Week in Review - August 13, 2010


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

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New This Week on NASET

Back to School Special Review

At NASET, we are always looking to provide the most useful information for teachers throughout the school year. As the new school year begins, we are presenting the NASETBack to School Special Review, which contains 5 of the most popular and practical series to start the school year. These are:
  • Step-by-Step Guide to Setting up Your Classroom - Click here
  • The Step-by-Step Guide to Building Confidence In the Classroom - Click here
  • How Parents Can Help Their Children with Homework - Click here
  • Working with Paraprofessionals in Your School -Click here
  • Behavior Crisis Management Tools -Click here
We hope you find these series helpful as you enter the new school year.

Lesser Know Disorders

Issue # 8 August 2010

Disorders Discussed In this Issue:
  • Muscle Tension Dysphonia
  • Mental Retardation due to Fragile-X Syndrome
  • Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (Nonverbal Learning Disorders or NLD)
To read or download this issue - Click here

Quick Links To NASET



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Parents of Children with Autism Face Prolonged Risk of Divorce, Study Finds

Parents are generally most vulnerable to divorce when their kids are young, but for parents of children with autism that susceptibility continues into adolescence and adulthood, new research suggests. In a longitudinal study looking at parents of 406 individuals with autism and a similar number of parents with only typically developing kids, researchers found that the likelihood of divorce was the same for both groups up until about age 8. But at that point, couples raising children with autism continued to experience a heightened risk of splitting up, while the odds of other couples parting ways began to drop, researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of Family Psychology. "Typically, if couples can survive the early child-rearing years, parenting demands decrease and there is often less strain on the marriage," says Sigan Hartley, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Wisconsin and the lead author of the study. "However, parents of children with autism often continue to live with and experience high parenting demands into their child's adulthood, and thus marital strain may remain high in these later years." To read more, click here

Childhood Personality Traits Predict Adult Behavior: We Remain Recognizably the Same Person, Study Suggests

Personality traits observed in childhood are a strong predictor of adult behavior, a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, the Oregon Research Institute and University of Oregon suggests. The study will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, a quarterly publication of the Association for Research in Personality, the European Association of Social Psychology, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and co-sponsored by the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists. Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse elementary schoolchildren in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later. To read more, click here

Still Room for Improvement in ADA Compliance 20 years After Disability Rights Law's Enactment

Everyday life is sometimes more difficult than it need be for Eduardo Cantu. An auto wreck in 2006 left the 34-year-old with a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the shoulders down.
The Americans with Disabilities Act makes his life easier - but 20 years after it was enacted, Cantu and others say some businesses and public entities still neglect the spirit the law even if they follow the letter of it. Structures and buildings that don't meet ADA regulations can make even ordinary errands unnecessarily complicated for Cantu. An entrance is too small, a door doesn't open properly, or someone without a qualifying medical condition has parked in a space marked for individuals with disabilities. Getting businesses and other public entities in the Rio Grande Valley to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act has proved difficult, said Corinna Spencer-Scheurich, regional director of the South Texas Civil Rights Project. To read more, click here

Report: Hawaii Ranks Highly in Pay for Individuals with Disabilities

A new federal report shows that Hawaii is one of the most successful states in helping people with disabilities find well-paying jobs. The U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration study shows that clients with disabilities earned an average of about $41,000 annually in 2009. That amount is nearly 67 percent of the average Hawaii wage. Only six states paid the disabled a higher percentage of the average state wage. To read more, click here


Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
Congratulations to:
Christie Miler                         Heather Shyrer                 Phyllis Wilson
who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question:  When examining language acquisition skills, what is the typical number of words in a child's vocabulary at 17 months of age? ANSWER:  20-50 WORDS           
What is the most commonly prescribed non-stimulant medication for treatment of children with ADHD?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 16, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

Florida Continues to Improve Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Laset week, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida visited the PARC facility in St. Petersburg. PARC is a non-profit organization committed to providing opportunity for youth and adults with disabilities. Governor Crist toured the facility, met with participants, and reiterated his dedication to working with persons with disabilities, their families and advocates to continue making Florida a state that embraces equality and opportunity for all citizens. "Since I have been a public servant, it has been a strong priority to increase opportunities for persons with disabilities to live independently and achieve their dreams," said Governor Crist. "Together, we will ensure the future for Floridians with disabilities and their families is bright." To read more, click here

