Week in Review - August 26, 2011


NewNASETPublications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week

August 26, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 31


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In This Issue

New This Week on NASET

ADHD on the Rise
New Laws Promote Dignity for Persons with Disabilities
'This Is Therapy'
Survey of School, District Workers Shows Wider Use of RTI
Benefits for Children with Severe Disabilities Scrutinized
Toys 'R' Us Wants a Robot (to Sell) for Christmas
Plans Emerge To Increase Special Education Funding
Head Trauma May Boost Schizophrenia Risk
Teachers Aren't Doing Enough to Identify Children Who Can't Read
American Council of the Blind and Google Conduct Survey
'The Lion King' on Broadway to Host Autism-Friendly Performance
Neurofeedback for Children with ADHD
Children with Cerebral Palsy
Scientists Show How Gene Variant Linked to ADHD Could Operate
Parents Reading More with Their Children
New Race to Top Spurs Concerns About Testing Preschoolers
Food For Thought

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New This Week on NASET

Lesser Known Disorders

Disorders in this issue:

· OI 9.00 Spina Bifida
· HI 1.02-Pure word deafness
· LD 10.01-Tactile Defensiveness Sensory Integration Disorder (Immature Tactile Type)

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Genetics in Special Education Series

Genetic Components Presented in this Issue:

· Dercum disease
· Hemochromatosis

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IEP Components

Annual Goals


In a manner of speaking, annual goals are like a road map. Where's the child heading this year? What will he or she work on, both academically and in terms of functional development? What does the IEP team feel the child can achieve by the end of the year-again, academically and functionally? This issue of NASET's IEP Components series will examine annual goals. Information to be addressed includes:

· Annual goals, in a nutshell
· IDEA's exact words
· Close tie between "present levels" and annual goals
· Using prompting questions
· Addressing the child's academic and functional needs
· The importance of "annual" and "measurable"
· Examples
· What about objectives?

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NASET Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers on Facilitated IEP Meetings

IEP meeting facilitation is quickly becoming the most recognized strategy for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of IEP meetings. The purpose of the facilitation process is to develop and sustain collaborative relationships between team members and to preserve and maintain a productive relationship between families and schools (Conflict Resolution Program, 2011). A facilitated IEP meeting is an IEP meeting that includes an impartial facilitator who promotes effective communication and assists an IEP team in developing an acceptable IEP. The facilitator keeps the team focused on the proper development of the IEP while addressing conflicts that arise. This issue ofNASET'sQ & A Cornerwill be to address Facilitated IEP Meetings.

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ADHD on the Rise: Almost One in 10 Children Diagnosed, Says CDC

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is on the rise, with nearly one in 10 American children receiving an ADHD diagnosis, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."ADHD continues to increase, and that has implications for educational and health care because kids with ADHD disproportionately use more services, and there are several co-morbid conditions that go along with it," Dr. Lara J. Akinbami, lead author of the study, told ABCNews.com. From 1998 to 2009, according to the study, the percentage of children ever diagnosed with ADHD increased from 7 percent to 9 percent. The study also found a larger increase in ADHD among children in the South and Midwest regions of the U.S. To read more,click here

New Laws Promote Dignity for Persons with Disabilities

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has signed three bills into law that reflect the First State's progress in recognizing the importance, inclusion and dignity of persons with disabilities. The bills are all part of a national movement for People-First Language, which states that a person should be placed before their disability in descriptions. House Bill 91 requires that we ensure that all new state laws, regulations and publications show respectful language for people with disabilities. House Bill 214 requires us to look through the language in our current state code and do the same. And House Bill 123 designates the month of October as "Disability History and Awareness Month." To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

School districts are required to provide parents of a child with a disability with a notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under IDEIA and U.S. Department of Education regulations. This is known as the Notice of Procedural Safeguards (sometimes referred to as the PSN or Procedural Safeguards Notice).

This Is Therapy': Couple Fashions Tricycles for Children with Disabilities

Francesca "Frankie" Robertson will tell anyone who asks that she is the fastest girl on atricycle.She is certainly the happiest. As she barrels down the sidewalk after her older brothers, her blue eyes sparkle beneath the rabbit ears on her bright-pink bunny bicyclehelmet.The 4-year-old's laughter echoes through the neighborhood. She is truly on a joy ride.This may be a typical scene for most children, but for Frankie, it is miraculous. Just four years ago -- at birth -- she weighed only 1 pound, 10 ounces. She was so small, her father's wedding ring fit around her forearm."She has cerebral palsy," Frankie's mother, Dana Robertson, said. "She's quadriplegic so she didn't have the strength in her legs. To read more,click here

Survey of School, District Workers Shows Wider Use of RTI

Yetanother studyshows the growing popularity of response to intervention.Response to intervention, or RTI, is a strategy that involves identifying students' learning problems quickly and using a series of focused lessons, or interventions, to address those problems before they become entrenched. The intensity of the interventions increase if a student doesn't respond. In this survey, full implementation of RTI involved universal screening of students at least three times a year, the use of clear decision rules to move students between tiers of instruction, and regular monitoring of students' progress based on their learning needs. In a survey of nearly 1,400 school- and district-level workers, 68 percent said they are either in full implementation or in the process of districtwide implementation. The survey showed that districts with 10,000 or more students were significantly more likely to be in full implementation than smaller districts. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

The Notice of Procedural Safeguards must be given to parents at least one time per year.

