Week in Review - February 19, 2010


New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disability Awareness 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 fields of special education and disability awareness.  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

Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals(JAASEP)

Winter 2010

Articles in this issue include:
  • The Effects of Impaired Visual Exteroception on Body Schema in the Drawing and 3-D Plasticine Modeling of Human Figures: A Case Study of Three Preschool Children with Total Congenital Blindness Due to Retinopathy of Prematurity
  • Training and Support for Parents of Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • Recess for Students with Visual Impairments
  • Positive Behavioral Strategies for Students with EBD and Needed Supports for Teachers and Paraprofessionals
  • Planning a Good School Experience for Children with Autism: A Family's Story
  • A Preliminary Study on Sight Word Flash Card Drill: Does it Impact Reading Fluency?
  • An Introduction to Literary Quaranic Stylistics
  • Learning to Critique Disability Children's Literature Available to Teacher Candidates in Their Local Communities
  • Assessing and Teaching Reading to Pupils with Reading Disabilities in Nyeri and Nairobi Districts-Kenya: The Teachers' Opinion
  • Response to Intervention and Identifying Reading Disability
  • The Importance of Identifying and Studying the Reasons Why Special Education Students Drop Out of High School
To read or download this issue - Click Here  (login required)

February 2010 - NASET Resouce Review

In this issue you will find resources in the following areas:
  • Assistive and Educational Technology
  • Autism
  • Behavior Management
  • Dyslexia
  • Early Intervention Resources
  • Family and Community Resources
  • Funding in Special Education
  • Life Skills
  • Reading Instruction
  • Secondary Education Resources
  • Work Related Topics for Adolescents with Disabilities
To read or download this issue - Click Here   (login required)

Quick Links To NASET

Researchers Discover First Genes for Stuttering

Stuttering may be the result of a glitch in the day-to-day process by which cellular components in key regions of the brain are broken down and recycled, says a study in the Feb. 10 Online First issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, led by researchers at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, has identified three genes as a source of stuttering in volunteers in Pakistan, the United States, and England. Mutations in two of the genes have already been implicated in other rare metabolic disorders also involved in cell recycling, while mutations in a third, closely related, gene have now been shown to be associated for the first time with a disorder in humans. "For hundreds of years, the cause of stuttering has remained a mystery for researchers and health care professionals alike, not to mention people who stutter and their families," said James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIDCD. "This is the first study to pinpoint specific gene mutations as the potential cause of stuttering, a disorder that affects 3 million Americans, and by doing so, might lead to a dramatic expansion in our options for treatment." To read more, click here

Pregnancies After 40 Cause Slight Increase In Autism Risk

Earlier this month, a prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, retracted a report that linked autism to a vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. Autism is a complex disability that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. There are many theories about what causes autism. The latest has to do with a mother's age.  Many women know that having a baby after 40 carries some risk. Cherri Cary was 40 when she gave birth. "One of the concerns was Down syndrome," said Cherri Cary. "Another concern was pregnancy loss." But Cary never thought her age could increase her child's risk for autism. Her son Ben has been diagnosed with the disorder. To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - Empowering Educators 


For more information - Click Here

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

People with Asperger's syndrome would be included in the same diagnostic group as people with autism and pervasive developmental disorders, according to new guidelines under consideration by the American Psychiatric Association. Psychiatrists are in the process of revising the guidelines, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The manual has implications for how psychiatric drugs are developed and prescribed, what treatments get covered under insurance plans, which approach doctors take in treating their patients, and how patients view their own identities. Anyone who has received a diagnosis from a mental health professional has most likely had his or her symptoms defined by the guidebook. The revisions, which will be in the DSM's fifth edition, due in 2013, were made public Wednesday at DSM5.org, To read more, click here

Court Hears Arguments to Overturn Ruling on Hawaii's 'Furlough Fridays'

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in Honolulu to overturn a federal judge's Nov. 9 ruling that rejected a request to halt "furlough Fridays." Circuit Judge Carlos T. Bea of San Francisco, Senior Circuit Judges Jerome Farris of Seattle and Dorothy W. Nelson of Pasadena listened to nearly 30 minutes of arguments from Honolulu lawyers representing families of special-education students. Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima originally ruled Nov. 9 that while special-education students may suffer "irreparable harm" because of the state's decision to eliminate 17 classroom instruction days, ordering schools to reopen would cause more harm than good to the overall public interest. To read more, click here

NASET Member Benefit - Group Savings Plus  from Liberty Mutual 

Liberty Mutual Savings

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*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.

