Week in Review - July 24, 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.

NASETNews Team

New This Week on NASET

Issue #

Behaviors Discussed in this Issue:
  • Why Children Are Disorganized
  • Why Children Overreact
  • Why Children Panic Easily
  • Why Children Are Inflexible
  • Why Children Are Insecure
To read or download this issue - Click Here


Classroom Accommodations for Students with ADHD

A very important component of a strategy for effectively educating children with ADHD involves physical classroom accommodations. Children with ADHD often have difficulty adjusting to the structured environment of a classroom, determining what is important, and focusing on their assigned work. They are easily distracted by other children or by nearby activities in the classroom. As a result, many children with ADHD benefit from accommodations that reduce distractions in the classroom environment and help them to stay on task and learn. Certain accommodations within the physical and learning environments of the classroom can benefit children with ADHD. The focus of this final issue of the NASET ADHD Series is to discuss classroom accommodations for students with ADHD.
To read or download this issue - Click Here

Quick Links To NASET

Fetal Alcohol Disorders Often Misdiagnosed as ADHD

Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are often initially diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, since the two problems can manifest in similar ways, a new study shows.However, children with FASD have more difficulty interpreting social information than children with ADHD, and this results in more severe behavioral problems, the researchers found. The study also found that children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) have a high risk of psychiatric problems."Behaviorally, FASD and ADHD can look quite similar, particularly with respect to problems with very limited attention, physical restlessness and extreme impulsivity," study author Rachel Greenbaum, a clinical psychologist with the Children's Mental Health Team at Surrey Place Centre in Toronto, Canada, said in a news release. To read more - Click Here

Social Reasoning, Brain Growth and Autism

People with autism seem to have special difficulty understanding false beliefs, but research may help understand this disorder, Canadians researchers say. The study finds electroencephalogram recording of brain electrical activity linked how preschool children deal with the sometime discrepancy between how people think about the world and the way the world really is to brain development. "We know that specific areas of the brain are active when adults think about others' thoughts," Mark Sabbagh of Queens College in Kingston says in a statement. To read more -  Click Here

Dog Helps Woman Lick Brain Injury

Mary Phillips admits she had a frosty relationship with Jacque Pierre, a co-worker's Maltese poodle. That is until the day he saved her life by licking her head. The unlikely gesture, Phillips said, convinced her to go to the emergency room where doctors discovered a brain aneurysm the size of a walnut. Aneurysms - bulging, blood-filled vessels - are classified as small, large and giant, said Dr. Michael Chicoine, a neurosurgeon at Barnes Jewish Hospital. Phillips' aneurysm was giant and appeared to have been leaking because there was blood in her spinal fluid. He performed a 10-hour surgery to insert clips across arteries feeding the aneurysm to stem the blood flow before it re-ruptured. "Our concern with a ruptured aneurysm is that it could re-rupture which could be fatal," Chicoine said. "So it's urgent to get it treated before that happens. And even those that are not fatal can cause permanent problems such as vision loss, language problems, paralysis and cognitive impairment." Phillips returned to work two months after the surgery, feeling good as new and eternally grateful to Jacque Pierre. Whether the small white puff of fur truly sensed something was critically wrong with her, is up for debate. But Phi llips is certain it wasn't mere coincidence that Jacque Pierre licked her head. To read more - Click Here

 Board Certification in Special Education - For 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

Shelters Sued For Ban On Aid Dogs

Shawnine Mackay, who often sleeps on the street near Hollywood Boulevard by lowering herself out of her wheelchair onto the ground, said she would love to be able bed down in one of Los Angeles County's dozens of homeless shelters.But shelter workers have repeatedly turned her away because of her dog, Molly, who is trained to help her detect and cope with seizures. This week, the Housing Rights Center and the Disability Rights Legal Center filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and several shelters it funds, alleging that such bans by homeless shelters are against the law. The Americans With Disabilities Act and fair housing laws do not allow discrimination against people just because they rely on service animals, the suit said. To read more  - Click Here

