Week in Review - June 12, 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

The Practical Teacher

Teachers are always looking for additional ideas for managing challenging student behaviors. This issue of the Practical Teacher provides lists of classroom behavioral strategies based on feedback received from teachers in workshops who stated what behavioral approaches they typically use. This menu contains strategies that teachers can use proactively to head off behaviors before they occur. It also provides a range of consequences that teachers can select from after a student misbehaves.
To read or download this issue: Click Here

Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Strategies for Classroom Management

No single classroom management approach is successful for all students. Students' needs change over time, make it necessary for teachers to try various approaches. This part of the series contains information about important areas of classroom management strategies that have proved successful for teachers working with students with ASD.
To read or download this issue: Click Here

Quick Links To NASET

Special Education Students Left Out Of High School Yearbook

Garrett Naughton flipped through his yearbook for what must have been the hundredth time. The pages were crimped, the cover was worn. "There," he said with a grin, pointing to his photo. But this was not one of the 2009 yearbooks that hundreds of Madera High School students carried around campus all last week to have their friends sign. Instead, Garrett -- who just finished his junior year -- had his friends jot notes on an old yearbook. The yearbook printed this year didn't include a photo of Garrett, who has Down syndrome, or the 10 other special-education students in his class. School officials say the omission was a simple oversight and that it won't happen again. But Garrett's mother, Gail Naughton -- a special-education teacher -- says the school could easily have avoided the mistake and is not doing enough to make amends. Instead of sending the 600 or so people who bought the $80 yearbooks an insert with photos of the special-education students, the school last week distributed a one-page handout with the photos to just the 11 students. "It was a slap in the face," Naughton said Monday. To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - RFB&D

 For more information - CLICK HERE

100-Year Term For Individual With Cognitive Disabilities Questioned

Attorneys and advocates are questioning why an 18-year-old East Texan with profound mental disabilities was sentenced to 100 years in prison in a child sex abuse case. They say the case of Aaron Hart was mishandled from start to finish and raises questions over how to deal with the mentally disabled when they encounter the criminal justice system. After a neighbor found Hart fondling her 6-year-old stepson in September, the East Texas teenager pleaded guilty to five counts, The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday. Hart has an IQ of 47 and was diagnosed as mentally disabled as a child. He never learned to read or write and speaks unsteadily. Despite being a target of bullies, he was courteous, well-behaved and earned money by doing chores for neighbors, supporters said. His parents say he'd never acted out sexually. "He couldn't understand the seriousness of what he did," said his father, Robert Hart. "I never dreamed they would think about sending him to prison. When they said 100 years - it was terror, pure terror, to me." Aaron Hart pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated sexual assault and indecency by contact, and his case went to a jury for punishment. Jurors had the option of probation, former attorney Ben Massar told The Associated Press on Wednesday. To read more, click here

Board Certification 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

Corporal Punishment Of Special Education Students Crosses The Line

Mentions of being paddled at school or having a corporal punishment policy tend to conjure up mental images of one room school-houses and boys in suspenders who were caught putting a frog in the lunch pail of a little girl with pigtails. In fact, many parents are confounded to find out that their state actually allows children in public schools to be spanked by teachers and administrators. While Illinois has outlawed corporal punishment since 1993, there are still 22 states that still permit paddling, with only three have laws that restrict that use (AZ, OH, UT). The other eighteen are law-less when it comes to applying a paddle to the rear end of a child who is misbehaving. These include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Not every school in these states spank children as a form of punishment. And those that do often have policies and guidelines in place so that parents are notified of an issue and given the option of the corporal punishment. To read more, click here

Hyperbaric Treatment For Autism Stirs Controversy

They're used to treat traumatic injuries and reverse the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. Now some North Texas families are hoping hyperbaric chambers will help treat their children who have autism. However, some doctors say it won't work, and it's a waste of money. Four-year-old Jack Robbins of Arlington entered a hyperbaric chamber with his father for the 34th time in three weeks. His parents are hoping the treatment he receives will help reverse the symptoms of autism. "We love him more than anything on this earth, and we just want him to be happy," said Jack's mother Carla. "We noticed he lost language that he was developing shortly after his first birthday." The Robbins have spent countless hours researching every treatment available for their son. They've put Jack through physical, occupational and speech therapy. "It's [hyperbaric therapy] been on our list of things to try for a long time," Robbins said. To read more, click here

Schooling For The Blind Subpar, Say Parents At Utah Schools For The Deaf And Blind

