Week in Review - March 25, 2011
WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
March 25, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 11
New This Week on NASET
NASET Q & A Corner
Questions and Answers on Epilepsy
According to the Epilepsy Foundation of America, epilepsy is a physical condition that occurs when there is a sudden, brief change in how the brain works. About two million Americans have epilepsy; of the 125,000 new cases that develop each year, up to 50% are in children and adolescents. Students with epilepsy or seizure disorders are eligible for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Epilepsy is classified as "other health impaired" and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) would be developed to specify appropriate services. Some students may have additional conditions such as learning disabilities along with the seizure disorders. The focus of this issue of NASET's Q & A Corner addresses epilepsy.
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
NASET Resource Review
In this issue you will find resources in the following areas:
· Crisis Intervention
· Curriculum Development
· Early Intervention
· Families and Communities
· Functional Behavioral assessment
· Genetics and Genetic Disorders
· Jobs for Students with Disabilities
· Organizations Addressing Rare Disorders
· Research Participation Requests
· Special Education Research -
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
Amid Protest, Florida School Stands Behind Tough New Peanut Allergy Regulations
Despite protests by angry parents, a school in Florida is standing behind its decision to implement new regulations to protect a first grade student suffering from a severe peanut allergy. Students at Edgewater Elementary are required to wash their hands and rinse their mouths out before entering the classroom each morning and after lunch. Teachers, who monitor the daily rinsing, must also ensure that desks are being continually wiped down with Clorox wipes. The school has banned all peanut products, eliminated snacks in the classroom and prevented outside food at holiday parties. And last week a peanut-sniffing dog was brought into the school. To read more, click here
Facebook's New Anti-Bullying Tools Create a "Culture of Respect"
At last Thursday's White House Conference for Bullying Prevention in Washington, D.C., Facebook is announcing a new suite of tools to protect users from bullying, foster a stronger sense of community in the social network, and "create a culture of respect" among Facebook users. Facebook's latest changes boil down to two main aspects: an improved safety center with more multimedia resources, and better, more social tools for reporting offensive or bullying content. In addition to reporting harassing or TOS-violating content directly to Facebook, users now have two new options that are more social and more community-centric. Within the reporting options interface, the targeted user can choose to privately message the user who posted the stressful or offensive content. If the user wishes to report the content to Facebook, he or she can also choose to include a trusted authority figure, such as a teacher or parent, as a contact in that incident report. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
Alcohol is used by more young people in the United States than tobacco or illicit drugs.
Most Teens with Eating Disorders Go Without Treatment
About 3 percent of U.S. adolescents are affected by an eating disorder, but most do not receive treatment for their specific eating condition, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print March 7, 2011, in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D., of NIMH and colleagues analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a nationally representative, face-to-face survey of more than 10,000 teens ages 13 to 18. Previously published results found that about 20 percent of youth are affected by a severe mental disorder, and a substantial proportion of these youth do not receive mental health care. In this new study, the authors tracked the prevalence of eating disorders and the proportion of those youth who received treatment for these disorders. To read more, click here
In Va. Assault Case, Anxious Parents Recognize 'Dark Side of Autism'
When a Stafford County jury this month found a teenager with autism guilty of assaulting a law enforcement officer and recommended that he spend 101/2 years in prison, a woman in the second row sobbed. It wasn't the defendant's mother. She wouldn't cry until she reached her car. It was Teresa Champion. Champion had sat through the trial for days and couldn't help drawing parallels between the defendant, Reginald "Neli" Latson, 19, and her son James, a 17-year-old with autism. James might have said this, she thought. James might have done that. She had fresh bruises on her body that showed that James, too, had lost his temper to the point of violence."This is what we live with," said Champion, of Springfield. "When they go over the edge, there is no pulling back." To read more, click here
Paralympic Athletes Dominate the Floor in Basketball, Rugby
It's not that Nathan Carruth didn't like sports when he was growing up. He did. Or that he wasn't competitive. He was. It's just that having to play with a leg prosthesis made it difficult for Carruth to keep up with his able-bodied friends in playground football and basketball games. Lee Browning was an active kid who played soccer, football and baseball and swam a bit as a youth. Then he was diagnosed with Friedreich's ataxia, a neurological condition that caused him to gradually lose sensation and coordination throughout his body. By 21, Browning's ability to stand and walk had been so compromised that he began using a wheelchair full time. He figured his days of participating in sports were over. As it turns out, however, neither Carruth nor Browning had to end their athletic careers. In fact, both play on teams -- the Las Vegas Silver Bandits wheelchair basketball team for Carruth and the Sin City Skulls quad rugby team for Browning -- that will be playing in national tournaments during the next few weeks. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
Among youth, the use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries, physical fights, academic and occupational problems, and illegal behavior.
