Week in Review - December 28, 2012

WEEK IN REVIEW

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

December 28, 2012 - Vol 8, Issue 50

 

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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 and a very happy and healthy new year!

Sincerely,


NASET News Team

NASET Sponsor - Liberty Mutual

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New This Week on NASET

Severe Disabilities Series

The Special Education Process Part I

In order to survive as a general education teacher working with children with special needs, it is important to become very familiar with the process by which children are identified as having a disability. This process is called the special education process and involves a number of steps that must follow federal, state, and district guidelines. These guidelines have been created to protect the rights of students, parents and school districts and as a result you must be knowledgeable to assist parents and students through this involved process. Working together within these guidelines ensures a comprehensive assessment of a student and the proper special education services and modifications if required. When a student is having difficulty in school, there are many attempts made by the professional staff to resolve the problem. When these interventions do not work, a more extensive look at the student is required.

 

The following parts describe the information you should know in order to guarantee that any child you work with in special education is provided the most comprehensive opportunity to clearly define his/her symptoms, problems, needs, learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, classroom placements, modifications, and so on. While the specific stages of this process may vary from state to state, district to district and even school to school, the following steps encompass the concepts and information that should be utilized by any system.

 

There are actually two stages to the referral process. The first stage looks at potential high risk children and determines the most suitable direction for that child. This direction might include a wide variety of options e.g., change of program, consolidation of program, disciplinary actions, parent counseling etc. However, when the Child Study Team, the local school committee assigned to monitor children with potential problems determines that the child being reviewed fits the criteria for a suspected disability the second stage begins which is the start of the special education process.

 

This two stage process involves several different steps. Each step should be reviewed in terms of your responsibilities, the legal procedures, parental rights and responsibilities and implications for the student. This section will take you step by step through this process which will be crucial for you to understand in your role as a general education teacher working with children with special needs.



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Is the Mental Health System Failing "Troubled Kids"?

In the aftermath of the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children in Newtown, Conn., last Friday, voices around the nation are asking, "How could this have happened?" At the heart of any answer is the psychological makeup of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter who forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School before gunning down the young students and six adults. Earlier that morning, he shot and killed his mother in the home they shared. Details of Lanza's mental health issues are still emerging, but it's clear he was a troubled child and young adult. As reported by ABC News, typical comments by people who knew Lanza included "weird kid," "not well" and "hated looking at your eyes." To read more, click here

Omega-3s in Formula Can Help Baby's Eyesight

A new review of studies finds that supplementing infant formula with omega-3 fatty acids in an effort to strengthen babies' eyesight does appear to benefit early vision development. However, experts note that breast-fed babies already take in omega-3s naturally from their mothers' milk. Dr. Michael Bloch, an assistant professor at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues analyzed 19 randomized, controlled trials on nearly 2,000 infants aged 1 year and under. A randomized, controlled study is one in which people are randomly assigned to different groups: one group receives the treatment and the other does not receive the treatment (the "control" group). "As best we can measure, [the supplementation] seems to help visual development," Bloch concluded. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

The early intervention system in each State must also include a central directory that is accessible to the general public. The central directory is an important resource in each State's early intervention system, because it is intended to connect people quickly with resources and services with respect to babies and toddlers who have delays or disabilities.

Genes Linked to Autism Seem to Have Strong Tendency to Mutate

Researchers who discovered that some supposedly random gene mutations are not quite so random after all say their findings offer clues to the causes of autism and other disorders. The international team of scientists sequenced the complete genomes of identical twins with autism and their parents and found that the DNA sequence in some regions of the human genome is quite unstable and can mutate 10 times more frequently than the rest of the genome. Genes that are linked to autism and a number of other disorders have a particularly strong tendency to mutate, according to the study published Dec. 21 in the journal Cell. To read more, click here

Asperger's, Autism Not Linked to Violence: Experts

Despite media reports alleging that the gunman involved in the Connecticut school shootings had Asperger's syndrome, experts were quick to assert Sunday that there is no link between the condition -- a mild form of autism -- and violence. "There really is no evidence that links autism or Asperger's to violence," said Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer at the nonprofit advocacy group Autism Speaks and a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There has been speculation that 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the gunman who perpetrated Friday's senseless massacre at an elementary school in Newton, Conn., had Asperger's, which is considered a high-functioning form of autism. To read more, click here

