Week in Review - December 2, 2011


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

December 2, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 44


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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 theWEEK in REVIEWatnews@naset.org.Have a great weekend.


NASETNews Team

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- NASET Resource Review,  &  Special Educator e-Journal

New This Week on NASET

NASET Resource Review

In this issue you will Find Topics On:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Child Behavior
  • Early Intervention
  • Health Issues
  • IEP
  • Inclusion
  • Instructional Materials
  • Math Instruction
  • Parenting Issues
  • Reading
  • RTI
  • Survey Participation Requests
  • Technology.

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Special Educator e-Journal

In this issue:
  • Update from the U.S. Department of Education
  • Calls to Participate
  • Special Education Resources
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Latest Employment Opportunities Posted onNASET
  • Upcoming Conferences and Events
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
  • Acknowledgments -

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Judge Orders D.C. to Improve Special Education for Young Children

A federal judge has ruled that District of Columbia public schools must make sweeping changes to how young children with disabilities are located and served. In a ruling last month, Judge Royce Lamberth said the district must ensure that 8.5 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 5 are enrolled in special education and related services, as required by federal law.

In recent years, the district has fallen far short of that number, serving as little as 2.7 percent of that group of kids. An expert witness who testified in the case came up with the 8.5 percent figure. That's just one of the requirements in a ruling that may be the beginning of the end of a class-action case filed by parents of seven young children with disabilities in 2005 who said the school district delayed or blocked their kids from getting services. Those parents will be entitled to compensation for services they may have paid for on their own. To read more,click here

Teens with Autism Less Likely to be Socially Active

Social interactionsare vital for leading ahealthylife which is why most experts promote values such as team-spirit and unity. Further encouraging the act of socializing, scientists from the Washington University of St. Louis have put forth that adolescents withautismspectrum disorders (ASDs) do not apparently mingle with pals after school. This investigation is part of the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2) where nearly 11,000 adolescents with ASDs, learning disorders, intellectual difficulties, communication and language problems were inspected. "Out of this group, teens with an ASD were significantly more likely never to seefriendsout of school (43.3 percent), never to get called by friends (54.4 percent), and never to be invited to social activities (50.4 percent) when compared with adolescents from all the other groups," commented Paul Shattuck, PhD, autism expert and assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St.Louis. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Under IDEA, "core academic subjects"

means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.

Massachusetts Improving Services for Older Students with Special Needs

A new bill sponsored by Rep. Tom Sannicandro aims to make the transition from school to the working world easier for students with special needs. The legislation, which was engrossed in the House of Representatives last week and now moves on to the Senate, would revise licensure requirements for special education teachers to allow them to seek certification in transitional services by completing graduate-level courses or similar programs. That additional training will help their students better prepare for life after grade school, said Sannicandro, an Ashland Democrat who represents several Framingham precincts. "Right now they're not adequately prepared for that transition," he said. "A lot of times there's a drop-off." To read more,click here

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Parents, Pharmacists: Crucial Attention-Deficit Drugs Scarce

Seven million people who have been prescribed drugs to battle the unmanageable cacophony that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder brings to their minds now face another hurdle: getting those drugs at the pharmacy. Lake Park pharmacist Nirav Patel finds himself fielding nearly a dozen phone calls a day from patients frantically trying to fill prescriptions. The owner of Robalo Pharmacy says his suppliers give him only enough to fill one or two a day. "It's rationed out. The problem is big. It is huge," Patel said. "This is one of the biggest shortages right now." And health authorities nationally expect the problem to worsen through the holidays and into the new year. To read more,click here

Highlighting World Disability Day

The International Day of Persons with Disability takes place annually on 3 December, with this year's theme being 'Together for a Better World for All: Including Persons with Disabilities in Development'. The United Nations quotes that an estimated 15% of the world's population is living with disability and that between 110 - 190 million of these people encounter significant difficulties. "A quarter of the world's population is directly affected by disability, either by working as a care giver or being a family member," says Siyakha Consulting's executive director, Dionne Kerr. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Parent counseling and training is a related service under IDEA, and means assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child

