National Association of Special Education Teachers

February 12, 2016                                                 Vol 12 Issue # 7

Dear NASET News,

This is our third issue with our new look for NASET's Week in Review. We introduced this new format to allow for a better experience for those members who access the Week in Review on their phones and/or tablets. Now, the Week in Review is more "mobile friendly" but still maintains the highest quality for those who access it on their computers and laptops. We are very interested in your feedback about this change. To provide your feedback, email us at


IEP Components Series Issue #20

A Proposed S.M.A.R.T. Framework for Designing Individualized Educational Plan(IEP) for Young Children with Disabilities

By Arnold Chee Keong, CHUA ME.d ( Special Education)/ BCSE SPD Singapore

This issue of NASET's IEP Component series was written by Arnold Chee Keong, CHUA, MEd/BCSE. Young children with developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delay, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome is on the rise in Singapore. Children diagnosed with such disabilities at the age of three years or below will undergo an early intervention program to prevent or minimize developmental delays. Teachers in the early intervention sector require to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child's individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP. Educators working with children of various disabilities need to consider several factors in the formulation of an appropriate IEP. Using the proposed S.M.A.R.T. framework, this paper discusses five key elements of designing an IEP (S: Specificity, M: Meaningful, A: Appropriateness, R: Routine-based, and T: Transferability) which educators can adopt so as to improve the quality of written IEP goals and objectives. It is hope with this framework, the child's learning can promote engagement, social interaction, and finally independence.Read More

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ADHD Tied to Obesity Risk for Girls, Study Contends

Girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have their share of challenges. And new research suggests a tendency toward obesity may be one of them. In a 1,000-person study, Mayo Clinic researchers found that girls with ADHD may be twice as likely to be obese in childhood or early adulthood as girls without the disorder. This association was not linked to treatment with stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall, the researchers said. "There are a couple of biological mechanisms that underlie both obesity and ADHD," said Dr. Seema Kumar, a pediatrician and researcher at Mayo Clinic Children's Research Center in Rochester, Minn. The abnormalities in the brain that can cause ADHD can also cause eating disorders, Kumar said. "Girls with ADHD may not be able to control their eating and may end up overeating," she explained. "Because kids with ADHD don't have impulse control, it may also play a role in this." Read More

Steroids Might Help More Than Just Very Premature Babies

Giving steroids to pregnant women at risk for late preterm delivery may reduce the risk of severe respiratory problems in their babies, a new study finds. The study included more than 2,800 pregnant women with a high risk of late preterm delivery (34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy) who were randomly selected to receive two injections over 24 hours of either the steroid betamethasone or a placebo. The steroid is commonly used to prevent complications in babies born before 34 weeks of pregnancy. A full-term pregnancy is considered to be 40 weeks. Compared to babies born to mothers who received the placebo, babies born to mothers who received the steroid were much less likely to have severe respiratory complications shortly after birth, to require a long stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, or to need respiratory treatments. Read More

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.Read More

Parent's Depression May Harm Child's Grades

A child's grades in school might suffer if a parent is suffering from depression, according to a new study. Researchers found that Swedish teens received lower grades during their final year in school if either of their parents had previously been diagnosed with depression. The difference in grades was noticeable but not huge, said senior author Brian Lee, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. "It's not an entire letter grade drop, but at the same time it might be the difference between a student passing or failing," Lee said. Parents' depression could affect the children's home lives, causing stress that impacts their academic performance, Lee said. Read More

Should Tackling Be Banned From Youth Football?

Tackling should be eliminated from youth football due to the risks that collisions and head injuries pose to young athletes, a researcher argues in the Feb. 4 New England Journal of Medicine. A recent evidence review conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that tackling is "associated with pretty much every negative outcome" in youth football, including concussions and severe injuries, said researcher Kathleen Bachynski. She is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Despite this evidence, an AAP policy statement issued in the November 2015 Pediatrics didn't recommend that tackling be eliminated from youth football. Instead, the AAP's Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness said coaches and officials should teach safe tackling techniques to kids, and make sure that rules against illegal tackling are enforced. Read More


Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.

Congratulations to: Sharon Johnson Hiltz, Chaya Tabor, Melody Owens, Patsy Ray, Barry Amper, Evelyn McNelis, Madonna Catiis, Pamela Downing-Hosten, Irene Swedroe, Olumide Akerele, Melody Owens and Abi Cielo who all knew the answer to last week's trvia question

QUESTION: What term was coined in 1963 in Chicago by Dr. Samuel Kirk ( a psychologist who had worked extensively with parents of children who had "minimal brain dysfunction," or "strephosymbolia")?

