Week in Review - May 15, 2009

 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 with the latest publications from NASET 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

New This Week on NASET

Parent Teacher Conference Handouts

Basic Special Educational Law Terminology for Parents

Introduction
As a teacher of children with special needs there may be times when parents are not sure of certain terms that may be used in reference to their children or their child's program. Having a glossary available allows parents to understand which is being said to them which reduces confusion and misunderstanding. This issue of the Parent Conference Teacher Handouts provides you with the basic information for parents that will facilitate communication about terms used in special education.
 
To read or download this issue -  Click Here
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Classroom Management Series

Set Control Boundaries Several Times a Day

The purpose of this issue of the Classroom Management Series is to  provide a tool to establish behavioral boundaries with your students in a realistic manner several times a day.

To read or download this issue - Click Here  (login required)

Quick Links To NASET

New Research Suggests Recovery From Autism Is Possible

A University of Connecticut researcher says intensive behavioral therapy can help a small percentage of kids with autism recover. Deborah Fein, who presented a study at a conference over the weekend, said approximately 10 percent of children who have autism can be "cured" with intensive behavioral therapy. The majority of children with autism won't recover, said the University of Connecticut psychology professor, but families should know it's a possibility. Another researcher, Geraldine Dawson of Autism Speaks, told the AP that Fein's work is the first to thoroughly document recovery among children with autism. Though Dawson told the Daily Telegraph that the research is in the early stages. The National Institute of Mental Health is paying for the research, which invovles children ages 9 to 18. One of the children in Fein's study is Leo Lytel, a third-grader from Washington, D.C. He went from displaying classic symptoms of a child with autism, such as refusing to make eye contact, to being "an articulate, social" child that teachers describe as "a leader," his mother Jayne Lytel said. To read more, click here

NASET Offering Members Two Million Dollar Educator's Liability Insurance

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

Traumatic Brain Injury Haunts Children For Years With Variety Of Functional Problems

Children who suffer traumatic brain injuries can experience lasting or late-appearing neuropsychological problems, highlighting the need for careful watching over time, according to two studies published by the American Psychological Association. In one study, a team of psychologists used a longitudinal approach to gain a better idea of what to expect after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The researchers found that severe TBI can cause many lasting problems with day-to-day functioning. Some children may recover academically but then start acting up; other children do surprisingly well for unknown reasons. In the second study, the first systematic meta-analysis summarizing the collective results of many single studies, the researchers found that problems lasted over time and, in some cases, worsened with more serious injury. Some children with severe TBI started to fall even further behind their peers than one would normally expect, in a snowball effect that requires further study. The results of both studies were reported in the May issue of Neuropsychology, published by the American Psychological Association. To read more, click here

 NASET Sponsor - Drexel University Online

Drexel University Online

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Many Teachers, A Famoulsy Fertile Market Dries Up Overnight

Larissa Patel dreamed of teaching English at a Brooklyn public school this fall, motivated by a desire to help low-income children. But instead, on Friday, Ms. Patel spent the day filling out applications for 30 jobs at private schools. Ms. Patel's abrupt change in plans was precipitated by a new citywide ban on hiring teachers from outside the school system. "Suddenly, overnight, I am rethinking my entire career," said Ms. Patel, 30, a student at St. John's University who left a job in the digital imaging industry to work as a substitute teacher and pursue an education degree. "It's a very bleak point in time. It's forced me to sort of look in a new direction." In an effort to cut costs and avoid teacher layoffs, the Department of Education on Wednesday ordered principals to fill vacancies with internal candidates only. As a result, aspiring teachers at education schools and members of programs like Teach for America - a corps of recent college graduates - and the city's Teaching Fellows - which trains career professionals to become teachers - are scrambling for jobs. To read more, click here

Iowa Producing Fewer Special Education Teachers

Iowa's colleges and universities are turning out fewer teachers. State education officials say the trend threatens to add to teacher shortages in some subjects, such as math, science and special education. "People view teaching as something that is not really as rewarding as it used to be," said Judy Jeffrey, the state's top education official. "It's very troubling." At the center of the trend is a drop-off in new elementary school teachers.  state education report show that candidates for elementary education teaching endorsements have dropped by nearly 30 percent since the 2003-2004 school year. Officials say the decline also increases competition for top talent. Enrollment in teacher programs in Iowa has held steady but the front-row view of the work students get in college is turning some away. "You have students' lives in your hands," said Carla Dawson, who will graduate from Drake University on Saturday. "Some people don't want that kind of responsibility." To read more, click here

 

NASET Sponsor - RFB&D

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Stimulus Funding To Boost Special Education, Title I Programs

