Week in Review - August 6, 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 

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New This Week on NASET

The Practical Teacher

Best Practices in Mathematics

Research-based Top Ten Strategies for Mathematics Achievement
Research findings indicate that certain teaching strategies and methods are worth careful consideration as teachers strive to improve their mathematics teaching practices. The following ten instructional practices are from "Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics: Part 1: Research Findings", by Douglas A. Grouws & Kristin J. Cebulla; December 2000 (Updated January 2002). 
1. Opportunity to Learn
2. Focus on Meaning
3. Problem Solving
4. Opportunities for Invention and Practice
5. Openness to Student Solutions and Student Interactions
6. Small Group Learning
7. Whole-Class Discussion
8. Focus on Number Sense
9. Use Concrete Materials
10. Use Calculators
This issue of The Practical Teacher will address each of the 10 instructional practices above and focus on best practices in mathematics.  
To read or download this issue - Click here 

Parent Teacher Conference Handout

What is Adaptive Behavior?

Many time parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (new term for mental retardation) do not have a clear understanding of what is meant by adaptive behavior especially since it is one of the major factors used in the identification of this disability. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout will provide an overview for parents in helping them understand this term. 
To read or download this issue - Click here

Top 10 Basics in SpecialEducation

A PowerPoint Presentation)
Title: Top 10 Basics of Special Education
Total Number of Slides:  11
PowerPoint Description:  The Top 10 Basics of Special Education is a powerpoint presentation that welcomes everyone to IDEA. With these training materials, you can learn about and give trainings that include a quick overview to the 10 major steps in special education (three of which are evaluation, eligibility, and writing the IEP). </font>
To review and or download PowerPoint Presentations - Click here

Classroom ManagementSeries

Research Based Strategies for the Classroom
Part #5 - Homework and Practice
Homework and practice are related, connected by the context when students are learning on their own and applying new knowledge. Effective teachers approach this kind of learning experience as any other-matching the planned activity to the learning goal. Research on homework indicates that it should be approached not as an afterthought to the school day, but as a focused strategy for increasing understanding. Knowing which of the type of homework is needed helps teachers design appropriate homework assignments. This issue of the Classroom Management Series provides research findings and implementation steps for the findings.
To read or download this issue - Click here

Quick Links To NASET

Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas, Pioneer in Treatment of Autism, Dies

A respected and revered pioneer in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders has died. Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas passed away in California. Dr. Lovaas developed the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which helps people with autism learn to function in day-to-day society. His work began in the 1960s and helped thousands of children with autism across the globe. ABA is evidence-based treatment that proves successful in about half of the patients treated, and can offer the chance for a more productive life. In Reno, Deborah Schumacher's son, Cliff, was the first child to receive treatment from Dr. Lovaas. In the early 1990's, Schumacher said she knew "something was clearly not developmentally right" with her little boy, "but i didn't know what was wrong." She learned of Dr. Lovaas's methods and classes at UCLA, and moved to southern California with Cliff when he was three years old. To read more, click here

One-Third of Teens with ADHD Delay High School Degree or Drop Out

Teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to drop out of high school or delay completing high school than other kids, a new study has found. Researchers analyzed U.S. data and found that nearly one-third of students with the most common type of ADHD either drop out or delay high school graduation. That rate is twice that of students with no psychiatric disorder. "Most people think that the student who is acting out, who is lying and stealing, is most likely to drop out of school. But we found that students with the combined type of ADHD - the most common type - have a higher likelihood of dropping out than students with disciplinary problems," study senior author Julie Schweitzer, an ADHD expert and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, Davis, said in a university news release. To read more, click here

Gene Variant May Increase Severity of Multiple Sclerosis

A new study shows a gene variant may increase the severity of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. The research will be published in the August 3, 2010, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. For the study, researchers screened the oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS1) gene in 401 people with MS, 394 people without MS and 178 people receiving the MS treatment beta interferon. On the analysis of the OAS1 gene, 63 percent of people with MS had the AA genotype compared to 57 percent of people without MS. The GG genotype was found in 37 percent of people with MS compared to 43 percent of people without the disease. To read more, click here