AASEP Logo

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

Motivation and Study, Not IQ, Are Keys to Kids' Math Success

Do you believe you're not good at math? A new study suggests that with motivation and good teaching strategies, even those who are convinced they'll never be facile with figures can succeed in mathematics. Innate intelligence -- as defined by IQ tests -- may provide a head start, but it's learning skills and determination that ultimately add up to success, according to the new research. "The critical determinant of growth in achievement is not how smart you are, but how motivated you are and how you study," said lead study author Kou Murayama, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Intrinsic motivation promotes long-term growth in math achievement." To read more, click here

In Shooting's Aftermath, Autism Backlash Feared

Among the lingering effects of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn. could be a host of misconceptions about autism and that has many touched by the developmental disorder worried. Autism advocacy groups are reporting dramatic spikes in calls, emails and website visits a week after 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman in the case, Adam Lanza, 20, was reportedly diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Citing several studies on the disorder, experts say that autism is in no way linked to the type of planned violence Lanza displayed. But a slew of media outlets in the initial aftermath of the shooting suggested otherwise. Now advocates are concerned that the impact of the misleading reports could be a lasting one. To read more, click here

Early Language Skills Reduce Preschool Tantrums, Study Finds

Toddlers who have more developed language skills are less likely to throw temper tantrums by the time they begin preschool, according to a new study. This is likely because they are better able to talk about their frustrations, according to researchers, from Pennsylvania State University. They followed 120 predominately white children from the ages of 18 months to 4 years and measured their language skills and their ability to cope with frustration.

In one test, for example, the children's ability to control their anger was observed as they had to wait eight minutes before opening a gift while their mothers completed a questionnaire. To read more, click here


Feds Warn School Over Shock Therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning a Massachusetts school over its use of a controversial skin-shock therapy with students who have disabilities. In a letter sent to the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center earlier this month, FDA officials said the devices used to administer electric shocks at the school "violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (Act) because your facility has failed to obtain FDA clearance or approval." The school, which serves children with developmental disabilities as well as those with behavioral and emotional problems, has come under fire for years from disability advocates who say that using electric shocks to address behavior issues is inhumane. However, some parents and former students have defended the school arguing that the approach is effective. To read more, click here


Scientists Now See 200 Genes Linked to Crohn's Disease

Using a new technique, researchers have pinpointed a large number of additional genes associated with Crohn's disease, bringing the total to 200. The scientists at University College London, in England, created a new method to identify and map the locations of genes associated with complex inherited diseases such as Crohn's. Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, affects about 100 to 150 people out of every 100,000. Understanding more about the genes associated with the disease may lead to improved treatments, the researchers said. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....

Many States make their central directory available on the lead agency's website. According to the Part C regulations, this alone is not enough to ensure that the directory is accessible to the general public. After all, not everyone has access to, or uses, the Internet. The regulations require that States also use "other appropriate means" of making the central directory accessible. According to the U.S. Department of Education, those "other appropriate means" may include providing printed copies of the central directory at locations, such as libraries, and offices of key primary referral sources.


NASA To Mentor Students With Disabilities

A unique partnership kicking off early next year will allow students with disabilities a firsthand look at what it takes to work for NASA. The space agency will provide mentors for a handful of high school students who have autism, learning difficulties or multiple disabilities through an agreement with the District of Columbia Public Schools' transition program. The collaboration is designed to encourage careers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, NASA officials said. 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: Olumide Akerele, Sue Brooks, Ope-Oluwa Olubela, Jessica L. Ulmer, Gordon Walker, Pamela R. Downing-Hosten, Prahbhjot Malhi, and Marilyn Haile
who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question: Among adult siblings of those with a disability, 23 percent are currently serving as primary caregivers while 1 in 3 expect to take on that role in the future.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
According to the latest research, children with autism are how many times more likely than other children to be taken to the emergency department for mental health problems?

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, December 31, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.


Drugs Hold Promise for Severe Juvenile Arthritis Patients

Children who suffer from a rare and painful form of arthritis that's accompanied by fever and rashes may soon have more treatment options. Two studies published in the Dec. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that two drugs -- canakinumab and tocilizumab -- reduce symptoms, including severe joint pain experienced by children with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). "Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a form of severe arthritis which until a few years ago was treated mainly with corticosteroids which have known side effects, especially growth impairment," said Dr. Nicolino Ruperto, a pediatric rheumatologist at G. Gaslini Children's Hospital in Genoa and co-author of the studies. To read more, click here


