TECA Insights | Vol. 97 | June18, 2019
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Hi Folks,

This week I have been thinking about the transition to college. And not just because I have been buying new bedding and towels for my daughter for when she leaves in August. I have also been thinking about the opportunity this affords me and my husband to help our son prepare for college when it is his turn.

Seeing as how I am currently thinking about the transitions in my own family, I am particularly happy to be able to introduce you to this week’s guest blogger, Melinda Khachaturian, who serves as the National Director of Admissions & Outreach for College Living Experience. In this week’s post, Melinda shares some excellent ideas about how we as parents can use the summer to create opportunities for our kids to work on their independent living skills.

This Is Growing Up: Summer Activities to Prepare For Independence

“It goes by so fast.” All parents of young children hear these words.  Sometimes it’s said with a tinge of sadness, sometimes with wonder, and sometimes with contentment and pride.  And as parents of children who learn differently, it can seem as though that short period of time is riddled with twists and turns, adding unexpected elements to the journey.  It is imperative that they learn the necessary skills to manage their lives and responsibilities.  After all, they will spend much more time with the title of “Adult” than they spend as a “Child”.  We watch our children grow, adapt, and mature, and more than anything, we hope they have the tools they need to be confident, happy, successful young adults. Read the full post at TECA2e.org.

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


Maratea Cantarella
TECA Executive Director
Early Bird Registration is Open!
SENG 2019 Annual Conference
Exploring New Frontiers

Houston TX July 19th – 21st
Information & Registration

Court Rules in Favor of Eligibility for Special Education Despite Passing Grades 

On May 15, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of parents of a child with disabilities, determining that the child met eligibility criteria for special education and should have been found eligible by his school district. Although the child in question earned all A’s and B’s in his classes, the Court found that he was still entitled to special education, stating “while grades are a consideration in determining whether special education services are necessary, they may not be the exclusive one.” Other factors considered in determining that the child was eligible for special education included failure of benchmark tests, struggles with attention to task due to avoidance behaviors, and difficulty producing written work. The Court stated firmly that the fact that the child benefited from Section 504 accommodations did not change the analysis regarding special education eligibility. Read the entire notice and download the PDF from Matt Cohen & Associates, LLC.

The Condition of Education at a Glance

On behalf of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), I am pleased to present The Condition of Education 2019, a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing the latest data on education in the United States. This report is designed to help policymakers and the public monitor educational progress. This year’s report includes 48 indicators on topics ranging from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. Read more from the Commissioner of the National Center for Educational Statistics and access statistics here.


People With Disabilities Face
Challenges Campaigning for Office. 
This Group Wants to Change That.

When Alexandria Knox was preparing for her New Hampshire legislative race, she had some questions about how best to handle her blindness on the campaign trail. The National Council on Independent Living had the answers. Read more from Time.

The Creative Mom’s Guide to Hands-On Summer Learning

Reading charts and math workbooks don’t work for our kids. To keep their brains growing and learning all summer, you’ve got to think differently — and get messy. Steal these ideas for low-cost, hands-on summer learning ideas from a mother who doesn’t sit still. Check out these 11 great ideas from ADDitude.


Complaining About Students Is Toxic. Here Are 4 Ways to Stop.

As a teacher, I spent many mornings waiting in line to make copies for my lessons that day. Coffee in hand, I competed with my fellow waiting colleagues in the Misery Olympics of Teaching: We’d banter back and forth about whose teaching life was more miserable. Continue reading at Education Week.

New Report on Virtual Education: ‘It Sure Sounds Good. As it Turns Out, it’s too Good to be True.’

The future of education, you might hear some enthusiasts say, is virtual: Online schools have grown significantly over the past decade, as have traditional schools that use online curriculum, and the promise of virtual education is boundless. Or not. Find out more from The Washington Post.

Unraveling the Myths Around Reading and Dyslexia

In her 17 years as a middle school social studies teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, Su Williams regularly encountered students who still struggled to read at a basic level, and nothing she learned in her teacher training or in her nearly two decades in the classroom prepared her to help. Read the rest of this article from Edutopia.

Autism Community Ventures and Dr. Maureen Dunne Announce Transition2Success Scholarship Winners for Teens With Autism

 Autism Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people on the autism spectrum successfully integrate into 21st-century careers, is proud to announce that the inaugural round of transition scholarships for its Transition2Success Project (“Transition2Success”) have been awarded. Learn more about it from Yahoo Finance.


IEA Believes That All Children Deserve to Learn Something New Every Day, Including Gifted Students.

Currently, nearly half of all public schools in America spend no money on supporting the gifted population, while countries like China and India have invested millions of dollars in gifted and talented children. This leaves many gifted students across the country with little access to resources that challenge and engage them to learn. These children are our future engineers, planners, doctors, scientists, and leaders. We must nurture these students and support their skills and talents, or our nation will fall behind in the global economy. Continue reading at Institute for Educational Advancement.

The Interface of Anxiety, Overthinking, and Shame Among Gifted Children and Teens

Most gifted children quickly learn that they differ from their peers. Even if they are not openly rejected or bullied, many still feel isolated. The burdens of their outlier status, uncertainty about whether to mask their giftedness, and never quite feeling they belong  – all take their toll. Read more from Gifted Challenges.


Recognition Responsive Euphoria

Perhaps because people who have untreated ADHD are so accustomed to making mistakes and receiving criticism, they become positively giddy when they receive positive recognition.  The best way to get them charged up and motivated is to praise—legitimately, honestly—some element of a project they’re working on, an outfit they’re wearing, a proposal they’re developing, an idea they’re hatching. Find out more from Dr. Hallowell. 

