Week in Review - June 6, 2008

Week in Review

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.orgnt. Have a great weekend.Sincerely,
NASET News Team



McCormack is One Very Special (Ed) Teacher


Growing up, Joanne McCormack thought being a teacher would be a very boring job.
"In high school, I couldn't imagine being a teacher," said the Philbrick School educator. "I thought it would be unrewarding. Here am I at my age, middle-aged and I have a whole new career that I absolutely love to go to. Will I be here with a walker at 90? I love going to school." Not only does McCormack love her job as a special education teacher, but so do the school's staff and students. After being named an Outstanding Special Education Teacher, according to the National Association of Special Education Teachers, McCormack found out that her co-workers had nominated her.  She didn't find out that she had received the award, let alone been nominated, until a school-wide assembly."I think I was cheering the loudest. It was very exciting. The kids cheered, too," said McCormack of Hyde Park. "I was stunned. I was very, very surprised, very honored and pleased and excited. I couldn't wait to get to the room to read what the award said."  To read more,
click here



More Than 500 Attend Sports Events for Children with Disabilities

Olie Kolzig of the Washington Capitals was on hand in Potomac this weekend to hand out medals to athletes that participated in a sports festival organized by KEEN, a sports group for children with developmental disabilities.  More than 500 athletes, friends and family attended the event.  KEEN Greater D.C., which stands for Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, held its seventh annual sports festival at Hadley Park on Sunday. Children and young adults with disabilities such as spinal bifida, cerebral palsy, autism and Down Syndrome got a chance to show off their physical skills through a game of tug of war, playing on an obstacle course, and catching rides on a tire swing.
Each athlete was paired with a volunteer coach to lend a helping hand.  To read more,
click here


Low Birthweight, Preterm Birth Increases Autism Risk

Low birth weight and preterm birth increase the risk for children developing autism later in life. A team of researchers from National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities examined 565 children with autism born between 1986 and 1993. Researchers also considered a control group of children with similar dates of birth. The study examined and compared the link between birth weight, birth date, and autism.
Researchers estimated low birth weight as less than 5.5 pounds, and preterm birth as less than 33 weeks' gestation. Children with autism were then divided into three groups: children with autism only, children with autism and one developmental disease, and children with autism and more than one developmental disease.
The study found that both low birth weight and preterm birth differently affect autism risk.  To read more,
click here



Thousands Rally to Change Children's Vaccines


For parents of children with autism, every day can be a struggle. Wednesday, thousands of parents with autistic children marched all the way to the U.S. Capitol, demanding a change in the way their children are vaccinated. Michelle Brock said her daughter's autism became apparent just days after her normal vaccines. "She lost hair; she lost all of her language very quickly," said Brock. "We have all of her lab results that show heavy metal toxicity." Her parents say because of her autism, Ashley, 6, didn't understand boundaries. Tragically, she wandered off two weeks ago, fell into a pool and drowned. "And if there's anything that we can do to try to spare anybody this, we want to do it."  To read more, click here


Law Benefits Students With Disabilities

As caps and gowns replace T-shirts and jeans in local high schools, it's obvious that graduation season is here. For one student at Charlotte's Metro School, it was a long journey, one that took 15 years, but Graduation Day marks a special accomplishment.  Ross Fries suffers from moderate mental disabilities, but thanks to a new state law, Fries was able to stay in high school a few years longer, learning the skills he needed to graduate. It's proof that even learning disabilities can't keep you down."Last year the state law changed to allow children with disabilities to stay until they get their high school diploma or age out at age 22," explained Metro principal Denise Comeaux.
To read more,
click here


Task Force Meets to Address Gifted Education


The school year may almost be over, but that hasn't stopped the School Board from continuing to work to hammer out solutions to improve Chesterfield County schools. During their latest quarterly work session, School Board members heard recommendations from the Task Force on Gifted Education to improve services for gifted learners."The task force has looked carefully at the growth trends in the county and the number of students who opt to attend the Center Based Gifted program," says Dr. Dale Kalkofen, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support for Chesterfield County. "We have made five recommendations to help improve services to school-based gifted education." Having met five times throughout the school year, the Task Force looked at expectations, regulations, research, and data concerning the gifted programs in Chesterfield. 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


