Week in Review - October 1, 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

NASET  Q&A Corner 

In this issue are Questions and Answer about Categories of Disabilities

There are 14 specific primary terms included in IDEA under the lead definition of "child with a disability." These federal terms and definitions guide how States define disability and who is eligible for a free appropriate public education under special education law.  The definitions of these specific terms from the IDEA regulations are shown beneath each term listed below. Note, in order to fully meet the definition (and eligibility for special education and related services) as a "child with a disability," a child's educational performance must be adversely affected due to the disability.  The focus of this issue of the NASETQ & A Corner is to review the 14 categories of disability under the federal law.

To read or download this issue - Click here    


Resolving Disputes With Parents Series
Filing a State Complaint

State complaints are an important procedural safeguard in IDEA, because they give individuals and organizations a mechanism through which they can address special education conflicts and resolve disputes. The complaint resolution process tends to be less intimidating than a due process hearing and represents an alternative to it.

Interestingly, the IDEA statute does not include State complaint procedures. Rather, it is the final Part B regulations that require each state to adopt written procedures for resolving any complaint that meets the definition of a "State complaint" under the Part B regulations. You'll find IDEA's requirements in §§300.660 through 300.662 of its regulations. This issue of the Resolving Disputes with Parents Series provides USDOE complaint process.

To read or download this issue - Click here 


NASET Special Educator e-Journal

October 2010

In this Issue:

  • Update from the U.S. Department Education
  • Children with Autism Go to School:  Easing the Transition
  • Children with Autism Go to School:  A Mom's View
  • When Working With Adolescent Struggling Readers, Skip at, Bat, and Cat: A Reading Strategy for Content-Area Teachers
  • Calls to Participate
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET
  • Special Education Resources
  • Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
  • Acknowledgements 

To read or download this issue - Click here

Quick Links To NASET



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Who Let the Dogs In?  Children without Visual Impairments are Bringing Their Guide Dogs to School

When 6-year-old Kaleb Drew gets ready to go to first grade at a central Illinois public school, he grabs his books, coat, sneakers-and his dog, Chewey. Kaleb has autism. And Chewey, a yellow Lab, trained for nearly two years and learned 30 commands dealing with how to interact with autistic kids in a family setting and in school, says Margie Wakelin, an attorney for Chicago-based civil rights group Equip for Equality. Among Chewey's most important tasks is keeping Kaleb from running away, "which he did before when he became over-stimulated," says Wakelin. Now Chewey is tethered to Kaleb's belt loop, she says. Chewey's presence also has helped coax Kaleb to come to school in the first place. Before, she says, "his mother would pick him up and drag him. An aide would have to help put on his shoes. Now, he's had no difficulty whatsoever." To read more, click here

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Blasts Angle on Health Comments

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in Reno on Monday morning campaigning for U.S. Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., joined other Democrats in criticizing Sharron Angle for recent comments that her opponents say mock autism and children who suffer from it. "It is my understanding that Sharron Angle believes that there is a hoax, under the guise of autism, where you would include requests for treatments that may not even be required," Sebelius said of Reid's Republican opponent in the Nov. 2 general election. "It is not only insulting to the parents and children but clearly is a real blow to kids who have shown considerable progress ... with ongoing treatments."To read more, click here

For Deaf, Wireless Devices a New Portal to World

Quietly over the last decade, phones that make text messaging easy have changed life profoundly for millions of deaf people. Gone are the days of a deaf person driving to someone's house just to see if they are home. Wives text their deaf husbands in the basement, just as a hearing wife might yell down the stairs. Deaf teens blend in with the mall crowd since they're constantly texting, like everyone else in high school. Visit the Alabama School for the Deaf, and it's impossible to miss the signs of a revolution that many hearing people simply never noticed. Most everyone at the school in Talladega has at least one handheld texting device, and some have two. At lunch, deaf diners order burgers and fries by text: Punch in the order and show it at the counter. For the first time, a generation of deaf people can communicate with the world on its terms, using cell phones, BlackBerrys or iPhones, of which some 260 million are in use in the United States.To read more, To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

All children in special education have disabilities....but not all children with disabilities receive special education

A School District That Takes the Isolation Out of Autism

Garner Moss has autism and when he was finishing fifth grade, his classmates made a video about him, so the new students he would meet in the bigger middle school would know what to expect. His friend Sef Vankan summed up Garner this way: "He puts a little twist in our lives we don't usually have without him." People with autism are often socially isolated, but the Madison public schools are nationally known for including children with disabilities in regular classes. Now, as a high school junior, Garner, 17, has added his little twist to many lives. He likes to memorize plane, train and bus routes, and in middle school during a citywide scavenger hunt, he was so good that classmates nicknamed him "GPS-man." He is not one of the fastest on the high school cross-country team, but he runs like no other. "Garner enjoys running with other kids, as opposed to past them," said Casey Hopp, his coach. To read more, click here

