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Hi Folks,

I hope everyone had a fun and restful winter break. I know I really needed it! I loved being able to sleep late, spend time with my husband and kids, see friends and take naps! My favorite thing, though, was getting together with my family on Christmas day to make a movie.

This has become an annual family tradition. My husband usually comes up with the idea and directs. Me and my kids, my mom, my siblings, nieces and nephews, and in-laws join in to come up with our characters, write and sing songs and, hopefully, make a few funny jokes. Even if the jokes are corny and the songs aren’t so great, it is a really fun way to spend the day together. We¬†have a collection of short films that shows how we¬†have grown and changed over the past decade.¬†

It is particularly gratifying to see how my son has changed in that time. When we first started making these films, he didn’t really want to participate because he was camera shy and nervous about forgetting his lines. Often he would make a short cameo then spend the rest of the day brooding in his room or playing with LEGO. But over the years, he has gotten more and more excited about developing his characters, and now he is contributing ideas, writing his own lines and goofing around with his cousins all afternoon. What a difference 10 years ¬†– and a whole lot of intervention – makes!

It is amazing to be able to look back and see the amazing progress my son has made. Back when he was a little guy, I was terrified as to what the future held for him. His behavior both at home and at school was oppositional and reactive and we  Рme and his dad, his teachers Рwere all clueless as to what to do to help him.

That is a very common experience for parents of 2e kids. Recently, I read an amazing memoir called Reversed, by Lois Letchford. She writes about her own experience as the mom of the 2e child. When he was in 1st grade, Lois was told by the teacher that her son was stupid. In her heart, she knew that was not true, but she didn’t know what to do to help her son. Now that her son has earned his PhD. from Oxford University, she has written about their journey from Austrailia to Texas to England.

I am thrilled that Lois has offered to share her story with TECA in a four-part blog. You can read her first post, Failure And It’s Cost, 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 Kids and Power Struggles: When to Pick Your Battles!

Wednesday, January 29 @ 12:00 pm Р1:00 pm EST

In this session, we will discuss why 2e kids can be so rigid and how we as parents can decide which battles are worth fighting and when it is best to give in. We will address such issues as: establishing family values; rules and limit setting; when and why we say no to our kids; […]

Register
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‚Äôm writing this, the holidays are here ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄĒ whether 2e or neurotypical ‚ÄĒ 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

The ADHD Symptoms That Complicate and Exacerbate a Math Learning Disability

At math conferences, I am often the only one talking about learning disabilities. And at learning disabilities conferences, when I present my talk ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs math got to do with it? Math learning disabilities, dyslexia, and ADHD,‚Ä̬†I‚Äôm often the only one talking about math. There is a near-void of information about the connections and interactions between ADHD, language-based disorders, and math learning disabilities ‚ÄĒ and the implications for treatment. Yet data tell us this is a critical need.¬†Keep reading at Additude.

Why Understanding Obstacles is Essential to Achieving Goals

While inspiring words might provide a moment of motivation, it turns out they can have an adverse effect on achieving those goals. According to the latest research, the positive attitudes meant to provide inspiration may be the ones that get in the way of accomplishing those dreams. Learn more from KQED.

Why Understanding These Four Types of Mistakes Can Help Us Learn

We can deepen our own and our students’ understanding of mistakes, which are not all created equal, and are not always desirable. After all, our ability to manage and learn from mistakes is not fixed. We can improve it.¬†Find out how from KQED.

AROUND THE NATION

Helping neurodivergent students navigate higher education | Windows and Mirrors

Like many people, Josh Gibson went to college after he graduated from high school. He started attending the U.S. Naval Academy in the summer of 1995 and made it six weeks before leaving. He had done well in high school but when he got to college, things just fell apart. But instead of taking time to figure out what went wrong, he immediately enrolled at Oregon State University that fall. Continue reading at Bellevue Reporter.

NYC Education Dept. okays Brooklyn elementary school‚Äôs plan to scrap separate ‚ÄėGifted‚Äô courses

A Brooklyn elementary school that voted last June to eliminate its Gifted and Talented classes got the green light from city officials to go ahead with its plan, The Daily News learned Monday.

The school leadership team at P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights opted last summer to ditch its separate fast-track elementary courses, which enrolled more white students and fewer black students than the school as a whole. The leadership team was waiting on final approval from the Education Department. Read more at The Daily News.

EDUCATION AND ENRICHMENT
A Might Girl’s 2019 Books of the Year


A Mighty Girl’s new special feature, the¬†2019 Books of the Year, showcases the best books of the year starring girls and women for readers of all ages, infants through adults. To make it simple to track books that interest you as you explore our guide ‚Äď and our site’s¬†entire collection of girl-empowering literature¬†‚Äď we’ve integrated our site wishlist so you can add books to it as you browse for later review or to share with others. And, by using the “Buy from Amazon” and other links throughout the site, you also help to support A Mighty Girl and our girl empowerment mission at no added cost to you. Happy New Year from A Mighty Girl! ¬†Check out the site and book recommendations from A Mighty Girl.

Financial Literacy Should Be Taught to Kids ‚ÄĒ Not Adults

As of 2018, only 17 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance. Out of the 17 states providing personal finance courses, only five of them¬†received an A¬†when graded on the state’s effectiveness at producing financially literate high school graduates. What‚Äôs worse, studies have repeatedly shown students without a financial education are more likely to have low credit scores and other financial problems.¬†Read the article in its entirety at Education Dive.

