Week in Review - April 24, 2020



National Association of Special Education Teachers

April 24, 2020                    Vol 16 Issue #16


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 Parent Teacher Conference Handout

What is a Visual Processing Disorder?


In this issue of NASET's Parent Teacher Conference Handout focuses on understanding and diagnosing children with visual processing disorder. As a special education teacher there are times when a child in your class will be diagnosed with a learning disability. Since there are so many specific types of learning disabilities it would be helpful for parents if you could provide information on the type that their child is exhibiting. One of these areas of learning disabilities is visual processing disorders. 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





Schools Struggle to Educate Students with Disabilities Amid Pandemic


Setting up distance learning for the 55 million students who were forced out of school by the coronavirus pandemic is a challenge, but it's even more of a challenge for educators to figure out how to best educate the 7 million students with disabilities. And those students, who are less likely to be able to access online education, are also at much greater risk of falling behind. "I like to look at things realistically," Eriel Jeffrey, a special education teacher and coordinator at the John F. Kennedy High School in Montgomery County, Maryland, says. "I'm not really sure what else we can do to really help and give the kids the services that are usually what they get in school because of contact. The kids we work with need that close proximity that we can't provide right now."

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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






Siblings of Children with Autism May Process Faces Their Own Way


Children with autistic older siblings have bigger neural responses than controls do in the brain networks that process faces, according to a new study. The researchers followed these children from infancy to age 7, looking for relationships between neural signals and the children's face-processing abilities that remained consistent during this period of development. The work is the first to track face processing in so-called 'baby sibs'- children who have autistic older siblings. Baby sibs are 20 times as likely to be diagnosed with autism as typical children are, and they often show autism traits early in life. For this reason, researchers frequently study them to get new clues about autism's underlying biology. Read More



Childhood Exposure to Parental Smoking Linked to Poorer Cognitive Function in Midlife


A Finnish study coordinated by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that exposure to parental smoking in childhood and adolescence is associated with poorer learning ability and memory in midlife.

With the aging population, cognitive deficits such as difficulties in learning and memory are becoming more common. Active smoking is known to be detrimental to cognitive function and to contribute to the occurrence of cognitive deficits. Similar short-term associations have been observed for secondhand smoking. Results from a longitudinal Finnish study show that the harmful effects of childhood secondhand smoking exposure may carry over to midlife learning ability and memory function. Read More






Congratulations to: Bukky Oisaghie, Brooke Soard, Suzanne Tudor, Tracey Christilles, Jen Kimbrough, Teresa Wendelburg, Patsy Ray, Elizabeth Ciccarelli-Rose, Olumide Akerele, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Charise King, Judith Faust, Karen Frantz-Fry, Daniel Rayder, Mariola Papa, Clifford James, Daisy McGinnis, Betsy Mandel, Karyn Greco, Wilson Chan, Cindi Maurice, Latorrya Buie, John Adduru, and Vivita Rabo who all knew the answer to last 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?




This Week's Trivia Question:


Born on August 31, 1870, in the provincial town of Chiaravalle, Italy, this Italian physician, educator, and innovator, was acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children learn naturally. She opened her first school-the Casa dei Bambini, or Children's House-in Rome on January 6, 1907. Subsequently, she traveled the world and wrote extensively about her approach to education, attracting many devotees. There are now thousands of these schools named after her in countries worldwide. Who is she? 


If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by April 27, 2020. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review



Eye on Autism: Inside the Quest to Develop an Objective Test for a Disorder that Impacts Millions


If you showed up at an emergency room with a heart attack, you'd expect to receive some diagnostic tests like pulse, blood pressure and an EKG. You'd be surprised if medical professionals based their assessment only on how you looked, or how they perceived your behavior that day.Yet, that is exactly how autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed. Dr. Georgina Lynch, an assistant professor at Washington State University in Spokane, Wash., says autism is assessed with too limited a set of tools, focusing only on sociability and behavior markers that can often be perceived subjectively by healthcare providers. 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 



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.



Genetics Linked to Childhood Emotional, Social and Psychiatric Problems


Emotional, social and psychiatric problems in children and adolescents have been linked to higher levels of genetic vulnerability for adult depression. University of Queensland scientists made the finding while analyzing the genetic data of more than 42,000 children and adolescents from seven cohorts across Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and UK. Professor Christel Middeldorp said researchers have also found a link with a higher genetic vulnerability for insomnia, neuroticism and body mass index. "By contrast, study participants with higher genetic scores for educational attainment and emotional wellbeing were found to have reduced childhood problems," Professor Middeldorp said. Read More



Helping Kids with Autism Adjust During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Children on the autism spectrum often rely on predictable daily schedules - but thanks to COVID-19 - our lives are anything but routine. Veena Ahuja, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children's, recommends creating a plan for children each day. "A lot of kids with autism are very concrete and they like things that are planned and really easy to expect, so they can prepare themselves for that transition to the next activity - even just knowing generally what they're going to do," she said. Dr. Ahuja said children with autism have a hard time with unexpected changes in daily routine. She suggests creating a rough schedule for the day so they know what to expect hour by hour. Dr. Ahuja said children with autism benefit from physical activity - but current social distancing restrictions have closed some parks and playgrounds, limiting activity options. Read More



Little Scientists: Children Prefer Storybooks that Explain Why and How Things Happen


Children have an insatiable appetite to understand why things are the way they are, leading to their apt description as "little scientists." While researchers have been aware of children's interest in causal information, they didn't know whether it influenced children's preferences during real-world activities, such as reading. A new study in Frontiers in Psychology finds that children prefer storybooks containing more causal information. The results could help parents and teachers to choose the most engaging books to increase children's interest in reading, which is important in improving early literacy and language skills. Read More



