Friday, October 30, 2015

Is Marijuana OK for Teens?

THC potency is approaching 30%, whereas 30 years ago it was below 10%. States are beginning to legalize marijuana, while the effects of pot on the developing adolescent brain are still being researched. Is there a safe level of use? Are the brain changes associated with marijuana use in adolescence permanent or can the brain recover with time? As adults, early onset pot smokers (before age 16) make twice as many mistakes on executive function assessments as those who started after 16.  Read the full article in Monitor on Psychology, November 2015- Marijuana and the Developing Brain.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Tourette's and High Risk Periods for Children

If a child has Tourette’s the “high-risk period for anxiety begins at age four, while for depression it is around age 10.” As always early diagnosis and intervention is key in “changing the trajectory of a child’s development.” Tourette syndrome often occurs with a diagnosis of either ADHD or OCD. It was also found that kids with tics and OCD should also be screened for ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). Interesting findings from a study led by UCSF and Massachusetts General Hospital and synopsized in Neurology Now.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Better Habits for Students with Learning Differences

The LD Source from the Learning Disabilities Association of America published an article entitled, “How can you get students with LD to change their behavior and habits? by Howard Margolis. He lists 37 questions to ask yourself in working with students with learning differences. Questions such as, “Does he see peers like him, whom he likes, steadily learning to make the changes he’s being asked to make?”  The goal is to create new behaviors and habits for a successful learner. A worthy goal and an article worth reading!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Schools in Massachusetts

What could be better than visiting boarding schools and boarding schools for students with learning differences during the autumn season in New England!

I am always impressed with the truly wonderful tradition of boarding schools on the East Coast. Boarding schools offer high school students the opportunity to grow and explore independence with oversight. And for those students with executive function difficulties, ADHD or learning differences, a boarding school which instructs in a way that empowers students to know how truly capable they are is an exceptional opportunity.