Week in Review - May 27, 2011
WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
May 27, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 19
New This Week on NASET
Q & A Corner
Parent Rights to Confidentiality and Access to Student Records
IDEA and other federal laws protect the confidentiality of a child's education records. These safeguards address the following three aspects:
·the use of personally identifiable information
·who may have access to a child's records; and
·the rights of parents to inspect their child's education records and request that these be amended to correct information that is misleading or inaccurate, or that violates the child's privacy or other rights.
The focus of this issue of NASET's Q & A Corner will be to address confidentiality and access to student records for parents.
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In this issue you will find resources in the following areas:
Acting Out Behavior After School Programs Bullying Diverse Needs Early Intervention Employment English Language Learners Extended School Year Services Families Financial Resources for Parents of Children with Disabilities Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Internships Life Skills Preparation for College Project Based Learning Reading Request for Proposals to Present at Conferences Survey Requests Transition Services -
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
Tennessee Senate Passes Restraint and Isolation Bill
The Special Education Behavioral Supports Act was approved by the Tennessee Senate. Under previous laws, a school child may have provisions to be restrained and/or secluded if it's written into their IEP or in "emergency situations." Because there was such a vague definition of what an emergency entailed, many say that term was abused. The new law seeks to clear up these loopholes and provide safeguards by only allowing isolation and/or restraint in emergency situations, even with an IEP, and setting clearer definitions on what could be deemed an emergency. If a school feels that these measures are necessary, they should only be implemented by staff who have been certified through a "behavior intervention training program" if one is available. To read the key points of the Act, click here
DSM Update to Remove Asperger's From Autism Spectrum
The new DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, will not feature Asperger's syndrome. Proposed changes to the 2013 edition of the DSM will no longer feature the term Asperger's as part of the revision of the current edition, which features many poorly defined subgroups of autism, targeted by critics as misleading and unhelpful. In the 2013 edition, the single label of Autistic Spectrum Disorder will replace the various labels. Its manifestation will be identified by two numerical scales of severity, where individuals will be placed. The DSM committee has invited public comment on the proposed changes until June 15. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
School districts are required to provide parents of a child with a disability with a notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under IDEIA and U.S. Department of Education regulations. This is known as the Notice of Procedural Safeguards
Little People, Lots of Pills: Experts Debate Medicating Kids
Gavin Gorski, 11, opens his hands as his father dispenses the pills. An orange tablet, a green pill, white oval shapes and oblong ones -- nine drugs total -- fall into his palm. The fifth-grader scoops them into his mouth. Later in the day, he takes eight more pills. Gavin takes 119 pills every week. The clozapine helps him with the hallucinations and voices he hears. The lithium stabilizes Gavin's mood. Without them, he stays up for nights and has no impulse control. "We couldn't exist without him being medicated," said Rob Gorski, Gavin's father. "We struggled with it at first. Nobody wants to medicate their kids, but it comes to a quality of life issue. When he is un-medicated, his quality of life is really low." Gavin started taking several drugs at age 5. Increasingly more U.S. kids are taking behavioral drugs, according to several studies. To read more, click here
Aging Parents Fear for Children with Disabilities as Needs Outstrip Support
When the stress and uncertainty of caring for her adult son becomes too much, Louise Drover makes an agonized plea to God. "It comes to a point at nighttime when you have to pray that if nothing works out, that God will take him before he takes me. And that's a hard thing to have to pray at night. "That is exactly how I feel. I love him dearly." Drover, 61, lives in Blaketown, N.L., with her son, Graham. He is now 26, but a neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome stalled his intellectual development at about the age of four. The condition aptly named for its discoverer, British pediatrician Harry Angelman, gives Graham an unusually sweet and happy personality. He does not speak and can't walk far on his own. He is prone to pounding on windows if he gets excited, so his family home is equipped with shatter-proof glass. He will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life. To read more, click here
In Ohio, Too Many People with Disabilities Work in Shelters Instead of the Community, Advocates Say
If he had been born 50 years ago, Ian Baustian might have been institutionalized. Locked away. No one would have discovered whether he was capable of more. Back then, Baustian wouldn't have been a laboratory clinical assistant at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, where he works alongside people who don't have disabilities - people who embrace him and his autism. His kind of story is both triumph and tragedy, as far as advocates are concerned. As far as Ohio has come in employing adults with developmental disabilities, the state has much further to go, they say. About 21,000 developmentally disabled Ohioans who receive services through their county agencies are employed, but seven of every 10 are segregated with other disabled workers instead of working in community-based jobs such as Baustian's. That rate is roughly the same as it was a decade ago. Twenty-four states do a better job than Ohio at finding community-based work for adults with disabilities. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
The Notice of Procedural Safeguards must be given to parents at least one time per year.
