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Hey folks,

I hope you and all your loved ones are healthy and safe. Yesterday I found out that my daughter’s college is switching to distance learning for the remainder of the semester and my husband’s company is considering telecommuting options for its global staff.

Earlier this week, I took the unusual step of keeping my son home from school because he had a cold. It wasn’t severe, but that is what our local department of health advised, so we complied. He had an online meeting with his guidance teacher while he was at home. She mentioned this was good practice for participating in online classes, which will begin next week. Lastly, I was hoping to visit my mom’s this weekend, but now she must be in isolation because she is in a high-risk category and cannot have visitors.

As I am sure you know, all these changes to our normal routines are because of COVID-19, also known as a coronavirus. Now that the virus has officially achieved pandemic status, meaning it has spread all over the world, we are facing a new level of uncertainty in our lives. As parents of twice exceptional kids, the one thing we have learned we can be certain of in life is uncertainty. We are uncertainty experts! Read the full post at TECA2e.org. 


Best wishes,

Maratea Cantarella
TECA Executive Director
WHAT’S NEW AT TECA
Our Next Group…
Advocating for Your 2e Child When the Classroom Doesn’t Fit

Wednesday, March 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Eastern

What do you do when your 2e kiddo is struggling in school? During this session, we will talk about your child’s experience at school, what’s working and what’s not, and examine how, as a parent or guardian, you may contribute to the situation. Do you feel like you are spinning your wheels? How do you know when it is time to push back or ease up? How can you maintain your integrity and resilience when you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing at school? How do you maintain a positive attitude when discussing the matter in front of your child?

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EVENTS

Free Webinar Replay 
Move Forward: How Exercise Optimizes the ADHD Brain


In this hour-long webinar-on-demand, learn how exercise optimizes the ADHD brain, with Patrick LaCount, Ph.D. Solid evidence shows that exercise exerts powerful influence over the structure, function, and development of the brain in the short- and long-term. What’s more, mental health researchers have recently begun to examine whether exercise can be a tool for individuals to manage their ADHD. Indeed, exercise is associated with increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine — two brain chemicals also stimulated by ADHD medications to induce improved focus, motivation, and mood.

View The Webinar Now!
ADVOCACY AND RESOURCES

Did Someone Say Summer School?


Temperatures are dropping.  Snow is falling.  Could it be that time of the year again?  Yep, you guessed it.  Time to think about Summer School! Keep reading this post from The Law Offices of Lloyd Donders.

Choosing Self-Direction


Self-direction gives you flexibility to choose the mix of supports and services that are right for you so you can live the life you want. With self-direction, YOU choose your services, the staff and organizations that provide them, and a schedule that works best for YOU. Find out more from the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.

ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB

Malena Ernman on daughter Greta Thunberg: ‘She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness’


…Everything was starting to fall apart around us. Greta was 11, had just started fifth grade, and was not doing well. She cried at night when she should be sleeping. She cried on her way to school. She cried in her classes and during her breaks, and the teachers called home almost every day. Svante had to run off and bring her home to Moses, our golden retriever. She sat with him for hours, petting him and stroking his fur. She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness and little by little, bit by bit, she seemed to stop functioning. She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking. And she stopped eating. Read the article in its entirety from The Guardian.

When the Police Stop a Teenager With Special Needs

A man in his mid-20s regularly roams the streets of my small town in the middle of the night. He looks angry and doesn’t communicate clearly. Not everyone living in the area knows him. But the police do. “His father reached out to us,” said Sgt. Adrian Acevedo of the South Orange, N.J., police department, “to tell us his son is blowing off steam, has special needs, and won’t make eye contact or listen to us. If we didn’t have this information, we could mistakenly take him for a burglar.” Continue reading at The New York Times.

The Next Step for Neurodiversity


The neurodiversity movement seeks to reframe the conversation about autism and other neurological differences in a more balanced and less stigmatizing way. Individuals who embrace the neurodiversity paradigm generally feel diminished by medical characterizations of themselves or those around them. They seek a more positive counterpoint and, in some cases, an identity. Find out more from Psychology Today.

A Guide to Early Markers of Dyslexia


Along with parents and caregivers, early educators lay the foundation for children’s lifelong learning. One of their most essential roles is to provide children with a solid start in reading development. For too many children, however, reading acquisition is a struggle. Many demonstrate the early markers of dyslexia, a language-based reading disability that historically affects 10-15% of children (Cortiella & Horowitz, 2014). Learn more from Psychology Today.