Educators Get Creative to Serve Students with Disabilities


Despite cranky computers, conflicting schedules, shaky Internet connections and stubborn software glitches, Danielle Kovach got her whole class together a few Fridays ago for a video chat. Kovach teaches special education in Hopatcong, N.J., and this Friday class session was a celebration: They'd made it through the first few weeks of distance learning. Throughout those weeks, she'd maintained her 8:30 a.m. morning meeting over the computer, she was adhering to each student's IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, and juggling new lessons with old routines, as she adapted to the coronavirus crisis. She was exhausted. Read More



Honor Society for Special Education Teachers



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Children with Developmental Disabilities Adjust to New Normal in Pandemic


Being holed up at home with kids, partner, or other family members can be tough. But some people now have the added challenge of staying home with children who have intense developmental disabilities - children who are normally in day programs or live in group homes. Patty and Mike McLaughlin of Peabody have a daughter, 28-year-old Kara. They decided to have her live with them right now, for the first time since 2014. Kara normally lives at a residence operated by Bridgewell, which runs programs for people with disabilities in the Merrimack Valley-North Shore area. Read More



Some Kids with Disabilities Can't Learn at Home. Parents and Advocates Want to Know: What's the Plan?


Parents whose children have severe disabilities are in survival mode. The experts they relied on to help educate and socialize their children - and who provide them with a little respite - shut down in-person programs when COVID-19 touched down in Connecticut. School and therapy may be available online now, but their children struggle with that platform. The result: children are regressing more and more the longer school is closed. That means hours-long temper tantrums for an autistic girl in Bristol yearning to see her classmates. A 12 year old in Darien with emotional disturbance challenges is unable to cope with the change and has once again started to bite and hurt himself. Sometimes he hits his mother. In West Hartford, an eighth-grade boy with autism began retreating after seeing people wear face masks and often refuses to do his school work. Read More



Special Needs Teachers Face Greater Challenges While Distance Learning


Schools in the San Diego Unified School District have moved to distance learning because of the coronavirus pandemic, but how is the new education system working for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or visually impaired? "It is a challenge. Especially because in the deaf and hard of hearing world, it is in-person, in front of you is really the ideal way that you're teaching," said Cory Hoffman, Lead Teacher for the district's Deaf/ Hard of Hearing Program. Hoffman is the daughter of two teachers. She is married to a teacher of teachers, Reuben Hoffman, a resource instructor for the district. "Not all of our families sign at home. The challenges for the teachers are how do we support the kids at home, but how also do we support the families," Hoffman said. Read More



Families of Children with Special Needs Worry Their Children Will be Left Behind as Education Moves Online


As the coronavirus pandemic continues, students across the state are logging on to class from home. But some groups of students face significant challenges and barriers to online education. Children with special needs have a range of learning differences that often require individualized and specialized learning strategies which can be difficult to transfer online. Anthony and Liz Qaulluq Cravalho of Kotzebue care for their 21-year-old son, Alika. Alika is severely autistic and non-verbal, and for him, just getting used to the technology has been a big hurdle. "When I tried just a video conference with Alika's teacher the first time he got very upset," said Anthony. "To the point of stomping [and] waving his arms, he was getting very angry." Alika's Individual Education Program (IEP), normally requires a lot of hand-over-hand instruction and physical prompting. Which isn't always possible through a video conference. Read More



Families with Special Needs Children Struggle to Find Connection Through Distance Learning


Students, teachers, and parents across Florida are navigating the challenges that come along with distance learning. For children with special needs and on individualized education plans, the lack of one-on-one instruction is even more difficult to overcome. Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray spoke with a local mom about the struggles, and looked into how many students this impacts in our area's largest district, Orange County Public Schools. OCPS has 25,417 students with disabilities on an individualized education plan (IEP). District leaders said they are working hard to continue to provide services for exceptional education students during distance learning and making sure both parents and students know how to access information through a variety of resources. Read More



free IEP



How Colleges Can Support Students with Disabilities During Remote Learning


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities across the country have rushed to move courses online, potentially overlooking the needs of students with intellectual, physical, emotional and behavioral disabilities. Dr. Jessica Hunt, associate professor of mathematics education and special education in the College of Education at North Carolina State University (NC State), said "one size definitely does not fit all" when it comes to students with disabilities. "The critical question becomes how to make sure remote learning is accessible and minimize barriers students may have to accessing and making sense of information as well as receiving services in the home," she added. "In terms of access, it is also important to note that students need options and choices to work successfully from home. This is especially important from an equity stance more broadly because not all students have access to devices or reliable internet services." Read More



Traditional Vegetable Diet Lowers the Risk of Premature Babies


It turns out we should follow our parent's advice when we're thinking about becoming parents ourselves, with a study finding eating the traditional 'three-vegies' before pregnancy lowers the risk of a premature birth. University of Queensland PhD candidate Dereje Gete analysed the diets of nearly 3500 women and found high consumption of carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, cabbage, green beans and potatoes before conception helped women reach full term pregnancy. "Traditional vegetables are rich in antioxidants or anti-inflammatory nutrients, which have a significant role in reducing the risk of adverse birth outcomes," Mr Gete said. Read More



Pandemic Puts Children with Disabilities at Significant Risk


Health officials around the world agree that the vast majority of children have avoided the global scourge of COVID-19. But the pandemic's social and economic consequences have already begun to affect the most vulnerable children - those with disabilities. Dennis Z. Kuo, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of General Pediatrics, specializes in children with special health needs and says that as COVID-19 spreads throughout the United States, families of children with special needs are already experiencing the consequences. "These families are really concerned," Kuo says. "What I'm hearing from them is that as we shut down the country and close schools, kids may lose access to therapies and counseling, which they would normally get through school." 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


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


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

Compassion is an action word with no boundaries.



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