IEP Checklist iPhone app Offered Free of Charge

The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is pleased to announce Version 2 of the IEP Checklist iPhone app. The IEP is an Individualized Education Program designed to support the educational needs of school aged students with disabilities. The IEP Checklist App helps parents of students with special needs become better-informed advocates by making IEP information easier to access. Version 2 has active links to the relevant language in the federal regulations; allows users to record the IEP meeting or record notes; and has the capacity to print out notes and click on a checklist as requested items are discussed. The IEP app is offered free of charge. To read more, click here

MicroElectronic Circuitry May Restore Healthy Brain Function After Traumatic Injury

Researchers are working to recover normal movement and behavior within patients who have suffered brain damage by creating microelectronic circuitry that will promote the reconnection of neurons and growth of axons. This type of work was inspired by the brain injuries and trauma the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan face. Pedram Mohseni, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve University, along with Randolph J. Nudo, professor of molecular and integrative physiology at Kansas University Medical Center, are the top researchers on this project who recognize that head trauma/injury is common in injured soldiers, despite their use of armor and helmets. Brain damage comes with side effects that can drastically alter a person's normal reality, such as loss of mobility, balance, coordination and problem-solving skills. Emotional side effects include depression, anxiety, social inappropriateness, emotional outbursts, mood swings and aggression. To read more, click here



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Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
Congratulations to: 


Susan Koehler, Yvette Jones, Brian Merusi, Gloria J. Ortiz, Wendy Kellogg, Pam Fults, Ross Jones, Kimber Gordon, Patrick Crandon, Norie Rocamora, Heather Benson, Dawn Cox, Abeer Shinnawi, Alexandra Pirard, Kristina Gonzalez, Steven D. Merrill, Thomasina B. Howe, John Vernitte, Trish Harwick, Christie Miller, and Barbara Heckelmann


who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: Congenital malformations of the brain, spinal cord, or vertebrae are known as neural tube defects.  The most common neural tube defect is a condition in which the vertebrae does not enclose the spinal cord (Heward, 2009).  What is the name of the most common neural tube defect?ANSWER:  Spina Bifida 


In what year did the federal law add explicit new provisions regarding the discipline of students with disabilities in schools
If you know the answer, send an email to:contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than: Monday, Otcober 4, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

 NASET Member Benefit - Group Savings Plus from Liberty MutualLiberty Mutual Savings

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Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Fatigue, Depression in Multiple Sclerosis

Learning mindfulness meditation may help people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) with the fatigue, depression and other life challenges that commonly accompany the disease, according to a study published in the September 28, 2010, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In the study, people who took an eight-week class in mindfulness meditation training reduced their fatigue and depression and improved overall quality of life compared to people with MS who received only usual medical care. The positive effects continued for at least six months. "People with MS must often confront special challenges of life related to profession, financial security, recreational and social activities, and personal relationships, not to mention the direct fears associated with current or future physical symptoms and disability. Fatigue, depression and anxiety are also common consequences of having MS." said study author Paul Grossman, PhD, of the University of Basel Hospital in Switzerland. To read more, click here

Saturday Night Live Offers Apologies for Disability Cracks

After repeatedly mocking New York Gov. David Paterson for being blind, "Saturday Night Live" used the governor's appearance on the show's season premiere Saturday to make amends. During the show's "Weekend Update" segment, the real Paterson made an appearance to take some jabs at Fred Armisen's impression of him and set the record straight. "While I have a good sense of humor, jokes that degrade people just for their disabilities are sophomoric and stupid," Paterson said before rattling off a litany of his accomplishments. "Governor, we are really sorry," responded former cast member Amy Poehler, who served as Saturday's guest host. Cast member Seth Meyers echoed the sentiment saying, "I think I speak for everyone here that we'll be more respectful of the blind." To read more, click here 

Could Brain Abnormalities Cause Antisocial Behavior and Drug Abuse in Boys?

Antisocial boys who abuse drugs, break laws, and act recklessly are not just "bad" kids. Many of these boys may have malfunctioning brains, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "Brain responses to everyday rewards and punishments gradually guide most youngsters' decisions to conform with society's rules. However, when these seriously troubled kids experience rewards and punishments, and make decisions, their brains apparently malfunction," said Thomas Crowley, MD, a professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine and lead author on the study. "Our findings strongly suggest that brain malfunction underlies their frequent failure to conform to rules, to make wise decisions, and to avoid relapses back to drug use and antisocial acts." To read more, click here 

NYC Gets Tougher on Tenure

The city is making it harder for public-school teachers to get tenure, requiring their students to show progress in consecutive years before instructors gain the coveted job protection. Traditionally, in New York City as in other places, tenure is granted to teachers three years and a day after they begin working. Critics have complained that the protections that tenure accords ineffective teachers makes them hard to remove. Before a teacher reaches tenure, principals can more easily fire them-but they rarely do. Five years ago, fewer than 1% of New York City teachers were denied tenure. But last year, 11% of teachers were denied tenure or continued on probation, amid a push by schools Chancellor Joel Klein for greater teacher accountability. Monday's announcement, which was made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a New York education conference, goes a step further-by creating new rules for when principals can grant teachers tenure, rather than leaving it up to their subjective judgment or inaction. To read more, click here 

