Week in Review - November 28, 2008

WEEK in REVIEW

New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education That Were Reported This Week

Dear NASET Members,

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you the latest publications from NASET for you to read and download, as well as 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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New This Week on NASET: Behavior Management Series & NASET Q & A Corner

BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT SERIES

Behaviors Discussed in this Issue:

  • Why Some Children Are Never Chosen for Games
  • Why Children Are Hesitant
  • Why Children Take Too Many Hours to Do Homework
  • Why Children Fight with Other Students
  • Why Children Make Frequent Trips to the Bathroom

To read this issue - CLICK HERE

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NASET Q & A Corner

This issue of the the NASET Q & A Corner provide questions and answers about No Child Left Behind:  Accountability and Testing

To read this issue - CLICK HERE

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Gifted And Challenged: When Enlightening Has To Strike Twice

Tyler Lehmann could read "Harry Potter" books before he started first grade, yet an anxiety disorder left him unable to speak to his teacher and all but one of his classmates in Woodbury. Simon Fink attends a school for gifted students in St. Paul, but Asperger's syndrome can make it hard for him to interact with peers and focus on lessons. School can be tough for kids with challenges ranging from emotional disorders to ADHD or dyslexia. For gifted students, too, it's not always a cakewalk, between boredom and the sense of isolation that can result from being a "brainiac."Then there are students such as Tyler and Simon, who fall into both categories. To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - RFB&D

 For more information - CLICK HERE

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In Illinois, Law Will Require Insurers To Cover Autism Therapy

Chances are you know parents struggling to care for a child with autism. Now, Illinois has passed a new law granting coverage for treatment up to $36,000. Illinois becomes the sixth state to require the coverage. Those who fought for it say it will give financial relief to more than 10,000 families, CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reports. Five-year-old Brianna DiCiani doesn't really know it yet, but her father helped improve thousands of lives in Illinois Thursday. Brianna has autism and her dad wrote a bill that requires insurers to cover all autism treatments, up to 36 thousand dollars a year. After an almost year-long battle and political wrangling in Springfield between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and House Speaker Mike Madigan, it passed. To read more, click here

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Tough Choices For Tough Children

It was disturbing to read in The N.Y. Times this week that the "atypical" antipsychotic Risperdal, a tranquilizing whopper of a drug with serious, sometimes deadly side effects, is now being widely prescribed to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This despite the fact that Risperdal, which is used in children mostly to treat bipolar disorder, isn't approved for A.D.H.D., and apparently doesn't work for treating it at all. So why, according to new Food and Drug Administration data on doctors' prescribing practices, were 16 percent of the pediatric users of Risperdal over the past three years children with A.D.H.D.? To read more, click here

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Special Education Students Get Kick Out Of Soccer Games

Twelve-year-old Cecilia Delgado and hundreds of other special education students scrimmaged on soccer fields this week, showing off their kicking and dribbling skills, as well as their winning smiles."Good work, team!" Cecilia said, after a competitive game that was part of a Special Olympics tournament at Turner Elementary School in Antioch on Friday. Special education students throughout the county have participated in track and field Special Olympics events for the past two years, but they got their first opportunity to compete in soccer this year. The school-based arm of the nonprofit is expanding to include fall and winter sports, offering a free physical education curriculum that prepares students for competitions where they can play on teams and earn ribbons for their accomplishments. To read more, click here

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Understanding Convergence Insufficiency

If your child or student  is having trouble in school, it may not be due to a learning disability. The problem could be with their eyes, and your kids may not even be aware of it. HealthFirst reporter Leslie Toldo tells us how easy it can be to fix without drugs. The condition is called convergence insufficiency, or CI,  and it's not something that will be picked up on a standard eye exam, but it is still easy to treat. Jim Mather's children have CI. "It was a real source of frustration to him for in his learning. Because hearing things he could understand them, but to read them he was having trouble processing information." Josh Mather's problems started in third grade. "We were concerned because we were trying to encourage him. We were saying 'you need to do some more, do some more reading,'" Jim Mather said. "But it was just causing him headaches and frustration." They held Josh back in third grade, but his new teacher picked up on the root of the problem right away. "And said, 'I think you should take him to Dr. Habermehl,'" Jim recalled.  Once the Mathers got Josh to the Vision Therapy Group in Flint, the changes started. To read more, click here

