Week in Review - June 18, 2010


New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education That Were Reported This Week

NASET News 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

Parent Teacher Conference Handouts

Examples of Adapting the Curriculum for Students with Special Needs 

There are times when it might be helpful to provide parents with an understanding of how you adapt curriculum to meet the special needs of children in special education. These modifications or adaptations to the curriculum offer children with special needs a greater chance of success in school. Thia issue of Parent Teacher Conference Handouts provides examples of adaptions that may assist students acheive success in Science.
To read or download this issue - Click here  

Classroom Management Series

Research Based Strategies for the Classroom

Part #3 - Summarizing and Note Taking

Effective summarizing leads to an increase in student learning. This issue of the Classroom Management Series provides research findings and methods to implement these finding in the classroom.
To read or download this issue - Click here 

AASEP 10-08Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP)

  Spring/Summer 2010


In this issue:

  • An Investigation on the Error Patterns in Computation of Whole Numbers Committed by Singaporean Children with Dyscalculia
  • Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Academic Achievement of Girls with Hearing Impairments in Secondary Schools for the Deaf in Kenya
  • Special Education and at-Risk Kindergarteners as Authors
  • Sensory Integration Used with Children with Asperger's Syndrome
  • Use of Art/Art Work and Cognitive Skill for the Rehabilitation of Special Children of 4-9 Years of Age
  • Social Issues Surrounding the Adolescent with Asperger Syndrome: Perceptions of Parents and Teachers
  • An Analysis of Verb Pattern Errors in Active-Passive/Passive-Active Sentence Transformation in English made by Upper Primary Singaporean & Malaysian Chinese Children with Specific Language Impairment
  • Students with Autism Participating in Recess
  • A Comparison Between Collaborative and Authoritative Leadership Styles of Special Education Administrators
  • Teaching Arithmetic Operation of Division with Montessori Division Board Set to Two Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Case Study
  • The Effect of Embossed Picture Technique on Reading Performance of Learners with Hearing Impairments: A Case of Kambui School for the Deaf

To read or download this issue - Click here  (login required)

Quick Links To NASET

Districts Equipping School Buses With WiFi--NASET Addresses Part of the Impact on Children with Special Needs

It's one thing to put school-issued laptops into the hands of students who live in remote villages or on vast ranches. Getting those students online at home is quite another. That's why Matt Federoff, the chief information officer of the 10,000-student Vail district in rural southern Arizona, is attempting to equip all 20 of the district's high school buses with WiFi routers at a cost of approximately $1,000 per vehicle. With more than 1,000 students at two of the schools using school-issued laptops-and many of them living beyond the reach of traditional broadband Internet providers-it's the most practical way to provide them with time and means to hop on the Web....Special education experts agree there is greater opportunity to extend the school day by giving students access to WiFi on their buses. But the diverse needs of those students would mean that implementing such a program would involve a more elaborate plan, and likely a much higher price tag. "If a child is in a wheelchair, how will this child use a laptop?" asked Dr. George Giuliani, the executive director of the National Association of Special Education Teachers. "If a child has a visual impairment, what will be done there? ... There are more assistive-technology-type questions." To read more, click here

Textbook Describing Down Syndrome As 'Error' Triggers Debate

A Massachusetts couple is asking their son's school district to remove a science textbook that refers to Down syndrome as an "error," concerned the characterization could lead to bullying. Books used by seventh graders in Bridgewater, Mass. schools describe Down syndrome by saying "the extra chromosome is the result of an error during meiosis."  The section on the chromosomal disorder also uses the term "mental retardation." That description didn't sit well with Tom and Pauline Lewis. Their son Ian, 14, has Down syndrome and they say the language in the textbook is outdated and could leave Ian's classmates with a negative view of him and others with the disorder. 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.

Did You Know That.....

The mean (average) IQ score on almost all IQ tests used in schools is 100.

