Week in Review - February 5, 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

New This Week on NASET

Special Educator e-Journal

February 2010

In this issue:
  • Update from the U.S. Department Education
  • Intersection: Navigating the Road to Work
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Calls to Participate
  • Special Education Resources
  • Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
  • Acknowledgements
To read of download this issue - Click Here   (login required) 


Math Problem-Solving: Combining Cognitive & Metacognitive Strategies in a 7-Step Process

Solving an advanced math problem independently requires the coordination of a number of complex skills. The student must have the capacity to reliably implement the specific steps of a particular problem-solving process, or cognitive strategy. At least as important, though, is that the student must also possess the necessary metacognitive skills to analyze the problem, select an appropriate strategy to solve that problem from an array of possible alternatives, and monitor the problem-solving process to ensure that it is carried out correctly. This issue of NASET'sPractical Teacher presents math problem-solving strategies that combine both cognitive and metacognitive elements (Montague, 1992; Montague & Dietz, 2009).
To read or download this issue - Click Here  (login required)

Quick Links To NASET

Medical Journal Retracts Study Linking Autism to Vaccine

The medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday retracted a controversial 1998 paper that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism.The study linked autism with the MMR vaccine. The research subsequently had been discredited.Last week, the study's lead author Dr Andrew Wakefield was found to have acted unethically in conducting the research. To watch the CNN video, click here

Experts Say a Rewrite of Nation's Main Education Law Will Be Hard This Year

In his State of the Union address, President Obama held out the hope of overhauling the main law outlining the federal role in public schools, a sprawling 45-year-old statute that dates to the Johnson administration. But experts say it would be a heavy lift for the administration to get the job done this year because the law has produced so much discord, there is so little time and there are so many competing priorities. In 2001, when Congress completed the law's most recent rewrite, the effort took a full year, and the bipartisan consensus that made that possible has long since shattered. Today there is wide agreement that the law needs an overhaul, but not on how to fix its flaws. Since it was recast into its current form by the second Bush administration - and renamed No Child Left Behind - it has generated frequent, divisive debate, partly because it requires schools to administer far more standardized tests and because it labels schools that fail to make progress fast enough each year as "needing improvement." That category draws penalties and has grown to include more than 30,000 schools. To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - Empowering Educators 


For more information - Click Here

Good Morning, Lotts! Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Talented and Gifted Students Air Morning News Program

Fourth- and fifth-grade Talented And Gifted students air a 5-7-minute morning news program for each A. L. Lotts Elementary School classroom between 7:45 and 8 a.m., Monday through Friday. Lotts' TAG teacher Jennifer Miller started the morning news crew four years ago after seeing it in action at another school. "I thought, A.L. Lotts doesn't have a studio, and West Hills [Elementary] does? Something is wrong here," she said. "Many of these students have hopes to do video outside of school," Miller added. After anchoring the morning of Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009, Juliana Pulsinelli, 10, said, "I've learned a lot and it's fun - problem solving, technology ... We all have jobs, but we're all needed to fit it together." To read more, click here

Stopping Schizophrenia Before It Starts

The onset of schizophrenia is not easy to predict. Although it is associated with as many as 14 genes in the human genome, the prior presence of schizophrenia in the family is not enough to determine whether one will succumb to the mind-altering condition. The disease also has a significant environmental link. According to Prof. Ina Weiner of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychology, the developmental disorder, which usually manifests in early adulthood, can be triggered in the womb by an infection. But unlike developmental disorders such as autism, it takes many years for the symptoms of schizophrenia to develop. "Pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia remain unsatisfactory, so clinicians and researchers like myself have started to dig in another direction," says Prof. Weiner. "The big question asked in recent years is if schizophrenia can be prevented." 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.

Plus Program Helps Accomodate Students' Learning Disabilities

College is very different fro high school, but it is even more of a change for students with learning disabilities. The Plus Program, a program at Muskingum helps students with learning disabilities. Students in need of the Plus Program can have tutoring, extended time on tests, and books on tape. Sophomore Dominique Mondon, is a Muskingum student who benefits from the help of the Plus Program. "I never got the help I needed in high school, so when I came to Muskingum it was a great feeling knowing I would be independent and still receive the help I needed," said Mondon. First-year student Sam Grantham feels he is helped more in college then in high school. "College is not in any way easier than high school, but it is also not as hard as I anticipated it being," said Grantham. Senior Jeremy Byamugisha thinks that the Plus Program helps more than a high school program could. He also believes college is a place where you can be more independent. "College is different from high school for the fact that you have a schedule where you get to choose your own classes at your own time," said Byamugisha. "Plus, college is when you are more independent and when you make your own decisions." To read more, click here

