Week in Review - July 15, 2011

WEEK IN REVIEW

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

July 15, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 25


 

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In This Issue

New This Week on NASET----------

Verizon to Pay $20 Million to Settle Discrimination Suit ---------

Apps, iPads Help Workers with Disabilities ----------------

Parents Decry Special Education Plan -----------------------------------

Programs Try to Save Students from 'Summer Slide' in Academics

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State Consortium Scales Back Common-Test Design --------------

Is There a Link Between Obesity, Chronic Illness and Bullying? ------

White House Reaches Out to Disability Advocate -------------

TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK --

GOP Proposes Unprecedented Flexibility in Education Spending ------------

Google Plus: Is This the Social Tool Schools Have Been Waiting For?- -----------------------------

Social Networking: Controlling Your Online Reputation & Cyber Disclosure --------------------

Breastfeeding Does Not Protect Against Multiple Sclerosis Relapses, Study Suggests ----------

Welcome to Morgan's Wonderland -------------------

Target to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit---------------

Thinking Globally to Improve Mental Health----------------

Leaving Anger on the Field:S tatistics Show That Sports Help Ease Aggression in Boys----------------

Prenatal Antidepressants Linked To Autism.------------------------

Shire Files Lawsuit to Stop Generic ADHD Drug-----------------

Student Mental Health: 'Need Far Outweighs Resources'-------------------------







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NASET Member's Benefit - AASEP Board Certification in Special Education

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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


New This Week on NASET

Classroom Management Series

Series VI - Part III  - Direct and Indirect Measures of Student Behavior

Functional behavioral assessment can be a time-consuming process, one that usually is best accomplished in stages. The functional behavioral assessment process may begin with a series of initial direct and indirect observations (e.g., using a scatterplot) and/or discussions with adults or students who have witnessed the behavior (e.g., functional interviews). An examination of the information from these observations and interviews may suggest specific times and settings in which to conduct more thorough observations (e.g., during a specific academic subject or class period). These subsequent observations would lead the IEP team to develop a hypothesis statement regarding the factors that are most predictive of the student's behavior (e.g., a science lesson that requires lengthy silent reading of technical material). Both direct and indirect measures of student behavior are described more thoroughly in this section..

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Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education

Disorders in this Issue:

VI 8.02 - Hemianopsia (Hemianopia)
HI 6.00 - Syndromic Hearing Losses
LD 12.10 - Visual Pursuit and Tracking Disorder -

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Verizon to Pay $20 Million to Settle Discrimination Suit: EEOC Lawsuit Charged Violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act

Verizon Communications has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit charging the telecommunications giant with failing to accommodate hundreds of workers whose absences were caused by their disabilities. The lawsuit and a consent decree settling the suit were filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The settlement amount was the largest of any single EEOC lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, the commission said. The EEOC's complaint said the company disciplined or fired workers who built up absences under a "no fault" attendance policy rather than making exceptions for those with disabilities. To read more, click here


Apps, iPads Help Workers with Disabilities

Jonathan Avila uses his iPad in ways most people might not realize are possible: The device reads e-mail to him while he's traveling to work, tells him which way to walk when he is lost, and even lets him know if there's a sidewalk on the other side of the street. Avila needs these features because he's visually impaired. "Work bought it as a testing device, but I've claimed it as my own since it makes me more efficient," says Avila, chief accessibility officer for SSB Bart Group, a firm that helps companies implement technology for people with disabilities. Apple has added features that make the iPhone and iPad easily accessible, not only to visually impaired people, but also to those with hearing loss and other challenges. To read more, click here




Parents Decry Special Education Plan

Anthony Aubrey walked up to the table of adults sitting in a giant U-shape and pleaded his case for keeping the special education classes at each of the Keystone Oaks School District's individual elementary schools. "I really didn't want to go to the last day of school because I didn't want to break it to my friends that I wouldn't be back," said the 10-year-old, who utilizes the special education services at Aiken Elementary School. "My friends ... they help me a lot." A few minutes earlier, during the June 23 school board meeting, the youngster's mother, Tina Aubrey, stood up as one of a handful of parents to object to a proposed plan that would centralize all special education across the district at Dormont Elementary School. The proposal is still awaiting state approval. Ms. Aubrey and other parents noted that their complaint isn't with the district's program nor with the quality of the teachers assisting their children. To read more, click here


Programs Try to Save Students from 'Summer Slide' in Academics

In a corner of the San Fernando Valley, amid auto body shops and Salvadoran pupusa restaurants, a Hawaiian summer is in full swing. At Camp Akela, located at Noble Avenue Elementary School in North Hills, kindergartners read about rainbow fish and draw them. Other students study volcanoes, create travel journals, dance the hula and even play in a portable pool. But the students, most of them low-income English learners, are also learning literacy, math facts and science and are honing writing skills with "coaches" dressed in leis, tropical shirts and grass skirts. Melding education with typical summer fun, the program is part of a statewide campaign aimed at combating a growing problem known as the "summer slide," the loss of academic skills during the vacation months. Decades of research, including a new study by the Rand Corp., has documented that children lose two to three months of reading and math skills while on break and that the problem is particularly acute for lower-income children with limited access to travel, museums, libraries and other enriching experiences. To read more, click here