Study Raises Concern About Autism Medication

For this 9-year-old boy with autism, the fascination isn't the story, but the turning. "He would go an hour, two hours, sometimes three hours," said his mom, Katrina. His repetitive behaviors are a hallmark of autism. They soothe him. But they interfere with learning. "His ability to focus, follow directions, make eye contact, have conversations with people, make his needs known, are crucial right now," said Katrina. Interrupting his repetitive behaviors has severe consequences. "He can have a tantrum for hours, kick and scream and rage," said Katrina. Even with intensive interventions Arthur was losing ground. So his parents did what a third of families of these children do. They started him on an antidepressant from the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. To read more - Click Here

Learning Is Both Social And Computational, Supported By Neural Systems Linking People

Education is on the cusp of a transformation because of recent scientific findings in neuroscience, psychology, and machine learning that are converging to create foundations for a new science of learning. Writing in the July 17 edition of the journal Science, researchers report that this shift is being driven by three principles that are emerging from cross-disciplinary work: learning is computational, learning is social, and learning is supported by brain circuits linking perception and action that connect people to one another. This new science of learning, the researchers believe, may shed light into the origins of human intelligence. "We are not left alone to understand the world like Robinson Crusoe was on his island," said Andrew Meltzoff, lead author of the paper and co-director of the University of Washington's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. "These principles support learning across the life span and are particularly important in explaining children's rapid learning in two unique domains of human intelligence, language and social understanding. To read more - Click Here

Why Are Some People Smarter Than Others? The Fancier The Cortex, The Smarter The Brain?

Why are some people smarter than others? In a new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, Eduardo Mercado III from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, describes how certain aspects of brain structure and function help determine how easily we learn new things, and how learning capacity contributes to individual differences in intelligence. Cognitive plasticity is the capacity to learn and improve cognitive skills such as solving problems and remembering events. Mercado argues that the structural basis of cognitive plasticity is the cortical module. Cortical modules are vertical columns of interconnected neuronal cells. Across different areas of the cerebral cortex, these columns vary in the number and diversity of neurons they contain. Identifying how cortical modules help us learn cognitive skills may help explain why variations in this capacity occur - that is, why people learn skills at different rates and why our ability to learn new skills changes as we age. Studies examining a number of different species have shown that, on average, a larger cortex predicts greater intellectual capacity. To read more, Click Here

A Genetic Hunt Turns Up Deafness-Causing Mutation In a Gene Associated with Cancer

In genetics, as in life, surprising things can turn up in unexpected places. That was certainly the case when an international group of researchers found three mutations responsible for a form of hereditary deafness in a gene that is implicated in cancer. The research is published in the July 10 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics. This surprising finding happened when researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, All India Medical Institute in India, and Punjab and Islamabad Universities in Pakistan were scanning the DNA of over a thousand families with deaf children, searching for genes that could be responsible for inherited forms of deafness. Pooling their data, the researchers narrowed the region of one such gene, which they called DFNB39, to a stretch of DNA on chromosome 7. 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

Family Says It Must Move So Child With Autism Can Flourish

Daniel and Ruth Faiella have made headlines for taking their son with autism, Matthew, to Costa Rica for controversial treatments. Now the Faiellas are packing up and leaving Central Florida in search of a better public education for Matthew. Next week, while Ruth and 8-year-old Matthew fly to Buffalo to search for an apartment, Daniel Faiella will pack up the couple's Central Florida home and prepare to drive a moving van to western New York.Daniel, who works as a bellman at a hotel near Universal Studios, does not have a job lined up, but he is willing to gamble."I feel we have to get radical," said Daniel, 34.To read more - Click Here

Adults With Disabilities Help Business Work

People with autism and other disabilities are valuable members of the workforce. But experts say they sometimes have difficulty securing employment because of accessibility and attitudinal barriers. In fact, despite the majority of people with disabilities reporting that they want to work, a National Organization on Disability poll found that only three out of 10 adults with disabilities actually do. Given today's economy, it's more challenging than ever for people with disabilities to secure jobs. Analysts say those numbers can leave both business and consumers at a loss, since adults with disabilities can add to the level of diversity in the workplace and help companies thrive-even in tough economic times. "Too many businesses don't take the hiring risk; we embrace it," says Larree Renda from Safeway, a company that employs more than 10,000 adults with disabilities. "It's important to include people with disabilities in the workforce, providing opportunities for them to earn a living, become independent, be part of the team and take pride in a job well done." To read more - Cick Here

Food for Thought........

Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."

                                                                                  Chinese Proverb

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