Week in Review - September 17, 2010


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 Resources Review 

September 2010

In this issue you will find resources in the following areas:

  • Accommodations
  • AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Assistive Technology
  • Autism
  • Behavioral/emotional disorders
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Early Childhood
  • Functional Behavioral Assessments
  • Functional behavioral assessments: What, why, when, where, and who?
  • IEP's
  • Inclusion
  • Learning disabilities (LD)
  • Living with a Disability in America
  • Parent Resources
  • Parent Surveys
  • Pre-School
  • Professional Development Resources
  • Reading Resources
  • RTI
  • Special Education Q&A
  • Teacher Resources
  • Workplace Issues
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)   

Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education Series

September 2010

Disorders in this Issue:

  1. Tactile Defensiveness Sensory Integration Disorder (Immature Tactile Type)

  2. Proprioceptive Perceptual Sensory Integration Disorder

  3. Auditory Agnosia.

Each issue of this series contains at least three lesser known disorders. Some of these disorders may contain subtypes which will also be presented. You will also notice that each disorder has a code. These codes represent the coding system for all disabilities and disorders listed in the Educator's Diagnostic Manual (EDM) Wiley Publications.

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


PowerPoint Presentation

Introduction to Evaluation under IDEA

In this Presentation:

This PowerPoint presentation introduces basic principles and requirements that schools must follow for evaluation, including:
  • the purposes of evaluation
  • parent notification and consent
  • use of the student's native language during evaluation
  • the tenets of sound, valid, individualized evaluation 
To review or download this presentation - Click here - (Login and go to the Assessments area to find this presentation)

Quick Links To NASET

  • Forgot your User Name or Passord? - Click Here

  • Update/Manage Your Member Profile - Click Here (login required)

Parents Report a Widely Prescribed Antibiotic Is Effective for Fragile X Treatment

One of the antibiotics most commonly prescribed to treat adolescent acne can increase attention spans and communication and decrease anxiety in patients with fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of mental impairment, according to a new survey study that is the first published on parents' reports of their children's responses to treatment with the medication. Led by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute, the study examined parents' observations of their children's responses to minocycline -- not the efficacy of treating patients with the drug. However, the researchers said that the study results are extremely promising. They led to a placebo-controlled clinical trial of treating people with fragile X with minocycline, funded by the National Fragile X Foundation. "Minocycline Treatment in Patients with Fragile X Syndrome and Exploration of Outcome Measures" is published in the September 2010 issue of the American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. In the study, parents relate that after being treated for an average of three months, their children showed improvements in their use of language, attention levels and behavior, while experiencing mostly mild side effects. To read more, click here

Buddy Baseball Gives All Students a Sporting Chance

No sport has torn down societal walls like baseball, which broke color barriers. Now, a program that the Hillsborough County School District is promoting to special-needs students uses the nation's pastime to connect children with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities and delays with their peers who don't face the same obstacles. Buddy Baseball teams special-needs students with typical students on a baseball diamond. This summer, Hillsborough teachers of exceptional student education, supervisors and liaisons endorsed the program. As the school year gets under way, they are making sure the district's 29,000 students with disabilities know about it. "It's a wonderful opportunity for students with disabilities and student clubs or student volunteer programs," said Joyce Wieland, general director of Hillsborough's Exceptional Student Education department. "It promotes cultural diversity and acceptance of students with disabilities." To read more, click here

Ipad Helps Children with Autism

A few months ago the Apple iPad hit stores touted as the newest tech gadget. For families of children with families it's more than just another gadget. It is changing lives. Autism is a developmental disability, that affects a child's ability to communicate and interact. Texas parents, Kyle and Tina Carkhuff's 5 year-old son was diagnosed with autism last year. Like many autistic children, Evan cannot talk, but in the last two months, astonishing progress. He's started to play more with his brother, and he's more interactive with his parents. The couple had purchased an iPad, then found out there are many learning apps that helped give their son a voice. The couple started using the iPad to put pictures of the food on the iPad, then Evan can tap or scroll and tell them exactly what he is looking for. It gives Evan a voice through pictures. 10 year old Tom Theriot was diagnosed with autism at age two. He attends a center that provides therapy for autistic children outside Houston. The center now uses the iPad and iTouch. To read more, click here