ANSWER: Learning Disability


Which toy company will include a boy in a wheelchair in a forthcoming set of its iconic minifigures? (The wheelchair will be part of a city set called "Fun in the Park" that will be available in June).

If you know the answer, send an email to
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday February 15, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.

Millions of Pregnant Women Put Their Babies at Risk With Alcohol

Drinking before and during pregnancy can cause lifelong physical, behavioral and mental problems for a child. Yet more than 3 million U.S. women risk exposing their baby to alcohol, federal health officials reported Tuesday. An estimated 3.3 million women ages 15 to 44 who are sexually active are drinking and not using birth control. And, three in four women who want to get pregnant don't stop drinking when they stop using birth control, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. "Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant," CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, said during a media briefing. "We think 2 to 5 percent of children may have a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder," she said. "We believe that up to 5 percent of American schoolchildren may have a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Read More

Scientists Find Stem Cells That Might Repair Skull, Face Bones

Scientists report they may be one step closer to using stem cells to replace damaged skull and facial bones in people who experience a head trauma or undergo cancer surgery. The researchers discovered and isolated stem cells capable of repairing these bones in mice. One day, this discovery might be used in human reconstructive surgeries, the scientists added. Led by Takamitsu Maruyama at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., the research team said its findings could also help those born with a skull deformity known as craniosynostosis, which can lead to developmental delays and pressure on the brain. In the study, the scientists investigated the role of the Axin2 gene in bone formation and regeneration. They also examined a specific mutation that causes craniosynostosis in mice. Read More

Drug May Jump-Start Communication In Those With Autism

A widely-available medication may be able to significantly improve conversation skills in individuals with autism with as little as one dose, a new study suggests. Those with high-functioning autism who took the beta-blocker propranolol showed greatly improved communication abilities just an hour after taking a 40-milligram dose, according to findings published online recently in the journal Psychopharmacology. "While its intended use is to treat high blood pressure, propranolol has been used off-label to treat performance anxiety for several years. However, this is the first study to show that a single dose of propranolol can improve the conversational reciprocity skills of individuals with autism," said David Beversdorf, an associate professor at the University of Missouri and a senior author of the paper. Read More

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Many Depressed Teens Don't Get Follow-Up Care

Depression can strike during the teen years, but too many U.S. teenagers with the illness are not getting proper follow-up care, a new study finds. "These results raise concerns about the quality of care for adolescent depression," concluded a team led by Briannon O'Connor, who conducted the study while at New York University School of Medicine. One expert wasn't surprised by the findings. "Most adolescents who are depressed do not receive any treatment whatsoever for their impairments for many reasons, including lack of access to care, stigma, and a workplace shortage of trained child and adolescent psychiatrists," said Dr. Aaron Krasner, chief of the Adolescent Transitional Living Service at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn. Read More

Concerns Mar Implementation Of Special Ed Cameras Law

Cameras could soon find their way into many special education classrooms in Texas, a reform some are welcoming while also raising concerns about ballooning costs and other implementation problems. The Texas Legislature in 2015 passed Senate Bill 507, which beginning in fall 2016 will require districts to install cameras in classrooms where a majority of the students receive special education services if a parent, staffer or district official makes a request. Proponents say the cameras could help prevent, and prove, incidents of abuse against children with cognitive abilities. Others say while its intentions are good, the new law will put a huge financial burden on school districts. Houston Independent School District, for example, estimated a price tag of around $3,500 per camera for a total $1.8 million. Read More

Birth Defect Fears Prompt Global Health Emergency

The World Health Organization declared Monday that explosive growth of the mosquito-borne Zika virus - which has been spreading rapidly in the Americas and may be linked to birth defects - constitutes an international public health emergency, signaling a new phase in the global effort to battle the virus. The United Nations health agency made the decision after convening a panel of experts in Geneva amid reports from Brazil linking the virus to microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brains. The recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil followed a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement. Read More

What Goes Wrong in the Brain when Someone Can't Spell

By studying stroke victims who have lost the ability to spell, researchers have pinpointed the parts of the brain that control how we write words. In the latest issue of the journal Brain, Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists link basic spelling difficulties for the first time with damage to seemingly unrelated regions of the brain, shedding new light on the mechanics of language and memory. "When something goes wrong with spelling, it's not one thing that always happens -- different things can happen and they come from different breakdowns in the brain's machinery," said lead author Brenda Rapp, a professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences. "Depending on what part breaks, you'll have different symptoms." Read More

Anti-Bullying Program Focused on Bystanders Helps the Students Who Need it the Most

