Week in Review - July 16, 2010


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

Dear NASET Members

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications from NASET to read and download, as well as some of the most interesting issues 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.

NASET News Team

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New This Week on NASET

Classroom Management Series

Research Based Strategies for the Classroom

Reinforcing Effort

Although research on learning tends to focus on instructional strategies related to subject matter, students' beliefs and attitudes have a significant effect on their success or failure in school. Students growing up amid challenges can develop an attitude that "failure is just around the corner," no matter what. Research makes clear the connection between effort and achievement-believing you can often makes it so. This issue of the Classroom Management Series presents research and shares recommendations and techniques that encompass student recognition, beliefs, and attitudes about learning.
To read or download this issue</font> - Click here 

Resource Review

July 2010 

  • Autism
  • Early Intervention/Early Childhood
  • Employment
  • Families and Community
  • Individual Educational Plans
  • Mental Retardation and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • RTI
  • Social Networking
  • Social Security
  • Software
  • Teaching Standards
To read or download this issue - Click here 

Quick Links To NASET

For Kids with Special Needs, Camp Comes with Valuable Therapy, Higher Price Tag

Matthew Hoffman will spend much of his summer doing handwriting exercises set to music, practicing conversation techniques with other kids on the soccer field and improving his motor planning by learning to ride a bike. In other words, the 6-year-old from Bethesda is going to camp. Matthew has autism. So his five weeks at Basic Concepts in Rockville, which began June 28, will be different from the typical summer day camp in the Washington area. Few counselors at Basic Concepts are home from college for the summer. The staff members are trained specialists in speech and occupational therapy as well as special education teachers and play therapists. And there are lots of them: one therapist for every two or three children. Equipment goes far beyond what you usually find at the playground, including weighted vests, trampolines and swings commonly used in therapy sessions. To read more, click here

Who Is Likely to Become a Bully, Victim or Both? New Research Shows Poor Problem-Solving Increases Risk for All

Children and adolescents who lack social problem-solving skills are more at risk of becoming bullies, victims or both than those who don't have these difficulties, says new research published by the American Psychological Association. But those who are also having academic troubles are even likelier to become bullies. "This is the first time we've overviewed the research to see what individual and environmental characteristics predict the likelihood of becoming a bully, victim or both," said lead author Clayton R. Cook, PhD, of Louisiana State University. "These groups share certain characteristics, but they also have unique traits. We hope this knowledge will help us better understand the conditions under which bullying occurs and the consequences it may have for individuals and the other people in the same settings. Ultimately, we want to develop better prevention and intervention strategies to stop the cycle before it begins."
To read more, click here

Value of Yearly Special Ed. Reviews Questioned

Just as it has every June since 2006, the U.S. Department of Education last month delivered a rating to each state and territory based on the performance of its special education programs.
The ratings, intended to fulfill the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's requirement that "measurable" and "rigorous" targets be met on the 6.7 million school-age students enrolled in special education, are derived from reams of information that each state submits on a yearly basis. The data covers everything from student dropout rates in special education, to the percentage of children who were evaluated for special education needs within federally mandated timelines, to whether students with disabilities found work after they graduated. But when you ask state and federal officials if the effort has led to better education for students with disabilities, the answer that comes back is: We're not sure. To read more, click here


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      Amanda English            Amanda McClure           Anne Lovett               Barry Joel Amper           Bonnie Favorite             Brian Merusi              Christina Eckelkamp    Connie Foehrweiser   Donna Wadzeck       Emily Miller                      Gloria J. Ortiz
Haley Hackett           Jessica Jabali                  Karen Riggs              Kimberly Pendleton Loretta Stevens              Lucille M. Very          Marinell Kephart        Martin J. Knuth              Mary Bogorad          Matthew Tolene        Olumide Akerele             Patrick Crandon
Phyllis Wilson           Rachel Dougherty          Rena Root                   Suzann Armitage     Heidi D. Kahulugan       Jodi Leshner
Thomasina Howe    Carolyn Looney              Gary Golden                    Ilene Stern                 Lana M Flatt                      Margaret VanDyke     Michele P. Spinella  Peg Merar                         Sasha Shlyamberg     Sedalia Ray               Shannon Connors         Tracy Austin                    Valarie Rutherford    Wanda R. Bass              Brian Shanahan            Tabitha Garrett          Yvonne Perez                 Dara Careri
                     Catherine Durkin      Nancy C. Bender           Helene Fitzpatrick         Terry Grenald            Heather Shyrer              Kathleen Wechsler        Joanie P. Dikeman    Dennis Bunch

who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question.  The answer was: MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS


