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Hi Folks,

Sorry the newsletter is late – MailChimp was having technical problems yesterday. But here we are – better late than never!

It is happening again. I am feeling overwhelmed and a little out of control. Maybe it is because it’s the holiday season. Maybe it’s because my kiddo has been having a rough time this fall. Or maybe it is because I have been in “Go Mode” for a while and I am starting to realize that Go Mode isn’t always a great way for me to operate. I may get a lot done in “Go” Mode, but there are consequences. Not everything I get done is good.

Maybe you are wondering what I mean by Go Mode. To me, Go Mode means I get in a kind of state where I become hyper-focused on getting stuff done. That state can last for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks. I can enjoy being in Go Mode because I feel powerful and gratified by being so productive. The problem is, my output in Go Mode is more about quantity than quality. While I am getting lots done, I am not necessarily thinking so much about how I am getting it done, whether I am doing it well, or whether I should even do it at all! That is because I am not necessarily operating in a thoughtful, critical or emotionally balanced way. And if I am totally honest, I think I can be a bit annoying when I am in Go Mode. You can read the full post at TECA2e.org. 
I hope you have a wonderful week!

Warmly,
Maratea Cantarella
TECA Executive Director
WHAT’S NEW AT TECA
Our Next Group…
2e Parenting: You Are Not Alone!

Wednesday, January 8 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST

Parenting a 2e child can feel isolating. Finding a social group can be as challenging for us as it is for our children. Family and friends may not understand what we are going through; we may even disagree with our parenting partner about how to address and meet our child’s needs. In this session, we discuss how to accept and embrace our role as the parent of a 2e child. We will look at ways to address our own needs by, building resilience, finding community and engaging in self-care, so that we can be our best for our kids and ourselves.

Register
EVENTS

Free Webinar Replay
The ADHD-Anxiety Link: How Mindfulness Helps You Feel Less Overwhelmed and Be More Productive

 

Mindfulness offers a new, more effective way of living with anxiety. By practicing mindful attention and an attitude shift, you learn how anxiety shows up in your day and what you can do about it. Through mindful activity, you can learn to move your mind-body state from stressed to more relaxed, and increase your problem-solving ability. Mindfulness can also help you uncover which emotions or beliefs may be driving anxiety or worry in the first place. Access the free seminar replay from Attitude.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

FDA Sends Untitled Letter to Company Marketing Stem Cell Treatment for Autism


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last month sent an untitled letter, it’s third of the year, to California-based Chara Biologics for marketing an unapproved stem cell product as a possible treatment for autism and other conditions with few treatment options. Find out more at RAPS.

TECA’S SUGGESTED PRODUCTS
ADVOCACY & RESOURCES

10 Steps to a Better Parent-School Partnership: Pre-action, not Re-action

As I’m writing this, the holidays are here – that time of year that family gathers to reconnect and remember, parents stress over the perfect gift and how to pay for it and when we parents are going to find time to make the cookies, attend the school parties, wrap the presents and send the cards. And all the while we are supposed to pause and be grateful for what we have, our relationships, our families, our opportunities, and so on. Learn more from Gifted Guru.

Spotlight on 2e Series
Strategies for Teaching 2e Students: Building on What’s Right About Twice-exceptional Learners


A look at effective strength-based, talent-focused strategies aimed at personalizing learning so that all students — whether 2e or neurotypical — can engage deeply in curriculum. The articles in this publication are based on research from the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges Academy. Find this and other series booklets from The 2e Resource.

ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB

Video Games and Online Chats Are ‘Hunting Grounds’ for Sexual Predators

When Kate’s 13-year-old son took up Minecraft and Fortnite, she did not worry. The video games were hardly Grand Theft Auto — banned in their home because it was too violent — and he played in a room where she could keep an eye on him. Keep reading at The New York Times.

Transgender Students Are ‘Winning in the Courts,’ Require Accommodation


As the case of Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board heads for another round of oral arguments in the coming months, schools are tasked with the decision to either allow or bar transgender students from accessing bathrooms and facilities aligning with their gender identities. Find out more from Education Dive.

AROUND THE NATION

There Is a Right Way to Teach Reading, and Mississippi Knows It

“Thank God for Mississippi.”

That’s a phrase people would use when national education rankings came out because no matter how poorly your state performed, you could be sure things were worse in Mississippi. Read this article in its entirety from The New York Times.

Focusing on Ability: Advocates For Programs for “Gifted” Students Hope to Allow Them to Reach Their Potential


MaryGrace Stewart, the president of the Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education (MAGE), estimates that Massachusetts has at least 150,000 children in public schools able to perform significantly above grade level in a subject, which is what is commonly defined as “gifted.” And she thinks that more could be done to give them the resources that they need. Keep reading at The Daily Hampshire Gazette.

EDUCATION AND ENRICHMENT

Poor-Quality Materials Abound on Lesson-Sharing Websites, Report Says


It’s common for teachers to go looking for lessons and classroom resources online—digital marketplaces like Teachers Pay Teachers or Share My Lesson offer seemingly endless pages of user-created materials that teachers can use to supplement their schools’ curricula, or in some cases, piece together one when none is provided. Find out more from Education Week.

GIFTEDNESS

Up to 3.6 Million Students Should Be Labeled Gifted, But Aren’t


As many as 3.6 million gifted children are being overlooked in school — more than the 3.3 million U.S. public school children already labeled as gifted. Continue reading in The Hechinger Report.

Pointillism in 1st Grade? Teachers Use Unfamiliar Lessons to Mine for Giftedness


To find talented children who historically have been overlooked in gifted education, Wheeler Elementary educators are learning to see their students in a new way. Learn more from Education Week.

HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH
Sex Education Video Resource

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and Rooted in Rights has produced an excellent 10 part video series on sex education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Covering topics ranging from puberty to pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease prevention, these short, easy-to-follow videos provide basic, introductory information and can be used as a springboard to discussion with your child. Access the series on YouTube.

10 Things I Wish You Knew About Borderline Personality Disorder


For at least 20 years — though I suspect much longer — I’ve been battling mental health issues. Initially, I was diagnosed with depression. That never seemed quite right, or all, and my next diagnosis was dysthymia. Keep reading at Medium.

How Can We Help Kids With Self-Regulation?


If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve witnessed a tantrum or two in your day. We expect them in two-year-olds. But if your child reaches school age and meltdowns and outbursts are still frequent, it may be a sign that he or she has difficulty with emotional self-regulation. Find out more from Child Mind Institute.

IN THE CLASSROOM

Identifying and Supporting Students With Dyspraxia


We’ve all known them—those students who fall out of their chairs for no apparent reason or trip over their own feet daily, who leave a trail of their things wherever they go, who seem to need to drag a finger along the wall, who have illegible handwriting, or who can’t jump or catch or throw or tie their shoes. Whether a student checks every box on that list or just some of them, the issue may be more than just disorganization or clumsiness. The student may have dyspraxia. Read the full article from Edutopia.

Tips for Building Metacognitive Muscle


Thinking is something we do constantly, even as we slumber. Continuously seeking to make connections, meaning, and sense of stimuli, the brain is never at rest. Because the brain is always in a state of activity, one of our responsibilities—as educators—is to teach students how to think and how to regulate this activity. The process of being aware of and manipulating one’s thinking is defined as metacognition. Throughout the school day, there are many opportunities to develop students’ metacognitive skills. Continue reading at ASCD.

INDEPENDENT LIVING

Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition 

Self-determination is a concept reflecting the belief that all individuals have the right to direct their own lives. Students who have self-determination skills have a stronger chance of being successful in making the transition to adulthood, including employment and independence (Wehmeyer & Schwartz, 1997). Learn more from NCSET.

OPINION/PERSPECTIVE

When the Smart Kid Fails


When you’re a “smart kid,” validation wraps around you like a veil, becoming the most significant part of your identity. My teachers would say I was gifted, and my mom would radiate with such pride that I thought I’d forever be her greatest gift — a trophy she could hold up to the world the same way Rafiki did with baby Simba in The Lion King. Her pride fueled a love of learning. In elementary school, some might say I was a full-blown nerd; I just say all the librarians knew me. Read the complete article from Level.

My Life as a Standard Deviation From the Norm


A standard deviation is a number used to tell how measurements for a group are spread out from the average. The average range encompasses 1 standard deviation to the left or right of the average on a Bell Curve. Most measurements are crowded around the average with a few outliers at the edges. Find the rest of this blog on Additude.

My Sister Has Autism, and School Keeps Her Engaged. But How Will We Care For Her After Graduation?

I love my sister Saba. She’s stubborn, clever and gets what she wants. When she’s in a good mood, she laughs a lot. But you know teenagers, they’re moody. Read on or listen at KUOW.

PARENTING

How We Achieved Better Mornings by Welcoming Creativity into the Routine


Life as the parent of a child with ADHD — I was surprised to learn — can get very repetitive. Why? To keep our easily distracted kids on track and moving through the task at hand, we have to repeat every step, every single day, in exactly the same way. Find out more from Additude.

Mythbusters: Questioning Conventional Wisdom in Parenting
Does Your Child Really Need to Play a Team Sport?


When I raised this question at the Thanksgiving dinner table, boy did I step on a hornet’s nest! My niece said “Mom made me play sports – and I hated it!” My husband commented that in his opinion many parents live vicariously through their child’s athletic success, and my brother-in-law (whose son is a star athlete), felt compelled (justifiably so) to describe more benevolent motivations. Politics might have been a safer subject. Read more from Dr. Devon MacEachron.

RESEARCH

Some Autism Symptoms Linked to Poorer Functioning, Quality of Life in Children with ADHD


Some autism spectrum symptoms are associated with poorer functioning and other quality of life problems when present in children who also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published last month in the Journal of Attention Disorders. Keep reading at Additude.

Infants Should Be Tested For Autism if Older Siblings Are Diagnosed, Canadian Study Suggests
Canadian researchers have led a study suggesting infants be tested for autism spectrum disorder before symptoms appear if an older sibling has already been diagnosed with the neurobiological condition. Learn more from Chilliwack Progress.

GEEK ZONE
A Peek Inside a Turtle Embryo Wins the Nikon Small World Photography Contest
As scientists scour the natural world in search of truth, they often capture its beauty. Such was the case for microscopy technician Teresa Zgoda and micro-photographer Teresa Kugler. While helping with a class at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., the pair combined fluorescence microscopy and stereomicrography to create a vivid portrait of a developing turtle embryo. Because the embryo was more than 2.5 centimeters long, Zgoda, now at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Kugler, a recent graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, couldn’t capture it all in such detail in one image. Instead, they stitched together hundreds of images focused on different locations and layers of the turtle to create a composite of the entire embryo. Read the complete story from Science News.


Are You a Cat Whisperer?


How well can you read cat faces? Take this short quiz from The Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare and find out.

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

How To Avoid “Inspiration Porn”


People with disabilities have a variety of different views on how to educate the public about disability and increase acceptance of disabled people. But, while disabled people don’t always agree on what exactly makes a disability depiction helpful, most have experienced a certain discomfort with what are supposed to be “positive” stories about disabled people. They know these stories and images are meant well, but to most actual disabled people, they feel embarrassing and demoralizing. Find out more from Forbes.

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!