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Disabilities Law Could Use A Few Updates

In 1990, Congress passed what it believed was landmark civil rights legislation.The Americans with Disabilities Act was supposed to level the playing field so that people with disabilities could compete for jobs and housing in the private sector. But a funny thing happened on its way to becoming a landmark. Congress gave it no teeth. Of course, Congress didn't intend to pass weak legislation when President George H.W. Bush signed it during ceremonies on the White House lawn. At least nobody said so at the time. To read more, click here

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Special Needs Families Are Deserving Of Schools' Respect

We, here in Santa Cruz, are part of a community. For better or for worse, we are interconnected, whether we are stopping for someone in a crosswalk or voting to support our local schools. Funding for special education is no different. We are all connected in one way or another to someone who has received special education. It could be our own child, a neighbor, or perhaps a friend of a co-worker. As a mother of a son diagnosed with autism, I know firsthand what parents experience when entering the school system. Many districts see the parents as "demanding" when requesting services for their children. Parents on the other hand feel that they are merely requesting that their child be educated and their tax dollars be put to use. While it is unfortunate (and a crime in my view) that the federal government does not uphold their commitment to pay for special education, it does not mean that the district can abdicate their responsibilities to its community. Reading article's such as Andy Shapiro's, [Santa Cruz Sentinel, Nov. 16] where he states that special education funding encroaches on district general funds, serves to fuel an "us versus them" mentality. To read more, click here

NASET Offering Members Two Million Dollar Educator Liability Insurance for Less Than $10.00 a Month

Every day, special educators are faced with the stresses and potential liability issues involved in dealing with children with special needs. As a result you may be vulnerable to lawsuits, which have been on the rise over the last few years, from parents, or students themselves. In the past decade, the number of suits filed against educators and administrators has risen dramatically, causing the cost of insurance to increase as well. While some special educators may feel that they do not need this type of coverage and they are protected by their district, they should think twice. Even if you are 100% innocent of the charges or accusations, legal costs alone could run into the thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. In special education today, parents - and students - are more aware of their rights, and the laws that govern special education and hold teachers/educators to high standards. Don't try to convince yourself that the expense of your professional and public liability protection is unnecessary or unjustified. Experience shows that the cost of such coverage is by far lower than the risk a teacher takes by not having such protection. Why take a chance for less than $10.00 a month? To learn more about educator liability insurance available through NASET, click here

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Education By Design School Helps Students With Dyslexia

Kelly Graves cried when her son, John David, came home from school and read her a short story. He gained the ability to comprehend the letters and words on the pages at a new school designed especially for first- through third-grade students with dyslexia. Dynamic Dyslexia Design, or the 3-D School, moved into its permanent building earlier this month after construction delays caused classes to be held at Petal-Harvey Baptist Church. Graves said her son went through his first two years of school in Ellisville, but she could barely get him to attend. She said the 3-D School has changed everything. "Before, you couldn't make him go to school. He hated it," she said. "Now, he'll wake up before everyone and wake me up to get ready to go to school. It's a complete difference." Director Cena Holifield said the school teaches learning processes, so dyslexic students can perform up to their intelligence. She said most of their students didn't like school but have grown to love the 3-D School. To read more, click here

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Ability To Quit Smoking May Depend On ADHD Symptoms

Tobacco use is more prevalent and smoking cessation less likely among persons with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.). In a study of smokers with attention deficit and hyperactivity symptoms, those who exhibited elevated hyperactivity and impulsivity, with or without inattention, showed lower quit rates after 8 weeks than those with inattention symptoms alone or those without the A.D.H.D. symptoms. The study, now available online in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, could help smokers and physicians to better tailor cessation treatment for individuals with A.D.H.D. To read more, click here

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Between Men and Women, Dyslexia Takes Sides

More than 30,000 neuroscientists from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C., November 15-19 for the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Presentations covered the science of nerves and brains on scales from molecules to societies. Offerings the second day of the meeting, November 16, are sampled here: surprising insights about the brain on age, one of the first studies to investigate the brains of dyslexic women, a new finding about head trauma, and details on how the skin senses touch. To read more, click here

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Food for Thought........

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

                                                 Ralph Nader

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