Tongue-Controlled Technology Improves Mobility for Spinal Cord Injury Survivors

So many sci-fi technology fantasies from the last century have already come true, trying to keep up with them can easily make a humanoid's head explode. Everything from a highly complex tongue-controlled computer system and smart house to tongue-controlled wheelchairs, prosthetics, and even tooth-based keyboards might soon appear on global markets. Various tongue-based interfaces and devices are being developed to assist paralyzed survivors of stroke, ALS, and severe spinal cord injury. A cnet news piece reported on progress being made by Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) engineers to allow wheelchair-bound injury survivors to drive their wheelchair with nothing but their tongues. The group's Tongue Drive System promises to deliver an immediate increase in mobility and quality of life to the world's millions of spinal cord injury survivors and others. Without a doubt, the research will not stop with tongue-controlled devices. Recent articles on this blog have described advances in brain-controlled interfaces (BCIs). However, the high cost and invasive procedures required for some BCIs make them undesirable for many patients. To read more, click here

Researchers Trace Effects of Genetic Defect in Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy

Research on the genetic defect that causes myotonic muscular dystrophy has revealed that the mutation disrupts an array of metabolic pathways in muscle cells through its effects on two key proteins. A study published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology shows that the loss of a single protein accounts for most of the molecular abnormalities associated with the disease, while loss of a second protein also seems to play an important role. Each of the affected proteins interacts with an array of genes that are active in muscle cells and other tissues, said coauthor Manuel Ares, professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The study reveals a cascading sequence of molecular events in which a mutation in one gene ends up affecting hundreds of other genes and the physiological processes that depend on them. To read more, click here

A Look at Iron Deficiency and Learning Disabilities

Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in children. It happens when a child's body does not have enough iron to produce hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying protein found in the blood. The body needs iron to create oxygen so every cell in the body can function properly. Without it, children can have short attention spans, learning difficulties, headaches, weakness and irritability. Iron deficiency anemia is caused by: Insufficient amounts of iron-rich foods in the diet Blood loss due from menstruation or intestinal tract condition Rapid growth spurt Poor absorption of iron by the body. To read more, click here

Early Intervention Pays Off

Lenawee County supporters of early childhood education are hoping a new study will show the importance of preparing children to learn before they enter kindergarten. The study by Wilder Research of Minnesota says that state spending over the past 25 years to educate Michigan children prior to kindergarten saved taxpayers $1.15 billion last year in other costs - with reduced spending on students repeating grades, special education programs, abuse and neglect, and the juvenile corrections and adult criminal justice systems. "This is something we've known," said Margaret Gross, director of Lenawee Great Start, an agency that works with the private and public sectors to meet the needs of local children and families. "Programs throughout the county have been able to document this kind of success. But in order to really make the case to the general public, this (study) is delightful, because we now have someone besides us making this point." To read more, click here

Mortality Rates for Pediatric Rheumatology Patients Significantly Lower Than Previously Reported

A recent study by researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that the overall mortality rate in the U.S. for all pediatric patients with rheumatic diseases was not worse than the age and sex-adjusted population. Furthermore, mortality rates were significantly lower than reported in previous studies of rheumatic diseases and conditions that are associated with increased mortality. Details of the study appear in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology. The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) estimates that 300,000 children in the U.S. suffer from some form of arthritis or rheumatic disease. According to CARRA, childhood arthritis is the #1 cause of acquired disability in children and is the 6th most common chronic childhood disease. To read more, click here

Lead Levels May Be the Cause of ADHD?

Two separate studies have found a link between lead in the blood and ADHD. It is not the first time the theory has been presented that lead may be one of the main causes of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, but it is the first time they have found strong scientific evidence to back it. Joel Nigg of the Oregon Health & Science University has performed two studies to find proof of the link between the two. According to his findings, up to 30% of the cause of ADHD could be specifically related to higher levels of lead that are found within the blood. This lead gathers and sticks to the striatum and frontal cortex within a child's brain. This leads certain genes to become overly active, and others to become inactive. 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 NASETand our partnership with the Association of American Educators (AAE), click here

What's the Story About Gastrointestinal Problems in Kids With Autism?

