Week in Review - December 23, 2011

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

December 23, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 47

 

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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


NASET Sponsor - Drexel Online

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New This Week on NASET

Genetics in Special Education


Genetic components discussed in this issue:

  • Thalassemia
  • Sickle Cell Disease

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

______________________________________________________

IEP Component Series


Supplementary Aids and Services


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. Supplementary aids and services are often critical elements in supporting the education of children with disabilities in regular classes and their participation in a range of another school activities. Supplementary aids and services means aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate. Speaking practically, supplementary aids and services can be accommodations and modifications to the curriculum under study or the manner in which that content is presented or a child's progress is measured. But that's not all they are or can be. Supplementary aids and services can also include direct services and supports to the child, as well as support and training for staff who work with that child. That's why determining what supplementary aids and services are appropriate for a particular child must be done on an individual basis. The focus of this issue of NASET's IEP Component series is to address supplementary aids and services.


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Serious Illness or an Excuse? As Awareness of Mental Issues Rises, Colleges Face Tough Calls; Playing 'Detective'

Earlier this semester, college senior Leah Nelson emailed one of her instructors to ask for extra time to complete a paper. "I have been going through a rough patch lately and am making the decision to take care of myself this week," Ms. Nelson wrote. Her mental health, she continued, would "take priority over everything else." Ms. Nelson, a 21-year-old student at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, struggles with depression. Her symptoms often flare when exams and papers pile up. She says the timing of a suicide attempt in March of 2010, when she took an overdose of Tylenol, was influenced by the pressure of the three exams and paper due she had that week. Ms. Nelson is one of a growing number of college students asking for wiggle room with their academic workloads due to mental health issues. In some cases, students make direct pleas to professors. In others, students work through their university's disability office to receive official academic "accommodations." These can include extra time for exams, the opportunity to take tests in a quiet room, or flexibility with class attendance and assignment deadlines. To read more, click here


Budget Cut for National Center on Special Education Research May Stick

It appears that a large budget cut to the National Center for Special Education Research made earlier this year won't be restored this week while Congress stitches together a 2012 budget.

The budget for the agency, which was about $71 million before Congressional action in April, was slashed by about $20 million, a blow to researchers working on special education issues.

In some cases, special education research goes to work for all students, said Lindsay Jones, of the Council for Exceptional Children. Response to intervention is one example. "We view the funding from that center as an engine for innovation," she said. "Local school districts will approach local universities with questions or concerns and real world problems will turn into research projects. We have practitioners in the field that are craving that."To read more, click here


Did You Know That....

Agnosia is a rare disorder characterized by an inability to recognize and identify objects or persons. People with agnosia may have difficulty recognizing the geometric features of an object or face or may be able to perceive the geometric features but not know what the object is used for or whether a face is familiar or not.

Special-Needs Students Transform into Pop Stars

Dozens of adoring fans flocked to the Fair Lawn High School Library in New Jersey last Friday morning for the world premiere of a new music video by nine of the school's Bridges II students. Accustomed to the film cranes, scoop lighting and boom mics from their last shoot, the day's stars -- dressed in award show garb -- seemed unfazed by the horde of photographers and videographers on hand to capture the unveiling of their moving rendition of Miley Cyrus', "The Climb." Doreen Yates, the primary instructor for the Bridges II program, which serves 16- to 21-year olds with cognitive disabilities, said she truly considered the students superstars. "This has been an amazing journey for [the Bridges II students]," Yates said. "What began as a small idea, quickly evolved into a life-altering experience...Today you will see the students, who not only enjoy life, but now also truly believe in themselves." To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - Drexel Online

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Peace of Mind for Parents of Children With Disabilities

Each year, Dan and Jenn are able to save for Carina's college education by putting away money tax-free in a 529 education savings account. But the tax code restricts them from saving tax-free for Carina's younger brother Sean, who was born with Down Syndrome. Dan and Jenn work hard every day to provide everything they possibly can for their children but they were distressed when they realized saving for Sean's long-term health care, housing and educational needs was nearly impossible under current law. They found it ironic that the child in their family that might need the most financial assistance during his lifetime was the one they could not save for. Dan and Jenn thought that was wrong and so do we. That's why we have introduced legislation to help Dan and Jenn, and millions of other parents of children with disabilities, access the same financial tools that children without a disability have. To read more, click here

