Week in Review - June 10, 2011
WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
June 10, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 21
New This Week on NASET
Parent Teacher Conference Handouts
Reasons for an Occupational Therapy Evaluation
With an increase in referrals for the services of an occupational therapist, it is necessary for parents to have an understanding of the conditions under which these services would be used as a teacher in special education providing parents with this information will be very helpful in alleviating any fears or misconceptions as to why occupational therapy was recommended.A child may need to be referred for Occupational Therapy. This issue of the Parent Teacher Conference Handout focuses on the reasons for occupational therapy evaluations.
Classroom Management Series
Series VI - Part II (B) A Method for Conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment
Most teachers recognize that many classroom discipline problems can be resolved by consistently applying standard management strategies. Strategies proven to be effective include: teaching students how to comply with well-defined classroom rules, providing students more structure in lessons, making strategic seating assignments, and posting a class schedule, to mention a few. These proactive procedures can sometimes even alleviate the need for more intensive interventions. Today, many teachers learn about other solutions to the problems they face through teacher assistance or intervention assistance teams. Regardless of the source of this information, school personnel generally should introduce one or more standard strategies before seeking to initiate the more complex, and often time-consuming, process of functional behavioral assessment. A formal assessment usually is reserved for serious, recurring problems that do not readily respond to typical discipline strategies, impede a student's learning, or have been ongoing.
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Common-Core Tests to Have Built-in Accommodations
When Michael Hock was a special education teacher, he spent hours slicing quarter-inch slits in the center of index cards so that his students could use them to isolate individual words and sentences while taking standardized tests. When a new generation of tests-the common-core assessments-is unveiled in a few years, special education teachers should be able to put away their index cards and all the other shortcuts and homemade solutions they have created over the years to make paper-and-pencil tests accessible for many students with disabilities. That's because the new, computerized tests will have accommodations for most students with disabilities built right in. To read more, click here
Using Brain Therapy to Treat ADHD
Many parents turn to pills when it comes to dealing with their child's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, but one mother is cutting back on drugs and treating her son's brain instead. Every morning Seth Munger takes his pill, that he calls his ADHD pill. The medication has become a way of life to help Seth Focus, concentrate and control himself. Something that Seth's mother, Paula Evans, said was all but impossible for the 8-year-old who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. "He was kicked out of every preschool but when he got into second grade they were going to kick him out and so at that point we decided to go to the doctors," Evans said. Seth had no friends, and did so poorly in school that when he had two good days, his grandmother framed his certificate and hung it on her wall. "Every day he would have an outbreak. If a toy was out of place or something, you'd want to make sure that was fixed because he'd have a tantrum," his mom said. The medication helped, but at a cost. "When I seen him on the medication he lost his little soul," his grandmother, Meladee Evans, said. "He wasn't himself. He had no personality, like we were taking away his childhood," Paula Evans said. Seth's family found the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine in Southern California. Here, Dr. David Velkoff treats kids like Seth with neurofeedback. He calls it physical therapy for the brain. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
A school district must make reasonable efforts to obtain parental informed consent to determine whether a child is a child with a disability. Without parental consent, the school cannot conduct an initial evaluation of the child to determine if the child qualifies as a child with a disability.
Roger Moore Speaks Out for Children with Disabilities
Sir Roger Moore, better known for playing secret agent James Bond, has a very public message. As a UNICEF member for almost 20 years, Moore has been a strong advocate for children with disabilities, who are often mistreated and discriminated against, he says: "Children with disabilities are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society. They are at a higher risk of abuse, neglect, and of missing out on school and basic health care. Thousands -- literally thousands -- of children live isolated lives in institution without one single chance of adequate development." To read more, click here
Parents Divided on Screening for Conditions without Cure
Most moms want their newborns to be tested for fragile X syndrome, but a significant number of parents remain reluctant to find out if their children have the disability, new research suggests. In a study of more 2,000 mothers in North Carolina, researchers asked why they did or did not agree to have their newborns screened for the FMR1 gene, which is responsible for fragile X. Overall, nearly two out of three parents agreed to have their babies tested. Black mothers were least likely to consent to the screening while those with graduate degrees were more likely than parents with only a high school diploma to consent, according to the study published this week in the journal Pediatrics. Most who agreed to have their children tested said they did so because the wanted "to know." But among those who declined the screening the reasons varied, with some saying they didn't want to worry or preferred not to know and others expressing negative opinions about genetic testing. To read more, click here
No More Bullies at the North Pole
Bullies at the North Pole? Absolutely!!! This book addresses unfair behavior at Santa's North Pole. Special Education Teachers should find this book a valuable resource for class discussions on many unfair issues that can be devastating to children such as bullying, rejection, conformity and other problem behaviors. CGRC Publishing Co. is offering this book to NASET members at absolutely no charge. By clicking on the link below, NASET members can download a complimentary copy of the book, to be read and shared with their students. All that is asked of you in return is that, after reading the book, you take a moment to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your evaluation, reactions and/or opinions, both positive and negative. Click on the link to receive your complimentary copy. http://cgrcpublishing.com/naset-copy.php
Autism May Have Had Advantages in Humans' Hunter-Gatherer Past, Researcher Believes
Though people with autism face many challenges because of their condition, they may have been capable hunter-gatherers in prehistoric times, according to a paper published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology in May. The autism spectrum may represent not disease, but an ancient way of life for a minority of ancestral humans, said Jared Reser, a brain science researcher and doctoral candidate in the USC Psychology Department. Some of the genes that contribute to autism may have been selected and maintained because they created beneficial behaviors in a solitary environment, amounting to an autism advantage, Reser said. To read more, click here
Dealing with Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome gained attention across the country this year when American Idol contestant James Durbin openly shared his struggles with the disorder. Durbin was voted off the show and the public chronicle of Tourette Syndrome went with him, but approximately 100,000 Americans continue to live with Tourette Syndrome. May 15 through June 15 marks National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month. The Center for Disease Control cites three per every 1,000 children ages six to 17 have been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Syndrome is characterized by motor or vocal tics, most often beginning in the head and neck area. Motor tics could include head jerking, shrugging shoulders, or eye blinking. Vocal tics include throat clearing, tongue clicking, or yelling a word or phrase. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
If parents do not respond to a request for consent or if they refuse to provide consent for an initial evaluation, the district cannot override their refusal to provide consent.
