Week in Review - April 8, 2011


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

April 8, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 13


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In This Issue
New This Week on NASET
FDA Panel Delays Action on Dyes Used in Foods
Under the ADA
Not Everyone on Board with Autism 'Awareness
TBI: Self-Administered Light Therapy May Improve Cognitive FunctionRegulations Condemned
Disadvantaged Students Share Poetry, and Intimate Details of Their Lives
Teacher Who Taught Herself How to Read Now Helps Others
President Obama Criticizes Overemphasis on Standardized Tests
Political Controversy Surrounds Minnesota Education Bill
Parents of Children with Visual Impairments Say NJ State Cuts Will Hurt Education
Tablet Computer Powerful Tool for Children with Special Needs
Genius with Autism at Work
10 Basic Steps in Special Education
National Slide Into Pink Slip Purgatory Has Consequences
Recovery Act-Funded Jobs Program Helps High School Grads Who Have ASD
Program Helps Students with Disabilities Get Jobs
Office for Civil Rights Issues Response to Concerns Regarding Position on Bullying and Harassment
SEARCH for New Workers Led to Hires Close to Home
Florida Governor Slashes Budget for Floridians with Disabilities
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Dear NASET Members,

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.orgHave a great weekend.

NASET News Team

NASET Sponsor - Drexel Online



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Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members


As 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


New This Week on NASET - The Practical Teacher,  &  Parent Teacher Conference Handout

The Practical Teacher

Tips for Building a Course Website

Students and families increasingly expect to be able to retrieve information at anytime of the day or week. Many districts routinely use e-platforms that all teachers are expected to use. In other cases, an individual teacher may set up a course website that contains helpful information for students and their families. Whether using a designed e-platform or an individual website several features should be in place to make it useful and easy to maintain. The focus of this issue of thePractical Teacher is to provide you with tips for building a course website.

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

Parent Teacher Conference Handout

 School Symptoms Exhibited by High Risk Students

A high-risk student is usually a student that is experiencing possibly severe emotional, social, environmental or academic stress. As a result of this intense turmoil, many symptoms are generated in a dynamic attempt to alleviate the anxiety. They can show up in many different behavior patterns. This Parent Conference Teacher Handout will provide parents with examples of behavioral patterns that may be indicative of more serious issues. -

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

FDA Panel Delays Action on Dyes Used in Foods

Foods that contain dyes used to enhance color don't need warning labels, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel said last Thursday. The advisers' 8-6 vote came in response to concerns, especially from parents, that the commonly used dyes might be linked to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in some children. The advisory panel made its recommendation based on the FDA's evaluation of existing data, as well as testimony from researchers. It was the lack of rigorous studies, as well as a lack of data, that prompted the panel to ask for more research into the issue and delay a recommendation on artificial food colorings, CNN reported. The issue pitted the food industry against some parents, public watchdog groups and academics who've long agitated for a closer look at the additives. The FDA advisers, concluding two days of hearings that featured parents, scientists and food-industry representatives, said there wasn't enough evidence to definitively say that food dyes contribute to ADHD. The FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels, but it usually does so. To read more, click here

Under the ADA, Only Dogs or Some Mini-Horses Can Be a Service Animals

Dani Moore uses a rat perched on her shoulder as a service animal to alert her to spasms from a disabling condition. Daniel Greene's service animal is a snake wrapped around his neck to help him predict epileptic seizures. But these creatures and many others are no longer acceptable as service animals under new federal guidelines issued March 15 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new recommendations limit service animals to dogs and housebroken miniature horses. The new guidelines are not binding to states, municipalities and other agencies, which are free to adopt the policy or to make their own. But individuals who rely on other types of animals to help them manage physical disabilities and conditions are worried. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly.