Findings Could Lead to New Targeted Therapies for Speech and Learning Disabilities

A team of University of Oregon researchers have isolated an independent processing channel of synapses inside the brain's auditory cortex that deals specifically with shutting off sound processing at appropriate times. Such regulation is vital for hearing and for understanding speech. The discovery, detailed in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Neuron, goes against a long-held assumption that the signaling of a sound's appearance and its subsequent disappearance are both handled by the same pathway. The new finding, which supports an emerging theory that a separate set of synapses is responsible, could lead to new, distinctly targeted therapies such as improved hearing devices, said Michael Wehr, a professor of psychology and member of the UO Institute of Neuroscience. "It looks like there is a whole separate channel that goes all the way from the ear up to the brain that is specialized to process sound offsets," Wehr said. The two channels finally come together in a brain region called the auditory cortex, situated in the temporal lobe. To read more, click here

Incidence of Cerebral Palsy on Rise in US, New Data Reveals

Cerebral palsy (CP) has increased in infants born prematurely in the United States, according to data presented by researchers from Loyola University Health System (LUHS). These findings were reported at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Chicago. They also were published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Researchers reported that CP is associated with inflammation of the connective tissue in the umbilical cord. This inflammation is more common in premature births from preterm labor and premature rupturing of the amniotic sac versus early deliveries due to preeclampsia. Premature births from preterm labor and rupturing of the amniotic sac also are often associated with infections while preeclampsia is not. To read more, click here

Principals Saying New Learning Model is Meeting Students' Needs

Elementary school principals charged with implementing the city's inclusionary learning model said the program is working but communication with parents could be stronger. "We have a small number of parents who have questions...but not as much as I would have thought," said Lincoln Elementary Principal Brent Conway at Tuesday's School Committee Meeting. "There is room for continued communication." The project, known as Meeting the Needs of All Learners, focuses on "cluster grouping" based on student ability and includes training for K-8 teachers on educating gifted students and classmates at other levels. The program officially began in September. Preassessment exercises are used to gauge students' existing knowledge on a topic and place them in groups that will encourage the best learning practices, principals said. In some cases, a single class will have multiple groups of students working on identical material at different levels. To read more, click here

School District Cancels Offer of Taxpayer-Funded iPods for Parents of Children with Disabilities

A Florida school district has canceled its plans to spend $350,000 in taxpayer money to buy thousands of iPods for parents of special-needs students after it was erroneously reported that federal stimulus funds were covering the costs. Officials in Polk County announced Tuesday their intention to distribute free iPod Nanos to the parents of children with disabilities if they completed a 10-minute survey of just 26 multiple-choice questions about school and teacher quality. But those plans barely lasted a nanosecond, school officials told FoxNews.com. "[W]e're going to be pulling the whole thing," said Nancy Woolcock, assistant superintendent of learning support for Polk County, which has more than 10,000 students with disabilities. To read more, click here

'The Sky's the Limit' for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

Westport resident Jane Ross, for a decade now, has been helping parents who have children with learning disabilities and ADHD through her nonprofit organization, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. Ten years is cause for a celebration, and so, Smart Kids' "The Sky's The Limit" benefit will be taking place at the Westport Country Playhouse on March 12. In prior years, the organization's annual benefit was always in Stamford. "It's very exciting, being able to celebrate our 10th anniversary in our hometown, and the opportunity to do it at the Westport Country Playhouse was very exciting. It's a wonderful place to be able to have a big party," Ross said. To read more, click here

Prepregnancy, Obesity and Gestational Weight Gain Influence Risk of Preterm Birth

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) Slone Epidemiology Center and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have found that pre-pregnancy obesity and gestational weight gain are associated with an increased risk of preterm birth in African American participants from the Black Women's Health Study. This study currently appears on-line in Epidemiology. A baby born at less than 37 weeks of gestation is considered preterm. This occurs more often among black women than white women and is a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in the United States. Obesity is associated with intrauterine infections, systematic inflammation, dyslipidemia, and hyperinsulinemia, all of which may increase the risk of preterm birth. To read more, click here

First FDA-Approved Stem Cell Trial in Pediatric Cerebral Palsy

Medical College of Georgia researchers are conducting the first FDA-approved clinical trial to determine whether an infusion of stem cells from umbilical cord blood can improve the quality of life for children with cerebral palsy. The study will include 40 children age 2-12 whose parents have stored cord blood at the Cord Blood Registry in Tucson, Ariz. Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells, which can divide and morph into different types of cells throughout the body, said Dr. James Carroll, professor and chief of pediatric neurology in MCG School of Medicine and principal investigator on the study. 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

