Week in Review - October 21, 2011

WEEK IN REVIEW

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

October 21, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 38

 

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In This Issue

 

New This Week on NASET

Guideline Calls for Pre-K ADHD Evaluation
Majority of States Say They'll Seek Waivers Under NCLB
Compassion Vital for Those with Autism
Bipolar Disorder Risk Factors Found in Families
Crime Odds Nearly Double For People With Disabilities
St. Louis Magnet School Program Breeding Success
Linking Neuroscience to Special Education
Noven Files Patent Suit Against Watson Over Daytrana Copy
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Early Detection of Autism May Lead to Better Interventions
One-on-One Speech Therapy Goes Digital.
Why Johnny Won't Go to School
Opinion:...Why Gifted Education Misses Out
Use of Asthma Controller Meds on the Rise Among U.S. Kids
Online Educators Gaining Both Classes and Critics
Online Educators Gaining Both Classes and Critics
Advocates Fear Plan To Curb 'Teaching To The Test' May Backfire
Kindergarteners at the Keyboard
New iPhone a Breakthrough for People Who are Blind
Autism Can Be Diagnosed in Down Syndrome

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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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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.

 

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New This Week on NASET

Genetics in Special Education Series

Genetic disorders presented in this issue:

Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Factor V Leiden thrombophilia.
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IEP Components


Special Education

The IEP must contain a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child. That's three separate, distinct, and critical elements-special education, related services, and supplementary aids and services-and each is worthy of a book on its own. The focus of this issue of NASET's IEP Components series will be on the critical element of special education. -

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Guideline Calls for Pre-K ADHD Evaluation

Primary care physicians should begin evaluating children for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder at age four and continue through age 18, according to a new clinical guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics. An accumulation of evidence in recent years has enabled diagnosis and management of ADHD in a broader pediatric population. Earlier versions of the guidelines covered children ages 6 to 12. "There was enough evidence that we could feel comfortable about the criteria being appropriate for preschoolers and that the process for making the diagnosis was similar enough to what primary care physicians were doing with the elementary school-age children that it would be appropriate to recommend their diagnosing to four years of age," said Mark Wolraich, MD, of the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, and chair of the writing committee for the updated guideline. To read more, click here

Majority of States Say They'll Seek Waivers Under NCLB

A majority of states have officially signaled that they plan to seek newly offered flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act, but more than a dozen remain undecided, as state officials pore over strings the U.S. Department of Education will attach to the waivers. Seventeen states told the Education Department by the Oct. 12 deadline that they were ready to submit their applications for a waiver by the first-round Nov. 14 deadline, and another 22 would-be applicants, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, said they would seek the flexibility during a second round in mid-February. And two states, Connecticut and Oregon, said they want waivers but didn't indicate when they would apply. States can still change their minds: The notices they submitted-or didn't submit-to the department are a courtesy heads-up and are not binding. To read more, click here

Compassion Vital for Those with Autism

Felicia Jervis believes compassion and peace can ease the lives of people living with autism.

"Life is very difficult for a child or adult with autism," the social worker and educator said Friday. She was the final speaker in the day's lineup at the Changing the Course of Autism Conference 2011. Jervis said caregivers and educators can ease that suffering by showing greater compassion and a peaceful demeanor as opposed to taking a punitive approach when children - or adults - with autism act out. Too often, she said, the focus is on getting autistic children to conform to classroom and social norms, when those energies may be better spent understanding the cause of the behavior as opposed to the effect. "Kids can learn quite a bit ... without being appropriate," she said, before asking: "How easy is it to sit still when you can't?" To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Where parents are divorced, the question of which parent exercises rights under IDEA is a question of the judicial order in the divorce.

Bipolar Disorder Risk Factors Found in Families

Children who grow up in families where other mental disorders are present - such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or anxiety - appear to be at greater risk for developingbipolar disorder later in life, according to new research. Researchers still do not know what causes bipolar disorder, although it is argued that family history is presently the strongest predictive factor for being diagnosed with bipolar. If an older relative has bipolar disorder, you are at greater risk for developing it. In the present longitudinal study, led by John Nurnberger from the Indiana University School of Medicine, examined the lifetime prevalence and early clinical predictors for psychiatric disorders in 141 high-risk children and adolescents from families with a history of bipolar disorder. To read more, click here

Crime Odds Nearly Double For People With Disabilities

Even as violent crime declined significantly in 2010, people with disabilities continued to be victims almost twice as often as those without special needs. The findings come from an annualreport released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics showing that Americans with disabilities age 12 and older experienced more than 567,000 nonfatal violent crimes like rape, robbery and assault in 2010. That's down 25 percent compared to 2009 when over 753,000 crimes involving this population were reported. To read more, click here

St. Louis Magnet School Program Breeding Success

With its long-standing reputation as a standout St. Louis magnet school, Kennard Classical Junior Academy easily made the list of those Irene Chou and her husband are considering for their 3-year-old son, Isaac. For years, Kennard has served as an academic lifeboat within the struggling St. Louis Public Schools, attracting city parents such as Chou who might otherwise choose a private school or migrate to the suburbs. The district has tried to make its other magnet schools as desirable as Kennard, McKinley middle and Metro High but has largely failed. And yet, on a recent afternoon, Chou found herself drawn by word of mouth to an open house for another St. Louis magnet school, Mallinckrodt Academy. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

IDEA has, as a central theme, the involvement of the parents in virtually every major decision affecting the education of their child. If the child, for one reason or another, does not have a parent or the parent cannot be located, the educational agency is responsible for appointing a surrogate parent.

