Week in Review - October 22, 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

Discipline of Students in Special EducationSeries 

Manifest Determination

At specific times, and for certain violations of the student code of conduct, IDEA's discipline procedures require school systems to conduct what is known as a "manifestation determination review." The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the child's behavior that led to the disciplinary infraction is linked to his or her disability. The focus of this issue of NASET's Discipline of Students in Special Education series is to present an overview of the concept of Manifest Determination. 

To read or download this issue - Click here    


Genetics in Special Education Series  

Genetic components presented in this issue:

Gaucher Disease


To read or download this issue - Click here 

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Special Education Atop D.C. To Do List: City Must Curb Costs, Fulfill Needs

Michelle A. Rhee may be on her way out as chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, but the fights she waged over the city's education policies are likely to linger long after she is gone. For City Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, Ms. Rhee's most prominent critic and the all-but-elected next mayor of the city, the first fight may be over something he and the departing chancellor actually agreed on - curbing the city's spiraling costs for special education. On the campaign trail and during his listening tours leading up to the Nov. 2 midterm elections Mr. Gray has trumpeted his priorities to mainstream special-needs students, curb transportation expenses and cut operating and tuition costs - three issues that Ms. Rhee has already established a blueprint to achieve. But the departing chancellor's plan relied heavily on publicly funded education vouchers - something Mr. Gray has opposed. To read more, click here 


NASET Sponsor - HEINLE, part of Cengage Learning 

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Watching Violent T.V. or Video Games Desensitizes Teenagers and May Promote More Aggressive Behavior

Watching violent films, TV programmes or video games desensitises teenagers, blunts their emotional responses to aggression and potentially promotes aggressive attitudes and behaviour, according to new research recently published online in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Although previous research has suggested that people can become more aggressive and desensitised to real-life violence after repeatedly viewing violent media programmes, little is known about how the extent of watching such programmes and the severity of the aggression displayed affects the brains of adolescents. "It is especially important to understand this because adolescence is a time when the brain is changing and developing, particularly in the parts of the brain that control emotions, emotional behaviour and responses to external events," said Dr Jordan Grafman, who led the research. To read more, click here 

Florida Students Benefit from Virtual Classrooms at Home

Sandra Alarcon thought she was out of options. While her daughter Alexandra was a student at Binks Forest Elementary in Wellington, the girl was constantly sick and missing school. Alexandra, now 13, suffers from severe allergies and chronic eczema. Perfume gave her hives. Dust in the school building made it difficult to breathe. "If there was a cold out there, she didn't get it like other kids," Alarcon said. "She got it 10 times worse." Alarcon eventually pulled Alexandra, who has been hospitalized more than a dozen times since she was born, out of Binks and enrolled her full time in Connections Academy, a kindergartenĀ­-through-12th-grade virtual school. Now, for six hours a day, the eighth-grader takes her classes online while sitting in her dining room. "I like it a lot because I can go at my own pace," Alexandra said. Alexandra's not alone. More than 2 million students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade nationwide take some form of schooling online, according to data released by Ambient Insight, a market research firm.  To read more, click here 

Mind and Meaning: Gifted Children Have Their Own Burdens

Parents are understandably hopeful that their children will be happy, bright, talented, beautiful and confident, with perhaps happiness and intelligence the most prized of all, as they appear to be the foundation for success in adulthood. Our culture has found ways of helping children realise their potential. Extra-curricular activities equip them to socialise, work as a team player and develop their confidence, attributes that previously were nurtured in the bosom of the family rather than externally. These activities may seem mundane in comparison to the programmes that have been developed in recent years to identify those children of exceptional intelligence and talents to assist them in maximising their talents. In so doing society should benefit and so should the children if their abilities are encouraged and honed on their journey through adolescence into adulthood.

They would be spared the frustration that many very bright children experience when their ability is not recognized. To read more, click here 

Did You Know That.....

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) was only added to the list of disability categories under IDEA in 1990.

Surgery in Infants and Young Children Heightens Neurodevelopmental Risk

When children undergo anesthesia during surgery, the long-term effects that anesthetics have on the developing brain is relatively unknown. A study presented at this year's American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting assesses the association between exposure to anesthesia in children 3 years old and younger and their risk for developmental and behavioral disorders.

