Week in Review - August 27, 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

Genetics in Special EducationSeries

August 2010 

Many human diseases have a genetic component. Some of these conditions are under investigation by researchers at or associated with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
In the Genetics in Special Education Series you will find a list of selected genetic, orphan and rare diseases. Each month NASET will present 2 such disorders in this series. We hope you find them informative.
Genetic disorders presented in this issue:
  • Achondroplasia
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
To read or download this issue - Click here 

NASET's Q&ACorner

Issue #30 - August 2010

In this Issue are Questions and Answers on WAGR Syndrome:
WAGR syndrome is a rare genetic condition that can affect both boys and girls. Babies born with WAGR syndrome often have eye problems, and are at high risk for developing certain types of cancer, and mental retardation. The term "WAGR" stands for the first letters of the physical and mental problems associated with the condition.
To read or download this issue - Click here 

Initial Evaluation andReevaluation

PowerPoint Presentation)

Total Number of Slides: 30
Description: Initial Evaluation and Reevaluation is a PowerPoint presentation that looks at the specific requirements of IDEA regarding the initial evaluation of a child suspected of having a disability and how the results are applied to determining the child's eligibility for special education and related services. The reevaluation process is also described.
To view or download this presentation - Click here (login and look within Assessment in Special Education Section)

Quick Links To NASET

Prenatal Pesticide Exposure Linked to High ADHD Risk

Exposure of women during pregnancy to organophosphate pesticides increases risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in their children, a new study suggests. The study published in in the Aug 19 issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found prenatal levels of metabolites of these pesticides were significantly associated with attention problems in children at the age of five years. For the study, Brenda Eskenazi, University of California - Berkeley professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health followed more than 300 children enrolled in the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas, which examined environmental pesticide exposures and sexual or reproductive health. To read more, click here

Hearing Loss in Teens is on the Rise

Hearing loss in teens has gone up, with one in five U.S. adolescents showing some degree of hearing loss in 2005-2006, according to a new study. Researchers compared hearing loss evaluated in two national surveys, one conducted in 1988-1994 and the other in 2005-2006. "In the initial assessment back in the early '90's, about 15% [of teens] had any hearing loss," says researcher Gary C. Curhan MD, ScD, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. "More recently, it was 19%," he says. "On a relative basis, that's about 30% higher," he tells WebMD. "Previously, one in seven children would have been found to have hearing loss. Now it's one of five." The majority of the hearing loss found was slight, Curhan and his colleagues found. But, Curhan says, "any hearing loss is bad." The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 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 Plus® 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.

Disturbances in Certain Genes Play a Role in Autism

Together with colleagues from an international research group, autism researcher Christopher Gillberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has found in a new study that autism can be partially explained by abnormalities in certain genes. The group's results could, in the long run, pave the way for more appropriate treatments for autism. Prestigious journal Nature is publishing an article co-authored by Christopher Gillberg of the Unit for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, and member of the Autism Genome Project (AGP) research group. In the article the group reveals that a survey of 1,000 individuals with autism and 1,300 without showed that Copy Number Variants (CNVs) -- sub-microscopic abnormalities in the chromosomes -- are heavily over-represented in people with autism. To read more, click here

Doting Parents Lead to Helpless Hong Kong Kids

The overprotection and doting of some parents has led to ever more Hong Kong kids without the ability to take care of themselves. According to a survey, almost half of the parents who responded said that their children cannot eat, clean themselves up and change clothes independently, and 15 percent of the respondents even said their children cannot use the toilet independently. Experts said parents nowadays require their children to study hard and go to elite schools. However, their children turn out to have poor basic life skills and self-care abilities. They suggest that parents should not be overprotective of their children. Otherwise their children will probably grow up to be unable to solve problems and overcome setbacks in the future. To read more, click here

Jennifer Aniston Criticized For Using 'R-Word'

Actress Jennifer Aniston is the latest in a string of public figures to take heat for using the word "retard." While appearing on Live with Regis and Kelly on Thursday, Aniston was asked about a photo shoot appearing in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar where the actress poses in styles reminiscent of iconic Barbra Streisand images. Host Regis Philbin said, "you're playing dress up." Aniston replied, "Yes, I play dress up. I do it for a living, like a retard." The comments drew sharp rebuke from advocates for those with intellectual disabilities who have long fought to end use of the term. "The pervasive use of the r-word, even in an off the cuff self-deprecating manner, dehumanizes people with intellectual disabilities and perpetuates painful stereotypes that are a great source of suffering and negative stigma," Special Olympics officials said in a statement. The organization sponsors the ongoing campaign "Spread the Word to End the Word." To read more, click here

Victims of Bullying Suffer Academically as Well

Students who are bullied regularly do substantially worse in school, UCLA psychologists report in a special issue of the Journal of Early Adolescence devoted to academic performance and peer relationships. The UCLA study was conducted with 2,300 students in 11 Los Angeles-area public middle schools and their teachers. Researchers asked the students to rate whether or not they get bullied on a four-point scale and to list which of their fellow students were bullied the most -- physically, verbally and as the subject of nasty rumors. A high level of bullying was consistently associated with lower grades across the three years of middle school. The students who were rated the most-bullied performed substantially worse academically than their peers. Projecting the findings on grade-point average across all three years of middle school, a one-point increase on the four-point bullying scale was associated with a 1.5-point decrease in GPA for one academic subject (e.g., math) -- a very large drop. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.......

