Week in Review - August 19, 2011

Week in Review - August 19, 2011


New NASET Publications and

Articles of Interest in Special Education

and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week

August 19, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 30


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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 at news@naset.org.Have a great weekend.


NASET News Team

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No More Bullies at the North Pole

Bullies at the North Pole? Absolutely!!! This book addresses unfair behavior at Santa's North Pole. Special Education Teachers should find this book a valuable resource for class discussions on many unfair issues that can be devastating to children such as bullying, rejection, conformity and other problem behaviors. CGRC Publishing Co. is offering this book to NASET members at absolutely no charge. By clicking on the link below, NASET members can download a complimentary copy of the book, to be read and shared with their students. All that is asked of you in return is that, after reading the book, you take a moment to send an email tocgrcpublishing@gmail.com with your evaluation, reactions and/or opinions, both positive and negative. Click on the link to receive your complimentary copy.



Autism Risks for Siblings are Higher than Thought

A new study suggests nearly one in five children with an older sibling with autism will develop the disorder too -- a rate higher than previously thought. Researchers followed 664 infants who had at least one older brother or sister with autism. Overall, 132 infants or about 19 percent ended up with an autism diagnosis, too, by their third birthdays. Previous smaller or less diverse studies reported a prevalence of between 3 percent and 14 percent. "We were all a bit surprised and taken aback about how high it is," said lead author Sally Ozonoff, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor with the Mind Institute at UC Davis. The highest rates were in infants who had at least two older siblings with autism -- 32 percent of them also developed autism. Also, among boys with autistic siblings -- 26 percent developed autism versus 9 percent of girls. Autism is already known to be more common in boys. To read more, click here

Intestinal Protein May Have Role in ADHD, Other Neurological Disorders

A biochemical pathway long associated with diarrhea and intestinal function may provide a new therapeutic target for treating ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) other neuropsychiatric disorders, according to a team of scientists from China and the United States reporting Aug. 11 in Science. Scientists have for the last quarter century studied the intestinal membrane receptor protein, guanylyl cyclase-C (GC-C) for its role in diarrheal disease and other intestinal functions, according to Mitchell Cohen, M.D., U.S. author on the study and director of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In fact, it had been thought that GC-C was found primarily in the intestine. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act provides financial assistance to states for the purpose of providing services to infants and toddlers (age birth through two) with disabilities. The purpose of these services is to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities and to minimize their potential for developmental delay

R-Word in the Movie 'The Change-Up' Draws Criticism

A scene in the new film "The Change-Up" is taking heat from disability advocates who charge that Hollywood is once again culling laughs at the expense of people with special needs. The movie focuses on two friends, played by Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, with very different lives who change bodies. In one exchange early in the movie, Reynolds' character asks Bateman's character about his young twins. "Why can't they talk yet? Are they retarded or something?" he says. Reynolds follows up with, "the one on the left looks a little Downsy." Now, the film which has received poor reviews and had a weak showing during its opening weekend at the box office, is also taking a hit from those in the disability community on blogs and social networking sites. To read more, click here

State Creates Guide on Student Restraint Policy

The Wyoming Department of Education is in the process of releasing the policy to guide school districts' creation of rules governing how personnel handle issues like when a student should be removed from a classroom, or when one needs to be restrained and how that may be done. "There have been some national horror stories about kids who've been restrained inappropriately, and we certainly don't want that to happen to kids in Wyoming," said Peg Brown-Clark, state director of special education and division director of special programs for the Wyoming Department of Education, as to what started the process.To read more, click here

Solo Life at High Tech Home

On a recent tour of his home, Jeremy Collins showed off his kitchen, his chair, his bed, his new shower. It's a dream come true for the 31-year-old who has Down syndrome, and who had lived in group homes all of his adult life. Since April, he's lived on his own in a Coon Rapids townhouse, with a web of support that includes his parents, his caregivers and landlords, Anoka County and a technology company that all work together to help him be safe and continue to grow in independence and confidence. The benefits go beyond what's good for Collins. Like other people with disabilities, he receives state and federal support to help cover the costs of his care. Right off the bat, he was able to spend more time without the help of a personal-care attendant; the shift from constant supervision to being independent 25 percent of the week meant an immediate 10 percent reduction in the costs borne by taxpayers. The percentages don't match up because group home residents shared staffing costs. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Part C policies are based on the principles of family-centered and community-based service delivery and require that services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families be provided through a coordinated, interagency system rather than a single agency

