Week in Review - December 30, 2011


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

December 30, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 48


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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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New This Week on NASET

NASET's Q&A Corner

#48 Parental Consent

One of parents' most important rights is the right to give (or not give) their consent for certain actions of the school system with respect to their child with a disability. When the term consent is used in IDEA, or the term parental consent, it has the same meaning as the term informed written consent. It means that the parent has been fully informed regarding the action of the school system for which parental consent is being requested. The focus of this issue of NASET's Q & A Corner will be to address basic questions asked regarding consent.

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Resource Review
December 2011
In this issue you will see topics on:
  • Accommodations
  • Assistive Technology
  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Autism
  • Charter Schools
  • College and Career Preparation
  • Down Syndrome
  • Early Intervention
  • Educational Reform
  • Federal Grant Opportunities
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Homeless Education
  • IEP Team
  • IDEA
  • Independency
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mental Health
  • Participation Requests
  • Research Based Instruction
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairments
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No Child Left Behind Waivers Leave Behind Students with Disabilities

What concerns the National Center for Learning Disabilities and other groups about the applications 11 states filed with the Education Department seeking waivers from the No Child Left Behind law? What they don't say. In a letter to federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan this week, NCLD Executive Director James Wendorf writes that the department's flexibility amounts to a trade off, with students with disabilities on the losing end of the swap. Many groups that advocate for students with disabilities, including NCLD, heralded the No Child Left Behind law for finally holding schools accountable for these students. But with the waivers, "important reforms such as college and career ready standards, higher quality assessments ... and a focus on sound teacher and principal evaluation systems are being driven by the department's guidelines for states seeking flexibility. Unfortunately, these reforms are being exchanged for a significant departure from accountability for achievement by all schools and for all students," he wrote. To read more, click here

President Obama Calls For Better Pay For Disability Caregivers

The Obama administration is proposing new rules to provide first-ever minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home care workers who assist people with disabilities. Under a federal law dating to 1974, those who provide at-home assistance are classified as "companions," much like baby sitters, and do not have the same rights as other workers. Now the U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule to dramatically change the landscape for the nation's 1.79 million in-home care providers. Under a plan announced Thursday at the White House, minimum wage and overtime laws would apply to all in-home care workers employed through staffing agencies and other third parties. In addition, protections would be extended to individuals employed by families if they are providing skilled medical care. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Developmental Dyspraxia is a disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks. Generally, individuals with the disorder appear "out of sync" with their environment.

Technology That Gives Children a Voice

For many young children, talking to their parents about what they've been doing at school is a natural, daily event. However, parents whose children have complex communication needs (CCN) - meaning they are unable to communicate effectively using speech alone - cannot take this for granted. One project trying to help is called How Was School Today?, a collaboration between Dundee University's school of computing, Aberdeen University's department of computing science and Capability Scotland. As its website points out, people with CCN may rely on computer-generated speech, but devices providing this technology "are currently limited to short, pre-stored utterances or tedious preparation of text files which are output, word for word, via a speech synthesiser. Restrictions in speed and vocabulary can be a frustrating experience and are an impediment to spontaneous social conversation". To read more, click here

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Program for Highly Gifted Students in Oregon Widens its Ranks

Forty-eight highly gifted students in Mark Wandell's Summa humanities class at Meadow Park Middle School are rating the United States based on the six characteristics in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. (Hint: It's the one that starts with "We the People" and includes perfect union, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense.) They give the U.S. mostly B's and C's; "blessings of liberty" gets an A. Some of the group are students who have never attended a Summa class. Until this year, they would not have qualified. To read more, click here

Overweight 7-Year-Olds Face Higher Risk of Asthma

Children who are overweight or obese during early childhood have a greater risk of having asthma at age 8 than normal-weight kids, a new study finds. Researchers in Sweden followed more than 2,000 children for eight years, using preschool and school health records to track their height and weight at ages 1 year, 18 months, 4 years and 7 years. Parents completed questionnaires about their child's health, including asthma and allergy status. Children who had persistently high BMI (body mass index) -- in the 85th percentile or above -- throughout early childhood, or who were normal-weight toddlers but gained weight and had a high BMI at age 7, were more likely to have asthma than kids who had a normal body weight. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Symptoms of Developmental Dyspraxia vary and may include poor balance and coordination, clumsiness, vision problems, perception difficulties, emotional and behavioral problems, difficulty with reading, writing, and speaking, poor social skills, poor posture, and poor short-term memory.

