Week in Review - October 16, 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


Table of Contents 

  • Teacher Educators and Response to Intervention: A Survey of Knowledge, Knowledge Base and Program Changes to Teacher Preparation Programs
  • The Effectiveness of Concrete Poetry as a Strategy to Teach Reading Comprehension to Children with Asperger Syndrome
  • Bullying Experiences, Anxiety About Bullying, and Special Education Placement
  • What Do Children Learn About Prosocial Behavior from the Media?
  • An Investigation on the Effectiveness of "Dolphin Encounter for Special Children" (DESC) Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Using Curriculum-Based Measurements to Assess Reading: The Cultural Connections of Diverse Students with Learning Disabilities
  • Illustrating and Designing Quranic Imagery
  • Students with Juvenile Arthritis Participating in Recess
  • Behavioral Strategies for Students with Autism in the General Education Classroom
  • First Day
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Parent Teacher Conference Handout

How Parents Can Examine School Records

There may be times when a parent wishes to examine all the school records on their child with a disability. Under the law parents have a right to these records as long as they write the request to the principal or designated school official. The school usually has a wealth of information about all children, distributed among a number of people and a number of records. Gathering this information would be very difficult for a parent if they are not made aware of what exists and where to get it. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout provides a list of important documents that parents can gather if they wish.
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Classroom Management Series IV - Part #12

Removal of the Audience

The purpose of this issue of the Classroom Management Series is to explain how not to allow yourself to get caught in a confrontation with a student who refuses to listen while in class.
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Quick Links To NASET

NASET Sponsor - Mayer-Johnson

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Dyslexia Varies Across Languages

Chinese-speaking children with dyslexia have a disorder that is distinctly different, and perhaps more complicated and severe, than that of English speakers. Those differences can be seen in the brain and in the performance of Chinese children on visual and oral language tasks, reveals a report published online on October 12th in Current Biology. English dyslexia consists of a "phonological disorder," meaning that people with the condition have trouble detecting or manipulating the sound structure of oral language, which in turn leads to problems in mapping speech sounds onto letters, explained Wai Ting Siok of the University of Hong Kong. In contrast, the new findings show that developmental dyslexia in Chinese is really two disorders: a visuospatial deficit and a phonological disorder combined. To read more, click here

Research Urged On ADHD Drug Effects

One of Australia's leading child psychiatrists says more research is needed on the effects of the drugs being prescribed to children with behavioural problems. Dr Jon Jureidini, head of psychiatry at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital, says he is worried by new figures showing an increase in psychotic episodes among children taking the medications. Dr Jureidini says it is questionable whether prescription drugs do much good for conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and little research has been done on their possible side-effects. "Children's behaviour problems are generally a reaction to something that's happening inside them or outside them and I can almost always find a better explanation for what's going on than calling it ADHD, so the idea of whether to use drugs rarely arises," he said. To read more, click here

WeAreTeachers and PCI Education Provide Special Education Teachers With Funding, Idea Sharing Through Microgrant

WeAreTeachers, the online social and business network that brings together teachers, learners and content in the education industry, announces a new microgrant, "Special Education: Individual Acts, Collective Impact," sponsored by PCI Education, the number-one provider of resources for students with special needs. WeAreTeachers is calling upon special education teachers to submit their best practices for reaching students on an individual level, and will reward the 10 submissions that receive the most online votes with a $200 cash microgrant, and a Flip Video(TM) camera to capture implementation of the idea. All of the submissions will be published online, creating a wealth of teacher-generated content for the special education classroom. To read more, click here

Parents Of Special Education Students May Sue The State Of Hawaii

Parents of special needs students enrolled in Hawaii public schools may sue the state over the imposition of teacher furloughs. Honolulu attorney Eric Seitz last week wrote Attorney General Mark Bennett to warn him of the possible legal action. The men are to meet this week to discuss the furlough plan, which is to close schools on 17 Fridays this school year, beginning Oct. 23. Seitz represented parents in a landmark 1993 class-action lawsuit that alleged the state was failing to provide necessary special education services under federal law. The lawyer did not say how many parents he represents now. To read more, click here


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High School Volunteers Who Help Special Needs Students Find Fun And Friendship

Blue Valley North High School junior Brett Jones spends much of his school day as a student, but when second hour rolls around, he becomes a 'teacher.' Jones is one of many high school students in Johnson County high schools who spends a portion of class time each day assisting fellow students who have special needs. "I love helping out and have made so many new friends," said Jones. "It's fun and rewarding at the same time." The Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and Olathe school districts all offer elective high school classes that allow general education and special needs students to work together on functional skills and academics. Students participating in the program receive academic credit and work under the guidance of instructors. To read more, click here

Impaired Fetal Growth Increases Risk Of Asthma

A new study from Karolinska Institutet shows that children born with low birth weight are at a higher risk of developing asthma later in life. The study, which is published in the journal Pediatrics, is based on data on the incidence of asthma in 10,918 twins from the Swedish Twin Registry.Questionnaire data on asthma in 9- and 12- year old twins was linked to the national Swedish Medical Birth Registry which records, amongst other data, birth weight and gestational age (i.e. how long into the pregnancy the baby is born). Since twins have the same gestational age and share DNA, uterine environment and conditions of early infancy, twin studies are an excellent way to examine the relationship between foetal growth and childhood disease."Our study shows that there's a distinct correlation between foetal growth and asthma that is independent of gestational age and environmental or genetic factors," says Catarina Almqvist Malmros, paediatrician and Assistant professor at the Department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet. To read more, click here

