Week in Review - November 21, 2008


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

Dear NASET Members,

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


New This Week on NASET:  RTI Roundtable & ADHD SERIES

RTI Roundtable 

Fidelity of Implementaion 

This issue of the RTI Roundtable provides the following answers to questions about Fidelity of Implementation:

  • What is Fidelity of Implementation?

  • Why is Fidelity of Implementation Important?

  • How Can Schools Ensure Fidelity of Implementation?

  • What Are the Three Dimensions that Keep Implementation of Fidelity Manageable for Schools?

  • How Does a School Achieve High Fidelity?

  • Does Fidelity of Implementation Affect School Structures and Staff's Roles, and Responsibilities?


To read this issue - CLICK HERE (login required)



New Series on NASET

NASET's ADHD Report is intended to provide educators with a step-by-step approach to the most effective methods of teaching students with ADHD. The ADHD Report was written to explain ADHD from the eyes of the teacher, so that, if a student in your class or school is diagnosed with this disorder, you can work effectively with the administrators, parents, other professionals, and the outside community.

We hope that NASET's ADHD Report will be helpful to you in understanding the key concepts of this disorder and how to be an effective educator when working with students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Part # 1 - OVERVIEW OF ADHD - To access this issue - CLICK HERE


More than Just 'Quirky': Girls With Asperger's Syndrome Often Not Diagnosed


Liane Willey watched from behind a two-way mirror as doctors at the University of Kansas performed a series of psychological tests on her 5-year-old daughter. From the day the girl was born, Liane had worried about the child's behavior: as an infant, she would not suckle. As a toddler, she bit other children and refused to let anyone hug her. Doctors had continually assured the young mother that her daughter was normal, if a bit quirky. But with each passing year, 'quirky' had become less apt a description. By the age of 5, she had no friends and a profound obsession with monkeys. "If another kid came to school with a toy monkey or something with a monkey picture on it, she would freak out," Liane says. "She would try to take it away from the other kid, because she didn't get that not everything 'monkey' was hers." Liane had been a quirky child herself, and knew the difficult path that lay ahead for her daughter. "Growing up, I tried everything-psychotherapy, group therapy, antidepressants-none of them gave me a better sense of the world or my place in it," she recalls. "For her, I wanted something that would actually work, and I wanted them to put a name to the angst once and for all." Doctors were hoping the psychological tests would yield-up some clues. To read more,click here


New Program Teaches Preschoolers Reading Skills, Getting Along With Others


A study funded by the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies shows that it's possible to teach preschoolers the pre-reading skills they need for later school success, while at the same time fostering the socials skills necessary for making friends and avoiding conflicts with their peers. The findings address long standing concerns on whether preschool education programs should emphasize academic achievement or social and emotional development. "Fostering academic achievement in preschoolers need not come at the expense of healthy emotional development," said Duane Alexander, M.D., director of NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which provided much of the funding for the study. "This study shows that it's possible to do both at the same time." To read more,click here


ADHD Medications Do Not Appear To Cause Genetic Damage InChildren


In contrast to recent findings, two of the most common medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not appear to cause genetic damage in children who take them as prescribed, according to a new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Duke University Medical Center. The study published online this month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) provides new evidence that therapeutic doses of stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, do not cause cytogenetic (chromosomal) damage in humans. The researchers looked at three measures of cytogenetic damage in white blood cells of each child participating in the study and found no evidence of any changes after three months of continuous treatment. "This is good news for parents," said Kristine L. Witt, M.Sc., a genetic toxicologist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and co-author on the study, which was funded through the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act by NIEHS and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), both parts of NIH. "Our results indicate that methylphenidate- and amphetamine-based products do not induce cytogenetic damage in children."
To read more,
click here


Red Carpet Rolls For Film-Makers With Learning Disabilities


The red carpet will be rolled out again for budding film makers with learning disabilities.