Teachers on Front Lines Offer Ideas to Fix Troubled Schools

Once upon a time, "Room 222," a television show about a troubled high school, attracted a national audience. The veteran teacher was handsome. The beginning teacher was perky. The principal was gruff. The theme song had a flute. Ed Smalley Jr., now 60 and white-haired, was in teachers college when "Room 222" was in its heyday in the 1970s. He now teaches history at Rancho High School "I saw that," Smalley recalled, "and I said, 'Wow, that's what I'm going to do.' "Guess what? A half-hour TV show isn't reality." He added: "If I had scriptwriters writing for me, I'd have had a wonderful career. They solve everything." Last week, four teachers with more than a century of classroom experience - 122 years, to be exact, 31 just for Smalley - gathered in a room. They spent nearly two hours talking about how to fix Clark County's troubled schools. To read more, click here

Did You Know That.....

According to the latest information just released from the U.S. Department of Education, Learning Disabilities remains the most common classification of children with disabilities receiving special education.</font>

D.C. Schools Unveil Teacher-Pay Bonus Plan

D.C. schools officials detailed for the first time Friday how teachers can qualify for the performance-based pay increases that could vault them into the ranks of the country's best-paid public school educators. The increases, which come in two forms, are targeted toward teachers who receive the best evaluations. The programs are voluntary, and teachers who participate give up certain job protections. Those ranked highly effective may be eligible for as much as $25,000 in one-time bonuses, with the amount determined by student performance and other factors. Those ranked highly effective for two years in a row could see their base pay rise by as much as $26,000 a year. To read more, click here 

Opinion: Strong Policy Focus on Struggling Students Shortchanges Gifted Students in Georgia Schools

Children across Georgia are now back to school. For some students, the return to school felt like a burden, a necessary chore they have to slog through every day, but not for the reasons you might expect. Rather than viewing school as an unhappy departure from carefree summer days, many of the most disinterested students in a classroom are also the high-ability children who spend the bulk of their school days going unchallenged and largely ignored.

Our nation's education system has a long history of disregarding the needs of gifted and talented students, a neglect that threatens the ability of our state and nation to compete in an increasingly competitive world. From being regularly outperformed by global counterparts on standardized tests to needing to import a growing number of workers in math and science fields, it is clear decades of neglect are causing the country real harm. The core problem is that our nation lacks a comprehensive gifted education strategy. With little to no federal influence and funding, the burden falls to states and local districts. The result is a patchwork of regulations and policies, producing pockets of success few and far between. To read more, click here

Brain Scans May Someday Track Childhood Neurological Development

In a new study published on September 10th in the journal Science, someday the use of a special type of MRI, called the Resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI), may be used to track a child's neurological development. The use of this scan on every child is unlikely, but for those that may have autism, schizophrenia, or other disorders, this scan may be able to detect or even diagnose these problems. It is way too early to get to that point though. There is much research left to do in this area, states senior study author Bradley L. Schlaggar, MD, PhD and pediatric neurologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. "But is we have enough normative data and enough examples of different types of diagnoses, in principle, when an at-risk child or child with a questionable diagnosis comes along, we could use this kind of approach to make diagnostic classifications to determine whether someone is or is not on appropriate developmental trajectory, and even perhaps use it to make prognostic predictions". 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:
Teri Lodesky          Jay Maqsood                  Terry Grenald                      Barbara Heckelmann  Jessie Richards      John Vernitte                      Christie Miller          Ralph Sinclair                Jenetta Hockless               Heather Shyrer       Heather Warner             Rajasri Govindaraju 
Joanie P. Dikeman

who correctly identified the answer to last week's trivia question: In the 1994 movie, Forrest Gump, what was Forrest Gump's IQ?  ANSWER:  75 


According to the latest information just released from the U.S. Department of Education, Learning Disabilities remains the most common of the 13 classifications of children with disabilities receiving special education. Which disability is the LEAST prevalent?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, September 20, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

Understanding Why No Two Traumatic Brain Injuries are Exactly the Same

According to the Centers for Disease Control every year there are 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. alone, and based on past statistics, over a million of these injuries likely entail a trip to the emergency room. These numbers are staggering, yet do not include all those TBI injuries which go undetected. Injuries that can have a severe impact on an individual's life. And each individual travels a different journey. While there are some similarities in the immediate aftermath and the subsequent road to recovery after experiencing a traumatic brain injury, the reality is no two brain injuries are alike. TBI is a unique injury for many reasons. Primarily it is because no two brain injuries are exactly the same. It is hard to predict with any level of precision what the effects of brain injury will be. Two individuals can sustain the same type of force, yet have completely different effects. This is largely due to the fact that injury symptoms will depend upon the individual brain cells hurt, and the simple fact that no two people have the same exact brain. Not only do physical structures of brains differ, personal experiences have vary as well. To read more, click here

