TECA Insights | Vol. 79| January 25, 2019
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Hi Everyone, 

Now that we are solidly in the throes of winter, I have been feeling shut down – its cold, I have not been getting enough sleep, and I just want to crawl under the blankets, eat chocolate and watch TV.
One of the reasons I have not been sleeping well is because my back has been bothering me. I have had minor back problems off and on for most of my adult life. Everything now and then I’ll get spasms or my back will ache. Usually it starts hurting when I am not getting enough exercise (or too much exercise) or I am stressed out about something. Lately it’s definitely been the more of the achy/stress variety. I have been doing all the usual things to try to resolve it – extra stretching, warm relaxing baths and Advil. Despite that, the ache is lingering longer than I expected. Read the full post at TECA2e.org.
I hope you enjoyed the rest of the post! Have a wonderful weekend!


Maratea Cantarella
TECA Executive Director

Online Workshop
ADHD and Twice Exceptional Kids

Monday, January 28 at 12:00pm ET

Twice-exceptional kids with ADHD need to be challenged in areas in which they’re gifted, and supported in the areas in which they struggle. In this expert chat, Paul Yellin, M.D., will be talking about the misconceptions and unique challenges faced by 2E kids with ADHD, and what they need to thrive in life.

No registration is needed—simply go to live.understood.org at the time of the chat, and RSVP below. Visit Understood.org For More Info.

Top 10 Transition Resources
for Young Adults with ASD

Description:  Developmental disability related topics for people with disabilities, caregivers, and professionals.

Presenter:        Tracy Kernan, LCSW

Date & Time:    Tue, February 5, 2019

                          10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST

Location:          YAI Manhattan

                           460 W 34th Street, 11th Floor

                           New York, NY 10001


Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Toddlers (PCIT-T) 

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Toddlers is an early intervention program that involves coaching parents while they interact with their 12 to 24 month old children. Adapting the play therapy and compliance training procedures of PCIT, parents are coded and coached in the use of therapeutic parenting practices proven to decrease problematic behaviors, improve children’s language, and encourage young children to follow directions.

Dr. Girard will review the novel components for the special needs of toddlers, including specific procedures for promoting the attachment relationship and emotion regulation in both the caregivers and children… Read More in Kurtz Psychology.


Homework Anxiety: What You Need to Know

Does your child seem to spend more time worrying about homework than actually doing it? Homework anxiety can eat up a lot of time and energy. As bedtime looms closer, worries about having too much homework tend to snowball as kids have less and less time to get it done.

A little bit of worry about homework can be used as fuel to help a child succeed: “I know this is hard, but I’m pretty sure I can do it.” But a lot of stress or anxiety can block learning by shutting down the parts of the brain that need to do the work. Read More in Understood.

Unique Needs
Kids with Life-Threatening Allergies

A school nurse emailed…

Does a child with a life threatening food allergy need a 504 Plan or a Medical 504 Plan?

Thirteen percent of students have food allergies. That’s about two kids per class – not a small problem!

Concerns about episodic conditions such as allergies, anaphylaxis, asthma, epilepsy, do not have “one size fits all” solutions. Read More in Wrights Law.

What Now? Advocating For Your Twice Exceptional (2e) Child

What you have read is a glimpse into the daily lives of families with 2e children. It is just the tip of the iceberg. You may be a parent with a young 2e child, you may be his or her grandparent, or you may be a professional trying to understand twice exceptionality. Whatever your interest, we are grateful you are educating yourself about the challenges faced by 2e children. Over the course of our PAR groups’ research, we compiled collective experiences from many families and drew some conclusions that may help you and others to understand and embrace 2e children and their families. Read more in Medium.


How Self-Compassion Supports Academic Motivation and Emotional Wellness

Many of today’s parents and teachers came of age in the 1980s and 1990s — a time when the self-esteem movement was in its zenith. Self-esteem was supposed to be a panacea for a variety of social challenges, from substance abuse to violent crime.  The research, however, did not support such broad claims.

If teachers and parents want children to develop resilience and strength, a better approach is to teach them self-compassion, said Dr. Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas and author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. “Self-esteem is a judgment about how valuable I am: very valuable, not so good, not valuable at all.”  Read More in KQED News.

Autism at Work Today and Tomorrow
Neurodivergent People Are Finding Their Way, But More Progress Is Needed

Autism at Work began as the idea to identify what autistic people are really good at, provide some supports, and let them do those things better than anyone. It started with German software giant SAP and expanded to many other companies, including Microsoft, HP, Ernst and Young, and even Ford and Home Depot.

