GEEKINESS AND AUTISM, the connection, is the topic of a thoughtful article at CNN. Written by an Aspie, the article covers the stereotypes of both, speculates on possible genetic connections between the two, and contains a great quote from Temple Grandin. Find the article.
BULLYING AND AUTISM. NPR's Health Blog on April 23rd was titled, "Children with Autism Are Often Targeted by Bullies," and goes on to say exactly how often -- three times as often as typical children. The show profiles one Abby Mahoney, a 13yo Aspie girl who was a target because of her fascination with Star Wars. Find the program.
MENTORING RESOURCE. About.com profiles Project Eye-to-Eye, an organization that matches young students with with AD/HD or LDs to high school and college students with matching conditions. The older students are able to act as tutors and role models. According to the profile, "Mentors also aim to provide younger students with skills that facilitate academic empowerment such as positive self-advocacy and understanding ones own learning style and strengths." Find the profile.
HOLD THE SSRI? A study at McMaster University raises questions about the downside of anti-depressants that work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. SSRIs may evidently affect infant development, adult sexual function, and digestion. Got a twice-exceptional kid on anti-depressants? Check out the article.
DIET AND AH/HD. A new "meta-study" indicates potential benefits to diet changes in kids with AD/HD, but also says that more research is necessary. From a write-up of the study: ""There are different types of AD/HD, and the disturbance is probably due to both genetic and environmental factors. We know that children with AD/HD react very differently to both medication and dietary changes. We therefore need to study which children benefit from dietary changes, and whether we can identify genetic or environmental factors that can predict this." Find the write-up.
MINDFULNESS IN THE CLASSROOM is the focus of an article at the site of the Child Mind Institute. According to the article, being trained in mindfulness can help kids increase self-awareness and self-regulation. Students with AD/HD trauma, anxiety, or autism may benefit. Read more.AND FINALLY, THIS -- not about giftedness or LDs directly, but maybe of interest: an article at the Dana Foundation site on the effect of stress during gestation on the development of the fetal brain. Find it.