President Obama: Money Alone Can't Solve School Predicament

President Barack Obama started the school week with a call for a longer school year, and said the worst-performing teachers have "got to go" if they don't improve quickly. Bemoaning America's decreasing global educational competitiveness, Obama sought in a nationally broadcast interview to reinvigorate his education agenda. At the same time, the president acknowledged that many poor schools don't have the money they need and he defended federal aid for them. But Obama also said that money alone won't fix the problems in public schools, saying higher standards must be set and achieved by students and teachers alike. Asked in an interview if he supported a year-round school year, Obama said: "The idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense." He did not specify how long that school year should be but said U.S. students attend classes, on average, about a month less than children in most other advanced countries. To read more, click here

Dallas Bus Company Fined $55,000 for Violating ADA

A Dallas bus company involved in a deadly 2007 crash in Arkansas has been fined $55,000 for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, federal authorities said Monday. Tornado Bus Co. also must upgrade its fleet by February or have its operating authority revoked, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. An investigation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found Tornado only had one bus in its fleet of 53 that was accessible by disabled passengers. ADA regulations require at least 50 percent of a carrier's fleet to be accessible. A message left with the company on Monday was not immediately returned. The investigation also found the company hadn't trained employees on interacting with disabled passengers or established a wheelchair lift maintenance program. The fine was a result of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's ADA strike force held in May. Agency spokeswoman Candice Tolliver says the fine announced Monday is unrelated to the 2007 crash. To read more, click here 

ADHD Drug Can Also Help Child Cancer Patients

A drug used for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder might help child cancer survivors who have problems with memory, attention and behavior. Existing studies show that children who survive central nervous system cancers often develop problems with memory, attention and behaviour. But research published online this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has revealed that cancer survivors given methylphenidate for a year have improved behaviour, attention and social skills than those children who are not given this medication. However, the researchers say this does not mean methylphenidate can help all children with cognitive and behavioural issues after cancer treatment. Nor is it clear how the drug may ultimately affect their school performance. To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

If you wanted to actually read the federal special education law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, you could find it in the United States Code (U.S.C.) or the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).

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

Kids and Diabetes Risk: Do Chromosomes Hold New Clues?

Children who have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes might be identified earlier by way of tell-tale genetic indicators known as biomarkers. Some of those new biomarkers might be pinpointed in research led by Nancy F. Butte and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's National Institutes of Health.

Butte is with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where she is a professor of pediatrics. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

Pediatricians and other healthcare professionals might someday use the biomarkers. So might nutrition researchers who develop science-based strategies to prevent type 2 diabetes among America's kids. To read more, click here

Why Gifted Children are Just as Likely to Fail in Life

Exceptionally talented children are just as likely to fail in life as succeed according to a new study. In one of the most extensive studies carried out, research found that out of 210 gifted children followed into later life, only three per cent were found to fulfil their early promise. Professor Joan Freeman, said that of 210 children in her study, 'maybe only half a dozen might have been what we might consider conventionally successful.' 'At the age of six or seven, the gifted child has potential for amazing things, but many of them are caught in situations where their potentials is handicapped.' Professor Freeman tracked the development of children who had exceptional ability in fields such as maths, art or music from 1974 to the present day. Many of those who failed to excel did so because the 'gifted' children were treated and in some cases robbed of their childhood, the study found. To read more, click here

Food Allergies Make Kids a Target of Bullies

It's tough enough having to avoid products with peanuts and other ingredients as a kid with severe food allergies. It's tougher when someone at school waves a granola bar in your face at the peanut-free lunch table. That's what happened last week to a Pennsylvania fifth-grader whose mother asked that he not be identified. The boy had experienced allergic reactions to merely touching peanuts or breathing peanut particles in the past, so the act of granola-waving was more serious than for other allergy sufferers. "He said [he was] scared, and 'sad that he would do that to me,' and 'mad that he would do that to me,' and worried that it's going to happen again," the boy's mother said. As the prevalence of food allergies grows in America, doctors are becoming more conscious of a disturbing trend in children getting picked on for not being able to eat certain foods. To read more, click here

Congress Eliminates the R-Word

The word has rankled Sarah Palin. Using it landed Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff, in hot water. And actress Jennifer Aniston got slammed by advocates for saying it in slang. And now, it's a step closer to elimination from the federal government language. The House of Representatives approved a bill that eliminates the use of the words "retarded" and "retardation" in health, education and labor laws. The bill changes the terms from "mental retardation" to "intellectual disability" and "mentally retarded individual" to "individual with an intellectual disability." This shift would make it more consistent with the language already used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Nations, and the White House. Rosa's Law passed in the Senate in August, and now heads to President Barack Obama's desk. The bill was proposed by Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice; If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees; If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.


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