Week in Review - December 16, 2011


New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week

December 16, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 46


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Welcome toNASET'sWEEK in REVIEW Feel free to send us articles for this publication or let us know your thoughts about the WEEK in REVIEW atnews@naset.org. Have a great weekend.


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New This Week on NASET

Classroom Management Series VII

Part IV-Strategies for Adapting Tests and Quizzes

Many times, teachers of students with special needs realize that these students will not be able to learn the material being presented unless some changes or adaptations are made. These changes may need to be made in the manner of presentation of the material, the type of material presented, the manner of response, the tests and quizzes presents, homework expectations, and grading systems used. All of these adaptations increase a student's chances of learning something. This part of the series outlines strategies for adapting tests and quizzes.

To read or download this issue - http://www.naset.org/3425.0.html (login required)

Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education

Disorders in this issue:

LD 9.05 -Temporal Disorganization Disorder
OI 1.01 -Fibrous Dysplasia
MR 3.03-Mental Retardation due to Phenylketonuria (PKU).

To read or download this issue - http://www.naset.org/3426.0.html (login required)

iPads Latest Teaching Tool in Self-Contained Classrooms

The iPad may be at the top of many Christmas lists this year, but some special education students in the district won't need Santa's help to get their hands on one. The district is purchasing approximately 25 of the Apple tablet devices for use in self-contained and autistic classrooms. Studies and trials show that the iPad can significantly improve communication skills and social interactions in some children with autism. While the bulk will be purchased by the district with federal flow-through funds at no cost to taxpayers, two of the iPads will be donated by the Comegno Law Group. Its founder and president, John Comegno, serves as the board of education's solicitor. To read more, click here

Study: Special Education Costs Less at Private Schools

When it comes to special education, a common perception is that public schools are cheaper than private ones. With many specialized private schools for the disabled today charging tuition rates in excess of $80,000 per student, that may seem like a safe assumption. But a new analysis commissioned by the private schools' trade group says otherwise. According to the study, it costs $45,358 on average to educate a student with a disability in a state-approved private school, compared to $50,146 per pupil in a local public school. The cost to send a child to a county special services school is even higher: $65,266 per student, the study says. The analysis, which draws on state education data, doesn't include transportation costs. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. The disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, the pioneering French neurologist who in 1885 first described the condition in an 86-year-old French noblewoman.

Broadway Strikes an Autism-Friendly Chord

For most Americans, attending the theater is just one more form of entertainment. But for Katie Sweeney and her family, a recent trip to Broadway was true cause for celebration. "It was absolute redemption," said Sweeney, recalling the afternoon in October when she, her husband Michael, 16-year-old son Dylan, and 14-year-old son Dusty -- who has autism -- caught a unique performance of "The Lion King." "It was a special, special moment," she said, because the performance was the first-ever staging of a Broadway musical specially adapted for an audience of people with autism. Watching Dusty take in the show in an environment that understood his needs was "among the highlights of my life," said Sweeney. To read more, click here

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New Jersey Assembly OKs Bill to Allow Students with Special Needs to Bring Service Animals to School

Legislation to allow students with special needs to bring service animals to school has been approved by the Assembly. The bill would allow a student classified as eligible for special education programs and services for autism or other developmental disability to bring a service animal in school buildings, including the classroom, and on school grounds. The bill does not require the school to provide the service animal. To read more, click here

Feds Unveil Plan To Boost Disability Employment

The Obama administration wants to use the power of the federal pocketbook to dramatically increase hiring of people with disabilities. Under a proposed rule announced Thursday by officials at the U.S. Department of Labor, the government would set a goal that at least 7 percent of workers employed by most federal contractors be individuals with disabilities. Government officials are hailing the effort as one of the most significant civil rights developments since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. And, the impact could be significant. Federal contractors and subcontractors account for nearly a quarter of the American workforce and take in $700 billion in contracts. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

The early symptoms of TS are typically noticed first in childhood, with the average onset between the ages of 3 and 9 years. TS occurs in people from all ethnic groups; males are affected about three to four times more often than females. It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have the most severe form of TS, and as many as one in 100 exhibit milder and less complex symptoms such as chronic motor or vocal tics.

Despite Star's Departure, Pujols Family Foundation Says it's Solid in St. Louis

Todd Mayfield choked up Thursday when he talked about Albert Pujols. He has no idea how he's going to tell his son Elijah, 15, that his favorite player is no longer a St. Louis Cardinal.

The Mayfields are even more emotionally invested in Pujols than the average baseball fan. Elijah has Down syndrome and has benefited from the Pujols Family Foundation. "Having to break the news, I've been dreading that all day," said Mayfield, of Jefferson City. "Most of his peers are getting drivers licenses and getting into sports, things that Elijah probably won't get to do. But he gets to go back to school and tell them about hanging out with Albert Pujols." 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: Debra Mueller, Lisa Rotella, Suzann Armitage, Deanna Krieg, Marilyn Haile, Loretta Grief, Jessica L. Ulmer, and Sheryl MacCullough who all knew that a "loss of interest and pleasure in things one used to enjoy" is "ANHEDONIA".


Children with Tourette syndrome (TS) may exhibit the symptom, "coprolalia". What is coprolalia?

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, December 19, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.