Not Everyone on Board with Autism 'Awareness'

As Autism Awareness Month kicks off, hundreds of buildings will light up blue and a documentary about autism will screen nationally, but not everyone in the autism community is pleased with so much attention being paid to "awareness." Through Facebook, a budding movement is growing among those hoping to shift the conversation from one focused on a cure to an effort centered more on tolerance. "I was a bit tired of seeing 'awareness day' events tied to organizations that are asking for donations," says Paula Durbin-Westby, 52, who has autism and started a Facebook event called "Autism Acceptance Day" after hearing from others who felt hurt by traditional awareness events that didn't highlight positive aspects of the developmental disorder. To read more, click here

Self-Administered Light Therapy May Improve Cognitive Function After Traumatic Brain Injury

At-home, daily application of light therapy via light-emitting diodes (LEDs) placed on the forehead and scalp led to improvements in cognitive function and post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a groundbreaking study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online. Margaret Naeser, PhD, LAc, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues from Massachusetts GeneralHospital, and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, in Boston, and MedX Health Inc. (Mississauga, ON, Canada), report on the use of transcranial LED-based light therapy to treat two patients with longstanding traumatic brain injury (TBI). To read more, click here

In NYC, Disadvantaged Students Share Poetry, and Intimate Details of Their Lives

In an age of high stakes testing, a school enrolling some of the city's most disadvantaged students is offering a course that is part therapy and part creative writing. About a dozen ninth-graders at Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation in East Harlem clamor up the steps at 7:30 a.m. every Thursday to share their poetry and some of the most intimate details of their lives. The poems range from the agony of teenage love to the humiliation of domestic abuse, and they are shared among teenagers for whom hiding weakness is a method of survival.... About 40% of the students receive special education services, and the graduation rate for special education students in the city is about 25%. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Research suggests that the best way to treat hemophilia is to replace the missing blood clotting factor so that the blood can clot properly. This is done by injecting commercially prepared clotting factor concentrates into a person's vein.

Teacher Who Taught Herself How to Read Now Helps Others with Words

Mrs. Gillespie's reading classroom has nearly 400 books, but few stories resonate with students like her own. Patty Gillespie, one of Thomas Jefferson High School's most respected teachers, couldn't read as a young high school graduate in 1971. She faked her way through some classes. In others, sympathetic teachers passed her because they knew she'd tried. It caught up with her in college, when Gillespie feared she would flunk out. "I was so overwhelmed I was in tears almost every day," she said. Gillespie, then 19, had a choice: Drop out and disappoint her parents, who hadn't gone to college, or teach herself to read. She had dismissed herself as dumb. But she wasn't a quitter. So, in her most vulnerable moment as a student, Patty Gillespie made the life-altering decision to teach. And she never quit. Nearly 40 years later, Gillespie is one of three Americans who will receive a coveted volunteer award from Reading Is Fundamental, a federal program, next month in Washington, D.C. To read more, click here

President Obama Criticizes Overemphasis on Standardized Tests to Measure Student Performance

According an Associated Press (AP) report in the Mercury News,President Barack Obama believes students should take fewer standardized tests and school performance should be measured in other ways. "Too often what we have been doing is using these tests to punish students," he said. The president endorsed the occasional administering of standardized tests to determine a "baseline" of student ability. The President stresses that schools should be judged on criteria other than student test performance, including attendance rate. He added policymakers should find a test that "everybody agrees makes sense" and administer it in less pressure-packed atmospheres, potentially every few years instead of annually. To read more, click here

Political Controversy Surrounds Minnesota Education Bill Potentially Targeting Children with Special Needs

In a state with one of the largest achievement gaps, Democrats say Minnesota's education funding bill ostensibly takes aim at programs for disadvantaged kids. State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said the bill, which has cleared the Senate, seems targeted at "programs that directly support children with disabilities, poor children and children of color," according to the Associated Press. The Republican-supported education bill would dip into the pot of integration aid for large urban districts and re-allocate the money to incentivize districts that can improve student literacy. 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:  who knew that the 3 types of hearing loss were: (1) Conductive; (2) Sensorineural; (3) Mixed

