Week in Review - December 12, 2008

Week in Review - December 12, 2008


New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education That Were Reported This Week

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you the latest publications from NASET for you to read and download, as well as 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.

NASETNews Team

Dear NASET Members,


New This Week on NASET:

The Practical Teacher

What Every Teacher Should Know About Punishment Techniques and Student Behavior Plans

In everyday terms, people use the word punishment to describe negative consequences imposed on people when they misbehave. Often, the term has moral overtones, suggesting that those being punished 'deserve' that punishment because their actions violate a rule, law, or social expectation. In the field of behavior management, though, punishment has a more narrow (and morally neutral) definition: the presentation or removal of events that leads to a reduction in a target behavior. According to this definition, events that serve to decrease an individual's behaviors are considered to be punishers. Teachers should understand the pros and cons about using punishment in the classroom, as schools frequently build punishing, or aversive, consequences into plans designed to help manage student behaviors.

The focus of this issue of The Practical Teacher will be to explain  the pros and cons about using punishment in the classroom, as schools frequently build punishing, or aversive, consequences into plans designed to help manage student behaviors.

To read this issue - CLICK HERE (login required) 



Autism Spectrum Disorder Series 

Effective Programming for Young Children with Autism (Ages 3-5) 

The positive outcome of early intervention programming for any child with developmental delays/disabilities has been documented in numerous research articles and publications. However, unlike many other developmental disabilities, children with autism are typically not diagnosed until between the ages of two and three, as there are no medical tests to make a definitive diagnosis of autism at an earlier age. Many medical professionals prefer to take a "wait and see" approach, due to the wide range of "normalcy" in early developing children. Thus early intervention programming can often be delayed for these children, resulting in the "loss" of several critical years of intensive intervention during which significant developments in the brain are occurring. Due to this time factor, once a diagnosis is given, early intervention programming becomes crucial to appropriately address the child's needs in all developmental areas and, most importantly, to develop the child's ability to function independently in all aspects of his life.

This issue of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Series will guide you through the variables that should be considered when working with very young children with Autism. This article will help you assist the child in early intervention make a more productive transition to early childhood education services.

 To read this issue - CLICK HERE(login required)


Long-Term Academic Effects Of Child's ADHD May Extend To Siblings

The long-term academic problems that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often experience may affect their siblings as well, according to an analysis partially funded by NIMH and published in the Journal of Health Economics. Jason Fletcher, Ph.D., of Yale University and Barbara Wolfe, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison explored how having ADHD or having a sibling with ADHD affects a person's short- and long-term education outcomes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health-a school-based study of health-related behaviors of teens and their outcomes in young adulthood-Fletcher and Wolfe confirmed findings from a previous study that found ADHD affected the short-term educational achievements of children with ADHD. These children are more likely to repeat a grade and receive special education services, have lower grade point averages, experience more suspensions and expulsions, and complete fewer years of school than children without ADHD. The researchers then explored how ADHD may impact the family, and whether the siblings of children with ADHD are affected academically by their brother's or sister's ADHD symptoms. To read more,click here


Self-Embedding Disorder: The New Trend Of Self-Mutilation Among Teenagers

A study presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America revealed that more teenagers choose to hurt themselves by embedding nails, paper clips, bits of rock, glass and even crayons in their bodies as a way to cope with their problems. In fact, the researchers on the study called this new way of mutilation "self-embedding disorder," in which a person uses objects to puncture the skin or embed into a wound after cutting, often causing swelling and inflammation. Some of the common forms of self-injury are cutting the skin, burning, bruising or pulling hair, breaking bones or swallowing toxic substances. The phenomenon is relatively new putting doctors in a new position: that of not knowing what the problem is because these teenagers avoid telling the truth. To read more, click here


Educators From Saudi Arabia Learn New Approach To Special Education

A Utah junior high school is hosting five educators from Saudi Arabia today. The women are learning how the school teaches children with disabilities The five women got a warm welcome from the student body, then an introduction to some of the ways North Layton Junior High (1100 W. 2000 North) does things. The group is observing today how teachers mainstream students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism or physical disabilities. Dr. Aljohara Abdulrahman A. Al Halila, the director of the special education department in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, was looking forward most to being in the classroom. She said, "We learn about the teams, small teams and team groups. A teacher for math, teacher for reading, it's very interesting." To read more,click here


Banking On Babies

At a time of fiscal crisis when budgets are tight, legislators and governmental agencies are often faced with difficult decisions about what programs to cut. Invariably, the scalpel hits programs related to children with disabilities.  But it is important to understand that early intervention programs are the most clinically and financially effective programs in the nation. Every research investigation conducted over the past four decades underscores the significance of providing services as early as possible to children with disabilities. For every single dollar that the government spends on early intervention, it will spend 10 dollars later on for adult services. Early intervention services cost anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 a year depending on the number of therapeutic services (i.e., occupational therapy, physical therapy, language therapy) a child needs. The costs related to the care of adults in day treatment programs can range from $40,000 to $80,000 a year. To read more,click here


Many Children Lack Stability After Storm

Last January, at the age of 15, Jermaine Howard stopped going to school. Attendance seemed pointless: Jermaine, living with his father and brother in the evacuee trailer park known as Renaissance Village since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, had not managed to earn a single credit in more than two years. Not that anyone took much notice. After Jermaine flunked out of seventh grade, the East Baton Rouge School District allowed him to skip eighth grade altogether and begin high school. After three semesters of erratic attendance, he left Baton Rouge in early spring of this year and moved in with another family in a suburb of New Orleans, where he found a job at a Dairy Queen. A shy, artistic boy with a new mustache, Jermaine is one of tens of thousands of youngsters who lost not just all of their belongings to Hurricane Katrina, but a chunk of childhood itself. After more than three years of nomadic uncertainty, many of the children of Hurricane Katrina are behind in school, acting out and suffering from extraordinarily high rates of illness and mental health problems. Their parents, many still anxious or depressed themselves, are struggling to keep the lights on and the refrigerator stocked. To read more,click here