In 1990, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was renamed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In this same year, under IDEA, two new categories of disabilities were added.  What were the 2 new categories of disability added in 1990 under IDEA?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org

Charis Hills Honored as a NASET Blue Ribbon

Nestled in the woods of south-central Montague County, Charis Hills Camp is a unique summer camp and was recently recognized for the rare service it provides. Charis Hills is a Christian summer camp for kids with learning differences and social difficulties such as attention deficit disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, high-functioning autism, Asperger's disorder and other special needs. The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) has named Charis Hills as a 2010 Blue Ribbon Camp. "It is the highest award a camp can earn from the NASET," said Rand Southard, Charis Hills founder and president. Only three camps in the country received the award. Camp Card NE in York, ME and Easter Seals Camp Marmon in Boulder Creek, CA were the other recipients. To read more, click here

Report: Hartford Schools Failing Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

A state investigation into the Hartford Public Schools has found students with emotional and behavioral disorders face illegal segregation and discrimination. On Wednesday, the independent Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities released the results of a two-year investigation into complaints from parents about how their children have been treated by the school system. The report follows years of highly publicized efforts to improve the city's troubled school system, including building new magnet schools and creating a budgeting system based on students' needs. "It's as if the reform was taking place for everybody else and not for them," said James McGaughey, executive director of the agency, referring to students identified as having emotional and behavioral problems. "We think there is evidence there is a pattern of discrimination in the way resources are being used," he added. To read more, click here

NASET Member Benefit - Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual 

Liberty Mutual Savings

As a member of NASET you qualify for a special group discount* on your auto, home, and renter's insurance through Group Savings Plus® from Liberty Mutual. This unique program allows you to purchase high-quality auto, home and renters insurance at low group rates.
See for yourself how much money you could save with Liberty Mutual compared to your current insurance provider. For a free, no-obligation quote, call 800-524-9400 or visit www.libertymutual.com/naset, or visit your local sales office.
Group discounts, other discounts, and credits are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state.  Certain discounts apply to specific coverage only.  To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.  Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA.

Extremely Obese Children Have 40 Percent Higher Risk of Reflux Disease of Esophagus

Extremely obese children have a 40 percent higher risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and children who are moderately obese have a 30 percent higher risk of GERD compared to normal weight children, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. This large population-based study establishes an association between obesity and GERD in children, an association that has been previously reported in adults. GERD can lead to decreased quality of life, chronic respiratory conditions, and increased risk for cancer of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) if it persists through adulthood. Researchers used electronic health records to conduct a cross-sectional study of 690,321 children aged 2 -- 19 years who were members of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California integrated health plan in 2007 and 2008. To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

The principle that schools must educate ALL children with disabilities regardless of the nature or severity of the disability is known as "Zero Reject".

Students, Meet Your New Teacher, Mr. Robot

The boy, a dark-haired 6-year-old, is playing with a new companion. The two hit it off quickly - unusual for the 6-year-old, who has autism - and the boy is imitating his playmate's every move, now nodding his head, now raising his arms. "Like Simon Says," says the autistic boy's mother, seated next to him on the floor. Yet soon he begins to withdraw; in a video of the session, he covers his ears and slumps against the wall. But the companion, a three-foot-tall robot being tested at the University of Southern California, maintains eye contact and performs another move, raising one arm up high. Up goes the boy's arm - and now he is smiling at the machine. In a handful of laboratories around the world, computer scientists are developing robots like this one: highly programmed machines that can engage people and teach them simple skills, including household tasks, vocabulary or, as in the case of the boy, playing, elementary imitation and taking turns. To read more, click here