Sensory-Friendly Santa Provides Christmas Experience to  Children with Autism in Tampa

As soon as Elisabeth Jacoby saw Santa, a smile spread across her face. The 6-year-old ran straight for the man in red, stomped her feet in excitement and practically threw herself into his lap. "Merry Christmas," she said as a camera flashed. Similar scenes are repeated at malls across the country this time of year. Parents shepherd kids through noisy lines, place them on Santa's lap and whisk them away once the flashbulbs go off, regardless of the look captured on the little ones' faces. Only, this time it was different. This was Sensory Friendly Santa, an event held Saturday for children with autism spectrum disorders. Often appearing in early childhood, symptoms and severity of the disorders vary, and all affect a child's ability to communicate and interact, the Mayo Clinic reports. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Agnosia can be limited to one sensory modality such as vision or hearing. For example, a person may have difficulty in recognizing an object as a cup or identifying a sound as a cough. Agnosia can result from strokes, dementia, developmental disorders, or other neurological conditions.

Viewpoint: Special Olympics Program Promotes Inclusion On and Off Playing Field

Sports training and competition are the heart of Special Olympics' programs, from catching the attention of millions on a global level to creating hometown heroes in our local communities. However, they are also the vehicle to raise awareness about the talents and issues faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities on a larger playing field. In 2011 alone, our program increased 5 percent and each year we have seen a growing number of children and adults with intellectual disabilities entering Special Olympics Maui's programs for year-round sports training and services. In addition to sports training and competition venues, Special Olympics athletes also receive access to health and wellness education and testing, which allow them to excel in competition and in life. To read more, click here

AASEP Logo

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

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: Alexandra Pirard, Cindy Phelps, Suzann Armitage, Regina Ray, Beverly Taylor, Lois Nembhard, Caroll Aleshire, Debra Mueller, Deanna Krieg, Jessica L. Ulmer, Jacqueline Berman, Marilyn Haile, and Sheryl MacCullough who all knew that, "coprolalia" is the involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:

Fill in the blank:   _______ is a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to one of the facial nerves.  It is the most common cause of facial paralysis. Generally, it affects only one of the paired facial nerves and one side of the face, however, in rare cases, it can affect both sides.  Symptoms usually begin suddenly and reach their peak within 48 hours.  Symptoms vary from person to person and can range in severity from mild weakness to total paralysis.  These symptoms include twitching, weakness, or paralysis, drooping eyelid or corner of the mouth, drooling, dry eye or mouth, impairment of taste, and excessive tearing in the eye.

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, December 26, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

Special Education Students May Benefit from Broader Life Skills Program

Ocean City school district officials would like to expand its Life Skills program, a special program designed to help students with disabilities transition from the school world to the work world, in order to benefit more students. The Life Skills program is for students over 17, after they would graduate, until they are 21. New Jersey special education laws require school districts to provide an education for some students until they reach the age of 21. At a Dec. 14 school board meeting, Dean Paolizzi, director of special education, said students would benefit if the district instituted a Job Sampling program in addition to the Life Skills program, which would serve students from the ages of 14 to 17. He also asked the school board to consider creating a "practice apartment" within a classroom to assist some of the older special education students. "It would be a small-scale apartment," he said, with a living room, kitchen and bedroom. "It would be a great thing to do if we can do it." To read more, click here

Opinion: Group Kids by Ability and Subject Not Age, Says Gifted-Education Professor

Schoolchildren should be classed by intellectual ability in subject groupings rather than lumped together according to age, says Miraca Gross, the University of New South Wales' Professor of Gifted Education. In the interview addressed in this article, Professor Gross says that grouping kids by chronological age is the product of an impractical view of human development. She also says that gifted kids often physically develop faster and that they deserve their own specialist schools just as much as highly musical or athletic kids do. After two decades at the University of NSW, Professor Gross retires at the end of this year. To read more, click here

National Autism Association Applauds Harkin Bill to Protect Students from Restraint and Seclusion

A federal bill introduced Friday to protect school children from dangerous, and sometimes deadly, restraint and seclusion practices has the support of the National Autism Association (NAA). The Keeping All Students Safe Act, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), provides long-overdue protections to students across the country by prohibiting restraint and seclusion techniques that compromise health and safety. It's estimated that over the last five years, more than 200 students, many with disabilities, have died due to seclusion and restraints being used in schools. A 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation reported that thousands of students have been physically injured and emotionally traumatized as the result of restraint and seclusion in public schools, and noted specific cases where students died from "mechanical compression to the chest," or "smothering." To read more, click here

