Week in Review - July 30, 2010

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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

Questions and Answers on Updates from the U.S. Department of Education on IEP Team Membership and IEP Meetings Regulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2006, and became effective on Oct. 13, 2006. In addition, supplemental Part B regulations were published on Dec. 1, 2008, and became effective on Dec. 31, 2008. Since publication of the regulations, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education (Department) has received requests for clarification of some of these regulations. This question and answer (Q&A) document prepared by OSERS in June of 2010 addresses some of the most important issues raised by requests for clarification on IEP Team Membership and IEP Meetings. 
To read or download this issue - Click here

NASET Special Educatore-Journal

August 2010

In this Issue:
  • Update from the U.S. Department Education-Early Learning Initiative
  • Calls to Participate
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Latest Job Opportunites Posted on NASET
  • Special Education Resources
  • Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities   
To read or download this issue - Click here

Quick Links To NASET

Colorado School District Working to Make Schools More Inclusive

Boulder Valley School District is trying to change the way it delivers special education and has enlisted national experts to help make school more inclusive for students with disabilities. Hundreds of Boulder teachers are in summer training in techniques for keeping more kids with disabilities in general-education classrooms The new model will be tested in lab schools. "We are not talking about full inclusion for every student," said Kim Bane, Boulder's special-education director. "We have special education for a reason. Students do need specialized instruction. Sometimes it can be included in the classroom." Boulder has about 29,000 students, of whom 2,500 have identified disabilities that range from mild to severe.To read more, click here www.denverpost.com/news/frontpage/ci_15596395

Many States Adopt National Standards for Their Schools

Less than two months after the nation's governors and state school chiefs released their final recommendations for national education standards, 27 states have adopted them and about a dozen more are expected to do so in the next two weeks. Their support has surprised many in education circles, given states' long tradition of insisting on retaining local control over curriculum. The quick adoption of common standards for what students should learn in English and math each year from kindergarten through high school is attributable in part to the Obama administration's Race to the Top competition. States that adopt the standards by Aug. 2 win points in the competition for a share of the $3.4 billion to be awarded in September. To read more, click here

New Research Implicated in Mental Retardation and Facial Birth Defects

A subtle mutation affecting the epigenome -- a set of dynamic factors that influence gene activity -- may lead to an inherited form of mental retardation that affects boys, find researchers at Children's Hospital Boston. The disorder, which also involves cleft lip or cleft palate, appears to hinge on an enzyme working in a biological pathway that may offer several potential drug targets. The study, published online July 11 in the journal Nature, reveals that this enzyme is a histone demethylase and works with a key genetic partner to help keep neuronal cells alive during development of the embryonic brain. Patients with this form of mental retardation are known to have mutations in the gene that encodes the active part of this enzyme. The findings may help scientists further understand the underlying biological reasons why X-linked disorders cause cognitive impairment and develop new therapies to treat or prevent them. 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.
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?

All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 2, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org

Congratulations to:

Catherine Cardenas  Angela Spencer      Teri Nugent
Muronji Inman             Linwood Bowers    Phyllis Wilson
Heather Shyrer           Nicole Anthony       Joanie P. Dikeman
Jenetta Hockless       Yvonne Perez           Amanda Mcclure
Patrick Crandon        Terri Trent                  Karen Bornholm
Lee A. Hanson           Catherine Wood       Terry Grenald                      Merril Bruce             Joyce Pickett       Laura Clayton                         Judy Lewis                Amanda English

who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question:  Under the federal law (IDEA 2004), an initial IEP must be developed within how many calendar days of a determination that a child requires special education and related services?   

All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 2, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

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.
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Certain Epilepsy Drugs May Increase Risk of Suicide, Study Suggests

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a warning of an increased risk of suicide for all epilepsy drugs, a new study shows that only certain drugs may increase the risk. The study is published in the July 27, 2010, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Newer drugs with a higher risk of causing depression than other epilepsy drugs, such as levetiracetam, topiramate and vigabatrin, were found to increase the risk of self-harm or suicidal behavior among people with epilepsy. In contrast, newer drugs that have a low risk of causing depression and conventional epilepsy drugs did not have any increased risk of self-harm or suicidal behavior. These groups include drugs such as lamotrigine, gabapentin, carbamazepine, valproate and phenytoin. To read more, click here

For Individuals with Disabilities, What A Difference One Inch Can Make

I never realized how much one inch made a difference in my life. As an associate professor of special education, I teach students who want to become special education teachers and work with kids with disabilities. Ironically, two years ago I was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. Now I'm the one who is really learning about disability. In the U.S. there are more than 1 million wheelchair users. Although today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility is still a big issue. And often it comes down to just one inch. To read more, click here