SAP believed in this enough to put a senior executive—Jose Valasco—in charge of Autism at Work full time. He connected with me, Stephen Shore, and other autistic people and consistently integrated autistic people into Autism at Work planning. We’re in our fifth year together. Read More in Psychology Today.

9 Things I Wish the World Knew About My Students’ ADHD

During ADHD Awareness Month, we asked ADDitude readers to share with us the (sometimes exhausting, sometimes inspiring) truths about attention deficit disorder that they most wish the neurotypical world would understand and respect. Nearly 450 readers responded; here are some of the most poignant from educators, some of whom also have ADHD and/or children with ADHD themselves. Read More in Additude.

UCI-led Study Finds Harry Potter Fan Fiction Challenges Cultural Stereotypes of Autism
Digital media platforms enable marginalized groups to offer alternative representations

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 23, 2019 — Online publishing platforms and digital media can provide opportunities for nonmainstream groups to push back against and offer alternatives to the simplistic stereotypes presented in literature and popular culture. A study led by the University of California, Irvine focused on Harry Potterfan fiction and discovered that autistic people, family members, teachers and advocates cast autistic characters in their stories in diverse ways that challenge typical representations.

The researchers found that fan authors weave either Harry Potter characters or created characters into the storyline to provide alternative perspectives on disability and difference… Read More in UCI News.

Does Marijuana Use Cause Schizophrenia?

Nearly a century after the film “Reefer Madness” alarmed the nation, some policymakers and doctors are again becoming concerned about the dangers of marijuana, although the reefers are long gone.

Experts now distinguish between the “new cannabis” — legal, highly potent, available in tabs, edibles and vapes — and the old version, a far milder weed passed around in joints… Read More in The New York Times.

The Difference Between Being Impatient and Impulsive

Danny, a 43-year-old store manager, was stopped by the police for doing an illegal U-turn across a busy highway. As he explained, “Our lanes weren’t moving at all and it was going to take forever to get to the next intersection. Then this truck cut in front of me and I got pissed, so I figured I’d just cut across and go back a couple of miles so I could take a different route.” He shrugged and said, “I’m impatient.”

Danny’s wife had a different take on what happened: “I almost had a heart attack when he turned into the incoming lanes—there were cars heading right at us. Read More in Psychology Today.


Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted & Renzulli Learning Team Up to Provide Access for Gifted and Talented Students Nationwide

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y., Jan. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — While nonprofit organizations are seeing a dip in donations (partly due to the raised tax deduction threshold) and struggling to keep their doors open, two organizations have formed a partnership to lower prices and give more people access to services that help them thrive. Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted, also known as SENG, and Renzulli Learning have teamed up to put their resources for social, emotional and academic support in homes and classrooms for the gifted, talented and twice-exceptional students across the nation. Read More in PR Newswire.

Hidden Influences
Iceberg Theory. Can’t or Won’t?

About: For this post, I asked you for your ideas on a topic and curated them below. I did this because one of the biggest challenges faced by the students I work with is that they are often misunderstood, and when adults respond based on a misunderstanding, it often makes things worse and creates a lot of shame. Therefore, when we have a better understanding of our children, we can support them better. See my Can’t or Won’t post for more info.

So, one day I sent an email to you, my amazing audience, and received a ton of responses. I asked everyone to tell me about some of the hidden things that influence our children, the influences that cause a lot of misunderstanding. Read More in SethPerler.com.


How to Help Teenagers Get More Sleep
It’s Not Easy, But Parents Still Have The Power To Encourage Good Sleep Habits

From the time they hit puberty until the age of 22, adolescents need about 9 hours of sleep a night to function optimally—to be physically, mentally and cognitively healthy. Tell this to nine out of ten teenagers (or their parents for that matter) and they will laugh. What teenager has time to sleep for 9 hours a night during the school year?

Very few. In fact only about 8 percent of American teenagers get the sleep they need, according to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health… Read More in Childmind.org.

The Cerebellum May Do A Lot More Than Just Coordinate Movement
Connections From The ‘Little Brain’ Are Linked To Social Behavior, A Study In Mice Finds

Its name means “little brain” in Latin, but the cerebellum is anything but. The fist-sized orb at the back of the brain has an outsized role in social interactions, a study in mice suggests.

Once thought to be a relatively simple brain structure that had only one job, coordinating movement, the cerebellum is gaining recognition for being an important mover and shaker in the brain. Learn More in Sciencenews.org.

What Is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?

A child who consistently acts cranky and moody, then flies into intense rages with seemingly no provocation might have Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. Find out how DMDD is related to ADHD, and how to distinguish its symptoms from bipolar disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.

What is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?