Charter School in D.C. Focuses on Inclusion of Students with Special Needs

When Amy Aden Dunn's oldest son, Oliver, turned 3, she began a long search to find the right place for him in the District's public and private school systems. Oliver has autism. Dunn, a seasoned special education teacher who worked for 10 years at the Lab School in the District, knew the challenges that families of children with special needs faced and wanted to ensure Oliver had a solid support system. Oliver attended five schools in five years, but Dunn said she found the perfect fit at Bridges Public Charter School. Oliver was 4 by the time he enrolled and could attend for only one year. Bridges, a preschool and pre-kindergarten program in Northwest, serves children 3 to 5. To read more, click here

Poor Growth, Delayed Puberty and Heart Problems Plague Kids with Mild Kidney Disease

Children with only mildly to moderately impaired kidney function experience poor growth, delays in puberty, and heart problems, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). Therapies for these conditions might help slow the progression of kidney disease in children. Heart disease causes almost 35% of deaths in young adults with chronic kidney disease. What factors during childhood might contribute, and how serious do kidney problems have to be before they trigger damage to the heart? To find out, Susan Furth, MD, PhD, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and her colleagues studied 586 children with chronic kidney disease. 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:

Lu Ann Anderson, Leeana Koznesoff, Alexandra Pirard, Deanna Krieg, Julie Cudmore, Heather Shyrer, Jessica L. Ulmer, Marilyn Haile, James Hannon, Catherine Cardenas, Shelley Singer, and Anne L. Grothaus who knew that the appointment of a surrogate parent should be made within 30 days after it is determined a child needs a surrogate (some States mandate less time, with some as low as 10 days).


According to the federal law (IDEIA), an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) must be developed within how many days of the time the initial referral is made to the state's early intervention program?

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 22, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

High-Tech Teaching in a Low-Tech Classroom

As 21st-century teachers, we are expected to help students master the technological tools they will use in college and the workplace. But in many districts, the one-computer classroom is not extinct. So how can we do a lot with a little? How can we best use limited resources to support learning and familiarize students with technology? Here are some general tips. To read more,click here

Profile of ADHD Sharpens in Each School Year

In many households, the start of a new school year is a cause for excitement. There are new books to read, friends to be made, pencils to sharpen. But in the Gigliotti household in Benicia, Calif., the anticipation is mixed with apprehension. The family's oldest son, Justin, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which can be difficult to mesh with the routines and structure of the classroom. "Every year at the beginning of the school year, it's a new challenge," says Heidi Gigliotti, a registered nurse and mother of three. "It's a readjusting, a new teacher, how are we going to make this work." Plenty of parents have wondered whether their children are simply rambunctious, high-energy kids or if they have a behavioral disorder in need of treatment. As toddlers become preschoolers and preschoolers enter grade school, the question becomes easier to answer. To read more, click here

Different Times, Same Concerns: Closing Institutions for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Colanda House in Colac is one of only three institutions of its kind left in Victoria, along with Sandhurst in Bendigo and Oakleigh in Melbourne. Built in 1976, the facility cares for more than 100 adults with intellectual disabilities. While it's very different to former institutions such as those built in Ararat, Kew and Beechworth in the 1800s - housing people deemed to be intellectually disabled or psychiatrically ill - similar issues linger around more than two decades after the decommissioning of those facilities. Disability advocates are calling for the centre to be closed and replaced with community-based supported accommodation. To read more, click here

New ATM Rules Aim to Help Individuals with Visual Impairments

Banks, credit unions and independent ATM operators are hustling to meet a March 2012 deadline to make their machines - more than 400,000 nationally, 3,400 in Nebraska and about 2,000 in Iowa - accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.

New rules, six years in the making under the Americans with Disabilities Act, mean millions of dollars spent on new or upgraded machines. They also mean the ubiquitous automated teller machines that spit out cash will be accessible to thousands more people who have problems seeing the buttons and screens. "It allows the blind to visually impaired person to be able to enter all their card numbers and information without having the assistance of somebody else," said Robert Spangler of Vinton, Iowa, president of the Iowa Council of the United Blind. "It's a privacy issue. How would you like to drive up to an ATM and give somebody the information to do it for you? What's good for one is good for all of us." To read more, click here