Confident Teachers Help Preschoolers More With Language and Literacy Skills

New research suggests that pre-school students may gain more language and literacy skills if they have teachers with higher levels of confidence in their abilities. However, in some cases students only saw gains when their teachers also had classrooms that emphasized emotional support for the children. "Emotionally responsive relationships between teachers and children may be the way by which the self-efficacy of teachers can have a positive influence on children's literacy," said Ying Guo, co-author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher in education at Ohio State University. The new study was published in a recent issue of the journal Teaching and Teacher Education. Guo and her co-authors examined how teachers' confidence in their teaching abilities -- what researchers refer to as "self-efficacy" -- affected children's learning progression in language and literacy skills. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

IDEA 2004 has three specific dispute resolution mechanisms once a parent files a complaint and requests a due process hearing. These are: (1) Resolution meeting; (2) Mediation; and (3) Impartial Due Process Hearing

Advancements Being Made in Drug for Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome

Seaside Therapeutics Inc. is announcing positive results from a Phase 2 trial for a drug candidate to treat fragile X, the most common form of autism. Officials at the Cambridge, Mass.-based company say it is the largest study of its kind on the syndrome and produced improvements on specific neurobehavioral metrics. Researchers said that the improvements were statistically significant in children with more severe impairments in sociability -- a core symptom of fragile X syndrome. The potential drug, called STX209, is designed to correct a molecular pathway that is disrupted in patients with fragile X. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated one in 4,000 males and one in 6,000 to 8,000 females have fragile X syndrome. To read more, click here

Cuts in Home Care Put Individuals with Disabilities at Risk

As states face severe budget shortfalls, many have cut home-care services for the elderly or the disabled, programs that have been shown to save states money in the long run because they keep people out of nursing homes. Since the start of the recession, at least 25 states and the District of Columbia have curtailed programs that include meal deliveries, housekeeping aid and assistance for family caregivers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research organization. That threatens to reverse a long-term trend of enabling people to stay in their homes longer. For Afton England, who lives in a trailer home here, the news came in a letter last week: Oregon, facing a $577 million deficit, was cutting home aides to more than 4,500 low-income residents, including her. Ms. England, 65, has diabetes, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, arthritis and other health problems that prevent her from walking or standing for more than a few minutes at a time. To read more, click here

Academic Language Impedes Students' Ability to Learn Science, Expert Argues

With a little guidance, educators can help students learn to read and understand the complex language of science texts, according to Catherine E. Snow of Harvard University and the SERP Institute. Middle and high school students who read fluently in English class and on the Web may find that they cannot understand their science texts. And their science teachers may be ill prepared to guide them in reading the academic language in which science information is presented. In "Academic Language and the Challenge of Reading for Learning About Science," an article to be published in Science on April 23, 2010, Catherine E. Snow, a professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and the Boston research director for the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP), makes the case that students need to be taught academic language in order to learn science and other subjects. 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.....

In New York state, approximately 98 percent of all mediated special education cases result in agreement being reached between the parent and school district.

ADHD in Adults

We hear a lot about kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and how they often have trouble in school and socializing with others. Eventually, those kids become adults, but continue to suffer from the same problems as develop relationships or get married. Psychiatrist Dr. Jillian Glass visited Good Day to explain how ADHD in adults may affect their relationships or marriage. To watch the video, click here

Test Could Predict Which Children With Leukemia Are Best Candidates for Clinical Trials

A genetic clue uncovered by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists enables doctors to predict, for the first time, which children with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) are unlikely to benefit from standard chemotherapy for the disease and should therefore be among the first to receive new treatments in future clinical trials. In a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which will be published online on July 19, the investigators report that young people with T-ALL whose leukemia cells harbor an intact TCR-gamma gene generally have a poor response to "induction" chemotherapy -- the first course of drugs given at the time of diagnosis to spur cancer remission. Patients with this high-risk marker will be prime candidates for clinical trials in which therapies currently in development are tested. To read more, click here<

Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary

Andrew J. Imparato, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, was online Monday, July 26, at 12:45 p.m. ET to discuss the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. To read the entire inteview of questions and answers, click here

How Will Portland Schools Fare When Gifted Education Funding is Cut?

