Week in Review - December 20, 2013

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WEEK IN REVIEW

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

December 20, 2013 - Vol 9, Issue 50

 

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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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New This Week on NASET

NASET Resource Review
December 2013

In this issue you will see information on:

*             Calls to Participate

*             CCSS

*             Extracurricular Activities

*             Foster Care

*             Sexuality

*             Transition

 


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Parent Teacher Conference Handout
December 2013

 

Tips for Providing Experiential Life Skills Training in Residential Treatment Settings

 

Introduction

All youth growing up in foster care need to receive hands-on training in life skills to help prepare them for their transition to adulthood.  However, when youth are living in RTCs or other structured settings, it can take some creativity to provide experiential activities that meet the needs of youth within the setting, particularly youth who require a more restricted environment.  Activities should be individually tailored to a youth's skills and abilities and can include practical skills.  Here are some tips for activities to help you start thinking of ways to provide experiential activities.

 

These tips are a product of the House Bill 1912 (81st Legislative Session) workgroup and they were developed to help caregivers fulfill the requirement of providing or assisting foster youth age 14 or older in obtaining experiential life-skills training to improve their transition to independent living.

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Disability Advocates 'Encouraged' By Budget Deal

A congressional budget deal announced this week that would ease many of the spending cuts set to hit special education and other disability programs is a step in the right direction, advocates say. The bipartisan agreement would mitigate the across-the-board cuts that took effect earlier this year under a process known as sequestration. And, if approved, disability advocates say the deal would bring at least some relief to everything from special education to housing, supported employment services, research and other federally-funded programs benefiting people with disabilities.To read more, click here

Could a Tiny Worm Help Treat Autism?

Adults with autism who were intentionally infected with a parasitic intestinal worm experienced an improvement in their behavior, researchers say. After swallowing whipworm eggs for 12 weeks, people with autism became more adaptable and less likely to engage in repetitive actions, said study lead author Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "We found these individuals had less discomfort associated with a deviation in their expectations," Hollander said. "They were less likely to have a temper tantrum or act out." The whipworm study is one of two novel projects Hollander is scheduled to present Thursday at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Hollywood, Fla. 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

Kids' Social Skills May Suffer When Mothers Drink During Pregnancy

Children who are exposed to alcohol before they are born are more likely to have problems with their social skills, according to new research. Having a mother who drank during pregnancy was also linked to significant emotional and behavioral issues, the study found. However, these kids weren't necessarily less intelligent than others. The researchers, Justin Quattlebaum and Mary O'Connor of the University of California, Los Angeles, say their findings point to an urgent need for the early detection and treatment of social problems in kids resulting from exposure to alcohol in the womb. Early intervention could maximize the benefits since children's developing brains have the most "plasticity" -- ability to change and adapt -- as they learn, the study authors pointed out. The study, published online and in a recent print edition of Child Neuropsychology, involved 125 children between 6 and 12 years old. Of these kids, 97 met the criteria for a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The researchers assessed the children's thinking as well as their emotional, social and behavioral development. To read more, click here

Study Aims to Reduce Stress in High-Risk, High-Poverty Schools

Extensive research has shown that disadvantaged school environments are highly stressful at multiple levels for students, teachers, and administrators. Such findings are particularly troubling in light of the mounting evidence that chronic stress translates into long-term adverse effects on learning, memory and health outcomes. An interdisciplinary group of experts from Arizona State University (ASU), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Johns Hopkins School of Education is researching solutions for this emerging health challenge. These partners will launch a pilot study to test the effects of an intervention targeted to reduce school-wide stress with funding from CityBridge Foundation and The Ludwig Family Foundation. To read more, click here

Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Leukemia

Preliminary research shows that gene therapy might one day be a powerful weapon against leukemia and other blood cancers. The experimental treatment coaxed certain blood cells into targeting and destroying cancer cells, according to research presented this weekend at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in New Orleans. "It's really exciting," Dr. Janis Abkowitz, blood diseases chief at the University of Washington in Seattle and president of the American Society of Hematology, told the Associated Press. "You can take a cell that belongs to a patient and engineer it to be an attack cell." To read more, click here

'Disabled' Mannequins Challenge Traditional Beauty In New Body Image Campaign, 'Because Who Is Perfect?'

