Week in Review - September 23, 2011


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

September 23, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 34


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In This Issue

New This Week on NASET -

What Works: Effective Teaching Strategies for Students with Disabilities -

More Students Identified as Gifted in More Affluent School Districts, Data Show -

Outdoor Time Improves Symptoms of ADHD -

San Francisco's Special Education Classes Disproportionately Filled with Minority Students -

New Type of Spinal Cord Stem Cell Discovered: Research Provides New Target for Regenerating Parts of... -

Students at Tennessee School for the Blind Find Outlet in the Arts
New Regulation Makes More Train Stations Accessible to People with Disabilities; Many Still Left Out
What the iPad (and other technology) Can't Replace in Education
Continued Use of Stimulants for ADHD Likely Does Not Increase Risk for Hypertension
ADHD Doubles a Child's Risk of Injury
Researchers Find No Link Between Income, Autism
White House Details Plans for More Digital Learning
Opinion: There Was Nothing 'Special' About Our Special Education
Los Angeles Awarded Special Olympics World Games
DynaVox Maestro Gives 10-year-old with Autism Chance to Communicate
Study: First-Year Teacher Attrition May Approach 10%
David P. Rundle: Give Roles to Actors with Disabilities
Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Symptoms Have Altered Digestive Genes
Senator Calls for Emphasis on Integrated Employment
Juvenile Delinquency Linked to Higher Suicide Risk
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Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW 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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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

NASET Sponsor - Drexel Online


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New This Week on NASET

Genetics in Special Education Series

Genetic components presented in this issue:

· Retinitis pigmentosa
· Antiphospholipid syndrome

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NASET Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers about IEEs'
Under certain circumstances, the local education agency (LEA) is required to provide at public expense an independent educational evaluation (IEE). An IEE is defined as an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the agency responsible for the child's education [34 C.F.R. 300.502 (a)(3)(i)]. The focus of this issue of NASET's Q & A Corner is to address questions related to independent educational evaluations (IEE). -

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What Works: Effective Teaching Strategies for Students with Disabilities

Teaching is not an exact science, where one approach fits all. A carefully planned lesson might inspire one student to craft an amazing story, commit to improving her grades, and go on to college to become a journalist. That same lesson might leave another child confused and discouraged. Effective teaching requires flexibility and creativity. As special educators or as general educators, we must constantly 'monitor and adjust' our teaching techniques. What we don't have to do is reinvent the wheel for every lesson. Good teachers draw upon their collection of strategies in order to meet the needs of diverse learners. They also use evidence-based practices shown through research to improve student learning. To read more, click here

More Students Identified as Gifted in More Affluent School Districts, Data Show

A student's chance of being identified as gifted can be greatly affected by the number of testing opportunities throughout his or her school career. Depending on where in Licking County students attend, they could take the test that determines whether they are gifted one, two or six times. Granville tests students six times -- in grades 1 through 4, 6 and 7 -- while Heath and Southwest Licking each test twice and the rest of the county's districts tests students once. A student can be recommended to be tested at any time, however. Ohio Department of Education data shows more affluent districts generally have a higher percentage of students identified as gifted. In Granville, 48.1 percent of students were identified as gifted in 2010; in Newark and North Fork, fewer than 8 percent are, based on 2010-11 school year data. To read more,click here

Outdoor Time Improves Symptoms of ADHD

Researchers from the University of Illinois studied over 400 children diagnosed with ADHD to examine whether enjoying a "green time" may benefit kids with the condition or not.  Their findings reported in the journal Applied Psychology showed that children who regularly play in a setting that has grass and trees have milder symptoms than those who play indoors or in built outdoor environments.  ADHD is one of the most common developmental disorders in children which can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and over-activity. "Before the current study, we were confident that acute exposures to nature - sort of one-time doses - have short-term impacts on ADHD symptoms," said lead author Frances (Ming) Kuo. To read more, click here

San Francisco's Special Education Classes Disproportionately Filled with Minority Students

