Week in Review - February 3, 2012

WEEK IN REVIEW

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

February 3, 2012 - Vol 8, Issue 5

 

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TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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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 atnews@naset.org. Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,


NASET News Team

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NASET SPECIAL EDUCATOR e-JOURNAL

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In This Issue:

  • Update from the U.S. Department of Education
  • Calls to Participate and New Projects
  • Special Education Resources
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET
  • Upcoming Conferences and Events
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
  • Acknowledgements
  • Download a PDF or XPS Version of This Issue.

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

Possible New Treatment for Rett Syndrome

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered that a molecule critical to the development and plasticity of nerve cells - brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - is severely lacking in brainstem neurons in mutations leading to Rett syndrome, a neurological developmental disorder. The finding has implications for the treatment of neurological disorders, including Rett syndrome that affects one in 10,000 baby girls. The new discovery is published online in Neuroscience and is expected in the print issue of Neuroscience in March. Using a mouse model of Rett syndrome, the OHSU team found that mutant neurons in the brainstem fail miserably at making BDNF. When normal neurons are faced with a respiratory challenge, such as low oxygen, they dramatically increase the production of BDNF, whereas mutant neurons do not. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and most milk products.Lactase is an enzyme in the lining of the gut that breaks down or digests lactose. Lactose intolerance occurs when lactase is missing. Instead of the enzyme breaking down the sugar, bacteria in the gut break it down, which forms gas, which in turn causes symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, and sometimes diarrhea.

Arizona Vouchers for Students With Disabilities Ruled Constitutional

An Arizona law providing private school tuition to students with disabilities has been ruled constitutional by a county superior court judge, the Arizona Republic and Associated Press report. Arizona's scholarship program pays up to 90 percent of what a school district or charter school would have received to educate a student. Parents can use the money for private school tuition, textbooks, online classes, and other expenses. Gov. Jan Brewer applauded the ruling, which comes after a previous Arizona voucher program for students with disabilities was ruled unconstitutional. The current program revamped the old model, expanding the uses of the money from only tuition to a list of options. 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

Institutions To Close Under Deal With Feds

In what Justice Department officials are hailing as their third landmark agreement in as many years resolving Americans with Disabilities Act violations, one state will shutter most of its institutions and make strides toward enhancing community living opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Under the settlement announced Thursday, Virginia will make fundamental changes to its developmental disabilities system to greatly expand community living options for those currently living in state facilities and individuals at risk for institutionalization.The plan calls for four of the state's five institutions for people with developmental disabilities to close and, over the next 10 years, the state has committed to providing nearly 4,200 Medicaid home and community-based waivers. To read more, click here

How a Parent's Education Can Affect the Mental Health of Their Offspring

Could depression in adulthood be tied to a parent's level of education? A new study led by Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, a medical sociologist from McGill University, suggests this is the case. Drawing from 29 years of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), Quesnel-Vallée and co-author Miles Taylor, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Florida State University, looked at pathways between a parent's education level and their children's education level, household income and depressive symptoms. The team found that higher levels of parental education meant fewer mental health issues for their adult children. "However, we also found much of that association may be due to the fact that parents with more education tend to have children with more education and better paying jobs themselves," explained Quesnel-Vallée. "What this means is that the whole process of climbing up the social ladder that is rooted in a parent's education is a crucial pathway for the mental health of adult children." To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Lactose intolerance is uncommon in babies and young children under the age of 5 years. Because lactase levels decline as people get older, lactose intolerance becomes more common with age. Lactose intolerance also varies widely based on racial and ethnic background.

Students Participate in Disability Awareness

Students at A.P. Terhune Elementary School recently took part in what's called "disABILITY Week," where they participated in various activities integrated into their daily curriculum in an effort to promote understanding, awareness and acceptance of each other's abilities and disabilities. The objective of the program was to bring to light how someone with a disability functions on a daily basis and to reiterate that not everyone is the same, said Principal Marion McGrath. Grades one through five actively took part and learned a great deal. Some parents of disabled students at Terhune Elementary also shared some insight into the daily lives of their children. To read more, click here

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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: Deanna Krieg, Crystal Dorn, Lisa Rotella, Alexandra Pirard, Meredith B. Powell, Olumide Akerle, Helma Wardenaar, Chaya Taybor, Marilyn Haile, Dorothy Ungerleider, Mariel Oira Danga, and Jessica L. Ulmer who all knew that the answer to last week's trivia question was: Cerebral Hypoxia
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
Eight foods account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions. What are these eight foods?

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, February 6, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.

