Week in Review - April 15, 2011

WEEK IN REVIEW

New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week

April 15, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 14

 

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In This Issue

New This Week on NASET

Technique for Letting Brain Talk to Computers Now Tunes in Speech
Students with Special Needs Get Real-World Job Experience
Federal Government Sues Company Alleging 20 Years of ADA Violations
NYC Schools Chancellor Cathie Black Quits
School Restraint, Seclusion Bill Resurfaces in Congress
What's the Matter with Kids Today?
Can Reading Be Saved?
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Mom, City Schools Never Gave Up on Student Diagnosed with Autism
Research Suggests that Autism and Epilepsy Have Common Genetic Roots
Rhode Island Graduation Regulations Condemned
Mass. Mom Admits Withholding Cancer Meds from Son with Disability
Mentor Girl Helps Those with Disabilities Shine in Spotlight.
Software Helps Individuals with Disabilities Use Computer Mouse
Riding Lessons Help Children with Disabilities
Abilities Expo, the Nation's Largest Event for People with Disabilities
At-Risk Kids Treated as 'Gifted' Perform Better, Study Finds
Dear NASET News,

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications from NASET to read and or download, as well as some of the most interesting articles 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

 

NASET Sponsor - Mayer Johnson

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NASET Sponsor - Penn State Online

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To learn more go to: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/specialeducationdegrees.shtml?CID=NAS27133

NASET Member's Benefit 
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NASET Members can now get a special discounted rate on Auto Insurance and Home Insurance. Find out more and get a free rate quote on Liberty Mutual Auto & Home Insurance. To learn more - http://www.libertymutual.com/naset

New This Week on NASET

Classroom Management Series


Functional Behavioral Assessment


Functional behavioral assessment is generally considered to be a problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. It relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help IEP teams select interventions to directly address the problem behavior. Functional behavioral assessment should be integrated, as appropriate, throughout the process of developing, reviewing, and, if necessary, revising a student's IEP. A functional behavioral assessment looks beyond the behavior itself. The focus when conducting a functional behavioral assessment is on identifying significant, pupil-specific social, affective, cognitive, and/or environmental factors associated with the occurrence (and non-occurrence) of specific behaviors. This broader perspective offers a better understanding of the function or purpose behind student behavior.

The first of this three part series covers the IEP team's introduction to functional behavioral assessment and behavior intervention plans.

To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
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Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education


Disorders in this issue:

LD 2.04 - Developmental Anarithmetria (Incorrect Operation Dyscalculia)

AL 6.02 - Broca's Aphasia (Motor Aphasia)
VI  3.11 - Nystagmus. -

To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)

Technique for Letting Brain Talk to Computers Now Tunes in Speech

The act of mind reading is something usually reserved for science-fiction movies but researchers in America have used a technique, usually associated with identifying epilepsy, for the first time to show that a computer can listen to our thoughts. In a new study, scientists from Washington University demonstrated that humans can control a cursor on a computer screen using words spoken out loud and in their head, holding huge applications for patients who may have lost their speech through brain injury or disabled patients with limited movement. By directly connecting the patient's brain to a computer, the researchers showed that the computer could be controlled with up to 90% accuracy even when no prior training was given. Patients with a temporary surgical implant have used regions of the brain that control speech to "talk" to a computer for the first time, manipulating a cursor on a computer screen simply by saying or thinking of a particular sound. To read more, click here

Students with Special Needs Get Real-World Job Experience

Some students in special education at Myrtle Beach High School are getting real-world experience on the job as part of their career preparation course work. For the past two weeks seven students following the particular course work have gotten their on-the-job experience at Myrtle Beach National golf course. It is the first year the course has hosted students from the Myrtle Beach High School. "It's fun to get out of class, and get out of school for a while, and do some training," commented student Brandon Napier. The students have minor learning disabilities causing them to fall just short of earning a standard diploma. The job experience helps them earn an occupational diploma instead. While at the golf course the students have been able to do a lot different jobs from cooking, to tracking inventory, to maintenance and customer service. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Despite the plateau in asthma prevalence, ambulatory care for asthma use has continued to grow since 2000.

Federal Government Sues Company Alleging 20 Years of ADA Violations

The federal government filed suit Wednesday against a Texas company alleging that employees with intellectual disabilities were discriminated against and severely abused for over 20 years in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, charges that Henry's Turkey violated the rights of 31 workers by paying them just $65 a month for full-time work at a turkey processing plant in Iowa. In addition, the suit indicates that the workers were deprived of medical care, forced to live in substandard conditions and subjected to physical and verbal harassment including names like "retarded," "dumb ass" and "stupid." Due to their disabilities, the men were unaware of the extent to which their rights were being violated, the EEOC says in the suit. To read more, click here

NYC Schools Chancellor Cathie Black Quits

The city's school chancellor resigned last Thursday after three difficult months on the job, a defeat for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his decision to install a publishing executive with no experience as an educator to lead the nation's largest public school system. In her brief stint as chancellor, Cathie Black had faced heckling by parents, the departure of several deputy chancellors and scorn over her joke that school overcrowding could be fixed with birth control. Bloomberg announced the resignation only days after a poll showed her approval rating had dropped to 17 percent. He named Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott to replace her. Bloomberg said at a City Hall news conference that he and Black met Thursday morning and "mutually agreed that it is in the city's best interest if she steps down as chancellor." To read more, click here