Report Recommends Changing The Way Schools Can Spend Special Education Funds

A report released yesterday by the Kansas Legislative Division of the Post Audit investigated why so-called "catastrophic" funding for special-ed students in the state's K-12 schools doubled between 2008 and 2009. The auditors recommended that the formula for determining catastrophic aid be adjusted to give schools more flexibility in allocating financial resources. The Kansas State Department of Education agreed with the audit's finding and its recommendations. The formula would not result in decreased funding for schools. They would still receive the same amount of categorical aid but the amount they would have to earmark and use as catastrophic aid would be altered under the new plan. To read more,  click here

The Problems Faced By Parents Raising Gifted Children

Far from being a pushy parent, Joe Wrigley says he entered his two-year-old son Oscar into high IQ society Mensa to set up a support network. The Tilehurst toddler has an IQ of 160, on a par with Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Mr Wrigley says that raising a gifted child can be a joy but also a struggle. "We're in limbo at the moment," he says. "Mentally he's too advanced for groups his own age but emotionally and physically he's still a two-year-old." According to the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children), to understand highly gifted children it is "essential" to realise how different they are from other youngsters. This means that gifted children develop cognitively at a much faster rate than they develop physically, emotionally and socially, posing some interesting problems. For example, gifted children can become aware of information that they are not yet emotionally ready to handle, particularly over moral and ethical issues. NAGC deputy chief executive, Julie Taplin, says: "We have this all the time where the child's brain intellectually is racing ahead and the child is able to ask philosophical questions about God and the universe. "But the child might still have a tantrum and might not know the days of the week or fasten their own buttons." 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 and our partnership with the Association of American Educators (AAE) , click here

University Of Colorado Denver Takes Part In Nation's Largest Autism Risk Factor Study

When Lisa and Tim Flannery's son, Braedan, was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old, they immediately started occupational and speech therapy. "He'd cross all his fingers, wouldn't make eye contact," said Lisa Flannery. "He would scream if he wanted something." Questions about what caused the disease still loom large for this Roxborough family. "It's been hard for us," she said. Now, they've enrolled him in the national's largest study of risk factors for autism, the Study to Explore Early Development or SEED. The University of Colorado Denver is taking part in the research, a multi-year study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Nobody really knows right now what the causes are. The more we know about the risk factors, the more we can know the causes," said Kristina Hightshoe, the SEED study coordinator. "We hope this is a breakthrough study." To read more, click here

Opinion Article: Lift The Charter School Cap; Create More Special Education Charters

On the same day that Mayor Bloomberg recently called for lifting the cap on public charter schools, the Department of Education further bolstered his argument by revealing the city spent $102 million last year to send students with special learning needs to private schools. Yes, you read that right. Charters, long maligned for not serving enough special education students, could significantly reduce that cost - they've shown they can provide the same quality special education services as private schools at a fraction of the price. The cost of sending special ed students to private schools has been steadily rising - it's up $13 million from two years ago and $49 million since 2005-06. Coming on the heels of a Supreme Court decision this summer affirming public reimbursement for private special education services, these numbers will continue to rise and quickly become unsustainable. While a special ed private school generally runs between $40,000 to $50,000 per pupil per year - and sometimes up to $85,000 - a charter school comes at roughly half the price. 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

SCID Kids Leading Healthy, Normal Lives 25 Years After 'Bubble Boy'

Mention the words "bubble boy" and many will recall David Vetter, the kid with big eyes and a thick thatch of dark hair who died 25 years ago after spending almost the entire 12 years of his life in a germ-free, plastic bubble. David was born with severe combined immune deficiency, or SCID, a condition that robbed him of an immune system. Since David's death however, researchers have refined treatment options for children with SCID, and today, as scientists at Duke University Medical Center report in The Journal of Pediatrics, most of them who undergo related donor bone marrow transplants manage to grow up, go to school, and for the most part, lead pretty normal lives. That conclusion comes from the longest and largest study to date of children with SCID treated at a single center. Led by Rebecca H. Buckley, M.D., professor of pediatrics and immunology at Duke, researchers followed for up to 26 years 110 of the 124 surviving SCID children out of the 161 who had come to Duke for bone marrow transplants. The study involved periodic questionnaires and visits to Duke for reassessment of various aspects of their lives, including immune function, growth, behavior, nutritional needs, mental, physical, and emotional well-being and any trouble with recurrent infections. To read more, click here

Professor Uses Video Games To Explore Facets Of Autism

One of the hallmarks of autism is a need to find order, or to try to create it, in a world that can often seem chaotic and disorganized. But for researchers trying to understand the disorder, which can affect perception, cognition, social and motor skills, communication and other domains, autism itself can seem incoherent and enigmatic. Matthew Belmonte, assistant professor of human development and a 2009 recipient of the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award, is using a novel tool -- a suite of science-fiction-themed video games he developed with collaborators in computer sciences -- to find order behind the range of autism's manifestations. Belmonte's NSF Early Career award, of $700,000 over five years, is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Development of the video game suite, called Astropolis, was supported in part by a grant from Autism Speaks. To read more,  click here

Food for Thought........

The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.
                                     Arnold H. Glasow

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