Preemies Infected With More Dangerous Types of Bacteria: Study

Premature infants have fewer types of bacteria in their stomachs and intestines than full-term babies, new research shows. However, the bacteria and other microbes often found in preemies, such as Candida fungus, are also more dangerous, researchers from Duke University Medical Center noted. "You see diversity emerge earlier in [full-term] infants, whereas in premature infants, they seem to be stuck -- they have fewer types of bacteria and the diversity doesn't change a lot over the first month of life," the study's senior author, Dr. Patrick Seed, assistant professor of pediatrics at Duke, said in a Duke news release. "Because the babies get colonized with a specific kind of bacterium, for example, it appears these potentially dangerous species take over space in the gut and bowel. Their dominance may put the babies at risk of infection," Seed pointed out. To read more, click here

Adult Sickle Cell Drug May Benefit Kids, Too

A drug called hydroxyurea that's approved for use in adults with severe sickle cell anemia can also help young children with the disease, new research suggests. Children with sickle cell anemia younger than 4 years old who took the medication had fewer emergency department visits for pain crises, hospital admissions, illnesses with fever and need for transfusions, the study found. "Hydroxyurea may be an option for all children with sickle cell anemia. If you're the parent of a child with sickle cell anemia, talk with your child's doctor about whether it might be right for your child," said study lead author Dr. Zora Rogers, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. To read more, click here

Link Between Genes and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Up to this date, the real cause and major factor for the development of ADHD among children are still unknown. A deeper understanding of this disorder must be extensive in order to see what could be contributory to the development of this disorder. For this reason, many researchers and health care professionals are interested to invest their time and effort in conducting studies which deals with the study of various disorders that affects the young population which include Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Researchers are trying to find out whether the cause of this disorder is something related with heredity and for that matter with the genes that the child is having. Thus, further and extensive researches are conducted to address this inquiry of the possible link between the disorder and the genes of the child. To read more, click here

Unified Athletics Program in Massachusetts Pairs Students with Disabilities with Teens

Like many high school friends, Kara DiGregorio and Kelsey Gaffney hang out at the park, go to dances and watch movies together. The Milford teenagers have become friends, in part, through the school's Best Buddies program, which brings students such as Gaffney, who has intellectual disabilities, together with their peers. "It feels great," Gaffney, 16, said of the friendships she has formed. " It feels awesome. It puts a smile on my face every day." DiGregorio, a 14-year-old freshman, called the friendships "life-changing. They're inspirational." In the spring, DiGregorio and Gaffney plan to expand their friendship through Milford's new unified track and field team, which will compete in a league run by Special Olympics as part of a partnership with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. Other local schools planning to participate in the program in the spring include Algonquin, Westborough, Marlborough and Hudson high schools. To read more, click here

U.S. Plan: Companies Set Goals for Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

Americans with disabilities, facing even higher hurdles than others finding jobs, would get a boost under an Obama administration plan to set new hiring procedures for government contractors. The Labor Department proposed a rule Thursday that would require most companies with federal contracts to set goals of having disabled workers make up 7 percent of their workforce. Labor officials hailed the plan as an economic game-changer at a time when a staggering eight of 10 working-age Americans with disabilities are out of the workforce entirely.

The government long has used the leverage of federal spending to promote affirmative action in the hiring of women and minorities. The new rule would, for the first time, give similar treatment to people with disabilities. To read more, click here



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

Kentucky Approves Inclusion of Special Needs Students in Assessments

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also called the Nation's Report Card, test scores have been released for reading and math in 21 metropolitan school districts, including Jefferson County. The report includes samples from 4th and 8th grade students and compares the districts with each other and national averages. The NAEP test is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics every two years. Kentucky showed promise earlier this year when scores continued to trend upward and in some cases exceeded the national average, but analysts caution NAEP testing should be carefully considered in Kentucky where a significant amount of students with disabilities are excluded from testing. To read more, click here

High School Test Terrain Shifting From Exit Exams to College-Readiness

Fewer students are being required to pass exit exams to graduate from high school, but high school testing is increasing because more states are requiring college- and career-readiness tests, according to a study released last week. Those are a couple of the key takeaways from a study released by the Center on Education Policy. It is the 10th in a series of annual reports that examine trends in high school testing. Its findings are echoed in states' applications for waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act, as well. To read more, click here

Did You Know That....

Although TS can be a chronic condition with symptoms lasting a lifetime, most people with the condition experience their worst tic symptoms in their early teens, with improvement occurring in the late teens and continuing into adulthood.

ADHD Drug Helpful in Adult Depression

Results of a study suggested that a stimulant drug approved to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may improve cognitive function in adults with major depression, its manufacturer said. According to the British firm Shire, patients with partial or full remission of depression symptoms who were on primary antidepressant therapy -- and had residual cognitive impairment -- showed significant improvements in executive function when lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse) was added to their daily treatment. Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate is currently approved in the U.S. for ADHD in adults and children 6 and older.

Specific results in the 143-patient trial were not disclosed in Shire's announcement, but the company said the drug was significantly superior to placebo in the primary outcome measure, which was mean change in global executive composite scores on the adult Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial ran for nine weeks. To read more, click here

Children with Autism and Epilepsy are Often Sensitive to Light

For about 3% of the three million Americans with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or to certain visual patterns can trigger seizures. However, when epilepsy is combined with autism, researchers have found photosensitivity to be much more common. Epilepsy is common in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Nearly a third of patients with an ASD have epileptic seizures. Recently, the American Epilepsy Society was presented with a recommendation that children who present to epilepsy clinics for treatment of seizures also be routinely screened for signs of autism and other developmental delays. To read more, click here

Concern Grows Over Special Education Vouchers in Florida

As the number of private school voucher and scholarship programs for students with disabilities across the country grow, meeting a variety of challenges along the way, one lawmaker in Florida is taking a hard look at that state's program. Florida's McKay Scholarships Program is one of the oldest private school voucher options for students with disabilities. Over the summer, the Miami New Times wrote a scathing piece about some of the schools that accept the vouchers. To read more, click here

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


And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Nelson Mandela

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