Week in Review - May 22, 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 # 16

Behaviors Discussed in this Issue:

  • Why Children Never Seem To Listen To The Teacher
  • Why Children Lie
  • Why Children Are Not Motivated In School
  • Why Children Frequently Squint
  • Why Children Are Stubborn
To read or download this issue - Click Here 


Academic Instruction for Students with ADHD

Classroom Management Techniques

Teachers can help prepare their students with ADHD to achieve by applying the principles of effective teaching when they introduce, conduct, and conclude each lesson. Students with ADHD learn best with a carefully structured academic lesson-one where the teacher explains what he or she wants children to learn in the current lesson and places these skills and knowledge in the context of previous lessons. Effective teachers preview their expectations about what students will learn and how they should behave during the lesson.The discussion and techniques that follow in this issue of NASET's ADHD Series pertain to the instructional process in general (across subject areas) for students with ADHD.
To read or download this issue - Click Here

Quick Links To NASET

Federal Report Paints Grim Picture Of Restraint Techniques In Schools

230-pound Texas teacher forces a boy face down and lies on top of him, killing him, after he refused to stay seated in class. Weeks after threatening suicide, a 13-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder hangs himself in a seclusion room using a cord a teacher reportedly gave him to hold up his pants. An assistant principal and staff at a Michigan public school failed to offer medical help for an autistic student's seizure, instead placing him in a prone restraint for an hour. He died, but no criminal charges were filed. The assistant principal now heads another school in the district. They are among hundreds of confirmed cases and allegations that the Government Accountability Office unearthed in a report Tuesday that paints a grim picture of how school officials have misused techniques to restrain or seclude disruptive students - most of them with disabilities. To read more, click here


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Restraint Can Dispirit And Hurt Special Needs Students

Toni Price was at work that afternoon in 2002 when she got the call from her foster son Cedric's eighth-grade teacher: Paramedics were at his middle school in Killeen, Texas. Cedric wasn't breathing. When Price arrived at school, there he was, lying on the floor. "I'm thinking he's just laying there because he didn't want to get in trouble," she says, fighting back tears. Actually, Cedric was dead. A 14-year-old special-education student who'd arrived at the school with a history of abuse and neglect, Cedric had been taken from his home five years earlier with his siblings. He'd just been smothered by his teacher, police said, after she placed him in a "therapeutic floor hold" to keep him from struggling during a disagreement over lunch. To read more, click here

Students With Disabilities Gain Confidence Through Art Projects

A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures created at the Donna Lexa Community Art Center in West Bend give the students worth by instilling creativity, dignity and friendship. "Art really helps the students gain independence, self expression and self confidence," said teacher Barb Foster. The classes, for students with disabilities, has been held in West Bend since the 1990s. Most of the students are referred by the Threshold, United Way or by word of mouth. Foster, who has a bachelor of arts degree in art therapy, is hoping to increase the community's awareness of the program, so she can add more classes. To read more, click here

Mom-Son Coffee Shop Trains Individuals With Developmental Disabilities For Life Ahead

A country-line dancer ordered an iced coffee for the road, an elderly couple stopped for a cup of chili and children still dripping from a nearby pool bought string cheese in one of Glenview's newest cafes. There to serve them was a staff that sets this coffee shop apart from so many others. At the Perk Center Cafe, more than half of the 16 workers have developmental disabilities that range from autism to Down syndrome and epilepsy. At the kiosk just inside the Glenview Park Center's doors, the coffee is almost an afterthought to the on-the-job training in preparation for life in the workforce. "I don't know much about coffee, but I think it's good," quipped Jacob Metrick, 18, who partnered with his mother, Gail, to create the cafe. 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

500 City Teaching Jobs....3,000 Job Seekers

Rebekah Pariser doesn't have a job, but has plans to move to Chicago this summer. The Columbus, Ohio, native -- with five years of teaching experience and a newly minted master's degree -- is as optimistic as anyone can be in an anemic job market. With less than four months until the next school year starts, she's confident about her chances with the Chicago Public Schools, which is hiring more than 500 teachers at a time when many districts are shedding staff or imposing hiring freezes. "Honestly, I'm not worried," said Pariser, 28, who taught elementary school and English as a second language for five years outside Washington, D.C. "I've been looking online, and there's always jobs in the city. It's kind of crazy. They need teachers, and it seems like everybody else is laying people off." To read more, click here