  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a condition in which children are persistently irritable, angry, or annoyed. These irritable moods are punctuated by intense and lengthy temper tantrums that are completely out of proportion to the situation. Read More in Additude.

The Truth About ADHD and Caffeine

Caffeine — in a travel mug, Hershey wrapper, or mid-day Coke — is a natural stimulant that boosts dopamine production in the brain. This helps to explain why so many adults with ADHD say they couldn’t live without it. But is caffeine a safe and effective treatment for symptoms? Here, we study the research and ask the experts.

Coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks, chocolate — many of us consume caffeine throughout the day for a quick, temporary energy surge. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and boosts dopamine production — both of which help the body with movement, attention, and focus. Read More in Additude.


Does It Matter Where You Go to College?

This year, more than 2 million Americans will apply to college. Most will aim for nearby schools without global brands or billion-dollar endowments. But for the tens of thousands of families applying to America’s most elite institutions, the admissions process is a high-cost, high-stress gantlet. Read the article at The Atlantic.


Why Isn’t The World More Autism Friendly?

The other day I saw a story stating that back in April of 2018, Sesame Place, the theme-park in Pennsylvania revolving around all things “Sesame Street,” is the first ever and possibly only autism friendly theme park. This term not only refers to the fact that the park has been made accessible for people of different abilities, but comes along with the guarantee that staff members of the park have received specialized training in working with children and adults whose needs may vary from those of the general population. This distinction exemplifies the mindset that family-friendly places and activities should have with regards to catering toward their clientele, but also raises the question: why is this a relatively uncommon certification? Read More in The Daily Campus.

Raising a Profoundly Gifted Child
What Is It Really Like To Parent A Profoundly Gifted Child?

Nathan Bergrin was just 4 months old when he figured out how to hold a book and turn the pages. At 6 months, he read the word “moo” off the side of a truck. By his first birthday, an age when most kids are just sounding out “mama” and “dada,” he was speaking in fully articulate sentences. “The cat jumped over the fence,” he said one day as his mother pushed him in the baby swing.

His mother, April Kopcsick-Bergrin, knew he was smart. But she didn’t realize how smart until he was 5 and testing revealed his IQ is even higher than Stephen Hawking’s. You could call him a genius, though April resists that loaded term, preferring the more politically correct phrase “profoundly gifted,” or as she usually puts it, “PG.” Read More in GreatSchools.org.


“In this episode I’m talking with Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, the woman behind Positive Impact Family coaching and therapy practice and the Bright & Quirky Child Online Summit. Debbie is alicensed marriage and family therapist, parent coach, speaker, whose passion is bringing the latest information to parents raising differently wired kids, who may struggle with symptoms of ADHD, high functioning autism, learning challenges, anxiety, or oppositional defiant disorder.” Listen To The Episode on TiLT.

New Study on Cannabis and Autism Supports Parents’ Longtime Claims

Parents of some autistic children have long reported that their kids calm down with cannabinoids, are better able to communicate, and can do more tasks by themselves. But because of the restrictions on cannabis research in the United States, there have been precious few real-world studies to confirm those anecdotal reports.

A recent study out of Israel, which approved cannabis research in 2007, gives parents new evidence to back up those claims. Published Jan 17. in the journal Nature, the study found that yes, cannabis can relieve some of the symptoms suffered by many autistic people, including seizures, restlessness, and rage attacks. Read More in Leafly.com.

Lunar Eclipse and Supermoon: Photos From Around the World
There it was in the night sky as Sunday stretched into Monday: a total lunar eclipse. Where people had clear conditions and unobstructed views, the moon took on a coppery red color.

It was the only such eclipse of 2019, and it occurred just before midnight Eastern time. In parts of New York City, the night might have been frigid enough to keep potential skywatchers indoors, but the clouds had cleared enough for a good view, following cloudy obstructions earlier in the day. Read More in The New York Times.

Ring Ripples Reveal How Long A Day Lasts On Saturn

The Giant Planet Rotates Once Every 10 Hours and 33 Minutes

You can’t tell how fast Saturn is spinning by watching the clouds swirling at its surface. But ripples in its rings reveal how fast the planet rotates: Its day flies by in 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

“That’s a really fast clip,” says astronomer Christopher Mankovich of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who reports the rotation rate in the Astrophysical Journal on January 17. Saturn, with a radius of about 58,000 kilometers, is about nine times the size of Earth yet its day is less than half as long. Read More in Sciencenews.org.

Thanks for joining us again this week. We hope you enjoyed this edition of TECA Insights. Please let us know what you think.  If you come across an article or resource that you think our community would  benefit from, please share it with us. We look forward to hearing from you!