Week in Review - November 12, 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'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

Lesser Known Disorders 

Disorders discussed in this issue:

   *   Organizational Learning Disorders
   *   Syndromic Hearing Losses
   *   Cushing Syndrome 

To read or download this issue Click here 

Discipline of Students in Special Education

Part 4 of 9
Are Services Provided During Disciplinary Removals?

In this Issue:

After a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days in the same school year, the school system must provide services to the student during any subsequent days of removal, to the extent required under §300.530(d). The services that a school system must provide to a student with a disability under disciplinary removal and the extent to which any services need to be provided will depend on many factors. And what does §300.530(d) require? That is the subject of this issue of NASET's Discipline of Students in Special Education Series. 

To read or download this issue - Click here




To learn more
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Quick Links To NASET

Parents' Efforts Key in Children's Educational Performance

A new study by researchers at the University of Leicester and University of Leeds has concluded that parents' efforts towards their child's educational achievement is crucial -- playing a more significant role than that of the school or child. This research by Professor Gianni De Fraja and Tania Oliveira, both in the Economics Department at the University of Leicester and Luisa Zanchi, at the Leeds University Business School, has been published in the latest issue of the MIT based Review of Economics and Statistics. The researchers found that parents' effort is more important for a child's educational attainment than the school's effort, which in turn is more important than the child's own effort. The study found that the socio-economic background of a family not only affected the child's educational attainment -- it also affected the school's effort. To read more, click here

Genetic Deletion Linked to Raised Risk of Autism, Schizophrenia

An international consortium of researchers has linked a regional abnormality found in a specific chromosome to a significantly increased risk for both autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia. Although previous work has indicated that genetic mutations play an important role in the risk of both disorders, this latest finding is the first to hone in on this specific abnormality, which takes the form of a wholesale absence of a certain sequence of genetic material. Individuals missing the chromosome 17 sequence are about 14 times more likely to develop autism and schizophrenia, the research team estimated. "We have uncovered a [genetic] variation that confers a very high risk for ASD, schizophrenia and neurodevelopmental disorders," study author Dr. Daniel Moreno-De-Luca, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of human genetics at Emory University in Atlanta, said in a university news release.To read more, click here 

Job Prospects Fall Short for Americans with Disabilities

More than 150,000 new jobs were created in October, but that wasn't enough to budge the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities, the Labor Department said Friday. Unemployment remained unchanged for those with disabilities at 14.8 percent in October. This comes as the U.S. economy added jobs for the first time since May. While unemployment remains high among this group, the October figure represents an improvement over the same time last year when the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities hit 16.5 percent. However, individuals with disabilities routinely fare worse in the job market than those in the rest of the population. The unemployment rate for the general public continues to track below 10 percent. To read more, click here 

Electrical Stimulation of the Brain Boosts Math Skills

Schoolchildren who struggle to grasp mathematics could benefit from having their brains zapped with electricity, scientists say. A study of university students found that gentle electrical stimulation to the rear of the brain boosted their ability to learn and use numbers for up to six months. The findings could lead to new treatments for children and adults who fail to master mathematics because of learning disabilities, or mental impairments caused by stroke or neurodegenerative disease. "I am certainly not advising people to go around giving themselves electric shocks, but we are extremely excited by the potential of our findings," said Roi Cohen Kadosh, a neuroscientist at Oxford University. "We've shown before that we can temporarily induce dyscalculia [a mathematical disability], and now it seems we might also be able to make someone better at maths. Electrical stimulation will most likely not turn you into Albert Einstein, but if we're successful, it might be able to help some people to cope better with maths." To read more, click here

Did You Know That.......

Other Health Impairments (OHI) is the term used in the federal law, IDEIA 2004, for health related disabilities.

Language Intervention Provides Educational Benefits for Pre-School Children

A preschool language intervention program can significantly improve the educational lives of children with poorly developed speech and language skills, according to new research by psychologists at the University of York. In the Language 4 Reading project, a team from the University's Department of Psychology at the University of York have evaluated the benefits of a preschool language intervention program for children who enter school with poorly developed speech and language skills. The project, which involved 15 schools and feeder-nurseries across Yorkshire, was a randomized controlled trial funded by the Nuffield Foundation. A member of staff from each of the Early Years settings was trained to deliver a language intervention program.  The program targeted three key areas: vocabulary knowledge, narrative and listening skills, with phonics work included in the later stages. Children took part in three group sessions each week, supplemented by individual work once they entered school. After 30 weeks, the children who had received the intervention showed wide-ranging improvements in expressive language skills, including the use of vocabulary and grammar, while gains in letter-sound knowledge and spelling indicate that the foundations of phonics are in place. To read more, click here 

Therapy Dogs Offer Positive Experience for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