Horseback Riding Recognized as Beneficial Therapy for Individuals with Disabilities

Since the early 1960s, The Windsor Essex Therapeutic Riding Association has been committed to improving the quality of life of physically, emotionally and mentally challenged persons through equine related therapy. Since not all riding camps are equipped to handle physically or mentally challenged children, parents of children with physical or mental disabilities are encouraged to contact WETRA. "A lot of times, for children who are physically or emotionally or mentally challenged, over and above their disabilities, what hurts most is feeling excluded from other children and the activities in which they participate," says head instructor, Becky Mills. "While they may not be able to take part in certain sports, riding a horse is something they can do, with the assistance of our volunteers. It's an activity in which they can interact with other people, with the animal." Mills believes that horseback riding is so beneficial to these children, not only physically, but emotionally as well. "The bond that these kids make with the horse is nothing short of amazing," she says.  To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor - Drexel University Online

To Learn More - Click Here

Alberta Commits to 'Inclusive' Special Education System in Long-Awaited Response

In a long-awaited government response to the future of special education, the province has committed to creating an "inclusive education system" which will be "appropriately resourced." But the government report on the Setting the Direction consultations, which was unveiled jointly by the ministers of education, health and child and youth services Friday morning, indicates many of the details of how this vision will be achieved have yet to be determined. Friday's government response to the future of special education was a long-time coming. In the fall of 2007, Alberta Education began examining the files of all students coded as having severe special needs and found "inconsistencies" in how school boards classified and supported these unique learners. This sparked a complete review of special education and province-wide consultations. To read more, click here

Advocates Seek Autism Coverage from Michigan Insurers

Donovan Johns was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with autism after his parents noticed he struggled with speaking, expressing his needs and interacting with others. His condition has since improved dramatically, his parents say, after therapies that have cost them tens of thousands of dollars. Donovan's family was part of a class-action lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that led to a landmark settlement and the state's first insurer to offer coverage for autistic children But most Michigan insurers still don't cover autism therapies, a situation many are trying to change through lawsuits and legislation to take the financial burden off families. Services, which can cost up to $50,000 annually, are not covered because many insurers deem the therapies experimental. Activists counter research shows many are proven to be effective, especially when implemented early. To read more, click here

Youth Clubs Strengthen Kids' Self Image to Keep Them out of Trouble

When children belong to a youth club, they gain a stronger sense of who they are as a person, an Ohio State University study has revealed. The study suggests that even small improvements in self concept go a long way toward keeping children out of trouble. "The more kids participate in these clubs, the better self concept they have," said Dawn Anderson-Butcher, an associate professor of social work at Ohio State. "And then that self concept makes children less vulnerable to engaging in problem behaviors." Even children who don't attend a club every day still benefit, she added. "We're finding that daily attendance isn't as important as whether the kids feel attached to the organization and have a good relationship with a staff member. Those two things predict the best outcomes and the least amount of vulnerability." To read more, click here

Complex Genetic Picture Emerges From Autism Study

In the largest ever look at the DNA of children with autism, scientists said Wednesday they found new genetic variants associated with the disorder that often are not present in the children's parents. The findings published online in the journal Nature suggest that autism may be the result of several different genetic changes that are not necessarily shared among people with the diagnosis, even though they have similar symptoms. Researchers at institutions around the globe looked at blood samples from 1,000 elementary school children with autism and 1,300 without. "We found many more disrupted genes in the autistic children than in the control group," said Dr. Stanley Nelson, a professor of human genetics and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But here's where it gets tricky - every child showed a different disturbance in a different gene." 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 Betsy Mandel, Kathy Buckley, Terri Trent, Nathaniel L. Wallace, Teresa Bowman and Linda D Tolbert who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: 
Which United States' President signed into law the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142)?