Few U.S. citizens would agree to cutting special education funds. After all, students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) obviously learn differently and need increased time and attention from educators in order to ensure they are attending to and learning the academic standards. However, another group of students who learn differently and need time and attention to guide their learning of the academic standards are being denied this year. These are the gifted students. According to the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Policy Insider, the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee met to draft the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget for the Department of Education. Although the budget has increased 3.2% since FY 2010, the budget completely eliminates the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Student program. "The 20 year-old Javits program is the only federal program that supports the unique learning needs of America's three million students with gifts and talents." To read more, click here

Study: Equine-Asisted Therapy Helps Children with Autism

Through extensive study of research from leading medical schools, SpiritHorse Therapeutic has developed specific methods for treating autism through equine-assisted therapy. These methods have been utilized in over 30,000 sessions with children with autism during the past five years. Following a study in 2009 by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that showed statistically "Significant Improvement" in 24 children with autism through intervention at SpiritHorse, representatives from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, visited SpiritHorse for its spring, 2009 semester to study the results of the SpiritHorse program. To read more, click here

What Does 'AYP' Mean for Students with Disabilities?

What can be done to help kids with disabilities succeed in school? Until recently, Congress's main focus - as set out in the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA - was on improving IEPs (individualized educational plans) and getting more students into the "general curriculum." But with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Congress in 2001 added some new requirements. Now, schools must measure kids' actual achievement levels, using standardized tests; and must show that all students, including those with disabilities, are making "adequate yearly progress" (AYP). When scores do not improve, schools must make improvement plans, even if only one subgroup of students, such as students with disabilities, misses AYP goals. If the problem continues, students must be offered tutoring, schools must take "corrective action," and more. All of this has sparked a huge controversy, especially regarding students with disabilities. The goals are set too high for these children, some say; and it's unfair to label a school as low-performing if it's only the special education students who are not making AYP. In fact, it has been argued, the AYP rule actually hurts these students, who are blamed for "bringing down" their schools' scores. To read more, click here

Once a Delinquent, Always a Delinquent? Not Necessarily

Children who come in conflict with the law early on in life do not necessarily become long-term criminals thereafter. This is one of the findings of the Marburg Child Delinquency Study that are described in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International by Helmut Remschmidt and Reinhard Walter of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. In this longitudinal, observational study, the authors investigated how often children who were registered by the police as having committed criminal offenses before age 14 (the age of criminal responsibility in Germany) went on to commit further criminal offenses in adulthood. They also evaluated potential predictors for delinquent behavior. A control group for the study consisted of persons who had not had any contact with the police relating to criminal offenses. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Research suggests that more than 90% of parents and 99% of school personnel who were involved in special education mediation sessions would recommend the process to others to help resolve disputes.

Making Physical Education Fun for Children with Autism

Betty always had lots of energy for the children in Room 103. She was the adapted physical education teacher for the special education program there. Betty came every Tuesday and Thursday, rarely missing even a day with these children. At the beginning of the year, she saw that the class had a couple of new students. Betty noticed that one of the new students seemed to have a lot of gross motor skill issues. The boy's coordination was off and he really didn't seem to understand directions. Betty asked, "Is this one of the new children you spoke about?" The teacher answered, "Yes, he is. This is Austin. He's just beginning first grade. Austin doesn't follow directions well yet. In fact, the boy isn't really up to what most first graders can do physically during gym class either. I was thinking of asking for a meeting to see if he might qualify for your services. Let me know what you think." The teacher knew that Betty would watch him during physical education. That morning, while at P.E., Austin was walking with one of the assistants. The children were all playing basketball outside. The regular education teacher gave Austin a ball. Right away, he had difficulty holding on to it. Even when Austin was shown how to toss the ball up, he just let it drop on to the ground. To read more, click here

Genetic Link to Children's Emotional Problems Precipitated by Bullying

Bullying victimization is common among children of school age, although its consequences are often anything but benign. The recent death of a Massachusetts teen by suicide prompted state lawmakers to pass one of the most far-reaching anti-bullying laws within the U.S. Whether such legislative actions result in measurable decreases in physical or emotional distress among school peers remains to be seen, but a team of researchers from Duke University and Kings College London have discovered a genetic variation that moderates whether victims of bullying will go on to develop emotional problems. Gene and environment interactions are a burgeoning area of scientific research and an increasing body of evidence demonstrates that children who are victims of bullying are at risk for developing emotional problems including depression. However, not all children who are bullied go on to develop such problems. Whether a gene variant could contribute to emotional disturbance in children that are bullied is the focus of a study reported in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

No virtue is more universally accepted as a test of good character than trustworthiness.
                        Harry Emerson Fosdick

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