Smarter Start Could Be Just Ahead

Pre-school children in four Eastern North Carolina counties may get an even "smarter" start with a grant for early identification of disabilities received by Smart Start partnerships. Children in Craven, Pamlico, Lenoir and Greene counties will be more likely to receive developmental screenings as part of their wellness visits to area doctors as a result of the grant. "We will be receiving $111,768 through North Carolina Partnership for Children from a grant from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to increase the number of young children identified for early intervention services by primary care physicians," said Pat Purnell, Craven Smart Start executive director. The grant runs through the end of February 2010 and is aided by an additional $30,000 in support from the area programs. It provides for a project specialist to assist in the four-county region and build infrastructure to expand the program to other Eastern North Carolina counties. To read more, click here

A Genetic Clue To Why Autism Affects More Boys

Among the many mysteries that befuddle autism researchers: why the disorder affects boys four times more often than girls. But in new findings reported online today by the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers say they have found a genetic clue that may help explain the disparity. The newly discovered autism-risk gene, identified by authors as CACNA1G, is more common in boys than in girls (why that's so is still not clear), and the authors suggest it plays a role in boys' increased risk of the developmental disorder. CACNA1G, which sits on chromosome 17, amid other genes that have been previously linked to autism, is responsible for regulating the flow of calcium into and out of cells. Nerve cells in the brain rely on calcium to become activated, and research suggests that imbalances in the mineral can result in the overstimulation of neural connections and create developmental problems, such as autism and even epilepsy, which is also a common feature of autism. To read more, click here

Harsh Lesson: NYC Department Of Education Announces 405 Million Dollar School Budget Cuts

Schools will lose hundreds of millions of dollars due to budget cuts next year - meaning kids will have fewer after-school programs, tutoring services and arts classes. The Education Department announced a $405 million cut Tuesday, an average of 4.9% per school. Principals will receive the actual amounts today. James Harrigan at Public School 229 in Brooklyn said he expected his cut to be about $170,000. "My after-school programs will probably take a hit; a lot of those are arts programs," he said. "That's one reason kids like to come to school." The cuts come on top of a 3% slash to schools over the last 18 months. The city had floated making a 7% cut but was able to use $961 million in federal stimulus money to fill some holes. Increased costs for special education and teacher salaries as well as opening new schools and prekindergarten programs bumped up costs. To read more, click here

Shire Reports Positive Results For ADHD Drug

Pharmaceutical company Shire PLC said Monday its experimental drug Intuniv significantly lowered defiant, angry behavior in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The company said its drug demonstrated positive results for improving children's "oppositional symptoms," as measured by three different rating scales. Those symptoms include resentful, defiant and argumentative behavior. Intuniv resubmitted its drug to the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year as a treatment for ADHD in children and adolescents. The agency responded to the company's previous application in 2007 with a series of questions. Shire, which also makes the ADHD drug Adderall, has touted Intuniv's benefit as a nonstimulant that does not pose the risks of abuse associated with other attention-focusing drugs. To read more,  click here

Aspiring New Special Education Teachers Fall Short On Math

Nearly three-quarters of the aspiring elementary school teachers who took the state's licensing exam this year failed the new math section, according to results being released today that focus on the subject for the first time. Education leaders said the high failure rate reflects what they feared, that too many elementary classroom and special education teachers do not have a strong background in math and are in many ways responsible for poor student achievement in the subject, even in middle and high schools. Elementary school teachers, including those in charge of first-grade classrooms, are considered the front line of math instruction, providing the building blocks of computation and mathematical reasoning that students must master before tackling algebra, trigonometry, and calculus later in their academic lives. To read more, click here

Therapy Dogs Cut Disabilities Down To Size

'Ovelle, get your lunch." Ovelle walks to a refrigerator, pulls it open and gets her lunch bag. She gives it to Julia Gambassi, who puts it on a table. "Plates, Ovelle." Ovelle sets the table with paper plates and sits down to wait for her lunch of beans, apples and carrots. Nothing special -- except that Ovelle is a dog. She's helping Julia and her 7-year-old twin sister, Claire, learn to eat, walk and talk. And it's working. Born with a sensory motor disorder, the girls have come far since they joined the Jump Start program at St. Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services in Boise at age 3. "They were horizontal," their father, Ron Gambassi, said. "That was the only position they could be in. They went from that to sitting and now walking with walkers and being close to walking independently. Ovelle has been a big part of that." The woman giving Ovelle commands is Diane Rampelberg. Ovelle, a golden Lab mix, is her dog. She works 40 hours a week -- 40 volunteer hours a week -- with her, helping children with disabilities and adults with brain damage improve their life skills. Grants and donations help cover expenses, but Rampelberg works full time for no pay. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Children do not always remember what we taught them. They always remember how we treated them.
                                                Dr. Ken Reavis

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