Delayed School Start Time Associated With Improvements in Adolescent Behaviors

A short delay in school start time appears to be associated with significant improvements in adolescent alertness, mood and health, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. "Beginning at the onset of puberty, adolescents develop as much as a two-hour sleep-wake phase delay (later sleep onset and wake times) relative to sleep-wake cycles in middle childhood," the authors write as background to the study. The study also notes that, "adolescent sleep needs do not decrease dramatically, and optimal sleep amounts remain about nine to 9 1/4 hours per night."
Judith A. Owens, M.D., M.P.H., of the Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence, and colleagues, studied 201 students in grades 9 through 12 attending an independent high school in Rhode Island. For the purposes of the study, class start time was delayed 30 minutes, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Additionally, students were required to complete the online retrospective Sleep Habits Survey before and after the change in school start time.
To read more, click here

Device Helps Stimulate Damaged Muscles for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

A woman who survived a traumatic brain injury was left paralyzed on her right side and it causes her to fall. But now, a new device gives her muscles electronic "shocks" to stop that from happening. The device helped her open her paralyzed hand for the first time in 25 years. Ladelle Morton often times turns on her electronic necklace and walks. For most people, this simple procedure means nothing, but to Morton, it is a huge victory. "I was shot in New York," Morton said. "I didn't speak; I didn't walk; I didn't do anything." Morton was shot in the head, and after years of physical and speech therapy, she's worked her way back to a normal life. "I'm better. I'm not cured. I don't speak well but I'm alive," Morton said. To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

In 2005, in the case Schaffer v. Weast, the U.S. Suprem Court ruled that IDEA forces parents, not schools, to prove that their children are not receiving a free appropriate education in legal disputes.

Texas May Eliminate Provision that Raises School Accountability Ratings

Soon Texas schools may not be able to use a provision that lets them earn higher accountability ratings than they would on student performance alone. State Education Commissioner Robert Scott sent school leaders a letter this week saying he is considering doing away with the Texas Projection Measure or changing it significantly for the 2011 accountability ratings. Educators like the provision because it gives schools credit for how well students are expected to do in the future, while critics contend that it doesn't give a true assessment of how students are performing. Scott's letter noted that students made improvements in every grade level across the state on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. "These test results demonstrate the hard work of students and educators across the state," he wrote. "Unfortunately, this hard work is being overshadowed by criticism of the use of TPM for state accountability purposes." To read more, click here

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 Education establishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.   For more information on Board Certification in Special Education, click here

New Method for Identifying the Causes of X-Linked Genetic Disorders

An international consortium of scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Toronto has identified previously unknown potential disease genes in humans and mice. Genes on the X chromosome, which regulate embryonic development, are the focus of the current publication in the journal Genome Research. Men have only one X chromosome, and therefore mutations on this chromosome disproportionately affect males, frequently leading to serious diseases such as hemophilia, muscular dystrophy and mental retardation. Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München led by Dr. Heiko Lickert, principal investigator at the Institute of Stem Cell Research, in cooperation with the group led by Professor Janet Rossant at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, investigated which X-linked genes are relevant to disease. They reported their findings in Genome Research, a leading journal on human genetics. To read more, click here

In England, Report Finds that Binge Drinking In Young Pregnant Women is Realted to Learning Disabilities in Children

Binge drinking amongst young women is causing an increase in kids to be born with learning disabilities. A prominent Government counselor issued the warning. Professor, Barry Carpenter said that a huge number of 19 to 24-year-olds are boozing profoundly, and are having unintended pregnancies, then drinking in the very important initial 13 weeks.Prof. Carpenter, the National Director for special educational needs, told a nursing summit that there had been a 25% increase in kids with learning disabilities in the preceding five years, making the number to arrive at 950,000. To read more, click here

Private-School Tuitions Burden Department of Education: Supreme Court Decisions Ease Way for Parents to Sue When Schools Can't Accommodate Special-Education Children

The Department of Education is charged with overseeing the city's public schools, but one of its fastest-rising expenses is the cost of covering private-school tuitions. The agency last year spent $116 million on tuition and legal expenses related to special-education students whose parents sued the DOE on the grounds that the public-school options were inadequate. That's more than double the number of just three years ago, and the costs are expected to continue to rise in coming years. Parents have been helped by a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions-the most recent was last summer-that strengthened their legal position to sue school districts for tuition costs if a district's schools are unable to provide adequate services for special-education children.  To read more, click here

