Week in Review - July 31, 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

NASET Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers About The 10 Basic Steps in Special Education 

Children can have all sorts of difficulties growing up. Sometimes problems are obvious right from the start; and sometimes they don't appear until a child is in school. Some children have trouble learning to read or write. Others have a hard time remembering new information. Still others may have trouble with their behavior. For some children, growing up can be very hard to do! When a child is having trouble in school, it's important to find out why. The child may have a disability. By law, schools must provide special help to eligible children with disabilities. This help is called special education and related services. There's a lot to know about the process by which children are identified as having a disability and in need of special education and related services. This NASET Q & A Corner from NICHCY is written for parents to help them learn about that process.
To read or download this issue - Click Here

NASET Special Educator e-Journal

August 2009

In this issue:

  • Update from the U.S. Department Education
  • This Just In...
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth Updates Website
  • Calls to Participate
  • Special Education Resources
  • Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events
  • Get Wired!-The Latest on Websites and Listservs
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
  • Acknowledgements
  • Download a PDF Version of This Issue
To read or download this issue - Click Here  

Quick Links To NASET

Prenatal Alcohol Tied To Kids' Social Problems

Children who were exposed to large amounts of alcohol in the womb may have difficulty processing and reading emotions, leading to problems with their social skills and behavior, a new study shows. The study, published in journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, looked at emotional and social behavior among 33 school-age children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD is an umbrella term for the lasting developmental effects seen in some children with prenatal alcohol exposure. Its most severe manifestation is fetal alcohol syndrome, which is marked by stunted growth, facial deformity and serious nervous system and behavioral problems. But more children develop what is known as alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, where only nervous system and behavioral problems are present. To read more, click here

C-Section Anesthetics Not Linked To Learning Disabilities

Anesthesia during a cesarean delivery is not associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities compared with vaginal birth, researchers said. The finding -- from a population-based birth cohort -- suggests that brief exposure to anesthetics during birth has no long-term neurodevelopmental consequences, according to Juraj Sprung, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues. Indeed, in an unexpected finding, regional anesthesia during cesarean was associated with a lower risk of learning disabilities compared with vaginal birth, Dr. Sprung and colleagues said in the August issue of Anesthesiology. One possible explanation for that observation, they said, is that cesarean delivery with regional anesthesia "attenuates the neonatal stress response to vaginal delivery that in turn has significant effects on later neural development." 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

Is There A Relationship Between Breastfeeding And Autism?

Can breastmilk cause autism? Augh! Writing that question almost made me gag. But a new article on the University of California, San Francisco site claims that neuroscientist Michael Merzenich has performed research that may make some leaning toward formula fulling tip over the edge. Merzenich tested newborn rats by dosing them with the proportionally even amount that newborn humans get from human breastmilk of the chemicals PCBs and PBDEs. The outcome, he said, was brains that were more degraded in their organization developmentally in these rats than we have ever seen before. So it's as simple as that, eh? Breastmilk causes autism. Not so fast, there, Nestle. To read more, click here

Homeschool 101: The Gifted Child

When people find out your homeschooled child is smart, gifted even, they tend to say either "You must be doing a great job" or "That probably makes homeschooling easy." Neither could be farther from the truth. Gifted children are a joy. They approach the world with unmatched enthusiasm, making thought-provoking connections, challenging what has come before. They also often lag behind in many areas of development, experience sensory sensitivities, or have other developmental issues that inhibit their ability to learn. Parents of gifted children find themselves filled with guilt when the double-edged sword of "gifted" presents itself. Why is my brilliant daughter unable to sit quietly and listen, like "normal" kids? Why can't my six-year-old ride a bike? Why does my son freak out when I add just one extra errand on our day? If my child is so smart, why can't he read/multiply/write/comprehend? Why, why, why? To read more, click here

Six-In-Ten Young People With Learning Disabilities Suffer From A Visual Impairment