The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons study is one of a recent series by scientists seeking to determine if research from animal models showing damage to the developing brain from commonly used anesthetic agents is a clinical problem for infants and young children who receive anesthesia. "We do not know how much of the excess risk for these disorders is attributable to anesthesia and surgery," said the study's lead author Charles DiMaggio, Ph.D., Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University. "While we suspect factors unrelated to anesthesia and surgery also play a large role in increased risk for developmental and behavioral disorders, it is important to determine the role of anesthetic agents." To read more, click here 



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MRI as a Potential Diagnostic Tool for Diagnosing Autism

No major structural differences between the brains of people with autism and those without it have been identified, with the exception of brain volume and head circumference in children. So the bulk of neurological research on the disorder focuses on how various regions of the brain communicate with one another. Now, in a study published in October in the journal Cerebral Cortex, researchers at the University of Utah say they are one step closer to using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose autism. "This work adds an important piece of information to the autism puzzle," says principal investigator Janet Lainhart, an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics. "It adds evidence of functional impairment in brain connectivity in autism and brings us a step closer to a better understanding of this disorder. When you understand it at a biological level, you can envision how the disorder develops, what are the factors that cause it, and how can we change it. To read more, click here 

More Youths with Intellectual Disabilities Go to College

Zach Neff is all high-fives as he walks through his college campus in western Missouri. The 27-year-old with Down syndrome hugs most everybody, repeatedly. He tells teachers he loves them. "I told Zach we are putting him on a hug diet - one to say hello and one to say goodbye," said Joyce Downing, who helped start a new program at the University of Central Missouri that serves students with disabilities. The hope is that polishing up on social skills, like cutting back on the hugs, living in residence halls and going to classes with non-disabled classmates will help students like Neff be more independent and get better jobs. In years past, college life was largely off-limits for students with such disabilities, but that's no longer the case. Students with Down syndrome, autism and other conditions that can result in intellectual disabilities are leaving high school more academically prepared than ever and ready for the next step: college. 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:
Brian Merusi
Laura Miller-Cox
Leslie McDermott
Lisa Rotella
Jessica Ulmer

who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: 

According to the latest data on special education prevalence in the United States, under IDEA, Specific Learning Disabilities is the most prevalent disability (39.0 percent) followed by Speech and Language Impairments (22.0 percent).  What is the 3rd most prevalent disability?ANSWER: OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRMENTS



Many gifted and talented students have already mastered much of the content of the general education curriculum when the school year begins.  Teachers often compress the instructional content and materials so that these academically able students have more time to work on more challenging materials.  What is this method of differentiation called?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, October 25, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

New Research Helps in Treatment Prediction Outcomes of Children with OCD

New research from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center may help clinicians better predict how a child with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) will respond to some of the most commonly used treatment approaches. The findings, published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, could help guide important clinical decisions about the best intervention for children with this often debilitating anxiety disorder. "Until now, there has been little information about which OCD treatment to recommend to particular pediatric patients," said lead author Abbe Garcia, PhD, director of the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center (BHCRC) Pediatric Anxiety Research Clinic. "Our study identified some characteristics of children with OCD that could help us predict which patients are most likely to benefit from particular treatments, similar to a personalized medicine approach." To read more, click here 

President Lauds Girl Behind Rosa's Law

President Barack Obama publicly honored Rosa Marcellino at the White House Friday, days after signing a bill carrying her name which will strip the term "mental retardation" from some areas of federal law. The measure known as Rosa's Law will replace the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" with "intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability" throughout federal health, education and labor policy. It was introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., after she met Marcellino, 9, and her family who lobbied for a similar bill in Maryland last year. On Friday, Marcellino, who has Down syndrome, attended a ceremony in the East Room of the White House with her family where the president referred to her as "inspiring." "This may seem to some people like a minor change, but I think Rosa's brother Nick put it best," Obama told a crowd of advocates and supporters. "He said, 'What you call people is how you treat them. If we change the words, maybe it will be the start of a new attitude towards people with disabilities.' That's a lot of wisdom from Nick." To read more, click here 


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Blind Hikers Travel the Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim

Just before dawn, 13 blind hikers begin a descent into the abyss, unable to see the trail at their feet or the gaping chasm they are about to enter. The plan seems audacious, if not crazy: A group of adults and kids from the Foundation for Blind Children sets out to complete the Grand Canyon's 24.3-mile trek from rim to rim in a single day on a rock-scrabbled route where hikers are one false step from a fatal plunge. The challenge, considered grueling even for experienced hikers with working eyes, covers nearly 2 vertical miles and is so demanding that Grand Canyon National Park signs warn not to attempt it. But the Canyon Crawlers, as the hikers facetiously dubbed themselves before their expedition, are out to make a point to themselves and to the world - that those who can't see are able to achieve - and to appreciate one of the planet's Seven Natural Wonders without viewing it. By day's end Sunday, 10 of the blind adventurers make it out, some of them long after dark, sporting blisters and scrapes as badges of courage. To read more, click here 

How to Fix Our Schools: A Manifesto from Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and Other Educational Leaders

As educators, superintendents, chief executives and chancellors responsible for educating nearly 2 1/2 million students in America, we know that the task of reforming the country's public schools begins with us. It is our obligation to enhance the personal growth and academic achievement of our students, and we must be accountable for how our schools perform. All of us have taken steps to move our students forward, and the Obama administration's Race to the Top program has been the catalyst for more reforms than we have seen in decades. But those reforms are still outpaced and outsized by the crisis in public education. Fortunately, the public, and our leaders in government, are finally paying attention. The "Waiting for 'Superman' " documentary, the defeat of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to Newark's public schools, and a tidal wave of media attention have helped spark a national debate and presented us with an extraordinary opportunity. To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

About 1.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year in the United States.

