Week in Review - April 10, 2009


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

Dear NASET Members,

Wecome to NASET'sWEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications from NASET 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

The Practical Teacher

Talk Ticket

Teachers seldom have the time to drop everything and talk at length with a student who is upset about an incident that occurred within or outside of, school. The "Talk Ticket" assures the student that he or she will have a chance to talk through the situation while allowing the teacher to schedule the meeting with the student for a time that does not disrupt classroom instruction. The Talk Ticket intervention is flexible to implement and offers the option of taking the student through a simple, structured problem-solving format. The focus of this Practical Teacher will be to explain the Talk Ticket intervention.
To download or read this issue - Click Here  (login required)

Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Curriculum Accommodations for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

No single instructional method for teaching students with autism is successful for all students in all areas of curriculum. Also, students needs change over time, making it necessary for teachers to try other types of accommodation approaches. This issue of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Series contains information about important areas of instruction and curriculum approaches that have proved successful for teachers working with students with autism.
To download or read this issue - Click Here  (login required)

Quick Links To NASET

Henry Winkler Tells Kids How He Copes With A Learning Disability: 'One...Word...At...A...Time'

In the world of special education, Henry Winkler is as big a hero today as he was on television's "Happy Days" 30 years ago, when his role as the leather-jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding "Fonz" made him one of the nation's most popular actors. Winkler had to overcome a case of severe, undiagnosed dyslexia to pursue his career. "Every one of you has greatness in you," Winkler, now 63, said recently in Short Hills, at a talk sponsored by the Winston School, a private school that serves students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. "It doesn't matter if you don't get a subject," he told the audience, which included many of the school's first-grade to eighth-grade students. "How you learn has nothing to do with how great you are. Your job is to find out what your gift is, what your contribution will be." To read more, click here

More With Learning Disabilities Forced To Wed

Every year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Forced Marriage Unit deals with around 400 cases. And a significant number involve people with learning disabilities. The unit's head Sarah Russell said: "We don't have any firm statistics, but anecdotally we are seeing more and more cases of victims with learning disabilities as awareness around the whole issue of forced marriage is rising." Disability charities, meanwhile, warn that forced marriage is being used as a way to ensure that children with disabilities will be looked after. Rachael Clawson of the Ann Craft Trust believes that parents are worried about the future of their adult child. To read more, click here

 NASET Sponsor - RFB&D

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County To Get 33 Million Dollars For Special Education

If special-education dollars from the federal stimulus package are used on technology like interactive SMART boards, it will be money well spent, local educators said yesterday at a round-table discussion organized by U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski. "Technology offers children the additional motivation (needed) to get the information to them," said Janice Haberlein, principal at Central Elementary School, a cluster site for autistic and learning-disabled children that was the location for the discussion. At the discussion, Mikulski, D-Md., heard participants' ideas on special education and presented figures for how much funding they can expect from the federal stimulus package: $18 million over two years, she said. To read more click here

One In Fur Special Education Graduates Lack Jobs

More than one in four special education students in Oregon never held a job or went on to college, according to a new state report. Telephone surveys of former students in every school district found that about 1,150 of the 4,200 special education students who finished their high school education in 2006-07 spent the next year without getting a job that paid minimum wage or any post-secondary education. The Oregonian newspaper reports the surveys mark the first time the state has tried to determine what happens after high school to students who received special education services. This year, nearly 73,000 students are enrolled in special education programs, or about one in eight students in Oregon public schools. Most have learning disabilities, speech disorders or attention deficits. To read more, click here

A Look At What's On Offer For District's Special Education Students

While School Superintendent Dr. Betty Sternberg and Board of Education (BOE) officials continue to crunch numbers and now look to what President Obama's stimulus package could bring to their table, the district is producing a number of exceptional students and in particular meeting the challenge of those requiring special education. At last Thursday's BOE meeting at Eastern Middle School, 16 Greenwich High School (GHS) students were introduced as winners of the 2009 Connecticut State Scholastic Awards for Art & Writing, with two, Kaitlin Santoro and Wisse Kodde succeeding for the first time to the national level with Silver Awards. Julie Nixon of the GHS Art Department called Awards "the most prestigious recognition program for creative young people in the U.S." Nearly half of the students came away with top Gold Awards for their Photography Portfolios. 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