Federal Aid to Oklahoma Teachers Offers No Promises

"The devil is always in the details,'' Garrett said, adding that so far no information on the money has been provided by federal officials. "I'm trying to remain positive about this because we do need the help. We are in dire straits.'' One of her concerns deals with the timing of the $26 billion measure, which would provide $119 million to Oklahoma for teacher jobs and $193.6 million in Medicaid funding. Garrett said schools in some communities in Oklahoma have started classes and more will do so next week. Whether the money must be spent in the coming year or school districts can sit on the money and use it to replace the disappearing stabilization funds are among questions submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.......

Psychostimulants, which stimulate or activate neurologcal functioning, are by far the most frequent type of medication prescribed for ADHD.

Encouraging Data on Preventing Crohn's Disease Recurrence

Biological agents may play an important role in maintaining remission in Crohn's disease, according to two new studies in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. "Post-surgical recurrence of Crohn's disease occurs very frequently. Unfortunately, none of the traditional drugs used to treat the naturally occurring disease has really shown a clear-cut benefit in this situation," said Dario R. Sorrentino, MD, of the University of Udine School of Medicine, Italy, and lead author of one of the studies. "Our study results indicate great potential for infliximab, a monoclonal antibody, which has shown remarkable efficacy in preventing this type of recurrence." Infliximab is known by the brand name RemicadeĀ®. Doctors performed a prospective cohort study in 12 consecutive patients treated immediately after surgery with standard maintenance infliximab (5 mg/kg body weight every eight weeks) who did not have evidence of disease recurrence after 36 months. Treatment with infliximab was then discontinued. Patients with disease recurrence (i.e., with intestinal inflammation) were then given lower doses of infliximab in an attempt to re-establish the integrity of the intestinal mucosa, which helps ensure an adequate supply of nutrients. To read more, click here

20th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act; New Regs Proposed by the Department of Justice

Congress and the White House marked the 20th anniversary of passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in a number of ways, including an announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of several new proposed provisions. Passed in 1990, the ADA guarantees protection for people with disabilities in areas including employment, public transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The new proposals address the accessibility of websites, accessible equipment and furniture, the ability of 911 centers to take text and video calls, and provision of captioning and video description in movies shown in theaters. Notice of the advance notices of proposed rulemaking was published in the July 26 Federal Register.To read more, click here

NASET Member Benefit - Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual 

Liberty Mutual Savings

As a member of NASET you qualify for a special group discount* on your auto, home, and renter's insurance through Group Savings PlusĀ® from Liberty Mutual. This unique program allows you to purchase high-quality auto, home and renters insurance at low group rates.
See for yourself how much money you could save with Liberty Mutual compared to your current insurance provider. For a free, no-obligation quote, call 800-524-9400 or visit www.libertymutual.com/naset, or visit your local sales office.
Group discounts, other discounts, and credits are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state.  Certain discounts apply to specific coverage only.  To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.  Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA.

Recession-Battered States Cut Funding for Individuals with Disabilities

Blane Beckwith wants to keep living at home with his mother and younger brother in Berkeley, Calif. For that to happen, Beckwith, 54, who has spinal muscular atrophy and uses a wheelchair, relies on an aide paid by the state to get him in and out of bed, bathe him, feed him, dress him and do everything he can't do for himself. Now that kind of help is in jeopardy. California, facing a $19.1 billion budget gap, is considering a reduction in funding that pays for home care aides for the disabled. It already cut funds last year. Beckwith worries that under the new, tighter rules, he might no longer qualify for his aide and other assistance and that he'll end up in a nursing home. To read more, click here

New York Schools Shun Children with Special Needs

Manhattan offers the Jewish parent everything: gleaming community centres, world-class Jewish day schools, and a synagogue on just about every corner. But when it comes to raising children with special needs, New York's glitziest borough is, apparently, lacking. One recent Monday evening, about 150 people crowded into the basement of Congregation Shearith Israel, on Central Park West, to discuss "The Jewish Community's Obligation to Special Needs Children."
The imposing synagogue is home to the oldest congregation in America. The previous day, Irish President Mary McAleese had stopped by to thank its members for their predecessors' generosity during the Great Famine of 1845-1852. However, this particular evening there was little cause for self-congratulation as a six-person panel spoke about the Manhattan Jewish community's lack of support for children with special needs. To read more, click here