Rosie and Shawn wait for Charly's visit each week. Rosie waits anxiously at the door, while Shawn takes a seat in the common area, waiting for the four-legged assistant to show up to work. They are clients of Brain Injury Services, living at Campden Heights in Vineland. Charly is a one-and-a-half-year-old Cavalier King Charles cross who visits the residents once a week through BISHpets, a therapy dog service for people with acquired brain injury. "I like to pet him," Shawn says of his weekly interaction with Charlie. Shawn, who grew up with dogs, enjoys the one-hour break when he can sit and relax with the dog. It's a positive experience, says Ang Vella, rehabilitation co-ordinator at the Vineland facility.  "It helps them to express a feeling," Vella says during a recent visit. "The visits really give them a positive spirit." To read more, click here

Minnesota Supreme Court Rufuses to Limit Extra Curricular and Non-Academic Activities to Those That "Educate the Child"

Can a child's IEP include supplementary aids and services for extracurricular activities and after-school programs?   Schools tell parents they are not required to provide assistance for extracurricular activities, after school clubs, and sports these activities since they occur after school, take place off the school grounds, or do not involve academics. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruling in Independent School Dist. v. Minn. Dep't of Education held that IDEA requires school districts to take steps to provide extracurricular and nonacademic activities to afford the student an equal opportunity to participate. The IEP team must determine which activities are appropriate and include them in the IEP. These activities are not limited to activities that "educate the child." Minnesota parents of a 5th grader with autism requested that the IEP team consider supplementary aids and services to enable their daughter to participate in volleyball and after-school clubs. When the school district refused, the parents filed a complaint with the Minnesota DOE. DOE concluded that the school district violated IDEA. To read more, click here

Teenagers of Mothers with Epilepsy Display Poor School Performance

A large population-based study revealed that multiple antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) used by pregnant women to control seizures may cause poor school performance in their teenagers. The research team from Karolinska University Hospital and the University of Lund in Sweden confirmed that exposure to AEDs in utero may have a negative effect on neurodevelopment.

Prior studies suggest that exposure to AEDs in utero may cause permanent damage to exposed children. Cognitive and behavioral issues, malformations, psychomotor delay, and lower intelligence quotient (IQ) have all been reported in research of standard therapies for epilepsy. Medical evidence also points out that polytherapy -- when multiple AEDs are used -- is more harmful than monotherapy (single AED therapy). To read more, click here 

Study Addresses Possible Genetic Origin for ADHD

Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have more large genetic variations than controls, according to British and Icelandic researchers. The genomewide association study for the first time establishes a genetic basis for ADHD, wrote Nigel Williams, Ph.D., Anita Thapar, M.D., and co-authors in the September 30 issue of The Lancet. Williams is a senior lecturer and Thapar is a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics at Cardiff University School of Medicine in Cardiff, Wales. "Too often, people dismiss ADHD as being due to bad parenting or poor diet," said Thapar in a statement. "Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently from those of other children." "This study adds more good evidence to the already strong evidence of a biological basis of ADHD," Philip Shaw, M.D., Ph.D., a staff clinician at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., who was not involved in the new research. 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:

Gretchen van Besouw, Brenda Schwartz, Rhea Boldman,  Kathy Garrity, Lou Albano, Lois Nembhard, Christie Miller, Terri Trent, Dawn Cox, Heather Benson, Tabitha Garrett, Ann McCarty, Yvonne Allan, Belinda Halonen & Phyllis Wilson
who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: The most common speech impairment exists when the process of producing speech sounds is flawed, and the resulting speech sounds are incorrect. What are these abnormal production of speech sounds called:  ANSWER--Articulation Disorders


There are many types of health conditions that children may have in order to be classified as a student with special needs under the classification of Other Health Impairments (OHI).  STORCH is an anacronym for a group of congenital infections that have the potential of causing severe, multiple impairments in children.  What does STORCH stand for?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, November 16, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

 NASET Member Benefit - Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual

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Teaching Method Helps Children Who are Deaf How to Read

A large number of children with disabilities are reading at a significantly lower level than their peers. But there are ways to increase reading levels, including a method currently being used with deaf and hard of hearing children. Because deaf and hard of hearing children cannot grasp the phonetics of the English language, memorizing words has been used to teach them how to read.

A new method that is a combination of visual phonics with direct instruction has increased reading levels within a few months. At Forest Elementary School in Des Plaines, a group of third to fifth grade deaf and hard of hearing children in Ms. Gruen's class are learning to read using the direct instruction visual phonics program. Beverly Trezek, a professor at DePaul University and a former deaf educator, started teaching this method four years ago. To read more, click here 

Too Many Connections in Brain May Explain Autism

Researchers from the University of California have discovered that children with autism carrying a common autism risk gene show greater brain connections in the frontal lobe when compared with children without autism who do not carry the risk gene. The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, also showed that this increased brain connectivity in the frontal lobe was associated with fewer connections to other parts of the brain, leading researchers to believe that this latest risk gene may be responsible for "rewiring" of the brain. The gene variant known as CNTNAP2 was also present in some of the children without autism in the study, and those children showed greater activity in the frontal lobe with weaker connections from there to other parts of the brain as well. But those kids did not have autism, meaning that this single gene variant is likely not responsible for the disease itself. " To read more, click here