School Restraint, Seclusion Bill Resurfaces in Congress

There are renewed efforts in Congress this week to impose federal limits on the use of restraint and seclusion in special education, but it's unclear how or when the issue might move forward. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., reintroduced legislation Wednesday that would prohibit restraint or seclusion in most school situations. The bill would also mandate that parents be notified if the practices are used on their child and it would disallow restraint or seclusion from being included in a student's individualized education program, or IEP. As chairman of the House education committee last year, Miller championed the same bill and it won approval from the full House. But the issue never came before the Senate and ultimately died after a coalition of disability advocacy groups that was working to support the measure split over disagreements stemming from proposed changes to the legislation. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Asthma prevalence rates among children remain at historically high levels following dramatic increases from 1980 until the late 1990s.

What's the Matter with Kids Today?

A group of test subjects ages 10 to 30 is asked to solve a puzzle. It involves rearranging a stack of colored balls on placeholders using as few moves as possible. Each wrong move requires extra moves to undo it. The test is designed to measure impulse control. Adolescents tend to start moving balls almost immediately, which usually necessitates rearranging later. Adults, however, tend to take more time to consider their first move, which generally allows them to solve the puzzle on their first try. In another experiment, designed to measure mature decision-making abilities, test subjects are presented with a choice between a small, immediate cash reward and a larger, long-term cash reward. Younger subjects invariably have a lower "tipping point"-the amount of money they are willing to take to get their reward immediately. Older subjects are more willing to wait....This is the kind of research in developmental psychology and neuroscience that is helping to shed new light on differences between adolescent and adult brains. It's also part of the science that lies at the heart of a series of decisions, including a May ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida, that have changed the direction of juvenile justice. To read more, click here

Can Reading Be Saved?

Kelly Gallagher is a veteran high school English teacher in Anaheim, Calif., and the author of four books on teaching reading and writing. He is best known for his 2009 book Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It (Stenhouse), in which he argues that the widespread lack of interest in reading among adolescents can be traced in part to "inane, mind-numbing" instructional practices found in today's schools. We recently spoke to Gallagher about the state of student literacy today and what educators can do to help students become more fluent and engaged readers. 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: Kathy Buckley, Debbie Innerarity, Lorrie Weaver, Chaya Tabor, Karen Bornholm, Patty Kinsinger, MaryLouise Torre, Ross Jones, Linda Stockwell, Heather Drake, Dr. Vaughn E. Hales, Sabrina Yacoub, Catherine Cardenas, Sandra Kennedy, Gloria Ortiz,  Lois Nembhard, Deanna Krieg, Maryanne Levery, Patricia A. Williams, Christie Miller, Jessica Ulmer, Maryanne VanDyke who knew the answer to last week's trivia questions was: The Buckley Amendment or FERPA.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:

Under the federal law (IDEIA), a student must be classified with a disability in order to receive special education services.  How many categories of disability are there under IDEIA?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, April 18, 2011 at 12:00 p.m
.

Mom, City Schools Never Gave Up on Student Diagnosed with Autism

Kevin Larson's future was pretty shaky when he entered the city school district eight years ago. Diagnosed with autism, his prior school district had questioned his ability to thrive in a regular school setting. When he arrived in Batavia, Kevin was "marginally verbal" and could not read. Previous school faculty had underestimated his intelligence and did not believe that he could succeed, autism consultant Maryruth Morris said. So it is with special pride that his mom Debbie will watch the 19-year-old accept his Regents diploma this weekend along with fellow BHS graduates. Larson credits Morris, the city school district, special education teacher Charlene Mierzwa and Trisha Finnigan, director of special and alternative education. To read more, click here

NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -

Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members

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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

Research Suggests that Autism and Epilepsy Have Common Genetic Roots

Amanda has epilepsy and her little brother, Mitchell, has autism. According to the latest genetic research, that's probably no coincidence. Researchers at the university of Montreal have discovered a gene that predisposes people to both autism and epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes regular and unpredictable seizures, and autism is a developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills. About 85 out of 10,000 Canadians suffer from some form of epilepsy, while between 60 and 70 out of 10,000 Canadians have some form of autism. It's long been thought there is a connection between the two disorders, as about one-third of people with autism also suffer from epilepsy. To read more, click here

FDA: No Need for Stiffer Warnings on ADHD Drugs

Preliminary results from studies sponsored by the FDA and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on cardiovascular risks associated with stimulant drugs for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not warrant new warnings or restrictions for these products, the FDA announced. The agency provided no other details, promising to release a fuller report "after the results of the final analyses are evaluated." Researchers at AHRQ and the FDA have been reviewing data on more than 500,000 ADHD medication users and 1 million nonusers across 12 different health plans, as well as some 2,000 medical records from hundreds of hospitals. To read more, click here