The Flash Forward film festival, run by Oxfordshire Video and Film Makers, has received entries from across the county ready for a premiere at Oxford's Regal night club this month. The 20 films were all made by people in Oxfordshire with learning or physical impairments, and shortlisted to five by a panel of judges from disability groups on Wednesday. To read more, click here


Planning For Future With Family Members With Disabilities


The physical and emotional needs of a child with a disability can be overwhelming. Parents also who would take care of their child should something happen to them. Now a new industry is popping up as families reach out to professionals to protect their children now and in the future. Meet Jack Ursitti, a lovable five-year-old with autism. Jack's diagnosis, and the realization he will need special care for the rest of his life, stunned his parents."We both felt overwhelmed, you know, of all the implications of having a special needs child," Jack's mother Judith said. Making sure Jack gets all the benefits and services he requires can be complicated. Couple that with the pressure of worrying about the future. "What in the world is going to happen to them when you're not there to take care of them anymore," Judith said. To read more,click here


Minneapolis And The Somali Autism Riddle


Last week, a few hundred very concerned citizens of Minnesota gathered to discuss a baffling and heartbreaking riddle: Why is the reported rate of autism among children of Somali refugees so alarmingly high (now an estimated 1-in-28 schoolchildren)? When I first heard about this phenomenon, which some Somalis call the "Minnesota Disease," my reporter's instinct told me it could be a very big story; that a key piece of the puzzle that is autism might well lie within the bloodstreams of these poor children of the Twin Cities - whose families had already suffered through so much. If it can be demonstrated that US-born children of Somali refugees are more prone to autism than the other kids of Minneapolis - or Somalia - then it shouldn't take too long to discover what it is about them (their genes) that clashed so terribly with the way they were conceived and raised (their environment). To read more, click here


It Takes A Village: Special Education Funding Needs An Overhaul


The recent controversy regarding special education funding in Scotts Valley presents an opportunity to illuminate how special education is funded and the ways in which this system could be improved. Special education teachers and aides provide very important services to students with learning, physical or emotional disabilities. Students receiving such services often benefit greatly. Some students make great enough progress that they are mainstreamed into regular education classes. One of the challenges of special education is that it is very expensive to implement. Additionally, the state and federal governments do not come close to funding the mandates they place upon schools. Consequently, local school districts pay for the lion's share of such services. To read more,click here


Canadian Study Explores Financial Barriers Faced By Postsecondary Students With Disabilities


For students with disabilities the cost of attending college or university often exceeds the price of tuition and textbooks. Sign language interpretation, alternative format course materials, adaptive software, tutors and personal support workers are just a few of the significant expenses that can stand in the way of higher education for many Canadian students. A new research project, jointly launched today by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, seeks to shed light on the range of financial barriers facing postsecondary students with disabilities."This study promises to uncover valuable information that can be used to improve access to postsecondary education for students with both physical and learning disabilities," said Norman Riddell, executive director and CEO of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. To read more,click here


Brain Abnormalities May Play Key Role In ADHD


A study published in the online advance edition of The American Journal of Psychiatry for the first time reveals shape differences in the brains of children with ADHD, which could help pinpoint the specific neural circuits involved in the disorder. Researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md. and the Johns Hopkins Center for Imaging Science used a new analysis tool, large deformation diffeomorphic mapping (LDDMM), which allowed them to examine the precise shape of the basal ganglia. The study found boys with ADHD had significant shape differences and decreases in overall volume of the basal ganglia compared to their typically developing peers. Girls with ADHD did not have volume or shape differences, suggesting sex strongly influences the disorder's expression. To read more,click here


Board Ceritification 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


In England, 'Magic Room' Gives Students Time To Relax


A new room to help children ease the stresses of school has been officially opened.

Southbrook Infant School opened its Kaleidoscope Room on Tuesday last week which aims to address the youngsters' emotional and mental needs. It was the idea of new headteacher Jane Badger to set up the initiative at the school.The school obtained funding for the room from the Special Education Needs and Inclusion department of Northamptonshire Local Education Authority.It will be used by small groups of pupils to relax their mind and body by taking them away from the stress and over stimulation of the school environment. To read more,click here


Kids Share Disabilities Experiences With Linda Ellerbee


Linda Ellerbee is exploring a question lots of kids have surely contemplated: What's it like for peers who use a wheelchair? Four kids - afflicted with muscular dystrophy, a spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy and spina bifida - invite the audience to share "the view from my chair" on "Nick News with Linda Ellerbee." Then those children briefly defy their chief nemesis on a zero-gravity flight, achieving temporary weightlessness. But even life on Earth doesn't get the kids down. "I can get around as much as regular people can get around, just in a different way," says one, though acknowledging, "I think about going to heaven and being able to walk." To read more,click here


Food for Thought........


I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.

                                                                              Vincent Van Gogh


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