The purpose of an aptitude test is to pedict future peformance. The results are used to make a prediction about performance on some criterion (e.g., grades, teaching effectiveness, test scores)

Autism Linked to Multisensory Integration

A new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has provided concrete evidence that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) process sensory information such as sound, touch and vision differently than typically developing children. The study, which appears in the August 17 online issue of Autism Research, supports decades of clinical and anecdotal observations that individuals with ASD have difficulty coping with multiple sources of sensory information. The Einstein finding offers new insights into autism and could lead to objective measures for evaluating the effectiveness of autism therapies. "One of the classic presentations of autism is the child in the corner with his hands over his ears rocking back and forth trying to block out the environment," said senior author Sophie Molholm, Ph.D., associate professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and of pediatrics. "People have long theorized that these children might not be integrating information across the senses very well. If you have all these sights and sounds coming at you but you can't put them together in a meaningful way, the world can be an overwhelming place."
To read more, click here


To learn 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:

Sara Sorensen Petersen   Eva Jane Brotherton  Heather Shyrer               Christie Miller   Catherine Cardenas          Jollene Hall

who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: What section of the Rehabilitation Act forbids discrimination in all federally funded programs, including education and vocational programs, on the basis of disability? ANSWER:  Section 504


When discussing Response to Intervention (RtI), what is the term that means, "the delivery of instruction in the way in which it was designed to be delivered"?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 30, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

More Workers with Disabilities File Discrimination Claims Than Ever Before

More people with disabilities filed charges of discrimination against their employers last year than at any other time in the 20-year history of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Almost 21,500 ADA-related charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2009. The main reasons for the increase: the recession and an amendment to the ADA that broadened the definition of what it means to be disabled. "With the number of people being let go ... people with disabilities are more in that direct line," says Nicholas LaRocca, a vice president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. To read more, click here

Today's Superheroes Send Wrong Image to Boys, Say Researchers

Watching superheroes beat up villains may not be the best image for boys to see if society wants to promote kinder, less stereotypical male behaviors, according to psychologists who spoke Sunday at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. "There is a big difference in the movie superhero of today and the comic book superhero of yesterday," said psychologist Sharon Lamb, PhD, distinguished professor of mental health at University of Massachusetts-Boston. "Today's superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he's aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity. When not in superhero costume, these men, like Ironman, exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns." The comic book heroes of the past did fight criminals, she said, "but these were heroes boys could look up to and learn from because outside of their costumes, they were real people with real problems and many vulnerabilities," she said. To read more, click here

University Opens State-of-the-Art Dorm for Students with Disabilities

With very limited use of her arms and legs, Kelsey Rozema has needed her parents' help with most daily tasks - getting out of bed, showering, putting on a coat and even opening a water bottle. In 18 years, they've been apart for only six nights. So moving into a college dorm this week - and away from the reliance on her family - is even more of a milestone for Rozema than for the thousands of other wide-eyed freshmen arriving this week at the University of Illinois, a ritual that will be repeated on college campuses throughout the country in coming weeks. It helped that she moved into the university's first new residence hall in 44 years and the most user-friendly dorm in the country for students with severe physical disabilities. As Rozema wheeled into her single room for the first time Tuesday, a disability advocate showed off the features: a wireless pager that will call for help 24 hours a day and a remote-controlled ceiling lift system to transport her from her bed to the in-room bathroom. To read more, click here

Board of Education Implements New Gifted and Talented Program

September as district officials work to devise a program that will conjure more thinking and encompass more students. The GATES (Gifted and Talented Enrichment Services) program will be utilized in the district's nine elementary schools. The program was implemented by Mary Caulfield-Sloan, director of elementary education, Stella Cosmas, principal of Lafayette Elementary School, and Celeste Gagliardi, principal of Packanack Lake Elementary School, and assisted by a sub-committee composed of teachers and parents. Each school will have a tiered program designed to pique the interests of those participating. Clearly formulated standards will identify these particular students, explained Caulfield-Sloan. To read more, click here 

Research Shows New Dangers in Football Contact

As high school and youth football players take to practice fields this month, they do so amid growing concern that sports-related head injuries may start early and last a lifetime. The direction of the research suggests that major changes in equipment and rules may be necessary to make football and other contact sports safer. Tuesday, scientists, partly funded by the National Football League, announced they had found evidence that some professional athletes once diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease actually suffered from a condition caused by accumulated head injuries. Athletic coaches, trainers and parents at all levels have become familiar with the danger of traumatic concussions. These are the extremely hard tackles and blocks that often make the nightly TV highlight films during football season. Players are sometimes left unconscious on the field as fans at home and at the stadium watch in silence. Stories also abound of groggy players staggering off the field between plays, having sustained blows to the head. Much has been done in recent years to improve the reporting, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. But a lengthy story in June in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette described an even more frightening problem emerging from the research, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE. 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

Did You Know That......