Benefits for Children with Severe Disabilities Scrutinized

To those who believe the federal Supplemental Security Income program for severely disabled children is a lifesaver and not a boondoggle, Hulston Poe is a great example. The 4-year-old was diagnosed with severe ADHD last October, after more than a year of violent temper tantrums, and kicked out of preschool. Case workers said there wasn't much they could do for him. "We were at a standstill," says his mother, Suzanne Poe, who was scraping by as a single parent of two in Des Moines, Iowa. Then doctors recommended that she enroll her son in the SSI program this year, and everything changed. A monthly check of $674 helps pay for Hulston's day care, a private tutor and medicines. Perhaps most importantly, the program made Hulston newly eligible for Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance program for the poor. He gained access to the doctors he needed. To read more,click here

Toys 'R' Us Wants a Robot (to Sell) for Christmas

As robots go, My Keepon appears underwhelming. It stands about 10 inches high and looks like two tennis balls fused together. It has no arms, no antennae, and no laser beams. What it does have is a wicked sense of rhythm. Fire up the stereo and My Keepon starts grinding away, spinning its torso and thumping its head to the beat.My Keepon also has the backing of one of the world's largest toy stores, Toys "R" Us, which has the exclusive U.S. rights to sell the robot, originally a therapeutic tool for autistic children. The retailer will begin lining the shelves with My Keepons in late October, priming it to be the big holiday hit. By Christmas, if the bet pays off, My Keepon's career arc will look a lot like Dr. Phil's: from therapist to globally recognizable celebrity. "When you see it rocking out, you just can't help but love it," says Richard Barry, a vice-president at Toys "R" Us. 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: Deanna Krieg, Anne L. Grothaus, Chaya Tabor, Barbara Heckelmann, Jessica L. Ulmer and Erin Adams who all knew that:

According to the federal law (IDEIA), an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

must be developed within 45 days of the time the initial referral is made to the state's early intervention program.

As part of its technical assistance and dissemination (TA&D) network, the United States Office of Special Education Programs has funded a center that specializes in resolving conflicts between parents and school districts, including mediation. What is it called?

If you know the answer, send an email tocontactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 29, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

Plans Emerge To Increase Special Education Funding

There may be two different bills on the table designed to fully fund special education when Congress returns this fall if one lawmaker follows through on plans announced this week. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo. says he intends to introduce legislation in September to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The news comes just a month after Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa,introduceda similar bill. Both call for the federal government to meet its obligation to pay 40 percent of the cost of educating students with disabilities, but they differ in how they would come up with the money. Under Polis' proposal, the funds would come from "cutting wasteful and unnecessary Pentagon defense programs," according to a statement from the congressman's office. In doing so, Polis says so-called full funding of IDEA would be achieved over the next five years. To read more,click here

Head Trauma May Boost Schizophrenia Risk

Head trauma may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, a new study says. The results show people who have suffered from atraumatic brain injury (TBI)are 1.6 times more likely to develop schizophrenia compared with those who have not suffered such an injury. The risk was particularly high in those with a family history of schizophrenia. Previous studies regarding TBI and schizophrenia have yielded mixed results as to whether the conditions are linked. The new study is one of the first to pool information from past research in a systematic way to get an indication of the risk. While the new findings suggest the link does exist, they don't prove that brain injuries cause schizophrenia. And it could be that patients were already developing the psychiatric condition when their injury occurred, the researchers said. More work needs to be done to find exactly what's behind this relationship, they said. To read more,click here

State Task Force Says Teachers Aren't Doing Enough to Identify Children Who Can't Read

Educators in New Jersey are not doing all they can to properly identify and help children who cannot read, members of the New Jersey Reading Disabilities Task Force said at a meeting at the Ocean City library last Wednesday. Task force members said a top priority will be raising awareness of current research and teaching methods that are effective in helping the estimated 15 percent of all children who struggle with dyslexia or other reading disorders.Formed earlier this year, the task force has a year to make recommendations to the governor. But members said they want to start raising awareness now so that parents and teachers can be better informed. They said one problem is that teachers are not getting the instruction they need to identify children at a young age. To read more,click here

American Council of the Blind and Google Conduct Survey

The American Council of the Blind (ACB), a consumer-based organization of blind and visually impaired Americans advocating for the rights of blind Americans, will work with Google Inc. to survey blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind individuals to better understand how they use computers and assistive technology to access information."Having access to information through the use of accessible technology is paramount in this day and age for education, employment and social networking. Many studies have evaluated how users generally access the Internet, but none have focused specifically on the experience of blind users," said Mitch Pomerantz, president of theAmerican Council of the Blind, in astatement. To read more,click here

