Dear NASET News
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
LESSER KNOWN DISORDERS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION SERIES
Issue # 4 - April 2010
Tactile defensive type
ASSESSMENT IN SPECIAL EDUCATION SERIES
Part 8 - Understanding a Students Behavior During the Assessment Process
A very important part of the assessment process is the observation of the student during the assessment process. These observations can provide valuable insight into the student's learning style, areas of struggle, academic approach, stronger and weaker modalities (avenues through which information comes to us i.e. visual modality, auditory modality), self esteem, frustration levels, resiliency, communication skills and much more. It should also be noted that the way a child approaches different types of evaluations may be very similar to the style he/she uses in the classroom. There are many behaviors that should be observed when administering tests. That is why is it very important for the evaluator to write down these observations which will also facilitate report writing.
Quick Links To NASET
ADHD Linked to Interaction of Genetics and Psychology
ADHD may be caused by alterations in the serotonin neurotransmission system combined with a tendency to experience psychosocial distress. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Behavioral and Brain Functions
found that ADHD behaviors in children and adolescents were associated with interactions between low and high serotonin activity and self-blame in relation to inter-parental conflict. To read more, click here
NASET Sponsor - Drexel University Online
Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With More Asthma Symptoms and Medication Use
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with lower lung function and greater medication use in children with asthma, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. In a paper published online this week in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, Daniel Searing, MD, and his colleagues also reported that vitamin D enhances the activity of corticosteroids, the most effective controller medication for asthma. "Asthmatic children in our study who had low levels of vitamin D were more allergic, had poorer lung function and used more medications," said Dr. Searing. "Conversely, our findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation may help reverse steroid resistance in asthmatic children and reduce the effective dose of steroids needed for our patients." To read more, click here
DID YOU KNOW THAT......
The 2004 reauthorization of our federal special education law (IDEA) specifically named homeless children as being protected by the law if they have a disability.
Some Turn to Alternative Therapies to Treat Brain Disorders
Ricky Heilbron is racing a timer as he shoves metal pegs into a wooden board. The 9-year-old wears blue-tinted glasses and a buzzer on his left ear - visual and audio stimulation for the right side of his brain. Ricky, a third-grader with attention-deficit disorder and Asperger's syndrome, is among those undergoing a new "brain balance" therapy for kids diagnosed with disorders in the autism spectrum. At a clinic in Golden, kids propel their bodies across monkey bars, clap their hands to keep up with a metronome that changes tempo, and study reading comprehension and math reasoning. The Brain Balance Center is one of the latest franchises in a growing number of alternative therapies for autism and related neurological disorders. To read more, click here
Children With Cochlear Implants Appear to Achieve Similar Educational and Employment Levels as Peers
Deaf children who receive cochlear implants appear more likely to fail early grades in school, but they ultimately achieve educational and employment levels similar to their normal-hearing peers, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
"For profoundly deaf children, cochlear implantation with rehabilitation is the recommended treatment to provide auditory function and facilitate proficiency in oral communication," the authors write as background information in the article. "In an ideal situation, cochlear implantation should also allow recipients to integrate into the hearing world and improve their quality of life; however, these outcomes can be difficult to measure." To read more, click here
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In Missouri, Compromise Autism-Insurance Bill Gets OK in Senate Committee
A Missouri Senate committee on Tuesday split the difference between House and Senate versions of legislation mandating insurance coverage for children with autism. The new compromise requires state-regulated health insurers -- about 40 percent of the market -- to cover autism spectrum disorders, including providing expensive behavioral treatment. It caps annual spending on that treatment at $45,000, midway between the $36,000 and $55,000 caps found in versions of the measure passed by the House and Senate, respectively. It also provides coverage through age 18. The committee unanimously approved the bill, moving it to the Senate floor for debate. 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
DynaVox Looking to Raise About $150M in IPO
DynaVox Inc., which makes special education software and devices for people who are unable to speak, is looking to raise about $150 million in an initial public offering this week. DynaVox, based in Pittsburgh, plans to use some of the proceeds from the IPO to buy equity interests in the business from existing owners, including members of its senior management. About 82 percent of DynaVox's revenue comes from its speech generating technology business. The company makes a line of devices used by people who cannot speak, such as people with Lou Gehrig's disease, strokes or traumatic brain injuries, and children with cerebral palsy or autism. DynaVox also makes special education software. Its Boardmaker products let teachers make symbol-based activities and adapt text-based materials for children with severe learning disabilities, brain injuries or conditions including autism. The company plans to offer about 9.4 million shares this week, which it hopes to sell for $15 to $17 each, raising $140.6 million to $159.4 million. To read more, click here
DID YOU KNOW THAT.....
