Week in Review - September 30, 2011

WEEK IN REVIEW

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

September 30, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 35

 

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In This Issue

New This Week on NASET


City to 'Level Playing Field' for Workers with Disabilities

Bullying in Schools: Students with Asperger's Can Find Themselves Targets


Disability Groups React to Obama's NCLB Waiver Plan

Is Having Autism a Defense For Hacking?


ADHD Symptoms May Add to Difficulties in the Quality of Life for Children with Autism

More Concern on Loosened Special Education Spending Rules


Obama Demands High Bar For Students With Disabilities

TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Revamped Special Education Program 'Continuing to Grow'.


Mother's Occupation While Pregnant Can Increase Risk of Asthma in Children

Adding Psychotherapy to Medication Treatment Improves Outcomes in Pediatric OCD


Proposal: Make Airline Sites, Kiosks Accessible to Individuals with Disabilities

Canadian Government Must Aid Children with Special Needs


Allowing Native Language in School Benefits Mexican-American Students, Researcher Finds


Careful on the Return from Head Injuries

Down Syndrome Study Finds Families Are Happy


Self-reported Mental Health Disabilities on the Rise in the U.S




Dear NASET

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW 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

IEP Components

Measuring and Reporting Data

Another component of the IEP that IDEA requires is specifying how the child's progress will be measured. This statement flows naturally out of the annual goals written for the child, which must be measurable. If you're familiar with the 1997 Amendments to IDEA, you'll recognize this component, because it is maintained under the Amendments of 2004. This issue of NASET'sIEP Component series focuses on measuring and reporting progress in a student's IEP.

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Resource Review

In this issue you will find resources in the following areas:

Assistive Technology
Bullying
Early Interventions
Families and Community
Housing and Disabilities
Postsecondary Institutions for Students with Disabilties
Soft Skills
Survey Participation.
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Special Educator e-Journal


In this issue:

Update from the U.S. Department Education
Calls to Participate and New Projects
Special Education Resources
Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities.
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City to 'Level Playing Field' for Workers with Disabilities

A woman walked into the City/School Administration Center building downtown Tuesday morning and asked Wayne Erickson, the man at the front desk, where the Rapid City Area Schools Office of Indian Education office was."Third floor," he said right away, without having to consult a map or list, even though he's been on the job just a few weeks. Even if he had a map, it would be of no use. Erickson is blind, and has had to memorize the location of the dozens of offices inside the three-story government office building. He said he was happy to take on the challenge and is grateful for his new job, one that lets him interact with the public and feel like he's making a valuable contribution to the community. The city may soon be offering more opportunities to workers with disabilities as part of a new effort from Mayor Sam Kooiker. To read more, click here


Bullying in Schools: Students with Asperger's Can Find Themselves Targets

"What year did `Taxi Driver' come out?" Dan Comeau asks his son, Teagen. Teagen, 13, has never seen it. He pauses for a minute, but then says, "1979." Teagen has memorized an encyclopedia's worth of trivia about films. It's one of the classic characteristics of Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. He and his twin brother, Tyler, of Bridgeport who entered Bassick High School this August, develop almost obsessive interests in different subjects. But along with their proclivity for learning comes difficulties with social relationships and handling anxiety. This has made them targets for bullies. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

An asthma attack happens in a child's body's airways, which are the paths that carry air to the lungs. As the air moves through the lungs, the airways become smaller, like the branches of a tree are smaller than the tree trunk. During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways in the child's lungs swell and the airways shrink. Less air gets in and out of the lungs, and mucus that the body produces clogs up the airways even more. The attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. Some people call an asthma attack an episode.


Disability Groups React to Obama's NCLB Waiver Plan

How will states evaluate the teachers of children with disabilities, students who often have more than one teacher? And will states get a pass from paying attention to some students with disabilities at some struggling schools? These are among the concerns raised by advocates of students with disabilities following the release Sept. 22 of details of President Barack Obama's plans to give states wiggle room (or perhaps something even more roomy) on the No Child Left Behind Act. One of the provisions, for example requires measuring educators' effectiveness based on students' growth. Some of these students may not take the standardized tests that their peers do, said Lindsay Jones, of the Council for Exceptional Children. They may work with several teachers, and the waiver proposals don't spell out what growth means. To read more,click here


Is Having Autism a Defense For Hacking?

