Week in Review - November 18, 2011

WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
November 18, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 42

 

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In This Issue
Oregon Enlists the iPad to Assist Voters with Physical Disabilites
Special Tax Deductions for Special Education
New York Board of Regents to Vote on Relaxing Some Special Education Requirements
Is Autism Linked to Too Many Brain Cells?
After Brain Injury, Oxygen Monitoring Vital, Study Finds
New ADHD Findings
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
N.J. Education Chief Defends Gov. Christie's Education Proposals at Teachers Convention
Smoking and Drinking in Pregnancy 'Harms 10,000 Babies in UK Each Year'
Minority Members Say Efforts to Rewrite Education Law Fail to Protect Individual with Disabilities and Minority Children
Feds: People With Disabilities Face Digital Divide
Opinion: Inclusion: The Right Thing for All Students
Space Camp for Students with Disabilities
Can Fetus Sense Mother's Psychological State? Study Suggests Yes
For Some Students with Special Needs, Inclusion is Deferred
Senators Unveil Plan To Boost Down Syndrome Research
Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders Vary Widely Across Clinics
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Dear NASET News,

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 - Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education ,  &  Genetics in Special Education Series
Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education

Disorder in this issue:
LD 9.03-Directionality Organizational Disorder
HI 1.02- Pure Word Deafness
VI 1.07- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
______________________________________________________

Genetics in Special Education Series

Genetic components presented in this issue:

Neurofibromatosis
Holoprosencephaly
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)


Oregon Enlists the iPad to Assist Voters with Physical Disabilities

Oregon was the first state in the U.S. to trial the postal vote back in 1981 and ultimately the first to conduct a federal election primarily by postal-vote. This week, the State is trialing another electoral innovation by using iPads to make voting easier for individuals with physical disabilities. According to an Associated Press report Apple donated five of its tablets for use in the trial. As part of a special election triggered by the resignation of a U.S. Representative amid a sex scandal, tablet-equipped workers scoured five counties looking for residents who would otherwise have trouble voting through the traditional mail-in ballot. Under Federal law, election officials are required to make voting equipment available so that people with disabilities can have opportunity for access and participation in the voting process. To read more, click here


Special Tax Deductions for Special Education

More than six million children in the U.S. fall into the "special needs" category, and their ranks are expanding. The number of those affected by one developmental disability alone-autism-grew more than 70% between 2005 and 2010. The tax code can help-if you know where to look. There are numerous tax breaks for education, but the most important one for many special-needs students isn't an education break per se. Instead, it falls under the medical-expense category. Although students with disabilities have a right to a "free and appropriate" public education by law, some families opt out and others pay for a range of supplemental therapies. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it possible for everyone with a disability to live a life of freedom and equality. Passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President on July 26, 1990, the ADA is the first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities.


New York Board of Regents to Vote on Relaxing Some Special Education Requirements

The State Education Department of NY is considering relaxing some requirements for how students with special needs are served, a cost-cutting bid that has advocates worried. The state has asked the Board of Regents to approve a slate of "mandate relief" measures at its monthly meeting next week. The measures that SED wants lifted include the requirement that a psychologist weigh in every time disabled students' individualized education plans are changed and the prescription of specific tests when a student who is suspected of having a disability is first evaluated. Currently, school psychologists are full-time members of special education committees that make all decisions related to a student's IEP, but the new regulation would only require them to consult on initial IEP meetings. To read more, click here


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Is Autism Linked to Too Many Brain Cells?

Scientists may be one step closer to unlocking the mystery of autism's origins. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, autism may be linked to an excess of neurons in a child's brain. "For the first time, we have the potential to understand why autism gets started," says Eric Courchesne, the study's author and a professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. Click here to a guide to the findings


After Brain Injury, Oxygen Monitoring Vital, Study Finds

Low oxygen supply (hypoxia) increases the risk of death and major disability in people who suffer a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), a new study finds. Brain oxygen levels were monitored in about 100 patients with TBI, most of whom had bleeding within the brain after serious blunt head trauma. Forty-three percent of the patients fared poorly, suffering severe disability, dying or being in a vegetative state. The greater the fall in brain oxygen levels, the higher the risk of poor results. The average length of time with brain hypoxia was 8.3 hours for patients with poor results compared to 1.7 hours for those with good results (moderate or no disability). The study appears in the November issue of the journal Neurosurgery. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....
The ADA protects the civil rights of people with disabilities in all aspects of employment, in accessing public services such as transportation, and guaranteeing access to public accommodations such as restaurants, stores, hotels and other types of buildings to which the public has access.


