Week in Review - September 9, 2011



WEEK IN REVIEW

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

September 9, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 32




 

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In This Issue

New This Week on NASET

Education Department Announces Regulations to Improve Outcomes for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
ADHD Rises 32% Among Children and Teens.
Online Ed Passes Grade For Many K-12 Students
Anger in ADHD and Temper-Reducing Tools
Findings May Prevent Oxygen Deprived Fetal Brain Damage
Statewide Workshops in Alabama Focus on Transition to Adulthood for Students with Disabilities
Why Are More Black Students Placed In Special Education?
New Hope for Early Autism Diagnosis via Brain Maps
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Job Gains Seen For People With Disabilities
AAPD Commends FCC for Reinstating Television Video Description
Back to School: Are We Leaving Gifted Students Behind?
Housing Discrimination Complaints Based On Disability Up
An 'Unconventional' Path to Correcting Cystic Fibrosis
Autism Rates Quadruple in California Local Schools Over Last Decade
Massachusetts Special Education Funds Misspent, Auditor Calls For Collaborative Reform
Family Seeks Millions from Obstetrician, Ultrasound
Infants Trained to Concentrate Show Added Benefits

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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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New This Week on NASET

NASET Practical Teacher


United States History Brain Efficient Word Lists for Word Sorts, Puzzles, and More

"More than two thirds of eighth and twelfth graders read at less than a proficient level, and half of those are so far behind that they drop off the scale entirely, scoring below what the US Department of Education defines as its most basic level." In a typical high-poverty urban school half of incoming ninth graders read at a sixth or seventh grade level or below.

Reading instruction generally is not available to middle and high school students. When it is available it typically does not address the vocabulary and concepts contained in content area classes such as history, science, and English. For most students the content area teacher is the only hope of literacy improvement to access success in content area classes. Yet most content area teachers have not been trained as reading teachers, and they must cover ambitious mandated curriculum standards. Content area teachers are left to find ways to adapt to the ever widening range of reading and vocabulary levels within their classes.

Rejecting the common assumption that by middle school and high school it is too late to help struggling readers, "United States History Brain Efficient Word Lists for Word Sorts, Puzzles, and More" author Matthew J. Glavach, Ph.D., offers a literacy approach based on current reading brain research. The approach, which he calls parallel reading intervention, organizes important content area vocabulary words into logical brain efficient word lists that make learning the words much easier. Students improve spelling, word attack, and vocabulary skills while improving their ability to succeed in the content area classes such as history. The focus of this issue of NASET's Practical Teacher will be to describe the approach, and includes extensive brain efficient word lists for United States history.


To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
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Parent Teacher Conference Handout

What is a Portfolio Assessment

There are many techniques special education teachers use to evaluate the progress and learning issues of a student in his or her classroom. These techniques are usually referred to as non standardized forms of assessment. One of the most popular types of classroom assessment is called a portfolio assessment. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout will explain this type of classroom assessment to parents who may not be aware of the purpose and use of such a technique.
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)

Education Department Announces Regulations to Improve Outcomes for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and Their Families

This past week, the U.S. Department of Education  released the final regulations for the early intervention program under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These final regulations will help improve services and outcomes for America's infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.  Part C is a $436 million program administered by states that serves infants and toddlers through age 2 with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays.  The final Part C regulations incorporate provisions in the 2004 amendments to Part C of the IDEA. Additionally, the final regulations provide states with flexibility in some areas, while ensuring state accountability to improve results and providing needed services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The regulations focus on measuring and improving outcomes for the approximately 350,000 children served by the Part C program with the goal of ensuring that such children are ready for preschool and kindergarten.  To read more, click here



ADHD Rises 32% Among Children and Teens

The number of U.S. children ages 5 to 17 diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder climbed about 32% during the past decade, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows. Nearly 1 in 10 children (about 4.7 million) had the disorder in 2007-09, according to the report issued Aug. 18 by the National Center for Health Statistics. The figure went from 7% in 1998-2000 to 9% in 2007-09. The rise probably is due to the public's increased awareness of the disorder and greater familiarity among physicians about how to diagnose it, said pediatrician and lead study author Lara J. Akinbami, MD. "It doesn't really matter why the prevalence is increasing," she said. "The fact is there is a greater demand being placed on education and health care resources" because of the rise in ADHD rates. To read more, click here



Online Ed Passes Grade For Many K-12 Students

For kids who can't or don't want to be in traditional public school classrooms, cyberspace is an alternative - and it's free. Online public K-12 programs are increasing, says Bill Tucker, managing director of Education Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit education policy think tank. "It's definitely growing very quickly," Tucker said. "We're seeing more students accessing online courses, and more school districts and states offering them." Programs can be part time or full time. They can be fully online or "blended," a combination of online and face-to-face. And there's everything in-between, Tucker says. Ten-year-old Adam Bohanon-Mullett's parents are happy with their decision to educate him and his two sisters through the California Virtual Academies.  The Hesperia, Calif., fifth-grader, who has muscular dystrophy, has been in the online program since kindergarten. He loves it, says his mother, Sandy Bohanon-Mullett.  To read more, click here



Did You Know That....

