Week in Review - May 28, 2010


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

Dear NASET Members 

Welcome to NASET's </font>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

NASET Q & A Corner

Issue # 27 - May 2010

Questions and Answers About IEP Team Members Roles and Responsibilities

The individualized education program (IEP) is the heart of IDEA 2004. It is a written statement that is developed, reviewed, and revised in an IEP meeting and serves as a communication vehicle between a parent and the District.
The IEP meeting serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, and enables them, as equal participants, to jointly decide what the child's needs are, what services will be provided to meet those needs, and what the anticipated outcomes may be.
The IEP requirements under IDEA emphasize the importance of working cooperatively as a team. The law expects school districts to bring together parents, students, general educators, related service providers, and special educators to make important educational decisions for students with disabilities. With the combined knowledge and resources of these individuals, students will be assured greater support and subsequent success.
During an IEP Meeting, team members share information and discuss the needs of the student. All members should listen carefully and share information that brings about a better understanding of the student. The discussion should connect one IEP element to the next and ensure internal consistency within the produced document.

This issue of the NASET Q & A Corner will address the roles and responsibilities of each member of the IEP Team.
 To read or download this issue - Click here

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U.K. Bans Doctor Who Linked Autism to MMR Vaccine

A gastroenterologist who persuaded millions of parents worldwide that the vaccine used to prevent measles, mumps and rubella might cause autism has been banned from practicing medicine in his native Britain after the country's top medical group said Monday he conducted his research unethically. Dr. Andrew Wakefield was the first researcher to publish a peer-reviewed study suggesting a connection between autism, inflammatory bowel disease and the MMR vaccine. In February, Britain's leading medical journal, "The Lancet, "retracted Wakefield's controversial 1998 study just days after Wakefield was found guilty by a British panel of acting unethically in his research on autism. Wakefield's study prompted a worldwide anti-vaccination movement, which has been partially blamed for an outbreak of measles that hit 15 U.S. states in the summer of 2008. American parents have gone so far as throwing "measles parties," in which they expose their children to the virus to help them build up a natural resistance to it, in an effort to avoid giving their children the vaccination. Doctors have said this practice is both dangerous and ineffective. Previously, 10 of the 13 authors who worked on Wakefield's study renounced its conclusions, and "The Lancet" has said it should never have published the research. To read more, click here

Little-Known Disorder Can Take a Toll on Learning

Parents and teachers often tell children to pay attention - to be a "good listener." But what if your child's brain doesn't know how to listen? That's the challenge for children with auditory processing disorder, a poorly understood syndrome that interferes with the brain's ability to recognize and interpret sounds. It's been estimated that 2 to 5 percent of children have the disorder, said Gail D. Chermak, an expert on speech and hearing sciences at Washington State University, and it's likely that many cases have gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The symptoms of A.P.D. - trouble paying attention and following directions, low academic performance, behavior problems and poor reading and vocabulary - are often mistaken for attention problems or even autism. But now the disorder is getting some overdue attention, thanks in part to the talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell and her 10-year-old son, Blake, who has A.P.D. To read more, click here

Brain Injuries May Result in Trouble Sleeping, Study Finds

People with brain injuries may produce low amounts of melatonin, which affects their sleep, according to a study published in the May 25, 2010, print issue of Neurology┬«, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. For the study, 23 people who had a severe traumatic brain injury an average of 14 months earlier and 23 healthy people of the same age spent two nights in a sleep laboratory. "We've known that people often have problems with sleep after a brain injury, but we haven't known much about the exact causes of these problems," said study author Shantha Rajaratnam, PhD, of Monash University in Victoria, Australia. The healthy people produced more melatonin than the people with brain injuries in the evening hours, when melatonin levels are supposed to rise to signal sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates biological rhythms, including sleep. To read more, click here

NASET Member Benefit - Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual 

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Did You Know That....

Diagnosing ADHD in early childhood is difficult, often because very young children typicaly have short attention spans and are motorically active.