U.S. public and private four-year colleges and universities report that approximately 11 percent of their students have a disability.
Mother-Infant Psychoanalysis May Create a Beneficial Circle in the Event of Poor Bonding
Even when a baby has been longed for, some mothers might have trouble bonding with their baby, who in turn may develop disturbed behaviour, such as crying, poor sleeping patterns and breast refusal. A new thesis to be published at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that in such cases, the joint psychoanalytic treatment of mother and infant may be effective, particularly if the mother feels that she is unconsciously contributing to the problems. "If the situation is seen as a problem for a limited time, the good support provided by Swedish Child Health Centre (CHC) is often sufficient," says Björn Salomonsson, doctoral student at the Department of Women's and Children's Health. "But sometimes more help is needed and the mother and her child may benefit from seeing a therapist to find each other in a calm, safe environment." To read more, click here
In Britain, Study Shows Links Between Poverty and Disability are More Pronounced
Wealthy families in Britain are a third less likely to have a disabled child - a statistic that reveals an alarming social gradient because those families unlucky enough to have such children are pushed further into poverty by the pressures of caring for them, according to new research. Despite 15 years of legislation attempting to ease the burden on affected families, disability among UK children decreases with social standing. Now the highest prevalence of childhood disability is found in poorest families, academics at Warwick University found. In the paper, published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, researchers found that households with a disabled child were £50 a week worse off than those without. This is despite the fact that the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child means families need an extra 18% in income. Nationally, this heavy burden weighs on the 950,000 families identified in the paper as having disabled children. To read more, click here
Brain Training Games Such as Nintendo DS 'Can Help to Reverse Memory Loss'
They are marketed as an entertaining workout for the grey matter. But brain training games could actually help reverse memory loss in head injury victims and dementia sufferers, according to research. In a study, playing the computer games was almost twice as effective at improving memory as performing similar exercises with a pen and paper. Psychologists from London Metropolitan University claim just 15 minutes a day spent on brain training exercises promotes the growth of new brain cells - and could help those with memory problems lead more independent lives. The researchers studied 64 people, aged from 20 to 71 and suffering problems including traumatic brain damage, stroke and dementia. To read more, click here
US Needs Better-Trained Math Teachers to Compete Globally, Study Finds
Math teachers in the United States need better training if the nation's K-12 students are going to compete globally, according to international research released by a Michigan State University scholar. William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor of education, found that prospective U.S. elementary and middle-school math teachers are not as prepared as those from other countries. And this, combined with a weak U.S. math curriculum, produces similarly weak student achievement, he said. To read more, click here
DID YOU KNOW THAT......
When looking at least restrictive environment statistics, most students with ADHD receive their education in the general education classroom
In China, One Man Crusades to Help People with Disabilities
The nighttime cry sounded like a stray cat. The cold morning light revealed a stray baby instead, wrapped in a quilt beside a bag of diapers and a packet of milk powder. "Don't blame us for our cruelty, it's because we can't afford to raise you," read an anonymous note. The baby girl, perhaps 1 month old, had a severely disabled left foot. Such a deformity in China is considered an enormous burden, and up until recently there were no privately run homes for the disabled in the entire country. One such home is where the child was left, established in January by Chen Fuqiao. "I want to teach them how to help themselves, more or less, and give the better ones a chance to work," Chen says. The hurdles are high for people such as Chen who are trying to help the disabled live more normal lives. The Communist Party in control of China remains suspicious of group efforts that are independent of the state, says Meng Weina, a pioneer in caring for China's disabled. To read more, click here
Texas Doctors Magnetically Lengthen Nine-Year-Old's Leg as She Grows
Nine-year-old Morgan LaRue is the first cancer patient in Texas to benefit from a groundbreaking procedure that will magnetically lengthen her leg, sparing her the possibility of up to 10 future surgeries as her body grows. The implant and extension took place at Texas Children's Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. On March 29, 2010, Morgan lost a portion of the bone in her upper leg to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and was facing the potential of numerous surgeries in order to keep her left leg even with her right, as she grows into adulthood. In her initial surgery two weeks ago, Dr. Rex Marco, an oncologic orthopedic surgeon at Texas Children's Hospital and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, implanted a prosthetic device that saved Morgan from a lower limb amputation and allowed her cancerous bone to be replaced with a metal implant. The device, a Stanmore Implants Extendable Distal Femoral Replacement, can be extended as Morgan grows, saving her from ongoing invasive procedures. To read more, click here
NASET Sponsor - Heinle, Cengage Learning
DID YOU KNOW THAT......
