Week in Review - May 6, 2011

WEEK IN REVIEW

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

May 6, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 16

 

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In This Issue
New This Week on NASET
Five Minute Screen Identifies Subtle Signs of Autism
After Three-Year Legal Fight, Service Dog Brought to Class
Students Write Skits to Understand Disabilities
Hope Builds for Treating Intellectual Disabilities
Too Little Sleep Can Be Harmful to Children's Brains
City and Major League Soccer Team to Run Games for Children with Disabilities
Florida Bill Lends Hand to Students with Disabilities
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Freedom on the Court
Wisconsin Bill Would Give Students with Special Needs the Right to Switch Schools
Acceptance Grows for Children with Autism in Church
People with Disabilities Face Rising Jobless Rate
Invention Helps People with Disabilities Pump Gas
Who's Best Suited to Teach and Learn in Virtual Schools?.
e-Readers Help Students with Visual Impairments
Recreational Programs Make Huge Difference in the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities
Report Says Special Education School's Attendance Figures Don't Add Up
Vermont Tops National Ranking of Disability Services
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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

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Table of Contents

Update from the U.S. Department Education
Calls to Participate
Special Education Resources
Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
Acknowledgements

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______________________________________________________

The Practical Teacher


Tips for Calling on Students in Class


Teachers call on students to respond to questions and participate in learning activities. However, the pattern of who is called upon is often uneven and may leave some students out of the conversation. For example, a study of questioning in elementary and middle school classrooms found that boys were called on more frequently than girls because they volunteered more often (Altermatt, Jovanovic, & Perry, 1998). You can use a system for drawing student names to ensure you are calling on everyone in your class. The focus of this issue of The Practical Teacher is to provide tips for calling on students in the classroom.

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

Five Minute Screen Identifies Subtle Signs of Autism in 1-Year Olds

A five-minute checklist that parents can fill out in pediatrician waiting rooms may someday help in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) , according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Published today in the Journal of Pediatrics, the study's design also provides a model for developing a network of pediatricians to adopt such a change to their practice. "Beyond this exciting proof of concept, such a screening program would answer parents' concerns about their child's possible ASD symptoms earlier and with more confidence than has ever been done before," noted Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of NIH. Identifying autism at an early age allows children to start treatment sooner, which can greatly improve their later development and learning. However, many studies show a significant delay between the time parents first report concerns about their child's behavior and the eventual ASD diagnosis, with some children not receiving a diagnosis until well after they've started school. To read more, click here

After Three-Year Legal Fight, Service Dog Brought to Class

Scooter Givens had a rough day at school Monday, but his autism service dog helped calm him. It was the first time Scooter, 10, has been allowed to use his trained service dog in class, and it definitely had its bumps, said his mom Wendy Givens. But, overall, she deemed it a success. "Tomorrow we're going to do it again," she said. "I'm excited. I think we had a really good day despite some of the challenges." The Givens family and Disability Rights Oregon spent three years battling Hillsboro School District to allow Scooter to use his German shepherd, Madison, in class, including filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. But it took Oregon's U.S. Attorney to make it finally happen. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

According to the CDC, during 2002-2005, 15,600 youth were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually, and 3,600 youth were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes annually.

Students Write Skits to Understand Disabilities

The first day of a new school year, an event children anticipate for weeks, can be disorienting, abounding in opportunities for embarrassment. But when the protagonist is a boy who loses his hearing aid in the hallway, children hearing the otherwise familiar story may realize that other children with disabilities experience the same feeling they do. That was the purpose of a presentation Friday morning at Waltham North School. With a little humor and a heavy dose of compassion, students and staff from Illinois Valley Community College and members of the Follies Theater in Utica performed skits, monologues and a song written earlier this year by Waltham students. The performance was the culmination of the Horizon House Disability Awareness Program, which began at the school in September. This is the 15th year the organization has conducted such a program with an area school. To read more, click here

