Week in Review Mar. 7, 2008

Week in Review

Articles of Interest in Special Education That Were Reported This Week 

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with some of the most interesting issues that have happened this week in the field of special education.  We hope you enjoy this publication.  Feel free to send us articles for this publication or let us know your thoughts about the WEEK in REVIEW at news@naset.org. Have a great weekend. 

Sincerely,

NASET News Team

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Rare Photo Shows Helen Keller, Teacher

Researchers have uncovered a rare photograph of a young Helen Keller with her teacher Anne Sullivan, nearly 120 years after it was taken on Cape Cod and tucked inside a family album. The photograph, shot in July 1888 in Brewster, shows an 8-year-old Helen sitting outside in a light-colored dress, holding Sullivan's hand and cradling one of her beloved dolls. Experts on Keller's life believe it could be the earliest photo of the two women together and the only one showing the blind and deaf child with a doll - the first word Sullivan spelled for Keller after they met in 1887 - according to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, which now has the photo.  To read more, click here 

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Students with Disabilities Get an Extra Hand in Transition to College

It was Jennifer Galjour's sophomore year of high school in Corpus Christi when her doctor told her that attending college would be a waste. She wouldn't get a single passing grade, he said. Initially, Galjour, who had dreamed of going to college, was crushed by the prognosis. Since kindergarten, she had applied herself in school while battling not only the usual name-calling and adolescent cruelty but also the frustrations associated with being diagnosed with enough ailments to fill a medical textbook. Her trip through a phone book's worth of doctors began in kindergarten when her parents learned that Galjour has attention deficit disorder. Before the end of high school, the diagnoses had continued: a learning disability, absence seizures, bipolar disorder, brain damage, hyperactive disorder, an auditory processing problem and Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. But the question never was whether Galjour would go to college. It was when, where, how. To read more, click here

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Children, Self-Control and Executive Function

Executive function. What do you suppose that is? Mental health professionals, educators and others use this term when talking about ways that people exercise self-control. Executive function involves the skills we need to organize our lives.  Experts at the National Center for Learning Disabilities say we use executive function to study situations, plan, act and change our minds. They say problems with executive function are strongly linked to attention deficits and learning disabilities. To read more, click here

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Senate Approves Autism Mandate

An estimated one in every 192 Wisconsin children suffers from autism. State Senator Judy Robson (D-Beloit) says denying them access to treatment is just cruel. She says Wisconsin should join the states that require insurance providers to cover autism treatments in their plans, as they would any other medical illness. Eighteen other states have already enacted similar legislation, but State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) says the Wisconsin proposal is the most extreme mandate in the country. He says it will to budget and insurance premium increases that total over $75 million.  To read more, click here

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ADHD Memoir from a Teenager's Point of View

From hyperactive, special ed kindergartner to University of California-Berkeley honors student - it's the kind of journey one normally sees on the silver screen, not the nonfiction section of a bookstore. But Cal freshman Blake Taylor's new memoir - one of the first penned by a youth with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - offers a fascinating and ultimately hopeful glimpse into the childhood challenges shared by 4 million other young Americans. Given the headlines of the last decade, attention-deficit disorders often seem like the diagnosis du jour for every child who ever wiggled or daydreamed through class. But real ADHD is no faddish syndrome. Distraction, says Blake, turned his brain into "a television with the channel changing uncontrollably." Looking at Blake now - a University of California-Berkeley Leadership Award-winning college freshman chatting amiably between classes, a fraternity rush party and a quick workout at the gym - it's hard to imagine him as an impulsive, unintentional arsonist.  Of course, it took a while to get to this point. To read more, click here

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Hovering Parents Bully Teachers

Carroll County school officials told a grandmother to stop coming to her grandchild's class after she spent two weeks studying the teacher. A Baltimore County teacher recalls being threatened physically by a parent who happened to be a boxer. And in Howard County, overbearing parents are becoming such a concern that more than half the teachers surveyed say they have experienced "harassing behavior." For the past two years, 60 percent of the teachers responding to a job satisfaction survey conducted by the Howard County Education Association reported that they have been subjected to harassment. Last year's survey specifically identified parents as the offenders in 60 percent of the cases. This year's survey, to be released in the coming weeks, will report similar results, said Ann DeLacy, the HCEA president.  To read more, click here

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