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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend.
NASET News Team
New This Week on NASET
Classroom Management Series
Find alternate methods to spot-light positive behaviors or skills
The purpose of this issue of the Classroom Management Series is to systematically focus on a student's positive qualities.
NASET Resource Review - January 2010
In this issue you will find resources in the following areas:
Charter Schools and Children with Special Needs
Parental Requests for Different Types of Meetings: Procedures in Spanish
Special Education Resources
Toys and Gifts for Children with Special Needs
Quick Links To NASET
NASET Sponsor - Empowering Educators
Tobacco Smoke and Learning Disabilities
Exposure to tobacco smoke may significantly increase the odds of children having a learning disability, according to a new study by a professor at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS), a part of Georgetown University Medical Center. "Contribution of Tobacco Smoke Exposure to Learning Disabilities" appeared online Jan. 7, 2010, in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. "Our work suggests that children who have been exposed to pre-natal and environmental tobacco smoke are almost three times more likely to experience learning disabilities when compared with children who did not have this exposure," says lead author and environmental health expert Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at NHS. To read more, click here
California Autism Clusters Tied to Parents' Education, Not Environment
Researchers have found clusters of autism in 10 areas around California -- but with no suggestion of a link to local pollution or other environmental exposures, they said. Instead, the only consistent factor among the areas -- identified largely in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay region -- was a population of well-educated parents, Karla Van Meter of the University of California Davis and colleagues found. In six of the clusters, a college-educated parent conferred a risk of autism that was more than four times as great as a parent who didn't graduate from high school, they reported online in Autism Research. "At this point, we don't think that's due to differences in the actual rates," coauthor Irva Hertz-Picciotto, also of UC Davis, told MedPage Today. To read more, click here
Software Will Help Reduce Hyperactivity Among Kids
A new software that will help reduce hyperactivity among kids is slated for release this month. Karen Pine, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, examined the effects of EEG (electroencephalography) biofeedback, a learning strategy that detects brain waves, on children with an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They used a system called Play Attention, supplied by not-for-profit community interest company, Games for Life, three times a week for 12 weeks. The system involves the child playing a fun educational computer game while wearing a helmet similar to a bicycle helmet. It picks up their brain activity in the form of EEG waves related to attention. To read more, click here
Each Pound at Birth Lowers Risk of Developing Tuberculosis, Study Finds
Just one more pound may help a newborn avoid tuberculosis later in life. Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at how much protection additional birth weight added against developing the disease years later. They found that every 1.1 pounds of birth weight decreases the risk of developing tuberculosis later by 46 percent among identical twins. The association between birth weight and developing tuberculosis is much stronger for males than females, with girls only about 16 percent less likely to develop tuberculosis for every 1.1 pounds (500 grams) of birth weight, said Eduardo Villamor, study author and associate professor at the U-M School of Public Health. The risk decreased by 87 percent for infant males with each pound. To read more, click here
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Fetal Alcohol Hits State Hard
Sen. Tim Johnson listened Friday to officials from the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities describe the challenges of studying and preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders as tight budgets constrain their ability to understand the scope of a problem that seems to afflict South Dakota more than other states. In 2007, Johnson introduced the Advanced FASD Research, Prevention and Services Act. If passed, it would charge the National Institutes of Health with bringing resources to bear against fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Absent that mandate, South Dakota competes for a smaller pool of NIH funding needed to study the prevalence of FASD in the state and to educate health care providers, said Kristin Blaschke, the disabilities center's development director. To read more, click here
Genetic Differences Between Lethal and Treatable Forms of Leukemia Discovered
A tumor's genetic profile is often useful when diagnosing and deciding on treatment for certain cancers, but inexplicably, genetically similar leukemias in different patients do not always respond well to the same therapy. Weill Cornell Medical College researchers believe they may have discovered what distinguishes these patients by evaluating the "epigenetic" differences between patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In recent years it has been appreciated that there are additional chemical codes in addition to DNA sequence that control the behavior of normal and malignant cells. These additional codes are called "epi"genetic since they are contained outside of the DNA sequence. 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
Child's Cancer Does Not Raise Divorce Risk: Study