Students in special education programs and schools with high poverty rates look to gain the most from federal stimulus funding that's making its way into the 2009-2010 Greeley-Evans School District 6 budget. Trying to find room in the budget for new programs elsewhere in the district, however, could prove a tough task. Despite a boost in state funding, district officials are concerned that various spending limits on state funding may hamper their ability to implement any new initiatives next year aside from new federally funded stimulus programs. In all, funding set aside for District 6 from the stimulus package signed in February looks to create 23.5 jobs in the district over the next two years. To read more, click here

Comic Turns Atention To Disorder

The klutzy character who runs in all directions and can't express his emotions arose early in Rick Green's comic repertoire. The character "Bill" grew out of childhood antics at the family cottage in Muskoka, recorded in silent home movies. The persona took different forms over the years, then blossomed in the "Adventures with Bill" routine on the long-running CBC program The Red Green Show, in which the inept, mute outdoorsman found ever-inventive ways to distractedly hurt himself. "Without me realizing it, Bill exemplified ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder)," Green said yesterday as he prepared for a national public-awareness campaign on the condition."We're developing a website that uses Bill to demonstrate the various symptoms." To read more, click here

Targacept: Positive Results With ADHD Drug

Targacept, a Winston-Salem-based drug discovery company, announced preliminary results Monday showing that a drug it has developed for memory impairment met primary outcome measures in a Phase II clinical trial in adults with attention deficient/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a study of 24 adults with ADHD, the Targacept molecule, called AZD3480, showed evidence of improving symptoms of the disorder, improved behaviorial inhibition and was tolerated well. "The results showed a consistent effect between improvement in clinical symptoms and a core cognitive deficit," said Dr. Paul Newhouse, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont, the principal investigator on the study. "Additionally, we saw improvement after just one week of treatment." To read more, click here

Special Education Students Dance The Day Away During Prom

Decked out in a royal blue dress with matching shoes, Longview junior special education student Amanda King didn't miss a beat on the dance floor. "I love dancing," the 18-year-old said while taking a breather in the lunch line. "I like meeting different people and taking pictures. It's been real fun." King was among more than 400 special education students who two-stepped, "stanky-legged" and electric slid Monday at the sixth annual Region 7 Special Education Prom at the Kilgore High School gym. Kilgore Independent School District Director of Special Education Kathy Alexander said volunteers have been preparing for the prom since fall. She said more than 100 school districts - including Longview, Kilgore, Marshall, Gilmer and West Rusk - were represented at the event. All participants received a free lunch and a corsage or boutonniere to mark the occasion. To read more, click here

Message To Employers: Hiring People With Disabilities Can Make You Money

When Jackie Boomstra tried out as a receptionist for a company now known as VanerumStelter, she soothed a cranky customer on the phone, role-played by an interviewer, and won the job on the spot. Never mind she has been blind since birth. "She blew us away," owner Jim Stelter remembers of Boomstra's interview four years ago. Her deft handling of an irate customer impressed him, especially because Boomstra was new to the school furniture business. "We hired the best person for the job. Not the other way around," Stelter said, referring to jobs created just to accommodate a person with disabilities. "I do what I have to do to do my job," said Boomstra, 54, of Grand Rapids. "I don't ask for a lot of help." Boomstra is one of thousands of talented West Michiganders with disabilities, although a rugged job market can be even tougher for them. To read more, click here

Baltimore Special Education Services Improve

A state audit has found significant improvement in the Baltimore school system's delivery of services such as speech therapy and counseling to students with disabilities. State auditors examined the files of 358 special education students who were entitled to 678 sessions of services between August and December. Twenty-five of the 358 students had a problem with service delivery, a noncompliance rate of 7 percent, down from 30 percent when a similar audit was done a year ago. But the consent decree in a decades-old lawsuit involving the city's special education program requires that no more than 2 percent of students with disabilities have their services interrupted over the course of a school year. City schools chief Andrés Alonso said no school district is meeting that standard. The problems identified in the audit involved 26 of the 678 services, a noncompliance rate of 4 percent. That's down from 22 percent last year. To read more, click here

Mother Helps Sons Overcome Learning Disabilities

Kimberly Goss taught her sons how to crawl their way to success -- literally. Benjamin Goss, 26, and Christopher Goss, 23, suffer from learning disabilities. When the two were children, Kimberly and her husband, Bill, took them to be tested at an area learning center and were told that neither boy would ever develop the intellectual capacity to attend college. Refusing to accept that assessment, Kimberly took her sons out of public school, where they were in special education classes, and taught them at home. "What I did was pull them out of a situation that was damaging to their self-esteem," Kimberly said. "We did a lot of praying, let them know they were smart and just believed in them." Ben and Christopher credit their mother for putting them on a path to academic excellence. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

There are two primary choices in life: To accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.
                                                                 Denis Waitley

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