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Mid-June 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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DON'T FORGET that those who purchase all 10 booklets in our "Spotlight on 2e" series pay only $99 plus shipping, an offer that's good all year and not just at "sale time." The offer is at the bottom of this page on our site. (U.S. subscribers only, please.)

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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DON'T FEEL BAD if you had trouble figuring out what was going on with your 2e kiddo before you knew he was twice-exceptional. At the Huffington Post you can read about a family in which the two parents have a combined three advanced degrees in education -- but who went through the same puzzle-solving most of the rest of us did before encountering, for the first time, the term "twice-exceptional." And the mom transitioned into a role familiar to those here: “warrior-research mother.” Find the story.

LABELS FOR DIFFERENTLY-WIRED KIDS. TiLT Parenting pointed us (thanks, Debbie) to an essay by a mom in Singapore who with her family this summer "will traverse twelve time zones to the other side of the globe as a step towards acceptance." In the family is a very bright 7yo differently-wired boy who on the trip will receive an assessment. The essay is in the form of a letter to the boy's teacher and is titled "Please Don't Label My Son." And the "acceptance" part of the journey? "If we are to 'help' my son — accept and embrace him with empathy and unconditional love — we must learn to quiet the noise of our interpretations so that we can understand the nuances of his." Find the essay.

ADHD DIAGNOSES, MEDS. In 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines for diagnosing and treating ADHD. Since then, according to a recent research update from the AAP, both the rate of diagnosis and the use of stimulant meds have remained constant. Find AAP's research update. On the other hand, the title of a recent article at Psychiatric Times is "Are We Overdiagnosing and Overtreating ADHD?" The article covers several studies of incidence and treatment; however, it looks as if the data used is generally from 2011 or earlier. Find the article. (Free registration required.)

AN ANXIOUS NATION was the title of an article from The New York Times before some editor changed the title, using a reference to the "United States of Xanax." (We like the first title better.) The article is about the ubiquity of anxiety in social media, blogs, Broadway shows, TV, and books. How ubiquitous? "According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, some 38 percent of girls ages 13 through 17, and 26 percent of boys, have an anxiety disorder." This article provides some reasons for the prevalence of anxiety, and notes the benefits of efforts to bring anxiety into "the open." You won't, however, find much help for that 2e kiddo you know who worries a lot. Find the article.

MORE ON ANXIETY. Two recent articles cover anxiety in kids. One, in Time, is titled "The New Way to Prevent Anxiety in Kids." It focuses on therapies that can prevent anxiety in children, and describes anxiety as a "gateway illness" leading to depression and other problems. Find the article. The second article is at PsychCentral, and focused on anxiety in preschoolers -- its prevalence and how parenting behaviors and family history might be involved. Find the article.

ASD IN THE CLASSROOM. The New York Times reports on an approach in the classroom to helping students on the spectrum adapt and learn. It's called ASD Nest and is in use in dozens of schools in New York City. Eligible students are evaluated as being capable of grade-level work. Read more.

PARENT AND TEACHER with different views of the same child -- that's the gist of a story in The Washington Post. The teacher was very experienced, with a reputation for being good with gifted students. The parent of the boy in question, who was on the spectrum, was, ironically, a psychologist specializing in the early identification of autism. But the teacher said "I don't see [him] as a boy with autism." How did the year turn out? Read the story to find out.

A 28YO COMEDIAN WITH ASPERGER'S is featured in the Bangor (Maine) Daily News. In the article, he addresses his background, his ASD ("another way of looking at the world"), and his comedy. Read more.

TEEN GIRLS AND DEPRESSION. Teen girls experience depression at a much higher rate than boys, 36 percent to 14 percent, according to research reported at The Washington Post. If this statistic is of potential relevance in your family, 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 
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CHILD MIND INSTITUTE. This organization's #MyYoungerSelf campaign is over, and the Child Mind Institute has posted a thank you and a request to "keep the movement alive" by sharing its videos, in which prominent people discussed their issues such as anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. See the thank-you. If you haven't checked out the videos, maybe now's the time.

