Week in Review - August 3, 2012
WEEK IN REVIEW
NewNASETPublications and Articles of Interest in Special Education and Disabilities That Were Reported This Week
August 3, 2012 - Vol 8, Issue 29
New This Week on NASET
The Practical Teacher - August 2012
Schedule A Hiring Authority: Tips for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities Interested in Starting a Career with the Federal Government
The Schedule A hiring authority (Schedule A) is one of the paths that can greatly benefit youth and young adults with disabilities who have an interest in a career with the Federal government. It can also be a fast track way for Federal agencies to bring in talented individuals with disabilities. When properly implemented, it's a win-win situation for both the student and the hiring Federal agency. This issue of NASET's Practical Teacher will explore tips for youth and young adults with disabilities interested in starting a career with the federal government. It is written for teachers to distribute to students so that when the word "you" is stated, it pertains to "the student".
To read or download this issue -Click here (login required)
Writing Using the Eyes Might Help Individuals who are Paralyzed Communicate
A new technology may enable people who have lost the ability to move their arms or legs to use their eyes to write in cursive, or script. The technology, which enables people to produce smooth eye movements in desired directions, could be of great benefit to people who have lost limb movement because of diseases such as Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called ALS) or spinal or other injuries, according to the study published online July 26 in the journal Current Biology. The "eye-writing" technology might also help improve eye-movement control in people with conditions such as dyslexia or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or in professions that require strong eye focus, such as surgeons and athletes, according to a journal news release. To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
There are two primary ways in which children are identified as possibly needing special education and related services: the system known as Child Find (which operates in each state), and by referral of a parent or school personnel.
Elusive Gene That Causes a Form of Blindness from Birth Dlscovered
Researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division and their collaborators have isolated an elusive human gene that causes a common form of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a relatively rare but devastating form of early-onset blindness. The new LCA gene is called NMNAT1. Finding the specific gene mutated in patients with LCA is the first step towards developing sight-saving gene therapy. LCA is an inherited retinal degenerative disease characterized by reduced vision in infancy. Within the first few months of life, parents usually notice a lack of visual responsiveness and unusual roving eye movements known as nystagmus. LCA typically involves only vision problems, but can be accompanied by disease in other organ systems in a minority of patients. LCA is a common reason children are enrolled in schools for the blind. 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.
See for yourself how much money you could save with Liberty Mutual compared to your current insurance provider. For a free, no-obligation quote, call 800-524-9400 or visitwww.libertymutual.com/naset,or visit your local sales office.
*Group discounts, other discounts, and credits are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverage only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA.
Neglect May Harm Brain Growth in Children
Severe social and physical neglect harms a child's brain development, but these effects can be partially reversed if the child is moved to a more positive environment, a new study indicates. The researchers analyzed brain MRI scans from three groups of Romanian children aged 8 to 11. Some of the children were raised in orphanages, some were in orphanages and then moved to good foster homes and others lived in normal family settings for their entire lives. Children who had been in an orphanage at any time in their lives had much smaller gray matter volume in the cortex of the brain than those who had never been in an orphanage. Even if children were placed in loving foster homes, the formerly institutionalized children's gray matter didn't catch up. To read more,click here
Boys' Impulsiveness May Result in Better Math Ability
In a University of Missouri study, girls and boys started grade school with different approaches to solving arithmetic problems, with girls favoring a slow and accurate approach and boys a faster but more error prone approach. Girls' approach gave them an early advantage, but by the end of sixth grade boys had surpassed the girls. The MU study found that boys showed more preference for solving arithmetic problems by reciting an answer from memory, whereas girls were more likely to compute the answer by counting. Understanding these results may help teachers and parents guide students better. "The observed difference in arithmetic accuracy between the sexes may arise from a the willingness to risk being wrong by answering from memory before one is sure of the correct answer," said Drew Bailey, a recent recipient of a Ph.D. in psychological science from MU. "In our study, we found that boys were more likely to call out answers than girls, even though they were less accurate early in school. Over time, though, this practice at remembering answers may have allowed boys to surpass girls in accuracy." To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
Each state is required by IDEA to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities in the state who need special education and related services. To do so, states conduct what are known as Child Find activities.
Parents with Children who have Severe Disabilities Say They Enrich Their Lives
When Vanessa Hernandez's sixth child was born, she knew right away her daughter was different. Hernandez's pediatrician wept as she told her the diagnosis. The baby had trisomy 13, a devastating chromosomal abnormality. Most children die before their first birthday and have serious mental and physical disabilities, including heart and breathing problems. Hernandez's daughter, now 19 months old, hasn't had an easy time. She's had seizures, has a tracheotomy to assist her with breathing and has been fed mostly through a feeding tube. Despite the hurdles, Isabel is a source of great joy to her family, Hernandez said. Isabel smiles and laughs frequently, and there are no indications she is in pain. Her parents celebrate small achievements. Isabel's five siblings love her fiercely. "She gets the most love in the house. They are very protective of her. Nobody leaves the room without giving her a hug and a kiss," Hernandez said. 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.
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
According to the latest review commissioned by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), children with disabilities are approximately how many times more likely to experience violence than those without disabilities?