Oklahoma Colleges Improve Accessibility, Services for Students with Disabilities

A woman smacked Steve Stokes in the head with her purse, knocking him out of his wheelchair. She told him he shouldn't be out in public, that he belonged in a nursing home. Stokes was a college student in the late 1960s, a time when disabled people often were treated as outcasts. Accessibility on college campuses virtually was nonexistent. "I was trying to prove my ability to adapt to an able-bodied world, that I was as able-bodied as anyone else," said Stokes, who now serves as director of the Oklahoma Office of Disability Concerns. "And they were testing me." Federal rules require campuses to be more accessible today, but still disabled Oklahomans are less likely to be in college than their peers. Nearly 16 percent of Oklahomans have a disability, according to the U.S. Census. But only 1.5 percent of students attending public Oklahoma colleges request services or accommodations for a disability, according to the State Regents for Higher Education. To read more, click here

Mass. Mom Admits Withholding Cancer Meds from Son with Disability

A Massachusetts woman charged with attempted murder for withholding cancer treatment from her son with autism testified Friday that she did not give him at least five months of chemotherapy medications because the side effects made him so sick she was afraid the treatments would kill him. Kristen LaBrie, testifying for the second day at her attempted murder trial, said she mostly followed doctor's orders during the first four phases of treatment for her son, Jeremy Fraser. But she said she stopped giving him his cancer medications during the final phase of his treatment because she "didn't want to make him any sicker." LaBrie said she told her son's doctor two or three times that she was afraid "that he just had had it." To read more, click here

Mentor Girl Helps Those with Disabilities Shine in Spotlight

Molly Moyer said she used to be quiet and shy before she began modeling in local pageants. "It showed me I can be loud and express my feelings," the 13-year-old Mentor resident said. "It's a great way to find your real self." Molly wanted others to feel the same way she did on stage, so she organized an opportunity for 15 Broadmoor School students in Mentor to shine in the spotlight. The girls competed in a pageant at the school's gymnasium on Friday, however, not to see who is the prettiest, but to help those with disabilities gain confidence and express themselves as young ladies. To read more, click here

Software Helps Individuals with Disabilities Use Computer Mouse

U.S. computer scientists say a free software program can help people with motor disabilities who have trouble using a computer mouse. The Pointing Magnifier, developed by researchers at the University of Washington, combines a large area cursor with visual and motor magnification, reducing need for fine, precise pointing, a university release said Friday. Running on Windows, the software replaces the normal cursor with a large, circular cursor the user places over the target area of the screen and then clicks. The Pointing Magnifier then magnifies everything under that circular area until it fills the screen, making even tiny targets large. The user then clicks with a point cursor inside that magnified area, acquiring the target. To read more, click here

Did You Know That...

Since 1992, when data first became available, the rate of emergency department visits for asthma has remained relatively stable.

Riding Lessons Help Children with Disabilities

After having spent countless days devoted to various forms of therapy and activities designed to help their daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy, a McAllen family was surprised that horse-riding lessons would show the most results. For more than two years, 15-year-old Lorena Navarrete has been going regularly to the Valley Trotters Youth Ranch, where she spends 90 minutes caring for and riding her best friend "LA," a horse that was rescued by the group. "She hates going to therapy, it's definitely something that she doesn't look forward to," said Navarrete's mother who also is named Lorena. "Now when it comes to her riding lessons, she loves it and she doesn't get tired. We have seen great development in her mobility and her expression. We couldn't be happier." To read more, click here

Abilities Expo, the Nation's Largest Event for People with Disabilities and Their Caregivers, is Coming to Los Angeles this Weekend

Thousands of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded veterans and health care professionals are expected to attend Abilities Expo on Friday, April 15, through Sunday, April 17, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Admission is free and show hours will be Friday 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm. Abilities Expo has put together an impressive line-up of exhibits, celebrities, workshops, experts, events and activities to appeal to the full spectrum of people with disabilities, from children to seniors and everyone in between. In addition, there will be free hearing screenings onsite (limited appointments available). Complimentary loaner scooters and wheelchair repair will also be available onsite during show hours. "It is our privilege to provide this forum for the Community of people with disabilities in Southern California to come together and gain access to life-enhancing technologies, education and resources," said David Korse, president and CEO of Abilities Expo.  To read more, click here

At-Risk Kids Treated as 'Gifted' Perform Better, Study Finds

Here's a bright idea: If you want smarter kids, treat them as if they're smart. A U.S. Department of Education evaluation of a North Carolina program shows that when at-risk students are taught as if they are gifted and talented, they are likely to perform better academically. The pilot program, called Project Bright IDEA, operated from 2004 to 2009 in kindergarten through second-grade classrooms in 11 North Carolina school districts. Five thousand students were in the program at schools that receive federal funding because of a high percentage of low-income children. The study found that within three years, the number of children identified by their school districts as being academically and intellectually gifted ranged from 15 percent to 20 percent. That compared to just 10 percent of children in a control group. The year the project began, no third-graders from the schools in the study had been identified as gifted. To read more, click here

NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -

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Food For Thought..........

Happiness is a by-product. You cannot pursue it by itself.

Samuel Levenson

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