Multiple Sclerosis Linked to Different Area of Brain

Radiology researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have found evidence that multiple sclerosis affects an area of the brain that controls cognitive, sensory and motor functioning apart from the disabling damage caused by the disease's visible lesions. The thalamus of the brain was selected as the benchmark for the study conducted by faculty at the UTHealth Medical School. Lead researchers include Khader M. Hasan, Ph.D., associate professor, and Ponnada A. Narayana, Ph.D., professor and director of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging; and Jerry S. Wolinsky, M.D., the Bartels Family and Opal C. Rankin Professor in the Department of Neurology. 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: Joan S. Meade, Anne L. Grothaus, Marlene Barnett, Jessica L. Ulmer, Alexandra Pirard, Suzann Armitage, Chaya Tabor, Ann Blaido, Kim Francisco, Warren Rubin, Casey Trenkamp, Jack Carey, Sheryl MacCullough, Dawn Cox, who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question was: BELL'S PALSY

This rare genetic disorder is characterized by mild to moderate mental retardation or learning difficulties, a distinctive facial appearance, and a unique personality that combines over-friendliness and high levels of empathy with anxiety. The most significant medical problem associated with it is cardiovascular disease caused by narrowed arteries. It is also associated with elevated blood calcium levels in infancy. A random genetic mutation (deletion of a small piece of chromosome 7), rather than inheritance, most often causes the disorder. However, individuals who have it have a 50 percent chance of passing it on if they decide to have children. The characteristic facial features of the disorder include puffiness around the eyes, a short nose with a broad nasal tip, wide mouth, full cheeks, full lips, and a small chin. People with it are also likely to have a long neck, sloping shoulders, short stature, limited mobility in their joints, and curvature of the spine. What is this genetic disorder?

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, January 2, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.

Warners Buys Rights to Autism Memoir

Warner Bros. has acquired feature film rights to Kristine Barnett's upcoming memoir, tentatively titled "Scattered Skills," in a pre-emptive deal. Book will tell the story of a mother and her 12-year-old son, Jacob, and his journey from autism to genius. The son's first few years were spent in silence but then he took a liking to math and was able to recite the mathematical constant pi out to 70 digits at age 3. He began attending university classes in Indiana at age 8 and has a math IQ that has been measured at 170. Deals for the book and film were based on a 74-page proposal. To read more, click here

New York City's Taxi Fleet Violates Disabilities Act, Judge Rules

New York City's fleet of taxi cabs violates part of the Americans With Disabilities Act by not sufficiently providing for customers who use wheelchairs, a federal judge ruled last Friday. The Bloomberg administration must now present an extensive report to the judge that describes a plan for expanding the availability of wheelchair-accessible taxis, which make up less than 2 percent of the city's fleet of 13,000 yellow cabs. The requirement, issued by Judge George B. Daniels of United States District Court in Manhattan, is similar to the mandate placed on the city in a bill signed this week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who, in approving a plan to legalize street hails of livery cabs, asked for a plan for more taxis to be accessible. To read more, click here

Chronic School Absenteeism Linked to Mental Health Problems

Children who miss school often are more likely to have symptoms of mental health problems as teens, a new study finds. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and colleagues compiled information on 17,000 students in grades 1 through 12. The study found kids in second through eighth grades with mental health problems, such as antisocial behavior or depression, missed more school days than kids without those issues. Middle and high school students who missed a lot of school were also more likely to be later diagnosed with mental health issues. The study is in the journal Child Development. 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

