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Hey folks,

Wow, is it already February? This year is off to a fast start. And now that Punxsutawney Phil has told us that spring is coming soon, it is a good time to start thinking about…

summer plans.




Planning for summer now may not be high on your priority list. You may be neck-deep in addressing school challenges, preparing for IEP season and running around like a crazy person taking your kiddos to afterschool activities and appointments.  For many parents, it can be challenging to find summer activities that their 2e kids enjoy so it can be really helpful to plan early. Read the full post at

I hope you enjoyed the rest of the post and that you have a wonderful week!

Maratea Cantarella
TECA Executive Director
Our Next Group…
2e Kids and Screens

Wednesday, February 12 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST

There are pros and cons of screen use. How do we strike a balance? As parents of 2e kids, it is important for us to be thoughtful about our kids’ use of technology. What strategies do you currently use to limit tech use? How can we model good tech behavior?  How can we develop effective usage rules? How do we address cyberbullying? How do we teach our kids the difference between public and private information? Join one of this month’s groups to discuss these questions and more. Suggested reading: How Parents Can Model Better Screen Time Behavior for Their Kids.


A Strategy for Overcoming Equity Issues in Gifted Programs

New data from Memphis, Tennessee, confirms that when schools use traditional teacher-referral models to identify gifted kids, a lot of gifted children who are poor or of color slip below the radar and never reap the program’s benefits, writes Laura Faith Kebede for Chalkbeat. Learn more from Edutopia.

Tourette Campaign Shows Syndrome’s Younger Face

Dressed in a bright pink parka and holding a hockey stick, Amelia Watson scrunches up her face and squeezes her eyes shut. “It just happens,” the eight-year-old says. “Sometimes I try to hold it, but one of the best things is just to do it.” The tic appears when Amelia is excited, tired or stressed. For many children with Tourette syndrome, including this outgoing and playful girl, that’s nearly all the time. Keep reading at CBS News.

Multisensory Integration and Autism

Many children on the autistic spectrum are not able to make sense out of the meaningless blobs, colors, sounds, textures, smells and tastes that bombard their senses every moment of every day.  Since their brains are not able to assemble an accurate picture of the physical world, they do not experience the same reality we do. This is elegantly portrayed in a book by Temple Grandin, Ph.D., (2006)  an accomplished animal scientist and a woman with autism. She has written a book called, “Thinking in Pictures: And other Reports from My Life with Autism.” In it she describes her own sensory and perceptual experiences with autism and those of others. Find the article in its entirety at Elite Learning.


Author Alby Lee Lewis Shares Story of Lifelong Struggle With Reading

Alby Lee Lewis, local author of “Life with No Words,” will be presenting workshops at two Illinois teacher conferences in February: Lincolnshire and Carbondale.The 79-year-old retired factory worker kept the deep secret that he could neither read nor write from everyone, even his closest friends and family, for most of his life. Continue reading at the Daily Herald.

By Design, All of the Students at This South Carolina School Have Dyslexia

It looks like your typical elementary school, with teachers, students, desks and morning announcements over the PA system.At this school, though, the entire student body is anything but typical: all of the 150 students there are dyslexic. Find the article and video from the Denver Channel.

This Program Is Building a Pipeline of Special Education Teachers

Eight preschoolers transitioned from play time to circle time. As the children began to take their places on the rug, one little boy refused to leave his blocks. The tell-tale signs of a temper tantrum began. Angela Terrero, a teacher assistant, approached him calmly with a visual cue in hand—a picture of a group of children sitting in chairs, which our non-verbal students recognized as “circle time.” She gently talked the little boy through putting his blocks away, and persuaded him to follow her back to his friends. Tantrum averted. Keep reading at EdSurge.


In New Eastern Suffolk BOCES Tech, The Eyes Have It

Fans of historical education will recall Sullivan as the gifted 19th century teacher who helped blind and deaf student (and future renowned humanitarian) Helen Keller learn to communicate – not unlike the decidedly 21st century efforts happening right now at Eastern Suffolk BOCES, where educator Stephanie Hannigan keeps a keen eye on the cutting edge. Find out more from Innovate Long Island.


Are the Trump Administration’s Latest Rules for School Meals All Bad? 3 Things Schools Need to Know

School lunches have always been political. After all, big agriculture has a significant financial stake in what can be served to America’s 50 million school children. But as with nearly everything in the Trump era, what kids eat at school has become even more political—and divisive. Continue reading at Education Week.

10 Uncomfortable Truths About U.S. Education

It is in the spirit of change and renewal that we present to you the latest edition of Big Ideas, a collection of essays by 10 Education Week reporters and editors on pressing challenges in education. Find the complete article from Education Week.


The Art of Bladesmithing: Northstar Forge Owner Finds True Passion in Forging Knives

After discovering his true passion in life, Jason Kraus of Chanhassen is proving that bladesmithing is not a thing of the past. Kraus, the owner of Northstar Forge, has been creating handmade knives that are more like works of art. “I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Kraus said of forging knives. “I’m so blessed that I get to do this every day.” As someone who has struggled with dyslexia, Kraus said he’s always been drawn to working in more hands-on professions like being a chef or operating a painting business, all of which he found was “a lot of work for little reward.” Keep reading at Sun Sailor.