In Rachel Kayce's classroom at Dianne Feinstein Elementary, students illustrate cards depicting their dreams. "I want to be on Broadway one day." "My goal is to be a soccer player." "I will follow directions the first time I'm told." As that final dream suggests, this is no everyday classroom. It's a special day class for third- through fifth-graders considered "emotionally disturbed," a category within special education. Here, along with lessons in reading comprehension, vocabulary and cursive handwriting, eight 8- to 10-year-olds learn to master intense emotions. One student dissolves into tears as Kayce helps him tally his points for the morning lesson. Another is reminded to stop slapping her hands because it's distracting. Outside, a student from a neighboring classroom howls with rage. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Leisure education provides students with recreational and educational instruction to promote positive attitudes toward leisure, recognition of the benefits of recreation involvement, the development of skills necessary for recreation participation (such as social, decision making, and planning skills), knowledge of recreation resources, and attitudes and skills that facilitate independent, satisfying leisure experiences

New Type of Spinal Cord Stem Cell Discovered: Research Provides New Target for Regenerating Parts of the Central Nervous System

A group led by a University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health scientist has discovered a type of spinal cord cell that could function as a stem cell, with the ability to regenerate portions of the central nervous system in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). The radial glial cells, which are marked by long projections that can forge through brain tissue, had never previously been found in an adult spinal cord. Radial glia, which are instrumental in building the brain and spinal cord during an organism's embryonic phase, vastly outnumber other potential stem cells in the spinal cord and are much more accessible. Their findings were published online in PLoS ONE. To read more, click here

Students at Tennessee School for the Blind Find Outlet in the Arts

Ashley Jackson is completely blind and almost totally deaf, but her world is not dark and silent. Light, color, textures, shapes - all things she's never seen - flow into the clay sculptures she creates. "I didn't choose to be blind and deaf, but I accept it," Jackson said. "With sculptures I feel stronger." Jackson, a 19-year-old boarding student from Chattanooga, attends the Tennessee School for the Blind in Donelson. Her work is among 20 to 30 pieces of artwork from the school on display through Sept. 30 at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. To read more, click here

New Regulation Makes More Train Stations Accessible to People with Disabilities; Many Still Left Out

National Disability Rights Network Executive Director Curt Decker expressed encouragement over a new rule issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT) requiring train station platforms be made more accessible to people with disabilities. "We have pressed both the Department of Transportation and Amtrak to address this issue for a long time," said Decker. "While this new rule shows progress is being made, there is still much left to do to ensure people with disabilities have full and equal access to our nation's railways. "A major problem we have with this rule is that it only applies to stations that do not share tracks with freight rail. Since many passenger trains share tracks with freight, a large number of stations will be exempted from the rule and people who use wheelchairs or cannot climb stairs will have to use less convenient means to board trains compared with when platforms are level with the trains." To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Therapeutic recreation is the use of recreation activities to habilitate or rehabilitate functional abilities, which contribute to behavioral change. 'Therapeutic recreation is a process involving assessment, development of goals and objectives, and the implementation, documentation, and evaluation of intervention strategies.

What the iPad (and other technology) Can't Replace in Education

A recent article in The New York Times explains how after investing $33 million in technology, a school district in Arizona has seen almost no improvement in test scores. Duh. It's no surprise that we as a society have a kind of blind faith that technology is able to solve all of our problems. Yet while the iPad can and should replace textbooks, it can't replace common sense. Unfortunately that's exactly what's happening in education reform. We're focused so much on the device that we're ignoring what's on it. Take math. Students dislike it and perform badly in it. Each year they ask, "What does this mean?" and "When will I use this?" And what's our answer? A new platform. This is like reading a novel, hating it, and concluding it would be better on the Kindle. Students find the book disengaging and irrelevant, but instead of rewriting it, we simply reformat it. To read more, click here

Continued Use of Stimulants for ADHD Likely Does Not Increase Risk for Hypertension, but May Affect Heart Rate

