parenting Group format and will start on September 14 in Walnut Creek, California. Find out more.
* Jade Rivera, according to Summit Center's newsletter, is opening a micro-school for gifted and 2e children in Oakland, California. Find out more.

TiLT PARENTING has released podcast Episode 72, a "solocast" from Debbie about her homeschooling curriculum and schedule. Find it.

UNDERSTOOD offers a primer on RTI, response to intervention, an approach for helping struggling students achieve at grade level. Find the primer, but remember that there are "wrinkles" in applying RTI to 2e kiddos

 

Resources for Parents and Educators
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2e CENTER SYMPOSIUM. There are still seats left for this October event presented by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy. The title: "Vision and Leadership in 2e Education." The audience is expected to be international in scope. One highlight will be the induction of the first "pioneers" into the 2e Hall of Fame. Find out more.

GIFTED PD. Iowa's Belin-Blank Center offers professional development opportunities this fall for educators of the gifted. Classes and workshops cover a variety of topics, including writing and perfectionism (separate classes), and we'd bet that a detailed look at the syllabuses (syllabi?) might uncover 2e-related topics. Find out more.

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY FOR TWICE-EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS
[NOTE: This statement is from the researcher. Please direct any questions to her. --2e Newsletter]
Did you know that researchers know very little about twice-exceptional students compared to other groups of children and adolescents? You have the opportunity to help us learn more about how middle school students view their friendships!
Interested individuals are invited to participate in a research study examining the perceptions of friendship quality amongst middle school students. This information may help researchers better understand how twice-exceptional students perceive their friendships compared to their peers, which may later help clinicians develop and modify social skills interventions.
We are looking for students in Grades 6, 7, or 8 (or the equivalent) who have completed standardized assessments (e.g., Iowa Assessments, Wechsler Assessments, CogAT, etc.) and would be interested in participating in our study. You will also be asked to provide demographic information about your child along with documentation of their cognitive ability (such as Iowa assessment scores from school) and ADHD diagnosis (if it applies). To participate, students will complete an online survey. The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete.
The first 50 individuals to complete the survey will receive a $10 electronic Amazon gift card!
If you are interested in learning more, please contact the PI (Staci Fosenburg, staci-fosenburg@uiowa.edu) for more information about how to participate in this study. Thank you!

FOR EDUCATORS. Landmark College, in partnership with MIT, is putting on an "LD Innovation Symposium" in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the end of September. The focus: how technology can improve teaching and learning for students with LDs. Find out more.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY. Gifted Research and Outreach, a California organization active in the gifted and 2e communities, is offering on October 20 a one-day continuing education event in LA titled "A Multidisciplinary Approach to Serving the Gifted Population." Some content is 2e-related, and participants will receive a copy of Great Potential Press' Misdiagnosis book. Find out more here or here.

AND MORE PD. September 4 is the deadline for applying to an online course from Landmark College, "Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners." Says Landmark, "This course provides a core understanding of learning theories, frameworks, and best practices for working effectively with students who learn differently. Participants will explore definitions, research, historical trends, and legal mandates related to learning disabilities (including dyslexia and dyscalculia; ADHD; and autism spectrum disorder (ASD)). Students will deepen their understanding of innovative practices, incorporating Universal Design, executive function supports, and emerging educational technologies. They will explore how these approaches can be applied and adapted to provide optimal learning." Find out more.

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

Research, Recent Studies
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UNDERSTANDING DISABILITIES. Having a physical, emotional, or cognitive disability can have several consequences, and how the disabled person deals with those consequences can affect his or her acceptance of the disability. One consequence is stigma. New research indicates that disabled persons who feel stigma are more likely to self-identify with their disability and, ultimately, even take pride in it and deal with it more successfully. While the disabilities of 2e kiddos are less "obvious" than other types of disabilities, this study write-up might offer constructive ideas for parents and even for older 2e kiddos. Find the study write-up.

INATTENTION. According to a study write-up at Science Daily, researchers have found that inattentiveness in childhood is linked to worse academic performance up to 10 years later in children with and without ADHD, even accounting for intellectual ability. The results highlight the long-term effects that childhood inattention can have on academic performance, and suggest that parents and teachers should address inattentiveness in childhood. Find the study write-up.

BRAIN STIMULATION. Can it help children with LDs, specifically those who have difficulty with math? Maybe so, according to an exploratory study. Find out more.

SLEEP, MOOD, TEENS. Most teens need eight to ten hours of sleep for optimal mood and functioning, according to new research. Read more.

CBT VS NEUROFEEDBACK. New research indicates that CBT can achieve the same results as neurofeedback training in treating the symptoms of ADHD, and in a more efficient manner. Note that the research used adult subjects. Read more.

THE GUT, THE BRAIN, AND ASD. From Science Daily: "Gut microbes have been in the news lately. Recent studies show they can influence human health, behavior, and certain neurological disorders, such as autism. But just how do they communicate with the brain? Results from a new study suggest a pathway of communication between certain gut bacteria and brain metabolites, by way of a compound in the blood known as cortisol. And unexpectedly, the finding provides a potential mechanism to explain the characteristics of autism." Go to the research write-up.

OCD. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation reports that new research has linked inflammation in certain brain "circuits" (in the basal ganglia, if you must know) to adult OCD. Caveats: the study was small and didn't by itself prove a causal connection. Nonetheless, researchers sound like they think they're onto something, for example paving the way to find a pharmaceutical treatment for OCD. Read more.

REDUCING FEAR WITH OPTOGENETICS. Scientists established a fear response in mice, discovered that synaptic connections related to the stimulus for the fear response had been strengthened, and then weakened those connections with optogenetics, using genetically modified neurons which could be switched off or on by light. Is this kind of neurological manipulation coming soon to a brain near you? Probably not, but read more.
GENERAL INTELLIGENCE. So what's the "g" factor? A researcher involved in a new study poses different ways to conceive of it: "Is it a causal factor, an artifact of the way we create cognitive tests, the result of our educational environment, a consequence of genetics, an emergent phenomenon of a dynamic system or perhaps all of these things to varying degrees?" Their conclusion: cognitive abilities such as reasoning skills and vocabulary reinforce each other in a "mutualism" model. Read more.

BRAIN CONTROL. According to Science Daily, scientists have used magnetism and injected magnetic particles to activate tiny groups of cells in mouse brains, inducing bodily movements that include running, rotating and losing control of the extremities -- an achievement that could lead to advances in studying and treating neurological disease. This magneto-thermal stimulation, says Science Daily, "gives neuroscientists a powerful new tool: a remote, minimally invasive way to trigger activity deep inside the brain, turning specific cells on and off to study how these changes affect physiology." Find out more.

 

Education Policy and Law
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NOT MUCH TO REPORT HERE from the past two weeks. If you're a hard-core education policy wonk, however, you can ponder the question of whether the U.S. Department of Justice has the authority to bring lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That authority is being questioned, and the answer will have implications for 2e students. Read more.

 

Upcoming Events
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October 13, 2017 TECA Conference "Building Awareness and Community," at Molloy College in New York. More information coming soon.

October 13-14, Biennial Symposium by the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development, Los Angeles area. More information soon.

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.

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