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High School District Creates Calming Rooms for Students with Special Needs

The soothing music, soft lights and pleasant aromas in the room would leave almost anyone with a calm and peaceful feeling, but they are having an especially positive effect on some students in special classes at two Escondido high schools. "See the student who's rocking?" San Pasqual High classroom assistant Richard Shannon said Monday, as he pointed to a boy lurching back and forth in his chair. "We put him in there for the first time for a half hour, and he just sat and enjoyed it. That's the first time in about three years where he just sat still." The Escondido Union High School District spent about $30,000 in federal stimulus money last year to create special "sensory rooms" at San Pasqual and Escondido high schools for the Specialized Transitions Adult Resource Training program, which teaches work and life skills to special-needs students ages 18 to 22. To read more, click here

Teens With Autism Avoid Email, Social Media

Even as teens with autism use television, computers and other screen-based media more than their peers, new research suggests that they're shunning some of the Web's most popular offerings. In the largest study ever to look at the use of screen-based media in those with autism as compared to other disabilities, researchers at the University of Missouri and Washington University analyzed data on more than 1,000 special education students ages 13 to 16 collected through the federal government's National Longitudinal Transition Study-2. To read more, click here

Children With ADHD Benefit from Healthy Lifestyle Options as First-Line Treatment

Every year between 3 and 10 percent of school-age children in this country are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Increasingly, families are using natural or complementary therapies to improve their child's attention or behavior, and often seek advice from an integrative pediatrician, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Many parents are reluctant to put their children on medication for ADHD, and instead want to first try healthy lifestyle options to help promote optimal focus and attention," said Kathi Kemper, M.D., professor of public health sciences and pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist, and lead author of the study. To read more, click here

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NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -

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Too Much Fructose Sweetener Tied to Heart Risks in Teens

Teens who consume large amounts of the food and beverage sweetener fructose show evidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk in their blood, a new study finds. Fructose is found in fruits, while a form of fructose -- high-fructose corn syrup -- is widely used in processed foods and beverages. It's believed that adolescents' growing bodies crave the strong sweetener and food and beverage companies' advertising often targets young consumers, according to the Medical College of Georgia researchers. Their study of 559 teens aged 14 to 18 found that diets high in fructose were associated with higher blood pressure; diabetes-related measures such as higher fasting glucose and insulin resistance; and inflammatory factors that contribute to heart and vascular disease. To read more, click here

Brain Activity May Help Predict Autism Before Age 1: Study

Infants younger than a year old who are at risk of developing autism may already have telltale brain responses when another person looks at or away from them, the results of a new study indicate. The researchers say that the findings suggest that assessing brain responses in infants as young as 6 months may one day help predict whether they'll develop autism at a later age. Currently, firm diagnoses of autism are made only after a child is 2 years old, according to the study in the Jan. 26 online edition of Current Biology. "Our findings demonstrate for the first time that direct measures of brain functioning during the first year of life associate with a later diagnosis of autism -- well before the emergence of behavioral symptoms," study author Mark Johnson of Birkbeck College, University of London, said in a journal news release. To read more, click here

State Special Education Rates Vary Widely

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, but it has every other state beat by one measure: A higher percentage of its students are in special education than anywhere else. An analysis of U.S. Department of Education data shows that the percentage of students in special education varies widely among states. While Rhode Island tops the country at 18 percent, Texas, at 9 percent, is at the bottom. The average percentage across all states is 13 percent, and two-thirds of states are above that number, according to the data. To read more, click here

Prenatal Testosterone Linked to Increased Risk of Language Delay for Male Infants, Study Shows

New research by Australian scientists reveals that males who are exposed to high levels of testosterone before birth are twice as likely to experience delays in language development compared to females. The research, published in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, focused on umbilical cord blood to explore the presence of testosterone when the language-related regions of a fetus' brain are undergoing a critical period of growth."An estimated 12% of toddlers experience significant delays in their language development," said lead author Professor Andrew Whitehouse from the University of Western Australia. "While language development varies between individuals, males tend to develop later and at a slower rate than females." To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Another type of food intolerance is a reaction to certain products that are added to food to enhance taste, add color, or protect against the growth of microbes. Compounds such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sulfites are tied to reactions that can be confused with food allergy.

Study Finds No Link Between HPV Vaccine and Autoimmune Disorders

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil does not trigger autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes or multiple sclerosis, according to a two-year study that included nearly 190,000 girls and women. Gardasil is recommended in the United States for girls and young women to protect them against HPV infection, which is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and can lead to cervical cancer. A second HPV vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix, is also approved to prevent infection with the virus. However, long-standing concerns that the HPV vaccine might trigger autoimmune reactions have led many parents to bar their children from receiving the three-dose vaccine, the study authors pointed out in a news release from Kaiser Permanente. To read more, click here

Mutations in 2 Genes Linked to Rare Autism-Related Disorder

Newly discovered mutations in two adjacent genes cause a rare genetic brain condition called Joubert syndrome, according to a new study. People with Joubert syndrome have malformation or underdevelopment of the cerebellum and brainstem, resulting in a range of physical and mental disabilities such as poor muscle control and mental retardation. As many as four in 10 people with Joubert syndrome meet the criteria for an autism diagnosis and other neurocognitive disorders, according to background information in a news release about the research. In the study, a team led by University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers found that mutations in two adjacent genes -- TMEM216 and TMEM138 -- cause Joubert syndrome. To read more, click here