DEVON MACEACHRON is a psychologist specializing in twice exceptionality, and she has written an insightful blog posting on the topic of giftedness and dyslexia. The posting, however, applies to other "e's" beside dyslexia and brings some clarity to how learning disabilities should be diagnosed in high-ability kiddos, endorsing the discrepancy model (the difference between potential and performance) as a key to ferreting out LDs. Find the posting. (Thanks to the Eides and Dyslexic Advantage for making us aware of MacEachron's post.)

DISABILITY SCOOP. The U.S. Department of Education has revamped the site devoted to the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, IDEA. Disability Scoop quotes the department as saying, "The site features better search capabilities, enhanced accessibility and more content." See for yourself; the department invites you to provide feedback.

GIFTED AND DISTRACTIBLE. The June edition of this newsletter is out. Julie Skolnick says, "In this issue of Gifted and Distractible check out articles and information relevant to: end of year considerations - test stress and advocacy... making the most of summer vacation to engage gifted minds in meaningful endeavors, address sleep hygiene, and taking a moment to consider what it's like being a gifted adult." Find the newsletter.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. We in the 2e community get to explain two (or more) labels to our offspring. Psychologist Gail Post writes at her blog about how to explain the "gifted" label. Find the blog.

GIFTED HOMESCHOOLING. The Gifted homeschooler's Forum (GHF) says that as part of its mission it "seeks to advocate for the gifted/2e community, providing an informed voice to organizations and policymakers who otherwise would hear little to nothing from this unique demographic." GHF surveyed its constituency about educational choice and found this: "The most significant result of this research is the documentation of a melding of educational options. Families surveyed by GHF are not making choices based on ideology so much as they are seeking the best fit for each child, based on the needs of that child and of the family at any given place and time.​ Families of all kinds deserve a seat at the education policy-making table, and families who homeschool should not be permanently marginalized—left unheard—because they have chosen to do what they believe is best for the academic and developmental needs of their children." Read more.

NCLD. The National Center for Learning Disabilities is advocating for the RISE act, legislation that would help ease the transition to college for students with learning and attention issues. At the NCLD site you can find out more and have your chance to advocate for the bill.

SENG. Don't forget to periodically check this organization's listing of upcoming webinars for subjects of interest. Also, the SENG 2017 conference is coming up, to be held in the Chicago area on August 3-6. In the past we've found the conference to be a good one for members of the 2e community. See you there?

SMART KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES. A new, brief article at the site of this organization covers some of the reasons why a career in technology might be appropriate for 2e kiddos; find it.

TiLT PARENTING has introduced a new podcast, this one about nurturing character in differently-wired kiddos. Find the podcast. TiLT also offers podcast Episode 60, "A Deep Dive into Assessments, Diagnoses, and Labels," with psychologist Linda Neff. Remember that TiLT is for those who have "differently-wired" kiddos, aka twice-exceptional. Find the podcast.

UNDERSTOOD, in its "My Parent Journey" feature, has a blog post from a dad describing how his family was able to get, over the years, an IEP that worked both for his 2e son's learning challenges as well as for his giftedness. The story is interesting in that it wasn't until high school that the lack of challenge motivated the family to request enrichment -- and the school went along, offering a method it had never done before. Find the story. Separately, Understood has posted a piece titled "ADHD and Mood Swings: What You Need to Know." Got that problem at your house? Find the piece.

WRIGHTSLAW has published Special Education Legal Developments and Cases: 2016. If you're an advocate, know that the book contains, according to Wrightslaw:
* All key decisions from the Courts of Appeals in 2016
* Four decisions that were selected as "Cases of the Year for 2016."
Find out more.

 

Resources for Parents and Educators
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WALLACE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ON TALENT DEVELOPMENT. Organizing is underway for the 2018 edition of this event, sponsored by Belin Blank and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Prospective presenters should know that organizers have issued a call for papers. Is there a presentation YOU should pitch? Find out more.

SURVEY PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY 1: LD Online is looking for input on the topic of assistive technology for students with learning challenges -- "why you are looking for AT/IT, where you look for information, what works in your classroom or at home, and more." Find out more.

