Week in Review - February 11, 2011
WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
February 11, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 6
New This Week on NASET
Parent Teacher Conference Handouts
Diagnostic Symptoms of Dyslexia (reading Disability)
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 reading.
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Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Scientists Closer to Finding Treatment for Life-Threatening Hereditary Disease
Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London have reported encouraging results in a new gene-based therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which at present has no known cure and affects one in 3,000 young boys. All the muscular dystrophies are caused by faults in genes passed on by parents to their children and they cause progressive muscle weakness because muscle cells break down and are gradually lost. The Duchenne type affects only boys and those affected develop the first signs of difficulty in walking at the age of one to three years. The research, led by Professor George Dickson from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, involved a new genetic therapy called exon skipping, which was tested in an experimental model of the debilitating muscle disease. As a result of the treatment there was a remarkable and long-term improvement in the symptoms of the disease. To read more, click here
Childhood Chronic Illness Affects Future Income, Education, Career
Today, more children than ever survive serious chronic illness. Many thrive as young adults, but a large new study finds that for some, early illness can lead to fewer years of education, more joblessness and lower pay. The good news is that when they grow up, these kids are just as likely to blossom socially, enjoy romantic relationships and get married as healthy kids, finds the study in the Journal of Adolescent Health online. Researchers led by Gary Maslow, M.D., looked at two sets of interview data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The more than 13,000 respondents were middle or high school students during the 1994-1995 school year. To read more, click here
Did You Know That......
An important guiding principle of IEP development is that it is a student-centered process. No other issues, agenda, or purposes should interfere.
Most Children with ADHD Have Multiple Conditions, Study Says
Two-thirds of American children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder struggle with other mental health and developmental conditions, such as learning disabilities and anxiety, a new study suggests. Examining data on nearly 62,000 children aged 6 to 17 obtained from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, researchers found that those with ADHD had higher odds than others of repeating a grade at school and dealing with strained social and family relationships. Notably, children from poor families were nearly four times as likely as affluent children to suffer from multiple conditions associated with ADHD, which also include conduct disorder, depression and speech problems, among others, the study said. To read more, click here
Exposure to Pesticides in Womb linked to Learning Disabilities
Babies exposed to high levels of pesticides while in the womb may suffer from learning problems, a new study suggests. The study focused on a chemical called permethrin, one of the pyrethroid pesticides, commonly used in agriculture and to kill termites, fleas and household bugs, says lead author Megan Horton of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. Most of the pregnant women in this New York-based study were exposed by spraying for cockroaches. Permethrin - among the most commonly detected pesticides in homes - is being used more often today as older organophosphorous pesticides are phased out because of concerns that they harm brain development, says Horton, whose study is being published today in Pediatrics. Researchers measured 348 pregnant women's exposures by asking them to wear backpack air monitors, Horton says. Researchers followed the women and their children for three years. To read more,click here
There's a Monkey in My Chair! Program Uses Stuffed Animals more to Keep Kids Connected to Classroom
"Cheeky Charlie" gets Brianna Woltjer's classmates talking when she's not in school, even though he doesn't speak. And while he never complains, gets sick or receives bad grades, her teachers give him high marks despite being a bit of an animal. The stuffed monkey is a familiar sight at Prairie Wind Middle School in Perham because Woltjer has Crohn's disease, a chronic condition that has kept the fifth-grader out of school almost since September, so her furry friend sits in for her in the classroom. "It's hard sometimes when you don't see your friends or classmates, but with the monkey, you get the feeling that you have your classmates right beside you," said Woltjer, who received a "There's a Monkey in My Chair" kit, which includes "Cheeky Charlie," and a smaller version of the stuffed animal that she keeps with her at home. To read more, click here
Did You Know That.......
An important guiding principle of IEP development is that input from every member of the IEP committee should be both encouraged and valued.
Adult ADHD Significantly Increases Risk of Common Form of Dementia, Study Finds
Adults who suffer from attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more than three times as likely to develop a common form of degenerative dementia than those without, according to research in the January issue of the European Journal of Neurology. Researchers from Argentina confirmed the link during a study of 360 patients with degenerative dementia and 149 healthy controls, matched by age, sex and education. The dementia patients comprised 109 people with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and 251 with Alzheimer's."Our study showed that 48 per cent of patients with DLB -- the second most common cause of degenerative dementia in the elderly after Alzheimer's -- had previously suffered from adult ADHD" says lead author Dr Angel Golimstok. "This was more than three times the 15 per cent rate found in both the control group and the group with Alzheimer's. To read more, click here
Autism Therapy Plummets Post High School
Many teenagers with autism stop receiving speech therapy and other needed mental and physical health care services once they leave high school, according to a new study. Graduating seniors lose access to the services they obtained through their school-based special education programs. The loss is problematic because the need for those programs doesn't go away, said study researcher Paul Shattuck, of Washington University in St. Louis. "Difficulty with language and communicating is one of the core, hallmark characteristics of autism," Shattuck said. "Being able to communicate with other people effectively is a fundamental ability that you need if you want to succeed in college or in a job or be independent as a young adult." And access to care as students leave high school is critical because this transition period "sets the stage for what happens in the rest of adulthood," Shattuck said. 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.
Phyllis Wilson, Terry Koogle, Sara Sorensen Petersen, Jessica Ulmer, Jennifer Walz, Alexandra Pirard, Catherine Cardenas, Linda Tolbert, Lisa Rotella, Shavonda Chesser, Chaya Tabor, Christie Miller, Rajasri Govindaraju, Vanessa Cooper, Deanna Krieg, and Eileen Busse who knew that IDEA was enacted in 1990
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not one of the classifications as defined under the federal law (IDEIA). However, children with ADHD can receive special education services, as it is a disability defined in one of the classifications. Under which classification would you find children with ADHD listed under IDEIA?
If you know the answer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, February 14, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Rise of the Charter Schools
As the students filed through the front door of Excel Academy Charter School, the principal greeted each one by name. She shook hands and inspected their uniforms - dark blue polo shirts and khakis - before allowing the next student inside. "Socks?'' Komal Bhasin, the principal at the East Boston middle school, asked one boy, who lifted up each pant leg, revealing the requisite dark pair. Strict discipline, along with high expectations and intensive instruction, is a hallmark at Excel Academy and other Boston charter schools that are seeking to open nearly a dozen additional campuses across the city in the next few years. To read more, click here
Early Childhood Education Program Yields High Economic Returns
For every $1 invested in a Chicago early childhood education program, nearly $11 is projected to return to society over the children's lifetimes -- equivalent to an 18 percent annual return on program investment, according to a study led by University of Minnesota professor of child development Arthur Reynolds in the College of Education and Human Development. For the analysis, Reynolds and other researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the Chicago Public Schools' federally funded Child Parent Centers (CPCs) established in 1967. Their work represents the first long-term economic analysis of an existing, large-scale early education program. Researchers surveyed study participants and their parents, and analyzed education, employment, public aid, criminal justice, substance use and child welfare records for the participants through to age 26. To read more, click here
People with Developmental Disabilities Seek Inclusion
Shena Lemons isn't afraid to stand up for herself. As a woman living with a developmental disability, Lemons has had to push for acceptance in the workplace and in church. After years of self-advocacy, she has learned she can't do it alone. For people with disabilities, self-advocacy is extremely important, said Diana Shannon, self-advocacy coordinator for the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities. They want to be independent and do things for themselves. "They want to be able to have a voice," Shannon said. "They want to have choices." But to do that, they need allies in their community to help them succeed, Lemons said. Whether it's offering them a ride or just talking with them, the extra support makes a big difference, she said. "They don't need just self-advocacy," she said. "People need support, they need a team." To read more,click here
Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court
At 4 months, Noah Whitmer was an easy baby. Super tranquilo, remembers Trudy Eliana Muñoz Rueda, who took care of Noah at her home day care center in Fairfax County, Va. Rueda and Noah's mother, Erin Whitmer, both noticed when he stopped taking his bottle well and napping as usual in the middle of his fifth month, in April 2009. Whitmer thought this was because Noah had just started eating solid food. She and Rueda talked about it early on April 20, both of them hunched over Noah in his car seat when Whitmer dropped him off. To read more, click here
Six 'Operation Graduation' Students Receive Their Diplomas
Operation Graduation, a new program at Columbia High School, is helping reduce the school's 12 percent dropout rate and assisting students in difficult circumstances complete their education. During a special ceremony at the school Jan. 31, six of its students became the first to receive their diplomas. John Sawchuk, Columbia principal, said the six "took all the traditional subjects in the core courses and could take electives, depending on the individual needs of the students." The idea for Operation Graduation, he said, originated when the superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District "challenged us to look at new approaches for kids who have struggled." Those struggles resulted from many different circumstances that put them at risk of not finishing their secondary educations. "Some dropped out because of disciplinary problems," Sawchuk said, "but some faced difficult family issues, and some had to go to work because of economic distress in their families." 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
Autism Legislation Advances in Virginia
In the beginning, several Northern Virginia families whose children have autism thought that their wrenching stories would be enough to get some help from their representatives in the General Assembly. At town halls and rallies, through blogs and e-mails, the families conveyed the difficulty of coping with a mysterious ailment and the staggering cost of its treatment, as they pleaded with lawmakers to impose mandates for insurance coverage. But when that didn't work, the families took a new tack. They focused on the facts. They drilled lawmakers with detailed cost-benefit analyses to the state. They sometimes made explicit their threat of political action at the polls, while all along quietly working on House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), whose eventual support angered some members of his party. To read more, click here
New Curriculum Helps Identify Gifted, Talented Students
Teachers in Charleston County are paying closer attention to first and second grade students to identify those who are gifted and talented. A new curriculum focusing on developing student minds is being implemented in some schools across Charleston County. The chance to identify a student as gifted or talented is something the Charleston County School district is trying to focus on by implementing a new curriculum that focuses on communications and math skills. The program is currently being field tested in four states. South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and Connecticut are testing the new program. Most states don't focus on gifted or talented students until the third grade. The new curriculum allows students to grapple ideas and information that will build their thinking ability. So, by the time they are in third grade, teachers and faculty will be able to identify more gifted and talented students. To read more, click here
Did You Know That......
An important guiding principle of IEP development is to never forget that special education is a service, not a place.
Parents of Special Education Students Threaten Civil Rights Complaint
Parents of special education students in Stamford schools are threatening to file a civil rights complaint against the district if Superintendent Joshua Starr's proposed cuts to the programs are passed. "I am promising that I am going to file a formal complaint with the office of civil rights, because (Starr) is asking for all the budgetary cuts to come from special education," said Anne Treimanis, an attorney representing parents special education students. Starr's $232 million budget proposal includes cutting 12 special education teacher positions, as well as five social workers and four speech and language pathologists for a savings of $1.3 million, while leaving the regular education teaching staff untouched. "The cuts are disproportionate," special education attorney Treimanis said during a Wednesday evening meeting between Starr and parents of special education students. To read more, click here
Large Network of Private Schools Pays $215,000 to Settle Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination Against Children with Disabilities
The Justice Department today announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against Nobel Learning Communities, Inc. (NLC), a private, for-profit entity that operates a nationwide network of more than 180 preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools. These entities operate in the District of Columbia and in 15 states (Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington) under a variety of names, including Chesterbrook Academy, Merryhill School and Evergreen Academy, among others. In its lawsuit, filed in April 2009 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Justice Department alleged that NLC violated Title III of the ADA by excluding from its programs children with disabilities, including some children with autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and global developmental delays. NLC denies the allegations. To read more, click here
Controversial Diet May Improve ADHD, Researchers Say
A new study published in the journal The Lancet on February 5 suggests a restrictive diet may help some kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve their behavior and get off their medications. Researchers from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands reported that about three-quarters of children with ADHD on the diet were found to be less hyperactive and impulsive than the kids not on the diet, the researchers said. The researcher observed behaviors in around 100 kids for a period of five weeks. The diet is very restrictive, consisting of mainly of water, white meat, rice and vegetables. A report on the study in health website MyHealthNewsDaily stated experts are intrigued but warn that restrictive diets may bring about more behavioral problems, with children battling with their parents for foods they crave and can't have. To read more, click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual
As a member of NASET you qualify for a special group discount* on your auto, home, and renter's insurance through Group Savings Plus® from Liberty Mutual. This unique program allows you to purchase high-quality auto, home and renters insurance at low group rates.
See for yourself how much money you could save with Liberty Mutual compared to your current insurance provider. For a free, no-obligation quote, call 800-524-9400 or visitwww.libertymutual.com/naset, or visit your local sales office.
*Group discounts, other discounts, and credits are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverage only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA.
Food For Thought..........
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.