Week in Review - December 18, 2009

WEEK in REVIEW

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

Dear NASET Member:

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

Resource Review

December 2009

 
In this issue of the Resource Review you will find links in the following categories:
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Assistive Technology
  • Autism
  • Classroom Instruction
  • Classroom Management
  • Classroom Medical Concerns
  • Classroom Resources
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Family and Community Information-English
  • Family and Community Resources-Spanish
  • Funding Information
  • IEP Issues
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Middle School Issues
  • Orthopedic Impairments
  • Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Self Determination
  • Speech  and Language Impairments
  • Transition Services
  • Visual impairments
To read of download this issue - Click Here   (login required)
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Assessment in Special Education Series

Part 4 - Understand the Requirements of an Evaluation for a Suspected Disability

A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional, academic and developmental information about the child, including information provided by the parent. This information will be used to determine whether the child has a disability, the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, and if eligible for special education and related services, the content of the child's IEP. This part of the Assessment in Special Education Series will assist you in understanding these requirements.
To read or download this issue - Click Here  (login required)

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Gene Discovered In Childhood Language Disorder Provides Insight Into Reading Disorders

The recent discovery of a gene associated with specific language impairment (SLI), a disorder that delays first words in children and slows their mastery of language skills throughout their school years, offers new insight into how our genes affect language development. The finding, published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders is the result of a collaborative team effort headed by Mabel Rice, Ph.D., a University of Kansas professor and NIDCD-funded scientist. The gene, KIAA0319, appears to play a key role in SLI, but it also plays a supporting role in other learning disabilities such as dyslexia. The finding is important for children with SLI and their families, and it is also likely to improve the classification, diagnosis, and treatment of other language, reading, and speech disorders. SLI affects an estimated 7 percent of 5-6 year olds. Yet it is often overlooked as a diagnosis because children with SLI typically don't have severe communication problems or an obvious cause for the impairment, such as hearing loss. "These children are less likely to start talking within a normal timeframe," says Dr. Rice. "They may not begin to talk until they're three or four. And when they finally do talk, they use simpler sentence structure and their grammar may seem immature." Language impairments such as SLI also appear to increase the risk for reading deficits. To read more, click here

Do Human Resources Grads Need More On Disabilities?

Do tough times trump diversity? How do people with disabilities fit into corporate culture?Businesses that pay attention to equity and diversity, building teams that reflect the rich multi-faceted nature of the global village we inhabit, operate from positions of strength. How do you tap into that talent and how do you keep it? All those questions eventually land on the shoulders of the men and women who study human resources. Diversity is an important part of human resources courses at universities and community colleges, but it is usually questions of ethnicity and culture that predominate. When it comes to disability, how much exposure to the issues do students really get? Enough for them to feel comfortable when they're faced with wheelchairs or hearing aids or white canes in the hiring process? To read more, click here

TIME Magazine Releases "Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2009" - Autism Research Number 7

TIME reports that the cause of autism is still unknown and the rise in cases is continuing; 1 in 100 American children are diagnosed with autism. However, recent research has identified a chromosomal variation (chromosome 5) which is seen in at least 15% of all autism cases. "Working with the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange - a DNA database of more than 2,000 families affected by autism, and the largest genetic study of the disorder ever attempted - researchers zeroed in on variations in genes that code for proteins involved in forming connections in the brain. Differences in these particular genes are extremely common - present in more than half of healthy people - but they are even more common in people with autism, affecting 65%." To read more, click here

New Hope For Diagnosis And Treatment Of Intractable Pediatric Brain Tumors

Scientists have discovered oncogenes capable of driving growth of normal human brain stem cells in a highly malignant pediatric brain tumor. The research, published by Cell Press in the December issue of the journal Cancer Cell, has significant implications for clinical management of aggressive pediatric brain tumors that are notorious for their dismal prognosis. Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) arise from undifferentiated brain cells and are the most frequent malignant brain tumors in children. There are different forms of PNETs and, while scientists have made progress in characterizing the genetic abnormalities associated with some PNET subtypes, the highly aggressive cerebral tumors known as CNS-PNETs have been difficult to characterize as they represent a relatively uncommon group of tumors with ill-defined diagnostic features. To read more, click here

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Rochester City Schools Implement Response To Intervention (RTI)

The City School District has launched a new type of teaching model that officials hope will reduce the number of special-education students in the district. At 17 percent, Rochester City Schools have more special-ed students than any district in the state, and there is concern that some students - particular black and Hispanic boys - may be misclassified, though experts don't agree on how often that happens or the reasons why. Response-to-Intervention is an approach to instruction that is gaining popularity among educators because it provides academic intervention at the first sign a student is struggling. And the intervention intensifies depending on the level of need. The program was introduced in 14 elementary and secondary schools throughout the city this year. Advocates tend to refer to RTI as a philosophy about teaching rather than a program, because the goal is to keep students in their general ed classrooms. The reason: academic performance is higher when students are not segregated into special ed environments. To read more, click here

