Week in Review - April 17, 2020



National Association of Special Education Teachers

April 17, 2020                    Vol 16 Issue #15


Dear NASET Members and Guests,

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications fromNASET 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's Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This issue of NASET's Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Lainett Cuarezma from Florida International University. The paper explores several peer-reviewed articles that report on results from therapy conducted on comorbid anxiety in youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). First, the researcher synopsizes the description, characteristics, and etiology of ASD. Then reviews how anxiety affects individuals with ASD. Lastly, the researcher discusses how the intervention, known as cognitive behavioral therapy, can benefit individuals with ASD and anxiety. The researcher has used the results from the articles to give recommendations or suggestions based on these findings. Read More

COVID-19 and K-12 Students with Disabilities: A Second Legal Look - 

The COVID-19 pandemic and its legal implications for students with disabilities continues to be subject to not only changes from day to day but also variance among both the states and the school districts within them. And due to the literally and legally "unprecedented" situation, many unknowns still loom large. the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has issued one more guidance document specific to students with disabilities in P-12 schools, which addresses the "serious misunderstanding" that "federal disability law presents insurmountable barriers to distance education." This guidance counsels school personnel to engage in creative collaboration with parents to deliver IEP services technologically with the understanding that effective individualization is often feasible (e.g., "extensions of time for assignments, videos with accurate captioning or embedded sign language interpreting, accessible reading materials, and many speech or language services through video conferencing"), even though not extending to some services (e.g., "hands-on occupational therapy, physical therapy, or tactile sign language educational services"). As an overall matter, the guidance advises that FAPE in these circumstances allows for flexibility both substantively and procedurally rather than being an all-or-nothing approach. Read more

Caring for Children with Autism During COVID-19 Pandemic

Caring for a child during the COVID-19 pandemic is hard enough. However, for a child with autism, the pandemic is an extra challenge. About one of every 54 children will have a form of autism, according to the CDC. "They struggle with functional skills sometimes," said Beth Womack, whose son has autism and is a teacher of autistic children. "They're alert us to such a regic schedule. So now, things are different." Womack says developing a routine for the child is crucial during this time. "They really thrive on routine," Womack explained. "And so if we have a routine and wake up and have breakfast, and we do work, then we play, things like that." Elijah's Retreat in Jacksonville caters to autistic children and their families. Like everything else, the farm been affected by the virus. Read More


Coronavirus Ravages Services for People with Disabilities, Leaving Many at Risk

Sue Swezey, 83, has spent the last three weeks at home caring for her son John, who is 57 and severely autistic. John needs 24-hour supervision. He cannot cross a street safely. The other day, he used a metal fork to unstick a piece of bread stuck in an electric toaster. His mother rushed in to pull the plug. Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, John Swezey and people like him with intellectual and developmental disabilities received state assistance that funded programs that provided home health aides and other services. Those programs are now closed, and they could remain so for months. That has left John Swezey confused and his mother struggling to get through each day. "You are left to your own devices - you are the system," Sue Swezey said, speaking by telephone from her Menlo Park home. Read More


The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) and the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (AASEP) recognize the increasing need for qualified special education advocates. In order to enhance this area of concern, they have created a comprehensive special education advocacy program whereby upon completion, you become a Board Certified Advocate in Special Education (BCASE). The BCASE program offers you all the materials to be an effective, articulate, and qualified special education advocate. completion of the BCASE program will provide you with the knowledge, skills and abilities to be confident as an advocate for children with special needs and their parents.­ To learn more about becoming a Board Certified Advocate in Special Education (BCASE), click here


Congratulations to: Charise King, Cindi Maurice, Clifford James, Karen Frantz-Fry, Sheryl Jones, Shelley Wear, Patsy Ray, Patricia Ware, Claire Frederick, Olumide Akerele, and Diane Campbell-Mitchell who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

Pregnant women exposed to high levels of radiation from cellphones, microwaves and Wi-Fi may be increasing their baby's risk for a specific disorder, a new study suggests. Called MF (magnetic fields) nonionizing radiation, these waves are in the air all around people. They also come from cellphone towers, high-tension electrical wires, electric appliances, wireless devices and Bluetooth signals. Exposure to MF nonionizing radiation has already been linked to cancer risk and other medical conditions in some previous studies. "Pregnant women who are concerned about MF impact on the health of their fetuses and offspring should reduce MF exposure during pregnancy as much as they can," said lead researcher Dr. De-Kun Li, a senior research scientist at Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in Oakland, Calif. What is the disorder at risk for pregnant women exposed to high levels of radiation from cellphones, microwaves and Wi-Fi?