Autism Doesn't Predict Divorce, Study Finds

Parents of children with autism are no more likely to divorce than parents of typically developing children, a first-of-its-kind study indicates. For years, rumors persisted about divorce rates as high as 80 percent among parents of children with autism. But on Wednesday researchers unveiled the results of the largest study ever conducted examining the issue and said those exorbitant numbers are simply unfounded. Instead, results show that among children with autism, 64 percent have married parents compared to 65 percent of children who don't have autism. "Families have this really awful experience finding out not only that their child has autism but also that their marriage might be in trouble," says the study's lead author Brian Freedman, the clinical director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. "While there are indeed stressors in parenting a child with autism, it doesn't necessarily result in the family breaking up more often than would occur in another family." To read more, click here

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Model Demonstrates Infectious Cause of Asthma

Scientists from the University of Massachusetts have developed an animal model that shows how an early childhood lung infection can cause asthma later in life.They are presenting their data at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego. Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory disease affecting young children all over the world and the number of new pediatric asthma cases has dramatically increased over the last 20 years. Chlamydia infection of the respiratory tract has been identified as a risk factor in asthma development. "Even with this knowledge, we currently do not understand how this pathogen causes asthma symptoms and if it really initiates the disease," says Katir Patel, one of the researchers on the study. "In our mouse model we are able to demonstrate that when mice are infected very early in life with respiratory chlamydia, asthma was induced." To read more, click here

Judge Upholds Residency Denial Over Girl's Cerebral Palsy

A French family will likely be forced to leave their home in Canada after a federal court there ruled that immigration officials were correct to deny permanent residency to their daughter who has cerebral palsy. David Barlagne and his family moved to Canada in 2005 so that he could start a computer software business. Barlagne says he spoke with Canadian officials prior to making the move regarding his daughter's diagnosis of cerebral palsy, but was encouraged to come on a temporary work permit and apply for permanent residency once the family was settled. But when the family applied for permanent residency, Barlagne's daughter Rachel was determined to be "medically inadmissible" due to her diagnosis. The family brought the matter to court, arguing that they've established a successful business and are able to cover any extra costs that the girl's disability might incur. Nonetheless, a judge ruled Tuesday that immigration officials were correct to deny Rachel residency since she could impose extra costs on the country's medical system. To read more, click here

NIH Workshop on Nonverbal School-Aged Children with Autism: Summary Now Available

On April 13-14, 2010, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a multidisciplinary workshop to discuss children with autism spectrum disorders who have not developed functional verbal language by five years of age. Participants reviewed the current state of scientific knowledge, highlighted critical knowledge gaps, and identified research opportunities to address these knowledge gaps. The workshop was sponsored by three NIH Institutes: the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. For more information, including a detailed summary of workshop discussions, click here

More Than 3,500 Pediatric Injuries Related to Crutches, Walkers and Wheelchairs Each Year in the US, Study Finds

Children and adolescents with an injury or disability may use mobility aids such as crutches, walkers and wheelchairs to help them move around more easily. However, use of these aids has been associated with risk for injury. A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that more than 63,000 pediatric mobility aid-related injuries were treated in United States emergency departments from 1991-2008, and the annual number of cases increased 23 percent during the 19-year study period. Results of the study, available as an early release online and appearing in the June print issue of Pediatrics, showed that most mobility aid-related injuries occur at home (60 percent). Two injury patterns were also revealed in the data. First, injury patterns varied by the type of mobility aid. Children who used crutches were more likely to sustain injuries to the arms and legs and to be diagnosed with a strain or a sprain. Children who used walkers or wheelchairs, on the other hand, had a higher likelihood of sustaining injuries to the head, were three times more likely to be diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and had a higher likelihood of being hospitalized for their injuries. 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.