Minorities Overrepresented in Special Education Classes

In Florida, stark racial and ethnic disparities in special education are persisting in public schools, according to a recent analysis. Florida ranks among the worst in the nation for over- representation in those categories, according to statistics from the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  Northeast Florida districts vary. In Clay County, minorities are less likely to be overrepresented because of an early intervention program. That means exceptional education classrooms are more likely to look like the mostly white district. In St. Johns, the disproportionality is acute enough to make a state watch list. Duval mostly mirrors state averages.   To read more, <click here


Cooling May Not Help Injured Brains in Children

Cooling the brain after a traumatic brain injury may not help improve neurological outcomes and might even increase mortality. That's the conclusion of a randomized trial of 225 children with brain injuries, but the authors and other experts suspect that by changing the cooling and re-warming protocol, other researchers may have more success with this therapy. "Our hypothesis was that hypothermia would improve the outcome," said study author Dr. Jamie Hutchison, a critical care physician and director of the acute care research unit at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto."Children were randomized to receive 24 hours of cooling, to 32 degrees Celsius. They had to be enrolled within eight hours of their injury and, after cooling, we re-warmed an average of 0.5 degree Celsius every two hours. To our surprise, we didn't see any benefit," said Hutchison.  To read more, click here


Students with Disabilities Revel in New Social Network

Shasha Adao and other young ladies sang along to a Hannah Montana tune blasting from a stereo system and danced to a pop-rocking rhythm. They performed an impromptu show in front of fellow and former special-education students during Thursday's get-together in teacher Susan Switzer's class at the Jefferson Union High School District offices. "We have a lot of fun here," Adao said. "It's fascinating because the loving teachers are caring and supportive." The party was just part of a nascent social-networking effort led by Switzer to serve "limited intelligence functioning," or LIF, students. Her project seeks to fill a hole left by a change in how San Mateo County delivers education services to learning-disabled students. A few years ago, the county Office of Education served about 900 special-education students. School districts paid the county office to educate those students in its specialized programs.  To read more, click here


A Quarter of Children with Disabilities Have Unmet School Needs

In Toronto, the parents of roughly one-quarter of children with disabilities believe their child's needs for special education are going unmet, while nearly half say they experience difficulty getting special education for their child, according to a new study. Survey data released Tuesday by Statistics Canada finds that about 36,600 children with disabilities whose parents believed they need special education did not receive this type of schooling, accounting for about 24.3 per cent of children with disabilities who were attending school. Nearly half of the children in this group who did not receive special education had severe or very severe disabilities, and nearly two-thirds had undergone a professional assessment of their educational needs. The survey gathered information on these children through interviews with their parents or guardians. To read more, click here


Child Helmets Can Prevent Serious Head Injuries

Warmer weather brings more and more kids out of the house to ride their bikes. One way to prevent personal injuries is to have your child wear a helmet at all times when participating in any wheeled activity such as riding an ATV or bicycle. Safe Kids USA reports that helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent, when worn properly. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disablement among children, and as many as 3,000 children suffer die from brain injuries, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign. When fitting a helmet for your child, make sure it fits snuggly and close to the head. The chinstrap should be tight to the chin without causing pain, in order to prevent the helmet from sliding back behind the head. The helmet should stay in place regardless of body movement. Never buy a helmet that is too large, with the thought that a child can grow into it. Buy a snug-fitting helmet and replace it as your child grows. If there are gaps between the child's head and the helmet, the helmet cannot protect properly. To read more, click here


Everyone who remembers his own educational experience remembers teachers, not methods and techniques.

                                                             Sidney Hook

Food for Thought........

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