In Virginia, People with Disabilities Connecting Via Video Chat, Online Networks

Many people with disabilities are using online support groups and social networking tools to interact with each other and participate in group therapy sessions, the Roanoke Times reports. The not-for-profit organization Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia recently launched a program -- called, Community Living Connection, or CLiC -- that provides both a virtual support group and group therapy for people with brain injuries. The group gathers through online video chat sessions, and a moderator leads discussions and tells riddles aimed at improving participants' brain function. Some of the participants in the CLiC project also have started using Facebook to interact online. To read more, click here

Z-Van Shares Technology that will Improve the Lives of Children who are Deaf

The buzz of excitement permeated Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf as students awaited the arrival of something called the "Z-Van." The van, which travels the country, is owned by Z Video Relay Service, a Clearwater telecommunications company run by and for people who are deaf. Although Blossom Montessori's students have grown up with computers, video cameras and digital phones, the van was bringing new technology geared specifically to the deaf community. That, and the message to dream big. On Tuesday, 23 students sat crossed-legged on the floor watching as two deaf ZVRS employees - regional director Jenny Locy and Z-Van driver Andrew Horn - encouraged them to pursue whatever careers they desired. To read more, click here

Implementing Inclusion in Charter Schools

Imagine a landscape of dancing lilies, billowing sunflowers, blossoming roses, and whispering geraniums. This is a beautiful landscape with many varieties of flowers, all growing together in a field somewhere in our nation. When I think of beautiful gardens, I often think about my mother's garden in Memphis, remembering how I would pick roses from her garden to take to my favorite teacher every Monday morning. My mom would gently say, "All roses are beautiful!" She was really telling me that everyone is important. I would later live out this worldview in how I served the school community as a principal, promoting an inclusive learning environment for children and adults. Hence, this is how I see inclusion in schools today. I imagine perfectly well-rounded institutions of learning where all students are represented. Now visualize a world that truly believes that all children deserve a quality and equitable education, and that students with disabilities deserve to be educated alongside their peers in the general classroom. This is a world that does not single out children with disabilities. This is a world that believes in creating positive learning environments for all children. To read more, click here

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Disability A Focus As School Bullying Protections Grow

Nearly all states now have laws prohibiting school bullying, but just 16 offer specific protections for those with disabilities. An analysis of laws from across the nation released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that just one classification - race - is more likely than disability to be highlighted in state anti-bullying efforts. Currently, 46 states have anti-bullying laws on the books designed to protect children in the classroom. In recent years there have been significant efforts to add or improve such policies amid a number of high profile cases of young people taking their own lives after being targeted. Last year alone, the Education Department report indicates that there were 21 bills enacted or amended to address school bullying. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Agnosia typically results from damage to specific brain areas in the occipital or parietal lobes of the brain. People with agnosia may retain their cognitive abilities in other areas.

Tips for Avoiding Asthma, Allergy Triggers This Season:  Fresh Christmas Trees and Old Decorations Can Stir Up Dust, Mold and Other Allergens

Holiday decorations, both old and new, can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions, an expert says. Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Maywood, Ill., warns that fresh Christmas trees, poinsettias and boxes that have been stored for months can stir up potential triggers like dust and mold. "The dust from the boxes and on the decorations that have been packed away in dank basements or dusty attics is triggering reactions in my allergy and asthma patients," Leija said in a Loyola University Health System news release. To read more, click here

Asthma Drugs in Pregnancy Might Pose Risk for Kids

Infants born to mothers who use inhaled glucocorticoids -- a class of steroids -- to treat asthma during pregnancy may be at risk for endocrine and metabolic disorders, a new study indicates. Researchers looked at more than 65,000 mother-child pairs from the Danish National Birth Cohort who were followed from early pregnancy into childhood. Of the women in the study, about 61,000 (94 percent) had no asthma during pregnancy while almost 4,100 (6 percent) did have asthma during pregnancy. At the end of follow-up, the median age for the children was about 6, with an age range of about 3.5 to 9. For mothers who used the asthma inhalers, budesonide (Pulmicort) was the most common glucocorticoid. To read more, click here

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

Integrity is the most

valuable

and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.

 

Jim Rohn







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