Week in Review - July 17, 2009


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

Dear NASET Members:

Welcome 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 

Parent Teacher ConferenceHandouts 

Teaching Techniques Used in Inclusion Classrooms

There may be times when one of your students placement may be changed to an inclusion classroom and a parent may have questions about the differences between a Resource Room, self contained special education class and an inclusion class. One of these differences involves the teaching style and management options called alternate delivery systems. This issue of  Parent Teacher Conference Handouts will explain to parents the variety of techniques used by teachers to educate his/her child in an inclusion classroom.
To read or download this issue - Click Here  (login required)

The Classroom Management Series

Behavior Management Tool #9

Teacher as Judge

The purpose of this issue of the Classroom Management Series is to provide guidelines when responding to an incident or altercation between 2 children that the teacher has not personally witnessed.
To read or download this issue - Click Here  (login required)

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NASET Sponsor - Drexel Online


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Charter Schools 'Amassing' Special Education Cash?

Through their local school districts, taxpayers pay millions of dollars to educate special education students enrolled in Pennsylvania's increasing number of charter schools. But state officials say a big chunk of that money is never spent on special education, a charge that some area charter schools are disputing. Gov. Ed Rendell is now proposing to change how special education is funded for charter schools to prevent them from ''amassing reserves at taxpayers' expense,'' said Michael Race, a spokesman for the state Department of Education. The state reports that of the $78 million set aside for the 127 charter schools for special education instruction in 2007-08, only $50 million was spent for that purpose. To read more, click here

Man Helps Others With Disabilities Earn Their Degrees

Andrew Daley knows what it's like to go through life with a disability. That's why the University of New Brunswick employee has made it his mission to help students with special needs earn post-secondary education degrees. Daley is an assistive technologist at the Commons Accessibility Centre in the Harriet Irving Library. He trains students in the latest technologies and software to overcome their disabilities.He also helps students get everything from special pencil grips to accessories for wheelchairs. "I have a vested interest in accessible technology and software because I use it every day, but I also know what challenges students face when they come to a post-secondary institution with a disability," Daley said.  To read more, click here

Mother Demands District Funds Daughter's Special Education

A legal claim by a parent demanding to have the special education needs of her daughter paid for by her home school district - even though the student now attends school elsewhere - is not uncommon, education experts say. The claim is the result a complaint filed against the Cascade Union Elementary School District last year. Heather Curtain and another Anderson woman alleged in May 2008 that their special-needs children were discriminated against when district officials failed to follow up on complaints of sex- and disability-based harassment by their peers. As a result, Curtain, who still lives in the Cascade district in Anderson, transferred her daughter Jessica Nelson-Curtain to Mistletoe Elementary School in Redding where last month she completed the eighth grade. To read more, click here

Ritalin'Safe As Brain Power Booster'

Ritalin is a stimulant drug that has been widely prescribed for years to treat hyperactivity in children. Now a UK bioethicist says the anti-hyperactivity medication should be easily accessible to healthy people who choose to improve their performance. But the proposal has Australian and American doctors worried. To read more, click here

Say The Right Thing: Language About Disabilities Matters

Imagine this. You're rushing across campus for your freshman orientation, excited and optimistic about your first day at college. You're making good time and think you'll get to the auditorium early so you can get an accessible seat. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye you see a group of students pointing at you. They're laughing, snickering...and you hear someone say, "Oh my God, look at how he walks. What a spaz..." And you thought college would be different. To read more, click here

Portable Hyperbaric Chambers: An Expensive Folly?

Over the years, Michael Jackson has graced more tabloid covers than any other celebrity, the ghost of Elvis included. One memorable tabloid photo from the mid-1980s showed Jackson lying peacefully in a hyperbaric chamber, presumably part of his plan to stay young forever. Perhaps inspired by that iconic image, many health seekers have climbed into hyperbaric chambers of their own. The prospect of slowing or reversing aging is one big draw. Others hope the little extra air pressure and oxygen a chamber provides can cure their cancer or some other chronic disease. In recent years, a growing number of parents have sought hyperbaric therapy to treat their children's autism or cerebral palsy. 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

Can Brains Be Saved?