Hope Builds for Treating Intellectual Disabilities

Slouched sideways at his desk in the front row of class, a sneakered foot jittering distractedly, Chase Brown could be any 14-year-old in academic captivity. As the discussion turns to the American history of slavery, the teacher draws Chase back from his apparent reverie. A classmate has said that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Does Chase agree or disagree? Chase locks eyes with his teacher. "I agree," he says emphatically. It is a moment of triumph for Chase, one of an estimated 90,000 in the U.S. who live with an inherited form of intellectual disability known as fragile X syndrome. Only a year ago, he would have fled the classroom, thrown something at the teacher or stayed mute. Last year, he tested below first-grade level in all academic domains. To read more, click here

Too Little Sleep Can Be Harmful to Children's Brains

Across the country each morning, groggy teens are dragging themselves out of bed and trudging sleepily off to school. These bleary-eyed young people are often too tired to take in much of what's being taught in their early morning classes. But that's not the only downside to a nation of chronically tired teens - researchers now worry there may be other, more serious consequences.  As part of the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams series ""The Teen Brain: A Work in Progress,"" Dr. Nancy Snyderman examines the toll sleep deprivation can have on our kids. Young people are sleeping just seven-and-a-half hours on weeknights, a full two hours less than experts recommend for adolescents, a new poll by the National Sleep Foundation has found. Such sleep deficits may interfere with brain development and increase the chance that a teen will develop attention deficit disorder and other cognitive problems, along with heightened risks for obesity, immune problems and depression, scientists now believe. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Non-Hispanic white youth had the highest rate of new cases of type 1 diabetes (24.8 per 100,000 per year among those younger than 10 years and 22.6 per 100,000 per year among those aged 10-19 years).

Special-Needs Soccer: City and Major League Soccer Team to Run Games for Children with Disabilities

Not every child has the opportunity to score a goal in a close game, or create a dynamic play, for a variety of different reasons. But having a disability won't be a reason in Hudson County anymore. The New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer announced a partnership with the city of Hoboken this month to bring a new, free soccer league to Hudson County for children with special needs. The league will hold games at the Hoboken Little League Field this May and will run for five weeks. It's open to kids outside of Hoboken, too. City Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini said that since he began his position a little more than a year ago, he has received phone calls and letters from parents inquiring about a possible league for children who have disabilities. To read more, click here

Florida Bill Lends Hand to Students with Disabilities

The Florida House approved a bill Thursday that provides more opportunities for students with disabilities. House Bill 1329 allows for students who have specific paperwork regarding their disabilities to be eligible for a scholarship to attend the school of their choice. The House's nod of approval serves as the second time legislation has been passed to further open the doors of eligibility to the John McKay Scholarship -- a program that doles out dollars for children with disabilities to attend schools of their parents' choice. "The bill gives parents one more opportunity to access the John McKay Scholarship," said Deborah Bay, scholarship coordinator for the Manatee County School 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.
Congratulations to: Debbie Innerarity, Jessica L. Ulmer,  Amanda L. Davis-Holloway, & Shan Ring who knew the correct answer to last week's trivia question was ZERO REJECT
 
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
OSERS is the acronym for what?

 
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, May 9, 2011 at 12:00 p.m
.

Freedom on the Court

Each morning, David Newton, his light brown eyes raised to the ceiling, ponders the same question before he's able to get out of bed. "How difficult will today be for me?'' The question has been with the 21-year-old since he realized in second grade that he was different - that he had severe learning disabilities, including an inability to read at more than an elementary-school level. He asks himself another question, too: "Will I get in tennis today?'' The tennis court is, in many ways, his safe place. Newton is the best player at Lesley College, where he is enrolled in a non-degree program for college-aged students unable to complete mainstream academic work. To read more, click here

Wisconsin Bill Would Give Students with Special Needs the Right to Switch Schools