Benefits Outweigh Risks Associated With Newborn Screening for Disorder

Newborn screening for a metabolic disorder could lead to false positives -- adding stress to parents, costing money and possibly subjecting a baby to unnecessary follow-up treatment and dietary restrictions. But the benefits of diagnosing these children early and preventing the risk of mental retardation, disability or death outweigh the costs of a false positive, according to new U-M research published in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics. "Published studies of expanded newborn screening in a U.S. setting have resulted in favorable cost-effective ratios for screening for this illness but did not include primary data for quality of life effects for a false positive screen," says Lisa Prosser, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Health System and the study's lead author. To read more, click here

Autism-Related Hypersensitivity Better Understood

Scientists report they've gained greater understanding of fragile X syndrome, which causes autism and mental retardation, by studying the brain circuitry of mice. The researchers, whose findings are published in the Feb. 11 issue of Neuron, say they're developing insights into why some people with fragile X are hypersensitive to things they sense through smell, touch, sound and sight. The cause, they believe, is a developmental delay in a brain circuit that's essential for processing sensory information. This hypersensitivity can lead to symptoms like withdrawal from society, hyperarousal and anxiety. To read more, click here

Eczema in Early Childhood May Influence Mental Health Later

Eczema in early childhood may influence behavior and mental health later in life. This is a key finding of a prospective birth cohort study to which scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München contributed. In cooperation with colleagues of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), Technische Universität München (TUM) and Marien-Hospital in Wesel, North Rhine-Westphalia this study followed 5,991 children who were born between 1995 and 1998. The study has been published in the current issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers, led by Assistant Professor Jochen Schmitt of Dresden University Hospital, Dr. Christian Apfelbacher (Heidelberg University Hospital) and Dr. Joachim Heinrich of the Institute of Epidemiology of Helmholtz Zentrum München, discovered that children who suffered from eczema during the first two years of life were more likely to demonstrate psychological abnormalities, in particular emotional problems, at age ten years than children of the same age who had not suffered from the disease. To read more, click here

Rahm Emanuel and "Retarded": Bloggers on Banning the R-Word

First it was the F-word. Then the N-word. Now, the R-word has joined the list of terms that can get public officials in trouble. Last month, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was quoted in a newspaper story using "retarded" to describe a plan for liberal activists to buy ads criticizing fellow Democrats on health care reform. Disability activists - including former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin - slammed Emanuel for using the R-word. Palin, the mother of a boy with Down syndrome, called the remark a "slur on all God's children." Emanuel quickly apologized to Timothy Shriver, head of the Special Olympics, and agreed to sign an online pledge to refrain from using the term "retarded" in a derogatory way. The controversy comes as activists are ramping up a campaign to stamp out the terms "retarded" and "retard" as slurs. 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

Heather Mills Plans "Disability" Reality Show; Celebrities Will "Live With" a Disability for a Week

Heather Mills, former wife of Beatle Sir Paul McCartney is now planning a reality show that will showcase celebrities who will try to live with a disability for one week. She is hoping the show will change people's perspectives of disabilities.   Mills lost her left leg below the knee in a motorcycle accident in 1993. According to an article at the Press Association, "We've got a TV project in the pipeline which is challenging people's perception of disability, so if you think 'Oh well, it's not that difficult living one leg, or living in a wheelchair, or being partially sighted, or deaf, dumb or blind', then try it for a week."  said Mills. She added: "We might put celebrities in that position and see how they cope. If it's Gordon Ramsay, shove him in a kitchen and see if he can cook for the restaurant if he's blindfolded, and have him live like that for a week." To read more, click here

'IEP Checklist' iPhone App Aims To Level Playing Field

Forget the pen and paper at your next IEP meeting. A new iPhone app is designed to organize the process, providing legal tips and a place for notes all in the palm of your hand. The app for iPhone or iPod Touch organizes the individualized education plan, or IEP, meeting into categories such as "current performance" and "annual goals." When a category is selected, there is a brief description of the legal requirements and an opportunity for the user to insert a goal or notes. The free app, known as IEP Checklist, was developed by the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center, a Virginia center that's part of a national network of special education parent information and training centers funded by the Department of Education. "This application can empower families and equalize the relationship between families and professionals," said Paula Goldberg, executive director of the PACER Center, a Minnesota training center. To read more, click here

Special Educator Burnout Study Seeks Participants Worldwide

An upcoming study is attempting to identify if there is a burnout-correlation amongst special educators internationally, uand where participating country's special educators fall on a burnout spectrum.  If you would like to participate in such a global effort, and express your thoughts on special educator burnout, please register at http://sites.google.com/site/specialedburnout. If you have other special educator contacts, please forward this to others in the field. 

About the researcher Bradley Cook, M.A.Ed. is a second year doctoral student and an sixth year special educator in Atlanta, GA.

Food for Thought........

Act as if what you do makes a difference, because it does.

                                                               Author Unknown

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