ANSWER:  President Gerald Ford

What do Albert Einstein, Tom Cruise, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Ludwig van Beethoven and Orlando Bloom all have in common?
If you know the answer, send an email to  contactus@naset.org

Helping Hearts, Spinal Cords and Tendons Heal Themselves

Queen's University researcher Brian Amsden is hoping that in about 10 years a tendon, spinal cord or heart valve will be able to regenerate itself after an injury or disease. The chemical engineering professor, along with scientists from the University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto, is currently trying to develop microscopic polymer fibers to help rebuild human tissue and speed the healing process. While using polymers to help grow muscles may sound like something out of Frankenstein, it's actually quite natural. Dr. Amsden is trying to develop the technique where stem cells from fat are placed on a polymer prosthetic that stimulates cell growth and that is later implanted it into a person's body. To read more, click here

Massachusetts Learning Center for the Deaf Building $6 million Early Childhood Learning Center and Library

Framingham's Learning Center for the Deaf is building a $6 million, 20,000-square-foot early childhood learning center and library, a move that the director said is not only helpful, but necessary. "The little kid population is growing quite a bit because [deaf] babies are being identified much earlier," said Michael Bello, the school's director. The school has a waiting list for its preschool, and toddlers through kindergartners now share a building with the elementary school kids. Once the new building is completed, the youngest students will move into an age-appropriately designed space, which means the elementary school kids will have more room, too. In addition, the library will be much larger. Currently, all students from 3-year-olds to 18-year-olds must share the same small library, said Bello. "It is difficult," said Bello. "When you have 3-year-olds through high school, you have a lot of needs... we're really cramped for space." 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

World Cup Featuring Special Olympic Showdown

Fans from all corners of the world are uniting, footballers are focusing on team efforts and countries are coming together, even if through opposition, to support their team for the FIFA World Cup. The event truly invites community and togetherness. This year, the Special Olympics wants to promote another kind of bonding, through the Special Olympics Unity Cup presented by Coca-Cola. Celebrities, football players and Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities will join forces in a match to be played before the July 3 quarterfinals. The roster of players was announced at the Special Olympics Global Congress under way in Marrakesh, Morocco. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

Approximately 68% of the school age population has an overall IQ score between 85 to 115.

Haitian School Helps Blind Overcome Stigma

Pierre Ronald Francois was doing well as a student in his ninth year of school in Haiti. But when his parents were unable to afford the treatment for the pain in his eyes, he slowly watched the world grow dark and became blind over the course of a year. Ten years later, he is a beginning student at The Special School of Les Cayes, Braille and other techniques that will allow him to pick up where the 22-year-old left off. The Societe Haitienne Daide Aux Aveugles, which loosely translates into the Haitian Society for those with visual impairment, created a school in south Haiti to allow for people with disabilities  specifically the blind to receive an education. "There's a lot of kids with blindness, poor kids who are blind in the area, that need an education," Director Margalie Olivier Duplaissy said through a translator. Since its inception in 2007, the small school has grown to 18 students who are blind or visually impaired and an additional 36 students with no disabilities. To read more, click here

In England, Scotland and Wales, 'Bullying' Linked to Child Suicides

Beatbullying said 26 out of 59 cases of child suicide reported in the national media were linked to bullying. The charity admitted it had scant information but believed up to 78 of 176 such cases in England, Scotland and Wales, were victims of bullying. It called for transparency and easier access to data on child suicide and more research into the causes of it.  Its report was published to mark the second anniversary of the death of 13-year-old Sam Leeson.  The bullying prevention charity looked at child suicide data recorded by the Office of National Statistics before undertaking a comprehensive search of the Nexis media database.  Its research indicates that at least 14% (26 out of 176 recorded cases of child suicide) were linked to bullying, while the charity asserts the true number is a lot more. To read more, click here