44 Children’s Books About Mental Health

From a hedgehog too anxious to go ice skating to a puppy who can’t make his letters come out right, children’s books address many emotional, behavioral and learning challenges kids face. These books help kids name and understand feelings and experiences they may be struggling with. At the Child Mind Institute we’ve contacted publishers all over to call in books that address mental health and learning disorders and other common challenges, like dealing with painful experiences and coping with strong emotions. We included books for kids up to 12, from picture books to be read with preschoolers to chapter books for independent reading by older children. Our clinicians read them all and picked the best in each category, based on how helpful they found them. Here you will see descriptions of 44 books we like, and we hope you will find useful. See the booklist at Child Mind Institute.


Success for Students With Autism

About a decade ago, an influx of students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder surprised officials at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Disability Services Office. The students had questions beyond the usual accommodations. They wanted to know how to deal with a snippy roommate or professor, or they just had problems communicating. Continue reading at Inside Higher Ed.

The Mess That is Elite College Admissions, Explained by a Former Dean

When people find out I used to work as a dean of admissions at an elite liberal arts university, they want to gab about the wealthy and famous, bribes and scandal, the boogeyman of affirmative action. People want soap opera storylines. Read the rest of this article from Vox.


I Am A “Highly Functional” Autistic. It Takes A Lot of Work.

I’m an Autistic person with a pretty put-together looking life. I always make rent. I have money socked away in savings and investments. I juggle several teaching jobs and do statistical and methodological consulting work. I sometimes find time to write. I have a social life. Except for the occasional noticeable chest crumbs, I present as clean and well-dressed. I manage my stress. I sleep. I eat. Keep reading at Medium.

The Tyranny of Pathologizing our Kids

When did it happen?  When did the energetic child become the child with hyperactivity?  When did the opinionated child become the oppositional child?  The stubborn child become the defiant child?  Daydreamer start having attention deficits?  When did we start pathologizing our kids? Find out more from The Fringy Bit.

I Spent the School Year Advocating for My Son and I’m Exhausted

Today is my son’s last day of Kindergarten. He is in the dual immersion program where he is a native English speaker, in a home that only speaks English, learning how to speak Spanish fluently by fourth grade. We live in Southern California so it’s a no-brainer. However it’s not the Spanish that’s been tough this year. Continue reading at Today.


A Tool to Help Your Child Self Regulate

Your child may have difficulty self-regulating, which may get them in trouble in social settings and create distance between them and their peers. The Silly Goofy Scale allows your child to simulate the experience of being out of control and strategize ways to respond in a more flexible and socially tolerable manner.Find the strategies from Caroline Maguire.

Why Your Child Refuses ADHD Help: Understanding the 6 Stages of Change

There is no shortage of perfectly good ADHD treatment options — each one of which is absolutely useless if you try to hand it to someone with a closed fist. So, as caregivers or professionals, how do we get that fist to open? Read more from ADDitude.

Life Skills 101 For My Adult Daughter

Ever since my daughter Samantha graduated from Pace University in 2014, I’ve been trying to help her move toward independence by finding her life-skills support and vocational training. After filling out mountains of paperwork and meeting with well-meaning (but mostly useless) bureaucrats, more than two years have passed and NO HELP has been provided. Over the past few months, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Twice a week for two hours, I work with my daughter on myriad life skills. Neither Samantha nor I are thrilled with this arrangement, but we both agree that it’s better nothing. Continue reading at The Good Men Project.

Why It’s Important to Embrace Autism Research

Research is very important for parents to understand—unfortunately, it isn’t something that a lot of families have time for or can easily access. It may seem that research exists in an ivory tower. I want to inspire you to embrace research. It helps inform the practitioners and teachers that work with your loved one on the spectrum. Access the complete article from Autism Parenting.


The Lonely World of the Gifted Adult — Too Smart, Too Sensitive, Too Emotional, Too Curious

It is part of the mythology of giftedness that super smart people have it made. That they are successful, rich, and appreciated for their cleverness. That they don’t really need much companionship because they are totally content in their labs studying fruit flies or in the library immersed in piles of books on obscure philosophical theories. Read more from Your Rainforest Mind.


Nerdy Scientist the Perfect Hero for Our Times

Fans of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect will be pleased to know the adventures of Don Tillman continue in a third book, The Rosie Result.

The new novel by Australian writer Graeme Simsion once again celebrates his eccentric and admirable central character:  Don Tillman is now occupied with helping his 11-year-old son get through the hell that is adolescence.  Find the rest of this article from the Toronto Sun.

8 Student-Made Podcasts That Made Us Smile

This year, NPR held its first Student Podcast Challenge — a podcast contest for students in grades 5 through 12. As we listened to the almost 6,000 entries, we smiled, laughed, and even cried. Students opened their lives to us with stories about their families, their schools and communities and their hopes for the future. Continue reading at KQED.

Watch Adam Savage Make a Flying Iron Man Suit in his New Show, Savage Builds

Adam Savage became a household name as the cohost of Mythbusters, and now, he’s returned to the Discovery Channel with a new show: Savage Builds. In each episode of the series, Savage goes out and builds something, consulting with other experts and builders. The series just began airing on Discovery, and the first episode, in which he builds a flying Iron Man costume, is available for free online (at least in the US) for the next two weeks. Find out more from The Verge.

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!