Under IDEIA, the "least restrictive environment", or LRE, requires that each public agency ensure that: To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children without disabilities.


Anger in ADHD and Temper-Reducing Tools to Help

 

People with ADHD tend to have issues with anger for several reasons, said clinical psychologist Ari Tuckman, PsyD, and author of More Attention, Less Deficit: Successful Strategies for Adults with ADHD. One contributing factor is neurology. "People with ADHD tend to feel and express their emotions more strongly," he said. Comorbidity with depression and anxiety also is common, and, as a result, leaves individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) feeling "more irritable, emotional and angry." Plus, the intrusive symptoms of ADHD don't exactly lend themselves to a relaxed disposition. Problems with planning, for instance, make people feel overwhelmed, and, in turn, triggers negative emotions, Tuckman said.

 

This constant state of overwhelm just fuels the fire. "Feeling chronically overwhelmed can certainly shorten someone's fuse," he said. Also, "people with ADHD may feel like they need to defend themselves or justify their actions too often and thereby react more angrily than they otherwise would." To read more, click here


Findings May Prevent Oxygen Deprived Fetal Brain Damage

Scientists have identified a signaling molecule that plays a mediating role in the damage of fetal brains due to a lack of oxygen. They say that this is a step towards preventing such brain damage, which can lead to a variety of physical and mental problems including mental retardation, epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism and cerebral palsy. There are many possible causes of hypoxia, including smoking, exposure to smoke and carbon monoxide, disruption of blood flow, choking, diseases causing paralysis of the breathing muscles such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), high altitudes, pressure on the windpipe, strangulation and physical injuries, cardiac arrests and drug overdose. Now, researchers have identified a signaling molecule that is involved in this damage, moving closer towards the prevention of the problem To read more,click here


Statewide Workshops in Alabama Focus on Transition to Adulthood for Students with Disabilities

For the first time, several state organizations have teamed up to offer a series of workshops to help families of students with disabilities transition to society after high school. Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, Family Voices of Alabama and Children's Rehabilitation Services have partnered to hold "What's Next" workshops. Patricia Switzer, Family Voices of Alabama family resource specialist, said the effort has been at least 18 months in the making and was made possible because of a grant from the Alabama Council of Developmental Disabilities. The workshops will take place in Tuscaloosa but be transmitted live through interactive video conferencing to eight locations throughout the state. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....

According to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, schools are responsible for ensuring that students with disabilities make Adequate Yearly Progress. One component of implementing IDEA and NCLB legislation is determining effective practices to educate students with disabilities in general education classes alongside their peers without disabilities

Why Are More Black Students Placed In Special Education?

In 2007 eight families in Ardmore, Pennsylvania filed a civil suit against the Lower Merion School District claiming that Black students were disproportionately placed in special education and low-level classes. A year prior the Educational Researcher published a four page report by Wanda J. Blanchett who argued race is a factor when placing Black students in special education classes. The findings of this study along with the pending civil suit against Lower Merion School District are prime examples of why parents must be vigilant in their child's education. Parents need to also be advocates for their children to keep this sort of wrongful categorization from happening.  To read more, click here


New Hope for Early Autism Diagnosis via Brain Maps

The brains of children with autism have a distinctive topography that a team of Stanford scientists was able to capture using new imaging techniques, with the hope of someday creating a template for the autistic brain that could be used to diagnose kids at a very early age.

 

Detailed, computerized analyses of MRI scans showed a pattern of organization, especially in regions of the brain dedicated to communication and self-awareness, that was particular to children with autism, according to the new research, which was published online Friday in the journal Biological Psychiatry.  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: Lois Nembhard, Chaya Tabor, Jennifer Kiernan, Heather Shyrer, Jessica L. Ulmer, Nicole Singh, Karen Lieuallen, and Catherine Cardenas who knew the correct answer to last week's trivia question was:  Schaffer v.Weast

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:

Within the framework of the least restrictive environment and the continuum of placement options available to children with special needs, which educational placement is considered the "most restrictive"?

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


Job Gains Seen For People With Disabilities

Despite the economy adding no new jobs in August, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities dipped after hovering near record high levels for much of the summer.  The U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that the jobless rate fell to 16.1 percent for those with disabilities in August. That's down from 16.8 percent the previous month and a record-tying rate of 16.9 percent in June.  The improvement came as the economy as a whole added zero new jobs for the month and unemployment for the general population remained steady at 9.1 percent.  To read more, click here



AAPD Commends FCC for Reinstating Television Video Description

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) commends the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for releasing rules reinstating video description of television. Video description makes television programs accessible to people with visual disabilities by providing narrated descriptions of a program's key visual elements inserted into natural pauses in the TV program's dialogue. The rules will go into effect in July of 2012.