This Week's Trivia Question:

Who is the psychologist that described a "Theory of Cognitive Development" involving the Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete and Formal stages of development?

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by April 20, 2020. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

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 

People with Disabilities are the Forgotten Vulnerable Community in the Age of COVID-19

The skyrocketing infection rate and increasing death toll from COVID-19 has revealed just how vulnerable our communities are to a global pandemic. Older Americans are considered to be at a particularly high risk for complications from the virus. However, what too often flies under the radar is COVID-19's threat to an even larger demographic community - the one in four Americans living with a disability. Many people with disabilities have underlying medical conditions that place them in a higher risk category, but there is not nearly enough discussion about the difficulties they face during these fraught times. Simultaneously, in some U.S. states, the disability community's civil and human rights are being dangerously flouted as they face unprecedented levels of risk. Read More

Children of Parents with Mental Illness Have Higher Risk of Injuries

Children to parents suffering from mental illness have a higher risk of injuries than other children, according to a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The risk is elevated up to 17 years of age and peaks during the first year of life. The findings highlight the need for parents with mental illness to receive extra support around child injury prevention measures as well as early treatment of mental morbidity among expecting parents. Between 7-11 percent of all children in Sweden have at least one parent diagnosed with a mental illness, according to the researchers' estimates. Previous measures to safeguard children have focused mainly on preventing neglect and maltreatment and to a lesser degree on stopping accidents and injuries. However, according to the researchers it might be possible to reduce child injuries by helping parents with mental illness to adopt preventive safety measures in their homes and outside. Read More

Public Policies Push Schools to Prioritize Creating Better Test-Takers Over Better People

Personal growth and job skills have taken a backseat to an increased focus on standardized test scores in schools across the nation, according to new University at Buffalo-led research. The study, which analyzed the educational goals of principals at thousands of public, private and charter schools over two decades, found the shift in priorities is most pronounced in public schools. The change in educational goals can be traced to the rise in test-based school accountability policies in the 1990s, which culminated with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 that mandated statewide testing in the United States, according to the research. Read More

Lehigh University Special Education Law Symposium-Responsive Revisions

Now to be offered in distance learning format (via secure password access) and at reduced rates, the Lehigh University Special Education Law Symposium will be held, as scheduled, from June 21-26, 2020. Weekly or "per day" registration options available. Dr. Perry Zirkel has added a new session to the originally advertised program: COVID-19 Issues under the IDEA and Section 504. Featuring a keynote by OSEP director Laurie VanderPloeg, eight new "hot topic" sessions by paired attorneys for a duel perspective, and a culminating comprehensive update from Professor Zirkel, this year's symposium promises to be the best ever in this nationally prominent program. The week also includes the overlapping, but separable Lehigh Section 504 Institute on June 25-26. In light of the pandemic, consider this uniquely safe opportunity to learn from experienced and prominent attorneys (both sides), which includes password access to their detailed outlines with complete legal citations. For complete information, see the symposium website: go.lehigh.edu/spedlaw.

How People with Autism Forge Friendships

It is lunchtime on a Sunday in January. At a long table inside a delicatessen in midtown Manhattan, a group of young people sit together over sandwiches and salads. Most of them have their phones out. One boy wears headphones around his neck. But there is less conversation than you might expect from a typical group of friends: One of the boys seems to talk only to himself, and a girl looks anxious and occasionally flaps her hands. The young people in this group are all on the spectrum. They met through a program organized by the nonprofit Actionplay, in which young people with autism or other disabilities work together to write and stage a musical. Each Sunday, the members refine characters and the script, block scenes and compose songs-and then some of them head across the street to have lunch together. "You meet other people just like you," says Lexi Spindel, 15. Read More

Confinement During Coronavirus Pandemic a Challenge for Families Affected by Autism

Data has indicated that parents of children with special needs, specifically autism, have stress levels similar to soldiers in battle. Right now, they are home, in confinement without the resources and support from therapists, schools, family and friends. Erica Daniels of Gladwyne tells Action News, "First of all it's isolating in general to have a family member with autism." The restrictions of COVID 19 have made life for Daniels and her 15-year- old son, Leo even more isolating. Leo was diagnosed with autism when he was 21 months old. With schools and special programs shut down indefinitely, not only has Leo's educational and behavioral progression been interrupted but the extreme psychological and physical stress already present, has been made worse. Read More