Virtual Conversation Aids Adults with Autism
Adults with autism who converse with a virtual partner may develop better social interaction skills, U.S. researchers suggest. Cheryl Trepagnier and Corinne Bell, both of The Catholic University of America, Dale Olsen and Laura Boteler, both of SIMmersion LLC -- a software development company that creates human interaction simulations -- say more than half of those diagnosed with autism have normal intellectual capabilities yet struggle when interacting and conversing with others. The study authors said autistic study participants who were not otherwise intellectually disabled interacted with virtual partners, were given onscreen dialogue options, and were scored on their ability to initiate, maintain and conclude a pleasant conversation on various topics. To read more, click here
A Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities
Jobs. We all need them for a variety of reasons. They provide us with a sense of purpose and achievement. They are the reason weekends and vacation were invented, and, oh yes, money. Don't forget the money. Because of our recent troubles with the U.S. economy and recession, these reasons are more important than ever. Everyone needs a job these days. But for some people, especially those with disabilities, getting a job is harder than it should be. Diversity in the workforce is still a challenge in the twenty-first century. Take a moment to look objectively at your workforce. Is it truly diverse? Does it represent as many groups as possible? Probably not. According to The Office of Disability Employment, as of February 2011, 20.6 percent of people in the workforce had a disability compared to 69.5 percent of people without. In fact, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities last month was 15.4 percent compared to 9.3 percent for able-bodied persons. Things may seem like they are getting better on the surface, but the numbers tell the real story. At the end of the day, diversity pays off. 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: Jessica Ulmer, MaryLouise Torre, Alexandra Pirard, Beverly Hayes, Eileen Busse, Lois Nembhard, Karen Bornholm, Lisa Rotella, Deanna Krieg, Jessica Evans, Christopher Long, Luba Vanyo, Marilyn Haile, Mike Namian, Christie Miller, Joanie P. Dikeman, & Shilpa Sanghavi who knew that George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act.
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
This is a birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall. The baby's intestines stick outside of the baby's body, through a hole beside the belly button. The hole can be small or large and sometimes other organs, such as the stomach and liver, can also stick outside of the baby's body. What is the name of this birth defect?
If you know the answer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, March 28, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Winter Carnival Helps Children with Disabilities
Ever since Katie Walton first hit the ski slopes in February, she's had a new dream -- to ski in the Paralympics. The 9-year-old wheelchair user is learning to ski this winter through Snowbasin's adaptive program, which helps children and adults with disabilities enjoy snow sports. "Who would have thought that my child that can't walk would be an avid skier now?" says mother Lori Walton of South Ogden. Katie, who was born with spina bifida, and her brother Zach, 8, who has balance problems and learning disabilities, received full scholarships to participate in this winter's adaptive program. That's why their mother rounded up the whole family to volunteer at last Saturday's Winter Carnival, a fundraiser that provides equipment and scholarships for the Snowbasin program. "They've given so much to our family ... that I want to give back to them," Lori Walton said. To read more, click here
Attention Deficit Disorder: Latest Medical Breakthroughs
Attention Deficit Disorder is medically classified as a neurobehavioral developmental disorder. It is characterized by symptoms like behavioral problems and hyperactivity. A number of medical breakthroughs have made Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder treatment more effective. This article presents a list of the latest medical breakthroughs in treating Attention Deficit Disorders. To read more, click here
When Opinions Really Count: Youth Voices Heard at National Youth Summit
There's nothing quite like the sight of over 400 diverse middle and high school students from communities all across the country gathered together for one common reason - to speak up about what they need for education and career success. Their energy is contagious! On February 26, the nation's leaders in education policy (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education) provided youth an opportunity to talk about the issues that affect them most. Interspersed with poetry recitals, street muralists' live painting, and an 11-year-old hip-hop DJ, the Voices in Action National Youth Summit was an ideal platform for young people to step to the mic and express their opinions. Youth discussed what they need to complete high school and go on to postsecondary education, two key steps to achieving the President's 2020 college completion challenge. And speak up they did, about everything from safety in their schools, to lack of funding and resources, to teacher competency and the lack of nutritious meals. To read more, click here
Disability Advocates at Odds Over 'Wandering' Proposal
Disability advocates are divided over a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposal to add wandering to the menu of descriptors doctors can use to diagnose individuals with autism, intellectual disability and other conditions. Under the proposal, which is up for public comment through April 1, wandering would be added to the CDC's diagnostic coding system as a secondary classification that could be applied to individuals with developmental disabilities. But whether or not a person's tendency to wander away from home or school should be considered a medical issue is proving contentious. To read more, click here
District Investigates Special Education School
