Week in Review - May 13, 2011
WEEK IN REVIEW
New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
May 13, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 17
New This Week on NASET
Parent Teacher Conference Handouts
What Parents Need to Know About Stuttering
Many times parents will be very concerned about a period of time in his/her child's development that may include stuttering. This behavior while at times just a normal part of speech development still presents tension for parents. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout explains the basic types of Fluency (smooth speech) disorders that if prolonged should be identified and referred to the speech and language therapist in the school.
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Classroom Management Series VI
This issue of the Classroom Management Series VI on Functional Behavioral Assessment will cover :
* Introduction: Conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment
* Rationale for Using Functional Behavioral Assessments to Develop Positive Behavior Interventions
* Functional Assessment is a Team Effort. -
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)
Board: Drug Therapy for Children with Autism was Risky
A doctor nationally known for treating autism with a drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders has been suspended from practicing medicine in his home state of Maryland after state officials determined he is putting children at risk. Dr. Mark Geier allegedly misrepresented his credentials, misdiagnosed children and urged parents to approve risky treatments without fully informing them of the potential dangers, according to the Maryland Board of Physicians. The board's order, dated April 27, states that Geier "endangers autistic children and exploits their parents by administering to the children a treatment protocol that has a known substantial risk of serious harm and which is neither consistent with evidence-based medicine nor generally accepted in the relevant scientific community." To read more, click here
Engineering Universal Access for Learning
Dr. Michael Hughes has a doctorate in education, but he spends a lot of his time thinking like an architect or engineer. "Universal design usually means creating buildings that are physically accessible to everyone, with hallways wide enough for wheelchairs," he says. "But, in promoting 'universal design for learning,' we have to simultaneously confront the technological, social and psychological barriers to equal education." Hughes is the coordinator of Bowie State University's Office of Disability Support Services, which aids students with mobility issues, sensory problems, emotional challenges or learning disabilities. He works closely with Jeff Gittens, who is completing a doctorate in computer sciences. Bowie State is leading the charge in researching two adaptive technology applications, say Hughes and Gittens. The first involves graphic image processing. Current optical character recognition software can help people with impaired vision by converting printed text into speech. However, if the software encounters a picture, it can only tell the user that there is a photograph or a drawing on the page. Bowie State is collaborating with researchers at the University of Illinois to combine image processing, facial recognition and natural speech to interpret and describe graphic images. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
Panic disorder is a real illness that can be successfully treated. It is characterized by sudden attacks of terror, usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, or dizziness.
Lawyer with Disability Cranks Out Lawsuits
Scott Johnson calls himself a crusader for the disabled. The hundreds of small businesses he routinely sues call him a legal extortionist.Welcome to the rough and tumble world of providing access to the disabled. At the heart of the matter is the American with Disabilities Act, the controversial federal law requiring a minimum level of access in all public places. Disabled advocates say since no government agency enforces the law, that task has fallen to private attorneys who file lawsuits to compel the non compliant to provide equal access to all. Because of a quirk in California law, the state stands out as a magnet for disabled-access lawsuits and several lawyers have made a name for themselves as frequent filers. Few, though, are as prolific as Johnson. To read more, click here
Study Finds Detroit Lacks Services to Address Illiteracy
Nearly half of all adults in Detroit lack basic reading, writing and other skills needed to obtain good jobs but not enough services are being provided to address the crisis, a study warns.
The report, commissioned by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund, found that the current literacy programs and services are not meeting residents' needs. In a city with an unemployment rate of 20.1%, 47% of adult residents -- or more than 200,000 people -- are estimated to be illiterate.
The study, conducted by the Ann Arbor-based Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, discovered that less than 10% of those lacking basic skills are getting the help they need. Existing services are also not equipped to aid people with learning disabilities. And the vast majority of programs are not geared to helping participants get a job or succeed in vocational training. To read more, click here
Virginia Governor Signs Autism Insurance Bills
To the delight of the autism community, Gov. Bob McDonnell has signed the state's autism-insurance bills. Virginia is the 26th state to enact autism-insurance reform legislation. McDonnell had concerns with the bills, which require health insurers to cover some treatments for children with autism ages 2 to 6, and he tried to amend it in ways that advocates said watered it down. He eventually came to an agreement with legislators to let some of his amendments pass. In exchange, he pledged not to veto the bill. That didn't mean he had to sign it, though. It would have become law without his signature. Advocates, aware of McDonnell's objections, have been anxiously waiting to see if he would sign the measure. "Denying autism claims was a senseless, arbitrary practice by the insurance industry in Virginia, and this law will put an end to it," said John Maloney who worked with other parents for years to pass the bill. To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
Panic attacks can occur at any time, even during sleep. An attack usually peaks within 10 minutes, but some symptoms may last much longer.