Georgia Schools Ban Seclusion Rooms

Georgia public schools have outlawed the practice of placing students in solitary confinement, six years after a Hall County boy's schoolhouse hanging. The State Board of Education voted Thursday to ban the use of solitary confinement and limit the use of restraints against unruly students. For the first time, the state also will require schools to notify parents when their children have been restrained by a school administrator or teacher. Brad Bryant, newly appointed state schools superintendent, said Georgia is "one of the first states in the nation to step forward aggressively" on the issue. The state board worked for about two years developing the policy, which was supported by the parents of Jonathan King, a 13-year-old Hall County boy who hanged himself in 2004. To read more, click here

Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 20

For the past 20 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act has guaranteed to individuals with disabilities the same basic rights that other citizens take for granted, such as the right to work without facing discrimination, or the right to wheelchair-accessible public buildings. "The interesting thing about the ADA - you can really equate it to civil rights in many ways," said Liz Toone, executive director of New Horizons Independent Living Center. "And what makes it unique is the fact that society imputes handicaps on people with disabilities when there's a lack of accessibility, where there's a lack of equal access." Nick Perry, vice president of New Horizons' board, who was born with a birth defect that left him unable to use his legs, said that since the ADA's inception, "things have changed quite a lot. There's lot more that's accessible." To read more, click here

In New Jersey, Legislators Consider Cap Exemption for Special Ed Costs

The high cost of special education has become the latest point of contention in New Jersey's drama-filled path toward a new property tax cap. On one hand, most agree it's an increasing burden on districts across the state. But do extreme cases need to be excluded from the cap altogether when relatively few districts have sought such waivers as it is? The Assembly is expected to approve a new 2 percent cap on Monday, when they hold a special session to vote exclusively on the agreement reached between Gov. Chris Christie and Senate Democrats last weekend. The Senate approved the measure by a 36-3 vote yesterday. But in both chambers, lawmakers have increasingly heard calls that extraordinary special education costs for children with significant disabilities should be among the possible exemptions from the cap. The bill approved by the Senate includes only health care, pension and debt service costs on the list of exemptions. The cap could also be exceeded with majority approval of the voters. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

The federal government's definition of a resource room is one where stuents receive special education and related services outside the regular classroom for at least 21% but no more than 60% of the school day.

FDA Approves Methylphenidate Transdermal System (MTS [Daytrana]) for Adolescent ADHD

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved methylphenidate transdermal system (MTS [Daytrana]) for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. The methylphenidate transdermal system is already FDA-approved for the treatment of ADHD in children aged 6 to 12 years. MTS is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include other measures (psychological, educational, and social). The efficacy of MTS was demonstrated in a multicentre, 7-week, phase 3b, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 217 adolescents aged 13 to 17 years diagnosed with ADHD. To read more, click here

Doctors Help Iranian Boy Born With Half a Face

Eleven-year-old Mohammad Karimi will spend his summer like many other boys his age -- hiking, swimming and attending summer camp. But unlike many of his peers in upstate New York, the pre-teen nicknamed "Mo" will be recovering from his 19th facial surgery, an effort by doctors to repair congenital deformities that nearly killed him at birth. Born in Iran missing a nose, right eye and much of the right side of his face, Mo underwent 18 surgeries since arriving in the U.S. in 2003. After receiving a prosthetic eye with tear ducts and a nose bridge built from tissue from his ear lobes in recent years, the youngster braved his 19th operation on Thursday. Dr. Lucie Capek constructed a right nostril through a graft from Mo's ear in a three-hour surgery procedure at Ellis Health Center in Schenectady. To read more, click here

One in Five Preschool Children in the U. S. Demonstrates Mental Health Issues When Entering Kindergarten

Social competence and behavior problems that are evident at kindergarten and first grade are known to be strong predictors of a child's academic and social functioning. However, findings reported in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggest that psychosocial risk factors can be identified even earlier and can be observed during the transition from preschool to formal schooling. The article titled "Prevalence of DSM-IV Disorder in a Representative, Healthy Birth Cohort at School Entry: Sociodemographic Risks and Social Adaptation" Dr. Alice S. Carter and colleagues report on 1,329 healthy children born between July 1995 and September 1997 in the New Haven-Meriden Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area of the 1990 Census. The researchers sought to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the early elementary school years and to examine the relationship between the sociodemographic and psychosocial risk factors and these disorders.To read more click here

Food for Thought........

To waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sure way to teach easily and successfully.
                  Tyron Edwards

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