"This is a huge victory for accessibility," said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. "The FCC's decision will make television more accessible for millions of Americans," he added.

The FCC's decision reinstates rules that the FCC adopted in 2000 and that a federal court struck down in 2002. To read more, click here



Back to School: Are We Leaving Gifted Students Behind?

Ian McKeachie is a freckled 15-year-old who "drifted along" in elementary school. Not because he didn't love to learn or because it wasn't a good school, but because he mastered new concepts so quickly that the classroom work presented no challenge.  "My teachers would usually use me as a tutor for the other kids," he says, "so I was engaged in school, just not in a way that had me learning."  Ian had hit a sort of "class ceiling" - the limits advanced students often encounter in an education system that groups kids by age and gives teachers little training or time to cater to individual needs.  To read more, click here

Housing Discrimination Complaints Based On Disability Up

Nearly half of all housing discrimination complaints last year were based on disability, the federal government said in a report released this week.  Of the 10,155 complaints of housing discrimination filed with local, state and federal agencies in 2010, 4,839 were allegations of disability discrimination.  Meanwhile, the next highest number of complaints were on the basis of race with 3,483 grievances filed, according to an annual report on the state of fair housing from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  There were less than half that many filings in each of the other six categories available.  To read more, click here

An 'Unconventional' Path to Correcting Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers have identified an unconventional path that may correct the defect underlying cystic fibrosis, according to a report in the September 2nd issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication. This new treatment dramatically extends the lives of mice carrying the disease-associated mutation.  Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a mutation in a gene responsible for the transport of ions across cell membranes. This gene encodes a protein channel, called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator or CFTR, that is normally found on the surfaces of cells lining the airway and intestine. In patients with the disease, the channels don't make it from inside cells to their surfaces along the standard path. As a result ions and fluids fail to move in and out of cells as they should, causing mucus build-up and chronic lung infections.  To read more, click here


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NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -

Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members

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


Autism Rates Quadruple in California Local Schools Over Last Decade

A decade ago, fewer than 500 students in Sacramento County schools were placed in special education due to autism. By 2011, that number had risen to 2,275 -- about one of every 105 pupils, according to state data released last week. Children with autism-spectrum disorders often have trouble socializing and communicating. They frequently engage in repetitive behavior. Nationwide increases in autism diagnoses have been attributed to increased awareness and changing definitions of the disorder. Whether autism is actually more prevalent -- as opposed to just more frequently diagnosed -- is a matter of controversy. To read more, click here



Did You Know That....

IDEIA guarantees students with disabilities the right to be educated with their peers in the general education classroom to the maximum extent appropriate. The IEP team determines the supports and accommodations necessary for successful participation in the general education classroom and other special education services as needed.

Massachusetts Special Education Funds Misspent, Auditor Calls For Collaborative Reform

Massachusetts' state auditor is calling for sweeping reform of oversight and financial accountability for the state's 30 special education agencies after her office found that several of the collaboratives had misused millions of public dollars.  An audit of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative, READS Collaborative and the Southeastern Massachusetts Education Collaborative by State Auditor Suzanne Bump revealed patterns of lavish spending and salaries, conflicts of interest and overall systemic problems in standards, oversight and accountability.  The agencies provide educational tools and services for special needs students to 32 school districts across the state, serving about 8,500 students, according to the Office of the State Auditor. The three audited agencies collectively earn $31 million annually.  To read more, click here



Family Seeks Millions from Obstetrician, Ultrasound  Clinics after Son Born with Disabilities

At age 3, Bryan Santana is too young to tell his mother what it's like to see other children chasing each other or tossing a ball, knowing he can't join them. But, she said, she knows her son, who was born with one leg and arms that end mere inches from his shoulders, gets frustrated. "He sees kids running and playing. He looks like he wants to do the same, but he just can't," a teary-eyed Ana Mejia told a Palm Beach County Circuit Court jury Wednesday.

Mejia's emotional testimony came on the second day of trial in her multi-million-dollar lawsuit, accusing Palm Beach Gardens obstetrician Dr. Marie Morel and two ultrasound clinics of negligence for not warning her and her husband of their unborn son's disabilities. Had she known, she said, she would have terminated the pregnancy rather than subject Bryan to what she believes will be a life of physical and psychological pain and untold hardship. To read more,click here

Infants Trained to Concentrate Show Added Benefits

Although parents may have a hard time believing it, even infants can be trained to improve their concentration skills. What's more, training babies in this way leads to improvements on other, unrelated tasks.  The findings reported online on Sept. 1 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, are in contrast to reports in adults showing that training at one task generally doesn't translate into improved performance on other, substantially different tasks. They also may have important implications for improving success in school, particularly for those children at risk of poor outcomes, the researchers say.  To read more, click here



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

Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.
Colleen Wilcox


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