Two Traits May Link Major Depression and Alcohol Dependence

For people with psychiatric disorders, comorbidity—or the presence of two or more disorders in a single patient—is quite common. One of the most common comorbidities is alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder. In fact, people with alcohol use dependence are almost four times more likely to also have a major depressive disorder. Studies have already shown those patients tend to experience worse outcomes and higher rates of relapse after treatment. Read more at Futurity.

Gender Differences in Autism

Tools used for screening autism may play a part in the failure to detect autism in girls and women, researchers at Bournemouth University have found. Numbers of people being diagnosed with autism are very unequal—research from 2017 suggests that boys are diagnosed at a rate three times higher than girls. It is now evident that autism presents quite differently and often more subtly in girls and women, with more and more women being diagnosed with autism as adults. Learn more from Medical Xpress.

ADHD Needs a Better Name. We Have One.

ADHD is an inaccurate — and potentially corrosive — name. The term “deficit disorder” places ADHD in the realm of pathology, or disease. Individuals with ADHD do not have a disease, nor do they have a deficit of attention; in fact, what they have is an abundance of attention. The challenge is controlling it. Continue reading at Additude.


Study: Grades Are 5 Times Stronger Than ACT Scores

High school grade point averages are five times stronger than ACT scores at predicting who will graduate from college, according to a new study published Tuesday in Educational Researcher. Find out more about the study from Inside Higher Ed.

Certificates and Associate Degrees Can Outearn Bachelor’s

A new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that nationally, colleges are awarding as many certificates and associate degrees combined as they are awarding bachelor’s degrees. Colleges award about two million bachelor’s degrees annually and about one million associate degrees and one million certificates. Read more from Inside Higher Ed.


Tapping Students’ Interests to Develop Literary Analysis Skills

Analysis rhymes with paralysis, I have discovered: Too often in the past, the texts I asked my freshman English students to analyze left them frozen, detached from their own thoughts and feelings. They scratched at the surface of literature that was not particularly meaningful or accessible to them. The result was cold, inauthentic writing, and I dreaded teaching analysis. Keep reading at Edutopia.

A De-escalation Exercise for Upset Students

So often we find students in a stressed or anxious state of mind. The most telltale signs are inappropriate behaviors or outbursts, negative comments, and anxiety-ridden movements such as fidgeting, leg shaking, and fist clenching. These signals should raise immediate concern and indicate to educators that a response may be needed. The goal is to guide the student to a self-regulated mindset, but how does a teacher do that? Find out more from Edutopia.


I’m a Student-Activist. Stop Turning Us Into Props

In recent years, there has been a spike in the number of efforts to amplify the voices of young people in the decisions about our education system that would often be reserved for old, white, male politicians with little connection to the youth community. These efforts have taken myriad forms, from town halls in which students meet with officials (as we saw following the Parkland Massacre) to school district-sponsored advisory boards that are comprised entirely of teens. They all lack one key element: follow-through. Continue reading at Education Week.


How Do I Motivate My Teen?

Bossing them around won’t work forever; we need to help teens manage their own lives. Read sociologist and coach Christine Carter’s response to one mom’s questions in Greater Good Magazine.


How to Be Kinder to Yourself

Part of the Science of Happiness Video Series!  When you’re helping others cope with stress and anxiety, how do you deal with your own? Army psychiatrist Elizabeth Guinto tries a practice to be kinder to herself. Find her YouTube video here.


Study Challenges Assumptions About Social Interaction Difficulties in Autism

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas recently turned the spotlight on social interaction in autism by examining it as a two-way street. Their results, published in December in the journal Autism, suggest that successful interactions for autistic adults revolve around partner compatibility and not just the skill set of either person. Find out more from News Wise.


“You Can’t Buy Forgiveness for Your ADHD. But You Can Learn to Apologize Without Accepting Shame.”

The routine goes like this: I mess up. I quickly apologize saying: “I’ll replace it” or “I’ll buy another one,” but their expression says it all. They are disappointed. They feel ignored. They feel unseen. They feel like I don’t care. They don’t see my ADHD at work behind the scenes. For years this was because even I didn’t see it. No one did. Two schools, college, and university and no one in education or employment or at home picked up on my ADHD. Read the article in its entirety from Additude.


An Astrophysicist honors citizen scientists in the Age of Big Data

Astrophysicist Chris Lintott had a problem back in the mid-2000s. He wanted to know if the chemistry of star formation varies in different types of galaxies. But first he needed to sort through images of hundreds of thousands of galaxies to gather an appropriate sample to study. The task would take many months if not longer for one person, and computers at the time weren’t up to the challenge. So Lintott and colleagues turned to the public for help. Keep reading at Science News.

30 of the World’s Most Spectacular Spirals

Some of the planet’s most captivating coils are more than just design eye candy. The Treetop Tower of Rüge, for instance, lets you explore a forest canopy. The puquios of Peru, on the other hand, were once part of a sophisticated, ancient hydraulic system. Still others, such as the Great Salt Lake’s Spiral Jetty, well, that’s eye candy for those dedicated enough to get to it. From the symbols carved into a Neolithic tomb in Ireland to a dazzling staircase in a lavish 16th-century mansion, here are 30 wondrous whorls sure to set your head spinning. Find the article from Atlas Obscura.

How DeepMind Restored the Beauty to Chess

In the world of professional snooker — a game similar to pool, played throughout the U.K. — there is confusion about the word “tactic.” Learn more from Medium.

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!