Week in Review - January 8, 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 NASETto 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

The Practical Teacher

Bullies: Turning Around Negative Behaviors

Bullying in school is usually a hidden problem. The teaching staff typically is unaware of how widespread bullying is in their building and may not even recognize the seriousness of bullying incidents that do come to their attention. Teachers who are serious about reducing bullying behaviors must (1) assess the extent of the bullying problem in their classrooms, (2) ensure that the class understands what bullying is and why it is wrong, (3) confront any student engaged in bullying in a firm but fair manner, and (4) provide appropriate and consistent consequences for bullying. This issue of NASET's Practical Teacher will address how to turn around negative behaviors by bullies.
To read of download this issue - Click Here   (login required)

Parent Teacher ConferenceHandouts

Important Milestones: By the End of Five Years (60 Months)

Parents are always concerned about whether or not their child is developing along normal stages. Many parents will become anxious because  they hear things, write scripts, compare peer development and may actually make anxious decisions about the well being of their children because of false information. This Parent Conference Handout will provide parents with a developmental frame of reference for the skills that a child of 5 years of age should be able to accomplish.
To read or download this issue - Click Here   (login required)

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NASET Sponsor - Empowering Educators 


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A League of Their Own

Yesterday's rain has left muddy puddles around the grounds of Kenwood High School in Essex. Bright white lights shine on the wet grass of an athletic field that smells punchy and acidic, a mix of earthworms and an Inner Harbor algae bloom. Slick soccer balls whoosh back and forth. Sirens and buzzers are going off as four different high school teams play simultaneously for the title of league champion. Parents, brothers, and sisters are jumping up and down, cheering their hearts out. A long-awaited autumn chill has finally touched down in Baltimore. The air is electric. "Let's gooooo! Let's go!" shouts a group of junior varsity cheerleaders with sparkly blue and white pom-poms, all smiling ear to ear. It could be any field in Anytown, USA. But a closer look reveals team members with limps, a few with Down Syndrome. One of the players stops in his tracks when he gets the ball. Instead of a frustrated barrage of shouts from coaches, teammates, and onlookers, everyone along the sidelines starts encouraging him: "You can do it!" To read more, click here

In Ottowa, Suspensions Double for Students with 'Exceptionalities'

Special needs students in Ottawa were suspended at least twice as many times last year as two years before, according to a report released to trustees last week. The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's (OCDSB) education committee heard troubling news last month that the amount of suspensions for special needs students has doubled, and in some cases tripled, over last year's numbers. Comparing suspension numbers from the 2006-2007 school year with figures from 2008-2009, trustees heard that various factors could be behind the increase in reported suspensions, including Ontario safe-schools legislations that cracks down on reporting techniques in such cases. As well, Walter Piovesan, superintendent of instruction, said the rise could be related to a decrease in the amount of educational assistants, declining supports for special needs students and changes in school principals. According to the report, the number of students identified with autism increased from the 2006-2007 year to 698, up from 394 identified students. While autism-identified elementary student suspensions decreased from 20 to 14, the amount of identified students suspended in secondary school more than tripled, rising from just 10 suspensions in 2006-2007 to 36 in 2008-2009. To read more, cick here

New Study: Amino Acids Could Heal Brain Damage

A head-on car collision, a stumble that slams your head to the ground, a wound from a military battle in Afghanistan, a violent criminal assault -- these and other causes of sudden blows to the head can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. And symptoms can range from dizziness, headaches and memory problems to difficulty thinking, coma or even a vegetative state. Unfortunately, there is no effective medical treatment for TBI. Although doctors can relieve the dangerous swelling that occurs after a traumatic brain injury, there is currently no way to reverse the underlying brain damage that can lead to cognitive losses in memory, learning and other functions. But neuroscientists think that could change, thanks to a natural treatment. A new study recently published in the online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests natural amino acids hold the key to healing brain injuries. 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.

Web More Accessible to Those with Disabilities

During her high school years, Lisamaria Martinez, who has been visually impaired since she was 5, carried a 25-pound backpack to school crammed with books written in Braille. But once she was introduced to the Web at UC Berkeley, she started getting professors' class notes by e-mail, using text-to-speech software, and trading heavy Braille tomes for a few words and a click on a search engine. A world without the Internet today, she said, is unimaginable. "I'd cry. It's my job. It's how I find recipes, shop (for) my groceries, read the paper and download my books. It's everything," said Martinez, now 28 and a technology sales associate at the store run by San Francisco advocacy group LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. To read more, click here

A Gold Medal Inspiration: Sled Hockey Team Gets a Push from Paralyzed Player

J.J. O'Connor had every reason to be bitter, especially about hockey. He was 16 when he broke his neck after crashing into the boards at a Skokie ice rink, an accident that left him partially paralyzed. Determined to walk again, he visited a clinic in Colorado one year later, where he was advised to move on with his life. Doctors told him he would not leave the wheelchair any time soon. O'Connor pondered this harsh news atop Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs before returning to Illinois. "I was looking at the majestic scenery, thinking, why me?" said O'Connor, 31, of Mount Prospect. "I thought, I have two ways to go about this. I can go home and feel sorry for myself or go home and do better for myself." O'Connor chose the latter, saying pessimism is not in his nature. Over the past 15 years, he has used hockey -- the very sport that stole his mobility -- to improve the lives of others. To read more, click here