Disabilities Don't Alter an Athlete's Desire to Compete
When it comes to sports, so much has changed over the years and not all of it has been for the better. Money has changed professional sports for the worse. A lot of the fun has been taken out of youth spor ts as organizations and parents put the emphasis on making it big and cashing in.
It's all become so business-like it makes you wonder where the passion, the fun and purity of sport has gone. But there is hope. In Kelowna there is a sports organization that is allowing athletes to chase their dreams of winning championships at the same time as it helps those athletes overcome adversity in the real world. It is altering the lives of those involved in profound ways.
It's called Special Olympics and within the organization there are a group of athletes and coaches with a love of sport that is second-to-none. To read more, click here
Potential Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Could Kill Brain Cells, Study Suggests
Researchers with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta have discovered that some "protective" T-cells can kill neurons. This finding is significant because a specific type of T-cell therapy is being touted in the medical community as a potential treatment for MS and other autoimmune conditions. Dr. Fabrizio Giuliani and his post-doctoral fellow, Yohannes Haile, both from the Division of Neurology, collaborated on this research which was recently published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, a peer-reviewed medical journal. "Using T-cells has been seen as a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases," says Dr. Giuliani. "But these cells that are supposed to be regulatory, when activated, they can kill. In our hands, at least, they were able to kill neurons. So this is very important. In MS literature, they were starting to talk about using the infusion of these cells as treatment. This area needs to be studied more before these cells are used as a therapy for MS patients." 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.
Lorrie Weaver, MaryLouise Torre, Wendy McNeave, Phyllis Wilson, Nancy Johnsen, Ross Jones, Debbie Innerarity, Kristin Froedge, Jennifer Possanza, Lois Nembhard, Cindy Phelps, Deanna Krieg, Joan Manchester, Jessica Ulmer, Michael McDermott, Rochelle Schelling, Yvette Jones, Marilyn Haile, Alexandra Pirard, Nan Porter, Christie Miller, Amanda L. Davis-Holloway, James Hannon, Pattie Komons, & Chaya Tabor- who knew the correct answer to last week's trivia question was: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
What is scolionophobia?
If you know the answer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, May 16, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members
As 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
Studies Provide Guidance for Teaching Immigrant Preschoolers
A growing number of studies are providing guidance to school districts that are increasingly looking for ways to support preschoolers from immigrant families so that they are ready for kindergarten. Recent findings from that growing body of work-including studies that examine the effectiveness of tools for measuring preliteracy, explore immigrant preschoolers' access to early-childhood education, and analyze how immigrant children measure up with their nonimmigrant peers academically, socially, and emotionally upon entering kindergarten-were presented here late last month at a conference held in tandem with the release of a special issue on immigrant children in the journal Future of Children. The event, at Princeton University, drew nearly 200 educators. To read more, click here
Utah's Autism Rate Doubles in Six Years
When her son was 22 months old, Laura Anderson said goodbye to a walking, talking, smiling boy and entered the silent world of autism. Over a six-week period, the Ty she knew disappeared and a new toddler appeared, one that stopped smiling and saying "Mama." Numbers released last Friday show that's a reality for more Utah parents: The number of children with the neurobehavioral disorder doubled from 2002 to 2008. About two children per day were born with an autism spectrum disorder in 2008. Put another way, 1 in 77 8-year-olds had the disorder that year - double from six years before. To read more, click here
Deaf Kentucky Fan Wants Captions On Scoreboard
A deaf University of Kentucky football season ticket holder is suing the school, seeking to force the Wildcats to put closed-captioning on the scoreboards at Commonwealth Stadium. The lawsuit filed Wednesday bu Charles Mitchell is similar to suits brought against Ohio State University and the NFL's Washington Redskins. Mitchell is seeking an injunction forcing the university to put captions for all game announcements on the scoreboards of the stadium under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars discrimination against people with disabilities. To read more, click here
Hope Builds for Treating Intellectual Disabilities
Slouched sideways at his desk in the front row of class, a sneakered foot jittering distractedly, Chase Brown could be any 14-year-old in academic captivity. As the discussion turns to the American history of slavery, the teacher draws Chase back from his apparent reverie. A classmate has said that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Does Chase agree or disagree?