According to U.S. population data, Hispanic students are underrepresented in the category of intellectual disabilities.
D.C. Teachers Go Back to Court Over Layoffs
Citing this week's dispute over the existence of a $34 million surplus in the schools budget, the Washington Teachers' Union has asked a D.C. Superior Court judge to reopen its lawsuit challenging Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's decision to order the layoffs of 266 educators last fall. Union president George Parker and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said they renewed the court fight for reinstatement of the teachers, who were dropped from the payroll because of what Rhee described as a spending crunch. That was three months before Rhee said she discovered the surplus in late February. To read more, click here
Early Treatment Associated With Benefits for Some Children With Retinopathy of Prematurity
Scientists have shown that through an eye exam, doctors can identify infants who are most likely to benefit from early treatment for a potentially blinding eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), resulting in better vision for many children. These long-term results of the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ETROP) study confirm that the visual benefit of early treatment for selected infants continues through 6 years of age. The research, published April 12 online in Archives of Ophthalmology
, was supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. To read more, click here
Foreign Families Bring Students with Special Needs to Vancouver Schools
A growing number of foreign families are bringing special-needs children to Metro Vancouver so they can attend regular classrooms with other same-age students rather than being segregated or denied education altogether in their homelands, according to longtime educators with ESL expertise. And while they say such choices are testimony to the value of B.C.'s inclusive education, they acknowledge it places additional pressures on school districts, especially when the children do not speak English and, in some cases, parents refuse to reveal their special learning needs. Sylvia Helmer, an ESL expert who was recently manager of the Vancouver school district's reception centre for newcomers, said she knows of two dozen such families who arrived within an eight-month period, and said discussions with colleagues suggest all Metro districts have noticed the trend. To read more, click here
DID YOU KNOW THAT......
Hearing ear dogs are trained to assist individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The dogs are trained to distinguish among sounds.
NASET Sponsor - Drexel University Online
To Learn More - Click Here
In Pennsylvania, District to Mainstream More Students
Some educational programs in the Centennial School District will be revamped to include more remedial, special education and gifted students in regular education classes. "We felt those students could go into regular programs and be successful there, rather than have just a small class with six or seven kids. That doesn't make good use of the teacher," said board President Andrew Pollock. The district plans to put more students into grade-appropriate, regular curriculums, and provide them with additional services as needed, officials said. A number of developments have led to Centennial's efforts at inclusion. Middle school enrollment in remedial math proficiency courses is down. So is remedial reading at secondary levels, because interventions for students having trouble in reading have proved successful. To read more, click here
New Procedure Aims to Save Vision of Children With Eye Cancer
An ophthalmologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is implanting radioactive discs in the eyes of children with a rare cancer in an attempt to save their vision and their eyes. J. William Harbour, MD, is one of only a few doctors nationwide to use the approach for treating a rare, childhood eye cancer, called retinoblastoma. Harbour, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, performs the surgery at St. Louis Children's Hospital. He implants a small disc, or plaque, which stays in the eye for three days before a second surgery to remove it. To read more, click here
New Orleans' Charter Schools Face Unique Challenges Educating Children with Special Needs
When Nanette Daggs pulled her autistic son out of Laurel Elementary in the fall of 2007, she planned to find him a new school before too long. Over time, she approached different schools -- both charter and traditional -- about enrolling him, even purchasing uniforms for a couple. But each said they could not take him or would put him in regular education classes all day. Daggs' son talks nonstop when excited, and punches his hand emphatically when frustrated. She did not think he could "focus in a regular school." So she kept him at home. And steadily, the weeks added up to years. Daggs' case, although extreme, underscores a broader issue facing the city's schools as they rapidly convert to charters: How to reach and serve the families of students with the most severe and challenging special needs in an increasingly decentralized landscape. Though charters have overtaken traditional schools in enrollment, they serve only about half as many children with more severe disabilities as traditional schools, state data shows. To read more, click here
Food for Thought........
When the lives and the rights of children are at stake, there must be no silent witnesses. Carol Bellamy