Parents, Teachers Adapt to Online Learning for Students with Special Needs

Brenda Page said she was thankful in mid-March when she learned Cherokee County Schools would shift from classrooms to online instruction. Her 16-year-old son, Christopher Yancy, has a heart murmur, making him more vulnerable to COVID-19. "I was very, very grateful to them, and then I started thinking, 'Oh God, now I have to do it, I have to teach him,'" she said. "But he has a wonderful teacher, and he's given us work, and Christopher is actually pretty excited about doing the work." Christopher's work looks a little different from most Georgia students' assignments because he has Down syndrome. Christopher is in the special education program at River Ridge High School in Woodstock. His homework includes life skills, tasks like folding laundry, writing a resume and following a recipe. Read More

Parents of Kids with Disabilities Fear Lasting Consequences of School Closures

It was finally coming together: Jenn Orchard's 5-year-old daughter, Sarah, was going to get the help she needed. She was already enrolled in the University of Washington's Experimental Education Unit, a developmental preschool program that teaches kids with disabilities alongside kids without. And, at the beginning of February, she had gotten in to another program for preschoolers with autism. Sarah was nicely on track toward kindergarten, with programs getting her prepped while looping in a team of therapists and professionals to create a plan for her development along the way. Orchard had been paving this path for Sarah since she was 8 months old and first diagnosed with a genetic disorder. Then, her school closed. Read More

Distance Learning a 'Paradigm Shift' for Students with Developmental, Learning Disabilities

For 10,550 of Minnesota's public school teachers the sudden shift to distance learning has brought with it an additional challenge: how to reach the more than 144,000 public and charter school students who are enrolled in special education. "In the special ed world, you think that some families and some kids will be fine," said Ellyn Hays, a speech pathologist at Hilltop Primary in Minnetrista. But just the difference in physical space, the transition from a school setting to being at home, is making it more challenging than expected, she said. With the first week of remote teaching behind her, Hays said she's having to readjust, to differentiate between the "can dos" and the "have to dos" while, as she puts it, her students are "living through a time where their whole world is upended." Read More

COVID-19 Poses New Problems for People with Disabilities

Addressing issues that people with disabilities are facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Teresa Miller, the state's secretary of Human Services, said that the current health crisis is "a new battlefield for people with disabilities." "This is a vulnerable population of people who already face unique challenges in a world where accommodations for the disability community are rarely won without a fight," Miller said. Speaking at an online press conference call, Miller was joined by Kristin Ahrens, deputy secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs and Kevin Hancock, deputy secretary of the Office of Long-Term Living. Miller stressed that her department if working to ensure that the rights of individuals with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities receive equitable access to health care during the pandemic. "We will not tolerate discrimination and allocation of life-saving resources based on any factor, including but not limited to age, disability and socio-economic status," Miller said. Read More

Genes Sow Seeds of Neuropsychiatric Conditions Before Birth, in Early Childhood

From early prenatal development through childhood, the prefrontal cortex of the human brain undergoes an avalanche of developmental activity. In some cases, it also contains seeds of neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia, according to a new genetic analysis led by researchers at Yale University and the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF). Previous studies have identified DNA variants linked to neuropsychiatric conditions, but it has been unclear just when those variations might trigger functional changes in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, a region closely linked to neuropsychiatric, cognitive, and emotional disorders. This new study, published April 7 in the journal Cell Reports, added a new dimension to prior research.. Read More

Honor Society for Special Education Teachers



Learn More

Social Distance, Blindness and Coronavirus

I am standing in my neighborhood grocery store, waiting for Willy, one of the trusted workers who usually helps me with my shopping. As I reach out and grab his familiar shoulder, I realize that everything has changed: I'm reluctant to touch him. I lost my sight about 10 years ago at the age of 21. Around 57 million Americans live with a disability; that's about 20% of the population. Even during this global crisis, people with disabilities still get out of bed and move through life's routines despite new threats to our health. In many ways, to us, nothing has changed, especially because social distancing is not always an option. When I go shopping, or when I go for a run, I need someone's help. I need to touch things, and now I have to remind myself to take extra steps to remain safe and healthy. For some of my friends, this situation is even more complex. They can't isolate themselves like others do. They need hands-on help from other people to do daily self-care tasks. Read More

free IEP

Parents of Children with Disabilities Work to be Teachers and Therapists Amid Coronavirus