Special education students may someday be able to switch schools through a state voucher program. The program would call students' ability to switch "scholarships," not vouchers, but it would operate much like Milwaukee's voucher program for low-income students. Special education students, regardless of income, would be able to switch schools by applying per-pupil state aid from their home district to another participating public school district or private school of their choice. The program would become a reality in Wisconsin if a state Assembly bill introduced this week becomes law. "The group that often has difficulty finding the right school for their child is parents with special needs kids," said the bill's lead sponsor Rep. Michelle Litjens, R-Vinland. Litjens said the bill is intended to help parents no longer able to successfully work with their home school district and in need of a way to put their child in an alternate school. To read more, click here

Acceptance Grows for Children with Autism in Church

Halfway through a Mass in Caldwell College's campus chapel, Chase Keith rose to his feet for one of the most challenging parts of a challenging day. It required the boy from Basking Ridge, N.J., to offer his hand to strangers in the traditional sign of peace. With his mother whispering in his ear and guiding his arm, the 7-year-old stuck out his small hand toward a fellow parishioner. "How you? Peace," Chase said. Afterward, his mother slipped him a Goldfish cracker as a reward for his correct behavior. Chase had gone through months of intensive training with a specialist to get to this point - where he could sit through a Catholic Mass with his family. Chase, who has autism, is among a growing number of children with developmental disabilities who are being welcomed at religious services. Autism is particularly acute in New Jersey, which has the nation's highest rate of autism, affecting about one in every 94 children, compared to the national rate of about one in every 150 children. The symptoms of the disorder differ from person to person, but most children with autism have social, behavioral and communication problems. Some may shout or laugh at inappropriate times or have trouble keeping still. Others have an aversion to loud noises or crowds. That makes attending a Catholic Mass - with its big crowds, loud music and periods of silence - daunting for many families dealing with autism. To read more, click here

People with Disabilities Face Rising Jobless Rate

April was Autism Awareness Month. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder grow up and face an unemployment rate of over 80 percent, for those able to work. Recently, McLean County reported the county's jobless rate fell to 7.1 percent. This is hopeful news, after more than three years of harsh unemployment. But imagine a continuously rising unemployment rate since 1991, to a current level of 15 percent. No need to imagine. That's the reality for people with disabilities who want to work. Recent government studies attribute this rise mostly to continued employer misinformation and unsubstantiated fear in three areas: lawsuits for firing someone who can't do the job, costly accommodations and concerns of co-worker discomfort. People with ASD do have reasonably accommodated social communication difficulties; they may not give you an impressive verbal interview. But they also generally prefer hard work to chatting, are honest and conscientious, and don't engage in office politics or move to a different company as soon as they've been trained. To read more, click here

Invention Helps People with Disabilities Pump Gas

Millions of people all over the nation have disabilities that prevent them from walking, living alone or doing even the most simple task. Over the years, high tech wheelchairs and other devices have made life easier. But, people with disabilities have still struggled with something many take for granted. Most of us don't even think about the effort it takes to get out of your car and pump gas. When your tank gets empty, you pull in to the nearest station and fill up. Until now, people with disabilities had a much different experience. Mitchell Swanson's life changed forever after he broke his neck in 1998 and became a quadriplegic. A high-tech wheelchair, combined with a special van, have opened doors for him. But, getting gas left him feeling empty. "You have to make a plan about how you're going to communicate with the people inside that I'm outside and wanting gas," Swanson said. Honking his horn didn't usually work and he didn't feel comfortable flagging down a stranger and handing over his credit card. "It's the simplest of tasks that needs to be done and we can't do it," Swanson said. Then, he discovered a system called "Fuel Call." To read more, click here

NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -

Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members

AASEP Logo
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

Who's Best Suited to Teach and Learn in Virtual Schools?