Census Finds That About 1 in 20 School Children Have a Disability

New data from the U.S. Census show that as of 2010, about 5 percent of all school children have a disability. The American Community Survey finds that of the nation's 53.9 million schoolchildren ages 5 to 17, about 2.8 million were reported to have a disability in 2010. (This data excludes children in institutions such as juvenile correctional facilities, group homes for juveniles, and residential schools for people with disabilities.) This is the first time government officials have analyzed results it has collected for years through the American Community Survey, Census statistician Matthew Brault told Disability Scoop. (The numbers are significantly different than those calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics, which looks at a broader age range and finds that among students age 3 to 21, about 13 percent have disabilities.) To read more,click here


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

Congratulations to:Alexandra Pirard, Debra Mueller, and Jessica L. Ulmer who knew that prior to a due process hearing, each party must disclose to all other parties all evaluations of the child completed by that date and recommendations based on the offering party's evaluations withinFIVE (5) BUSINESS DAYS.

This week,NASETis taking the week off from itsTrivia Question of the Weekto ask you, ourNASETmembers, to write us a trivia question that you think would be good to use in the future.  When you submit it to us, please send the question, the answer, and the source to verify the answer.  If we use your question, you will be credited in the edition of theWeek in Reviewof your submission.

We look forward to receiving some interesting and challenging questions from you.  Send your trivia question tocontactus@naset.org

Another Genetic Clue To Autism: Opposite Malfunctions Have Same Result

In most cases, autism is caused by a combination of genetic factors, but some cases, such as Fragile X syndrome, a rare disorder with autism-like symptoms, can be traced to a variation in a single gene that causes overproduction of proteins in brain synapses, the connectors that allow brain cells or neurons to communicate with one another. Now a new study led by the same MIT neuroscientist who made that discovery, finds that tuberous sclerosis, another rare disease that leads to autism and intellectual disability, is caused by a malfunction at the opposite end of the spectrum: underproduction of the synaptic proteins. Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience and a member of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and colleagues write about their findings in the 23 November online issue of Nature. 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 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

Technology Can Never Replace Inspiring Teachers

Over past decades we've seen a whole parade of educational "bandwagon" panaceas come and go. Among them: "Progressive Education," "Back to Basics," "No Child Left Behind" and, more lately, "Race to the Top." Most all of those efforts were intended to mend an increasingly tattered American public education system, but for one reason or another they simply never proved totally successful, and in some cases they were even detrimental - although the verdict is not yet in on the last of those mentioned. The newest magic elixir is the idea of minimizing the role of living teachers by replacing them with technology-based education, in the form of laptop computers and other technological devices. However, according to a major article appearing in one of the nation's leading newspapers, a school district in Arizona serving 18,000 students invested roughly $33 million in technology-centric education (while, at the same time, laying off a number of teachers due to budgetary cutbacks!) only to see their very large investment produce no improvement in student performance. That's most worrying - and expensive. To read more,click here

Lawmakers Call for Increased Scrutiny of Disability Payments

Following reports of abuse, 14 members of Congress are seeking an investigation into Social Security's oversight of those who manage benefits on behalf of some people with disabilities. The Social Security Administration routinely appoints so-called "representative payees" to handle benefits for individuals who are deemed incapable of overseeing their own finances due to age or disability. In some cases, representative payees are parents or other family members, while in other instances friends or organizations are tasked with assisting beneficiaries. But in a letter sent late last week to the Government Accountability Office, the lawmakers said they are concerned about the current system after learning of a recent case in Philadelphia where a representative payee was found to be keeping four individuals with disabilities locked in a boiler room. To read more,click here

State Agency Told Parents It Had No Money While Building $34 Million Surplus

For more than two years, Heidi Berlin and her husband, Dan, have fought state bureaucracy while seeking help for their son with a developmental disability. And for more than two years, officials have told the Edgewater couple there isn't enough money in state coffers. So the Berlins were shocked to learn this month that over the past two years the Developmental Disabilities Administration hadn't spent at least $34 million intended to help people with disabilities - and actually returned more than $25 million to the state's General Fund. "We live in a very depressing world," Heidi Berlin said Thursday morning after a particularly long night caring for her 4-year-old son, Adam. "But this was a real slap in the face. ... They could have helped us, but they gave the money away." To read more,click here

Development of the Brain Network in the Fetus Now Measurable for the First Time in the Womb