Families of children with autism face many challenges day in and day out. One of the toughest problems is trying to figure out how to make their children comfortable when they have the inevitable ups and downs of childhood. Recent studies show that children with autism are at no higher risk of having gastrointestinal problems than are children without autism. But that means they also have no fewer GI upsets. And when they are having stomach aches</font><font face="Times New Roman,Times,serif" size="3"> or are refusing to eat, it can be really tough for them and their parents. I asked William Barbaresi, director of the Developmental Medicine Center at Children's Hospital</font><font face="Times New Roman,Times,serif" size="3"> in Boston and associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, to comment on the question of how parents can best comfort their children with autism when they have GI disturbances. Here is his answer: To read more, click here

Prenatal Exposure to Phthalates Affects Childhood Neurodevelopment

A new study led by Mount Sinai researchers in collaboration with scientists from Cornell University and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has found higher prenatal exposure to phthalates -- manmade chemicals that interfere with hormonal messaging -- to be connected with disruptive and problem behaviors in children between the ages of 4 and 9 years. The study, which is the first to examine the effects of prenatal phthalate exposure on child neurobehavioral development, will be published January 28, on the Environmental Health Perspectives website. "There is increasing evidence that phthalate exposure is harmful to children at all stages of development," said Stephanie Engel, PhD, lead study author and Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. To read more, click here

Combined Approach May Be Better Way to Treat Autism

Children with autism would likely receive better treatment if supporters of the two major teaching methods stopped bickering over theory and focused on a combined approach, a Michigan State University psychologist argues in a new paper. For years, the behavioral and developmental camps have argued over which theory is more effective in teaching communication and other skills to preschool-aged children with autism. Basically, behaviorists believe learning occurs through reinforcement or reward while developmental advocates stress learning through important interactions with caregivers. But while the theories differ, the actual methods the two camps ultimately use to teach children can be strikingly similar, especially when the treatment is naturalistic, or unstructured, said Brooke Ingersoll, MSU assistant professor of psychology. To read more, click here

Customized Wheelchairs Adapt to Changing Needs

Modern-day wheelchairs can come with so many options it's difficult not to compare them to cars. Highly specialized ones can cost as much as $30,000. Victor Stimpert, a 20-year-old community college student from Toluca with cerebral palsy, has a motorized wheelchair that elevates, reclines and, because of front-wheel drive, turns on a dime. "It has lights, it has turn signals, it's pretty much like a car," Stimpert says. But the right wheelchair has to fit as comfortably as the right shoe. "Improperly fitted equipment can be just as bad as not having equipment," says Eric Holman of RehabTech. Holman is what's called an assistive technology professional, or ATP. He works with patients and therapists at Easter Seals and the Illinois Neurological Institute of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, trying to determine the wheelchair that best suits a patient's needs and their bodies. To read more, click here

Special Education Rule Change Questioned

Should a student who needs physical therapy - and only physical therapy - be enrolled in special education? If she was, she would be guaranteed by law the free receipt of that therapy. Her school district, on the other hand, would be guaranteed an entanglement of red tape and all the associated costs, according to opponents of a proposed rules change under consideration by the state Board of Education. The proposal could allow small groups of local educators to enroll students in special education with impairments that do not hinder their academic pursuits. "It opens a wider door and creates a lower standard for special education qualifications," said Alan Pardy, executive director of the New Hampshire Association of Special Education Administrators.  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

India Helping the Blind to Read More Books

In a move to spread awareness about the dearth of books for the blind, a string of events were organized in the capital Saturday as part of the nationwide Right to Read Campaign. The campaign which was launched by the Centre for Internet and Society along with others seeks an amendment in the copyright law. "The Indian government is presently in the process of amending its Copyright Act and therefore its important to keep in mind that under the present provision, the law doesn't permit the conversion of books into accessible formats for the visually impaired," Nirmita Narasimhan of the Centre for Internet and Society said. To read more, click here

Polar Plunge Earns $40,000 for Special Olympics

More than $40,000 was raised by 225 hardy people who dove into the Columbia River in Saturday's annual Polar Plunge. "I did it last year and I can't describe how painful it is," said Brian Leavitt, assistant principal at Pasco High School, who was queued up in the mass of thinly clad flesh at the boat ramps in the east end of Columbia Park in Kennewick. "Full body shock is what it is," said Leavitt, who wore a Bulldogs purple T-shirt. The plunge has become the Kennewick Police Department's largest money-maker to benefit Special Olympics Washington, said Police Chief Ken Hohenberg, who was still damp after joining several officers in the chilly dip. Bernie Vinthers of Kennewick, who had to be led down to the water's edge at the dock because he is blind, took the first step into the 38-degree water. He disappeared into the shallows, then popped up, smiling. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Teachers are precious people who cause joyful happenings in the hearts of children.                  Author Unknown


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