Week in Review - October 10, 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:  Parent Teacher Conference Handout & Classroom Management Series (New Series!)


Developmental Screening Information for Parents

If you are involved in the field of Early Intervention, then you will most likely be involved with parents concerning developmental screening for children with suspected developmental delays. Identifying potential problems early and addressing these concerns can be a very effective way to avoid later educational problems. Having a concern about a child's development or behavior is a sufficient reason to have a screening completed. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout provides parents with a start in understanding this process and sources to contact for further information.

To access this new issue of the Parent Teacher Conference Handout - Click Here  (login required)




Behavior Crisis Management Tools

NASETis proud to present its new Classroom Management Series IV titled Behavior Crisis Management Tools. This series will focus on practical and productive techniques that can be used in a variety of behavior crisis situations that may occur in a classroom. Teachers have told us that one of their major concerns has been dealing with severe behavior problems in the classroom.

The first issue of Series IV of the Classroom Management Series is titled Pre-Empt Behavior and provides a good "tool" to have when students are exhibiting certain inappropriate behaviors in a classroom and asking them to stop in front of the class has not worked.

To access this new issue of the Classroom Management Series - Click Here(login required)

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NASET Sponsor - PCI Education

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Study Examines the Prevalence and Impact of Gastrointestinal Problems in Children withAutism

A new study examines the characteristics of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) who also have gastrointestinal problems. The study was published online ahead of print September 2008 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. PDDs, such as autism and Asperger's disorder, are marked by repetitive behavior and pervasive impairments in language and the ability to relate to others. Some studies have suggested a link between PDDs and gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as reflux, stomach pain, bloating, food intolerance, constipation or diarrhea. But epidemiological studies have found=2 0no higher prevalence of GI problems among children with PDD compared to normally developing children. To read more,click here

School Officials Debate Restraint

State education officials and child advocates continue to debate over a rule change that expands the use of "reasonable f orce" in schools weeks after the Florida Department of Education stalled the issue. The proposal was on this month's State Board of Education agenda, but was pulled at the last minute. A statement from the DOE explained that "the department withdrew the proposed language to allow further consideration of public comments received." It could resurface later this year or in 2009, they added.The definition of reasonable force would've been an "appropriate physical response" to maintain a safe learning environment and, according to the rule change, would only be used in emergency situations where a student may injure themselves or another. To read more,click here

Complaint Filed on Behalf of Students with Disabilities

A class-action complaint with the Florida Department of Education was filed in Tallahassee on Wednesday by three civil rights groups on behalf of students with mental and emotional disabilities in Hillsborough County. The complaint alleges that six students did not receive services such as counseli ng, social work or psychological help that they were entitled to under federal law. Instead, students were subjected to repeated disciplinary measures including more than 10 days of in- and out-of-school suspensions, court referrals, and undocumented, illegal removals from school, it said. Such students "are literally pushed out of school" and many end up in prison, Marlene Sallo, attorney for the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, said Wednesday at a news conference in Tampa. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Florida State Conference of the NAACP are the other groups bringing the action. To read more,click here

Florida Tech Poll Takes Pulse on Autism

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans believes vaccines cause autism, even though no scientif ic evidence supports such a link, a new national survey suggests. The survey -- commissioned by Florida Tech to measure the public's knowledge and understanding of autism -- found that 24 percent of respondents believe vaccines carry the blame for the wide range of developmental delays, known as autism spectrum disorders, and as a result, shy away from vaccinating their children. Another 19 percent said they were unsure about vaccines' role. Mary Beth Kunkel, dean of Florida Tech's College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, described the finding as a surprise given the number of federal studies exonerating the mercury preservative thimerosal, once used widely in children's vaccines, but rarely, if ever, included in vaccines today. To read more,click here

Colorado Amendment Would Boost Disability Services

As a way to provide services for more children and adults with developmental disabilities, Amendment 51 is asking voters for an increase in the state sales and use tax. When fully implemented in 2010, the phased-in sales tax of two-tenths of 1 percent would raise about $186 million annually to help developmentally disabled individuals who are currently on the waiting list for services and care. Developmental disabilities include many conditions that affect a person's physical or mental stability, such as mental retardation, autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Services for people with developmental disabilities are available through state and local systems. These agencies offer a number of services, ranging from job training to speech and language development to full-time care.  To read more,click here

Scientists Identify Gene Variant Involved in Isolated Cleft Lip

About 20 percent of isolated cleft lip, one of the world's most common birth defects, may be due to a one-letter difference in the DNA sequence of a gene involved in facial development, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health report. The scientists say the discovery, published online today in the journal"Nature Genetics," could lead to DNA tests to help couples better gauge their risk of having a child with an isolated cleft lip. They also note that the gene variation provides a valuable clue to the complex developmental puzzle of cleft lip. Coupled with other recent gene discoveries and alterations, the scientists say they now can account for about 30 percent of isolated cleft lip. A generation ago, they had yet to identify a single gene alteration. "This finding will improve our ability to explore the causes of cleft lip, develop better ways of treating clefts, and provide information on whether they might occur again in a family," said the paper's senior author Jeff Murray, M.D., a scientist at the University of Iowa and a grantee of NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. To read more,click here