Chronic use of stimulant medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children does not appear to increase risk for high blood pressure over the long term, but it may have modest effects on heart rate, according to follow-up data from the NIMH-fundedMultimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA). The study was published online ahead of print Sept 2, 2011, in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The MTA was the first major multi-site trial comparing different treatments for ADHD in childhood. The initial results of the 14-month study, in which 579 children were randomly assigned to one of three intensive treatment groups (medication management alone, behavioral treatment alone, a combination of both) or to routine community care, were published in 1999. The researchers found that medication management alone or in combination with behavioral therapy produced better symptomatic relief for children with ADHD than just behavioral therapy or usual community care. 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: Janice Minor, Kathryn Rousseau, Mary Goodwin, Jessica L. Ulmer, Valarie Rutherford, Michelle Spinella, Lois Nembhard, Deanna Krieg & Catherine Cardenas who all knew that the answer to last week's trivia question was: Orientation and Mobility Training.


What is the name of the related service that is provided by qualified personnel in individual or group sessions that focus specifically on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration in the workplace and community of a student with a disability?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, September 26, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

ADHD Doubles a Child's Risk of Injury

Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are twice as likely to be injured badly enough to need medical attention as other children are, a new study finds. More than 5 million U.S. children, or about 9.5 percent, have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids with the condition act impulsively, have difficulty paying attention that often affects their ability to succeed in school and, in some cases, are physically hyperactive. In the study, researchers analyzed data from questionnaires filled out by the parents of 4,745 fifth graders in Houston, Los Angeles and Birmingham, Ala. that assessed ADHD symptoms. Though the questionnaires were not official ADHD diagnoses, researchers said that children who scored high on the ADHD assessment are likely to have ADHD. To read more, click here

Researchers Find No Link Between Income, Autism

A new study found no association between how much Utah families earn and their children's risk of being diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. That finding, published Thursday in the journal Autism Research, contradicts earlier studies that suggested links between autism and higher income, and between intellectual disabilities and lower income. Judith Pinborough-Zimmerman, assistant research professor at the University of Utah Department of Psychiatry, and colleagues used census data to analyze 26,108 8-year-olds born in Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties in 1994. To read more, click here

White House Details Plans for More Digital Learning

The White House unveiled plans on Friday for a research center that aims to infuse more digital learning into the nation's classrooms. The center, dubbed "Digital Promise," will aid the rapid development of new learning software, educational games and other technologies, in part through helping educators vet what works and what doesn't. Among the new ideas: a "League of Innovative Schools" that will test-drive promising technologies and use its collective purchasing power to drive down costs. "Given the power of this technology, the administration believes that we should be doing everything we can to take advantage of it," said Tom Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. While he acknowledged that games and online learning aren't "a silver bullet for education," he said the Obama administration wants to support "the ways in which technology can really make a dramatic impact on student performance and student outcomes." To read more, click here

Opinion: There Was Nothing 'Special' About Our Special Education

The two recent articles by Alan Vaglivelo brought back two sets of diametrically opposed memories. First there were those of my school days in the 1950s at Monroe Elementary School. The second were those of my days as an elementary school teacher. During my teaching days which ranged from 1973 to 2004 the field of special education evolved enormously. In my early years as a teacher there was of course a special education department at our school but compared to what is known today, it was quite limited. The special ed teacher worked pretty much exclusively with children who were then referred to as retarded. There were varying degrees of retardation, but they were all called the same thing. Today the term has become a little more politically correct and it is now referred to as cognitive impairment or intellectual disability. To read more, click here

Los Angeles Awarded Special Olympics World Games

For the first time in six years, the Special Olympics World Games will return to the United States in 2015, the organization said last Wednesday. After a competitive bid process that lasted nearly a year, Los Angeles beat out fellow-finalist South Africa to host the summer games, which are expected to draw over 7,000 athletes and more than half a million visitors. "In a city full of movie stars and all-stars, our Special Olympics athletes will be the stars of this show as they demonstrate their skills, courage and joy," said Patrick McClenahan, chair of the Los Angeles bid committee. "Los Angeles will provide the world stage necessary to create the awareness that leads to increased acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities throughout southern California, the nation and the world." To read more, click here