What is the most frequently occurring viral cause of deafness in newborns?If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org

Behavioral Intervention Effectively Controls Tics in Many Children with Tourette Syndrome

A comprehensive behavioral therapy is more effective than basic supportive therapy and education in helping children with Tourette syndrome manage their tics, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published May 19, 2010, in a special issue of the Journal of the American Medication Association dedicated to mental health. "People with Tourette syndrome experience considerable impairment and social isolation, and effective treatments are limited," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. "This study makes a strong case for a specialized behavioral therapy, either as a stand-alone treatment or as an adjunct to medication." Tourette syndrome is a chronic neurological disorder that is associated with motor or vocal tics that can be embarrassing and disruptive. It is commonly treated with antipsychotic medication such as haloperidol or risperidone. But these medications often are unable to eliminate tics entirely. They also are associated with troubling side effects such as weight gain and sedation. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. To read more, click here

Scanning Babies for Autism

By taking scans of sleeping children, researchers are discovering what occurs in the brains of babies and young children with autism. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to peer at images of the children's brains, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, found that autistic children as young as 14 months use different brain regions than youngsters with more typical development when hearing bedtime stories. The findings suggest that even very early on, the brains of those with autism work differently than typical babies. They also help explain why failure of language comprehension is a "red flag" for babies with autism, according to the study's author, Eric Courchesne, director of the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence. 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.....

Research suggests that "teacher judgement" plays the most significant role in the identification of children with emotional and behavioral disorders in schools.

New Blood Test for Newborns to Detect Allergy Risk

A simple blood test can now predict whether newborn babies are at high risk of developing allergies as they grow older, thanks to research involving the University of Adelaide. Professor Tony Ferrante, an immunologist from SA Pathology and the Children's Research Centre at the University of Adelaide, says the new marker may be the most significant breakthrough in allergy testing for some decades. "A protein in the immune cells of newborns appears to hold the answer as to whether a baby will either be protected, or susceptible to the development of allergies later on," Professor Ferrante says. Amounts of the cell signalling protein, called protein kinase C zeta, are much lower in children at risk of allergies. Professor Ferrante says the blood test is far more effective than previous indicators, such as a family's clinical history, or measuring the allergy-inducing antibody IgE. To read more, click here

Dreamers Theater 'Magical' for Young Adults with Disabilities

Ross Lipstock is a natural on the stage as he takes on one of children literature's most recognizable and eccentric characters. But off the stage, he is quiet and reserved, creating a stark contrast to his portrayal of the title character in the musical "Willy Wonka KIDS," based on Roald Dahl's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." "I love acting, singing," Lipstock said. "It's what I love to do." Lipstock, who is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by social awkwardness and difficulty with communication, is a member of Dreamers Theater, a group of young adults who have various mental and physical disabilities. The acting troupe, which began rehearsing "Willy Wonka" in October, put on its production of the musical yesterday at the Weinstein JCC. To read more, click here

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell Calls on States to Protect Children's Head Injuries

The state of Washington recently passed a law that's being called "the Lystedt law," named for a middle-school football player who suffered a traumatic brain injury. Thirteen-year-old Zackery Lystedt's head bounced off the turf in a game, and he suffered a concussion. Later, he went back into the same game and made a key play on defense. Immediately after the game, though, he collapsed, was airlifted to a hospital, and then had two brain surgeries in a 10-hour span and stayed in a coma for a month. And now, Roger Goodell has written a letter to 44 state governors, asking them to pass similar laws. To read more, click here

Class of 2010: First Generation of Mainstreamed Special-Needs Students Graduating this Spring

Don't tell Nick Lanzi what he doesn't know. Don't tell the new Vestavia Hills High School graduate what he can't know.  Because he knows better.  When doctors diagnosed Lanzi with Down syndrome when he was just a few days old, they told his parents he would never have intelligence surpassing that of a 3-year-old. But when his 11th-grade American-history teacher passed him a copy of a test made specifically for "special needs" students, he asked for a "real" test instead. He took it. He made a 96, the highest grade in the class. He made his parents, his teacher and everybody in the class proud.  Lanzi knows he is different. He just knows a different kind of different. Lanzi, 19, is part of the first generation of special-needs students, including many graduating this spring, who have been taught in regular classrooms their entire time in school. Inclusion is a practice in which students with menatl or physical disabilities spend most or all of their time learning alongside typical students. "Inclusion works best when you have a good team of administrators, special educators, good accepting classroom teachers and good peers," said Carolyn Lanzi, Nick Lanzi's mother. "He has benefited so much from inclusion, as much from the socialization as the academics. I'm not going to say we haven't had stumbling blocks, but the parent has to be the advocate." To read more, click here