Chase locks eyes with his teacher. "I agree," he says emphatically. It is a moment of triumph for Chase, one of an estimated 90,000 in the U.S. who live with an inherited form of intellectual disability known as fragile X syndrome. Only a year ago, he would have fled the classroom, thrown something at the teacher or stayed mute. Last year, he tested below first-grade level in all academic domains. To read more, click here
Asthma Pill More User-Friendly Than Inhalers -- And No Less Effective, Study Finds
A rarely prescribed asthma drug is easier to use and just as effective as conventional treatment with inhalers, according to a new study led by the University of East Anglia (UEA). Publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers followed 650 patients with chronic asthma for two years. They found that tablets called leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) managed the disease equally successfully as steroid inhalers and other 'preventer' inhalers when used in addition to steroid inhalers. LTRAs -- sold under the brand names 'Singulair' (montelukast) and 'Accolate' (zafirlukast) -- have long been on the market as an alternative to the steroid inhalers commonly used by asthmatics to ward off attacks. They have historically been less fashionable than inhalers, however, and are considered by some to be less effective. Under UK guidelines they are currently recommended as third or fourth steps in asthma management. As a result, LTRAs are far less frequently prescribed than inhalers. To read more,click here
Growing Pains Irk School for Gifted Students
Enrollment for Ace Academy in Central Austin has grown 500 percent since its opening just a few years ago. It's a statistic that's forced the school to turn away gifted students looking for more out of their education. Students like 12-year-old Grace Protzmann, who enrolled at the school in January along with 110 other gifted students. She takes algebra two years ahead of when she would take it in the public school system. "For me, it was easy work and here I feel very challenged in the right way," she said. The school prides itself on teacher-student dialogue and a classroom style that fits the students' hunger to learn beyond their years. Donna Husley co-founded the school in 2005 with just eight families. She is the parent to a gifted child herself. "It's very frustrating for a child to pick up a book or a problem and be told, 'No, you can't do that cause we don't do that till next year,'" she said. "They want more depth than anyone else is interested in." To read more, click here
Many Children with ADHD Can't Control Their Emotions, Study Finds
More than half of people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have trouble regulating their emotions, and that difficulty may be passed through families, a new study shows.
Researchers are calling this cluster of symptoms deficient emotional self-regulation (DESR). It involves quick bursts of outsized anger, frustration, impatience, or excitability in response to everyday events. "Any sort of reflexive, emotionally laden reaction that would not be politic or thoughtful or helpful," says study researcher Craig B. H. Surman, MD. Surman is an instructor in psychiatry in the Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD Program. "It's not just people with mental health challenges that have issues regulating their emotions. Everyone does to some extent, but hopefully, in most cases it's when people are really maxed out or strained or stressed," Surman says. To read more, click here
Did You Know That....
A fear of one's own unexplained physical symptoms is also a symptom of panic disorder. People having panic attacks sometimes believe they are having heart attacks, losing their minds, or on the verge of death. They can't predict when or where an attack will occur, and between episodes many worry intensely and dread the next attack
Do Challenging Children Cause Bad Marriages?
Research published last month in Child Trends reported that happy marriages generally result in happy children. I was asked by a reader if children with any type of physical, emotional or developmental problems cause unhappy marriages. Research has focused on parents raising children with such problems as Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and similar types of disabilities. The research findings have been ambiguous, with some studies finding a higher rate of divorce among such parents, which others documenting no real differences. However, it's clear that raising a special-needs child can result in a severe strain on a marriage. Here's how successful marriages navigate these problems. To read more, click here
The Relation ship Between Respect and Test Scores
Among the top-performing countries on the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, one common factor stood out: respect for education. In high-achieving nations, it is part of the culture and a tenet embraced by families, teachers, and government. In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama cited respect for learning as a central value a week after Nicholas Kristof noted in The New York Times that the PISA leaders (Finland, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Japan, and South Korea) have a "legacy of reverence for education." For the Asian cultures, this is a millennia-long tradition, while Finland and Canada more recently established education as a priority with the knowledge that treating educators and the education system with respect is the only way to actualize that priority. To read more, click here
Regenerating Nerve Cells: Research Offers Hope in New Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
Rutgers researchers have developed an innovative new treatment that could help minimize nerve damage in spinal cord injuries, promote tissue healing and minimize pain. After a spinal cord injury there is an increased production of a protein (RhoA) that blocks regeneration of nerve cells that carry signals along the spinal cord and prevents the injured tissue from healing. Scientists at the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience and Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc. have developed a chemically synthesized siRNA molecule that decreases the production of the RhoA protein when administered to the spine and allows regeneration of the nerve cells. To read more, click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
Group Savings Plus from Liberty Mutual
As a member ofNASETyou 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..........
One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do.