Inclusion Of Gifted Children: Important Gap In EducationalProvision

Every country needs to nurture its best and brightest. Gifted young children are therefore an important part of society. Yet, Malta's national education policy still has no specific provision aimed at recognising and supporting the needs of such children. This is despite the fact that the Inclusive and Special Education Review, published in 2005, stated that a policy of inclusive education should also provide for children with intellectual abilities that are well above the norm, in other words, gifted children. The review suggests that there may be about 70 gifted students in local schools but research has never been undertaken to substantiate that figure. It goes on to propose a special programme for gifted children but no initiative of this nature has yet made an appearance. To read more, click here

NASET Offering Members Two Million Dollar Educator's Liability Insurance for Less Than $10.00 a Month

Every day, special educators are faced with the stresses and potential liability issues involved in dealing with children with special needs. As a result you may be vulnerable to lawsuits, which have been on the rise over the last few years, from parents, or students themselves. In the past decade, the number of suits filed against educators and administrators has risen dramatically, causing the cost of insurance to increase as well. While some special educators may feel that they do not need this type of coverage and they are protected by their district, they should think twice. Even if you are 100% innocent of the charges or accusations, legal costs alone could run into the thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. In special education today, parents - and students - are more aware of their rights, and the laws that govern special education and hold teachers/educators to high standards. Don't try to convince yourself that the expense of your professional and public liability protection is unnecessary or unjustified. Experience shows that the cost of such coverage is by far lower than the risk a teacher takes by not having such protection. Why take a chance for less than $10.00 a month? To learn more about educator liability insurance available through NASET, Click Here


Using PlayStation As Therapy For Children with ADHD

Gray Matters, LLC, a section of Westport family therapy clinic Living in Harmony, LLC, is offering neurofeedback training with specialized technology to children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), to help them focus better and reduce anxiety by playing PlayStation 2 for 30 minutes. "The system is driven by your thoughts," said Gary Pearson, a marriage and family therapist at Living in Harmony, LLC. How it works is each child wears a SMART Visor Sensor System cap by SMART BrainGames and under the cap, behind each ear, a sensor is placed. A sensor is also placed on top of the head under a band. Before the sensors are placed on the child, they are submerged in SmartWater that contains one tablespoon of baking soda. When ready to use, the sensors are plugged into a SMART Box neurofeedback device, which showcases the child's brainwaves on a neurotherapists' computer. This action is called an electroencephalogram (EEG), which is a test that records the electrical activity of a person's brain. By looking at the child's brainwaves, the therapists can see if the person is focused or not. To read more,click here


Recession Hits Americans With Disabilities Extra Hard

The recession's crunch on jobs, wallets, and egos is hitting one group of Americans-those with disabilities-particularly hard. "People with disabilities tend to be the last hired and the first fired," says Rick Diamond, director of employment services at Disability Network/Lakeshore, a disability rights nonprofit based in Holland, Mich. Advocates nationwide say they've seen a sharp increase in the number of their clients who have been laid off. And if data from 2007-as well as from previous recessions-holds true for this year, people with disabilities will be cut from their jobs at a rate disproportionate to that of nondisabled workers. Nationwide belt-tightening has other implications, too. Government funding cuts, decreased revenue in the private sector, and smaller family budgets mean that programs and projects that help people with disabilities are at risk. To read more,click here


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Autism Link Found With Popular Epilepsy Drug

Drugs used to treat epilepsy have been linked with an increased risk of birth defects, such as spina bifida and heart malformations. A new study shows that pregnant women who take the epilepsy drug valproate may significantly increase the risk of their child developing autism, a complex developmental disability that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. The ongoing study involved 632 children, almost half of whom were exposed to epilepsy drugs in utero. Of those children, 64 were exposed to valproate, 44 to lamotrigine, 76 to carbamazepine, and 65 to other epilepsy drugs or combinations of drugs. Forty-seven children were not exposed to any anti-seizure drugs. The children were tested for autism at one, three, and six years of age. None of the children had a family history of autism. To read more,click here


Making A Difference: Fourth-Graders Get A Lesson In Learning Disabilities

Fourth-graders had to concentrate hard simply to write their names yesterday afternoon at Marguerite E. Peaslee School. The students, with markers poised, looked into a mirror and puzzled over how to make the letters face the right direction as they tentatively spelled their names. The activity was one of a handful aimed at teaching students about learning disabilities and sensitivity toward those who learn differently. The program, put on by parent volunteers, has been in the district 10 years. "It's to develop sensitivities to what other students might go through who have a learning disability," said Arlene Shainker, district assistant director of special education. "It's also for them to be reflective about their own learning styles." To read more,click here


Tax Commission's Report Targets Special Education Services

Abolishing state mandates that go beyond federal requirements would gut essential special education services for students with disabilities, under a plan unveiled by a state commission charged with reducing school property taxes. The commission's sweeping cost-cutting plan would severely target special education services, roll back important state mandates and leave it up to school districts to decide how to best meet students' needs. "In these very tough economic times we can't leave it to school districts to choose between providing appropriate services for children in need and cutting dollars," said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi. "We can't go back to the era when school districts made all the decisions: That was an era when students with disabilities were excluded from public schools, students didn't get the services they needed and too many children were lost in the student population." To read more,click here


Food for Thought........

All our dreams can come true--if we have the courage to pursue them.

                                                                                       Walt Disney

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