State Consortium Scales Back Common-Test Design

A student-achievement test under consideration by nearly half the states has been redesigned to ease their concerns that it would cost too much, shape curriculum, and eat up too much instructional time. The change was announced last week by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, one of two state consortia using federal Race to the Top funds to craft shared assessments. The tests are for the common academic standardsin mathematics and English/language arts that most states have adopted. Currently, 24 states and the District of Columbia belong to PARCC. Thirty belong to the other group, theSMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium. More than half the states in each group have pledged to use the tests, while others-including a half-dozen that belong to both groups-are still weighing their options. To read more, click here


Is There a Link Between Obesity, Chronic Illness and Bullying?

Children who are overweight or obese are more likely to be victimized by bullying when compared to children who are not overweight. The findings, to be presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care, held at the University of Bristol, explore the prevalence of overweight and obesity in nine-year-olds and its associations with chronic illness and bullying. Childhood obesity is a major personal, family and public health challenge. Weight problems and obesity in children has increased dramatically throughout Europe in the past two decades. In addition to the increased likelihood of adult obesity with its associated health risks, serious short-term physical and psychosocial consequences endanger the well-being of an affected child. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....

Neither federal nor state regulations provide a regulatory definition for the term "placement", but the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has provided some clarity regarding what constitutes placement. It has stated that placement involves the substance of the student's IEP, the services, the supports, or any other aspect of a free appropriate public education (FAPE)-that is, the program itself; not just the physical location or setting.


White House Reaches Out to Disability Advocate

With Medicaid on the table as budget talks heat up, the White House is initiating meetings with disability advocacy groups and families to discuss the program's impact on everyday Americans. Advocates from The Arc brought families from Virginia, Georgia, Texas and West Virginia to speak with four senior White House officials for one hour Wednesday in the first of the meetings. "It was really clear that they were moved by what they heard," said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc, about the reaction from Obama administration officials in attendance. The family members talked of having to quit jobs to care for loved ones and reaching limits on their private insurance policies due to the costs associated with particular disabilities, Berns said. 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:

Roberta Star Schryver, Tammy M. Beach, Deanna Krieg, Peggy Guenther, Jessica Ulmer, Joan Manchester, Andra Hall, Christie Miller, Cynthia Bell, and Kim Shovah

who knew that accommodations are changes in course presentation, location, and timing that do not fundamentally alter or lower the standard or expectations. Modifications are changes that fundamentally alter or lower the standard or expectations of the learning activity.

THE TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK WILL RETURN ON AUGUST 5, 2011


GOP Proposes Unprecedented Flexibility in Education Spending

States and districts would get unprecedented leeway to move around federal money under the latest in a series of bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. But themeasure is already being decried by a top Democrat as a "backdoor" way to dismantle the U.S. Department of Education and as an attack on students' civil rights. The bill, introduced today by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, envisions a very different role for the federal government when it comes to telling states and districts how to spend their money. Instead of directing states and districts to spend a certain amount on a particular population-say, English-language learners-states and districts could move the dollars out of that program and spend them on a wide range of activities authorized under the ESEA (whose current version is No Child Left Behind). To read more,click here


Google Plus: Is This the Social Tool Schools Have Been Waiting For?

There seem to be three forces at play when it comes to education and social media. The first is a lack of force, quite frankly - the inertia that makes many educators unwilling and uninterested in integrating the technology into their classrooms. The second is the force of fear - the pressures on the part of administrators, district officials, and politicians to curtail and ban teacher and students' interactions online. (See Rhode Island's recently passed legislation thatoutlaws all social media on school grounds as a case in point.) And finally, the third force is that of more and more educators who are embracing social media and advocating its use on- and off-campus - for student learning and for teacher professional development alike. I spent this past week with many of those teachers at the International Society for Technology in Educationconference in Philadelphia, and when Google unveiled Google+ on Tuesday, most of us were otherwise preoccupied. But now that many of the early tech adopter teachers are getting their Google+ invites, the question on their minds is "How will this work for education?" To read more, click here


Social Networking: Controlling Your Online Reputation & Cyber Disclosure

Last week, the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) joined the social networking site Facebook ("Like" us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on this blog and other news from NCWD/Youth), becoming one of its 600 million plus users worldwide. We're jumping on the social networking bandwagon because, like many people and organizations, we want to connect with others. We also want to share information about our work that others can use. Facebook and other social networking sites make it easy to connect not only with your friends, old and new, but also with friends of friends and organizations, businesses, and causes that match your personal and professional interests. Facebook is also a fun and convenient way to share information about yourself that you want others to know, like what music, books, and movies you like, the places you've traveled to, and where you live, go to school, or work. To read more, click here


Breastfeeding Does Not Protect Against Multiple Sclerosis Relapses, Study Suggests

New research finds breastfeeding doesn't appear to protect against multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses, despite previous studies suggesting there may be a protective role. The research is published in the July 6, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Breastfeeding should not be encouraged by doctors to protect against MS relapses, especially among women with MS who have high disease activity and high risk of postpartum relapses," said study author Emilio Portaccio, MD, of the University of Florence in Italy. "Since it is not considered safe for women to take MS drugs while breastfeeding, breastfeeding may not be feasible for these women who may need to resume treatment to avoid relapses soon after giving birth." To read more, click here


Welcome to Morgan's Wonderland ... Where Everyone Can Play!