Ritalin Could Help Obese Adults Lose Weight

Ritalin, the drug used to treat hyperactive children, could hold the key to solving Britain's growing obesity crisis, according to research. It shows as many as one in three severely obese adults who fail to lose weight through diet and exercise do so because they have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But once their condition has been treated with Ritalin or similar drugs, their dieting success rates improve dramatically. Now doctors behind the latest findings are calling for those with severe weight problems to be screened for ADHD before they are even put on a diet. They claim a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by hidden ADHD robs patients of the willpower needed to shed excess fat. To read more, click here

Lacrosse Players Carry Iraq Soldier's Stick To Raise Autism Awareness

From Ground Zero to Giants Stadium, the lacrosse stick of Sgt. James Regan, an Iraq war hero, was carried high Saturday morning. Young lacrosse players from towns across New Jersey passed the stick relay-style after the first few blocks of the journey, which were run by four young firefighters from the New York Fire Department. The event not only honored Regan, but raised awareness of autism and Special Angels, a recreational sports groups for children with disabilities. The players, mostly from junior school, ran with each other and their coaches from Ground Zero, up the west side of Manhattan to 38th Street, boarded a bus for the Lincoln Tunnel and then took up the stick again on the Jersey side all the way into the underground tunnel at Giants Stadium. "They closed down Route 3 for us, completely," marveled John Bodnar, coach for the Madison Junior School team and president of the New Jersey chapter for U.S. Lacrosse. To read more, click here

Inclusion Tough Call For Local Families

When it came time to make school decisions for their children, the Beam and O'Rourke families had some different choices to make than many others. Theirs was not a decision necessarily based on school facilities, core academics or future sports opportunities, but rather how educators could bring out the best in their child with developmental disabilities. With the help of Ross County MR/DD representatives, a Pioneer Center official, psychologist, therapist and others, they, along with parents of other children with such challenges as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, try to figure out the approach to best serve their loved ones: Inclusion with other students in their home school district or attending the Pioneer Center, operated by the Ross County MR/DD board to target special needs students. To read more, click here

The Myth Of Developmental Lag In Reading

The longer you wait to get help for a child with reading difficulties, the harder it will be for that child to catch up. If help is given in fourth grade (rather than in late kindergarten), it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount." says Susan Hall, coauthor of Straight Talk About Reading. Four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount! Between K and 4th grade. What happens in 6th grade? Is it 6 times as long? 8th grade? 8 times as long? High school? 10-12 times as long? How long will it take a child in each of those grade levels to learn basic K reading skills? Of course, Ms Hall is assuming that the child is being taught by a teacher skilled in reading instruction. Unfortunately, this child is very likely to be taught by a teacher without proper reading instruction, a common scenario given the inconsistency in teachers colleges. If that is the case, those children are lucky if they can read read enough sight words to maybe struggle along at a 3rd grade level by the time they graduate? Look at the special education scores in SFUSD. For example at Lowell, 96.4% of the all students pass the high school exit exam in 10th grade, but only 21.4% of special education students pass the same exit exam! To read more, click here

Art Program Focuses On Abilities, Not Disabilities

Parents of special-education students rarely get to have those precious, scholastic coming-of-age moments, such as watching their children star in school recitals or pitch shutouts for their baseball teams. If there's a meeting at school, it's often to focus on what their children can't do and how to make the best accommodations. So there's something powerful about the annual Pastime Players performance, when parents get to see their children take the stage, regardless of mental or physical challenges, and showcase their ability to recite poetry or Shakespearean lines or to dance hip-hop or to sing "What a Wonderful World." For Don Romano, it was an experience he had with four of his children, but never with the baby of the family, Danny, who has developmental disabilities.Danny was a freshman at Catalina Magnet High School in 1990 when he was invited to participate in Pastime Players, said Romano, a 66-year-old bank executive. "I just thought, 'Great.' It was an activity that allowed for an experience that special individuals like Danny just weren't invited to do.To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth.'

                                           Dan Rather

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