Week in Review - February 4, 2011
WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
February 4, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 5
New This Week on NASET
Special Educator e-Journal
In this issue:
The Practical Teacher
The Brain, Prosody, and Reading Fluency
Matthew J. Glavach, Ph.D.
struggling readers can become proficient readers. This issue of NASET's Practical Teacher provides several strategies to help teachers accomplish reading intervention. In "The Brain, Prosody, and Reading Fluency" author, Matthew J. Glavach, Ph.D., presents a reading fluency strategy.
The good news is that the brain is "plastic," or changeable, throughout one's entire life. Reading intervention is easier when students are younger, yet with proper interventions, even older
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Classroom Management Series
Research Based Strategies in the Classroom
NASET Executive Director, Dr. George Giuliani, Addresses Issues Raised in Special Education Reform
About 6.6 million students were enrolled in special education programs in 2009, according to the Department of Education. If President Barack Obama succeeds in pushing his plan for educational reform through Congress this year, retooling special education would most likely follow, Alexa Posny, assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services at the Department of Education, said. According to Doug Fuchs, professor of special education and human development at Vanderbilt University, the U.S. special education system is in need of a massive makeover. Special education has "lost its way," he said....George Giuliani, executive director of the National Association of Special Education Teachers, said that those who are critical of special education programs should remember that federal legislation for children with disabilities is relatively young. To read more, click here
A Mom's Plea to Accept Children with Disabilities for Who They Are
There are many activities that my son, Jacob (who has autism) and I enjoy doing together. One of our favorites is going to restaurants to sample various different cuisines. It is a characteristic that Jacob and I both share. We both love to cook and eat good food. Especially food that is different than what we normally eat. We love things that are different, but we'll get to that later. A few years ago, we were meeting some friends for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. We were the first to arrive and were immediately seated at our table. While we were waiting on our drinks, Jacob decided he was tired of waiting. He threw himself on the floor and started screaming. The once busy and loud restaurant immediately became quiet and you could have heard a pin drop. I immediately started formulating my plan of escape, of course, and vowed never to return in case they remembered us. To read more, click here
Did You Know That......
In assessment of children for special education, validity addresses the question of "Does the test measure what it is supposed to measure?" Validity is the most important consideration when developing, evaluating, and interpreting tests.
Disconnect Persists When it Comes to Disorder
Stephen Edmonds knows what it's like to be considered the dumb kid in class. "When I was in grade school, and I'd sit down to do my school work, the amount of effort it would take me to do one math problem or read one paragraph felt like an eternity," said the 17-year-old junior at Shoals Christian Academy in Florence. "But all that was before we had a name for it." After years of testing for everything from food allergies to attention deficit disorder, Stephen finally learned it was dyslexia that had hindered his academic progress. He's not alone. Estimates are that as high as 15 percent of school children in the United States have a severe form of dyslexia, which is a neurological disorder that impairs the brain's ability to process information, particularly reading, spelling and writing. In Alabama, 20,000 students struggle with dyslexia, and often, these children aren't diagnosed until it's too late to totally reverse the effects of the disorder. To read more, click here
Premature Infants' Lungs May Improve with Better Nutrition
Improving lung function in premature babies with a severe lung disease may be linked to their feeding regimen, according to a new University of Michigan study. Researchers studied 18 infants with a history of moderate to severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and found that those with above-average weight gain between evaluations showed significantly improved lung volumes, revealing a possible association between lung growth and improved nutrition. The results of this study appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Pediatric Pulmonology. The results are available online now. BPD typically develops in premature infants who require prolonged ventilation or oxygen therapy after birth, leading to significant reductions in airflow and lung overinflation when compared to full-term infants. Infants with BPD also often develop asthma later in life. To read more, click here
Perception of Time Spent with Fathers Can Lead to Bullying
Do your children think you work too much and don't spend enough time with them? If so, their perception could lead to bullying behavior, according to research by Vanderbilt University sociologist Andre Christie-Mizell. "Our behavior is driven by our perception of our world, so if children feel they are not getting enough time and attention from parents then those feelings have to go somewhere and it appears in interaction with their peers," said Christie-Mizell, an associate professor of sociology and licensed psychologist specializing in family therapy and the treatment of children with mood and behavior disorders. His study, published in the journal Youth & Society, looked at two questions -- "What is the relationship between the number of hours parents work and adolescent bullying behavior?" and "What is the relationship between bullying behavior and youth's perceptions of the amount of time their parents spend with them?" To read more, click here
Did You Know That......
