Week in Review - October 30, 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

Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers About Initial Referrals

Once the Child Study Team has determined that a student has a suspected disability, the team will make a referral for a comprehensive assessment. This assessment will be used along with other information to help determine the nature and type of disability of the student if one exists. This issue of theNASET Q & A Corner will address questions relating to initial referrals for special education services. 
To read or download this issue - Click Here 

Resource Review

October 2009

New e-Publication! The Resource Review will provide you with new resources that have come into NASET each month in one publication. While these may be found in a variety of  NASET publications i.e. NASET Special Educator e-Journal we felt that some of you may find it more beneficial to have these resources at your fingertips and see right away the areas you may want to explore.
The resources in these publications vary widely so we categorized them by topic area. All topics will be in alphabetical order and a  brief explanation will describe each resource. At NASET we are always looking for ways to make your life and job easier and hope you find this publication useful. We encourage your feedback whenever you wish on this and any other feature on the NASET site.

In this issue you will find resources in the following areas:
  • After School
  • Bullying
  • College Preparation
  • Disability Information
  • Early Intervention Services
  • Educational Resources
  • Employment for Youth
  • Family and Community Information
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
  • Highly Qualified Teachers
  • IEP's
  • Innovations in Education
  • Multicultural
  • Parenting Information
  • Professional Development
  • Schools K-12 Information
  • Secretary of Education
  • Transition Services
  • Youth Information

To read or download this issue - Click Here

Quick Links To NASET

New Research Hope For Families With Children Diagnosed With Autism

When a controversy raging for two decades over the causes of the worldwide pandemic of autism in children was resolved unequivocally by Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. in 2006 little notice was taken. Today Collins controls the USĀ“ annual medical research budget of $30.5 billion making CollinsĀ“ 2006 evidence of substantial international significance for many millions of parents and their children and for funding of research into the causes of autism. Autism affects 1 in 100 US children and some rates reported internationally are higher. Collins as a leading medical doctor and geneticist who led the Human Genome Project confirmed in public evidence to the US House of Representatives in May 2006 that recent increases in chronic diseases like diabetes, childhood asthma, obesity or autism must have an environmental [external] cause and cannot be solely genetically [internally] caused conditions. To read more, click here


To learn more - CLICK HERE

Rare Mutation Increases Schizophrenia Risk

An international team of researchers led by geneticist Jonathan Sebat, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), has identified a mutation on human chromosome 16 that substantially increases risk for schizophrenia. The mutation in question is what scientists call a copy number variant (CNV). CNVs are areas of the genome where the number of copies of genes differs between individuals. The CNV is located in a region referred to by scientists as 16p11.2. By studying the genomes of 4,551 patients and 6,391 healthy individuals, Sebat's team has shown that having one extra copy of this region is associated with schizophrenia. The study appears online today ahead of print in the journal Nature Genetics. To read more, click here

Michigan Preschools, Parents Forced To Adjust Amid Cuts

The state's fiscal crisis is striking some of its most vulnerable residents -- 4-year-olds whose private, nonprofit preschool programs are losing state funding. A 50% cut in grants, part of the school aid budget that became official last week, means more than 20 programs won't get their funding renewed and 2,000 slots will be lost. Also, just as many new programs won't get funded at all. And things could get worse for preschools, tasked with preparing students for kindergarten. While funding was left intact for school districts to run their programs, the Legislature approved a provision that gives school administrators the flexibility to use their preschool funds to absorb overall cuts of nearly $300 per pupil. It may be an attractive option for school leaders struggling to make more cuts to their budgets, but it could have a drastic impact statewide, since about 26,000 children rely on the programs. 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

Hefty Side Effect For Children On Antipsychotic Medication

A new study is likely to add to the furious debate over the rapid rise in the prescription of heavy-duty antipsychotic drugs to children. It found that kids' weight balloons by 10 to 19 pounds in just the first three months on the drugs, often leading to worrisome elevations of cholesterol, triglycerides and other metabolic parameters. Weight gain is a known side effect of the drugs, but the new study is notable because it found far greater increases than had been seen in many previous trials. Researchers tracked 272 children between the ages of 4 and 19 who started taking various brand-name antipsychotic drugs for the first time between 2001 and 2007. They found weight gains varied by drug but appeared to be widespread across the entire class of medications, called atypical antipsychotic drugs. To read more, click here