In his new memoir released Thursday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought to explain what he called "the hacker's disease": long hours in front of a computer fueled by intense focus, endless curiosity and meticulous attention to detail. "I am - all hackers are, and I would argue all men are - a little bit autistic," Assange wrote, according to an excerpt from his autobiography, which was published without his consent. For hackers who run afoul of the law, claiming to have a form of autism has become a popular defense. It has support from some autism experts who say people with the condition are often both computer-savvy and naive, and thus should receive special legal consideration. But others are skeptical of suspected hackers claiming to be autistic -- typically after they have been arrested -- and say the condition should not be an excuse for committing a crime. To read more, click here


ADHD Symptoms May Add to Difficulties in the Quality of Life for Children with Autism

Attention and hyperactivity problems worsen quality of life for many children with autism, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from more than 2,000 children and adolescents in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network's Registry and found that more than half of them had symptoms of either attention or hyperactivity problems. More than a third had significant symptoms of both. The study also found that more than one-third of the children with an autism spectrum disorder had symptoms suggesting they may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and about 10 percent were taking stimulant medications typically used to treat ADHD. This suggests that many children with autism and ADHD symptoms are not taking medications to treat ADHD symptoms. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

A lung function test, called spirometry (spy-rom-e-tree), is another way to diagnose asthma. A spirometer (spy-rom-e-ter) measures the largest amount of air a child can exhale, or breathe out, after taking a very deep breath. The spirometer can measure airflow before and after a child uses asthma medicine.


More Concern on Loosened Special Education Spending Rules

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the federal Department of Education has given school districts rather broad permission to cut special education spending and never restore it. The move alarmed some in the special education community. But one group of objectors broke the new guidance from the Education Department down into the simplest terms I've read on this somewhat complex topic. This is how they describe how the new federal guidance redefines how school districts would be allowed to reduce their special education spending: "What would happen if you violated your lease by paying only half of your rent this month and then the next month you expected the rent to be changed to the lower amount indefinitely? The landlord would never let you be enriched by a violation in this way. You would have to go back to paying the rent you owed before you violated the lease." To read more, click here


Obama Demands High Bar For Students With Disabilities

The Obama administration will offer waivers to exempt states from some federal education requirements, so long as they agree to hold students - including those with disabilities - to high standards. Under a new plan announced Friday, President Barack Obama said that states can apply for waivers to get out of some of the most onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind. But, the waivers will be contingent on states implementing standards to ensure that all students, including those with special needs, are "college and career ready." The announcement comes amid frustration from the White House that Congress has not yet considered changes to No Child Left Behind. The law demanded higher standards for students, but critics argue that it encouraged states to lower the bar in an effort to meet requirements. 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: Jessica L. Ulmer, Lisa Rotella, Mary Korpi, Heather Shyrer, Leena Koznesoff and Debra Mueller who knew the correct answer to answer to last week's trivia question was: Rehabilitation Counseling

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), what percentage of children, ages 4-17 years of age (as of 2007), have ever been diagnosed with ADHD?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, October 3, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

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NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT

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


Revamped Special Education Program 'Continuing to Grow'

Thursday's sixth-grade language arts class at Dundee Middle School started with five minutes for students to write freely on a topic in their journals. Teacher Kristine Pizzolato brought up a five-minute timer on the interactive whiteboard at the front of the classroom. Meantime, co-teacher Judy Yuvan wrote out the writing topic on the chalkboard: "Describe a place where people congregate. Do you know what 'congregate' means?" Pizzolato added, "Use your senses. What do you see, hear, smell?" It's not all that different from the way Pizzolato and Yuvan have taught the last few years, before they became co-teachers, both agreed. They shared the same classroom at Dundee Middle years ago, Yuvan said, when teachers outnumbered classrooms at the school. And Yuvan, the learning disabilities teacher on Pizzolato's sixth-grade teaching team, always has sat in on the other teacher's classes with the students who are part of her caseload, she said. To read more, click here


Mother's Occupation While Pregnant Can Increase Risk of Asthma in Children

Mothers who are exposed to particular agents during pregnancy could give birth to children with a higher risk of asthma, according to new research. The study was presented Sept. 26 at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam. It is well known that when people are exposed to certain substances and chemicals it can cause asthma. However, there has been little research investigating whether a mother's work exposure during pregnancy can lead to asthma in their children. This research, carried out by scientists in Denmark, included 42,696 children from the Danish National Birth Cohort and assessed the association between their mother's occupation and asthma prevalence among the children at the age of 7 yrs. The main focus of the study was on the effect of low molecular weight agents, such as synthetic chemicals and natural substances. This includes those found in vehicle parts, furniture, shoe soles, paints, varnish, glues and wood-derived products. To read more, click here