'The Lion King' on Broadway to Host Autism-Friendly Performance

"The Lion King" on Broadway will be the first major New York show to host a performance geared specifically for individuals with autism. The performance, scheduled for Oct. 2, is part of a new pilot program from the Theatre Development Fund called theAutism Theatre Initiative, whose goal is to make theater accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum -- including those with Asperger's syndrome -- and their families. TDF, a nonprofit group, said it has purchased every seat for the Oct. 2 performance at the Minskoff Theatre for sale to families whose members include individuals with autism. 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 Educationestablishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.


For more information on Board Certification in Special Education,click here

Neurofeedback for Children with ADHD

For children and adults living with attention deficit disorder, staying focused is a constant challenge. The distractions of day-to-day life can make it hard to learn and to stay on track in school, but one teen has found a way to retrain her brain without medication. It may look like Jenna Terribile is just playing a video game, but what the 17-year-old is really doing is learning to focus her brain with neurofeedback. Neurofeedback was initially developed by NASA in the 1960s to improve a pilot's attention, and ability to focus. Today, psychologists like Dr. Sanford Silverman are using it to help children like Jenna manage the symptoms of ADD and ADHD without medication.Jenna was diagnosed with ADHD in the 3rd grade. It was a tough time for her family, but mom Diane says the side effects from the drugs Jenna's doctor prescribed were as bad if not worse than the actual ADHD symptoms themselves. To read more,click here

Children with Cerebral Palsy: Change the Environment, Not the Child

A successful new rehabilitation approach to treating children with cerebral palsy puts its focus on where a child lives and plays, not just improving the child's balance, posture and movement skills. Called a "context-focused intervention," McMaster University and the University of Alberta researchers report in a new study this approach is just as beneficial as traditional child-focused therapy, offering parents an additional treatment option for their child. The McMaster study, in conjunction with researchers at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and Alberta Health Services in Calgary, is the first randomized trial to examine the effects of therapy focused on changing a child's task or environment, not the child. It appeared in the July issue of the medical journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Prior written notice (PWN) is written notification from the school telling parents that it is considering making certain decisions or taking certain actions. The purpose is to provide parents with information so that they will be able to participate in the decision-making process.

Scientists Show How Gene Variant Linked to ADHD Could Operate; Study Offers Potential New Target for Treatment of ADHD

A study using mice provides insight into how a specific receptor subtype in the brain could play a role in increasing a person's risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research, conducted by the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, could also help explain how stimulants work to treat symptoms of ADHD. Dysfunction of the dopamine D4 receptor subtype is linked to ADHD as well as other disorders characterized by decreased impulse control, including drug abuse. One subtype variant, D4.7, has been of particular interest because of its increased prevalence in those diagnosed with ADHD. However, the function of this particular variant in ADHD has been poorly understood. To read more,click here

Could the Way We Mate and Marry Boost Rates of Autism?

In this week's paper issue of TIME, author Judith Warnerexploresa provocative theory about why rates of autism, particularly the mild form known as Asperger's, are on the rise: because people who have certain "autistic" traits are increasingly meeting and marrying each other and having offspring who are more likely to be on the spectrum. The theory of "assortative mating" was first put forth by neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen, a leading autism researcher and something of a rock star in the field. He's the first cousin of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and like his cousin, his prolific work tends toward the out-of-the-box. Combine that with his outspokenness - uncommon for a scientist - and it's clear why at a recent international conference in San Diego, he was "frequently mobbed by fellow attendees and treated with near universal adulation," Warnerwrites. To read more,click here

Census: Parents Reading More with Their Children

Today's parents-especially low-income parents-are more involved with their young children than they were a decade ago, in ways that research has shown could boost children's academic careers down the road. Amid dense new data released Aug. 11 from the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent Survey of Income and Program Participation, several indicators show American children are spending more time with their parents, from reading to playing to eating dinner, than they did in 1998. The latest data, which are for 2009 and come from interviews with a nationally representative sample of more than 42,000 households, could signal the potential for more parent involvement in education, even as federal, state, and district money for parent engagement shrinks. To read more,click here

New Race to Top Spurs Concerns About Testing Preschoolers

The proposed assessment requirements for the new Race to the Top early-learning competition are sparking concerns from some preschool advocates, who fear the provisions could lead to high-stakes testing of young children and unfair accountability measures imposed on educators. At the same time, other observers suggest the federal competition could generate national models for early assessment. At least 36 states are expected to compete later this year for a slice of $500 million in grants under the Early Learning Challenge, which aims to support states as they ramp up both the quality of and access to early-childhood programs. To read more,click here

Food For Thought..........


"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn."

Ignacio Estrada

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