A School District That Takes the Isolation Out of Autism

Garner Moss has autism and when he was finishing fifth grad, his classmates made a video about him, so the new students he would meet in the bigger middle school would know what to expect. His friend Sef Vankan summed up Garner this way: "He puts a little twist in our lives we don't usually have without him." People with autism are often socially isolated, but the Madison public schools are nationally known for including children with disabilities in regular classes. Now, as a high school junior, Garner, 17, has added his little twist to many lives. He likes to memorize plane, train and bus routes, and in middle school during a citywide scavenger hunt, he was so good that classmates nicknamed him "GPS-man." He is not one of the fastest on the high school cross-country team, but he runs like no other. "Garner enjoys running with other kids, as opposed to past them," said Casey Hopp, his coach.  To read more, click here

Lawsuit Seeks to Raise Age for Public Special Education

The Hawaii Disability Rights Center filed a class-action lawsuit yesterday seeking to extend special-education services in public schools for students until they turn 22. The cutoff is now 20.

"The concern is that disabled students in Hawaii are being deprived of an education after age 20," said John Dellera, executive director of the center. "Throughout most of the country, disabled students have the right to an education ... until they're 21 or 22." The state Department of Education declined comment because officials had not yet reviewed the lawsuit. Dellera said the class action is about providing equitable educational opportunities to special-education students. General-education students who do not complete high school programs can enroll in adult education, he said, but that option is not open to special-education students seeking vocational or independent-living training. He also pointed out that only Hawaii and Maine set the cutoff for special education at 20 years old. To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

Sickle cell anemia is the most common inherited blood diorder in the United States.

Epileptic Seizures May Be Linked to an Ancient Gene Family

New research points to a genetic route to understanding and treating epilepsy. Timothy Jegla, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University, has identified an ancient gene family that plays a role in regulating the excitability of nerves within the brain. The research appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience. "In healthy people, nerves do not fire excessively in response to small stimuli. This function allows us to focus on what really matters. Nerve cells maintain a threshold between rest and excitement, and a stimulus has to cross this threshold to cause the nerve cells to fire," Jegla explained. "However, when this threshold is set too low, neurons can become hyperactive and fire in synchrony. As excessive firing spreads across the brain, the result is an epileptic seizure." To read more, click here

Kitten Therapy Changing Lives in DC:  Shelter Animals Used to Help Individuals with Cerebral Palsy

Traditionally, we think of dogs as being the ultimate therapy animals.  A growing program in the District that uses shelter cats for rehabilitation just might change your mind. It all began last winter when the Washington Humane Society started a partnership with United Cerebral Palsy of D.C. and Northern Virginia. Shelter kittens were sent to live at the UCP facilities, where cerebral palsy individuals go for treatment.  "The thing about cats is that they're really good with their sense of touch," said Lisa LaFontaine, President and CEO of Washington Humane Society.  "They will crawl up in your lap and you can pet them -- it's just a great sensory experience and so cats are especially therapeutic." Just the natural act of picking up and interacting with the little cuddly creatures has helped more than 200 patients improve their motor and sensory skills. To read more, click here



To learn more- Click here

Study Finds that Adolescents With Type 2 Diabetes Have Diminished Cognitive Performance and Brain Abnormalities

