Week in Review - January 2, 2009


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 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.

NASET News Team

New This Week on NASET: Special Educator e-Journal, Behavior Management Series &  Q&A Corner

NASETSpecial Educator e-Journal

January 2009 Issue

In this issue:

  • Message from the President
  • This Just in.....
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Legislative Announcements
  • Calls to Participate
  • Special Education Resources
  • Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events
  • Get Wired!-The Latest on Websites and Listservs
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities

To read this issue on NASET - Click Here  (login required)


Behavior Management Series

Issue #11

Behaviors Discussed in this Issue:

  • Why Children Blame Others for Their Problems
  • Why Children Suffer From Fatigue
  • Why Children Are Fearful Of Adults
  • Why Children Are Fearful Of New Situations
  • Why Children Are Impulsive

To read this issue on NASET - Click Here    (login required)


Q&A Corner

Issue #11 - Questions and Answers about The Individual Evaluation Process for Special Education

This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about Individual Evaluation Process for Special Education:

  • What is an Evaluation for Special Education?
  • What are the Components of a Comprehensive Evaluation?
  • How Should Parent/guardians go about Obtaining School Records on his or her Student?
  • What Should a Parent/guardian Expect and Provide for the Parent/guardian Intake or Interview

To read this issue on NASET - Click Here    (login required)

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Special Event - NYC Department of Education - District 75

Online Conference on Working with Students with ChallengingBehaviors

District 75 Office of Positive Behavior Supports is pleased to present an interactive, online conference for staff and parents working with students who present challenging behaviors. Nationally-recognized researchers and experts will outline evidence-based systems and practical tips. Speakers will include: Dr. Lucille Eber (Director, IL PBIS Network), Dr. Nicholas Long (founder of the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute), Dr. Marc Brackett (Yale University), and Dr. Laura Riffel (Behavior Doctor Seminars).This conference is probably the most practical event you'll attend all year!

  • Learn Practical tips for working with youngsters who display challenging behaviors
  • Find out how to break in to the conflict cycle
  • Become familiar with the basic tenets of emotional literacy

Conference Title:
Educating Children with Disruptive Behavior:
Strategies for Classroom and Community

DATE: January 21st and 22nd          TIME: 3:15 pm -5:00 pm

To register for the conference please visit the link below: http://district75.net/behaviorconference 

Bosses Responding To Special Needs

In the past, some of Kajuana Ezell's bosses and colleagues hadn't understood when she had to drop everything and leave work to care for her 17-year-old son with autism, who was mute until he was age 5. "Everywhere I went, I felt like I was educating everyone around me," says Ezell, a Hartford-based senior administrative assistant. "That's my most vivid memory: I can't go to my child" when he needs me. Now, working at Prudential Financial Inc., she's found not only flexibility and work-life resources, but an awareness of the extreme balancing act she faces as the parent of a special needs child. "If my son is having a bad day, I don't have to explain in detail what I need to do," says Ezell. "Children with special needs have bad days. You need the freedom to leave and come back." At Prudential, she's had various managers, but each time "it wasn't a difficult conversation to say to my boss, 'This is what I'm dealing with, and this is what I need.' They already had that understanding." To read more, click here

Maternal Health May Help Predict Child's ADHD Risk

The probability of a child being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) might be tied to mother's health status prior to having a child, according to a new study. According to Thomas Ray, lead author, the new study implies "that the diagnoses and health care utilization that a mother receives prior to having her child is predictive of having a child who is diagnosed with ADHD." "Our study raises the possibility that certain types of mothers - those who get or seek diagnoses and who use more health services - may be more likely to seek ADHD diagnoses for their children," he added. To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - PCI Education

For More Information - Click Here

Scoring Points For Special Needs Kids

While he's enjoying the holiday season, Bob Wargo's warm and fuzzy feeling started in September when he began his second season of helping to run a flag football program for special needs children. From just after Labor Day to just before Thanksgiving, about 30 to 35 Neshaminy High School football players and two from Harry S Truman got together Sunday mornings at Neshaminy with children with a variety of physical and developmental disabilities. Under the direction of Wargo and several others, the players guided the children through drills and then, at the end of each session, flag football games."We don't keep score and every kid gets the chance to touch the ball and get into the end zone, just to get the feeling of what it's like to score a touchdown," said Wargo, a teacher at Bensalem High School and former assistant football coach at Bensalem and Neshaminy. "It's been tremendously rewarding for everyone involved, and the biggest key is having so many football players willing to volunteer their time and be willing to give up what is basically their one day off during football season," he continued. To read more, click here

Boy Writes Book On Understanding Autism For Bar Mitzvah

While some gave canned goods to local food pantries and others volunteered at senior citizen homes or made various charitable donations, Daniel Rosengard had something more literal in mind to fulfill the good deed required for his bar mitzvah. Rosengard, a 13-year-old East Brunswick native now living in Texas, decided that his act of human kindness for the community, or "mitzvah,'' would be writing a book to help children better understand autism. Before his family moved to San Antonio, Rosengard became best friends with Adam Scharfman, whose younger brother, Matt, had been diagnosed with severe autism. Through years of countless play dates and interactions, Rosengard came to learn firsthand what the disability does and how to relate with those who have it. His book, "The ABC's of Autism'' was self-published by his mother, Susan Young, who owns her own public relations company. She said the book will be donated, not sold, to schools and libraries in the area and in East Brunswick. To read more, click here

