Week in Review - November 5, 2010

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

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New This Week on NASET

Practical Teacher 


Using Pen Pal Writing to Improve Writing Skills and Classroom Behavior
Students whose behavior interfere with their learning and interpersonal interactions had an opportunity to harness their strengths and demonstrate their knowledge as they developed written communication skills.  A letter writing project turned the climate of the class around as students eagerly wrote as their behavioral difficulties decreased and their written expression skills expanded. Writing pen pal letters allowed students to share their personal interests and recollections as they built  relationships with their pen pals. Graduate students enrolled in Special Education Master course agreed to become  pen pal to these youngsters.  Both student groups were fortunate to have exchanged letters of the course of one semester.  
To read or download this issue - Click here    
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Parent Teacher Conference Handouts

Diagnostic Symptoms of Dysgraphia (Writing Disorders)

In this Issue:
Many parents may not understand the specific symptoms in reading, math, spelling or writing that may signify a serious learning disability. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout provides parents with the symptoms that may reflect a serious learning disability in the area of writing. 

To read or download this issue - Click here 
  
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Classroom Management Series V


Research Based Strategies for the Classroom
Part #8 - Setting Objectives


In this Issue:
Setting objectives involves specific teacher and student behaviors, including both decision-making and communicating. First, teachers select and refine learning goals, These goals may be narrow or broad, specific or general. Studies of effective goal setting suggest that goals with a narrow focus will actually minimize learning, because students focus on what has been communicated as important. If goals are too focused, students will ignore related information. Second, goal setting is an act of communicating. Since students focus on what has been set forth as an objective, communicating those objectives becomes central to success. Setting objectives, then, becomes a thoughtful exercise in considering how to generalize selected learning objectives while ensuring student focus, then letting students in on the process through clear communication. 

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Sensor Detects Emotions Through the Skin: Could Play Significant Role in Preventing Meltdowns of Children with Disabilities

When children with autism get stressed, they often don't show it. Instead their tension might build until they have a meltdown, which can result in aggression toward others and even self-injury. Because these children often don't understand or express their emotions, teachers and other caregivers can have a hard time anticipating and preventing meltdowns. A new device developed by Affectiva, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, detects and records physiological signs of stress and excitement by measuring slight electrical changes in the skin. While researchers, doctors, and psychologists have long used this measurement--called skin conductance--in the lab or clinical setting, Affectiva's Q Sensor is worn on a wristband and lets people keep track of stress during everyday activities. The Q Sensor stores or transmits a wearer's stress levels throughout the day, giving doctors, caregivers, and patients themselves a new tool for observing reactions. Such data could provide an objective way to see and communicate what might be causing stress for a person, says Rosalind Picard, director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT and cofounder of Affectiva. She demonstrated the sensor last month at the Future of Health Technology Summit 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To read more, click here 

Students with Special Needs from New Orleans File Federal Lawsuit Against Louisiana Department of Education

Ten special needs students have filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging that the New Orleans public schools are discriminating against them because of their disabilities. In July, the plaintiffs, who are represented by attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Loyola Law Clinic, initiated a complaint process against the Louisiana Department of Education. After mediation attempts failed, they sued in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, naming the Department of Education and state education officials as defendants. The plaintiffs include a blind fourth-grader whose mother attended school with him every day because no staff member was assigned to guide him through the hallways and a fourth-grader with "emotional disturbance" who was allegedly kept in an isolation room and physically roughed up by school staff. To read more, click here 

Low Birth Weight May Lead to Poor Growth Rate in Children with Kidney Disease

The lower the birth weight, the greater the chance of poor growth rate in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). In the general population, low birth weight is not an important cause of poor growth and short stature. To determine whether low birth weight is a risk factor for poor growth in children with CKD, Larry Greenbaum, MD, PhD (Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA) and his colleagues analyzed results from the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Prospective Cohort (CKiD) study. Study participants included 426 out of the 586 children enrolled in the CKID study, all of whom had mild to moderate CKD and were in 48 pediatric nephrology centers across North America. "This is the first study showing an association between low birth weight and poor growth in children with CKD," explains Dr. Greenbaum. "The study also demonstrates that children with CKD are more likely to be born with low birth weight than the general population. This occurs in children who are born with kidney disease and those who acquire kidney disease during childhood. It is possible that low birth weight is a risk factor for the development of kidney disease during childhood." To read more, click here 

Commentary: How We Create Bullies, and an Alternative

From time to time I visit a kindergarten classroom where one little boy, though generally cooperative, at random times goes unhinged and does something to another--repeatedly upsetting others who then involve their parents. From whatever influences on whichever side of the moment of birth, some kids seem endowed with a tendency which, unless carefully guided, exceeds acceptable boundaries.  We could think of them as having weak connections to human society. Their proportion in the population is impossible to estimate because in so many ways we can make things worse or better.  It's common for a teen with a marginal attitude to become more constructive when placed in a positive group doing challenging and satisfying things. In negative surroundings, he may absorb them fully and go them one better.  Society can elicit and reinforce higher human emotions such as love, respect, consideration, and responsibility or can emphasize blame, hate, and destructiveness. Between World War I and II, by and large the population of Germany made such a change so that they supported the hateful deeds Hitler carried out in their name. Upon recognizing that humans have potential for good or ill, we elect whether or not to manage it deliberately. Agreeing we want to, how do we do it? To read more, click here 