U.S. Airways to Discuss Policies After Man Considered "Too Disabled to Fly"

Johnnie Tuitel says he was raised to believe that though he has a disability, he should be strong enough to overcome life's challenges without any special treatment from others.

It's a mindset that has shaped him and inspired him to become a public speaker, sharing openly about his life. So when the Grand Rapids Township man was told last month by U.S. Airways officials he was "too disabled to fly," Tuitel, who has cerebral palsy, knew he couldn't accept it unquestioningly. His story now has spread across the country. Tuitel hopes discussions with the airline will call attention to the issue of how people with disabilities are treated. The incident occurred Sept. 23 when the author and motivational speaker attempted to board a flight at Palm Beach International Airport, headed for Kansas City, Mo., where he was scheduled to speak at the 2010 National Self Advocacy Conference. Tuitel communicated with an airline employee at the boarding gate, who helped him onto the aircraft and transferred him from his wheelchair to a special one designed to fit the narrow aisles. He was seated near the front of the plane. Minutes later, Tuitel says that same employee returned to inform him he could not remain on the flight unless he had someone to travel along with him for his own safety. To read more, click here 

Georgia Agrees to Change Handling of Individuals with Mental Illness in State Hospitals

An estimated 10,000 Georgia residents suffering from mental illness or developmental disabilities may no longer be segregated in state hospitals that set them apart from the community, the Justice Department announced Tuesday. The settlement between Georgia and Justice Department lawyers who enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act was announced by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez in Washington. The pact signed Tuesday ends a long-running lawsuit triggered by a Supreme Court decision more than a decade ago. In that decision, the high court ruled that one of Georgia's state hospitals was impermissibly segregating two people with disabilities when they could have been served in more integrated settings. The decision "strongly affirmed that people with disabilities have a right to live and receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate for them as individuals," Perez said. To read more, click here 

Golf Seen as Beneficial to Those with Autism

Golf is a sport mainly familiar to those that are fans of athletes like Tiger Woods as he has dominated the game and made it very exciting. Golf has also been proven to be just as active of a sport with autism as football or any other. Charlie Bristow, a 13-year old from Stillwater, Minnesota has used the game of golf to overcome struggles. He has supplemented autistic symptoms with a sense of peace and structure by playing. The young man has been taking up golf after receiving a lesson last July at Courage Center in Stillwater. He has developed a love for the game as he works with Applewood Hills golf professional Robin Nardini. Nardini has been helping Charlie along the way with his golf game for the past year. Charlie's father has also seen strides in his son's improvement and he feels he takes well to the game. Anyone that has autistic children knows that finding activities to spark their child's interest can be one of the hardest challenges in raising their child. Charlie is definitely one kid who has found his spark in the game of golf. To read more, click here 

Teacher Tech Helps Students Read

Teachers in village schools are turning to technology to increase comprehension of reading in special education students. A group of teachers who recently attended training in the Unlocking Potential program made a presentation on their findings Monday before the Lisbon Board of Education. Janet Lane, special education teacher at the junior high level and spokesman for the group of teachers, said a major goal of the program is to improve independent reading among students. "Some of the kids just don't want to read," she said. "Motivation's a huge problem at the junior high and high school." Teachers are using Apple iPod Touch and iPod Shuffle units in the classrooms, attaching multiple sets of headphones to each unit and using applications such as Dragonspeak, through which students speak into a microphone and the iPod automatically types out the spoken words. To read more, click here 

Did You Know That......

The 2 age groups at highest risk for traumatic brain injury are birth to 4-year-olds and 15-19 year-olds.

Children with Disabilities No Longer Have to Dream About Playing on Ball Fields

If it seems as if the YMCA's new sports complex was built especially for kids like Noah and Kane Marker - well, it was. Noah, 10, and Kane, 4, of Excelsior Springs use wheelchairs because they have a rare medical condition known as Escobar syndrome. Like a lot of boys, they're crazy about sports. Noah loves flag football, while Kane enjoys baseball. "They go to bed the night before games talking about it," said their mother, Christy Marker. "They get up asking for their jerseys that they wear to the games." Moving on a grass playing field is tough in a wheelchair, especially if a little rain has fallen. That's why the new Fred and Shirley Pryor YMCA Challenger Sports Complex, at 2100 N.W. 87th St., has rubber turf. The fields are level, without ruts that could trip a player using a walker. The baseball diamond has bases that are flat. The complex's parking spots are accessible, and the dugouts have no stairs. Only a few dozen baseball fields like this exist in the country, YMCA officials said, and to the best of their knowledge, there isn't a full-fledged complex like theirs anywhere in the country. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

If I stop learning today, I will be teaching badly tomorrow. The greatest teachers must pursue life-long learning.

                                                            Author Unknown

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