September 6, 2008, was a clear-blue Indian summer day in Nebraska. Jennifer Ruth sat in the stands and watched her 12-year-old son, Derek, run with the football. She was unconcerned when he was tackled in a routine play. But as he fumbled the ball, she remembers seeing his right arm drop oddly, almost in slow motion. "He never does that" flickered through her mind. The coach noticed a glazed look on Derek's face in the team huddle. He pulled him aside and asked him for the date, score, and his brothers' names. Derek answered correctly. Then, minutes later, he screamed, "My head," pulled off his helmet, and collapsed. Derek was taken to a trauma center and went into surgery. After several weeks in the ICU and months of therapy, he is regaining his physical and cognitive abilities. At first, he could only give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down response to questions; now he reads at a sixth-grade level and tackles algebra problems. To read more, click here

Don't Use The 'R' Word

Robert Shuemak, 40, of Winton Place, cringes whenever he hears the word "retarded." The word, he says, has become an insult. It's not something that should be used to describe him or anyone else with a developmental disability. Yet the government agency that provides support for Shuemak, who was born with developmental disabilities that affect his sight and movement, uses the word in its title - the Hamilton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. That's about to change. To read more, click here

Special Olympics 'A Wake Up Call' For Britain

The chairman of the Special Olympics is jet-lagged so he can be forgiven one foray into cliche. "This is a journey, it is not a destination," said Tim Shriver. "It's a journey to find communities that are fully inclusive and appreciative of the gifts of every person." Considering our interview takes place many sleepless hours after his transatlantic flight landed at 5.20am it is a wonder this is the only time he sounds as if he is operating on autopilot. Instead for half an hour Shriver speaks eloquently, passionately and authoritatively on the rights and needs of the intellectually disabled. He has evidently inherited some of the oratoricalskills of his maternal uncle, John F Kennedy, and his reference to the "journey" comes when speaking about a gaffe committed by the current US president, one who many think embodies the ideals of JFK. Speaking on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in March, Barack Obama likened his bowling ability to "the Special Olympics or something". A thoughtless statement so out character that it warranted a call to Shriver soon after the show was recorded. To read more, click here

Second Language Represented In Different Part Of Brain

A single case study from Israel of a bilingual man who suffered damage to one part of his brain suggests that a person's first and second language are represented in different parts of the brain. Dr Raphiq Ibrahim of the Department of Learning Disabilities at the University of Haifa carried out the study and published a short paper on it in March 2009 in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions. He also revealed a bit more about his work to the media on July 8. Research on where different languages sit in the brain is unclear, especially that which investigates languages of similar and different linguistic structures, said Ibrahim. To read more, click here

Parents' Rights In Special Education

People coming into this field would be best served to remember that the education of children be they "normal" or with special needs is a customer service. The customers are not limited to the individuals receiving the product, namely the child, but also the parents and/or guardians of the child. In special education, the school system is more elaborate and much more dependent on serving the needs of the parents. In fact, it is very crucial that the rights of the parent be upheld even more than a child with the child without disabilities. Why you may ask? Because the parents of special need children are often the chief voice that the child has. Furthermore, it has not been that long ago that children with special needs, especially with mental retardation or mental illnesses, did not receive the services that the law entitles them to today. It has only been in the past thirty to forty years that a need for special education services has been identified. Over that time period, even professionals within the system still may fail to recognize the intricacies of the system, especially the rights of the customers that "buy" their "product." To read more, click here

Milwaukee Public Schools Calls Judge's Special Education Ruling Too Costly

Milwaukee Public Schools this week filed an appeal in an ongoing special education lawsuit, saying that a federal judge's order from last month is too broad and too costly to implement. The order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein required MPS to launch a wide search for former and current students - including regular education students - it failed to serve under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act from 2000 to 2005. The judge ordered that those students should be compensated but left the details on how to do that up to the plaintiff and defendants. MPS officials said the costs of carrying out such a search with so many students would burden the district and taxpayers. The appeal also challenges several previous court rulings in the case, including an order that the district take remedial action on a class-wide basis, and a ruling that obligated the district to evaluate kids for special needs who have been retained a grade or received multiple suspensions. Superintendent William Andrekopoulos admitted Thursday, "We do play a role in some of this. We agree that maybe we missed some kids." To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Your work may be finished someday, but your education, never.
                                                                       Alexandre Dumas

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