Week in Review - April 2, 2010


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

NASET Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers About American Sign Language (ASL) and Cochlear Implants 

This edition of the NASET Q & A Corner will focus on two areas.  The first will address questions pertaining to American Sign Language. American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body.  The second part of this edition will focus on cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
To read of download this issue - Click Here  (login required)


NASET Special Educator e-Journal

APRIL 2010 

In This Issue:

  • Update from the U.S. Department Education

  • Calls to Participate

  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

  • Special Education Resources

  • Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events

  • Latest Job Listings

  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities

  • Acknowledgements

To read or download this issue -  Click Here   (login required)

Quick Links To NASET

NASET Member Benefit - Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual 

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Nominee to Disability Council Is Lightning Rod for Dispute on Views of Autism

When President Obama nominated Ari Ne'eman to the National Council on Disability, many families touched by autism took it as a positive sign. Mr. Ne'eman would be the first person with the disorder to serve on the council. But he has since become the focus of criticism from other advocates who disagree with his view that society ought to concentrate on accepting autistic people, not curing them. A hold has been placed on Mr. Ne'eman's nomination, which requires Senate confirmation. Whether the hold is related to the criticism of Mr. Ne'eman (pronounced NAY-men) and what it might take to lift it is unclear. But Mr. Ne'eman, the 22-year-old founder of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, seems to be a lightning rod for a struggle over how autism will be perceived at a time when an estimated 1 in 100 American children and teenagers are given such a diagnosis. To read more, click here

New Gateway to Treat Leukemia and Other Cancers

Canadian researchers have discovered a previously hidden channel to attack leukemia and other cancer cells, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The findings from the Université de Montréal, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and Université Laval may change the way doctors treat cancer patients. "We found a gateway, which is present in all humans, that allows anti-cancer agents such as Bleomycin to enter the body so they may reach and attack leukemia cells," says senior author Dindial Ramotar, a professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine and a scientist at the affiliated Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. To read more, click here


Children in special education make up approximately 12% of the school-age population

Close to Madness or Unstoppable? Do Gifted Children Become Gifted Adults

Gifted adults often struggle with the same challenges as gifted children. What factors help adults identified as gifted when young to continue to achieve? Educator Carol McGaughey comments about these issues.

I think one area that needs to be addressed is what happens to these gifted individuals as they grow into adults. Is the folk wisdom of "genius close to madness" the reality, or does the "cannonball theory" that nothing can stop these high achievers from getting through school and accomplishing their goals more the norm? Having started in the field of gifted education decades ago and progressed into the age of Google, some of my former gifted students are re-discovering my whereabouts. In fact, some students held a 20 year reunion of students who had attended the Learning Center during the 70's and 80's. So, on an anecdotal basis, I was able to discover the various paths these identified gifted individuals had taken. It was interesting to note that the majority had pursued their gifts achieving in their chosen fields. Some of the students had married other former students. To read more, click here

When Will Children Disobey Parents? It Depends on the Rule

As all parents know, children often want to do exactly what their parents don't want them to do. In three areas that children often consider parts of their personal domain -- clothing, friendship, and leisure activities -- having a degree of choice over decisions is important for children's sense of identity and mental health. A new study that considered connections between control over issues within children's personal domain, identity, and emotional well-being has found that children make important distinctions between different kinds of rules. The study was carried out by researchers at the University of California, Davis, the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Brock University in Ontario, Canada. It is published in the March/April 2010 issue of the journal Child Development. To read more, click here



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Be sure to mention that you are a member of NASET for special plan and pricing!