Rules Set for Fresh Round of 'i3' Grants
The second round of the Investing in Innovation federal grant program will be a smaller, $150 million contest for districts and nonprofits that will require fewer private-sector matching dollars, ask applicants to focus on rural schools, and change how evidence of past success is used in the scoring process. The U.S. Department of Education, which announced the guidelines on Friday, expects to give out as many as 22 awards in December in three tiers, ranging from $3 million to $25 million, with the largest awards going to proposals with the strongest research base, as in the first round. Applications will be due in August. Last summer, the department awarded $650 million to 49 districts, schools, and their nonprofit partners to scale up promising practices, with the largest individual awards also going to the applicants with strong track records. Awards ranged from $50 million for the largest "scale up" winners, which included the big-name groups Teach for America and the Knowledge Is Power Program, to $5 million for the smallest, lesser-known "development" winners. To read more, click here
Saliva is Effective in Screening for CMV Infection in Newborns, Researchers Find
Swabbing a newborn's mouth for saliva can be used to quickly and effectively screen for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, a leading cause of hearing loss in children, says research in the June 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) found saliva correctly identified every baby born with the infection when liquid samples were used, and 97.4 percent of babies when the samples were dried. The research was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health. "Most babies infected with CMV don't show symptoms at birth," said James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIDCD. "It's important for us to develop diagnostic tools to screen babies for congenital CMV infection so that those who test positive can be monitored for possible hearing loss and, if it occurs, provided with appropriate intervention as soon as possible." To read more, click here
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
Congratulations to: Phyllis Wilson, Shan Ring, Ross Jones, Christie Miller, Alexandra Pirard, and Marilyn Haile who all knew that New Mexico was the final state to accept federal funding under IDEA in 1984.
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
School personnel may remove a student with a disability who violates a code of student conduct from his current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for up to how many cumulative school days without providing any services or conducting a manifestation determination?
If you know the answer, send an email to email@example.com
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, June 13, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Poet Zephaniah: Teacher Told Me Not Everyone Can Read Well... So Try Football
One of Britain's most celebrated poets warned today that radical attitude changes are needed in schools and homes to stamp out rising illiteracy. Benjamin Zephaniah called on parents, teachers and pupils to be more "collaborative" to stop children slipping through the net - and revealed he was failed by a teacher who dismissed his dyslexia. He said: "I was in primary school reading class one day and I was struggling. I thought everyone else was struggling and I started looking out of the window at the boys playing football. "The teacher said to me that not everyone can be good with words or reading and said I could be good at football and sent me out. "I thought it was great at the time, but it's only looking back that I think how the teacher had failed me." To read more, click here
Retina Holds the Key to Better Vision in Individuals Who are Deaf
People who are deaf benefit from better vision due to the fact their retinas develop differently, experts at the University of Sheffield have shown. The research, which was funded by RNID -- Action on Hearing Loss and published June 1, 2011 in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that the retina of adults who are either born deaf or have an onset of deafness within the very first years of life actually develops differently to hearing adults in order for it to be able to capture more peripheral visual information. Using retinal imaging data and correlating this with measures of peripheral vision sensitivity, a team led by Dr Charlotte Codina and Dr David Buckley from the University's Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics, have shown that the retinal neurons in deaf people appear to be distributed differently around the retina to enable them to capture more peripheral visual information. To read more, click here
More Americans with Disabilities Looking for Work
After a one-month reprieve, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities shot up in May, the U.S. Department of Labor said last Friday. The jobless rate grew to 15.6 percent in May for those with disabilities, up from 14.5 percent the previous month. The increase erases all of the improvements seen in April when unemployment dropped for the first time in three months. One reason for the rise is that more Americans with disabilities sought work in May. To read more, click here
Depression: Not Just for Adults
From a distance, Callie (not her real name) appears to be a normal if quiet 5-year-old girl. But when faced with a toy that blows large soap bubbles -- an activity that makes the vast majority of kindergarteners squeal and leap with delight -- she is uninterested in popping the bubbles or taking a turn with the gun herself. When offered dolls or other toys, she is equally unmoved. When groups of children congregate to play, Callie does not join them. Even at home, she is quiet and withdrawn. While Callie's mother explains this lack of interest in play as simple "shyness," researchers are now discovering that children as young as 3 years of age can meet the clinical criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD). What's more, they demonstrate patterns of brain activation very similar to those seen in adults diagnosed with the disorder. To read more, click here
When a Child's Anxieties Need Sorting