Linking Neuroscience to Special Education

Developments in neuroscience could provide new insights into teaching students with disabilities, but more needs to be done to connect scientists studying the brain and educators, says a newpolicy analysis. Published by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, the analysis highlights several examples of the promise of brain research in the lives of students with disabilities. In the area of dyslexia, for example, brain imaging could help distinguish among students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, cognitive impairments, and limited language exposure. Teachers with this information could determine which types of students would respond best to which therapies. To read more, click here

Noven Files Patent Suit Against Watson Over Daytrana Copy

Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co.'s Noven Pharmaceuticals unit sued Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. to prevent it from selling a generic version of Daytrana, a skin patch for children with attention deficit disorder. Watson is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a copy of Daytrana, according to the complaint filed today in federal court in Newark, New Jersey. Miami-based Noven said the Watson version would infringe two patents and seeks a court order to prevent sales until the patents expire in 2018. 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 Joanie Dikeman who knew that the answer to last week's trivia question was: "Expert Witness Testimony" (The question was:  According to the latest research in special education law, what is the single largest expense for parents and attorneys associated with litigation in special education?)

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:

Before a long-term suspension or expulsion can be initiated within a school system for a student with a disability, what must an IEP Team conduct ?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

Early Detection of Autism May Lead to Better Interventions

New research is finding symptoms of autism spectrum disorders in babies as young as 12 months, raising the possibility that earlier intervention may even stop them from developing the disorder, according to an autism researcher at Michigan State University. "In the field, there's this new excitement," said clinical psychologist Dr. Brooke Ingersoll of Michigan State University. "We're starting to get a picture of what autism looks like in the first years of life." Because autism normally isn't diagnosed until a child starts to show delays in talking and other milestones that typically occur after age 2, it's been difficult to look at what children are like in the first years of life. Until recently, scientists have only been able to learn about the children's behavior as an infant and toddler by asking their parents, and sometimes looking at home movies. To read more, click here

One-on-One Speech Therapy Goes Digital

Reece Barnes meets with his speech therapist every week. He walks down the hallway at his rural Burney, Calif., school and chats with her one-on-one, even though she is four hours away in another part of the state. Reece, who's 8 and has a lisp, and his sister Alexis, 12, who has partial deafness in one ear, have communicated with their therapist entirely online since the 1,150-student Fall River Joint Unified School District changed the way it provides speech therapy. The California district joined other schools nationwide that are now employing sometimes hard-to-find therapists via live, interactive computer sessions. The use of online speech therapy is growing, said Janet Brown, the director of health-care services in speech-language pathology for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, based in Rockville, Md. The organization endorses online or teletherapy as long as the quality of the service is the same as for in-person therapy, said Deborah Dixon, the director of school services for ASHA. To read more, click here

Why Johnny Won't Go to School: Kids Plagued by Physical Complaints on Weekdays May Have a 'School Avoidance' Problem

The symptoms aren't often alarming: headache, stomachache, fatigue. But they tend to come on weekdays, specifically when your child should be heading off to school. Psychologists call it school avoidance, and it can take different forms in many age groups. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but school avoidance "remains a serious problem," said Alan Hilfer, director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. "We are more attuned to this and more aware of factors possibly affecting school attendance." School professionals are also able to offer more support nowadays, he said. Frequently, kids who avoid school are reacting to pressure, either real or perceived. "There's tremendous pressure . . . in academics, appearance, activities," said Mark Goldstein, a child clinical psychologist in Chicago. "A lot of times kids are just overwhelmed . . . And if a child has a proclivity towards anxiety, especially a genetic predisposition, there's a greater likelihood of anxiety being precipitated." To read more,click here

Opinion: Why Gifted Education Misses Out

Frederick M. Hess's long essay in the latest issue of the quarterly National Affairs pleased those of us who share the American Enterprise Institute scholar's dislike for politicians' fixation on closing the achievement gap. Reducing the gap sounds good until you realize that means it is okay for high achievers to stagnate so that low achievers can catch up. I have been venting about this for several years and getting only puzzled looks. Hess's piece - the most detailed and vehement ever on the subject - will hopefully lead to more discussion of better ways to deal with the different average achievement levels of poor kids and affluent kids. I think we have borrowed language from another issue, the income gap, and shoved it into the education debate, where it doesn't belong. Making money and learning about the world are not similar enterprises. If someone accumulates $1 billion and spends it on Rolls-Royces and gold bathroom fixtures, that is very different from fixating on learning something new about solar energy and making the world a cleaner place. To read more, click here