A study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes have diminished cognitive performance and subtle abnormalities in the brain as detected by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Identification of cognitive impairments as a complication of type 2 diabetes emphasizes the importance of addressing issues of inactivity and obesity, two important risk factors for the development of the disease among the young. The study appeared online in the journal Diabetologia, July 30, 2010. "This is the first study that shows that children with type 2 diabetes have more cognitive dysfunction and brain abnormalities than equally obese children who did not yet have marked metabolic dysregulation from their obesity, " says Antonio Convit, MD, professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research. "The findings are significant because they indicate that insulin resistance from obesity is lowering children's cognitive performance, which may be affecting their ability to perform well in school." 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:
Laura Anderson          Leslie Holland       Kris Hirschmann                    Carolyn Looney         Christine Buckley   Alice Patton
Yvette Jones               Patrick Crandon    Heather Shyrer
Yvonne Perez             Frank Aleman             Angela Spencer
Rajasri Govindaraju    Catherine Cardenas    Eric Swann

who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: A student receiving special education services (classified as a student with a disability) who brings a weapon to school or a school function, or who sells or uses illegal drugs, may be placed in an interim alternative educational placement for up to how many days? ANSWER: 45 DAYS


When examining language acquisition skills, what is the typical number of words in a child's vocabulary at 17 months of age?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 9, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

Many Schools Miss AYP Due to Special Education Scores

Monday's release of school ratings brings to light a debate that has been going on in education circles since the passage of the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. Should special-education students be held to the same standards and have to take the same tests as everyone else? "Of course not," said James Sears, a Daphne attorney who helps design individualized lesson plans for special-education students. Sears gave as an example a 12-year-old boy that he represents. The youngster has autism, a mental disability and an emotional disturbance. His speech and language are delayed, and he reads on a first-grade level. But he has to take tests as if he's a seventh-grader. To read more, click here 

New Eyeglasses Could Help Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

New studies are showing that prismatic eyeglasses should be included in the overall therapy of certain Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients. Treatments include physical and occupational therapy, and medication(s). Headaches, dizziness, neck pain and anxiety are common symptoms for many suffering from TBI including those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The study estimates that approximately 15 - 20% of men and women returning from war had these symptoms simply due to being near explosions. Another two million U.S. citizens suffer from TBI due to auto accidents, sports and falls. This study brought to light the symptom of Visual Image Misalignment or Vertical Heterophoria. The eye muscles try to correct this misalignment causing them to become fatigued. The use of prismatic lenses showed a 71.8% reduction in symptoms of headaches, dizziness, neck pain and anxiety in about 3.5 months. This is a very significant percentage! 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.

SIDS Surprise: Study Finds That Infant Boys Are More Easily Aroused from Sleep Than Girls

A study in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP shows that at 2 to 4 weeks of age male infants are easier to arouse than females during quiet sleep, and by 2 to 3 months of age there are no significant gender differences in arousability. The results suggest that the increased rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in males may not reflect a pre-existing vulnerability involving arousal responses. Results show that at 2 to 4 weeks of age, the mean strength of a pulsatile air-jet stimulus that was required to induce arousal during quiet sleep was significantly lower in male infants than female infants. At 2 to 3 months of age, which is the age of peak SIDS risk, this gender difference in arousal threshold was no longer significant. The study also found similar arousal frequencies in male and female infants at both ages. The results suggest that there are no gender differences in arousability that could increase the vulnerability of male infants to SIDS.To read more, click here

New York Yankees Honor New York Therapeutic Riding Center at Yankee Stadium

Tuesday, August 3, was the Yankees Annual Disability Awareness Day, and they have chosen to honor The New York Therapeutic Riding Center because of the organization's outstanding service to New Yorkers with disabilities. Chateau Stables in Manhattan has hosted the unique therapeutic horseback program, EQUESTRIA for the past 12 years. Here children and adults with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities living in the five boroughs of New York City are eligible to attend. The program encourages good posture, hip positioning, confidence, mobility and a feeling of freedom many individuals have not had the opportunities to appreciate until participating in this program. Physicians and physical/occupational therapists at major hospitals frequently prescribe EQUESTRIA as part of patient rehabilitation. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

Hemophelia, a bleeding disorder that affects 400 newborns each year, is carried by the mother and passed on to the son.</font>