Content validity measures the extent to which test items reflect the content domain of a test. It is the most important type of validity for achievement tests because they typically measure content knowledge such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Autism Mandate Coverage Wins Virginia Committee OK
A Virginia bill that would mandate some employee health plans to cover treatment for autism cleared a major legislative hurdle last Thursday that has been the measure's killing field. Backed by Speaker William J. Howell, the House Commerce and Labor Committee voted 15-6 to report the bill for a floor vote, likely early next week. The measure would compel companies that employ 50 or more people and state government health plans to provide up to $35,000 per year in coverage for applied behavior analysis for autistic children ages 2 to 6. Psychiatric and medical officials say ABA is the most effective and promising for children with autism, but annual costs in the tens of thousands of dollars have either put the treatment out of reach for many middle-income households and wrecked others financially and emotionally. To read more, click here
In NYC, Students in Special Education Account for Almost 1/3 of All Suspensions
As the number of school suspensions grew dramatically in New York City over the last decade, students with disabilities appear to have fared among the worst, a new report indicates. Students in special education accounted for about one third of all suspensions in New York City public schools. This, even as such students represented fewer than 18 percent of the district's students.
The data comes from an analysis released this week by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Student Safety Coalition that looked at suspension records for New York City schools from 1999 to 2009. The organizations accessed the information through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests. Overall, more than 73,000 suspensions were handed out in New York City public schools in the most recent year examined. In contrast, there were 44,000 suspensions during the 1999-2000 school year. The shift toward more suspensions occurred even as the school district's population declined. 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.
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
Monica Ritkes, Rajasri Govindarju, Heather Williams, Charlotte Schroeder, Judy Waelbrock, Lori Ott, Chaya Tabor, Jenni Bryan, Laura Hayes, Heather Benson, Alison Lannutti, Leslie McDermott, Julia Godfrey, Ross Jones, Peggy Woodall, Francine Caires, Cindy Stevens, Yvonne Allan, Alison O'Reilly, Lois Nembhard, Michelle Smith-Howard, Deanna Krieg, Marilyn Haile, Suzanne Shown, Ellen Karnowski, Heidi M. Choice, Roberta Star Schryver, Gretchen van Besouw, Karyn Greco, Jodi Reinicke, Suzanne Taffet, Sam Affoumado, Yvette Jones, Angel Tobias, Kathy Moulton, Catherine Cardenas, Christie Miller, Dra. Josie Hernandez-Ramos, Pattie Komons, Deborah L. Starczewski, Rhonda Matera, Tina Theuerkauf, Phyllis Wilson, Khiran Khanna, Chie Marquez, Shilpa Sanghavi, Corin Bahr, Alexandra Pirard, Gayle Chester, Shari Franco, Shelly Hunt, Barbara Heckelmann, and Tabitha Garrett for correctly identifying "echolalia" as the answer to last week's trivia question
In what year was the nation's special education law, "Education of All Handicapped Children Act" renamed to the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act", also known as IDEA?
If you know the answer, send an email to email@example.com
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, February 7, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
North Carolina Disability Groups Oppose New Rule Allowing Community Colleges to Reject Potentially Dangerous Applicants
The N.C. Community Colleges Board passed a new rule Friday allowing community college officials on all 58 campuses to refuse admission to applicants they deem as potential threats to campus security. But state disability rights groups are concerned the rule might violate federal law.
They say it is discriminatory because it does not discern between applicants who might pose a threat and those who have mental or physical disabilities that are not dangerous. The rule will be implemented April 1 at the earliest, said Megen Hoenk, spokeswoman for the board. The process started in August 2010. "It would allow boards of trustees to refuse admission to protect the health and safety of applicants and individuals," Hoenk said. To read more, click here
Common Core's Implications for Students with Special Needs
Forty one states, to date, have jumped on the Common Core State Standards bandwagon, adopting common curriculum benchmarks for general education courses in language arts and mathematics. The standards, created by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, are raising the bar for special education students as well. According to the standards, students with disabilities- defined as students eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA )-"must be challenged to excel within the general curriculum." "We have to provide all students with an education to be ready to have a career when they leave their K12 experience," says Chris Minnich, senior membership director at the Council of Chief State School Officers. To read more, click here
A Helping Hand with Disabilities
Job seekers these days might face hundreds of competitors for a single opening. Employers have their pick of applicants with solid skills and a strong work history. For job seekers with disabilities, who struggle to find employment in good economic times, the chances of getting an interview aren't good. Robert Utley, a business and employment specialist with the Oregon Employment Department, discussed with the Statesman Journal how disabled workers can approach their job search. Since 2008, Utley has been a disability-service representative with the employment department. Clients he works with have issues such as developmental disabilities and hearing impairments. Question: You've worked with disabled people for several years. What seems to be the biggest hurdles for them to overcome in finding a job? To read more, click here
Challenge Air Helps Children with Disabilities Soar
Sitting behind the pilot in a small single-engine airplane, Nathan Collyer tightened his seat belt, adjusted his headphones, and glanced at the controls in front of him. ``When are we going?'' he asked. ``I wanna fly.'' For seven-year-old Nathan, who has autism, Saturday's late morning flight offered a chance to dance the skies -- and to forget about his everyday struggles. Pilot Evan Piper, who has faced struggles of his own, left his wheelchair behind -- literally -- as he scooted on the plane's wing and hoisted his broad-shouldered body into the cockpit. ``There are no handicapped parking spots up there,'' Piper said. ``Everybody is the same.'' To read more, click here
Academic Awareness: Understanding Learning Disabilities
When you hear the term "high-incident disability" in regard to learning disabilities, it simply means that it occurs more frequently in the population than other disabilities. Some parents link learning disability with dyslexia, but that is only one type, one that is often overused by armchair psychologists. And dyslexia is not just when letters and numbers are reversed and read incorrectly. First, let me feed your frontals. We, as human beings, are mostly visual learners. There are some of you who break with this tradition. To read more, click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members
As 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 Educationestablishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.