Christopher Long, Sunmin Lee, Heather Drake, Ross Jones, Alexandra Pirard, Carolyn Looney, Jessica L. Ulmer, Chaya Tabor, Sandra Kennedy, Joyce Bergin, Shan Ring, Debbie Innerarity, Alesia Edmondson-Ross, Julia Godfrey, Christie Miller, Marilyn Haile, Pattie Komons



Sometimes referred to as the "Buckley Amendment", this Act provides general regulations on maintaining and disclosing educational records. What is the name of this Act?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, April 11, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

Parents of Children with Visual Impairments Say NJ State Cuts Will Hurt Education

When Elizabeth Morgan was almost 12, a brain tumor left her completely blind. Today, the 11th-grader attends Vineland High School with help from an aide, special equipment and special teachers provided by the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Christopher Cruz, 13, has been blind since birth. He takes the bus to Galloway Township Middle School, where he participates in gym class and performs science experiments. He also takes clarinet, piano and kung fu lessons, all possible because of training from commission teachers, said his mother, Amy Livengood. The proposed FY 2012 state budget reduces the number of CBVI teaching positions by 29 percent, from 70 to 50, saving $1.5 million. Officials at the Department of Human Services said the reduction in staff is in response to a 27 percent reduction in the number of people requiring services and the availability of some services from other agencies. They said the cuts apply only to the 20 instructor positions, not to other services or staff. To read more, click here

Touched By an iPad: Tablet Computer Powerful Tool for Children with Special Needs

At 20 months old, something changed inside Cade Brademeyer. He turned from a bubbly, animated, cuddly child to a silent, withdrawn one. He began crawling under tables or chairs and spending long periods examining how they were built. He was fascinated by doors and would rather play with an extension cord than a toy. After years of testing, Cade was diagnosed with autism and apraxia (a lack of motor planning) at age 5. "This is how we describe it: We lost our child to autism at about 20 months, and we have been trying to get him back ever since," says his mother, Missy Brademeyer. Now one technological tool may help bring Cade a little closer to home. About eight months ago, Mark Coppin, assistive technology director at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, encouraged the Brademeyers to buy Cade an iPad. He told the Fort Ransom, N.D., couple that some children with disabilities were successfully using the popular tablet computer to communicate and learn. To read more, click here

Genius with Autism at Work: 12-Year-Old is Studying at Indiana University-Purdue University

When Jacob Barnett first learned about the Schrödinger equation for quantum mechanics, he could hardly contain himself. For three straight days, his little brain buzzed with mathematical functions. From within his 12-year-old, diagnosed with mildl autism, there gradually flowed long strings of pluses, minuses, funky letters and upside-down triangles -- a tapestry of complicated symbols that few can understand. He grabbed his pencil and filled every sheet of paper before grabbing a marker and filling up a dry erase board that hangs in his bedroom. With a single-minded obsession, he kept on, eventually marking up every window in the home. Strange, say some. Genius, say others. To read more, click here

Helping Parents: 10 Basic Steps in Special Education

Children can have all sorts of difficulties growing up. Sometimes problems are obvious right from the start; and sometimes they don't appear until a child is in school. Some children have trouble learning to read or write. Others have a hard time remembering new information. Still others may have trouble with their behavior. For some children, growing up can be very hard to do! When a child is having trouble in school, it's important to find out why. The child may have a disability. By law, schools must provide special help to eligible children with disabilities. This help is called special education and related services. There's a lot to know about the process by which children are identified as having a disability and in need of special education and related services. This article is devoted to helping you learn about that process. To read more, click here