Fighting Fake News in the Classroom

PISA scores were¬†recently released, and results of the international test revealed that only 14 percent of U.S. students were able to reliably distinguish between fact and opinion.¬†This is particularly alarming because we live in an era when, according to Pew Research Center,¬†68 percent of American adults get their news from social media‚ÄĒplatforms where opinion is often presented as fact. While Facebook and other social media outlets have¬†pledged to tackle fake news, the results are¬†lackluster.¬†Keep reading at EdSurge.

ASD Nest Program Builds SEL for Autistic Students, Peers

Studies indicate including students on the autism spectrum in regular classrooms can help encourage the development of communication, language and basic social skills. Also, integrating these learners can have multiple benefits for their peers, who gain leadership experience and compassion, which could reduce bullying. However, many teachers feel ill-prepared to provide proper support to children with learning disabilities. Find the complete article at Education Dive.

EDUCATION POLICY AND POLITICS

Education Spending: What Democratic Candidates Want vs. Reality, in Charts

Democratic candidates for president in 2020 are making big promises about what they’ll spend on K-12 education. In fact, four candidates have made the same pledge to triple Title I, the single-largest program for public schools at the U.S. Department of Education, which has a $72.8 billion budget. Another candidate has pledged to quadruple Title I.¬†Learn more from Education Week.

Rosen Bill to Push STEM Careers For Girls, Minorities  Becomes Law

WASHINGTON ‚ÄĒ President Donald Trump signed a bill over the holidays that went largely unnoticed but reflected a yearslong effort by Sen. Jacky Rosen to¬†expand educational opportunities¬†in math and science for young women and students of color.¬†Find out more from Las Vegas Review Journal.

HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH

The 5 Most Common Med Side Effects ‚ÄĒ and Their Fixes

‚ÄúI recommend we start your child on ADHD medication,‚ÄĚ says the doctor. Those are alarming words to most parents. Deciding to medicate causes them to wring their hands, search their souls, and lose sleep. Many parents worry about the effect on their child‚Äôs brain, as well as any nasty ADHD medication side effects they may experience. So they wait, sometimes years, before saying yes.¬†Keep reading at Additude.

Exposure to Greenness Linked to Healthy Neuronal Development in Children

A factor that has been associated with healthy development is exposure to nature. For instance, more and more research suggests that living in areas that have higher amounts of green space is associated with several health benefits. Specifically, previous studies have looked at the potential link between exposure to greenness in residential areas and ADHD symptoms and severity, but those studies have not provided consistent results. Find the rest of this article from the Medical News Bulletin.

Adolescent Anxiety Predicts Later Psychiatric Diagnoses in Autistic People

Anxiety in adolescents with autism is a strong predictor of suicidal ideation, bipolar disorder, depression and other psychiatric conditions in early adulthood, according to a large new study in Sweden. Learn more about this study at Spectrum.

OPINION/PERSPECTIVE

A Mom’s Experience With Our Broken Special Education System

My personal journey commenced over twenty years ago in an attempt to navigate our national broken special education system, as a novice mom.¬† I have two sons each diagnosed with ADHD and Learning Disabilities.¬† Both boys are characterized as twice exceptional; highly gifted and learning disabled ‚Äď meaning their intellect level is over 140, but their reading and writing levels are in the 67-70 range.¬† An average Intellect level is 100 making the discrepancy between their intellect level and learning ability quite significant.¬† Both boys were lopsided in terms of learning.¬†Continue reading at Thrive Global.

PARENTING

Help, My Kid is Sneaking Technology!

Watch or read this informative conversation about a common parenting challenging with certified coaches Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster at Impact ADHD.

RESEARCH

Families of Kids With Autism Face Burnout and False Accusations

‚ÄúWhile the understanding of how autism¬†spectrum disorders¬†impact individuals has grown, the awareness of the burden on families who care for these individuals is less established,‚ÄĚ says Xue Ming, a professor of neurology at Rutgers University‚Äôs New Jersey Medical School. ‚ÄúCaring for loved ones with autism spectrum disorder is emotionally and physically taxing.‚Ä̬†Read more about the study and findings from Futurity.

2E PARENTS

‚ÄúMy Brain Is Bursting At The Seams‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ The World Of The Gifted¬†Adult

Do you feel¬†‚Äúmentally harnessed?‚ÄĚ Too tired at the end of the day to ‚Äúsoar?‚ÄĚ Are you ‚Äúalone in an ocean of humans?‚ÄĚ Do you have a bursting brain?¬†Welcome to the world of the rainforest-minded.¬†You are not alone. I get you. And there are many others out there just like you, although they may be hard to find. You are not crazy. You are not a complainer or ungrateful. There is nothing wrong with you. If you are a gifted human, which you are, you are bursting‚Äď with thoughts, emotions, questions, ideas, curiosities, hopes, dreams, fears, analyses, creations, and more. There is a huge range of activity in your rainforest mind.¬†Find the complete article from Your Rainforest Mind.

GEEK ZONE

Why Physicists Tried to Put a Ferret in a Particle Accelerator

IN FEBRUARY 1971, PHYSICISTS AT the National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, began testing the biggest machine in the world: a ring-shaped, 200-billion-electron-volt (BeV*) proton synchrotron particle accelerator. The stakes were high. NAL director Bob Wilson had told the U.S. Department of Energy that he could get it running within five years for $250 million, and they were four years in. They soon ran into a perplexing problem: Magnets that were essential to its operation kept failing.Keep reading at Atlas Obscura.

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!