If the mannequins housed in storefront windows were any indication of our actual body shape, we'd all be curveless sticks with no belly buttons. But humans don't fit these unisized proportions; we come in all shapes and sizes. A disabled rights group tried to shake up this mannequin dilemma yesterday:  a handful of physically disabled people had models cast of them and put in storefronts for the public to see. As part of a new campaign called "Because Who Is Perfect? Come Closer," the Swiss charity Pro Infirmis sought to expose the public to a wide range of body types through clothing store mannequins. The subjects: a woman with severe scoliosis, another with a deformed spine, a one-legged athlete, a man with brittle bone disease, and a man with shortened limbs. Together, the five models were the subjects of director Alain Gsponer's short-film about the project. 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: Mike Namian, Ope-Oluwa Olubela, Marlie Griffin, Olumide Akerele, Peggy Woodall, Jennifer Klump, Pamela Downing-Hosten, and Marilyn Haile who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:
What is the word that means "the over-representation or under-representation of a specific group represented within a specified setting when compared to the percentage of their representation in the general population"? ANSWER--Disproportionality

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
Put these 5 important pieces of federal legislation in the order in which they were enacted:  Americans with Disabilities Act, Education for All Handicapped Children Act, P.L. 99-457, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, December 23, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

Avid Cellphone Use by College Students Tied to Anxiety, Lower Grades

Ever feel a little addicted to your cellphone? A new study suggests that college students who can't keep their hands off their mobile devices -- "high-frequency cellphone users" -- report higher levels of anxiety, less satisfaction with life and lower grades than peers who use their cellphones less frequently. If you're not college age, you're not off the hook. The researchers said the results may apply to people of all ages who have grown accustomed to using cellphones regularly, day and night. "People need to make a conscious decision to unplug from the constant barrage of electronic media and pursue something else," said Jacob Barkley, a study co-author and associate professor at Kent State University. "There could be a substantial anxiety benefit." To read more, click here

Will Music Make Children Smarter?

If Johnny doesn't take to the violin, don't fret. A new study challenges the widely held belief that music lessons can help boost children's intelligence. "More than 80 percent of American adults think that music improves children's grades or intelligence," study author Samuel Mehr, a graduate student in the School of Education at Harvard University, said in a university news release. "Even in the scientific community, there's a general belief that music is important for these extrinsic reasons -- but there is very little evidence supporting the idea that music classes enhance children's [mental] development," he noted. To read more, click here

City To Allow Boy With Autism To Keep Chickens

It seems J.J. Hart, a 3-year-old boy with autism, will be able to continue chasing his pet chickens around his family's backyard after all. City council members in DeBary, Fla. will vote Dec. 18 on a resolution that allows the Hart family a special accommodation to keep up to three hens for J.J. because of his disability. "We're very happy," J.J.'s mother, Ashleigh Hart, said Wednesday. "We like to think that the chickens have been a great help in addition to everything else that we've done for J.J." The Harts' attorney, Mark Nation, said city officials agreed to the resolution after he threatened to sue DeBary in federal court. To read more, click here

Early Puberty in Girls Might Be Linked to Bad Behavior

Girls who hit puberty early might be more likely than their peers to get into fights or skip school, a new study suggests. Researchers found that girls who started their menstrual periods early -- before age 11 -- were more likely to admit to a "delinquent act." Those acts included getting into fights at school, skipping classes and running away from home. Early bloomers also seemed more susceptible to the negative influence of friends who behaved badly, the researchers said in the Dec. 9 online issue of the journal Pediatrics. This study is not the first to find a connection between early puberty and delinquency, but none of the findings can prove that early maturation is definitely to blame. To read more, click here

Genes Beat Family, Teachers for Academic Success, Study Suggests

When it comes to factors affecting children's school performance, DNA may trump home life or teachers, a new British study finds. "Children differ in how easily they learn at school. Our research shows that differences in students' educational achievement owe more to nature than nurture," lead researcher Nicholas Shakeshaft, a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said in a college news release. His team compared the scores of more than 11,000 identical and non-identical twins in the United Kingdom who took an exam that's given at the end of compulsory education at age 16. Identical twins share 100 percent of their genes, while non-identical (fraternal) twins share half their genes, on average. To read more,click here

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Attractive High School Students Have Better GPAs: The Ups And Downs Of Being Told What You're Worth

High school is weird. There's no delicate way of saying it, unfortunately. Over the perilous four years, students go through puberty, develop acne and love interests, plant the seeds of their collegiate future, and spend an inordinate amount of time looking in the mirror - all this on top of filling their primary role of student. The truth is, negotiating these influencing factors is difficult. From learning disabilities to physical beauty, new research into the fractured universe that is high school suggests there's a lot more motivating student performance than simply how hard they study. To read more, click here