Maryland Parents Question Special-Needs Testing Mandate

Susan Gordon's son, Michael, is doing well in school despite a neurological disorder that causes major learning disabilities. By working closely with teachers at Southern High School in Anne Arundel County, he passed all his classes last year. He even made the honor roll. But high-stakes tests are another matter. Barring a major policy reversal, the 16-year-old must pass tests in algebra, English, government and biology or complete equally rigorous projects in the subjects he fails. While special education students can take a slightly easier version, they're required to earn the same scores as everyone else. "If he does not pass these tests, he will not get a diploma," said Gordon, a mother of four from Shady Side. "He will get a certificate of completion, and the door will be slammed in his face before he even gets there to get a job." This school year, Maryland will become the 24th state to require some sort of exit exam for graduation. To read more, click here

NASET Offering Discounted Rate for 2 Million Dollar Educator Liability Insurance

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 throughNASET - click here

D.C. Stadium Ordered to Address the Needs of Fans with Hearing Impairments

A federal judge ruled this week that FedEx Field - the Washington, D.C. area football stadium - must do more to accommodate hearing impaired patrons and must begin captioning all music lyrics broadcast over the stadium's public address system. The decision, in a lawsuit filed by deaf and hard of hearing Washington Redskins fans, appears to be the first such ruling under the Americans with Disabilities Act and could lead to similar challenges around the country, an attorney for the plaintiffs said. After the suit was filed in federal court in 2006, the Redskins began captioning the public address play by play as well as advertisements, public service announcements and other material broadcast in the stadium. US District Judge Alexander Williams said that ADA regulations also require that "music with lyrics played at FedEx field be effectively communicated to deaf and hard of hearing fans." To read more, click here

National Institutes of Health Launches Campaign to Protect the Hearing of Tweens

A new campaign to help parents of 8- to 12-year-olds teach their children how to avoid hearing loss from overexposure to loud noise was launched today by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health. The new campaign, cal led It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing., features a new Web site that offers advice to parents on the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, how to recognize when a child's hearing is at risk, and ways to reduce noise exposure. The site contains games, posters, and interactive information about noise and hearing loss tailored specifically for tweens."Noise is everywhere, and children and adults alike are at risk for hearing loss from overexposure," said James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIDCD. "Our goal through this campaign is to increase awareness among parents and children so that it will become second nature to use protective hearing techniques when they're exposed to loud noise, just like it's become second nature for many people to wear sunscreen when they're at the beach or to snap on a helmet when they go biking." To read more,click here

London Parents Sue School Over Brain Injury

Claiming he was repeatedly bullied at school before a punch left him needing brain surgery, a London boy's parents have filed a $3.7-million negligence lawsuit. The suit brought by the parents of Raymond Trudell, 11, against the London District Catholic school board alleges negligence from the top down -- from its education director to the school principal and the playground supervisor on Sept. 23, the day their son was hit by a classmate during an after-recess school lineup. Also named as defendants are the boy accused of the punch at St. Theresa school in Byron and his parents. London police are still investigating the case. Taken to hospital by his mother, Raymond Trudell was found to have a fractured skull and needed three metal plates inserted into his head. To read more,click here

Why Do We Allow Unkind Remarks About Disabilities?

The play came from the sideline into the huddle. "338 boot weak," our quarterback barked.  My eyes lit up; my pet play had just been called. Running up to the line, I visualized smacking a defender silly. Baby Huey, our enormous tackle, kept mumbling, "Cross-block." I whispered back, "No, pull." Silently in our stances we stared at each other, twitching our heads in opposite directions, bewildering the defenders lined up on the other side of the ball. The ball was snapped and I pulled out, searching for my prey, and ran smack into a teammate going in the opposite direction. Before the cloud of dust settled, our coach's howling let everyone in the county know I had screwed up. "ROLDAN! The other way! Boot keep, not boot weak!" Even now, nearly 20 years later, I remember how embarrassed I was for such a visible mistake that happened because I was hard of hearing. To read more,click here

National Children's Study Enters Next Phase

The National Institutes of Health announced today that its comprehensive study to examine the effect of genes and the environment on children's health had entered the next phase of operations. At a briefing on the latest developments in the National Children's Study, NIH officials named the study centers funded for 2008. The study centers are the research institutions that will recruit volunteers for the study. Study centers will recruit from study locations - counties and other geographic demarcations preselected by study scientists to be representative of the United States. The large size of the study requires that it be carried out in stages. Today, NIH officials named the 27 study centers that will be funded in 2008, which will manage 39 locations. That brings the total of new and existing study centers to 36, covering a total of 72 study locations. To read more,click here

Food for Thought........

When I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.

Fred Rogers

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