Patrick Kennedy Expresses Sympathy for Accused Gabrielle Giffords Shooter
In an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) argued that Jared Loughner deserves sympathy for his apparent mental problems. Loughner is the 22-year-old man charged in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz. that killed six people and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) with a traumatic brain injury. "It's an irony," Kennedy told Gupta, "but we think no stigma towards Gabby and her brain injury, but [Loughner] has a brain injury as well, because clearly his brain was not working properly when he picked up that gun and shot all those people." "We failed as a society," he added, "because every time we see someone who's -- and we use the pejorative words -- 'crazy,' 'psycho,' 'nuts,' we look the other way." To read more, click here
Report Calls Students with Disabilities Underserved
Many students with disabilities in the Buffalo Public Schools have been denied appropriate services, the state Education Department has ruled. In a recent ruling, the state concluded that the district failed to provide disabled students with the services required under their individualized education programs, the documents that spell out what each student needs. The state's decision came in response to a complaint filed by the Buffalo Teachers Federation on March 8. "Here you have the neediest of the needy, the most deserving of deserving: our handicapped students. Somebody, whoever's in charge, is attempting to deny them the services they need," said teachers union president Philip Rumore. "It borders on being immoral." An attorney representing the district said officials already have begun taking steps to correct some of the problems the state identified. 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, Tabitha Garrett, Christie Miller, Lois Nembhard, Shan Ring, Chaya Tabor, James Hannon, Loretta Grief, & Phyllis Wilson who knew that Xanex is the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States.
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
You can find the federal law in special education, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), in the U.S.C. and C.F.R. What do U.S.C. and C.F.R. stand for ?
If you know the answer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
CDC: Autism, ADHD Rates on the Rise
The proportion of children and teens in the U.S. who have a developmental disability such as autism has increased 17% since the late 1990s, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 1997 and 2008, the number of children with a disability rose from 8.2 million to roughly 10 million, or more than 15% of all kids between the ages of 3 and 17, the researchers found. This upward trend has been driven largely by surges in the number of children found to have autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, although the prevalence of stuttering and learning disabilities has also increased. To read more, click here
Adult Diagnosis of ADHD Among Women May Answer Lingering Questions
At a few minutes shy of 3 p.m., Michelle Suppers pulled her minivan into the parking lot at a Catholic school in Virginia, where her son, Anthony, attends first grade. For most of the mothers already lined up, this probably isn't a big deal. But for Suppers, who has always been late to just about everything for as long as she can remember, the effort that was required to plan her day, watch the clock and make it to the school on time is nothing short of Herculean. "I lose track of time," she said, flushing pink with embarrassment. On the console beside her seat in the van were two library books she needed to return. Both were overdue. Anthony, 6, dressed in his nicely pressed uniform blue shirt and gray pants on this crisp fall day, smiled at her as he climbed into the car seat behind his 3-year-old brother, Christopher. To read more,click here
In Canada, Parents Demand Better Care than Institutions Can Provide for Vulnerable
In the quiet moments after Myrtle Eveleigh visits her 20-year-old autistic grandson, she sometimes sits in her car and weeps. Last September, he was locked alone in a constantly lit room at the Braemore adult residential centre in Sydney, N.S., for 15 days with occasional breaks. A provincial investigation said videos constantly monitored him. On several occasions, he urinated in a corner when he was unable to get a staff member's attention. "I'd like to learn why this happens," Eveleigh says of her grandson's confinement, which is the subject of an independent review ordered by the Department of Community Services. "I've been there and I go out in my car and cry that I have to leave my grandson there. I cry not just for Jonathan, I cry for the other clients. ... It reminds me of a cattle stall. "It's not the workers' fault, but people don't know about it until you have a loved one in there." Advocates for community living argue the incident shows that facilities where dozens of people with intellectual disabilities are housed with widely differing conditions in semi-private wards should be phased out of existence across the country. To read more, click here
Different Is Good; "Living Exceptionally" Emphasizes Understanding and Acceptance
Exceptional. Unusual. Extraordinary. There are many people who are considered exceptional in our world today. Alex Rodriguez is an exceptional baseball player. Roger Federer is an extraordinary tennis player. Or, if you love to cook, perhaps Julia Child or Rachael Rae would be smoking hot on your plate of exceptional individuals. Two teachers at Madison's Polson Middle School, Amy Brejwo and Lynne Nadeau, have a slightly different perspective. Their ensemble of exceptional individuals might surprise you. This ensemble includes children and adolescents with an array of mental and physical diagnosis including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), autism, Aspergers syndrome, mental illness, learning disabilities and cerebral palsy. These children live in seven different novels on the seventh grade reading list. The books are the backbone of a language arts unit recently introduced at Polson Middle School called Living Exceptionally. To read more, click here
