Week in Review - Apr. 4, 2008


Articles of Interest in Special Education That Were Reported This Week


Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with some of the most interesting issues 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



Health Plan Changes Drive Teachers to Exit


School officials fear a shortage of experienced special education teachers and staff in the Washoe County School District of Nevada after 13 of 31 special education teachers and staff who answered a fall survey said they are retiring this year because of a bill passed last year by the state Legislature. Dr. George Giuliani, an executive director of the National Association of Special Education Teachers, said the need in Washoe County mirrors the demand for special education teachers nationwide.  Currently, more special education teachers are teaming up with general education teachers to help include more students with disabilities in the general school setting, Giuliani said.  "If children with disabilities can be educated in the general education population, there is no basis to exclude them," said Giuliani, a professor at Hofstra University's School of Education.  To read more, click here


NASET Member Named as Finalist for 2008 Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards


Congratulations to NASET Member George Campbell for being named as a finalist for the prestigious 2008 Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards from Cable in the Classroom (CIC), the cable industry's national education foundation. Forty-four finalists have been selected from applications submitted from across the country, including from educators, school administrators, college faculty, volunteers and community leaders. About a dozen of the finalists will be honored by CIC with Leaders in Learning Awards in June.  To read more, click here


FDA Probes Allergy Drug and Suicides

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it is investigating a possible link between Merck's best-selling Singulair and suicide.  FDA said it is reviewing reports of mood changes, suicidal behavior and suicide in patients who have taken the popular allergy drug. Merck has updated the drug's labeling four times in the past year to include information on a range of side effects: tremors, anxiousness, depression and suicidal behavior.  FDA said it asked the Whitehouse, N.J.-based company to dig deeper into its data on Singulair for more evidence of possible links to suicide. It could take up to nine months before agency scientists can draw any conclusions, FDA said in a posting to its Web site.  To read more, click here


Poet with Autism Gives Rare Glimpse Into Mystery Illness

Tito Mukhopadhyay shuffles to the front door of his home in Austin, Texas. He's coming home from school, something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. His mother, 45-year-old Soma Mukhopadhyay, is considered a pioneer in a breakthrough treatment for some children with autism who face the stigma of being considered "mentally retarded."  That was a label Soma never accepted for 19-year-old Tito. And after hearing Tito's story, you'll never look at an autistic child the same way.  To read more, click here


Experts Meet to Help Gifted Children

International experts are meeting in Auckland this weekend to help improve the odds for gifted preschoolers.  The New Zealand Association of Gifted Children says if the country's is to shine on the world stage, we need to bring forward our next generation of Sir Edmund Hillarys.  To read more, click here

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Parents, Teachers Continue to Fight for Special Education Funding for Catholic Schools

Changes to special education funding at Catholic schools, approved by the Board of Regents of Rhode Island in December, will result in disservices to special needs students, many say.  Accepting the changes is like "throwing a life raft to a child and halfway through the year cutting the rope," said Lillian McIntyre, assistant superintendent of diocesan schools. McIntyre was one of several people who spoke last week at a hearing in favor of a bill that would reverse the Regents' decision on special education funding. Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19) chair of the committee, appeared receptive to the speakers' points and requested more information on several fiscal notes, including the official number of Catholic school students with Individual Education Plans, or IEPs, who would be affected by these changes.  To read more, click here


Cyclists Unite for Children with Disabilities

More than 1,600 cyclists took to the streets of Austin Saturday to raise money for children with disabilities.  The 14th annual Rosedale Ride raised $40,000 for the Austin Independent School District's Rosedale School.  The Rosedale School provides education and services to children with multiple disabilities.  "It's really a social event," AISD Superintendent Pat Forgione said. "Rosedale can throw a great party, let me tell you. But it's about the children, and we've got a special school."  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 Education establishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.

For more information on Board Certification in Special Edducation - CLICK HERE


Study Links Preemies With Autism Signs

A small study of toddlers finds that about one-quarter of babies born very prematurely had signs of autism on an early screening test.

The research is preliminary since formal autism testing wasn't done. But the results are provocative, suggesting that tiny preemies may face greater risks of developing autism than previously thought.That suggests autism may be an under-appreciated consequence of medical advances enabling the tiniest of premature babies to survive, said lead author Catherine Limperopoulos, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal and Children's Hospital in Boston. To read more, click here 


Food for Thought........

Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.                                                                       Bob Talbert

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