NASET Offering Members Two Million Dollar Educator's 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 through NASET, click here

Charters Still Show Disparities In Special-Needs

New Orleans public schools had mixed results in bolstering services for the thousands of children with special needs in the city during the past year, according to educators and recent numbers released by the state.  Several public schools affiliated with the state-run Recovery School District -- charter and noncharters alike -- made gains in identifying students with disabilities in a timely fashion, allowing them to focus less on paperwork and more on serving children. "We have at least some sense of calm and normalcy, so we can now really concentrate on quality," said Margaret Lang, director of intervention services for the Recovery School District. Lang said one of the greatest needs is for professional development so that regular and special education teachers can better work together. To read more, click here

Puppet Show Teaches Students About Autism

Second-graders at Ed Smith School in Syracuse were among the first to see a new interactive puppet show this week designed to teach children about autism. The 30-minute program features three puppets - a teacher, a girl with autism and a boy with Asperger's syndrome - who discuss their disorders and show how others should respect and be kind to people who are different. The program, created by SUNY Upstate Medical University, is aimed at students in first through third grade. The Fayetteville-Manlius, Liverpool and Baldwinsville school districts are expected to host the performance in the coming weeks, the show's creator Carroll Grant said. To read more, click here

State Adopts Alternative Graduation Procedure

Maryland high school seniors last week had just two options to graduate in the spring - either pass the High School Assessments or complete an alternative project. They now have a third option. The Maryland State Board of Education has adopted a new waiver-based process that allows principals to recommend a small number of students in special situations to graduate even if they don't pass the High School Assessments or complete an alternative project. The process will go in place in Maryland school systems across after Feb. 1. Frederick County officials are studying the process. While they believe it will affect only a small number of students, the exact numbers and the details are still being worked out. "These waivers are for kids who are under very, very, very limited situations," said Becky Koontz, Frederick County's instructional director for high schools. To read more, click here

Association Provides Light At The End Of The Tunnel

When my son Hakim came to Vancouver from England he was five years-old and I was able to enrol him in French immersion. This was supposed to be an opportunity for him to speak two languages, something he would not have been offered if he was back in England. However, by the time he was in Grade 3, I realized Hakim was having learning difficulties so I placed him in regular English classes. At the time Hakim was unable to read and write in English at the level of his classmates. He was struggling with the alphabet and their sounds and was two years behind in spelling and written expression. To support Hakim's learning needs and homework, we tried many different resources. It was a nightmare trying to find the right fit. Finally we found the Learning Disabilities Association of British Columbia (LDA-BC). Hakim needed one-on-one tutoring to address his specific needs and the Orton Gillingham remedial program at LDA-BC targeted his method of learning (Hakim is hands-on and can make something out of nothing without any instructions). The programs at LDA-BC also assist and support parents in helping their own children. Getting Hakim a spot in the program was difficult. It was time consuming, as many children are turned away. However, after some persistence we got our lucky break. To read more, click here

Charter Raises Scores; Finances Raise Questions

To many in the impoverished city of Chester, the Chester Community Charter School is a beacon of hope. The state's largest charter school, it boasts safe hallways, new facilities and energetic teachers. It outperforms the city's regular elementary and middle schools on state tests. But there's another side to the school's operation that Pennsylvania Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak and Barbara Nelson, a top aide, say raises questions about whether the school is spending too much of its budget on administration and too little on teaching. Zahorchak says he has asked the Chester Upland School District to report on financial data from the school "to the last penny spent." The state is also seeking changes in the school's special-education program, which has a high percentage of mildly disabled students. Under state law, the school receives three times the regular-student subsidy for each special-education student, whether he or she is mildly or severely impaired. But it spends only a fraction of that on services to those students and uses the rest for other purposes. To read more, click here

Brain Birth Defects Successfully Reversed Through Stem Cell Therapy

Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have succeeded in reversing brain birth defects in animal models, using stem cells to replace defective brain cells. The work of Prof. Joseph Yanai and his associates at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School was presented at the Tel Aviv Stem Cells Conference last spring and is expected to be presented and published nest year at the seventh annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Barcelona, Spain. Neural and behavioral birth defects, such as learning disabilities, are particularly difficult to treat, compared to defects with known cause factors such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease, because the prenatal teratogen - the substances that cause the abnormalities -- act diffusely in the fetal brain, resulting in multiple defects. Prof. Yanai and his associates were able to overcome this obstacle in laboratory tests with mice by using mouse embryonic neural stem cells. These cells migrate in the brain, search for the deficiency that caused the defect, and then differentiate into becoming the cells needed to repair the damage. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.


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