Portfolio asessments often have weak evidence for reliability.

Diabetes Risk in Children Increases Risk for Weak Bones

Children at risk for diabetes before they reach puberty also appear to be at risk for weak bones, Medical College of Georgia researchers report. A study of 140 overweight children age 7-11 who got little regular exercise found that the 30 percent with signs of poor blood sugar regulation had 4-5 percent less bone mass, a measure of bone strength, said Dr. Norman Pollock, bone biologist at MCG's Georgia Prevention Institute. The study is the first to suggest the association between weaker bones and type 2 diabetes risk in children. Type 2, which is becoming more common in children, is often associated with obesity and inactivity; type 1 diabetes, believed to result from genes and environmental triggers, is known to be associated with poor bone health. To read more, click here

Opinion: No "Glee" for People with Disabilities

Only a few short weeks remain before the return of the Fox smash hit Glee, and Gleeks all over the world are trembling in anticipation. In some corners of the disability community however, we're more glum than gleeful, wondering "how on earth did this show get renewed for not just one, but two seasons?" Glee has attracted considerable controversy over the casting of a nondisabled actor, Kevin McHale, in the disabled role of Artie, but the problems with this show run much deeper than its casting. From the moment the pilot aired, disability rights activists were questioning not only why Glee was using cripface (the use of nondisabled actors in disabled roles), but why the show's handling of disability was so atrocious. Execrable episodes like "Wheels" or "Laryngitis" attracted considerable criticism, and revealed an interesting dichotomy among viewers. Nondisabled viewers reacted with praise and pleasure, feeling that these disability-centric episodes depicted disability honestly and accurately, while some disabled viewers felt that these episodes were offensive, appropriative and wildly inaccurate.To read more, click here

Family, Special Olympics At Odds After Teen Excluded From Program

The family of a 17-year-old girl is suing alleging that Special Olympics Illinois told her she could not play basketball because she relies on a service dog to carry her oxygen tanks. Jenny Youngwith has played basketball for six years with the aid of her dog, Simba, who helps her cope with a respiratory impairment. Now, however, Youngwith's family says they were told by Special Olympics Illinois that it is "not appropriate" for her to participate in their basketball or track and field programs since she requires the assistance of oxygen and a service animal. In response, Youngwith's family filed a federal lawsuit with the aid of Equip for Equality, a nonprofit that's part of the government-mandated Protection & Advocacy System. Both Special Olympics Illinois and Youngwith's school district are named in the suit, since the special education sports program in question is run under a partnership between the two entities. To read more, click here



To learn more- Click here

Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing Students Perform First Test of Sign Language by Cell Phone

University of Washington engineers are developing the first device able to transmit American Sign Language over U.S. cellular networks. The tool is just completing its initial field test by participants in a UW summer program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. "This is the first study of how deaf people in the United States use mobile video phones," said project leader Eve Riskin, a UW professor of electrical engineering. The MobileASL team has been working to optimize compressed video signals for sign language. By increasing image quality around the face and hands, researchers have brought the data rate down to 30 kilobytes per second while still delivering intelligible sign language. MobileASL also uses motion detection to identify whether a person is signing or not, in order to extend the phones' battery life during video use. To read more, click here

Livescribe Use Models in Special Education

Since I posted my review of Livescribe's echo smartpen on Wednesday, I've received several emails, talkbacks, Facebook postings, and tweets about possible use cases of the device for students with special needs. I was so excited about the device itself that I overlooked one of the most important markets for the pen. No smartpen will be the magic bullet that lets a child who is struggling because of a disability suddenly succeed. Success is based on a lot of hard work for the student and parents and complete commitment for the teacher. The right resources and supports have to tie all of these elements together. That being said, there are several classroom models where students with disabilities can easily benefit from the echo smartpen. The first case is actually being used in both regular education and inclusion settings right now. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

In small sample studies, finding "no difference" or "no relationship" usualy means that the conclusions that follow from the results are not credible.

So What's In A Word, You Say? A Lot Apparently...

From an early age I learned that words can hurt a person more than a physical bruising could. Because the bruise may heal and disappear, but the spoken word, now that´s a different entity. Once it´s spoken, you can remember it, forget it or choose to ignore it. But if it´s offensive most choose to remember it. That´s when the hurt sets in. And why is all this relevant now? One might ask. Because we live in a world in which language in America is becoming less and less offensive. Take Jennifer Aniston´s recent appearance on the Regis and Kelly show on NBC, for example. Ms. Aniston slipped out the word ´retard´ when discussing how much work she put in to her latest work titled, ´The Switch.´ Said Hollywood star came under some heavy criticism for the slip. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
               Japanese Proverb

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