The hardest part of being out of school for Diquaris Johnson has been adjusting to a new routine. Routines are important to Di, a 16-year-old student at the Washington Center who has autism and a developmental disorder. He's never liked change. "He does so much better with schedules that are really tight, and it's just difficult," said Valerie Allen, Di's grandmother and caregiver. "His routine has been thrown off completely, and he doesn't understand why he's not going to school and seeing the people that he would normally see." Read More

Teachers are Anxious and Overwhelmed. They Need SEL Now More Than Ever

At the end of March, our team at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, along with our colleagues at the Collaborative for Social and Academic Learning, known as CASEL, launched a survey to unpack the emotional lives of teachers during the COVID-19 crisis. In the span of just three days, over 5,000 U.S. teachers responded to the survey. We asked them to describe, in their own words, the three most frequent emotions they felt each day. The five most-mentioned feelings among all teachers were: anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed and sad. Anxiety, by far, was the most frequently mentioned emotion. The reasons educators gave for these stress-related feelings could be divided into two buckets. The first is mostly personal, including a general fear that they or someone in their family would contract COVID-19, the new coronavirus. The second pertains to their stress around managing their own and their families' needs while simultaneously working full-time from home and adapting to new technologies for teaching. Read More

Disability Rights Groups, School Administrators Spar Over Possible Changes to Special Education Laws

As schools scramble to teach students with disabilities during the school closures, a coalition of more than 70 disability rights organization is urging the federal government to uphold special education laws despite the challenges of online education. "Times of crisis are not the time to roll back civil rights. It's actually time to roll up our sleeves and do it right," said Wendy Tucker, senior policy director of the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, a national advocacy group based in New York. "When you roll back civil rights protections, it's very hard to bring them back." Tucker's group is among the dozens that submitted a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos last week imploring her to keep intact the 1973 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which guarantees students with disabilities a free public education in the U.S. Read More


* Principal New York Institute for Special Education - The ideal candidate will be a well-respected special educator with experience teaching the blind and visually impaired who possesses knowledge of students with emotional disabilities and who, preferably, has administrative experience at the departmental or building level. A proven instructional leader who will maintain a safe and healthy school environment that is conducive to learning. To learn more - Click here

* Upper Division Learning Specialist - Casady School, will be expected to collaborate with the Student Support Services Team to provide assistance and resources for students with learning and behavioral differences, & Consult with the Upper Division problem solving team to review supports and monitor the progress of students with learning and behavioral differences. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Under the direction of the building principal and special education director, the special education teacher will develop and provide specialized instruction to meet the individual and unique needs of students with disabilities, evaluate and assess student progress based on instructional goals and objectives, and adhere to federal and state statutes and regulations governing special education services. To learn more - Click here 

* Executive Director - The Timothy School is the oldest Approved Private School in Pennsylvania devoted exclusively to teaching students with autism. Its instructional program, widely considered one of the best in the region, provides students with the communication, social, cognitive, and life skills necessary to enable them to function effectively and as independently as possible in the least restrictive environment. To learn more - Click here

* Director of Academic Support - As program director, assist with school admissions and develop plans based on IEP/Psychological evaluation for students with mild learning disabilities, and or students with ADD/ADHD. Limited academic evaluations. Must consult regularly with teachers, students, parents, and administrators regarding the development of interventions for students demonstrating learning and/or behavioral challenges. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - The Moffat County School District is looking for a motivated, caring, and enthusiastic persons to fill Special Education Teacher positions on the Elementary and Secondary level for the 2020-2021 School Year. Along with parents and classroom teachers the Special Education teacher will assess students' skills to determine their needs to develop and implement Individualized Education Programs for each student based on their specific needs and abilities.To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Stars is seeking Special Education Teachers in Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding cities).  With a proven track record, STARS is able to offer you an unbeatable support system and resources. We are hiring for the 2020-2021 school year. STARS places Special Education Teachers throughout the Phoenix, Tucson and the surrounding area public schools. to learn more - Click here

* 2020 Arizona Education Job Fairs -  The Arizona Department of Education will be hosting the 2020 Arizona Education Job Fairs. Arizona public schools will be looking for administrators, teachers, related service providers, and support staff. To learn more - Click here

If you are an Employer looking for excellent special education staff - Click here for more information

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

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?  

                                                            Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Return to Week in Review Main Page - Click here

lost password?