When the 10-year-old son of Brooke Garber Neidich, a chairwoman at the Whitney Museum, was having difficulty in school, there was only one person who was able to give him a proper diagnosis: Dr. Harold Koplewicz. When Debra G. Perelman, a daughter of the Revlon chairman Ronald O. Perelman, wanted to address her young daughter's social anxiety, there was just one man she called: Dr. Harold Koplewicz. And when the financier Marc Bell, was concerned about his twins' mental health, he called (you guessed it) Dr. Harold Koplewicz. "He basically saved my kids," Mr. Bell said. Just who is this man, whom people from as far away as Dubai entrust with their children's psyches; whose hourly rate can be as high as $1,000 (three to four times that of the average Manhattan therapist); and whose friends include the former New Jersey governor Jon S. Corzine and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton? To read more,click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT - 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
Research Reveals Effectiveness of Seizure Treatments for Children with Autism
Physicians will have a better guide for more effectively managing treatment of children experiencing seizures related to autism with the results of a study by researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Texas-Houston. From 25 to 35 percent of people with autism will eventually experience full-scale seizures. Many others will have seizure-like brain activity, in which there is no obvious effect on muscles but potential effects on brain functioning, such as temporary loss of attention. Little has been known about which traditional treatments for epileptic seizures and commonly used non-traditional alternative treatments are most effective for treating seizures or epilepsy specifically in children and adults with autism. To read more,click here
Do 'Gifted' Programs Work?
Students admitted into the gifted and talented program in one large school district in the Southwest performed no better than similarly talented peers who didn't get in, according to a new study. The researchers looked at the academic performance of 2,600 students who, in fifth grade (as of 2007-2008), either barely qualified for the gifted program-or barely didn't. The "gifted" students subsequently took more-difficult courses, usually in their neighborhood schools, while the students who missed the cutoff took standard-issue courses. Nevertheless, midway through seventh grade, the performance of the two groups on achievement tests was indistinguishable. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
If a child is enrolled in the public school and the parent refuses to give consent for an initial evaluation or reevaluation, the school may request a due process hearing. A hearing officer may order the school to proceed without parental consent. A hearing officer may not order that the child be placed in special education without parental consent.
LSAT Hopeful Fails in Bid for Accommodations During Test
A college student with learning disabilities who sued the Law School Admission Council this week won't get extra time on the Law School Admissions Test, a court has ruled. U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccette on June 2 denied Meghan Larywon's request to compel the council, which administers the LSAT, to grant her double the standard time to complete the exam as well as 15-minute breaks between each of its sections during the June 6 administration of the test. Following a hearing in White Plains, N.Y., Briccette ruled that Larywon did not meet the legal standard for a temporary restraining order, said admission council General Counsel Joan Van Tol. Larywon, a senior at Wesleyan University, filed suit on May 30, alleging that the council violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by denying her requests for accommodations. According to her complaint, she twice requested extra time on the test, and twice was denied by the council. To read more, click here
ADHD and Deficient Emotional Control Run in Families
The inheritance pattern of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and deficient emotional self-regulation (DESR) suggests that DESR may be a familial subtype of ADHD, according to a study published online April 15 in The American Journal of Psychiatry. Craig B.H. Surman, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used family studies to clarify the coincidence of ADHD and DESR. Study participants were 83 probands with and without ADHD and 128 siblings. Structured diagnostic interviews were used to assess for presence of axis I Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders-IV conditions. DESR in adult probands and siblings was defined using items from the Barkley Current Behavior Scale. To read more, click here
Students with Special Needs Get Ready for Life on Their Own
The planning session is in full swing at the Project STRIVE apartment on Blue Mound Road. Seven students - five from Brookfield Central and two from Brookfield East - sit in a circle with Sara Murdoch, Central's special education coordinator, and tick off a list of tasks that need to be completed and supplies that need to be acquired. This planning session is especially significant, because Murdoch and the kids are organizing something really important - tomorrow's make-your-own pizza lunch. Project STRIVE was launched as a pilot program earlier this year as a way to help the Elmbrook School District's cognitively disabled and autistic students prepare for life after graduation, and despite some hiccups, organizers say it's been a great success so far. "The biggest (positive) I have seen is the growth of every student in this program from when we began in January," Murdoch said. To read more, click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT - Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual
As a member of NASET you qualify for a special group discount* on your auto, home, and renter's insurance through Group Savings Plus® from Liberty Mutual. This unique program allows you to purchase high-quality auto, home and renters insurance at low group rates.
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Food For Thought..........
You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. Charles C. Noble