New ADHD Findings

Cardiff University scientists revealed last year that children with the condition, like those with autism, were more likely than unaffected individuals to carry duplicated or omitted small DNA segments known as copy number variants (CNVs). The findings suggested that rare genetic variations contribute to ADHD risk. Similar findings have been found for autism, schizophreniaand intellectual disability. Now a wider study by the same team and colleagues in Eire and Scotland has replicated the initial findings that these large, rare CNVs are more common in children with ADHD than amongst the general population. Their findings additionally suggest a more common type of genetic variant called Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) may also be relevant to ADHD risk. It has been difficult to identify specific common genetic variants for disorders like ADHD and autism. However the new study found that both rare and common types of genetic variations appeared to impact on the same biological pathways The findings suggest that different types of genetic variations impact on similar pathways that are linked to the disorder. To read more, click here


NASET Sponsor - Learning Ally

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Help Your Struggling Readers Succeed. Give your students the very best opportunity to succeed by providing access to specially formatted audio textbooks and literature titles from Learning Ally. Our audiobooks remove barriers to content so your students can read independently and stay on track with their schoolwork. Learning Ally audiobooks are affordable and easy to download and play on a laptop, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and other mainstream devices.  Join Today!


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, Joanie Dikeman, Tara Truman, Karen Bornholm, Maricel T. Bustos, Julia Godfrey, Laurine Kennedy, Deanna Krieg, Jessica L. Ulmer, and Tina Theuerkauf who knew the answer to last week's trivia question:  Stephanie Enyarts disability is that she has a visual impairment (blindness).
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
What federal agency enforces Section 504 related issues?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.


N.J. Education Chief Defends Gov. Christie's Education Proposals at Teachers Convention

Acting state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf took details of his boss's education reform agenda into hostile territory today - the annual New Jersey Education Association convention in Atlantic City. Cerf explained the Christie administration's plans to reform tenure and revamp teacher evaluations during an hourlong speech before a crowd of 200 educators. When he commended teachers' hard work in the classroom, the audience clapped. But when Cerf said Gov. Chris Christie holds "the highest regard for teachers," the crowd erupted.  "I want to assure you that this issue of improving public education, especially for the neediest students, is not a political platform for him," Cerf said of Christie. "It's the purpose of his being in office." Some teachers cackled at the assertion. Others yelled "liar" while Cerf was speaking. To read more, click here


Smoking and Drinking in Pregnancy 'Harms 10,000 Babies in UK Each Year'

Britain's top children's doctor has said that more than 10,000 babies each year suffer serious harm, including death, because their mothers drank alcohol, smoked, over-ate, or took drugs during pregnancy. Professor Terence Stephenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said newborns are suffering permanent harm including brain damage, disability or physical deformity. Others die because of miscarriage or stillbirth caused by their mother'ssmoking. What he called "avoidable [and] self-inflicted" harm to unborn children represented a major public health problem, an ongoing human tragedy and a high cost to the NHS, he said. To read more, click here


Minority Members Say Efforts to Rewrite Education Law Fail to Protect Individual with Disabilities and Minority Children

Minority lawmakers say House and Senate plans to rewrite the No Child Left Behind education law fail to protect minority children, those with disabilities and children learning English.

