Week in Review - August 14, 2020






National Association of Special Education Teachers

August 14, 2020                    Vol 16 Issue #32

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 Inclusion Series


Challenges to Collaboration, Inclusion and Best Practices within the Special Education Community

Cecilia Scott-Croff, Ed.D. SAS, SDA, CPAC

Borough of Manhattan Community College Early Childhood Center Inc.

This issue of NASET’s Inclusion series was written by Cecilia Scott-Croff, Ed.D. SAS, SDA, CPAC, and was published in the Spring 2020 edition of JAASEP. The manuscript identifies the challenges of children with special needs and their families. This text further highlights the complexity of integrating children with intellectual differences into inclusive settings. Furthermore, the author incorporates the teamwork and collaboration principles and practices of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC, 1990). In keeping with the Council’s principles, the most important aspect of the Council’s mission and goals is to work across systems to meet the needs of children and families (DEC 2009). These principles focus on the importance of parent involvement, collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches to services. Lastly, this paper examines inclusion, advocacy and support for parents while reflectively examining a study (Scott-Croff, 2017) that details the perspectives of parents and pediatricians caring for children on the autism spectrum.

Read More



Autism: How a Gene Alteration Modifies Social Behavior

A team of researchers at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has discovered a new connection between a genetic alteration and social difficulties related to autism: A mutation in the neuroligin-3 gene reduces the effect of the hormone oxytocin. In the journal Nature, the researchers report on a treatment approach that could normalize social behavior in autism. They have already achieved promising results in an animal model. Autism occurs in about one percent of the population and is characterized by alterations in communication, repetitive behavior and social difficulties. There are numerous genetic factors involved in the development of autism. Hundreds of different genes have been identified, including the gene encoding the synaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-3. The mechanisms by which this large variety of genetic alterations is related to the symptoms of autism are still largely unknown and is one of the major challenges in the development of new treatments. Read More


Worries About Kids with Special Education Needs This Year

With so much uncertainty about the school year, parents of kids with disabilities have special concerns. Whether students are heading back into the classroom, homeschooling, or cyber-school, parents said say they are stressed. "We're the parents, and we know our children the best, but at the same time we're not professionals, we're not teachers, we're not therapists, and a lot of parents are working, and they're taking care of multiple children, or elderly parents, all different aspects and they need to have time to plan and make arrangements as well so all this is really hanging over the heads of families right now." Roseann Polishan is a mom of three from Scranton and a child advocate. Her teenage son has learning disabilities and autism. "It was a big struggle for him back in the spring. He is someone who needs someone with him and prompting him and helping him pretty much every aspect of his life, so it's a big concern to figure out how he can have his education." Read More


Marking the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Mitchell Hamline celebrates the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which turned 30 on July 26, 2020. This landmark civil rights act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, formalized equity and inclusion as a federal law. Following the path of the civil rights movement, it was the disability rights movement and disability rights advocates such as Justin Dart, Ed Roberts, and Judy Heumann–along with countless others–that made the passage of the ADA possible. A watershed moment for individuals with disabilities, their families, and the nation, the ADA improved access, opportunity, and conditions for individuals with disabilities in education, employment, state and local government services, public transportation, and telecommunications. Mitchell Hamline is committed to a culture of equal access and inclusion; combating discrimination against individuals with disabilities including students, staff, and faculty; and providing services and resources. Read More


The Most Important Thing Parents of Kids in Special Ed Need to Remember This School Year

Last spring, I watched parents of my special education preschool students struggle through quarantine, as they attempted to keep their families afloat, their children occupied, and their sanity intact. My heart went out to them. We spoke regularly, and during my educational consults, the most consistent refrain I heard, tinged with tremendous stress, was some version of “I’ve been trying to keep up with my child’s IEP, but it’s not working.” But what these parents were expecting of themselves was an impossibility. In the absence of in-person instruction, which special ed students rely on as a necessity more than typical students, my students’ parents were essentially asking themselves to become their child’s full-time special ed teacher—something that was not only unsustainable but also completely unrealistic. There’s something I want those parents to remember as we head into the school year: You are not your child’s teacher, and you shouldn’t try to be. That may sound harsh, but I truly mean it kindly: Give yourself a break. Read More



How to Best Support Students with Special Needs During School Closures

Where I teach, 100 percent of our student population has been diagnosed with either dyslexia or a specific learning disability related to reading or math. When the pandemic hit, we were in a rush to adopt remote learning for our specific student population, and we needed a reliable system to maintain ongoing family communication. We also had to make sure our students continued to get the proper support, both academically and emotionally. As a teacher and technology director, I have certainly missed the face-to-face connection with all of my students. I had contact with all of our students in the building every day. Not being able to assist each student with their individual struggles or explain a concept in a hands-on way has been quite frustrating. However, everyone has worked very hard to make our transition as easy as possible. Here’s how our school handled the need for rapid communication and remote learning, along with some tips to help your district meet the needs of all learners, even the most vulnerable ones. Read More




NASET ADVOCACY - Board Certification for Advocacy in Special Education (BCASE)

Special Education Posed Unique Challenges in the Spring. Will it Get Easier in Fall?