Assistive Technologies Aid People With Disabilities

Assistive technologies are making it possible for people with disabilities to succeed, but it is challenging to keep up with the ever-changing devices that are available. There are so many innovative devices for different disabilities that it takes a lot of time and patience to find the ones that work best. At Chicago's Assistive Technology Industry Association conference held several weeks ago, consumers were able to check out some of the newest items. It was the first time the 10-year-old ATIA held its conference in Chicago. More than 125 booths were visited by thousands of people, including professionals, families and those with disabilities. Don Johnston Incorporated has 200 products for people with learning disabilities. "We have software products. We have hardware products," Johnston said. "We can have the computer read text, bring text in, form text books to the Web, and speak it and then let students to use strategies, learning strategies, comprehension strategies." To read more, click here

Co-Teaching Integrates Special Education Students In Traditional Classrooms

Peoria School District 150 is hoping a marriage among teachers will provide the "I do" vows for increased student achievement. A majority of Peoria's 200-plus special education teachers have paired up with regular grade-level teachers in classrooms districtwide this year, greatly expanding a years-old teaching model some say is long overdue and could propel the district to greater academic performance. Called co-teaching or inclusionary classrooms, the two teachers share the same classroom and responsibility for teaching both special education and regular students. The teaching model eliminates, in many cases, separate special education classrooms where those students traditionally have been isolated throughout most of an entire school day. "Too many students are identified as being in special education," says Manual High School assistant principal Taunya Jenkins. 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 and our partnership with the Association of American Educators (AAE), click here

New Screening Tool Helps Identify Children At Risk For Developmental Issues

When a baby is born, new parents often wonder, "Will he be the next President of the United States?" or "Could she be the one to find a cure for cancer?" But the underlying question for many specialists is, "Is this child 'at risk' for developmental issues?" Until now, an answer to this question has been elusive. A newborn exam, developed by a team led by Barry Lester, PhD, director of the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, will be featured in the December 7 issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Journal of Pediatrics. The exam, called the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS), was created to identify newborns who may have problems with school readiness and behavior at age four. This opens up the possibility of early intervention to prevent these problems. To read more, click here

Students with Disabilities Form Union For Lobbying, Social Events

Tired of dealing with inaccessible buildings, overworked counselors and an administration disabled students say is too slow in addressing their grievances, students are banding together to create a group they say will advocate on behalf of the university's disabled population. The tentatively named Disabled Students Union will serve as a venue for both disabled and able-bodied students to air their concerns on the university's disabilities provisions. It will also serve as a social outlet, said women's studies graduate student Angel Miles, who is spearheading the student group's creation. "This is not going to be just an advocacy group but a social one as well, where people can come in knowing that they are welcomed," Miles said. "I want this to set a model for the rest of the community of what inclusion looks like." To read more, click here

Since Hearing, States Take Little Action On Restraint In Schools

A handful of states have moved to restrict or regulate school staff members who restrain or seclude hard-to-handle children against their will in the wake of abuses exposed by congressional investigators seven months ago. But many more states have done little or nothing, advocates say. "There has been a lot of attention, a lot of advocacy, a lot of family members involved, but it's slow going," says Jane Hudson, an attorney for the National Disability Rights Network, based in Washington, D.C. To read more, click here

Activists Praise Amazon.com For Plan To Give Kindle Sound

Having to translate classroom texts into voice software and finding a seeing assistant to help with research are the types of everyday hurdles that can put blind students behind, Jason Turkish said. That why Turkish, a former Huntington Woods resident now in law school in Florida, and other blind students are lauding Amazon.com's announcement this week that it will make its Kindle electronic readers more user-friendly for blind and visually impaired people. "This is the first time to have truly equal access to academic texts," said Turkish, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007. In fact, it could revolutionize higher education for disabled people, Richard Bernstein, the chairman of Wayne State University's Board of Governors, said Wednesday. To read more, click here

Board Certification in Special Education - Available to NASET Members

Through an agreement with The American Academy of Special Education Professionals (AASEP), NASET members now have the opportunity to achieve AASEP Board Certification in Special Education - (B.C.S.E.) at a reduced fee.  AASEP Board Certification in Special Education - (B.C.S.E.) is a voluntary choice on the part of the candidate. The candidate for Board Certification wishes to demonstrate a commitment to excellence to employers, peers, administrators, other professionals, and parents. From the standpoint of the Academy, board certification will demonstrate the highest professional competency in the area of special education. Board Certification in Special Education establishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.   For more information on Board Certification in Special Education, click here

Support Grows For Autism Aid For Military Families

Julian Irby was initially told his son with autism would never speak. But after a decade of intensive one-on-one therapy, David Irby, 17, has learned basic chores around the house, taking out the trash and putting away dishes, beyond just speaking. "He's no Winston Churchill or anything like that, but he can at least put together basic sentences to ask for things," said Julian Irby, an engineer in Pensacola. "The only reason that he's been able to learn to do those things is because we've had therapists and workers work with him one-on-one to literally spend the 20 times as much time as it takes a normal person to learn how to do a basic thing like how to hold a broom." Irby found funding for the intensive treatment, called "applied behavior analysis," by navigating a bureaucratic maze for Medicaid. But the military has become a leader in providing for this costly care under its Tricare health program. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

There is no past or future just the present, and it's what we do in the present that will make the future and write the past                                                             

 Author Unknown

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