Kids' Liver Transplant Success Varies by Race, Research Shows

White children in the United States have higher liver transplant survival rates than blacks and other minority children, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 208 patients, aged 22 and younger, who received a liver transplant at Children's Hospital of Atlanta between January 1998 and December 2008. Fifty-one percent of the patients were white, 35 percent were black, and 14 percent were other races. At one, three, five and 10 years after transplant, organ and patient survival was higher among white recipients than among minority recipients, the investigators found. The 10-year organ survival rate was 84 percent among whites, 60 percent among blacks and 49 percent among other races. The 10-year patient survival rate was 92 percent for whites, 65 percent for blacks and 76 percent among other races. To read more,click here

Probiotics Don't Prevent Childhood Asthma, Study Finds

Probiotics -- friendly bacteria found in supplements and some yogurts -- don't prevent childhood asthma, but they may provide other health benefits, according to a new study. Researchers in Canada found that taking probiotics during pregnancy or giving probiotics to infants during the first year of life does not reduce the prevalence of asthma. "Taking probiotics had no effect on the asthma rate," said the study's principal investigator, Meghan Azad, a post-doctoral fellow in the faculty of medicine and dentistry at the University of Alberta. "We haven't shown there's any harm in giving probiotics, but it can't really be advised as a strategy to prevent asthma." 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

Pot Smoking in Pregnancy Tied to Stillbirth Risk

Expectant mothers who smoke marijuana may triple their risk for a stillbirth, a new study suggests. The risk is also increased by smoking cigarettes, using other legal and illegal drugs and being exposed to secondhand smoke. Stillbirth risk is heightened whether moms are exposed to pot alone or in combination with other substances, the study authors added. "Even when [findings are] controlled for cigarette smoking, marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Varner, associate director of women's health, obstetrics and gynecology at University of Utah School of Medicine. To read more, click here

White House Pledges Millions For Mental Health

The Obama administration is committing $100 million to boost access to mental health services and improve mental health facilities. The funding announced last Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden is intended to help bridge gaps in the nation's mental health system. "The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable," Biden said. As part of the effort, $50 million made available through the Affordable Care Act will go to community health centers to create or expand behavioral health services, the administration said. The money is expected to reach approximately 200 centers across the country. To read more, click here

Childhood Cancer Survivors Suffer Long-Term Symptoms Linked to Poor Quality of Life

Due to improved treatments and technologies, more children than ever are surviving cancer. Unfortunately, about 70 percent of these children experience late effects from their disease and treatment 30 years after their cancer diagnosis, which University of Florida Health researchers say significantly impact their quality of life. "The prevalence of these symptoms accounts for a huge variance in physical, mental and social domains of quality of life among survivors," said I-Chan Huang, Ph.D., an associate professor of health outcomes and policy in the UF College of Medicine and the lead author of the study. "If we think symptoms are the key to patients' quality of life, then if we can better manage their symptoms, we can improve their daily functional status and quality of life." To read more, click here

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Supreme Court To Consider What Defines Intellectual Disability

How should states decide if someone convicted of a crime has an intellectual disability, when the answer means life or death? This spring the Supreme Court will wade back into these murky waters, 12 years after it took the death penalty off the table for criminals with mental disabilities but left the details to the states. In its 6-3 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, authored by Justice John Paul Stevens, the court prohibited states from executing anyone with "mental retardation." Mental health professionals define it as substantial limitations in intellectual functions such as reasoning or problem-solving, limitations in adaptive behavior or "street smarts," and evidence of the condition before age 18. (Mental retardation is the term used in law, but most clinicians and The Associated Press refer to the condition as intellectual disability.) To read more, click here

jobsNASET's Latest Job Listings

* Coordinator of Educational Advancement and Partner - This position is located in the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing for Minnesotans. This position exists to advance the education collaborative for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.  To learn more - Click here

 

* Special Education Teacher (moderate-severe) - Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE) provides high quality programs for individuals with Autism and associated developmental disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. PACE's Special Education Teacher is responsible for maintaining a learning environment for students with Autism and related developmental disabilities. To learn more - Click here

 

* Special Education Teacher - Youth Villages has been a national leader in the implementation of research-based treatment philosophies in the field of children's mental and behavioral health and they are looking for a Special Education Teacher. Their commitment to helping troubled children and their families find success spans 20+ years and includes a comprehensive array of programs and services.  To learn more - Click here

 

* Moderate-Severe Special Education Teacher - The Moderate-Severe Special Education Teacher will provide individualized instruction, assessment, and program planning for students who have moderate-severe disabilities. Instruction will emphasize acquisition of functional and academic skills in the least restrictive manner and setting as specified in the IEP. (Bogota, Columbia) - To learn more - Click here

 

* Master Middle School Teachers - $125,000 Salary:  Join a team of master teachers at The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School, recently featured on the front page of the New York Times. TEP is a 480-student 5th through 8th grade middle school in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. To learn more -Click here

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

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.
Barack Obama

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