When COVID-19 closed schools in spring, instruction went online for 14-year-old Lyra Cherry, as it did for students across the country. Unlike most students, though, Lyra — along with her twin sister Sophia — is on the autism spectrum. With classes online, one of her parents had to sit with her the entire lesson, to help her navigate the interface and so she wouldn’t simply get up and leave. “Aides, teachers, behavioral therapists, occupational therapists — we were doing all of that,” said her mother, Shannon Cherry. “We had to make up for six or seven people each.” The coronavirus pandemic has been especially disruptive for special education students, whose needs often include therapy and individual help from trained, specialized aides. Read More


Searching for ADHD Facts Beneath a Piles of Myths

I’ve spent a lot of time explaining attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) to people. It was called ADD when I learned about it, in 1981. Since then, I’ve probably logged hundreds of hours speaking about, reading about, writing about, and dreaming about ADHD. It may sound like a tedious life, but to me it’s a subject of endless fascination and considerable humor. ADHD is a fairly common medical diagnosis now, a condition that most people have heard of. But it is still misunderstood, caricatured, and trivialized. A few people, like me, rhapsodize about it, but it is almost always misrepresented. I took a stroll through the fun-house mirrors of my memory to bring you some common distortions. Read More


Kids' Mental Health Can Struggle During Online School. Here's How Teachers are Planning Ahead

When her South Carolina high school went online this spring, Maya Green struggled through the same emotions as many of her fellow seniors: She missed her friends. Her online assignments were too easy. She struggled to stay focused. But Green, 18, also found herself working harder for the teachers who knew her well and cared about her. "My school doesn't do a ton of lessons on social and emotional learning," said Green, who just graduated from Charleston County School of the Arts, a magnet school, and is headed to Stanford University. "But I grew up in this creative writing program, and I'm really close to my teachers there, and we had at least one purposeful conversation about my emotions after we moved online." Read More


Child Sleep Problems Associated with Impaired Academic and Psychosocial Functioning

Whether children have ongoing sleep problems from birth through childhood or do not develop sleep problems until they begin school, a new study by researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has found that sleep disturbances at any age are associated with diminished well-being by the time the children are 10 or 11 years old. The findings, which were published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggest health care providers should screen children for sleep problems at every age and intervene early when a sleep problem is identified. "Our study shows that although those with persistent sleep problems have the greatest impairments when it comes to broad child well-being, even those with mild sleep problems over time experience some psychosocial impairments," said Ariel A. Williamson, PhD, a psychologist in the Sleep Center and faculty member at PolicyLab and the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at CHOP. "The range of impairments across academic and psychosocial domains in middle childhood indicate that it is important to screen for sleep problems consistently over the course of a child's development, especially to target children who experience persistent sleep problems over time." Read More


Experiencing Childhood Trauma Makes Body and Brain Age Faster

Children who suffer trauma from abuse or violence early in life show biological signs of aging faster than children who have never experienced adversity, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. The study examined three different signs of biological aging -- early puberty, cellular aging and changes in brain structure -- and found that trauma exposure was associated with all three. "Exposure to adversity in childhood is a powerful predictor of health outcomes later in life -- not only mental health outcomes like depression and anxiety, but also physical health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer," said Katie McLaughlin, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard University and senior author of the study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin. "Our study suggests that experiencing violence can make the body age more quickly at a biological level, which may help to explain that connection." Read More


30 Years After the ADA, Disability Justice Activists are Rethinking What True Equity Looks Like

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 30 years ago, it was the culmination of decades of activism, sacrifice and struggle by people with disabilities to protect basic rights long denied. The New York Times called the law at the time “the most sweeping anti-discrimination measure since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” For the first time, discrimination against people with disabilities was prohibited by law. The ADA required reasonable accommodations in transportation, employment and public services. But as with many things related to civil rights, too often the reality has not lived up to the law’s promise.  For example, the coronavirus pandemic exposed the fragility of employment protections for people with disabilities. Despite regulations barring employment discrimination, even before the pandemic, people with disabilities had an unemployment rate double that of nondisabled people. In June, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was twice what it was pre-pandemic, at 16.5%. Read More