Three-Tier Program Focuses on Learning Disabilities

Beeler Counseling Services and Trinity Medical Center in Farragut will launch a three-month pilot program designed to address a number of learning disabilities, including dyslexia and attention deficit disorders, by combining three disciplines into one treatment plan. The program is open to elementary through high school students. Through medical consultation, counseling and an academic curriculum called Expressways to Learning, the program seeks to create a balanced approach rather than overemphasis on just one area. "I don't just want to quickly diagnose a patient and move on," Dr. Bruce Allsop of Trinity Medical said. "I want to treat the whole patient." The idea for a multi-faceted treatment program began more than 10 years ago when Josh Beeler of BCS, and Allsop developed the idea independently of one another. When the two met earlier this year, the plan started to take shape. To read more, click here

Reno Teen with Cerebral Palsy Paints His Future

Connor Fogal has cerebral palsy. But he might be the true Renaissance man. The 17-year-old Reno resident paints, climbs, bikes, skis, writes, travels, laughs and loves. Fogal is an ardent believer in a promising future, supported by a cadre of players from parents to teachers. "I tell people I just try to do what people do _ just differently," Fogal said during a recent interview at Marvin Picollo Special Education School. Indeed, cerebral palsy has created unique conditions for Fogal, who uses a wheelchair and has limited use of his arms. He's had cerebral palsy since birth, according to his mother, Theresa Fogal. "I was at the hospital the day he was born to learn to tube-feed him as a foster placement," she said. "My husband and I were foster parents for critical-care babies, mostly drug-affected." To read more, click here 

Why You Should Be Skeptical About Standardized Test Scores

Tough talk on teacher accountability is all the rage this summer. Trouble is, we don't know how to handle the perverse incentives that arise the moment we place undue weight on easily manipulated exams. But that hasn't stopped a slew of education leaders from weighing in on the need to hold teachers' feet to the fire. In the past few weeks, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee made headlines for firing 241 teachers, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gave a major speech on education reform and Race to the Top finalists were announced for Round Two, many of which agreed to overhaul their state's teacher evaluation and tenure system. Even President Barack Obama took up the theme of education, weighing in on his administration's reform agenda for three-quarters of an hour at the National Urban League Centennial Conference - although the president who relied on teacher-union support in his election treaded carefully. "I am 110 percent behind our teachers," Obama said. "But all I'm asking in return - as a president, as a parent, and as a citizen - is some measure of accountability. So even as we applaud teachers for their hard work, we've got to make sure we're seeing results in the classroom." To read more, click here

Controversial Supplement to Come Off Shelves: Product FDA Called 'Unapproved Drug' is Popular in Cases of Autis

Pharmacies are halting sales of OSR#1, a compound marketed as a dietary supplement to parents of children with autism, six weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called the product an unapproved new drug. Several pharmacists told the Tribune they received an e-mail last week from Boyd Haley, president of the company that makes the product, informing them that OSR#1 would not be available. The product, sold as a toxicity-free antioxidant supplement, was featured on autism Web sites such as Age of Autism, whose managing editor described sprinkling it in her children's juice and breakfast sandwiches. On June 17, the FDA sent Haley a warning letter calling the product an unapproved new drug with false or misleading labeling regarding side effects. Failing to correct such violations can result in fines, seizure of products and even criminal prosecution. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

The most common stimulant prescribed for ADHD is still methylphenidate, or Ritalin.