Children with Autism, Connecting via Transit

Ravi Greene can tell you how to get anywhere in New York City by transit - like the beach, on the 6 train. "The 6 goes elevated from Whitlock Avenue to Pelham Bay Park," he explains. "And at Pelham Bay Park, you can transfer for a Bx29 or a Bx12 - the Bx12 to Orchard Beach." Ravi has drafted elaborate proposals for expanded bus service in Brooklyn, and has memorized the exact date that the W train stopped running in 2010. And he is only 5 years old. Like many children with autism spectrum disorders, Ravi is fascinated by trains and buses, entranced by their motion and predictability. And for years, these children crowded the exhibitions of the modest New York Transit Museum, chattering about schedules and engine components and old subway maps. "This is really their element," said Ravi's mother, Juliana Boehm, who brings Ravi and Oliver, his 8-year-old brother, who is also on the autism spectrum, to the museum almost weekly. "If I suggested another activity," she added, "it may have provoked anxiety." 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 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

Age Rule Ends Special Athlete's High School Football Career

One special high school athlete's true love is being taken away from him. Brett Bowden will no longer be able to play football because of his age, and no exception is going to be made despite his incredible story. Hobbton High School in Sampson County is steeped in football tradition, but one player has held special significance the past couple of seasons. Brett Bowden is a 19-year-old junior at Hobbton. He was born with Down's Syndrome, but in no way does that describe him as a person. "Brett doesn't see that he has Down's Syndrome," Brett's mom Pat Bowden said. "Brett just wants to be one of those guys out there, dressed, thinking that he is a football player, feeling like he's a football player." To read more, click here

Chicago Community Group Breaks Down Home-School Barriers

Several years after relocating from Ecuador to Chicago, Shirley Reyes found herself living a lonely life, anxiously waiting at home each day for her children and husband to return from school and work. Ms. Reyes' isolation ended, however, when she joined the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, a community-based group that shakes up the traditional approach to parent involvement in schooling by focusing on altering school culture, empowering parents, and breaking down barriers between parents and schools. Author and researcher Soo Hong tells the story of Ms. Reyes and other Logan Square parents and educators in A Cord of Three Strands, a case study of the LSNA published earlier this year by Harvard Education Press. Ms. Hong is currently traveling the country to promote the group's work as a model for other communities looking to boost parent involvement in schools. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also held the program up as a model for all of Chicago's public schools during a speech last month unveiling his Office of New Americans to work with community organizations, among other groups, to engage immigrant communities. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Research shows that participation in family-centered early intervention services during the first years of life has substantial positive effects on the cognitive development, social adjustment, and overall development of children with developmental disabilities. These services to eligible children are federally mandated under Part C of IDEIA. Upon referral to an early intervention program, providers work with families to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), and each family is provided a service coordinator to advocate at their request.

Getting a Student with Autism Ready for the New School Year

Gina knew she had to start changing her son's routine as school was about to begin. The summer days had been filled with getting up late, swimming and surfing the Internet for information on dinosaurs. As the summer wore on, Gina realized she had to start moving Mitchell towards the school schedule soon. Mitchell was a child who had autism. The boy did not do well when his routines were changed. Gina decided she would begin preparing her son for school by showing him his teacher's picture. At the beginning of the summer, Gina had asked the teacher if she could take a picture of her for her cell phone. The mother also had asked the teacher to leave Mitchell a voice mail on the consequences of not listening to his parents or teachers. To read more, click here

South Carolina's Penalty for Cutting Special Ed. Spending Delayed

The U.S. Department of Education won't cut South Carolina's share of federal special education dollars by $36 million-at least not yet-prompting questions about whether such penalties for states that cut education spending without federal approval are meaningful. South Carolina faces the cut because it slashed special education spending by the same amount during the 2009-10 school year. But the department didn't think the reduction was justified. Federal rules say states must maintain special education spending amounts from year to year, or increase them, regardless of financial crises. The rule is intended to buffer students' with disabilities from the ups and downs of the budget and keep services and staff they need in place from year to year. To read more, click here

School Staff Pushes Data Analysis, Individualized Instruction to Boost Middle School Test Scores

Prince George's County public middle school educators hope an intense focus on data analysis and an increase in after-school learning opportunities will increase standardized test scores after all but one failed to achieve state benchmarks in 2011 for proficiency in math and reading. Students in grades three through eight take the Maryland School Assessment, or MSA, which measures student reading and math skills. Student performance is based on whether each makes Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP, the Maryland State Department of Education's standard for math and reading proficiency. None of the 24 county middle schools made AYP in the 2009-2010 school year. Middle schools statewide made AYP in reading in 2009 but did not in 2010 mostly due to the performance in the African-American, special education and free and reduced meals subgroups. To read more, click here

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

More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given.

Bertrand Russell

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