AROUND THE NATION

University Researchers Develop a Community Resource to Assist Individuals with Autism


The Autism Data System for Research Integration, Visualization and Exchange is a networking and educational resource for people with autism and their families seeking to electronically connect with resources and researchers. Launched in November 2019, DRIVE is a part of the larger Autism Supporting Transformative Autism Research program in the Curry School of Education, which seeks to improve the quality of life of individuals with autism by gathering and performing research across disciplines while also educating those diagnosed and their families. Access the article from The Cavalier Daily.

WMTV/Ch. 15 Reports on Newest ‘Doctor Dyslexia Dude’ Book from UW–Madison’s Robinson


Unable to read as child, the report notes how Robinson was kicked out of high school as a sophomore. Now, as researcher, he focuses on African American boys with dyslexia and aims to create new research pathways related to removing literacy-related barriers to the U.S. workforce. He also serves as the director at large of the International Dyslexia Association. Read the article in its entirety from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

EDUCATION POLICY AND POLITICS

Letters Urge Betsy DeVos To Erase Student Loans For Borrowers With Disabilities


The U.S. Department of Education must act to help thousands of student loan borrowers who have severe disabilities; that’s the message of two letters sent Tuesday to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Because of their disabilities, these borrowers qualify to have their federal student loans erased. But one letter, signed by more than 30 advocacy groups, says the department has made the application process so burdensome that most borrowers never get the help they’re entitled to. Keep reading at NPR.

EMPLOYMENT

Word Nerds May Be Faster At Learning To Code Than Math Whizzes


A natural aptitude for learning languages is a stronger predictor of learning to program than basic math knowledge, or numeracy, according to new research. Find out more from Futurity.

How Dyslexic Capabilities Can Help Organisations of the Future


What is dyslexia? Dyslexia influences at least 1 in 10 people1 and is a genetic difference2 in an individual’s ability to learn and process information. As a result, dyslexic individuals have differing abilities, with strengths in creative, problem-solving and communication skills and challenges with spelling, reading and memorising facts. Generally, a dyslexic cognitive profile will be uneven when compared to a neurotypical cognitive profile – which means dyslexic individuals really do think differently. Continue reading at EY.

HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Kids, this comic is for you.

It’s based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China. View or listen at NPR.

Study: Adolescent Health Risks Associated with ADHD Go Unmonitored by Doctors


Teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) face an elevated risk for associated health dangers ranging from unsafe intercourse and distracted driving to illegal drug use and medication diversion. These risks are well documented by scientific research, yet a new study finds that primary care physicians largely ignore these critical topics when talking with and treating adolescent patients with ADHD. Learn more at ADDitude.

Angry Kids: Dealing With Explosive Behavior


When a child—even a small child—melts down and becomes aggressive, he can pose a serious risk to himself and others, including parents and siblings. It’s not uncommon for kids who have trouble handling their emotions to lose control and direct their distress at a caregiver, screaming and cursing, throwing dangerous objects, or hitting and biting. It can be a scary, stressful experience for you and your child, too. Children often feel sorry after they’ve worn themselves out and calmed down. So what are you to do? Find some strategies in this article from Child Mind Institute.

2 Types of Strategies for Coping With Boredom in ADHD

In my last post, I talked about how boredom can be bad news for ADHDers – specifically, because it has the ability to magnify our ADHD symptoms.So much for the problem. But is there a solution? What can people with ADHD do to cope with boredom in healthy ways? Read the blog post in its entirety at Psych Central.

Arizona Governor Signs Mental Heath Legislation Into Law


PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona lawmakers and Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday approved legislation aimed at preventing teenage suicides and requiring insurance companies to pay for mental health care under the same rules that apply to physical ailments. Continue reading at AP News.

IN THE CLASSROOM

How Ending Behavior Rewards Helped One School Focus on Student Motivation and Character


Handing out colored bracelets and upbeat stickers when students behave well seems like an effective strategy for encouraging civility. Little prizes and public praise would seem to encourage honesty, generosity and other marks of good character, and for years schools have relied on such rewards to elicit the behavior they desire in their students. Read more at KQED/Mindshift.