For Students with Autism, Remote Learning is Particularly Challenging

Jennifer Salamon’s son Roman attends the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh Day School where he’s about to start eighth grade. Roman, who has autism and an intellectual disability, has had a mostly positive experience with remote learning during the pandemic. “A lot of his goals and what he does in school are everyday skills as far as learning how to do dishes, doing laundry, identifying very basic things like clothing,” Salamon said. Each day, Roman has two 30-minute video sessions with his occupational therapist and speech therapist. While the transition has been fairly smooth, he’s also isolated from much of the personal interactions he’d have at school. Read More





Congratulations to: Cindi Maurice, Marie Paulavril, Patsy Ray, Mariola Papa, Karen Frantz-Fry, Wanda Routier, Elizabeth Cicarelli-Ross, Chrislyn Barragan, Mary Ellen Denmon, and Karyn Greco who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

This Act became law in 1990 and is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. What is the name of this law?


Answer: American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This Week's Trivia Question: What is the name of the IDEA disability that means “having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that: (i) is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and (ii) adversely affects a child's educational performance”?


If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by August 18, 2020. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

Children Should Be Protected from Unreasonable Restraints, Seclusion and Searches, ABA House Says

The well-being and rights of children and youth were addressed in three resolutions approved by the ABA House of Delegates at the annual meeting on Monday. Resolution 103 urges governmental bodies to adopt and enforce legislation and educational policies that prohibit school personnel from using seclusion and mechanical or chemical restraints on students in preschool through 12th grade. The resolution, sponsored by the Commission on Disability Rights and Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, also urges jurisdictions to bar personnel from physically restraining students unless they pose a danger to themselves or others. If other less intrusive interventions are deemed inappropriate or fail and physical restraint is used, the resolution says personnel should not place students face-down or in any position that hinders their ability to breathe or communicate distress. Read More


Genes Related to Down Syndrome Abnormalities May Protect Against Solid Tumors

Scientists from Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago discovered that a set of genes with decreased expression in individuals with Down syndrome may lead to clinical abnormalities in this population, such as poor muscle development and heart valve problems. Impairment in these same genes may also protect people with Down syndrome from developing solid tumors. Their findings were published in Scientific Reports. "Our promising preliminary data carries strong potential for ultimately developing gene-targeted therapies to inhibit solid tumor growth in the general population," says co-lead author Yekaterina Galat, BS, Research Associate at the Manne Research Institute at Lurie Children's. "Our findings may also provide gene targets for therapies aimed at alleviating the clinical abnormalities in people with Down syndrome." Read More




* Special Ed Teacher - The Home at Walpole seeks a Special Education Teacher for their Massachusetts Chapter 766 Special Education School, Clifford Academy. Clifford Academy provides a year-round engaging and comprehensive program focused on education, career development, recreation/fitness, and an individualized therapeutic approach.Under direction of a Principal, participate in the implementation of individualized educational programs for special needs children at varying academic levels. To learn more - Click here

* Executive Director of Special Education - Garland ISD seeks an Executive Director of Special Education with the following qualifications, Master’s Degree, Special Education Certification, Principal/Mid-Management Certification, three (3) years’ teaching experience; special education preferred, experience in successful leadership role at the District or State level, earned or in progress doctorate. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Is sought who demonstrates a commitment to the success of all SLA students and specifically to raising the academic achievement of children in high-poverty communities and/ or children with special needs. Has a desire to grow professionally and seek out new opportunities to learn; and integrity and clarity in all communications and interactions. To learn more - Click here

* Chief Executive Officer - St. Coletta of Greater Washington is seeking an experienced Chief Executive Officer to lead and manage the organization while achieving educational and operational goals. This person will be responsible for strategically growing St. Coletta with an eye toward achieving success not only for the school, but for the children and adults that benefit from their services.To Learn more - Click here

* High School Special Education Teacher - New Trier High School is a large, high-achieving school in the northern suburbs of Chicago with two campuses in Northfield and Winnetka, Illinois. The outstanding Special Education department is large and comprehensive. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - We are looking for highly motivated and skilled Special Education teachers to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). DCPS serves more than 51,000 students through the e?orts of approximately 4,000 educators in 117 schools. DCPS intends to have the highest-performing, best paid, most satis?ed, and most honored educator force in the nation and a distinctive central o?ce sta? whose work supports and drives instructional excellence and significant achievement gains for DCPS students. To learn more- Click here

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


Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.

Princess Diana

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