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What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains

What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains
Getty Neuroscience may seem like an advanced subject of study, perhaps best reserved for college or even graduate school. Two researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia propose that it be taught earlier, however—much earlier. As in first grade. In a study published in this month’s issue of the journal Early Education and Development, psychologists Peter Marshall and Christina Comalli began by surveying children aged four to 13 to discover what they already knew about the brain. Previous research had found that elementary school pupils typically have a limited understanding of the brain and how it functions, believing it to be something like “a container for storing memories and facts.” Marshall and Comalli’s questionnaire turned up the same uncertain grasp of the topic, which the researchers attributed to several factors. A 20-minute lesson about the brain was enough to improve knowledge of brain functioning. But the success of their effort opens another possibility.

Multiple Forms of ADHD? By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on April 3, 2012 New research may help explain the dramatic increase in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder cases. Investigators believe ADHD symptoms may actually represent an entire family of disorders, similar to the classification of various subtypes of cancer. The research, which highlights various versions of the disease, each with differing impacts, demonstrates that there is likely not going to be a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treating patients. Experts believe that new methods will be required to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of the disease. Researchers believe scientists will need to shift their thinking when it comes to conducting research. The research, led by OHSU scientists Damien Fair, Ph.D., and Joel Nigg, Ph.D., will be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Source: Oregon State University APA Reference Nauert, R. (2012).

The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet ADD/ADHD Medications: Are ADHD Drugs Right for You or Your Child? Medication for ADD & ADHD: What you need to know Making ADD/ADHD medication decisions can be difficult, but doing your homework helps. The first thing to understand is exactly what the medications for ADD and ADHD can and can’t do. ADHD medication may help improve the ability to concentrate, control impulses, plan ahead, and follow through with tasks. However, it isn’t a magic pill that will fix all of your or your child’s problems. Even when the medication is working, a child with ADD/ADHD might still struggle with forgetfulness, emotional problems, and social awkwardness, or an adult with disorganization, distractibility, and relationship difficulties. Medication doesn’t cure ADD/ADHD. Generic vs. Generic drugs have the same use, dosage, side effects, risks, safety profile, and potency as the original brand-name drug. Occasionally, brand-name drugs have different coatings or color dyes to change their appearance. Stimulant medications for ADD & ADHD ADD / ADHD Stimulant safety concerns

Dyslexia site The New Way Doctors Learn Turning a medical student into a doctor takes a whole lot of knowledge. B. Price Kerfoot, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, was frustrated at how much knowledge his students seemed to forget over the course of their education. He suspected this was because they engaged in what he calls “binge and purge” learning: They stuffed themselves full of facts and then spewed them out at test time. Research in cognitive science shows that this is a very poor way to retain information, as Kerfoot discovered when he went looking in the academic literature for answers. But he also stumbled upon a method that really is effective, called spaced repetition. (MORE: Couch Potatoes Rejoice! The theory behind spaced repetition is simple: when we first learn a fact, our memory of it is volatile, subject to change or disappear. (MORE: The American Hopsital: The Most Dangerous Place?) How can you learn like one of Kerfoot’s Harvard Medical School residents?

Kids born later in the year more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD: Study | Health | Life VANCOUVER — The youngest kids in a classroom are more likely to be medicated for deficit hyperactivity disorder than their older peers in the same grade, says a University of B.C. study released Monday. The study of almost one million B.C. schoolchildren ages six to 12 during an 11-year period found those born in December were 39% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and 48% more likely to be medicated than those born in January. The age gap within the same grade creates what researchers call “relative age effect.” They suggested younger students may be diagnosed with ADHD simply because they’re less mature and struggle to keep up academically and athletically. “Younger, less mature children are inappropriately being labelled and treated,” said lead author Richard Morrow of UBC’s Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Ages within a classroom can vary by almost a year because children can enter Grade 1 if they turn six before Dec. 31 of the current school year.

Building the Alphabet One Letter at a Time | Texas Homesteader Jake making the letters of the alphabet. Two of my children were recently diagnosed with dyslexia. I immediately went to work researching, talking to experts, and reading on the subject. My favorite source so far is The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald Davis. Mr. One of the first things to understand is that people with dyslexia are extremely visual people. We began with the alphabet. Mr. Some lower case letters in reverse order. Building the letters out of play dough helps them remember the shape of the letter, the correct direction of the letter, etc. Next, you randomly call out a letter. You build both the capital and lowercase letters. The whole point of the exercise is to create mental pictures of each letter. I might sound elementary, but I am already seeing results in their schoolwork. Gluten-Free Play Dough 1 cup rice flour 1 cup cornstarch 1 cup salt 4 tsp cream of tartar 2 cups water 2 tsp oil food coloring, optional Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan.

Drawn » Dyslexia the Gift Blog Excerpt from an image at “Mapping Your Dyslexia” at What does your dyslexia look like? This is a question that Sue Bell, an adult literacy support specialist, asked dyslexic adults who came to her center. In order to provide picture-thinkers with an way to express their thoughts and feelings, she encouraged adult learners to draw mind maps to express their life experiences with dyslexia. She also encouraged them to take photographs to depict and explain their own thought processes. She writes, “The process of creating the mind maps was a powerful way of coming to terms with years of struggle.” “Distilling their experiences down onto one A3 sheet of paper helped people to accept their dyslexia and move on to create more positive versions of themselves. “Although there are many overlapping themes within the maps, each map is different from the others. “This shows us that each dyslexic person has a unique set of experiences”

If you’re so smart ……. » Dyslexia the Gift Blog Katie is the 8 year old daughter of a very smart lawyer — but when she asks for help with her spelling homework, Dad takes a pass. She’s surprised — how can a man who is so smart not know how to spell? When her dad explains about his childhood struggles with dyslexia, Katie decides to investigate on her own with a trip to the library. The best news about this delightfully illustrated and informative picture book is that it is currently available as a free download for Kindle from Amazon. Added Note (July 22, 2012): I am thinking that my mini-book review posted above fails to do justice to the author of this excellent book series. In addition to the dyslexic father profiled above, the series includes: Last to Finish – A Story about the Smartest Boy in Math Class - Max is in third grade and overwhelmed when his teacher gives timed multiplication quizzes. For more about the author and this wonderful series of children’s books, visit the web site at: