Week in Review - March 11, 2011
WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
March 11, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 10
New This Week on NASET
Classroom Management Series
Research Based Strategies for the Classroom
Part #12 - Simulations and Games
Much education research encourages teachers to foster the kinds of environments and tools provided by simulations and games. For example, the more students use multiple systems of representing knowledge, the better they are able to think about and recall what they have learned (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). Providing students the opportunity to visualize and model improves their chances for understanding. Simulations enhance this potential by making modeling dynamic. Games and modeling activities can elicit curiosity, create a demand for knowledge, and enable students to discover knowledge through exploration (Edelson, 1998). Experimentation, manipulation of media, and personal experience are critical allies in deepening learning. We know that student engagement and motivation are critical to sustained understanding. Simulations and games provide powerful new opportunities for learning.
This issue of the Classroom Management Series on research based strategies for the classroom focuses on Simulations and Games.
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
Parents Who Unilaterally Placed Student in Private School not Entitled to Tuition Reimbursement Under IDEA
federal district court in New York has ruled that the parents of a special education student who was denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE) as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), were not entitled to tuition reimbursement under IDEA for unilateral placement of the student in a private residential school because that placement was not appropriate. While conceding that a parent's failure to meet the mainstreaming requirement of IDEA in unilaterally placing their child is not fatal to parental reimbursement, the court determined that it is a factor in considering the appropriateness of the parent's choice. To read more, click here
Council Approves Service Animals Ordinance
The American with Disabilities Act will become more restrictive in its definition of service animals this month, but the changes won't apply in Hesperia. At their meeting Tuesday night, the Hesperia City Council voted to allow any sort of service animal to be used by the disabled in Hesperia public buildings and businesses, so long as they're accompanied by a doctor's note certifying their status as service animals. On March 15, new federal guidelines will tighten the definition of service animals in the ADA to just dogs. The act was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in July 1990 and never previously defined what constituted a service animal. The city ordinance was drafted in response to a request from local resident Danni Moore, who uses two rats riding on her shoulders to help control her seizures. To read more, click here
Did You Know That...
Doctors classify Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) as either mild, moderate, or severe. Since most TBIs are mild, many people who sustain a TBI find that their symptoms get better over time
NY City's Special Education Students Being Shortchanged of Legally Mandated Help, Says Report
Many special education students in city schools are not receiving legally mandated help to get them ready for college or a job, a new report found. The ARISE Coalition looked at 222 educational plans for students with disabilities and found that only a quarter of the students had any planning meeting - and more than half didn't listed the kind of diploma the student was aiming for. Advocates say that the lack of preparation contributes to the shocking special education statistics: only one in four students with disabilities graduated from high school in 2009 and only 15% of adults with disabilities statewide have college degrees. "It's devastating because those kids who do make it to college often find themselves without the skills they need," said Maggie Moroff of the ARISE Coalition, a special education advocacy group. "For students with more profound disabilities, they are not set up with the supports they will need outside to make it." To read more,click here
Civil Rights Deal Signals Federal Push for Translation Services
The Philadelphia School District has been beefing up language-translation services for parents to carry out a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that is seen as a signal that the federal government is planning to press harder on schools to make school-to-home communications more accessible to all parents with limited English skills.
Stemming from the Justice Department's investigation last year into a series of attacks on Asian students at South Philadelphia High School, the Dec. 15 agreement technically applies only to that school, but some civil rights lawyers say its specificity about language access telegraphs its potentially wider application. To read more, click here
Not Enough Sleep Disruptive for Children with ADHD
A sleep deficit of less than one hour of nightly sleep, over the course of six days, can cause children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to be wary and less attentive. Researchers writing in the journal Sleep discovered even moderate reductions in sleep duration can affect an ADHD child's brain and their neurobehavioral functioning, which in turn appears to have a negative impact on their academic performance. Investigators discovered an average nightly sleep loss of about 55 minutes for six nights was associated with deteriorating performance including inattention, omission and depressed reaction time in children with attention deficit disorder. To read more, click here
Did You Know That.....
