Week in Review - June 13, 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


Stillwater Academy Receives NASET School of Excellence Award


Stillwater Academy, an accredited private school linked with adolescent treatment program Turnabout, has garnered national recognition as a National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) School of Excellence--the highest honor awarded a private special education school by NASET. Only 40 schools have been chosen as NASET Schools of Excellence for 2008-2009. "Not only have these schools met the rigorous criteria to be a School of Excellence," said Dr. George Giuliani, executive director of NASET, "but the schools selected have also shown they hold themselves to a very high standard of excellence." Stillwater Academy principal Marilyn Prettyman said, "It's personally rewarding to know the school is doing an excellent job with its students. Our teachers care about and understand the kids who come here, and this award just verifies it."
To read more,
click here



Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education?

The latest publication of Harry and Klingner is much like its title, unflinchingly direct. Whereas the authors attempt to answer a decades-old question, their approach to answering it is not at all timeworn. The qualitative presentation takes the reader away from the abstraction of the statistical information so frequently included and quoted in discussions of disproportionality that we may forget that we are talking about real children, families, and educators who are experiencing the very real effects of marginalization. Still, the authors do not discount the importance of quantitative data; rather, they begin by presenting it in the form of national, state, and district information that provides the wide-angle picture of the locale of the study. Their subsequent use of a qualitative research tools supplies highly detailed snapshots of one school district, depicting the perceptions and beliefs that fueled people's decisions and actions. Results of this ethnographic study of disproportionality provide ample evidence in support of the authors' two principal arguments: (a) Identification of disability is biased and flawed, and (b) the use of disability labels does little in the way of helping educators provide appropriate or effective instruction for children. To read more, click here


In The United Kingdom, ADHD Behind 20% of SchoolSuspensions


About 20% of children suspended from school suffer from the disorder, according to Professor of Psychiatry Philip Asherson. But so many myths surround the condition that parents could be unaware that their child is affected. Monica Harris is executive director of an ADHD family support group in Milton Keynes and her son Nathan was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 12. She said: "When I found out my son had ADHD, you just don't understand the relief that was off my shoulders. "Before then I was told it was my fault. I was deemed a bad parent, I couldn't control my son." To read more, click here


So Just What Is This RTI Thing Anyway?

RTI stands for Response to Intervention. It's a relatively new model for early identification of students with special needs and for providing ongoing services to students based on significant data collection. This is one area where educational technology is both useful and utterly necessary, providing the tools for widespread screening, data collection, and individualized assistance based on specific student needs. RTI stands in contrast to traditional models of special education that largely look at students' classroom performance and identify kids who seem to have difficulties learning. RTI, on the other hand, begins with simple measures to evaluate all students and then allows followup screening to drill down through kids who need remediation, require some services and modifications, and finally to students at the far end of the spectrum with significant learning disabilities.  To read more, click here


Child Left Behind

In the short span of her tender 10 years, Adriana Long has managed to serve as poster child for more than her share of causes. Born with a terrifying host of congenital deformities, at just 11 days old Adriana died in her mother's arms. Revived by doctors against the odds, she'd endured more surgeries than there were months of life behind her by the time she was 1. Born with spina bifida, Adriana also has brittle bones prone to fractures and breaks, her knee joints don't bend fully, her arms can't extend above her head or reach around or behind. Her rib cage doesn't extend fully around her chest. In 2000, she was a Children's Miracle Network poster child. At 4, she was a Make-a-Wish kid. In 2005, defying the doctors who said she'd never survive infancy, she was named student of the year at her elementary school in Chesterfield County. To read more,click here


Shire Issues Voluntary Recall for ADHD Skin Patch

Shire Ltd. said Monday it is voluntarily recalling some of its Daytrana attention deficit hyperactivity disorder skin patches because some people could have difficulty removing the release liner, or backing material, of the patch before applying it to the skin. Shire said the Daytrana patches included in the two lots can continue to be used unless there are problems removing the liner or the patches are damaged upon removing the liner. The company added that it does not anticipate a lack of supply as a result of the recall. 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 Education, click here


New Rules Adopted for Special Education

The state Board of Education yesterday adopted a new set of rules for special education that are more restrictive than federal guidelines. The rules will likely please parents but may frustrate educators who have argued that gratuitous paperwork and tight deadlines make their jobs tough. The new rules, which will go into effect later this month, have been in the works for nearly three years. In 2004, the federal guidelines - known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - were loosened to help reduce the piles of paperwork and dozens of meetings required of teachers. States were required to review their rules to make sure they complied with the new IDEA. State board members and officials from the state Department of Education worked with lawmakers to examine the rules, holding several public hearings. About 100 people showed up to the last hearing in October - some to argue for keeping the rules restrictive and others to advocate loosening them. To read more, click here


ADHD A Benefit In The Wild?

A fascinating new study in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology suggests that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might be beneficial to nomadic Kenyan tribesmen in Africa, while possibly leading to malnourishment in their settled cousins. Led by Dan Eisenberg, an anthropologist from Northwestern University, the study looked at occurrences of the ADHD-associated version of the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) in Ariall tribesmen and then correlated body mass index and height with variants of the DRD4 gene. One version of the DRD4 gene, the "7R allele," is believed to be associated with food craving as well as ADHD. "This gene is likely to be involved in impulsivity, reward anticipation and addiction," explained Eisenberg. To read more,click here


Children With Autism Show Different Behavior Patterns

A Speaking Out essay titled "Learning it's OK for kids to be unique" touched on important themes related to intervention for children with autism. Unfortunately, the essay perpetuated some all-too-common misconceptions about applied behavior analysis, particularly that it is "rooted in repetition" and focuses mainly on making "children with autism ... indistinguishable from their peers." In fact, the concept is a very flexible approach, with teaching methods and goals carefully tailored to the needs of each child. Some children with autism thrive on repetition. Others do best with variety and novelty. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are studying how to make effective use of repetition and how to increase response diversity.  To read more,click here


20% of Casual Video Games' Audience Have Disabilities

A survey conducted by Information Solutions Group, revealed tens of millions of disabled consumers have gravitated to "casual" video games as a source of relief or distraction from their infirmities, as well as a sense of accomplishment or belonging. According to the survey, more than one in five (20.5%) players of casual video games have a physical, mental or developmental disability; this compares to 15.1% of the American population overall who are disabled, according to the latest U.S. Census data. Over three quarters of the more than 2,700 disabled consumers who participated in the study described their disabilities as "moderate" or "severe," and the benefits to, and methods of play by, disabled gamers vary considerably from those of non-disabled casual gamers. Compared to the casual gamer population as a whole (which industry estimates peg at 300 million to 400 million players worldwide), those with disabilities play more frequently, for more hours per week, and for longer periods of time per gaming session. They also report that they experience more significant benefits from playing and view their game-playing activity as a more important factor in their lives than do non-disabled consumers.  To read more,click here


Hasty Move On Gifted Program Leaves Parents Behind

After rejecting suggestions to establish a pilot program for a single-site gifted education center at the new Explorer K-8, the Hernando County School Board is finding that its decision to mandate an all-or-nothing program is little more than that: a pilot program only half of the qualified students may attend. The board's haste is curious, costly and cannot be overlooked by parents whose gifted students are being limited academically because they choose to stay in the schools where they have thrived. To read more,click here


Food for Thought........

Success is the marriage of motivation and will. 

                                      Author Unknown

lost password?