Is it Genes? Is it Me? A Mother's Maze Through ADHD

Like many parents of a challenging child, I was quietly thrilled the other day to read that a study in the prestigious medical journal the Lancet reported new evidence that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, my son's main diagnosis, may have something to do with genes. "I'm off the hook!" it's so tempting to think, when hearing this kind of news. Yes, my chromosomes may be to blame, but at least I wouldn't have to keep kicking myself over the possible ramifications of that fall from the swing set when my child was a toddler, or how much pesticide residue he's accumulated in his short time on Earth, or whether my own distractedness has deprived him of the consistency and structure he so obviously needs. In fact, ADHD, which conservatively affects at least 4.5 million American children and 9 million adults, is highly hereditary - less than height but more than schizophrenia. It's frankly soothing to keep this in mind, imagining that all that vexing behavior (the seemingly willful forgetfulness, the blowups, all those trips to the principal's office) is simply the unpredictable vestige of some wayward ancestor. Sure enough, once I focused on this possibility, I remembered my great-grandfather Elias, whose impulsive naughtiness rose to the level of squandering a family inheritance at the poker tables of Monte Carlo. To read more, click here

Junior Ice Hockey Uncovers Alarming Concussion Rate

A groundbreaking study on Canadian junior ice hockey published in the November 2010 Neurosurgical Focus uncovers alarming head injury/concussion data and trends that raise many questions about the safety and well being of teenagers and young adults who participate in this popular sport. Companion articles and editorial discuss return-to-play issues, the importance of increasing concussion awareness through education, and social/cultural behaviors. The case studies in the editorial provide compelling, firsthand accounts detailing the devastating impact concussions have on young athletes. The cumulative and long-lasting effects of sports concussions have been the subject of recent heightened attention, including Congressional hearings in the U.S. In Canada, ice hockey is a major cause of sports-related concussion. "The aftermath of a concussion can impact memory, judgment, social conduct, reflexes, speech, balance and coordination. To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may receive special education services under the classification of Other Health Impairments (OHI).

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

Finding the Right Special Education Advocate

Last week, The Washington Post ran a story about Howard Deiner, a lawyer recently convicted of unauthorized practice of law in special education cases. Despite having his law license suspended in the District of Columbia, and not having a license to practice law in Virginia at all, parents said Deiner represented himself as a licensed attorney with an expertise in special education law, a thorny legal area often fraught with emotion for parents. But after getting paid fees of $285 an hour, parents said Deiner provided poor representation, on one occasion not even speaking during a due process hearing. An earlier Post story written in April provides even more details of the situation. After reading those stories, I chatted with Pete Wright, a Virginia special education attorney and the blogger behind the website Wrightslaw, which offers a wealth of resources for parents of children with disabilities. Pete was instrumental in bringing attention to Deiner's misdeeds. I also talked with Denise Marshall, the executive director of the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys, an umbrella organization for special education lawyers.  My question for both of them: How can parents protect themselves, and find adequate representation in special education cases? To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

Neuromotor impairments are conditions involving the nerves, muscles, and motor functioning.  Epilepsy is the most common type of neuromotor impairment in children.

Son and Father Pierce Autism's Veil

Neighbors, friends and teachers were dropping hints - some subtle, others pointed, even cruel - that something was not right with Timothy Archibald's first child, Elijah. The little boy seemed hypnotized for hours by certain objects: doors, mechanical gears, the vacuum cleaner hose. He mimicked electrical sounds, knew the time schedule of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system by heart and had epic tantrums. Mr. Archibald, 43, an editorial and advertising photographer whose commercial clients include a maker of artificial limbs and Skittles candy, remembers thinking, "I can't raise this kid; I can't relate to him at all.'' The tension at home was all but unbearable. Every waking hour had to do with Eli, who was 5 at the time. Why was he this way? Why was he that way? Was he mentally ill? Should he be medicated? In retrospect, the evidence seems so unambiguous, particularly once there was a second child, Wilson, to compare Eli to. But nobody in the household had yet spoken aloud the word "autism.'' To read more, click here

Parental Infertility and Cerebral Palsy in Children

Doctors have known for some time that children born after fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are at increased risk of cerebral palsy. However, it was not known whether this risk was due to the treatment itself, the higher frequency of preterm or multiple births, or a mechanism associated with couples' underlying infertility. Now, new research published online in the journal Human Reproduction indicates that underlying infertility is not the main reason for the increased risk seen in IVF/ICSI children. The study led by Dr. Jin Liang Zhu, an epidemiologist at the Danish Epidemiology Science Centre at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, is the first to examine the association between the time it takes a couple to achieve a pregnancy and the risk of cerebral palsy. The researchers used the Danish National Birth Cohort to compare children born after 0-2 months of waiting time to pregnancy with those born after a time to pregnancy of 3-5 months, 6-12 months, and longer than 12 months, as well as those born after IVF/ICSI, ovulation induction with or without intrauterine insemination, and unplanned pregnancies. Parents who conceive quickly are likely to be normally fertile, while a waiting time of a year or more is likely to indicate some degree of subfertility. To read more, click here 

Food for Thought........

Inside every problem are the seeds of innovative solutions.

                                                                    Reed Markham

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