Imagine braving that first day of school without textbooks. All the other kids have them but yours are on back order, you're told. Or imagine being excluded from practice tests. And when test day arrives, the questions are illegible. Just do your best and guess, the teacher tells you. These are among the allegations in a 14-page complaint filed Tuesday by the National Federation for the Blind that urges the Utah State Office of Education to intervene and fix "systemic" problems at Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind (USDB). The problems constitute a violation of state and federal laws that guarantee blind and visually impaired children a "free, appropriate education," the complaint alleges. Most of the complaint centers on outreach services provided by USDB to 430 children in partnership with 33 school districts and all public charter schools. It also alleges problems with the testing and evaluation of all visually impaired students. Some students are never evaluated while others are screened by untrained, unlicensed professionals, the complaint says. To read more, click here

Promises, Promises: Polling Places Lack Access

Despite high-profile promises over the past 25 years, many disabled Americans still are unable to fully participate in their democracy. Advocates say they field complaints from around the country from disabled people who have problems getting into polling places or can't independently and privately cast their votes. T.K. Small, who doesn't have the use of his hands because of a neuromuscular disorder, said a 2002 law mandating access to voting for the disabled feels like a broken promise. "My right has been completely frustrated," said Small, 44, a New York attorney who finally cast an absentee ballot on Election Day after workers at two separate precincts in his Brooklyn neighborhood were unable to work the voting machines equipped for the disabled. New data backs up the complaints from voters like Small. A Government Accountability Office report to be released Wednesday found that in last November's historic election, nearly one-third of polling places failed to accommodate voters in wheelchairs. Twenty-three percent had machines for the disabled that offered less privacy than offered to others - some even positioned in a way that other people could see how they were voting. 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

Putting A Spotlight On Brain Injury Awareness

Unless it is the accidental death of actress Natasha Richardson or the career-ending concussion suffered by some professional athlete, it's rare for the public to think much about brain injuries. Getting people to think about brain injuries, and how to prevent them, is just one of the challenges faced by Sue Hillis. She is executive director of Dale Brain Injury Services, a community based rehabilitation service, working to provide programs and assistance to about 250 London and area residents dealing with acquired brain injuries. To help Ms. Hillis and the many other individuals and organizations working to raise the level of awareness about the issue, the Ontario Brain Injury Association and its many affiliated community associations across the province proclaimed June as Brain Injury Awareness Month. Ms. Hillis says the biggest challenge she faces in getting the word out about the impact of brain injuries - and the services provided by Dale Brain Injury Services - is that nobody pays attention to the issue unless they have to. "I think awareness is a long, slow process. It takes a long time, but that's true of everything, except maybe cancer, which is so prevalent," Ms. Hillis says. To read more, click here

Finding Success On The Water: Sailing Program Trains Youths With Learning Disabilities

Five students of a local sailing program for youths with learning disabilities recently hit the water and the beach to hone their skills as sailors and instructors. Members of the Brendan Sail Training Program for Youths with Learning Differences not only trained to become junior instructors and US Sailing instructors, but also built their self-confidence and gained further independence. The students participated in sailing exercises on land and in the water last month at the Severn River Sailing Association. The training program mentors and teaches children beginning at about age 11 to build confidence through sailing, said Joel Bays, a former student and current lead instructor at the camp. "The majority of the time at school, they're sitting in the classroom and not feeling like they're succeeding," Bays said. "When you put them in a boat and see the success they're making on the water, they are standing so much taller. It's just a place in their life they can find success and it makes them more independent." To read more, click here

Parents Struggle To Win Coveted Pre-K Slots In New Orlean's Public Schools; Disparities In "Gifted" Testing At Crux Of Conflict

For New Orleans residents Rachel Meese and Jason Schoenfeld, the search for a public prekindergarten for their daughter, Bella, has already consumed the kind of money, time and energy typical of an Ivy League college search. And now the couple is engaged in a prolonged dispute over whether their 3-year-old is in fact gifted. In January, a private psychologist declared Bella gifted. But the Orleans Parish School Board, which reviews evaluations for the city's public schools, found the designation to be invalid. Now the parents are on a quest for answers. "I feel like I'm in one of Dante's new circles of hell, " Meese said. The case highlights disparities between a private gifted-testing process for preschoolers, where children "pass" in relatively large numbers, and the public process, where very few students are cleared. Further, it underscores the complexities and challenges of winning a coveted prekindergarten spot at a New Orleans public school, some of which accept only gifted 3- and 4-year-olds, and the lengths to which parents often must go to secure one. Bella is fourth on the waiting list at Edward Hynes Charter School but can attend only if the "gifted" dispute gets resolved in her favor. "I don't want to send my child to a private school, and why should I have to?" Schoenfeld said. "This process really stinks." To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Go the extra mile; it's never crowded there
                                                            Author Unknown

To top

forgot username or password?