In India, Special Educator are Missing from Schools

City-based parents and school counsellors have highlighted the need for qualified special educators equipped to handle a child's specific needs. Special educators are teachers for children with special needs who face challenges with learning, communication and those with physical disabilities and developmental disorders. Such students are likely to benefit from additional educational services such as different approaches to teaching. At present, a dearth of courses for special educators in the city, except for the hearing impaired, and school counsellors with degrees in clinical psychology doubling up as special educators are common in several schools. To read more, click here 

Did You Know That......

Communcation disorders is a broad, umbrella-term often used by speech and language professionals to include all disabilities that result in difficulties with speech, language and hearing.

Hong Kong Government to Provide Greater Support for Children with Autism

The Government is committed to providing early identification, assessment and treatment for children with autism to ensure that they receive appropriate care and support during their development, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said today. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the first child care learning centre for autistic children operated by a non-governmental organisation in Hong Kong, the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Councils Chan Yin Chuen Child Enhancement Centre, Mr Cheung said that the 2010-11 Policy Address pledged to enhance assistance for children with autism- and their parents and carers - in the areas of healthcare and pre-school services. Healthcare-wise, the Hospital Authority will increase the service quota for children with autism by 2,000 and strengthen its professional team, comprising child psychiatrists, paediatricians, clinical psychologists, nurses, speech therapists and occupational therapists, to enhance support for more autistic children. To read more, click here 

Low Income Gifted Children Need Support

Why is it so hard for smart, low-income children to get ahead? Researchers have seen a growing gap at the highest school achievement levels between poor students and their wealthier peers. In South Florida and across the nation, many academically gifted students from struggling neighborhoods have learned without the benefit of in-school gifted programs. For too long, gifted education has suffered because of the common myth that smart children will do just fine on their own. There is no federal mandate to serve gifted and talented students, according to a State of the Nation in Gifted Education report. The government dedicates just 2 cents of every $100 for K-12 education to these students. Thirteen states provided no state funds to support gifted education in 2008-09. To read more, click here 

Associations Found Between ADHD and Aulthood BMI

Adolescents who report symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at risk for obesity in adulthood, according to research published online Oct. 26 in the International Journal of Obesity. Bernard F. Fuemmeler, Ph.D., of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined ADHD symptoms and body mass index (BMI) and hypertension data in a nationally representative sample of 15,197 adolescents followed from 1995 to 2009. Their objective was to look for an association between ADHD symptoms, obesity, and hypertension in young adults.The researchers found that adolescents with three or more hyperactive impulsive (HI) symptoms or inattentive (IN) symptoms had the highest odds of obesity compared to those with no HI or IN symptoms. To read more, click here  

Three California Colleges Seek to Enable Students with Disabilities

Disabilities are a reality for many students at local colleges and universities, but cutting-edge technology, modern teaching methods and specialized services can make education less of an obstacle at CSU Monterey Bay, Monterey Peninsula College and Hartnell College.

Students at the schools are graduating despite speech and language impairments, hearing and sight disabilities, psychological issues and virtually any other problem that can hinder the learning process. "We work almost exclusively with adults. I think our oldest student, many years ago, was 91," said Terria Odom-Wolfer, faculty coordinator and instructor in MPC's Department of Supportive Services and Instruction, which serves people with physical therapy and rehabilitation needs, heart problems, and students with issues such as blindness, hearing loss and learning disabilities. To read more, click here 

TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
 
Congratulations to: 
Gretachen van Besouw 
Christie Miller
Cyndy Robert
Sabrina Yacoub
Dr. Peggy Woodall

who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: Under the IDEA definition of an "emotional disturbance", a child must exhibit the behaviors associated with this disability over "a long period of time."According to the U.S. Department of Education, how long is "a long period of time"?   ANSWER:  At least 6 months

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION: 


The most common speech impairment exists when the process of producing speech sounds is flawed, and the resulting speech sounds are incorrect.  What are these abnormal production of speech sounds called?
 