Childhood Cancer Survivors Experience Suicidal Thoughts Decades After Diagnosis

Adult survivors of childhood cancer have an increased risk for suicidal thoughts, even decades after their cancer treatments ended, according to a study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists. The researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that nearly eight percent of childhood cancer survivors said they have experienced suicidal thoughts, or ideation. Survivors of brain and central nervous system cancers were most likely to have had suicidal thoughts. Those who were in poor health or who had cancer-related pain or treatment-related chronic conditions also were at greater risk for suicidal thoughts. The paper is published on the journal's Web site and later will appear in a print edition. "Our findings underscore the importance of recognizing the connection between childhood cancer survivors' physical health issues and their risk for suicidal thoughts, as some of the conditions may be treatable," said Christopher Recklitis, PhD, MPH, the study's lead author and a psychologist and director of research in the Perini Family Survivors' Center at Dana-Farber. To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - Mayer-Johnson 

 For more information - CLICK HERE

Opinion Article: State Funding For Special Education Remains Vital

As I read the recent news about an increase in the number of young people with autism, I thought of the complicated challenges so many parents will face. My 16-year-old son has autism; his ability to process the things he hears is extremely poor and he struggles to communicate and interact with other kids and adults. His first several years in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools were successful. But as he entered the sixth grade, my son experienced major difficulties and the decision was made to seek help elsewhere. With the support of the Anne Arundel schools, Evan was enrolled in the Hannah More School, a special education school in Reisterstown equipped to work with kids with autism and those with a range of serious emotional and physical disabilities. To read more, click here

Florida Group Pushes For Regulations Regarding Restraint Of Students With Disabilities

Florida parents behind a renewed push to prevent seclusion and restraint in classrooms are buoyed by a federal report that raises concerns about potentially deadly misuse. The Government Accountability Office discovered hundreds of alleged abuse and death cases related to restraint and seclusion of school children in two decades but no entity collecting that information. The GAO examined 10 cases with convictions, settlements or liability findings. Parents are hopeful the report will fuel their campaign to pass a bill recently filed in Florida to restrict seclusion and restraint of children with disabilities. It will be pitched to lawmakers for the third time and was referred to education and health care committees this month. Rep. Dorothy Hukill, a Volusia County Republican who sponsored the bill, hopes it will be heard by January. To read more,  click here

At-Risk Children Who Attend Preschool Found Less Likely To Need Special Education Services

The Opening Bell, a review of the most important news in education, and distributed to members of the National Education Association as a weekly newsletter, excites us with verification of what we already know in San Francisco. The AP (10/23) reports that a four-year "study of 10,000 at-risk children in Pennsylvania has found that special education needs drop from an average of 18 percent to just two percent in kids that attend preschool." The $1 million study funded by Heinz Endowments and conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, also found that 80 percent of the children who went to preschool met state school competency standards for transition to kindergarten." The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10/23, Smydo) states, "the study showed that Pennsylvania's Pre-K Counts program helps students prepare "for kindergarten" and reduces their "need for special-education services." Researchers found that "Pre-K Counts classes benefited children of various racial and ethnic groups"; despite "poverty and other disadvantages." This study "is the evidence that allows us to finally declare victory in a debate Pennsylvania has been mired in for much too long," said Heinz Endowments Chair Teresa Heinz, "alluding to disagreements about the program's worth during budget battles in Harrisburg." To read more, click here

Deep Brain Stimulation Eases Tics In Tourette's Syndrome

Deep brain stimulation, already used for treating Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia, can ease the tics and other symptoms associated with Tourette's syndrome, British researchers reported today in the journal Neurology. Tourette's is a congenital neuropsychiatric disease affecting an estimated 1% of the population. It is characterized by physical tics, such as eye blinking, shoulder shrugging and head-and-shoulder jerking. It is also marked by vocal outbursts, many of which are obscene, providing great embarrassment. Sufferers often also have obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There is no cure for Tourette's and no medication that works in all patients. Deep brain stimulation involves embedding electrodes deep in the brain--often called a brain pacemaker--and applying a minute electrical current to specific areas of the brain, depending on the condition being treated. Its underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. 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 

Teacher Talk Strains Voices, Especially For Women

Teachers tend to spend more time speaking than most professionals, putting them at a greater risk for hurting their voices -- they're 32 times more likely to experience voice problems, according to one study. And unlike singers or actors, teachers can't take a day off when their voices hurt. Now a new study by the National Center for Voice and Speech (NCVS) reveals how teachers use their voices at work and at home and uncovers differences between male and female teachers. Its findings will be presented at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) next week in San Antonio, TX. Eric Hunter, deputy director of the NCVS, and colleagues equipped teachers with the NCVS voice dosimeter, a device which captures voicing characteristics such as pitch and loudness rather than actual speech. The dosimeter sampled their voices 33 times per second. The researchers analyzed 20 million of these samplings which were collected during waking hours over a 14 day period for each teacher. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

There is no past or future just the present, and it's what we do in the present that will make the future and write the past.
                                                                          Author Unknown

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