Concern About College Students Receiving Accommodations for Learning Disabilities

The Pope Center sponsored a panel discussion to review "Accommodating College Students with Learning Disabilities: ADD, ADHD, and Dyslexia" written by Melana Zyla Vickers. The data from the report indicates that the number of college students with modest learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has almost doubled in the last decade. The report did not include those disabled by mental retardation, autism, brain injuries, and other severe conditions. There are a number of issues to be considered. David Cope, author of "Disability Law and Your Classroom," is reported as asking, "Are we realistically preparing such students for careers...where their work environment routinely will require them to process information and to exercise professional judgment in a setting filled with distractions?" To read more, click here

Young Children at High Risk for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Spring is here and the nice weather means plenty of time for kids to play outside. But watch out for those falls on the playground: A new CDC report says children up to age 4 are part of the high at-risk population for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Teenagers 15 to 19 and senior citizens older than 75 also make the list. When someone has a traumatic brain injury, normal brain function is interrupted. It can be caused by any sudden blow or jolt to the brain. TBI claims nearly a third of the injury-related deaths in the U.S. every year. In teenagers 15-19 the injury is usually caused by car accidents. Falling is the chief cause of TBIs in senior citizens and young children. Babies and toddlers are still developing their sense of balance, which is why they often they take a tumble. But as any parent will tell you, falling is a normal part of childhood. Most falls don't cause anything nearly as serious as a traumatic brain injury but being around stairs or furniture with hard edges, or walking up an incline, could increase the chances of it happening. So why should parents be concerned? To read more, click here


The five largest categories of children with disabilities receiving special education are learning disabilities, speech and language impairments, mental retardation, other health impairments and emotional disturbance.

Human Brain Becomes Tuned to Voices and Emotional Tone of Voice During Infancy

New research finds that the brains of infants as young as 7 months old demonstrate a sensitivity to the human voice and to emotions communicated through the voice that is remarkably similar to what is observed in the brains of adults. The study, published by Cell Press in the March 25 issue of the journal Neuron, probes the origins of voice processing in the human brain and may provide important insight into neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. 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

ADHD Symptoms Often Subside Within a Year

Children identified with an attention-deficit problem should be re-evaluated annually because symptoms often subside from one year to the next, researchers say. The study authors looked at three groups of elementary school-age children: 27 first-graders and 24 fourth-graders who appeared to have trouble paying attention but weren't diagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and 28 kids in grades one through four who had been diagnosed with ADHD. Teachers ranked the inattention levels of the students about once a year. The findings were published in the March 17 online edition of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. To read more, click here

People With Disabilities Remain an Underutilized Resource

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act that gave millions of previously forgotten citizens the legal right to more fully participate in American life. For decades, people with disabilities were commonly institutionalized or "warehoused." A minority were afforded limited opportunity for employment doing menial tasks often for less than minimum wage. The ADA created some immediate and important change. The act literally reconfigured public space and redefined accessibility by breaking down physical and institutional barriers. The law afforded this same demographic a broader range of opportunities to more fully exercise their constitutional rights. More specifically, ADA prompted employers to reconsider their definition of disability and proactively seek employment opportunities for this part of the population. To read more, click here

Oxytocin Hormone Inhalation Shows Promise in Individuals with Aspergers Syndrome

A latest study has associated oxytocin, the hormone that is known to promote materno-child bonding and co-operation, for smoothening social erudition skilfulness among individuals having autism spectrum disorder. Investigators of the study noted that individuals having Aspergers syndrome, a mild autism type, showed dramatic improvement in their social learning ability and were noted spending further amounts of time gaping images of visages subsequent to inhalation of the socialisation-eliciting hormone oxytocin. The study is the foremost of its kind that illustrates the outcomes of oxytocin (a hormone believed to be a promoter of materno-child bonding, trust, socializing and assistance) - among individuals being identified with Aspergers syndrome. To read more, click here


The principle of "Zero Reject" entitles all students with disabilities to a free appropriate public education regardless of the nature or severity of their disabilities.