Chancellor Vows to Shield D.C. Teachers, Supplies Amid Budget Cuts

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has vowed to protect funding for teachers and classroom supplies as she prepares to cut the system's overall budget by $22 million because of shrinking tax revenue and the end of one-time federal stimulus spending. The fiscal 2011 budget, which begins in October, is projected to shrink from $779 million to $757 million. Spending would fall most sharply in the "school support category," including security, food service and after-school programs. Rhee's central office would also face cuts. But Rhee said this week that financial constraints won't limit her efforts to transform historically poor academic performance in the 45,000-student system. "Obviously financial times like this make things tough, but no, they won't stop us from being successful," Rhee said in an e-mail Thursday. 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), NASETmembers 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

Disability Program Targets People, Employers

For most, the job hunt is pretty straightforward and usually not fumbling though the interview is the biggest fear. Yet, there are those who face a disability during an interview, in more ways than one. Last April, Christopher Tyson was the victim of a robbery turned shooting which left him paralyzed from the waist down. He had recently graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors of Science degree in industrial distribution and logistics and was one interview away from landing his first paying job out of college. But his injury changed his plans. To read more, click here

Job Search Makes Graduation Bittersweet

For most parents it's a bittersweet time when their kids finally grow into adulthood and begin to find their way in life. But for Tonya and Carlton Ardrey, that moment also comes with anxiety. The Ardreys' 17-year-old daughter, Kamaron, has a learning disability, and is on the fourth-grade level in her education, Tonya Ardrey said. Kamaron's a senior at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg under her Individualized Education Plan. The IEP program is designed to provide special educational and developmental assistance for students with disabilities. Part of the program focuses on job skills and requires students to work in volunteer and paid positions. To read more, click here

Not Alone: College Graduate Overcomes Obstacles with Positivity, Help

When Julie Bailey crossed the stage Dec. 19 to receive her diploma from Northeastern State University, she was not alone. She walked with Kristi Arnold, a staff assistant from the university's student services department. "It was such an honor," Arnold said. "No one has ever asked me to do that before." Arnold helped Bailey, one of two students with severe visual impairments at NSU in Broken Arrow, achieve her goal: getting a bachelor's degree. Born with glaucoma, Bailey had fairly normal sight through high school. After that, however, her sight deteriorated. By 23, she was legally blind. At the time, her children were 3 and 1. "I was a mom, and I wanted to do all the things that moms did," she said. "I wanted to read to them. It wasn't possible for me to do that by myself. That was the hardest part." 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

Earlier Bedtimes May Help Protect Adolescents Against Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

A study in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Sleep found that adolescents with bedtimes that were set earlier by parents were significantly less likely to suffer from depression and to think about committing suicide, suggesting that earlier bedtimes could have a protective effect by lengthening sleep duration and increasing the likelihood of getting enough sleep. Results show that adolescents with parental set bedtimes of midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to suffer from depression (odds ratio = 1.24) and 20 percent more likely to have suicidal ideation (OR=1.20) than adolescents with parental set bedtimes of 10 p.m. or earlier. This association was appreciably attenuated by self-reported sleep duration and the perception of getting enough sleep. To read more, click here

In Wisconsin, Some Families Still Struggle Despite Autism Insurance Mandate

In Wisconsin, after years of debate, state lawmakers passed mandatory autism insurance coverage in June, but some families are now finding out they're still left in the cold and with some big bills as their children need more help. The new state insurance requirement was thought to be one cure for those with autism. The condition is a broad spectrum neurological disorder the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said afflicts one in every 110 children. Many Wisconsin families said that they're learning the new help is no help at all, WISC-TV reported. Alex Tarnutzer, 5, has good days and bad days. His higher functioning form of autism, called Asperger's syndrome, means one minute he can play quietly with his dad and the next meltdown into a potentially dangerous outburst. To read mopre, click here

Evidence Lacking for Special Diets in Autism

An expert panel says there's no rigorous evidence that digestive problems are more common in children with autism compared to other children, or that special diets work, contrary to claims by celebrities and vaccine naysayers. The report's lead author, Dr. Timothy Buie of Harvard Medical School, said pain or discomfort because of bloating or stomach cramps can set off problem behavior, further complicating diagnosis, especially if the child has trouble communicating - as is the case for children with autism. To read more, click here



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Early Intervention with Infants and Toddlers Pays Off in School, Study

Only a small number of children who need it are getting assessed as infants or toddlers for physical, social/emotional or other developmental problems, leaving them disadvantaged, a study says. "Especially language, if you don't get it by age 3, you're going to be behind," said Carol Jimenez, director of child development programs for Perris Elementary School District. "There's a window of opportunity for children to learn certain things." Only 14 percent of California children ages 10 months to 5 years are receiving a standardized screening by a doctor or health care provider for developmental or behavioral problems, the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health found. Screenings can cut the need later for costly special education services. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

What you do today, reflects your tomorrow.

                                                              Author Unknown

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