A Northwest Washington private school that has collected more than $16 million in tuition from the District over the past two years to serve special education students is under investigation for lax security, high rates of truancy and inadequate academic programs. Officials of Rock Creek Academy said they have done their best to serve a population of children with emotional and physical disabilities from kindergarten through 12th grade whose needs cannot be met by the city's public schools. These include students with attention-deficit disorder, speech and auditory issues, cerebral palsy, depression and post-traumatic stress. "We continue to make progress academically, socially and emotionally with our students. The data proves it. My staff is insulted by the allegations out there," said Shawn Meade, president and chief executive of the 163-student school, which occupies six floors of a building on upper Connecticut Avenue near the University of the District of Columbia. 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
Microsoft Steps Up Accessibility
Microsoft is giving a boost to accessibility in its Office 2010 suite and launching new training courses and resources dedicated to helping developers produce more accessible sites and software. The company released two beta addons for Office 2010 Thursday, one for Word and one for PowerPoint. The PowerPoint addon, STAMP, is a subtitling tool that's used both to create captions within PowerPoint or to import existing TTML ("Timed Text Mark-up Language") caption files. It also includes a basic caption editor for creating, editing, and deleting captions within PowerPoint presentations. TTML import support includes formatting characteristics like color, alignment, and other styling elements. STAMP also allows users to turn captions on and off in presentation mode and to adjust the position of captions when the video changes size. To read more, click here
Signs of a Gifted Child: An Article for Parents
When it comes to education and our children, there's no doubt we want the very best. But is there a point at which a child's social life is sacrificed for educational gain and is it worth it in the long run? Dr. Lynne Kenney, author of The Family Coach Method, helps us understand when to know if your child is gifted and what to do. Kenney says there is no universal definition of giftedness. Some professionals define "gifted" by scoring well on a test. Others believe it to be based on scholastic achievement. Even states and school districts classify children differently. So there is no finite definition of being gifted, which could make this choice all the harder. It is not a bad idea to see if your child has been classified as gifted by the school district. All you have to do is simply ask for a gifted assessment from the school. Another factor to look at is your child's age. Is their birthday close to that of his peers? Being in the same age demographic will make kids feel much more comfortable with those around them. You also have to consider what grade level your child is. There are not always gifted services for certain grade levels. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
Current alcohol use among high school students remained steady from 1991 to 1999 and then decreased from 50% in 1999 to 42% in 2009. In 2009, 24% of high school students reported episodic heavy or binge drinking.
ADHD's Upside: Greater Creativity
The distractibility and impulsiveness that is the hallmark of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a silver lining, according to a new study that suggests those with the disorder are more creative than those without. Researchers gave 60 college students, half with ADHD, a series of tests measuring creativity across 10 domains -- drama, music, humor, creative writing, invention, visual arts, scientific discovery, dance, architecture and culinary arts. The students also answered questions about their problem-solving styles, including preferences for generating, structuring, refining and implementing ideas. The ADHD group scored higher on creativity across the board, the study authors said, and also exhibited a greater preference for brainstorming and generating ideas than the non-ADHD group, which preferred refining and clarifying ideas. To read more, click here
Parents of Student with Disability Suing North Carolina School District to Allow Service Dog in School
The Bellingham Herald reports that the parents of a student who has disabilities as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome have filed suit in federal court against Catawba County Schools (CCS) to force the school district to allow their son to bring his service dog to school. The suit charges that barring the dog from school violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). CCS officials have declined to talk about specifics of the case because it involves confidential student information. They said they "worked diligently" to meet the student's needs. CCS's attorney said: "Catawba County Board of Education is committed to the needs, rights and protection of all persons with disabilities and denies allegations that the school system has discriminated against this student." To read more, click here
Effort to Get Classroom Dog Stalls
Jason Brookhart's special education class at Woodland Elementary spent time last week making fake dogs out of construction paper and paper plates. But, if all goes as planned, they'll soon have a real dog. Since last year, Brookhart has been raising funds to purchase a facility dog, a specially trained canine used by educational and health care professionals to work with individuals with disabilities. He has settled on Easton, a black Labrador, with whom Brookhart bonded last October during an introductory trip to Easton's current home with For-Better-Independence assistance dogs in Leslie, Mich. Brookhart, who teaches a class of 12 special needs students ranging in ages from kindergarten to fifth grade, said he hopes Easton will help with classroom lessons while teaching students the responsibility of caring for a living creature. To read more, click here
Food For Thought..........
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."