The black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American congressional caucuses insisted in a letter that they want a strong federal role in ensuring all students meet targets for reading and math. They also want goals for graduation rates spelled out in the law and are seeking assurances that English learners will get a quality education. They say they oppose changes that would diminish equal access to education for all students. The letter, sent to lawmakers on education committees, was dated Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press. To read more, click here


Feds: People With Disabilities Face Digital Divide

Even as more Americans gain high-speed Internet access in their homes, those with disabilities continue to lag behind. Of households headed by those with disabilities, just 43 percent had broadband Internet access in 2010. That compares to 72 percent among those without disabilities, according to a report released this week from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The data comes from a survey of over 54,000 American households on Internet usage that was conducted by the Census Bureau last fall. To read more, click here


Opinion: Inclusion: The Right Thing for All Students

It's time to restructure all of our schools to become inclusive of all of our children. We have reached the tipping point where it is no longer educationally or morally defensible to continue to segregate students with disabilities. We shouldn't be striving to educate children in the least restrictive environment but rather in the most inclusive one. Inclusion is founded on social justice principles in which all students are presumed competent and welcomed as valued members of all general education classes and extra-curricular activities in their local schools - participating and learning alongside their same-age peers in general education instruction based on the general curriculum, and experiencing meaningful social relationships. 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


Space Camp for Students with Disabilities

Josh Yates returned from NASA's Space Camp last month with a new outlook on why science classes are worth taking and a new set of friends who, like him, have a visual impairment. The 16-year-old Belmont secondary school student, from Sooke, was selected to attend the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., where astronauts train. Once a year the centre opens its doors to provide a week-long camp for students with visual impairments or who are blind. Yates was diagnosed in Grade 7 with Usher syndrome type 2, which he describes as giving him limited vision that is "like looking through a paper towel." "I got a lot out of it," said Yates of the camp. "It was so much fun and cool to meet other people with a visual impairment." To read more, click here


Can Fetus Sense Mother's Psychological State? Study Suggests Yes

As a fetus grows, it's constantly getting messages from its mother. It's not just hearing her heartbeat and whatever music she might play to her belly; it also gets chemical signals through the placenta. A new study, which will be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this includes signals about the mother's mental state. If the mother is depressed, that affects how the baby develops after it's born. In recent decades, researchers have found that the environment a fetus is growing up in -- the mother's womb -- is very important. Some effects are obvious. Smoking and drinking, for example, can be devastating. But others are subtler; studies have found that people who were born during the Dutch famine of 1944, most of whom had starving mothers, were likely to have health problems like obesity and diabetes later. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....
On Friday, July 23, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department of Justice's ADA regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The official text was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010. These final rules took effect March 15, 2011.


For Some Students with Special Needs, Inclusion is Deferred

Kindergarten students in Joan Radigan's class at Public School 295 in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, sit on the floor together as they go over the calendar, learning the day of the week and the date. That does not mean they stay seated. On a recent morning, this ritual was interrupted when one boy who had trouble paying attention popped up and headed straight for the door. Ms. Radigan left the calendar and brought him back to the rug, speaking in a tone that suggested she had done this before. This boy and his 10 classmates at P.S. 295 all have special needs ranging from learning disabilities to autism spectrum disorders. It is up to Ms. Radigan, and two trained classroom aides, to help these students progress, with an eye on integrating them into regular classrooms next year. To read more, click here


Senators Unveil Plan To Boost Down Syndrome Research

Efforts to expand Down syndrome research may be gaining traction after a pair of U.S. senators introduced legislation to increase funding and establish centers to study the disorder. Two bills introduced in the Senate Thursday would allocate $6 million annually to create six centers of excellence for Down syndrome research. In addition, the measures call for the establishment of three research databases and would require the National Institutes of Health to maintain a Down syndrome research plan. Traditionally Down syndrome has benefited from fewer federal research dollars as compared to other conditions. Last year alone, more than three times as much was spent on cystic fibrosis research even though that condition affects just 30,000 Americans compared to 400,000 with Down syndrome. To read more,click here


Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders Vary Widely Across Clinics

To diagnose autism spectrum disorders, clinicians typically administer a variety of tests or scales and use information from observations and parent interviews to classify individuals into subcategories listed in standard psychiatric diagnostic manuals. This process of forming "best-estimate clinical diagnoses" has long been considered the gold standard, but a new study demonstrates that these diagnoses are widely variable across centers, suggesting that this may not be the best method for making diagnoses. To read more, click here


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

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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