A team of researchers at the MedUni's Clinical Department of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology has demonstrated for the first time ever that there are fetal brain developments that can be measured using functional magnetic resonance tomography in the womb. This means, says study leader Veronika Schöpf, that pathological changes to brain development will be detectable earlier than they are currently -- and appropriate measures can be taken in good time. In the study, 16 fetuses between the 20th and 36th weeks of pregnancy were measured. Measurements were taken of the brain's resting state networks. These networks remain in a state of readiness at rest and their activity increases after appropriate stimulation. The examinations are completely stress-free for the mothers and extend "normal" MRI scans by just a few minutes.To read more,click here

Babies Who Eat Fish Before Nine Months Are Less Likely to Suffer Preschool Wheeze, Study Suggests

Children who started eating fish before nine months of age are less likely to suffer from pre-school wheeze, but face a higher risk if they were treated with broad spectrum antibiotics in the first week of life or their mother took paracetamol during pregnancy. Those are the key findings from a large-scale Swedish study published in the December issue of Acta Paediatrica.  Researchers analysed responses from 4,171 randomly selected families, who answered questions when their child was six months, 12 months and four-and-a-half years of age. "Recurrent wheeze is a very common clinical problem in preschool children and there is a need for better medical treatment and improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms" says lead author Dr Emma Goksor from the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. "The aim of our study was to identify both important risk factors and protective factors for the disease. To read more,click here

Transition U Sends Students with Special Needs to College

Whenever Patti Thoman tells a story about one of her seven students, it usually ends with the words, "Oh, I just cried." Like when she describes the moment Timmy Tedrow got his Walsh University ID. "It was one of those moments when the tears were flowing," she said. "We go over to get our pictures taken. Timmy is the only boy, so he says, 'Ladies first.' When it was his turn, he takes his ID, looks at it, kisses it and says, 'I'm a college man now.' " Tedrow, who has Down syndrome, and his six classmates, Chelsea Jacobucci, Kelly Stevenson, Alyssa Sutter, Billie Stevenson, Hannah Roberts, and Kristen Hall, are students of Transition U, a program specifically designed for cognitive/multiple disabled students, ages 18-22, who have completed social graduation with North Canton City Schools. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

School health services and school nurse servicesmeans health services that are designed to enable a child with a disability to receive FAPE as described in the child's IEP. School nurse services are services provided by a qualified school nurse. School health services are services that may be provided by either a qualified school nurse or other qualified person.

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Allergy Sufferers Should Prepare for Holiday Triggers

The holiday season can be a challenge for people with allergies and asthma, but there are a number of things they can do to protect themselves, allergists say. Food allergies are an issue because many traditional holiday foods contain such allergens as wheat, soy, dairy and nuts, the experts pointed out in a news release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). For example, self-basting turkeys can include soy, wheat and dairy. A natural turkey is the safest choice since it contains nothing but turkey and water. Another recommendation: Use wheat-free bread for the stuffing. To read more,click here

Do Parents of Children With Autism File More Lawsuits?

As the number of children diagnosed with autism has increased over the last few years, new research finds these students are disproportionately involved in lawsuits about whether they are getting a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive setting as required by federal law. A new study by Lehigh University education and law professor Perry A. Zirkel, recently published in the Journal of Special Education Leadership explores this issue. Professor Zirkel found that children with autism were involved in nearly a third of a comprehensive sample of published court decisions concerning the basic tenets of federal special education law. He also found that when comparing this litigation percentage with the percentage of students with autism from 1993 to 2006, the ratio was approximately 10 to 1. In other words, Zirkel writes, "special education court cases are over 10 times more likely to concern a child with autism than the proportion of these children in the special education population." To read more,click here

Smartphone Technology as an Accessibility Platform

Open the iPhone's Settings application, tap on General, and swipe down to the second-to-bottom option: Accessibility. Many iPhone owners won't ever see this menu, but its features - sorted into Vision, Hearing and Physical & Motor sections - are a big selling point for people with disabilities. Abi James, head of product innovation at iansyst - a company with 27 years' experience working on assistive technology (AT) - says Apple is setting a high standard for its rivals to follow when it comes to accessibility. "The native support for screen-reading, magnification and other tools assists many blind and disabled users in accessing all the functions of an iPhone," she says. "By incorporating these assistive technology into the iOS operating system, Apple has enabled apps developers and AT providers, such as ourselves, a range of tools to build on. Other smartphone platforms are playing catch-up." To read more,click here

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

They can....because they think they can.


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