Many programs to reduce bullying in primary and secondary schools have proven ineffective, but a new UCLA-led study finds one that works very well. The study of more than 7,000 students in 77 elementary schools in Finland found that one program greatly benefited the mental health of sixth-graders who experienced the most bullying. It significantly improved their self-esteem and reduced their depression. The research-based anti-bullying program, called KiVa, includes role-playing exercises to increase the empathy of bystanders and computer simulations that encourage students to think about how they would intervene to reduce bullying. ("Kiusaamista vastaan" means "against bullying," in Finnish, while the word "kiva" means "nice."). Read More

Victimized Adolescents More at Risk of Thinking About Suicide or Attempting Suicide at 15

A study to be published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) reports that adolescents chronically victimized during at least two school years, are about five times more at risk of thinking about suicide and 6 times more at risk of attempting suicide at 15 years compared to those who were never victimized. This is the first study to show a predictive association between victimization, suicidal ideation and suicide attempt in mid-adolescence. It also takes into account a variety of factors, including previous suicidality, mental health problems (by the age of 12 years) such as depression, opposition/defiance and inattention/hyperactivity problems, as well as family adversity. Read More

Report: Inclusion On Rise In Nation's Schools

A growing number of students with disabilities are spending most of the day in regular education classrooms alongside their typically-developing peers, according to new federal statistics. As of 2013, more than 6 in 10 school-age students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act spent at least 80 percent of their day in regular classrooms. By contrast, roughly half of students with disabilities met that threshold in 2004. The figures come from a report to Congress issued late last year by the U.S. Department of Education outlining the progress of the nation's special education students. Read More

Honor Society for Special Education Teachers


Newer Treatment May Be Easier on Children With Brain Tumors

A new type of treatment called proton radiotherapy is as effective as standard photon (X-ray) radiation therapy in treating a common type of brain tumor in children, a new study reports.
And the new therapy causes fewer long-term side effects, the researchers said. "Proton radiotherapy is still not widely available in the U.S. or around the world, but it is increasingly recognized for its potential to reduce the side effects of treatment, particularly in the pediatric population," study author Dr. Torunn Yock said in a news release from Massachusetts General Hospital. "At experienced centers, proton therapy has a proven track record of treatment success and safety," added Yock. She is an associate professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. In photon radiotherapy, a dose of radiation is delivered all along the X-ray beam as it passes through the patient's body. But in proton therapy, the radiation dose is focused on the target area. This means little or no radiation reaches healthy tissue in front or behind the tumor, the study authors explained. Read More

Air Pollution Linked to Risk of Preterm Birth

Exposure to high levels of air pollution in pregnancy may increase the risk of having a preterm baby, new research suggests. For the study, researchers examined nearly 225,000 births of single babies in Ohio between 2007 and 2010. More than 19,000 of them were preterm deliveries -- before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Exposure to high levels of small particle air pollution during pregnancy was associated with a 19 percent increased risk of preterm birth. The risk was greatest when high levels of exposure occurred during the third trimester, the study found. "Although the risk increase is modest, the potential impact is robust, as all pregnant women are potentially at risk," study author Dr. Emily DeFranco, a physician-researcher at the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a medical center news release. Read More

Study Links Diabetes, Obesity in Moms-to-Be to Higher Autism Risk in Kids

Mothers-to-be who are both obese and diabetic have a higher risk of giving birth to a child with autism than healthy women, a new study suggests. The two conditions in combination nearly quadrupled the risk that a child would receive an autism diagnosis, said researchers who looked at more than 2,700 mother-child pairs. Individually, maternal obesity or diabetes was linked to twice the odds of giving birth to a child with autism compared to mothers of normal weight without diabetes, the study found. "The finding is not a total surprise," said study author Dr. Xiaobin Wang, director of the Center on Early Life Origins of Disease at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "Many studies have shown that maternal obesity and diabetes have an adverse impact on developing fetuses and their long-term metabolic health." Read More


* Director of Student Services - Oversees the delivery of educational services that augment and supplement regular classroom education. These services include special education, school nursing, home tutoring and oversight of the education of homeless children. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - The Research Foundation, founded in 1951, exists to serve SUNY and to capitalize on the scope, scale and diversity of SUNY as an engine of New York state's innovation economy. To learn more - Click here

* Assistant Professor of Special Education- Texas Woman's University College of Professional Education is seeking qualified candidates for a tenure- track position as Assistant Professor of Special Education in Denton, Texas. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Our real masterpiece is the unleashing of human potential.  While our main focus is on creating the conditions of success for children to achieve their dreams, we also focus on developing one another through meaningful relationships, challenging work, constructive feedback, sound professional training, and a true commitment to nurturing the career path of each team member. To learn more- Click here

* Special Education Teachers- needed in Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding cities). Needs are in the self-contained and resource settings serving students with emotional disabilities (ED), Autism (A), Severe/Profound (S/P), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID). To learn more - Click here

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

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."


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