Retired Military Families Not Eligible for Autism Treatment Benefit

When Zachary Berge was diagnosed with autism shortly after his second birthday, he couldn't speak a word. He often threw tantrums because he couldn't express himself. His parents turned to "applied behavioral analysis," widely known as ABA therapy and recognized by the medical community as one of the most effective autism treatments for children. But ABA therapy doesn't come cheap, and it has cost the Berge family of Crestview, Fla., nearly $56,000 - a hefty bill they've had to pay out of pocket because the treatment isn't covered by the family's health plan, a program for active and retired military families known as Tricare. To read more, click here

More Detailed Picture of Asthma May Yield Dramatically Improved Treatment

For many people afflicted by asthma, treatment can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. After their initial diagnosis, asthmatics find themselves caught in a trial and error process that can last for months, as doctors gradually escalate their medications to treat their condition effectively with minimal side effects. And until the right medicine and dosage are found, patients continue to suffer attacks that strike without warning and can leave them struggling for breath for hours or even days. The problem is that asthma isn't a single disease. Instead, it's a set of related symptoms that spring from a variety of underlying processes, both environmental and genetic. These different processes influence the rate of progression, lung function decline and response to therapy. Today, researchers believe that asthma treatment will be improved by matching the right therapy to the right asthma subtype -- but trial and error still play a large role in making the right match. To read more, click here



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In South Africa, Gifted Children Get Bad Rap in Schools

Experts say inadequate teacher training to identify special abilities and talent among SA's bright sparks is seeing such children labelled with conditions such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism and bipolar disorder. Now a concerned group of Western Cape educators, with the help of the National Association for Gifted and Talented Children in South Africa (NAGTCSA), is planning to conduct a forum for school principals later this year. It is aimed at creating opportunities for discussion on ways to meet the needs of gifted children. "There is an enormous need to inform educators about giftedness as these children are essentially not catered for in schools," said the association's president, Professor Shirley Kokot. She said giftedness was often misdiagnosed or overlooked because the characteristics were similar to that of the listed criteria for ADHD. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

Studies using careful diagnostic criteria have found an overlap of 10 to 25 percent between ADHD and learning disabilities.

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

Economic Status, Genetics Together Influence Psychopathic Traits

Researchers studying the genetic roots of antisocial behavior report that children with one variant of a serotonin transporter gene are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits if they also grow up poor. The study, the first to identify a specific gene associated with psychopathic tendencies in youth, appears this month in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. People with psychopathic traits generally are more callous and unemotional than their peers, said University of Illinois psychology professor Edelyn Verona, whose graduate student Naomi Sadeh led the study. "Those with psychopathic traits tend to be less attached to others, even if they have relationships with them," Verona said. "They are less reactive to emotional things in the lab. They are charming and grandiose at times. They're better at conning and manipulating others, and they have low levels of empathy and remorse." To read more, click here

Texas School District Misses No Child Left Behind Target

For the second consecutive year, the Austin school district as a whole has failed to meet federal academic targets established by the No Child Left Behind Act, state officials announced last Thursday. The reason is the same as last year's: Austin's special education students failed to show satisfactory improvement on state math and reading exams. Although those results were better than in 2008 , they still fell slightly short of the higher 2010 standards, the district said in a statement. In addition, six of the 115 Austin schools evaluated missed the mark - the same number as in 2009. The federal standards are based on the passing and participation rates on the reading and math portions of the state-mandated Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and on graduation and attendance rates. The requirements, established under the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, are different from those outlined under the state's accountability systems, for which the 2010 results were announced last week. To read more, click here

Overcoming Reading-Comprehension Difficulties in Children: Training Program Can Help

Effective reading requires recognizing words and also understanding what they mean. Between 7-10 percent of children have specific reading-comprehension difficulties. These children can read text aloud accurately but do not understand what they have just read. A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, identifies a training program which may help children overcome reading-comprehension difficulties. Psychological scientists Paula J. Clarke, Margaret J. Snowling, Emma Truelove, and Charles Hulme from the University of York in the United Kingdom conducted a study to see which of three intervention programs is most effective in improving children's reading comprehension. Children (8- and 9-year olds) with reading-comprehension difficulties participated in one of three intervention programs: Text Comprehension training (TC), which emphasized metacognitive strategies (for example, re-reading and visualization) and involved working with written texts; Oral Language training (OL), which emphasized vocabulary and exclusively involved spoken language; and TC and OL training combined (COM) that integrated components from both training programs. Children's performance was assessed before they started the training program, during the program, and 11 months after they completed their program. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honors than parents, who merely gave them birth; for the latter proved mere life, while the former ensure a good life.

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