National Slide Into Pink Slip Purgatory Has Consequences

This year was not the first in which Monica Iñiguez, a 4th grade teacher at Noble Avenue Elementary, in Los Angeles, received a pink slip. But it is the first year that her husband, a teacher in a nearby middle school, also received a pink slip, the first year they've been in escrow on a house, and the first year she has doubts about whether teachers will agree to furloughs to stave off cuts, as they have in prior years. And she is concerned about the frustration of her colleagues at her school, located in the heavily Latino North Hills neighborhood: Nearly half the school's 52 teachers have received pink slips. The situation has made it hard to keep morale up in the 1,200-student school, where teachers attribute recent increases in student achievement to teamwork, long hours, and hard work. To read more, click here

Recovery Act-Funded Jobs Program Helps High School Grads Who Have ASD

JobTIPS, a free, Web-based program unveiled today, aims to help youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other disabilities develop and maintain skills needed for successful employment. Supported through the Recovery Act with a grant for just under $1 million over two years from the National Institutes of Health, this resource targets a critical transition period as teenagers leave the school system, which is usually their primary source of ASD-related services throughout childhood. "Finding and holding onto a job is difficult for everyone these days, but people who have ASD may be at particular disadvantages," noted Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, part of NIH. "JobTIPS not only helps to put young adults with ASD on equal footing as their peers, but also ensures that employers see the skills and talents they have to offer." Successful employment is key to greater independence for people with ASD. But symptoms of the disorder-social impairment, communication difficulties, and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors-often pose major barriers for finding and maintaining appropriate work. To read more, click here

Program Helps Students with Disabilities Get Jobs

Making the transition from high school to the next level can be hard for anyone. For those with intellectual disabilities, the challenge is even greater. "Seventy to 80 per cent of people with an intellectual disability in New Brunswick are unemployed (or underemployed)," said Krista Carr, executive director of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living. "One thing that makes a huge difference in that is planning for what's going to happen after school, while kids are in school." That's where the association's transition to work program comes in. It's a pilot project in two school districts. "We've been doing it about five years with Leo Hayes, FHS and Harvey High participating in District 18, and St. Stephen High in District 10," said Lynn Akmens, a transition facilitator with the association. "We start with students in Grade 10 and we carry on with them through to Grade 12." To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Hemophilia affects 1 in 5,000 male births. About 400 babies are born with hemophilia each year.

Office for Civil Rights Issues Response to Concerns Regarding Position on Bullying and Harassment in Schools

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has issued a response to concerns raised by NSBA regarding the expansive enforcement position OCR takes on student-to-student bullying and harassment issued October 26, 2010. In December, 2010, NSBA General Counsel Francisco Negrón, Jr. asked OCR to clarify or reconsider its stance on the responsibility of public school officials to address bullying and harassment in schools.  Mr. Negrón expressed concern that the DCL, which provides a broad view of the behaviors that constitute harassment falling under the purview of OCR's enforcement responsibilities and a wide range of remedial measure schools may need to take to address them, may invite misguided litigation against schools and prove difficult for school officials to implement.  To read more, click here

SEARCH for New Workers Led to Hires Close to Home

Some of the newest hires at the U.S. Department of Education this year are D.C. Public School students with developmental disabilities, Alexa Posny told me recently. Ms. Posny, assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, said that through a somewhat new endeavor of the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Education has seven students with disabilities as interns this year. The students, who are not working toward a traditional diploma, are in their last year of school. This group of interns is doing 10-week rotations through different offices throughout the Department of Education. Project SEARCH, as the program is called, is new only new to the federal government. The program began at private companies in 1996, and the Department of Labor says there are now 140 sites in 42 states and similar programs in the U.K. and Australia. To read more, click here

Florida Governor Slashes Budget for Floridians with Disabilities

Rather than waiting on legislative approval for his most recent budget cut push, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has issued an executive order slashing the state budget for social workers and group homes for the individuals with disabilities. The cuts would affect between 30,000 and 35,000 Floridians with severe developmental disabilities. They go into effect Friday and will remain in place at least through June 30, the end of Florida's fiscal year. To read more, click here


Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual Savings
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Food For Thought..........

There's a way to do it better....find it

Thomas Edison

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