DynaVox Maestro Gives 10-year-old with Autism Chance to Communicate

Zakari Johnson was diagnosed with autism at age 2, and has been nonverbal for most of his life. But thanks to an innovative communication tool and a mom who wouldn't take "no" for an answer, Zakari has a voice. Last month Zakari, 10, of Aurora began using the DynaVox Maestro, a hand-held communication device, recommended by speech and language pathologist Laura Czerwinski. In a short time, Zakari is learning to communicate using the device's buttons to formulate words and sentences. "I am elated because this gives my son a voice," Felicia Johnson said. "The DynaVox will give him a chance to build his self esteem. He'll be able to do things for himself - like order at a restaurant - and interact with other children." To read more, click here

Study: First-Year Teacher Attrition May Approach 10%

Teacher attrition among first year teachers may be as high as 10 percent, according to a new data analysis from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. It's the first release of data from the NCES' Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study, which was begun a few years ago to track the career paths of beginning teachers from 2007 and 2008. It reflects the first three years of data in the study, which will continue for a minimum of five years. About 2,000 teachers were included in the original cohort. To read more about the findings of the study, click here

David P. Rundle: Give Roles to Actors with Disabilities

I always thought Daniel Day-Lewis deserved his Oscar for his 1989 portrayal of Irish writer Christy Brown in "My Left Foot." Brown, born with cerebral palsy in a large Dublin Catholic family, taught himself to write and paint with the appendage of the movie's title. Day-Lewis gave a masterful and powerful performance. Storme Toolis, herself an Irish actress with cerebral palsy, has said that nondisabled actors who take disabled roles are no better than whites who used to don black face and mimic African-American stereotypes. That is a jaw-dropping statement only an overly earnest 18-year-old, which Toolis is, could make with a straight face. Overt racism was behind the old-time minstrel shows, and later "Amos 'n' Andy" and similar tripe. "Foot" was a milestone in films about people with disabilities. It was unsentimental, very funny and unafraid to portray Brown as less than a saint. Could a person who actually had cerebral palsy have done a better job than Day-Lewis? I really don't think so. Day-Lewis saw Brown as a human with CP and not a victim of CP. The film industry has rarely shown such sensitivity on the subject. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Recreation in schools and community agencies involves the provision of recreation services that facilitate the full participation of children and youths with disabilities in school and community programs. Activities are used to promote health, growth, development, and independence through self-rewarding leisure pursuits.


Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Symptoms Have Altered Digestive Genes

Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and at the Harvard Medical School report that children with autism and gastrointestinal disturbances have altered expression of genes involved in digestion. These variations may contribute to changes in the types of bacteria in their intestines. Full study findings are reported online in the journal PLoS ONE. Autism, which is defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, affects approximately 1% of the population. Many children with autism have gastrointestinal problems that can complicate clinical management and contribute to behavioral disturbances. In some children, special diets and antibiotics have been associated with improvements in social, cognitive and gastrointestinal function. To read more, click here

Senator Calls for Emphasis on Integrated Employment

A key senator is looking to shift the expectation for people with intellectual disabilities toward integrated employment rather than sheltered workshops. During a hearing of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Thursday morning, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said he wants policy to move toward what he called "a new cutting edge." "In the past the default position for people with intellectual disabilities has been sheltered employment. I want to change that default to integrated, supported employment," Harkin said at the hearing, which is one in a series he's conducting this year to address disability employment issues. To read more,click here

Juvenile Delinquency Linked to Higher Suicide Risk

Criminality can be an indicator of a higher risk of suicide in young people. A new study from Karolinska Institutet and the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden shows that repeat offenders between the ages of 15 and 19 are three times more likely to commit suicide than young people who have not been convicted for a crime during these years. "The association is clear, even when controlling for risk factors such as substance abuse and mental illness," says Emma Björkenstam of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and Doctoral Student at the medical university Karolinska Institutet. To read more, click here


Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual SavingsNASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT

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.


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


We are all Students and we are all Teachers....so what are you learning and more importantly what are you teaching?

Mary Miller

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