For more information on Board Certification in Special Education, click here
Minimal Requirements for Classroom Aides, Substitutes at BOCES
The classrooms in Monroe County's BOCES special education programs are some of the most intense in the public school system, a pressure-cooker atmosphere where challenges are great and progress comes in tiny increments. They are where some of the area's most vulnerable students with disabilities go to learn life's simplest tasks - walking, talking, feeding themselves or using money - with the hope that they will gain some measure of independence. Others have mental issues so severe that they cannot control their behavior. But to get a job working with these students, applicants do not need to have finished high school. The minimum educational requirement to work as a classroom aide at one of the two BOCES programs serving special needs children in Monroe County is a General Educational Development, or high school equivalency, degree. To read more, click here
Part of Major D.C. Special Education Lawsuit Dropped
Part of a lawsuit alleging the District mishandles its special education students was dismissed when the plaintiffs agreed that the school system had improved its intake process of identified students.
The more substantive portion remains on the docket, though, charging the District with not providing adequate services to students with special needs. The 13-year-old lawsuit, referred to as the Blackman-Jones case, dove into the District's failure to evaluate students for special education needs within 60 days of a request and provide services to students within 45 days of the evaluation as federal law mandates. But after the plaintiffs conducted an independent review this fall, all parties agreed that students were getting screened and placed quickly. To read more, click here
Did You Know That.....
Predictive validity is the standard for forecasting student performance or behavior from a test score.
Opinion: When the Evidence is Conclusive
My young son came down with croup last week. The first night of it, I lay on the floor next to his crib, anxious, listening to him breathe, counting his raspy inhales and exhales between violent coughing fits. He suffered, we worried. As all parents know, there is nothing like that 3 a.m. worry for a sick child. Infectious diseases - the suffering, the anxiety, the potential for something to go seriously, frighteningly wrong - are an unfortunate fact of life for both children and their caretakers.
But we live in a time of relative ease compared to even just a generation or two ago, thanks to vaccines that have largely vanquished some of childhood's most dangerous and deadly infectious diseases. That is changing, however, as more parents - many affluent and well-educated - delay and even shun immunizations. They believe vaccines are riskier than the diseases they prevent. Particularly, they believe the shots cause autism. Many studies have been done, and it is now clear that these parents are simply wrong. To read more, click here
Challenging the Gifted
Alex Wade's field is linguistics. In his search for the perfect language-and "annoyed," he says, with Esperanto-he has created 10 languages and 30 or 40 alphabets, including one language without verbs, just for the challenge. He's taking courses at the University of Nevada, Reno, in Basque, linguistics, and microbiology (because he also has a talent for science). And there's this: Alex is 13. Taylor Wilson's field is nuclear chemistry. He has developed a process to detect weapons-grade nuclear material and chemical-warfare agents in shipping containers, a project that has interested the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He spent part of the summer at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, and is now at work on a process to cut the production cost of radioactive isotopes. "I think it has promise," he says. Taylor is 16. What's a school to do with youngsters like Alex Wade and Taylor Wilson, kids who are intellectually years ahead of their age group, their textbooks, the curriculum, and usually their teachers? To read more, click here
The Reading Program May Not Be the Culprit
Many parents and professionals blame a child's reading disabilities on specific reading programs, such as basal readers or whole language. They argue that the child would have become a good reader if his school had only used the right commercial program, like Open Court. Occasionally, they might be right. But far more often they're wrong. By itself, the child's reading program may not have caused his reading problem. Instead, it may have been caused, in whole or part, by the school's failure to combine the program with sound principles of educational psychology. Violating these principles is especially devastating to children at-risk for reading disabilities. Here's a short list of principles that schools often violate. To read more, click here
Food For Thought..........
Submitted by Julie Warr, teacher of a class of students with moderate intellectual disabilities K-4 as well as those having Autism and Significant Developmental Delays:
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow."
Mary Anne Radmacher