Despite some concerns to the contrary, new research suggests that dealing with a child's cancer does not generally raise parents' risk of divorce. Using data on nearly 978,000 married couples in Norway, researchers found that divorce rates between 1974 and 2001 were no higher among couples with a child suffering from cancer compared with other parents. When other factors were considered, such as parents' age and family income, couples who had a child with cancer were 4 percent more likely to get divorced than other parents -- a difference that was not significant in statistical terms. Few studies have looked at divorce among parents of children with cancer. But there is often a "general perception" -- whether at cancer clinics or in support groups -- that the strain of having a child or a spouse with cancer puts couples at risk of divorce, noted Dr. Astri Syse of the Cancer Registry of Norway in Oslo, the lead researcher on the new study. To read more, click here
Suburban Boys Use Scouting to Overcome Obstacles
Boy Scouts have an image of helping others, and we often see them working with people with disabilities. But the movement also encourages young men with special needs to soar to the highest ranks of achievement. Adam Miller of Schaumburg has reached the rank of Eagle Scout despite Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder. Adam Sullivan of Carol Stream - who uses a wheelchair because he was born with spinal muscular atrophy type 2, a genetic disease that affects the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement - is almost there. Only four of every 100 boys who start in Boy Scouts reach the Eagle rank, said Lorenz Bauer, who has volunteered with Troop 392 longer than the five years Adam Miller has been a member. To read more, click here
Music Therapy Can Assist Toddlers' Communication Rehabilitation Process
Music therapy can assist in the speech acquisition process in toddlers who have undergone cochlear implantation, as revealed in a new study by Dr. Dikla Kerem of the University of Haifa. The study was carried out in Israel as a doctoral thesis for Aalborg University in Denmark (supervised by Prof. Tony Wigram) and presented at a "Brain, Therapy and Crafts" conference at the University of Haifa. Some infants who are born with impaired hearing and who cannot benefit from hearing aids are likely to gain 90% normal hearing ability by undergoing a cochlear implantation procedure. Following the operation, however, the child -- who never heard before -- undergoes a long rehabilitation process before he or she can begin to speak. 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
Diagnosing Autism with MEG Imaging
Because children with autism spectrum disorders tend to process sound and language a fraction of a second slower than children without the disorders, researchers have discovered that measuring magnetic signals that mark this kind of delayed response has the potential to become a standardized tool for diagnosing autism. "More work needs to be done before this can become a standard tool, but this pattern of delayed brain response may be refined into the first imaging biomarker for autism," said Dr. Timothy P.L. Roberts, vice chairman of Radiology Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and head of the study. To read more, click here
Lawsuits Target Makers of Risperdal, Invega Over Extreme Side Effects
The makers of antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega are facing a series of lawsuits after boys taking the drugs grew breasts as large as 'D' cups. The patients who were prescribed the antipsychotics for conditions ranging from attention deficit disorder to Tourette syndrome and disruptive behavior, experienced quick weight gain and breast growth to the tune of a size 38D, in some cases, the lawsuits say. Because of the weight gain, the boys' lawyer says their doctors may have overlooked the seriousness of the breast growth. Now many of the boys will require surgical breast removal. The lawsuits accuse the manufacturers of Risperdal and Invega of negligence and fraud and say that the companies did too little to make people aware of the drugs' potential side effects. To read more, click here
Serious Emotional Disturbances Found Among Children After Katrina
A team made up of mental health professionals, emergency response experts, and researchers from several universities, including Virginia Tech, has published the results of a study that shows serious emotional disturbances among children who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Category 3 storm ravaged the Gulf Coast in August 2005. The study, published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
, showed the estimated prevalence of serious emotional disturbances (SED) among residents of the affected areas was 14.9 percent. Of those, 9.3 percent of youths were believed to have SED that was directly attributable to Hurricane Katrina. Characteristics of SED include inappropriate behavior, depression, hyperactivity, eating disorders, fears and phobias, and learning difficulties. To read more, click here
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Kurzweil Tries to Build a Better e-Reader
Ray Kurzweil knows a little something about e-readers. The computing pioneer, who among other things helped develop modern text recognition software, has been working to use digital technology to improve reading for the past 30 years. After years of work on how computers can help those with learning disabilities, Kurzweil is now taking aim at the masses. His latest project, Blio, is an effort to improve the emerging electronic book field with software that turns e-books into more than just a digital copy of the print edition. Blio, which is due out next month, is software that combines a full-color digital book with the ability to add Web content, video, and professionally narrated audiobooks. To read more, click here
Food for Thought........
Nothing is worth more than this day Johann von Goethe