Almost 1.7 million Americans sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year
In England, Health Services are 'Failing Deaf Children with Additional Complex Needs'
Deaf children with additional needs are having their futures blighted by bad, unprofessional and often non-existent support and medical care. Some medical staff are "overwhelmed by these children's complexity of needs" while others treat deafness as a minor condition that can be addressed later in the child's life, according to the largest study into the experiences of deaf children with complex disabilities, published last Wednesday. In one case, doctors failed to diagnose a deaf child as also being profoundly blind until she was 18 months old, despite the mother repeatedly reporting her daughter's inability to see. To read more, click here
Parents Concerned Over Potential Special Education Cuts
Ed Wilson of Normal said he couldn't be more pleased with the progress of his 5-year-old daughter with autism, Emily, made this year, thanks in large part to a special-education teacher and assistants at Parkside Elementary School. Emily was nonverbal when she started school but now asks some questions in full sentences and sometimes calls people by name, Wilson said. He had a lot of questions, concerns and anxiety as his daughter started attending the school. "All that is being replaced with hope," he said. He sees progress with other children in Emily's class as well. "It's a credit to them, to their families and special education at Unit 5," he said. But now he worries about the future. The Normal-based Unit 5 school district announced last week that it may cut 44 teaching jobs, including 30 in special education, to help close a $2.6 million budget gap for 2011-12. There are currently 937 certified teachers in the district. 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.
Theresa Anne Kee, Rochelle Schelling, Deanna Krieg, Kim Sloan, Estavillo Alma, Christie Miller, Ross Jones, Vicky Hackett, Melissa Hainline, Alexandra Pirard, Yvette Ioevo, James Koontz, Lorrie Weaver, Linda Shaffer, Jessica L. Ulmer, Amanda Motes, Patrick Crandon, Mary Jo Petersen, Pattie Komons, Michelle Uetz, Julia Godfrey, Lois Nembhard, Michael J. Finle, Ashlee Smit, Linda Tolbert, Shilpa Sanghaviwho all knew that the correct answer to last week's trivia question was: TRANSITION SERVICES
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), what is the leading cause (35.2%) of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the United States? Hint: It causes half (50%) of the TBIs among children aged 0 to 14 years and 61% of all TBIs among adults aged 65 years and older.
If you know the answer, send an email to
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, March 14, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
As Economy Improves, People with Disabilities Left Behind
Despite positive signs for the job market generally, Americans with disabilities continue to face great difficulty finding work, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities ticked up to 15.4 percent in February. That's a climb from 13.6 percent the month prior. The rise in unemployment comes even as the number of people with disabilities who were seeking work declined. At the same time the job market showed signs of improvement for the rest of the population, with unemployment declining slightly from 9 percent to 8.9 percent in February as the economy added 192,000 jobs. To read more,click here
Jersey City Schools Holds Rally for Inclusion of Students with Disabilities
The Jersey City public schools held a rally last Friday to encourage inclusion and respect for all students with or without disabilities. Last week, Candace Coccaro, special education supervisor and event co-organizer, said today's Project UNIFY Rally at St. Peter's College will feature singing, some spoken word, poems, and skits. "We are proud to host our Second Annual Project UNIFY Rally and value our long-standing relationship with Special Olympics," said Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr. "Last year's rally was celebrated by over 3,000 students at St. Peter's College and reinforced the need for acceptance and empathy for people with disabilities." To read more, click here
The Sky is the Limit for People with Disabilities
With increasing security at airports around the world, flying has grown more stressful for all of us. But for people with disabilities, flying can be particularly daunting. Imagine if you were the Atlanta businesswoman who was asked to remove her prosthetic arm for further examination. Or if you were asked to remove your prosthetic breast, as a cancer survivor was in a North Carolina airport. Take the case of Carrie Salberg, who has muscular dystrophy and must travel with a ventilator. She had boarded her flight home from a vacation in New Orleans when flight attendants ordered her off the plane with no explanation. Ms. Salberg had received approval to fly with the ventilator a month earlier and had flown without incident to New Orleans. She was finally allowed to board a plane five hours later, but the delay meant she couldn't drink anything for hours because she is not able to use public bathrooms. To read more, click here
The China Syndrome