New Neurological Deficit Behind Lazy Eye Identified

Researchers at New York University's Center for Neural Science have identified a new neurological deficit behind amblyopia, or "lazy eye." Their findings, which appear in the most recent issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, shed additional light on how amblyopia results from disrupted links between the brain and normal visual processing. Amblyopia results from developmental problems in the brain. When the parts of the brain concerned with visual processing do not function properly, problems ensue with such visual functions as the perception of movement, depth, and fine detail. It is most prevalent neurological defect of vision in children and adults, affecting 1-3 percent of the population. Previous research on amblyopia has largely focused on one aspect of visual processing -- that in the primary visual cortex, or V1. However, while abnormalities in V1 explain some amblyopic visual problems, they fail to account for the full range of losses suffered by those with amblyopia -- including motion perception. With this in mind, the NYU researchers studied a brain area called MT, which has a well-established role in processing information about moving visual objects. To read more, click here

Misfolded Neural Proteins Linked to Autism Disorders

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, has identified misfolding and other molecular anomalies in a key brain protein associated with autism spectrum disorders. Palmer Taylor, associate vice chancellor for Health Sciences at UC San Diego and dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and colleagues report in the September 10 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry that misfolding of a protein called neuroligin-3, due to gene mutations, results in trafficking deficiencies that may lead to abnormal communications between neurons. Genetic misfolding of neuroligins is thought to prevent normal formation and function of neuronal synapses. The gene mutation has been documented in patients with autism. "It makes sense that there's a connection," said Taylor. "The neuroligins are involved in maintaining neuronal synapses and their malfunction is likely to affect a neurodevelopmental disease." To read more, click here

NJ Schools Seen Keeping More Special-Needs Students In-District

New Jersey public schools have long taken the rap for the high rate at which they send students with disabilities to other schools, many of them private. Two years ago, close to 10 percent of classified students were in such out-of-district placements, by far the highest rate in the country.
But in the last year, it appears that the rate has started to drop, with state recently releasing data showing it below 8 percent in 2009-2010 school year. The reasons for the drop and whether the trend will stick are up for debate. Some question the accuracy of the numbers as the state changes how it collects data. But at first look, districts do appear to be bringing more students back into their schools, and that's good news for a state Department of Education that has pushed districts to provide more inclusive programs for these children. To read more, click here

Internet an Equalizer for People with Disabilities

Sally Harrison has a developmental disability, but on Facebook the 35-year-old woman is just like anyone else. Victor Tsaran scours the Web at lightning speeds and loves his touch-screen iPhone in seeming contradiction to the fact that he is blind. Internet gadgets and software are creating a virtual world of equality and opportunity for a large segment of the population once marginalized due to physical or mental impairments. "It is not about being able to do everything; it is about being able to do what you possibly can given your condition and the technology available," said Tsaran, a project manager at Yahoo! 'accessibility lab.' For Harrison, Facebook was part of transition that took her from highly-supervised confines of a group home to getting a job and moving into her own apartment. "She started to blossom after that," said Lisa Giraldi, executive director of Pacific Diversified Services (PDS), an organization devoted to 'true community inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities.' "For Sally, it has been fantastic." To read more, click here

Did You Know That......

According to the latest information just released from the U.S. Department of Education, the prevalence of children classified with Autism has risen to 4.5 percent of all children with disabilities, up from being at 1.0 percent only 10 years ago.>

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

In Montreal, Ruling Against Parents of Boy with Special Needs

The parents of a 14-year-old West Island boy who has special needs have lost their bid for a court injunction to compel school authorities to integrate him into a regular Grade 7 class. Justice Jean-François de Grandpré ruled today that the Lester B. Pearson School Board refusal was legal and his court cannot intervene. He said the "numerous and detailed affidavits of competent authorities" at various schools the boy attended persuaded him that the board gave "due consideration ... to all the important and relevant factors" in making its decision. Their son, who was adopted as an infant from an orphanage in Ukraine, suffers from the effects of brain lesions, the result of radiation inherited form his birth parents after the Chornobyl nuclear disaster in April 1986. In his ruling, de Grandpré wrote that the boy suffers "serious behavioural problems and is very heavily handicapped intellectually. To read more, click here