Online learning is not easy, says Maureen Cottrell, a science teacher at iHigh Virtual Academy, a fully-accredited virtual public high school in San Diego, California. "Many students fully expect it to be easy and then bomb out." Cottrell, who's been teaching for a decade, has spent the last two years at iHigh, the first completely online, diploma-granting school in the San Diego Unified School District. "Sure, everyone wants to cut costs," she says. "Virtual learning is seen as a tool for that. But I don't think any educator just wants to cut costs" at the expense of quality. "One of the things we address from the ground up is keeping rigor in place." Getting WASC accreditationand recognition from the University of California Doorways system was a rigorous process. "We fought a hard battle. We don't want to lose that! We want to keep the rigor high." To read more, click here

e-Readers Help Students with Visual Impairments

Children with visual impairments often miss the cozy experience of curling up with a good book because large-print volumes often are too cumbersome, especially for small hands. But a pilot project at Normal-based Unit 5 schools has found an answer to that by providing such students with e-readers they can use at school and at home, said Nora Bardi, Unit 5's assistive technology coordinator. Jan Harrell, Unit 5's vision facilitator, is working with 10 students with low vision who now can enlarge the size of the text to a comfortable level while still holding the device comfortably in their hands. The district chose to buy Kobo e-readers, a product of Borders, over other e-reader options because they are compatible with the free Bookshare program for students with vision impairments, and Kobos don't require an account at a bookstore, she said. A Kobo costs about $130 with carrying case and accessories needed to download books. To read more,click here

Did You Know That...

 


Among youth aged <10 years, the rate of new cases was 19.7 per 100,000 each year for type 1 diabetes and 0.4 per 100,000 for type 2 diabetes. Among youth aged 10 years or older, the rate of new cases was 18.6 per 100,000 each year for type 1 diabetes and 8.5 per 100,000 for type 2 diabetes.

Recreational Programs Make Huge Difference in the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities

As everyone is aware by now, budget cuts are affecting nearly every aspect of our public life. Parks and recreational programs are no exception. Thurston County and the cities have been very good about including the handicapped in their recreational programs, but that could come to an end. Developmental disabilities do not stop at school age; they are a lifetime problem that can leave people left out, vulnerable and lonely. Autism and other brain disorders are frequently misunderstood, but interaction with other people and the acceptance of a friendly animal can often relieve many of the symptoms. Learning disabilities often leave people feeling stupid, no matter how smart they are. Skeletal problems and bad back or legs leave people sidelined. They cannot walk as far, play ball or otherwise participate. Recreational programs for the disabled, as well as those programs that include everyone, are important as they help us all to rise above barriers. I have been taking a water aerobics class in Lacey that has the disabled and able-bodied people together. A couple of people do very little and don't understand the instructions, yet being in the pool with other people seems to be important to them and brings them pleasure. To read more,click here

Report Says Special Education School's Attendance Figures Don't Add Up

There's more to say about last week's  by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington D.C. to close Rock Creek Academy, the private D.C. special education school with some big issues, according to the agency's investigation. One finding got only glancing attention in this morning's story: OSSE says Rock Creek violated regulations by played fast and loose with attendance data, which is the basis for its payment from the District. Investigators said that being spotted in the hallway was basis enough for counting a student present, regardless of whether he or she actually attended class. Under District regulations, if a student misses four classes without excuse, it counts as a full-day absence. According to OSSE, a sampling of school records from September 2010 show that student attendance by class period doesn't match up with invoices submitted by Rock Creek to the District. One student, according to invoices, attended school for 14 days in September. But class attendance records show the student present on only ten of those days. At $242 per student per day - the rate charged by Rock Creek--the discrepancies add up. To read more, click here

Vermont Tops National Ranking of Disability Services

Vermont offers the best Medicaid services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities while Mississippi provides the worst, according to an annual ranking released Thursday. The 50-state analysis from United Cerebral Palsy compares services offered across the country, giving preference to states where more individuals are served in the community as opposed to institutions. Vermont, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire and California fare best in the ranking. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi round out the bottom of the list. To read more, click here

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

The secret of education is respecting the pupil.

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