SURVEY PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY 2. Understood has issued the following request. "Please share your thoughts on the IEP process. We want to hear from both parents and educators about your experiences. What do you think about the process for having a child evaluated? How is your school using the IEP to provide individualized teaching and personalized learning? Understood appreciates your help in completing a brief 5-minute survey." Go to the survey.

EDUCATION WEEK offers "spotlights," collections of articles on particular topic. One is on special ed and includes articles of possible relevance to members of the 2e community, who have legs in both the gifted camp and the special ed camp. Some of the topics in this spotlight include personalized learning for kids with LDs, vouchers and special ed, and RTI. Find the spotlight.

JAMES T. WEBB, psychologist and founder of the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted, is interviewed by Adrienne Van Den Bos. You can find a PDF version here, or, if you're on LinkedIn, find a link here.

A REMINDER: The Landmark College Summer Institute runs from June 25-28, aimed at educators and professionals supporting students who learn differently. Find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS AND PROGRAMS. Our May/June issue, out few weeks ago, included the annual listing of camps and programs. After we published, TiLT Parenting issued a podcast from the point of view of TiLT's founder's 12yo son on prepping for a successful time at sleep-away camp. Find the podcast.

UC DAVIS. The UC Davis Mind Institute provides many resources of potential interest to parents, educators, and clinicians in the 2e community. One resource is a collection of videos on topics such as ADHD, ASD, assistive technology, LDs, and more. Find the videos.

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

Research, Recent Studies
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DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION may soon be done in human brains without invasive wiring. The trick involves beaming two currents of different frequencies that intersect at the desired location. The technique is called "temporally interfering stimulation." Beside Parkinson's disease, the technique, now being tested in mice, might be useful for treating OCD and depression. Find out more in a study write-up or a New York Times article.

ADHD AND DRIVING: CONTRADICTIONS?
* NewsWise reported on a study indicating that car crashes might not be as big a danger for teens with ADHD as previously thought; read more.
* But another recent study says this: "Adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are licensed to drive less often and, when this group is licensed, they have a greater risk of crashing." Read more.

MORE ON ADHD.
* TED, in its weekly playlist, pointed to a talk by a neuroscientist who explains what happens when we pay attention; find it.
* US News published an article about how ADHD symptoms manifest differently depending on gender; find the article.

PUBERTY, LEARNING. The hormones associated with puberty affect learning. That's probably not news to anyone who's ever taught or parented a middle-schooler, but it appears that those chemicals do have specific effects on the frontal cortices... of mice -- female mice. Extrapolating the effects to human girls can shed light on how they learn. Find a study write-up.

DOGS AND ACADEMICS. Second-graders of at least average reading ability improved their abilities and attitudes about reading when they read for 30 minutes a week to therapy dogs. Read more.

GENERIC STRATERA for ADHD has been approved by the FDA. Find out more.

 

Education Policy and Law
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NAGC, in its periodic survey of news, pointed us to three items of possible interest to those in the 2e community:
* A CNN article titled "How to Make Sense of the School Choice Debate; find it
* A Politico article, "Five Programs Trump Wants to Scrap You Might Have Missed" (hint: one is the Javits program); find it
* A letter from Senators to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee supporting funding for the Javits program; find it

FAITH-BASED SCHOOLS. Commentary at Education Week by a University of Notre Dame official argues that faith-based schools "have always mattered a great deal to our K-12 landscape. In many ways, they matter now more than ever," citing their service to marginalized children and families and to at-risk communities. If you're interested in the many factors involved in school choice and potential shifts in Federal education policy and practice, perhaps check out this article.

 

Upcoming Events
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June 22-24, "Gifted Plus" events, San Antonio, Texas. By the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. Concerns serving gifted students who are twice-exceptional, ELL, or members of other underserved gifted populations. More information.

July 7-14, Confratute Summer Institute, for educators, Storrs, Connecticut (UConn). More information.

July 20-23, 22nd Biennial World Conference, Sydney, Australia. By the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. More information.

July 24-28, Edufest conference for gifted and talented Education, Boise, Idaho. More information.

August 4-6, SENG 34th Annual Conference, Naperville, Illinois. More information.

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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