Children With Food Allergies Should Carry Two Doses of Emergency Medicine, Experts Urge

In a large six-year review of emergency department (ED) data, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, found that many children with severe food-related allergic reactions need a second dose of epinephrine, suggesting that patients carrying EpiPens should carry two doses instead of one. Since 1997, the number of school-aged children with food allergies has increased nearly 20 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, publishing in the April issue of Pediatrics, is the largest to date to investigate emergency treatment of food-related anaphylaxis in children, according to the authors. 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

Deaf and Blind Dog Helps Others See Lessons in Disabilities

Marcia Fishman admits it took a long time to train Rudolph, a blind and deaf dachshund she adopted, but the buff-colored dog has taught her and thousands of school children some valuable lessons about disabilities. "By giving him a chance to live to his potential he can be as much fun as any other dog," Fishman said. "I tell the kids that if you assume someone in a wheelchair can't enjoy the things you do, give them a chance. Maybe they can enjoy the same things but in a different way like Rudolph does." Rudolph is a puppy mill survivor and his inability to see or hear is the result of extensive inbreeding. Now more than 3 years old, Rudolph and Fishman have visited about 2,500 school children throughout southeast Michigan over the past 15 months. To read more, click here


An IEP must include the extent of time to which a child will participate with nondisabled peers in the general education setting, including district and state assessments and an explanation of the time the student will not participate with nondisabled peers.

Fair Isn't Equal: Serving Students with Special Needs in Charter Schools

One of the biggest hurdles in public education is raising graduation rates. For children with disabilities, they're especially low. Only one out of four graduates on time in New York City. In the debate over education reform, charter schools have been criticized for not serving enough special-education students compared to regular public schools. One new charter on Staten Island is actively recruiting children who don't fit in. When sixth graders at the John Lavelle Preparatory school talk about what makes them stressed, they don't mention the economy or traffic jams. After all, they are only 11. To read more, click here

In Richmond, VA, Push to Raise Profile of Special Education Testing Pays Off

A few Richmonders have pushed their concerns over special-education testing from local blogs to the state law books. After the four locals launched a concentrated effort to raise the profile of alternative assessments given to thousands of young special-education students each year, Gov. Bob McDonnell on March 9 signed a bill requiring school superintendents to give the state an annual justification that each student using the Virginia Grade Level Alternative assessment meets participation criteria. Moreover -- and most important to the advocates -- it sends a message to schools that state lawmakers are keying into the rapid increase in the test's use. Last summer, teachers and parents approached former Richmond School Board member Carol A.O. Wolf with concern, she said, that schools were funneling students into taking the alternative assessment who do not need it in order to help test scores. To read more, click here


The learning disability associated with mathematics is called dyscalculia

On the Job SEARCH: School-to-Work Initiative is a Cooperative Venture that Trains Students with Learning Disabilities in Health Care Fields

Late last summer, when she enrolled in Project SEARCH, Leesha McBrayer had no idea what kind of job she'd end up with in the medical field. But today the 18-year-old works part time in Lancaster General Health's downtown outpatient pavilion, drawing blood in the lab testing area and performing EKGs. "I love my job," said McBrayer, who is in training and hopes to obtain full-time hours. "It's amazing." McBrayer is one of the first two graduates of the local Project SEARCH program, which trains students with learning disabilities and other handicaps for jobs in health care. The school-to-work initiative is a partnership among LGH, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 and the York Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. While OVR provides funding, IU-13 handles the educational aspect of the program, and Lancaster General supplies classroom space and on-the-job supervision. To read more, click here

Widely Used Screening Scale May Misidentify Borderline Personality Disorder as Bipolar Disorder

A study from Rhode Island Hospital has shown that a widely-used screening tool for bipolar disorder may incorrectly indicate borderline personality disorder rather than bipolar disorder. In the article that appears online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the researchers question the effectiveness of the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ). The MDQ is the most widely-used and studied screening tool for bipolar disorder. It is a brief questionnaire that assesses whether a patient displays some of the characteristic behaviors of bipolar disorder. It can be administered by clinicians or taken by patients on their own to determine if they screen positively for bipolar disorder. For the purposes of this study, the MDQ was scored by researchers. To read more, click here

Food for Thought.......

Ask yourself is it right or wrong and act accordingly.

                                                           Otto Graham, Jr

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