Adding Psychotherapy to Medication Treatment Improves Outcomes in Pediatric OCD

Several studies have shown that, among adults with OCD, a form of CBT involving controlled exposure to feared situations plus training that helps the person refrain from compulsions is effective both alone and in combination with antidepressant medication. However, few studies of this type of combination therapy have been conducted among children. In addition, many children with OCD tend to respond only partially to antidepressant medication. Studies have found that among adults who only partially respond to antidepressant medication, adding CBT can be effective. However, until now, there have been no studies testing this same approach in youth. Martin Franklin Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, Jennifer Freeman Ph.D., of Brown University, John March M.D.,MPH, of Duke University, and colleagues set out to determine whether CBT can effectively augment antidepressant treatment in children who partially respond to the medication. Among 124 children ages 7-17, they compared three treatment options To read more, click here


Proposal: Make Airline Sites, Kiosks Accessible to Individuals with Disabilities

The Transportation Department wants to require airlines to make their websites and airport kiosks more accessible to individuals with disabilities. The proposed regulation - made last Monday following years of complaints by travelers with disabilities about getting tickets on flights - is similar to a proposal made in 2004 that airlines and travel agents resisted because of the cost and complexity of the changes. The new proposal calls for the airlines to make their websites accessible to blind people for reservations and check-ins within a year. The airlines would have two years to make the rest of their websites more accessible. Websites that market U.S. flights also would have to upgrade, although small travel agencies would be exempt. Under the proposed rule, airlines would also. To read more, click here


Canadian Government Must Aid Children with Special Needs

It's interesting to read a manual of policies and guidelines, released by the Ministry of Education just last March, on how the schooling of students with special-needs students in the province is to be dealt with. The document states in its preamble that all students in B.C., regardless of disabilities of any kind, are entitled to equitable access to learning, achievement and the "pursuit of excellence" in all aspects of their educational programs in our public schools. It's also interesting to note that at about the same time the ministry released this manual, government officials decided to conduct a random audit of the funding for special-needs students in six of the province's 60 school districts, including Nanaimo-Ladysmith. To read more, click here


Allowing Native Language in School Benefits Mexican-American Students, Researcher Finds

A new University of Missouri study shows that Mexican-American students who identify and practice speaking their native language have higher grades than those who are put in English-only environments in their schools. "A real educational disparity exists because Mexican-Americans, along with other Latinos, are now the largest minority; yet, they still have the lowest high school and college graduation rates," said David Aguayo, a doctoral student in the Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology in the College of Education. "I understand the reasons behind English-only efforts, but the research shows that if we don't accept the cultural identity of these students in our schools, such as tolerating their native language, Mexican-Americans may not succeed." To read more, click here


Careful on the Return from Head Injuries

High school athletes, kindergartners playing at recess and even junior high students practicing for a play or dance performance can get a concussion or other type of head injury. Davis School Board members recently discussed a proposal that changes the way the district deals with head injuries. Students who are injured will be pulled out of games or other activities and will not be allowed to return until they have medical clearance from their doctor. The injured student will also need clearance from school personnel, who will monitor that student's progress. Parents of all students participating in athletic activities will be required to read and sign the district's new policy. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

An asthma attack can occur when children are exposed to things in the environment, such as house dust mites and tobacco smoke. These are called asthma triggers.


Down Syndrome Study Finds Families Are Happy

Having a child with Down syndrome may come as a surprise, but it's a good experience, families are reporting in a trio of new surveys. Researchers surveyed more than 3,000 family members and people with the chromosomal disorder across the country for what's believed to be one of the largest looks at life with Down syndrome. The findings, which will be published inthree articles in the October issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics, offer a rosy picture. The vast majority of parents said they have a more positive outlook on life because of their child with Down syndrome. And, nearly 90 percent of siblings indicated that they feel like they are better people because of their brother or sister with the developmental disability. To read more, click here


Self-reported Mental Health Disabilities on the Rise in the U.S.

The number of non-elderly people in the United Stated who are reporting mental health disabilities has gone up. According to research from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health the number of self-reported mental health disabilities was 2 percent between 1997 and 1999. That figure increased to 2.7 percent between 2007 and 2009, which researchers say is almost nearly two million disabled adults. "These findings highlight the need for improved access to mental health services in our communities and for better integration of these services with primary care delivery," said Dr. Ramin Mojtabai of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "While the trend in self-reported mental health disability is clear, the causes of this trend are not well understood." To read more, click here

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

The art of teaching is assisting the art of discovery.

Mark van Doren

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