Scientists Probe the Origins of Dyslexia

Problems in how people with dyslexia process the sounds they hear may be at the heart of this learning disorder, new research suggests. The study findings, published in the Dec. 22 issue of the journal Neuron, may one day lead to better therapies for children and adults who are diagnosed with this common yet still ultimately mysterious condition. And different people with dyslexia may have differences in brain-processing patterns, which could help distinguish subtypes of the disorder. Although we "typically think of dyslexia as an impairment of reading or the printed word, previous research has suggested that there's an auditory-processing component. . . It's not just the printed word but also auditory," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, who was not involved with the study but is familiar with the findings. To read more, click here

Accessibility is Vitally Important for People with Disabilities and Older Mobile Users

It estimated that there are now more than 1 billion people around the world who experience some form of disability, with 110-190 million of them encountering significant difficulties. In an age of mind-boggling advances in information and communication technologies, the wider implications are enormous. The statistics come from the first-ever World Report on Disability from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, published in a year when smartphone sales are booming, as are downloads of the apps that run on them. Technology industry analyst IDC estimates that handset makers shipped 118.1m smartphones in the third quarter of 2011 - nearly one third of the 393.7m total mobile handsets shipped in that period. With hundreds of thousands of apps available for these smartphones, the devices have an ever-increasing range of uses, from entertainment and social networking through to business and communication. But when those apps are not designed with accessibility in mind, people with disabilities - whether visual, cognitive or others - risk being shut out. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Although individuals with Developmental Dyspraxia may be of average or above average intelligence, they may behave immaturely. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive and may include occupational and speech therapy, and "cueing" or other forms of communication such as using pictures and hand gestures. Many children with the disorder require special education.

Toddlers Don't Seem to Listen to Own Voices to Correct Speech

Unlike adults and older children, toddlers do not listen to the sound of their voice to correct their speech, a new study finds. Researchers had adults and 4-year-old and 2-year-old children say the word "bed" repeatedly while simultaneously hearing themselves say the word "bad." This contradiction caused the adults and 4-year-olds to change the way they said "bed" to something more like the word "bid." However, the 2-year-olds kept saying "bed," the investigators found. The findings, published online Dec. 22 in the journal Current Biology, suggest that toddlers use a different strategy to control their speech. To read more, click here

Orlando Charter School Excels at Serving Students with and without Disabilities

When her three-year-old granddaughter moved to Orlando, the dean of education at theUniversity of Central Florida knew exactly where she should go - a school founded for children with disabilities. Young Ellie doesn't have a disability. But Sandra Robinson says she's still best served in the toddler program at the UCP Bailes campus in East Orlando. "She would have the opportunities to work with these very skilled teachers," Robinson said, "but also in such a diverse classroom so that from her very early years Ellie would understand differences in people." It's one of seven charter schools run by the non-profit UCP, affiliated with the central Florida chapter of United Cerebral Palsy. And it's unique in several ways. Half of its students are like Ellie and don't have a disability. The other half has disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and autism. To read more, click here

Senate Introduces Bill Limiting Restraints, Seclusion

A U.S. Senate bill filed late last week would limit physical restraint and locked seclusion of students-measures often used with students with disabilities who are considered out of control, harmful to themselves or others, or in need of being calmed. Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's "Keeping All Students Safe Act," is similar to a bill filed by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., in April. The U.S. House has previously passed the bill, but it wasn't taken up by the Senate. However Rep. Miller's bill has bipartisan support. Sen. Harkin's bill has no cosponsors, at least not yet. Among other things, the bill would: ban the use of physical restraints except in emergency situations; prohibit physical restraints that affect a student's primary means of communication; forbid putting seclusion or restraint into a student's individualized education program or IE; require states to collect data on the use of the measures, and ask schools to meet with parents and staff after a restraint is used and plan interventions that would prevent their use in the future. To read more, click here

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

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

Mahatma Gandhi

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