Family History of Psychiatric Disorders Shapes Intellectual Interests, Study Suggests

A hallmark of the individual is the cultivation of personal interests, but for some people, their intellectual pursuits might actually be genetically predetermined. Survey results published by Princeton University researchers in the journal PLoS ONE suggest that a family history of psychiatric conditions such as autism and depression could influence the subjects a person finds engaging. Although preliminary, the findings provide a new look at the oft-studied link between psychiatric conditions and aptitude in the arts or sciences. While previous studies have explored this link by focusing on highly creative individuals or a person's occupation, the Princeton research indicates that the influence of familial neuropsychiatric traits on personal interests is apparently independent of a person's talent or career path, and could help form a person's basic preferences and personality. To read more, click here

Severe Brain Injury When Young May Have Long-Term Effects

Although many people believe young children are extremely resilient after they are seriously hurt, the opposite may be true with traumatic brain injuries. Two Australian studies looked at the impact of traumatic brain injury in children as young as 2 years, and found that these injuries affected cognitive function, IQ and even behavior for some time. However, the researchers also found that recovery from traumatic brain injury can continue for years after the initial injury. And, a child's home environment can positively influence recovery if the child lives in a stable, caring home. "Many people think that the soft skull of a baby may give them some advantage because if they fall they are not likely to sustain a skull fracture. Also, because a baby's brain is growing so quickly, it seems like the brain may be able to fix an injury. In reality, the soft skull and growing brain of a baby put them at a greater risk of future problems," said the lead author of one of the studies, Louise Crowe, a postdoctoral research. To read more, click here

Faking ADHD for Special Treatment

You might ask, "Why would anyone want to fake attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?" Many years ago, when ADHD was first proposed as a diagnosis, you would've been right - few people would've bothered faking the diagnosis because it brought you little reward to do so. But as ADHD diagnoses bloomed over the past two decades, so did special accommodations in the school systems for children and teenagers diagnosed with the disorder. And one of the primary treatments for attention deficit disorder is stimulant medication, something that can be used for less-than-legitimate reasons. Could teens today really be faking ADHD to get into college? Welcome to the world of unintended secondary gains and rewards. To read more, click here

10 Tips for Teaching English Language Learners

Classrooms across the United States are becoming increasingly diverse with increasing numbers of students whose primary home languages are not English. State-reported data in 2008-09 estimated 10 percent of the US school-aged population (PreK-twelfth grade) as students identified as limited English proficient. Terms more widely accepted and used are English language learners or simply English Learners (ELs). To adequately assist ELs in learning both content concepts and English simultaneously, all educators need to view themselves as language teachers. Here are 10 tips for supporting ELs in general education classrooms. To read more,click here

Heartburn Meds Won't Help, May Harm Kids With Asthma

Children with asthma who don't have heartburn and other signs of gastroesophageal reflux don't get additional asthma control from acid-reducing medications, according to new research. And, taking these medications when there are no digestive issues increases a child's risk of developing a respiratory infection, reports the study. "There's a strong epidemiological link between acid reflux and asthma," explained study co-author Janet Holbrook, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. As a result, current asthma guidelines call for evaluating people with asthma for acid reflux, Holbrook said. To read more, click here

Active Ingredient in Viagra Shrunk Disfiguring Growths in Kids

A new preliminary report suggests that the active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil, could reduce the size of large growths that can disfigure the bodies of children. The findings could point to yet another use for the medicine, which was first developed as a heart medication until researchers noticed that it helped impotent men have erections. This time, researchers stumbled upon an alternate use while using a Viagra-like drug to treat a rare condition that causes high blood pressure in the arteries that lead to the lungs. There are caveats: The treatment is very expensive, the research is only in its early stages, and the medication may not be a cure. Still, the research raises the prospect that "we could treat some of these little kids who have little or no hope," said report co-author Dr. Alfred Lane, a professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. To read more, click here

'Inner Dialogue' Might Aid People With Autism

Learning to "talk things through in their head" could help people with autism make plans and complete complex daily tasks, researchers say. These skills might increase the likelihood that people with autism can live independent, flexible lives, according to the study led by a team at Durham University in England. The researchers compared how 15 high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder and 16 adults without the disorder completed a test that measures planning ability as well as a short-term memory task. Autism is characterized by repetitive behaviors and difficulty with communication and social interactions. The researchers said that the use or non-use of thinking in words is strongly associated with the degree of communication problems that are rooted in early childhood. To read more, click here

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

If you go to work on your goals,your goals will go to work on you.If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you.Whatever good things we build end up building us.

Jim Rohn

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