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, November 8, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

 

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Including Students with Special Needs in the General Education Classroom Challenges Virginia School District

When Hampton teachers returned to school after summer break, they were caught unprepared with a major change - most would now be collaborating with a special education teacher, and up to half of their students would have disabilities. Parents were called in for last-minute meetings and asked to sign off on paperwork moving their children from special education classrooms to general classrooms in the fall. The change happened in middle and high schools.The district's new special education director, Elisabeth Powers, dissolved 37 percent of self-contained special education classrooms, going from 175 to 110 over the summer. To read more, click here 

Individuals Who are Blind Perceive Touch Faster than Those with Sight

People who are blind from birth are able to detect tactile information faster than people with normal vision, according to a study in the Oct. 27 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
The brain requires a fraction of a second to register a sight, sound, or touch. In this study, a group of researchers led by Daniel Goldreich, PhD, of McMaster University explored whether people who have a special reliance on a particular sense -- in the way blind people rely on touch -- would process that sense faster. "Our findings reveal that one way the brain adapts to the absence of vision is to accelerate the sense of touch," Goldreich said. "The ability to quickly process non-visual information probably enhances the quality of life of blind individuals who rely to an extraordinary degree on the non-visual senses." To read more, click here 

Parents Told to Dump Their Children with Disabilities at Homeless Shelters

In an all-time blow to families caring for children with disabilities, budget crunches are having a calamitous impact in Indiana, where state workers are advising caregivers to leave severely-disabled people at homeless shelters, the Associated Press reports. Becky Holladay of Battle Ground, Ind., says when she called the Indiana Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services to ask about a Medicaid waiver to pay for services needed to care for her son, Cameron Dunn, 22, who suffers from epilepsy, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, she was told one option was to leave him at a homeless shelter, according to the Associated Press. Marcus Barlow, a spokesman for the Family and Social Services Administration, the umbrella agency that includes the bureau, says suggesting homeless shelters is not the agency's policy and workers who did so would be disciplined, the news agency reports. To read more, click here 

Infant's Fussiness May Predict a Troubled Childhood

At just one month old, infants show signs of temperament troubles that can turn into mood and behavior problems later in life, a new study suggests. Infants that are fussy when they're three to four weeks old are more likely to develop childhood mental health problems including anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and behavior problems, the researchers say.

"It turns out, you can predict very well from infant fussiness to later problems," said study researcher Beth Troutman, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa. While previous studies have suggested childhood temperament is associated with later-life problems, the link has never been shown in children so young, the researchers said. To read more, click here 

Erasing the Special Education Stigma: Students Given Chance in Mainstream Classes

A decade ago, most special education students got little preparation for the real world. They were tucked in a classroom, away from their peers, and little was expected of them. Often, that was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today, across the country, more schools are including special education students in regular classes. Locally, the transition got a boost in the mid-'90s, when the Center for Special Children closed. Housed on the Mississippi University for Women campus, it served children throughout the area. Back then, everyone wondered, "'What's going to happen to out special education children?'" Anthony Brown recalled. "What happened is, they're in the regular classroom, and they're doing great." Districts first worked to add special education programs to their own campuses. Then they worked on full inclusion programs. To read more, click here 

Did You Know That......

Speech is the vocal production of language; Language is the rule-based method used for comunication; Communication is the transfer of knowledge, ideas, opinions or feelings.

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

Poor School Grades Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

School leaving grades can be an indicator of an increased risk of suicide at a young age. A new study from the medical university Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, shows that young people leaving the Swedish elementary school (year nine at age 16) with the lowest average grades, run approximately three times the risk of committing suicide compared with those who graduate with top or very high grades. "The correlation is clear, despite having excluded young people who had been in hospital for mental health problems or drug-related diagnoses," says Charlotte Björkenstam, doctoral student at Karolinska Institutet and managing director of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare's cause-of-death register. To read more, click here 

Canadian Provinces are Failing Students with ADHD

A first-ever report card into how Canada's special education systems "recognize, identify and support" students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, has given Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia failing grades. The report, released yesterday by the Centre for ADHD Advocacy Canada, found students diagnosed with ADHD in those provinces don't qualify for official "exceptional student" status unless they have a second learning disability or another recognized disorder. That means they won't receive special accommodations in terms of how they're taught or evaluated, the study found. Heidi Bernhardt, the centre's national director, who raised three children with ADHD, said that has a huge impact. "They won't be able to access things like extra time to write their tests or exams, having assignments broken down for them ... instead of potentially doing 30 questions, they could do 10," she said, adding what takes most students 45 minutes to do takes two to three hours for those with ADHD. To read more, click here 

Did You Know That......

There are three aspects of language: (1) Form-The rule system of language; (2) Content-The aspect of language that governs the intent and meaning of the message delivered; and (3) Use-Applying language appropriately.

What Can Country of Birth Tell Us About Childhood Asthma?

Researchers from Tufts University pooled data from five previous epidemiological studies to investigate the prevalence of asthma in children in the Boston neighborhoods of Chinatown and Dorchester. Among children born in the United States, low socioeconomic status (SES) and exposure to pests (mice and cockroaches) were both associated with having asthma. Neither association was present in children born outside of the United States. The study was published online in advance of print in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. "In earlier studies, we found that country of birth was associated with asthma risk, which led us to the current analyses. Our current findings may help bring a new perspective to asthma research as they highlight the importance of studying foreign-born children. To read more, click here 

Food for Thought........

A good teacher is one who can understand those who are not very good at explaining, and explain to those who are not very good at understanding.

                                                                             Dwight D. Eisenhower

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