The importance of young people with learning disabilities having their sight tested is being highlighted to parents and carers by SeeAbility.  Latest research from the charity found that 60% of young people tested at a Sheffield school for children with learning disabilities suffered from a visual impairment.  Learning disability nurse, Pauline Hargreaves, who is a community development officer for SeeAbility's eye 2 eye campaign, carried out the research after noticing that a large number of the adults she saw through work had never had their sight tested. "Good vision is essential for all aspects of education as well as vastly improving quality of life," Ms Hargreaves said. "Parents often believe that their children are having all the necessary health checks at school or that children who can't read or have limited communication don't need their sight tested." To read more, click here

Graduation Requirements Eased For Special Education Students In California

For thousands of California special education students, a state exit exam is all that stood between them and a high school diploma. But not for long. Special education students will no longer need to pass the state exit exam in order to receive a regular education diploma, so long as they meet all of the other requirements. The change comes as part of a budget compromise reached between the California legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The governor is expected to sign off on the compromise plan Tuesday. Even though the requirement is being removed as part of a budget deal, the change is unlikely to yield a cost savings. Initially, Democrats in the legislature wanted to remove the exit exam requirement for all of the state's students in order to save money. But the governor did not like that idea and the two parties compromised by only stripping the requirement for special education students. To read more, click here

Living With Autism And Aspergers Syndrome

This is a very personal story of struggle and triumph and disappointment all rolled in together. It is essentially an attempt to both shed some light and perhaps offer some hope to the parents of children diagnosed with high functioning autism spectrum disorders and to adults living with this disorder or who believe they may be. For the record, I am not a psychologist, sociologist, nor healthcare professional of any kind. My knowledge comes from a lifetime living with this condition, a period of intense independent study, and observations of my own child who is also on the autism spectrum. Some of the information here you will probably not find anywhere else, you won't hear it from psychologists nor school officials. These are some of the details that come from my own internal perspective. Things that may seem like a mystery to an observer, but will likely seem rather natural to those of us with the condition. To read more, click here

Pfizer Unit Marketed Drug Illegally, Ex-Employee Says

Pfizer Inc.'s Warner-Lambert unit created a list of 13 ailments that its epilepsy medicine Neurontin could treat as part of its promotion of the drug for unapproved uses, a former employee testified. "I was trained from day one" to market the drug illegally, David Franklin testified. Franklin, who worked as a medical liaison at the Parke-Davis division of Warner-Lambert, said he encouraged doctors to prescribe Neurontin for uses beyond those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "My job was to promote Neurontin and motivate doctors to experiment" on patients, he said today in federal court in Boston. After being hired as a medical liaison, "I was selling drugs," he said. The uses promoted were from the "snake-oil list" of 13 medical conditions, said Franklin, a microbiologist. To read more, click here

White House Supports U.N. Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities

In a ceremony that was timed to commemorate the nineteenth anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990, Obama made a pledge to make equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities a keystone of his foreign policy. On Friday July 25, President Obama signed a proclamation affirming his administration's support for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This global proclamation is described by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as "a blueprint for ending discrimination" around the world. The UN treaty calls on all countries to guarantee equal benefits, protection, and justice for individuals with disabilities around the world. 140 others nations will join with the US next week to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The proclamation will then proceed to the US Senate for approval. To read more, click here

Does Money Matter For Struggling Students?

Can schools do a better job helping at-risk students if they spend more money on them? It's a question that's been debated for years, but the answer is yes, one expert on Monday told the Interim Committee on the Study of the Financing of Public Schools. "As states spend more on needy students they get improved performance," said Justin Silverstein, vice president of Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, a Denver-based school finance consulting firm. Silverstein cited a study done by his firm that compared several states' spending on at-risk, special education and English language students with results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests. The same thought was echoed later by another witness, Steve Dobo, of Colorado Youth for a Change. "It takes more money to serve them [at risk youth] well." "So, throwing money at the problem does help solve the problem," quipped panel member Rep. Mike Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs. A retired music teacher, Merrifield is chair of the House Education Committee and an advocate for public education and increased school funding. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

The most extraordinary thing about a really good teacher is that he or she transcends accepted educational methods.
                                                            Margaret Mead

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