Learning Disabilities Enrollment Dips After Long Climb

After decades of what seemed to be an inexorable upward path, the number of students classified as learning-disabled declined from year to year over much of the past decade­-a change in direction that is spurring debates among experts about the reasons why. The percentage of 3- to 21-year-old students nationwide classified as having a "specific learning disability" dropped steadily from 6.1 percent in the 2000-01 school year to 5.2 percent in 2007-08, according to the most recent data available, which comes from the U.S Department of Education's 2009 Digest of Education Statistics. In numbers, that's a drop from about 2.9 million students to 2.6 million students. A learning disability-a processing disorder that impairs learning but not a student's overall cognitive ability-is the largest, by far, of the 13 disability classifications recognized by the main federal special education law. Forty percent of the approximately 6.6 million students covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, fall into that category. To read more, click here

High School Removes Barrier to Students with Disability Being Part of Homecoming Court

Free State High School is expanding its homecoming royalty this year, after a handful of seniors with disabilities had been excluded from the initial round of balloting - a practice that's been going on for at least a decade. Among students originally left out this year: Owen Phariss, a senior with Down syndrome, whose friends had lobbied classmates to vote for him only to discover that Phariss had been denied a spot on the ballot. Now - after senior school administrators were alerted about policies against discrimination - all seniors will be given another chance to vote today. They'll seat another four girls and four boys on the Homecoming Court, joining the eight girls and eight boys who already received the most votes in last week's nominating election. "Anybody with a disability wasn't included," said Nancy Holmes, Phariss' mother. "It's very disturbing. In this day and age, it's very disturbing." Homecoming is Oct. 1, when the Firebirds play Shawnee Mission East. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

According to the latest information just released from the U.S. Department of Education, the prevalence of children classified with Other Health Impairment has risen to 9.7 percent of all children with disabilities, up from being at 4.8 percent only 10 years ago.

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Their Impact on Child Education

Every year, a group of educators meet with parents of a special needs child to make an extremely important decision in his or her education. The result is a meeting in which a general education teacher, special educator, administrator, school psychologist and other representatives team up with the parents to create something that will ensure a child's right and access to education. The result of this meeting is a multi-page contract and plan called the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  It is a document in which members of the IEP team devise - and put into writing - a year-long plan for the child. This plan does many things:  establish yearly educational goals and objectives; initiate the use of programs or resources to address his or her needs; establish accommodations or modifications; and address the child's disability. Most importantly, the document helps a special needs child receive the same form of education that his or her non-disabled peers have. To read more, click here 

New Report Debunks Link Between Vaccines, Autism

The mercury-based preservative that was a mainstay ingredient in several key vaccines does not contribute to the development of autism among children, according to a report released Monday. A government-funded study on thimerosal is the latest in a series of research efforts to debunk the idea that childhood vaccinations caused autism. "This study should reassure parents about following the recommended immunization schedule," the Centers for Disease Control's Dr. Frank Destefano, the study's lead author, told Reuters. Debate over the safety of childhood vaccines surged more than a decade ago, when a small study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield warned that preventive shots -- in particular that for measles, mumps and rubella -- were linked to autism spectrum disorder. Following Wakefield's study, which was published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet, parents worldwide stopped vaccinating their children. It was enough to spur several outbreaks of illnesses once believed eradicated in the Western world. To read more, click here

Babies Born Past Term Associated With Increased Risk of Cerebral Palsy

While preterm birth is a known risk factor for cerebral palsy, an examination of data for infants born at term or later finds that compared with delivery at 40 weeks, birth at 37 or 38 weeks or at 42 weeks or later was associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy, according to a study in the September 1 issue of JAMA. Cerebral palsy (CP), the most common cause of physical disability in childhood, with limitations that persist throughout life, is characterized by nonprogressive disorders of movement and posture. "One of the strongest predictors of CP is preterm birth, with the risk of CP increasing steadily with earlier delivery. Although risk is lower among term births, about three-fourths of all infants with CP are born after 36 weeks. Within this range of term births, there are few data on the possible association of CP with gestational age," the authors write. Dag Moster, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Bergen, Norway, and colleagues examined the relation of CP risk with gestational age among term and postterm births using the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, which identified 1,682,441 children born in the years 1967-2001 with a gestational age of 37 through 44 weeks and no congenital anomalies. The group was followed up through 2005 by linkage to other national registries. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

We cannot always build the future of our children...but we can build our children for the future.

                                     Franklin D. Roosevelt

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