Within the first few pages of Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, it is easy to see why her parenting memoir caused such a media frenzy in the days following its publication. "The Chinese mother believes that (1) schoolwork always comes first; (2) an A-minus is a bad grade; (3) your children must be two years ahead of their classmates in math," Ms Chua writes. She continues: "(6) the only activities your children should be permitted to do are those in which they can eventually win a medal; and (7) that medal must be gold." A second-generation Chinese immigrant, Ms Chua was born in Illinois and married an American. When their children were born, the couple agreed they would be brought up according to their father's religion - Judaism - and their mother's parenting model - Chinese....But contrary to the intensive regime extolled by Ms Chua, the British approach is more about nurturing and looking after children's emotional needs, says Denise Yates, chief executive of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). The difference between helping children fulfill their potential and a relentless drive for higher grades is a subtle one, but it is there nonetheless. To read more, click here
School District Allows Boy with Autism to Have Dog in His Class
Hillsboro School District announced today that it has agreed to a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to allow Scooter, a fourth-grader with autism, to have his dog, Madison, in class for a trial period. The case of Scooter Givens, whose real name in Jordan, made national headlines after Disability Rights Oregon filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice to allow the 10-year-old to have his trained service dog at Patterson Elementary School." At this point, I'm happy. I feel vindicated," said Wendy Givens, Scooter's mother. "I wish it wouldn't have taken three years. Madison would have been much more effective it we would have put him in place three years ago." Hillsboro School District wouldn't allow the dog, saying Scooter's behavior can be controlled without the German shepherd. But Givens said the dog improves her son's access to his education by keeping him calm. To read more, click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
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 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
Avatars Go to School: Virtual Classroom Could Help Individuals with Disabilities
A virtual classroom that lets students interact with mentors and one another through personalized avatars could help people with disabilities learn math and science. Located in the virtual world Second Life, this classroom would let students with disabilities - ranging from blindness and low vision to learning challenges - connect with a hand-picked mentor within a digital space. A group led by Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia is creating the virtual world as part of a project being funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with $3 million over five years."One of the National Science Foundation's main goals is that we create something with sufficient documentation that it can be replicated and scaled for other places throughout the country, other universities, other high schools even," said Robert Todd, a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech's Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access. "We want this to be a model that others can emulate." To read more, click here
Brain Injury - The #1 Public Health Problem in the World by 2020
There are thousands of people currently living with the devastating effects of brain injury, without access to the vital services they require to repair their lives and be able to live safely and independently in Northern Virginia. Brain Injury Services ("BIS") has been assisting local families and individuals with brain injury for over two decades. Brain Injury Services recently alerted volunteers like Herndon lawyer Doug Landau to the fact that the problem is growing. Why is brain injury expected to be the #1 public health problem in the world by 2020? To read more, click here
Did You Know That......
The age groups at highest risk for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are 0 to 4 year olds, 15 to 19 year olds, and adults aged 65 years and older.
iPads Become Learning Tools for Students with Disabilities
When a speech therapist suggested last fall that it was time for 4th grader Sloan Brickey to use a device to help convey her sometimes-garbled words, the first option was a 2-foot-long board that offered a choice of six words at a time. Sloan, 11, has Down syndrome and already sticks out enough at her elementary school in Powell, Tenn., said her mother, Kelly J. Brickey. So Ms. Brickey did some research and found a different solution: a list of applications for the Apple iPad that work well helping children with autism communicate. To read more, click here
Fascinating Video: British Artist with Autism and an Encyclopedic Visual Memory
In May 2005, following a short helicopter ride over Tokyo, Stephen Wiltshire, a British artist with autism, drew a stunningly detailed panoramic view of the city on a 10-meter-long canvas, from memory. Since then he has drawn Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem and London on giant canvasses. To view the video, click here
Parents, Schools at Odds Over SPED Study
Parents with special needs students are attacking a special-education study the Ipswich schools commissioned and released recently, but school officials are viewing the study in a different light. The report suggests using special education teachers more cooperatively within the regular classroom and reducing or cutting special needs services in specific circumstances in order to save money. The plan suggests a student's special ed services could be cut or eliminated at the time a student receives an individual education plan - a plan developed among teachers and parents to address a student's specific learning challenges. "We feel that the report reads as if it was written in a vacuum and does not reflect the federal and state laws already in place which govern special education that Ipswich is required to follow," said Karen Donovan, SEPAC president. 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 PlusÂ® 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..........
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
C. S. Lewis