New Analysis Reveals Clearer Picture of Brain's Language Areas

Language is a defining aspect of what makes us human. Although some brain regions are known to be associated with language, neuroscientists have had a surprisingly difficult time using brain imaging technology to understand exactly what these 'language areas' are doing. In a new study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, MIT neuroscientists report on a new method to analyze brain imaging data -- one that may paint a clearer picture of how our brain produces and understands language. Research with patients who developed specific language deficits (such as the inability to comprehend passive sentences) following brain injury suggest that different aspects of language may reside in different parts of the brain. But attempts to find these functionally specific regions of the brain with current neuroimaging technologies have been inconsistent and controversial. To read more, click here

Schools Learn to Listen to the Deaf

Ridgewood Middle School special education teacher Linda Ondayko spends the day teaching her students. But one day per week since October, she's changed roles to become the student in the new afterschool American Sign Language Club. The club was formed shortly after the school's first hearing-impaired student who required a full-time interpreter joined his local peers at the beginning of the 2009-10 school year. ASL is a visual language with its own grammar and syntax rules. Before attending Ridgewood, sixth-grader Matthew Walters traveled by bus daily from his local home to get his education at the Rufus Putnam School in Zanesville, which provided a program for deaf students in the region. About six years ago, when the service no longer was offered regionally, Matthew was enrolled in the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

Language disorders may be primary (no known cause) or secondary (attributable to another condition or disability).

NASET Sponsor - Drexel University Online


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Gene Network Associated With Vitamin A Deficiency and Lung Birth Defects

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have discovered the mechanism responsible for the failure of the lungs to form as a result of vitamin A/retinoic acid (RA) deficiency. The study, which appears in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, also shows that corrections to this network make it possible to prevent the lung defect in retinoic acid-deficient animals. Congenital abnormalities of the respiratory system are often part of multi-organ syndromes associated with genetic, environmental or nutritional imbalances during fetal life. Developmental defects, such as tracheoesophageal fistula, pulmonary hypoplasia and failure to form one or both lungs are known for decades to be important components of the so called "Vitamin A deficiency syndrome." Researchers knew that Vitamin A, through its active form RA, is highly utilized at the time and site where the lung develops in the embryo. However, why RA is so critical and how this pathway controls lung formation has been little understood. To read more, click here

Effectiveness of Long-term Use of Antipsychotic Medication to Treat Childhood Schizophrenia is Limited

Few youths with early-onset schizophrenia who are treated with antipsychotic medications for up to a year appear to benefit from their initial treatment choice over the long term, according to results from an NIMH-funded study. The study was published online ahead of print May 4, 2010, in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The NIMH Treatment of Early Onset Schizophrenia Study (TEOSS) included 116 youth between 8 and 19 years old, diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia spectrum disorder (EOSS). The TEOSS team randomly assigned the children to eight weeks of either olanzapine (Zyprexa) or risperidone (Risperdal)-both new generation atypical antipsychotics-or to the older conventional antipsychotic molindone (Moban). Response rates after eight weeks of treatment were comparable among the three medications. The results were reported in September 2008. After the initial 8-week trial, 54 of the 116 participants entered the maintenance treatment phase in which they continued their initial medication and were monitored for up to 44 more weeks of treatment. Only 14 participants completed the additional 44 weeks of treatment. To read more, click here

Better Prognosis for Children Born With Severe Acute Asphyxia

The prognosis for children born with severe acute asphyxia has improved in recent years owing to new clinical procedures and better diagnostics, according to a new doctoral thesis from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet. By measuring levels of lactic acid in the blood during childbirth and the brain activity of the newborn afterwards, doctors can make a much more reliable assessment of the risk of serious brain damage. "Previously, we went by the EEG pattern when the baby was six hours old, which sometimes meant interrupting life-sustaining interventions," says Boubou Hallberg, paediatrician and researcher at the Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet. "Now we know that the values can be normalised for up to 48 hours with brain cooling treatment, greatly reducing the risk of serious damage." To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
                                                 Arthur Koestler

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