Use of Asthma Controller Meds on the Rise Among U.S. Kids

The percentage of children with asthma in the United States who use a prescription "controller" medicine has nearly doubled since the late 1990s, a new federal government report finds. The analysis of data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey showed that the use of controller drugs by these children increased from 29 percent in 1997-1998 to 58 percent in 2007-2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Asthma controller drugs include: corticosteroids, which control inflammation and reduce the risk of airway spasms; beta-2-agonists, which make breathing easier; and leukotrienes, which help prevent asthma symptoms from occurring. To read more, click here

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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

Online Educators Gaining Both Classes and Critics

The school day was difficult, said Will Clarkston, a soft-spoken 20-year-old who, in his own words, can't sit still. His dyslexia sometimes leaves him grasping to text the right acronym to his friends. He often loses his train of thought because of his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Though he graduated from a public high school here two years ago, he was not prepared to go to college. "The maturity level, his frustration threshold - he just was not ready," said his mother, Carol Clarkston. Six weeks ago Mr. Clarkston began taking online courses in financial management. Now, he can have his course materials read to him. Or, when his mind wanders, he can hit pause and take a walk. If he does not understand something, he can contact a teacher. He has done so well that he now plans to attend community college in the spring and, eventually, to open his own process-serving business. Ms. Clarkston said she has seen a transformation in his self-esteem. To read more, click here

More Children Visiting ERs for Psychiatric Care

A growing number of American children are receiving psychiatric care in hospital emergency departments, particularly children who have no insurance or are covered by Medicaid. That's the finding of a new study that examined 279 million visits made by children to U.S. emergency departments from 1999 to 2007. During that time, the rate of psychiatric visits increased from 2.4 percent to 3 percent. Underinsured children accounted for 46 percent of those visits in 1999 and 54 percent in 2007. The findings, slated to be presented Friday at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Boston, are important for a number of reasons, according to study author Dr. Zachary Pittsenbarger. As expected, the results show that psychiatric visits by children to emergency departments continue to increase. To read more, click here

Advocates Fear Plan To Curb 'Teaching To The Test' May Backfire

Days after disability advocates expressed concerns over a plan to reauthorize the nation's primary education law, a second proposal released Tuesday is also taking heat. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced legislation Tuesday to reauthorize No Child Left Behind. In a major departure from the original law, Harkin wants to scrap requirements that schools meet certain achievement standards, a provision known as adequate yearly progress. Instead, the bill would mandate that students show improvement."By getting rid of overly burdensome adequate yearly progress sanctions, this bill removes the pressure that many argued resulted in 'teaching to the test,'" Harkin wrote in an op-ed in Politico. To read more, click here

Kindergarteners at the Keyboard

First-grader Lena Barrett clicks through a series of icons and logs onto a laptop under the fluorescent lights of her classroom. Before long, a cartoon version of a game-show announcer appears. "It's time to show what you know by finding words," the announcer says. "In this game, you will click on words that mean the same thing as the word the narrator says. Click on the word that means the same thing as 'marvelous.' Lena, dressed in her school's burgundy-plaid uniform, clicks on "wonderful," and the announcer doesn't waste time with praise. "Pay attention. Go as fast as you can and do your best," he says. A few words later, she hesitates over "fragile," before finally clicking on "breakable." To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

The state may not require the participation of the parents in the educational program as a prerequisite to the provision of educational services.

New iPhone a Breakthrough for People Who are Blind

The iPhone has grabbed widespread attention for its sleek design, revolutionary multitouch display and countless apps. Not as well known is this: It's the only smartphone that blind people can use out of the box. That has local advocates downright giddy about the iPhone 4S, Apple's latest creation hitting stores today with an advanced voice-command feature called Siri.

"The blindness community is really hyped about what (the iPhone) does now and what it can do in the future," said Wes Majerus, a technology specialist and instructor at the nonprofit Colorado Center for the Blind. "There is a lot of hype about Siri." To read more, click here

Autism Can Be Diagnosed in Down Syndrome

Children with Down syndrome can be diagnosed with autism via the autism spectrum disorder criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, based on results of a cluster analysis of 293 children with Down syndrome. Previous studies have suggested that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can't be effectively diagnosed in children with Down syndrome (DS) because of the cognitive impairment already associated with DS, said Dr. N.Y. Ji of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. To read more, click here

iPod Touch Valuable Teaching, Learning Tool to Improve Literacy Skills for Students in California

A portable electronic device designed to play music has made the Escondido Union School District a model around the world for using technology to improve literacy skills. Escondido's use of the iPod Touch "has revolutionized teaching and learning in the classrooms," said Kathy Shirley, director of technology and media services. "Kids have a mini computer at their fingertips." The district's iPod program, called iRead, started in 2006 as a six-week trial with a small group of reading intervention teachers using a basic iPod with a microphone attachment.

Shirley had been using her iPod for voice memos and recording meetings. She saw the iPod had potential as a classroom tool after observing teachers conducting time-consuming reading fluency tests with students. To read more, click here

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

Wise teachers create an environment that encourages students to teach themselves.

Leonard Ray Frank

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