If you know the answer, send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, August 6, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
Toddlers Object When People Break the Rules
We all know that, for the most part, it's wrong to kill other people, it's inappropriate to wear jeans to bed, and we shouldn't ignore people when they are talking to us. We know these things because we're bonded to others through social norms -- we tend to do things the same way people around us do them and, most importantly, the way in which they expect us to do them. Social norms act as the glue that helps to govern social institutions and hold humans societies together, but how do we acquire these norms in the first place? In a new article published in the August 2012 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers Marco Schmidt and Michael Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology aim to get a better understanding of this important 'social glue' by reviewing research on children's enforcement of social norms. 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
Heavy Drinking in Pregnancy Linked to Host of Problems in Children
Central nervous system abnormalities are common among children whose mothers drink large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy, a small new study finds. Most children exposed to large amounts of alcohol while in the womb do not go on to develop fetal alcohol syndrome. Diagnosis of this condition requires abnormalities in three areas: facial features, physical growth and the central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. In many cases of children exposed to alcohol in the womb, specific problems are classified under the term "fetal alcohol spectrum disorders," which includes a wide range of potential physical and neurological problems. To read more,click here
Chemical Makes Blind Mice See; Compound Holds Promise for Treating Humans
A team of University of California, Berkeley, scientists in collaboration with researchers at the University of Munich and University of Washington, in Seattle, has discovered a chemical that temporarily restores some vision to blind mice, and is working on an improved compound that may someday allow people with degenerative blindness to see again. The approach could eventually help those with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease that is the most common inherited form of blindness, as well as age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of acquired blindness in the developed world. In both diseases, the light sensitive cells in the retina -- the rods and cones -- die, leaving the eye without functional photoreceptors. To read more,click here
Mom's HIV Drugs May Pass to Baby in Womb, Breast-Feeding
Babies born to HIV-positive women taking antiretroviral drugs to fight the disease may become exposed to the drugs in the womb and during breast-feeding, new research shows. Hair and blood samples taken from the 3-month-old infants of women with HIV found evidence that two medications pass from mother to baby in the womb, while a third medication is passed both in utero and by breast milk. The study by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and Makerere University in Uganda included more than 100 HIV-positive mothers who were breast-feeding their infants and taking either lopinavir and ritonavir, or efavirenz. To read more,click here
Dad's Early Engagement With Son May Shape Behavior Later
A father's strong connection with his child during infancy may reduce the risk of behavioral problems later in life, a new study suggests. British researchers looked at nearly 200 families and found that children whose fathers were more positively engaged with them at age 3 months had fewer behavioral problems when they were 1 year old. The association between higher levels of interaction and fewer subsequent behavioral problems was strongest in sons. This suggests that boys are more susceptible to the influence of their father from a very early age, the University of Oxford researchers said. "We don't yet know whether the fathers being more remote and disengaged are actually causing the behavioral problems in the children, but it does raise the possibility that these early interactions are important," study leader Dr. Paul Ramchandani said in a news release from the Wellcome Trust, which funded the study. To read more,click here
Can a Parent's Job Raise Odds for Birth Defects in Baby?
Men and women exposed to chemicals in the workplace may be increasing their odds of having an infant with a birth defect, two new studies suggest. In the first report, researchers linked birth defects to fathers who have certain jobs, including mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, artists, photographers, food-service workers, landscapers, hairdressers and make-up artists, the researchers report. "Our study provides additional evidence of exposures or risk factors among men that can increase the risk of birth defects in their offspring," said lead researcher Tania Desrosiers, from the Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill. "In general, most of the associations we observed between occupations and birth defects were modest." To read more,click here
Survival Rates for Premature Babies in High-Level NICUs Are Better Than Previously Reported
Premature babies are more likely to survive when they are born in high-level neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) than in hospitals without such facilities, and this benefit is considerably larger than previously reported. The likelihood that an extremely premature baby will survive if born in a high-technology, high-volume hospital unit was already known, but the current study, the largest to date, revealed a stronger effect. Pediatric researchers who analyzed more than 1.3 million premature births over a 10-year span found that the survival benefits applied not only to extremely preterm babies, but also to moderately preterm newborns. The research team performed a retrospective study of all hospital-based deliveries of infants with a gestational age between 23 and 37 weeks in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri -- a total of over 1,328,000 births. The study focused on preterm deliveries in high-level NICUs, compared to preterm deliveries at all other hospitals. To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
When a child is identified by Child Find as possibly having a disability and as needing special education, parents may be asked for permission to evaluate their child. Parents can also call the Child Find office and ask that their child be evaluated.
Child Abuse Rises When Economy Sags
The housing crisis that has left so many people without a permanent home may have worsened another serious problem: child abuse. As mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures loom, the rates of child abuse leading to hospitalization also increased, according to new research. Between 2000 and 2009, the rate of child abuse requiring hospital admission increased by 3 percent a year for every 1 percent increase in the 90-day mortgage-delinquency rate. The rate of traumatic brain injury suspected to be caused by child abuse increased 5 percent a year for every 1 percent increase in the mortgage-delinquency rate, according to the study. To read more,click here
New Clue On How Brain Processes Visual Information
Ever wonder how the human brain, which is constantly bombarded with millions of pieces of visual information, can filter out what's unimportant and focus on what's most useful? The process is known as selective attention and scientists have long debated how it works. But now, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have discovered an important clue. Evidence from an animal study, published in the July 22 online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience, shows that the prefrontal cortex is involved in a previously unknown way. Two types of attention are utilized in the selective attention process -- bottom up and top down. Bottom-up attention is automatically guided to images that stand out from a background by virtue of color, shape or motion, such as a billboard on a highway. Top-down attention occurs when one's focus is consciously shifted to look for a known target in a visual scene, as when searching for a relative in a crowd. To read more,click here
Automatic Spending Cuts May Take $900 Million Out of Special Education Funding
A report released late last week bySenator Tom Harkin(D-IA), the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, explored the ramifications ofsequestration, a process by which an automatic spending cut is triggered, on the country's education funding. The report concluded that the procedure would lead to nearly $1 billion inbudget cutstospecial educationfunding, on national and state-by-state levels. This could lead to the layoffs of over 10,000 teachers, aides, and support staff, and an additional $64 million in cuts to special education spending for preschool students, infants, and toddlers. To read more,click here
Food For Thought..........
Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.