US Dept of Education Will Issue Guidelines about Restraints & Seclusion in Schools
Last Thursday, Alexa Posny, the US Department of Education's top special education official, said that by next fall, her office will issue guidelines to school districts about the use of restraints, seclusion and other aversive procedures in US public schools. Currently, regulation of the use of such procedures has been left to local and state supervision, with troubling and sometimes tragic results. In 2002, 14-year-old Cedric Price of Texas suffocated while his middle school teacher put him in a "therapeutic floor hold" to "keep him from struggling during a disagreement over lunch." In 2001, Paige Gaydos, who is autistic, was put into a face-down prone restraint by a teacher in Cupertino, California. Her parents sued the Cupertino School District and were awarded $700,000 by a federal jury; they settled for $260,000 to avoid an appeal. Meanwhile, a bill to protect school children from abusive restraint, seclusion and aversive interventions in public schools remains stalled in Congress. 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
'R' Word to be Removed from South Carolina State Laws
What advocates for those with mental disabilities refer to as "the R word" is about to excised from state law. A bill - replacing the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" and the term "mentally retarded" with "persons with intellectual disabilities" - has passed the state Senate and is headed to the floor of the S.C. House without opposition. An outbreak of political correctness in South Carolina? Not to 16-year-old Karl Hoecke, a Columbia resident with Down syndrome, who stood and read a short letter at a House subcommittee hearing on the bill. "The R-word, 'retarded,' means to slow down," Hoecke said, addressing the subcommittee. "In a car, we slow the engine when we retard it. This word should be used for an engine, but not for people. "I would like you to work to get this word removed from any documents about persons with intellectual delays. The R-word hurts my feelings." To read more, click here
Special Education to Feel $44 Million Pinch
Special education programs across the country will be cut by $44 million this year as compared to last, but things could have been much worse, experts say. With final federal budget numbers emerging after months of political haggling in Congress, it's not immediately clear how the cuts will impact classrooms since funding has not been broken down to the school district level. What is clear, however: no education program is going unscathed. Overall, the U.S. Department of Education budget was slashed by $1.3 billion for 2011 as compared to 2010. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
The Notice of Procedural Safeguards will be automatically sent by the school system. It is the responsibility of the school system to provide parents with their rights under IDEIA.
Obama Uses Radio Address to Make Case for NCLB Overhaul
Trying to make his case for overhauling the nation's education laws, President Barack Obama is highlighting progress at a Tennessee high school as evidence that the proper incentives can help all schools succeed. Obama focused his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday on Memphis' Booker T. Washington High School, where the president delivered the commencement address Monday. Graduation rates at the school, which is in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood, have risen impressively in just three years. The school won a national competition to secure him as its speaker by demonstrating how it overcame challenges through innovations such as separate freshman academies for boys and girls. "Booker T. Washington High School is no longer a story about what's gone wrong in education," the president said. "It's a story about how we can set it right. To read more, click here
Families v. Schools: The High-Stakes Battle Over Special Education Services
In October, after months of anxiety, Caroline Barwick and her husband, Russell Huerta, celebrated the arrival of their son Sebastian's third birthday. It was the day the San Francisco Unified School District became legally responsible for addressing Sebastian's severe autism. Barwick and Huerta met with school clinicians to discuss their son's education and treatment. But the meeting did not go as they had hoped - the district offered Sebastian fewer than half of the therapeutic services recommended by three private doctors and did not offer a choice of schools. "You're reeling from what's already been a tragic diagnosis," Barwick said, "then it's almost like you're slapped across the face." The couple took legal action against the district. Last week, an administrative law judge criticized the district for its handling of the case and ordered it to reimburse Sebastian's parents for about $55,000 they spent on his therapy and education during the dispute. To read more, click here
Discrimination Complaint Filed with U.S. Dept. of Education in Kentucky: Suit Alleges Harsh Discipline Practices Used on Students with Disabilities
Several organizations have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education over what they call "systemic discrimination against students with disabilities and students of color in the Jefferson County Public School District." According to a press release issued Friday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the complaint outlines the overuse of harsh discipline practices against these students and seeks systemic relief as well as greater community involvement and accountability in review of discipline practices in JCPS. According to the press release, students with identified disabilities comprise 16 percent of the total JCPS student population, according to data kept by the Kentucky Department of Education, yet they represent 38 percent of the total suspensions. To read more, click here
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Food For Thought..........
To waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sure way to teach easily and successfully