3 Ways to Ask Questions That Engage the Whole Class


It’s likely one of the most common questions that educators use when attempting to engage a room full of students: “Who can tell me?” Though it may come in different forms—“Does anyone know the answer?”—the results are the same: Typically only a few students raise their hands, and their responses serve as a barometer for gauging the progress of the entire class. Find out more from Edutopia.

OPINION/PERSPECTIVE

Why “Special Needs” is Not Helpful


There is a whole campaign by disabled people, typically organized under the hashtag #SayTheWord (https://www.npr.org/…/02/25/468073…/disabled-just-saytheword). It crosses diagnosis, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. and the argument it makes, is that as people with disabilities (or disabled people) our NEEDS aren’t special. We need the exact same things that nondisabled people need, to eat, to sleep, to live, to thrive, to engage in society and more. There’s not a need you have, that a person with a disability does not. Our needs maybe more complex, or require skillsets the ableds don’t have (such as ability to cut through pages of bureaucratic morass, the ability to deal with patronizing ableist microaggressions), but they’re still just basic needs. Read the  article in its entirety from Medium.

My Disabled Daughter Isn’t Your Inspiration Porn


What is it about a little girl with leg braces, a pink walker and a determined but crooked gait that makes people want to just die of cuteness overload? As her parent, of course I think she’s adorable and precious, too, but deep down I know she is just another second-grader doing her thing. The attention that she gets from able-bodied people for living her regular life is not inspiring and amazing, it’s unnecessary. Keep reading at The Washington Post.

Don’t Get Rid of Gifted and Talented Programs in the Name of Integration. Integrate Them.


The Seattle School Board is taking steps to dismantle a gifted and talented program at one of its middle schools to make room for a more racially inclusive curriculum. Gifted and talented, or G&T, programs are directed at children whose outstanding abilities and potential for accomplishment will not otherwise be challenged and developed. Learn more from The Hechinger Report.

PARENTING

Questioning Conventional Wisdom in Parenting Part 6: Should you encourage straight A’s?

You’ve probably heard the saying: “A students work for B students at companies founded by C students.” I was incredulous when I first heard it. I was taught growing up that being on the honor roll was an expected and worthwhile goal. But is it? Should we encourage our children to work for A’s? Do grades really matter? Find out more from Dr. Devon MacEachron.

RESEARCH

Brain Wiring Could be Behind Learning Difficulties, Say Experts


Learning difficulties are not linked to differences in particular brain regions, but in how the brain is wired, research suggests. Read the article from The Guardian.

Enlarged Amygdala Linked to Severe Behavioral Problems in Autistic Girls


Autistic children who have behavioral problems tend to have an enlarged right amygdala, a brain region that helps process emotions and detect threats. And in young girls with autism, the region’s size is associated with the severity of these problems. Read about the study at Spectrum.

Research: Schools Lack Specialized Expertise, Resources for Special Ed Programs


Research from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) shows parents of students with disabilities often struggle to find schools that fit their children’s needs and feel that the information-gathering process falls largely on their shoulders. The research was based in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and looked at how school choice affects families that have children with disabilities. Keep reading at Education Dive.

2E PARENTS

The Less Obvious Traits of Giftedness — Intense Emotions, Intuition, and Empathy


Do you feel like “a wizard with a pointless magic?”  Do you see “the ecology of the everything, the intertwining of systems, …the ripples…” that no one else sees? Does your empathy overwhelm you at times? Is it hard to trust your intuition? Does all of this sensitivity make you feel a wee bit crazy? Are you wondering what all of this has to do with giftedness? Find out more from Your Rainforest Mind.

Three Ways to Boost Your Resilience as a Parent


Self-care isn’t about being self-centered or selfish. If you’re a parent, taking time away from your usual schedule is one of the best ways to boost resilience and strengthen your capacity to nurture your children. Continue reading at Greater Good.

“Laughter Is the Best Medicine? Ha Ha Ha (Actually, That Does Feel Pretty Good)”

I am a nervous wreck as I walk on stage in an unmistakable neon-pink Barbie bathrobe. I hear laughter (a good sign) before I’ve said one word. When the laughter subsides, I speak: “My parents were worried about me being a ‘real boy,’ because I loved playing with Barbies. One day the dolls all disappeared. Dad said I was too old to play with Barbies.”  Read more at ADDitude.

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!