Wheelchair Games Encourage Youth

Adding a slice of normalcy to the life of a 12-year-old scheduled to receive his 43rd surgery next month may seem difficult. But that is exactly what the 38th annual Mid-Atlantic Wheelchair Games, held at the Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center on James Anderson Road on Saturday, has done for Joseph Martin. Joseph was born with cloacal exstrophy, chiari malformation, spina bifida and scoliosis, all serious birth defects that have affected everything from his brain to his intestines to his spine and have required many types of surgery. He has competed in the wheelchair games for the past three years. Joseph placed third in the air rifle competition Saturday morning even though it was his first time trying the event. Rob Issem of Roanoke, an employee of the U.S. Tennis Association, asked Joseph to compete in a tournament in August as long as it doesn't conflict with his two upcoming surgeries. To read more, click here

Alzheimer's Brain Protein May Provide Target for Treating Mental Retardation

From the perspective of neuroscientists, Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome have at least one thing in common: patients with both diseases have an accumulation of β-amyloid protein in their brains. Rockefeller University scientists now provide evidence that drugs which help reduce the level of β-amyloid in the brains of Alzheimer's patients may also work to treat mental retardation in Down syndrome. The study was led by Paul Greengard, head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience and 2000 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, and William Netzer, a research associate in Greengard's laboratory. Their research on Down syndrome grew out of the group's interest in Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia affecting elderly populations worldwide. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

For a child to get into a private"gifted program", it often requires that he/she score at least 2 standard deviations above the mean IQ score--needing at least an overall IQ score of 130 for entrance into the program.

NASET Sponsor - Drexel University Online 


To Learn More - Click Here 

Special Education Official Charged in Tuition Fraud

A Miami-Dade schools administrator who oversees special-education programs used public money intended for disabled children to pay for her own children's tuition at a Broward private school, investigators said Tuesday. Deborah Swirsky-Nuñez is charged with taking $19,000 in John McKay scholarship money, which is funded by the state to help offset the costs of private schools for children with disabilities, and using the money to pay for her son and daughter to attend a private school in Broward County, according to an arrest affidavit. Swirsky-Nuñez falsified information on the applications, including the extent of her children's disabilities, forged signatures and asked schools employees to doctor records, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and the Miami-Dade School Board Inspector General. To read more, click here

Allowing Body Checking in Youth Hockey May Increase Risk of Injury, Including Severe Concussions

A comparison of hockey leagues in Canada for 11-12 year old players finds that compared with leagues that do not allow body checking, those that do have an associated 3-fold increased risk of game-related injuries, including severe injuries and severe concussions, according to a study in the June 9 issue of JAMA. "Ice hockey is a popular North American winter sport, with more than 550,000 registered youth players in Hockey Canada and more than 340,000 registered players in the USA Hockey Association in 2008-2009. Despite the advantages of sport participation, there is increasing concern regarding the frequency of ice hockey injuries in youth," the authors write. They add that recent attention has been focused on the increased frequency of concussive head injuries in youth hockey. It is the most common type of specific injury, accounting for more than 15 percent of all injuries in 9- to 16-year-old players, according to background information in the article. To read more, click here

Child Punished, Locked in Plywood Box in the Principal's Office

Sounds incredible doesn't it?  Unfortunately this act was witnessed by attorney Leslie Lipson, the director of the Safe Schools Initiative as well as an  at the Georgia Advocacy Office.   This is her statement was given at a public hearing on the issue of restraint and seclusion in Georgia Schools. My name is Leslie Lipson. I am the director of the Safe Schools Initiative as well as an attorney at the Georgia Advocacy Office. The GAO is a non-profit group mandated under federal law to provide protection and advocacy services to people with disabilities throughout Georgia. Our highest priority under that mandate is the protection of people from abuse, neglect, and death. Under our federal statutory authority, we regularly investigate the harms and, in some cases, the deaths caused by the use of restraint and seclusion on children. We share the Department's desire to develop a rule that keeps children safe while at the same time fostering positive learning environments. To read more, click here

Food for Thought

You teach a little by what you say. You teach the most by what you are.
                                                                               Dr. Henrietta Mears
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