The inspiration for Morgan's Wonderland originated in 2006 when philanthropist Gordon Hartman observed a poignant occurrence involving his daughter Morgan, a child with special needs, and a group of other children. All were on vacation splashing in a hotel swimming pool. Morgan appeared as if she wanted to take part in the fun, and the others exhibited similar interest in interacting with Morgan. Unfortunately, the connection never materialized. Hartman thought then and there how wonderful it would be to create a special place for special friends. It would be an environment for inclusion and understanding. It would be an oasis for those needing a safe place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Hartman quickly learned that millions of children and adults with cognitive and physical challenges generally do not have access to facilities specifically established to assist them in enjoying outdoor activities. Thus, Morgan's Wonderland began with a desire to re-image the possibilities of what an inclusive park could be, if everyone were free to soar beyond their perceived limitations. This colorful and ultra-accessible 25-acre park serves as a haven not only for those with special needs but also for their families, friends and the entire community. To read more, click here


Target to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit

Target Corporation will pay $160,000 to settle a federal lawsuit claiming that the retail giant failed to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with developmental disabilities. Target hired Jeremy Schott to work part-time in an Orange County, Calif. store in 2002. Due to cerebral palsy and intellectual disability, Schott needed assistance from a job coach at times. But in a 2009 lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that Target failed to ensure that Schott had a job coach with him during work meetings. To read more,

click here


Thinking Globally to Improve Mental Health

Mental health experts are calling for a greater world focus on improving access to care and treatment for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders, as well as increasing discoveries in research that will enable this goal to be met. The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health Initiative, led by the National Institutes of Health and the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, has identified the top 40 barriers to better mental health around the world. Similar to past grand challenges, which focused on infectious diseases and chronic, noncommunicable diseases, this initiative seeks to build a community of funders dedicated to supporting research that will significantly improve the lives of people living with MNS disorders within the next 10 years. To read more, click here

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NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -

Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Member

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


Leaving Anger on the Field: Statistics Show That Sports Help Ease Aggression in Boys

We know that physical education teaches children about fitness and encourages them to live a healthy lifestyle. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher has statistical evidence that sports participation is also beneficial to a child's cognitive, emotional and behavioral well-being. Keren Shahar, a Ph.D. student at Tel Aviv University's Bob Shapell School of Social Work working under the supervision of Prof. Tammie Ronen and Prof. Michael Rosenbaum, says that over the course of her study, which included 649 children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, a continuous program of various sports helped improve self-control and discipline and lowered feelings of aggression in the children overall. To read more, click here


Prenatal Antidepressants Linked To Autism

Use of antidepressants during pregnancy is twice as likely to result in a diagnosis of autism or a related disorder for a child, says a new study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. A Health.com report stated the study, published in Online First in the Archives of General Psychiatry, is the first to examine the relationship between antidepressants and autism risk. Lisa A. Croen of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, Calififornia led the study. Croen told Health.com, ""This is the first study of its kind to look at the association, and the findings have to be interpreted with a lot of caution. We can't detect causality from one study." To read more, click here


Shire Files Lawsuit to Stop Generic ADHD Student Mental Health: 'Need Far Outweighs Resources'Drug


 

 

 

 

 

Irish pharmaceutical company Shire PLC said Thursday it sued two generic drugmakers to prevent approval of a new version of its attention deficit disorder drug Vyvanse. Shire

said it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Roxane Laboratories Inc.  The company said the Food and Drug Administration will not approve the generic until Aug. 23, 2014 unless a district court overturns the patent supporting the drug or finds that the generic does not infringe on Shire's patent. Vyvanse is approved to treat ADHD in adults and in adolescents as young as 13. It is Shire's biggest-selling product, and most sales are made in the U.S. Shire reported a total of $623.4 million in Vyvanse revenue in 2010 and said the drug had a 15 percent share of the U.S. market. To read more, click here


Student Mental Health: 'Need Far Outweighs Resources'

With nearly one in six students exhibiting mental health problems and fewer specialists to monitor their behavior, Madison Wisconsin school and community leaders are launching new efforts to better treat student mental health. The Madison school district is expanding services this fall, and Superintendent Dan Nerad is calling for a task force from the broader community, including health care providers, to review the issue and devise solutions. "The need far outweighs the resources that are currently available," Nerad said. To read more, click here


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

"If you don't have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over"

John Wooden

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