To learn more - Click here

Gifted Relationships: On Being "Too Much" to the Right of the Curve

For most of my life, finding friends and work that honored my intensity and intelligence wasn't an issue for me. I thought I was just weird and damaged and that my loneliness was deserved. "Calm down," "You take things too seriously," "You're so intense." Most people seem calm and unphased by a world that for me is often emotionally overwhelming, deeply troubling and unjust.
In her illuminating article, On Being "Too Much" to the Right of the Curve, former SENG Director Heidi Molbak talks about the dilemmas of giftedness. To read more, click here

e-Schools Provide Valuable Option, Say Participants

Doug and Linda Sellers grew disenchanted with traditional public education and wanted something that would meet the needs of all four of their children. Their eldest son, Jared, was gifted but had grown bored with school. Daughter Sarah had been bullied. Joseph fell behind because of medical issues and youngest son, Matthew, hated school because, according to his father, he had been mislabeled as academically challenged when he was younger. The parents said they found the answer in the Ohio Virtual Academy based near Toledo, which has seen its enrollment grow to about 8,400 students in nine years. It is one of Ohio's 27 online schools offering education to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. To read more, click here

Most Youth Hockey Injuries Caused by Accidents, Not Checking, Study Shows

Hockey fans likely would assume that body-checking -- intentionally slamming an opponent against the boards -- causes the most injuries in youth ice hockey. But they would be wrong. Findings from a new study, the largest and most comprehensive analysis to date of young hockey players, show that 66 percent of overall injuries were caused by accidentally hitting the boards or goal posts, colliding with teammates or being hit by a puck. Only 34 percent of the injuries were caused by checking. Moreover, the accidental injuries were more severe than those from body checks. These results, which appeared in June issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, were a surprise to many, including the researchers at the University at Buffalo who conducted the five-year study. 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

Sniffing Device May Help Individuals with Severe Disabilities Communicate

Individuals with severe disabiliies, including those "locked in" to their bodies as a result of accidents or disease, may soon have a new way to communicate and move around, Israeli scientists said Monday. By sniffing, more than a dozen quadriplegics were able to control computers that allowed them to write and to guide a wheelchair, the team reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The technology relies on the fact that quadriplegics and others retain control of their soft palates, which regulate breathing through the nose. Even people who are not able to breathe on their own can control the new device by blocking and releasing the flow of air forced through their noses by a pump. To read more, click here

Western Diet Link to ADHD, Australian Study Finds

A new study from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research shows an association between ADHD and a 'Western-style' diet in adolescents. The research findings have just been published online in the international Journal of Attention Disorders. Leader of Nutrition studies at the Institute, Associate Professor Wendy Oddy, said the study examined the dietary patterns of 1800 adolescents from the long-term Raine Study and classified diets into 'Healthy' or 'Western' patterns. "We found a diet high in the Western pattern of foods was associated with more than double the risk of having an ADHD diagnosis compared with a diet low in the Western pattern, after adjusting for numerous other social and family influences," Dr Oddy said. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

Noise-induced hearing loss is the reason for hearing loss in over 22 million teenagers and adults.

US: Suit Seeks Deportation Safeguards

A lawsuit filed on August 2, 2010, underscores the need for the federal government to provide lawyers and additional safeguards to people with mental disabilities in immigration courts, Human Rights Watch said today. The suit seeks to establish the right to a lawyer for people who currently must defend themselves against deportation without legal assistance, even when they are unable to participate in court hearings or understand why they are facing deportation. The suit was filed in federal central district court in Los Angeles, on behalf of immigration detainees with mental disabilities facing deportation. It comes one week after a joint report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about the problems people with mental disabilities face during deportation proceedings. The remedies the suit seeks include appointment of counsel, competency evaluations, and a standard for competency so that immigration judges can determine when safeguards are necessary. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.
                                                                                         John Ruskin

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