Quality of Life Can Suffer for Kids With Heart Devices

Pacemakers and implanted cardiac defibrillators have a major, negative impact on the quality of life of children and teens who were born with heart defects and require the heart rhythm devices as part of their long-term care or to prevent sudden death. The study included nearly 200 young patients, aged 8 to 18, with congenital heart defects and their parents. Forty patients had implanted defibrillators and about 130 had pacemakers. "Patients and their parents reported significantly lower quality-of-life scores," study author Dr. Richard Czosek, a pediatric cardiologist at the Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute, said in a Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center news release. To read more, click here


AASEP Logo

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


Abused Black Girls More Likely to Develop Asthma: Study

Black women who were physically or sexually abused before age 11 have a raised risk of developing asthma as adults, according to a new study. Researchers from Boston University suggested the stress and physical effects of abuse affect the immune system and airway development. "This is the first prospective study to show an association between childhood abuse and adult-onset asthma," said study leader Patricia Coogan, senior epidemiologist at the Slone Epidemiology Center and associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, in a BU news release. "The results suggest that chronic stress contributes to asthma onset, even years later," Coogan said. To read more, click here


Common Core Testers Unveil Proposed 'Read-Aloud' Accommodations

Two accommodations policies under consideration by a 23-state assessment consortium could narrow the pool of children that would qualify for assistance on those tests in some of those states. The governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, voted last week to put the two draft policies out for public feedback. Once final, they will be included in the larger "accommodations manual" that will guide development of the assessment that will be taken by students in 22 states and the District of Columbia in 2014-15. The full manual is slated for a vote to release it for public comment at the PARCC board's meeting in March. The two smaller pieces that will be posted for public comment in January pertain to only two accommodation areas: the use of calculators on the group's mathematics test and the use of reading accommodations on its English/language arts exam. To read more, click here


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Gene Therapy Shows Promise for Rare Children's Brain Disorder

Gene therapy could offer a safe option for treating children with a rare degenerative brain disease, a preliminary study suggests. The condition, known as Canavan disease, is caused by a mutation in the ASPA gene, which codes for an enzyme called aspartoacylase. Without that enzyme, a chemical known as N-acetylaspartic acid (NAA) builds up in the brain and prevents nerve cells from developing their normal protective sheath. Eventually, the brain degenerates into spongy tissue with fluid-filled spaces. Canavan disease is rare, with an estimated 600 cases worldwide, according to Paola Leone, the lead researcher on the new study and an associate professor of cell biology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Stratford, N.J. To read more, click here


Having Babies Sit Up May Help Them Learn

Babies may learn better when they're sitting up, a new study suggests. "An important part of human cognitive development is the ability to understand whether an object in view is the same or different from an object seen earlier," Rebecca Woods, an assistant professor of human development and family science and doctoral psychology lecturer at North Dakota State University, said in a university news release. "Cognitive development" refers to abilities like thinking, perception and memory. She and colleague Teresa Wilcox, a psychology professor at Texas A&M University, found that infants at ages 5.5 or 6.5 months don't use patterns to differentiate objects on their own. But 6.5-month-olds can be primed to use patterns if they get a chance to look at and touch objects. To read more, click here


Many Adults With Autism Unhappy With Their Health Care

U.S. adults with autism are more likely to report poor health care experiences than those without autism, a new study reveals. Researchers conducted an online survey of 209 adults with autism and 228 adults without the disorder and found that those with autism reported more unmet health care needs, greater use of emergency departments, and lower rates of preventive services such as Pap smears (a cervical cancer screening test). The adults with autism were also less satisfied with health care provider communication and felt less comfortable navigating the health care system and managing their health, the Oregon Health & Science University researchers found. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....

Each State has an affirmative obligation to ensure that all infants and toddlers with disabilities in the State who are eligible for early intervention services under Part C are identified, located, and evaluated. As part of fulfilling that obligation, the State operates a child find system, which must include procedures for referring a child to early intervention.


Special Ed. Coalition Finds Flaws in Report on School Staff Surge

The National Coalition for Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services hasreleased a statement in response to a controversial report by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice that alleged that schools and districts had experienced staff bloating. The Friedman Foundation's report, entitled "The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America's Public Schools," released in October, finds that the amount of United States K-12 public school students increased 17 percent while the number of full-time equivalent school employees increased 39 percent. It also finds that the amount of teacher staff rose 32 percent while the numbers of administrators and other staff rose 46 percent; it does not mention how many of these staff members are special education personnel. To read more, click here


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

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

Helen Keller
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