The Practical Teacher
Lauri A. Brunton, MA Ed.
This issue ofNASET's Practical Teacher was written by Lauri Brunto, MA Ed. Lauri A. Brunton has an MA Ed. in Environmental Education and previously worked as an educator, community organizer, and writer in the field of urban greening. She is currently pursuing a certification as a reading specialist from Arcadia University.Her article is the story of Henrietta's Workshop, based on her real-life mentor and teacher Regina (Jean) Byrne. The story that follows has been tweaked, shortened and, of course, fictionalized, but the underlying message remains true to her experiences. Even though the events did not take place in a traditional classroom for children and youth, she felt it would be a more authentic representation of what helped shape her learning and teaching philosophy because it represents her actual experiences.To read or download this issue -Click here (login required)
Parent Teacher Conference Handout
Objectives of Intellectual Academic and Perceptual Evaluations
Students with special needs are tested often because of special education needs
and requirements. Sometimes parents may not understand the purpose of this
testing. Therefore, this Parent Teacher Conference Handout describes the objectives
of IQ, academic and perceptual testing. This should relieve the concerns and
misinterpretation that parents may experience from a lack of knowledge.To read or download this issue -Click here (login required)
Older Parents More Likely to Have a Child with Autism
Children born to a parent over age 35 are at greater risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder -- but the risk is the same whether just one or both parents are older, according to a new study of Danish families. "Parental age doesn't appear to be synergistic. That is having an older mom and an older dad doesn't increase risk more than having one or the other," said Marissa King, a professor at the Yale School of Management, who was not involved in the study. "The data clearly demonstrate that older parents are more likely to have kids with autism, but it doesn't establish why that is the case," King told Reuters Health in an email. To read more,click here
D.C. Charter School Under Scrutiny for Lack of Students with Special Needs
A Northwest Washington public charter school that has not enrolled a special education student in three years is under scrutiny by District officials. Roots Public Charter School, which serves 120 children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, said it does not discriminate against students with physical or emotional disabilities. But the staff of theD.C. Public Charter School Board, which oversees the city's 57 publicly funded, independently operated schools, says in a recent report that it has "grave concerns" about admissions practices at Roots. It said the board planned "an intensive compliance review" of the school. Federal law requires that all public schools provide "a free and appropriate" education to students with disabilities. Charter schools, which are open to all families citywide on a first-come, first-served basis, are prohibited from inquiring about a prospective student's special education status. About 10 percent of the city's 29,366 charter school students were eligible to receive special education services in the 2010-11 school year, according toenrollment data. Roughly 13 percent of students in traditional D.C. public schools are in special education. To read more,click here
Kentucky Eliminates 'Read-Aloud' Assistance on State, National Exams
This week, the Kentucky Board of Education banned the use of readers on state tests. A reader can be another person or computer software that reads text aloud, and is an accommodation used by some students with disabilities, who also use this kind of help in class every day. The switch affects end-of-year state exams and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. The shift has some people alarmed, especially about the effect on students whose education plans (IEPs) require the use of a reader. Apparently, the switch was driven in part by the goal of reducing how many students' scores are eliminated when calculating NAEP scores. State exclusion rates on NAEP, often called the nation's report card,have dropped recently, but some state exclusion rates remain high. When students are excluded, there are obvious questions about whether a state's scores actually reflect all of the state's students. To read more,click here
Stroke Can Impact a Child's Language, Hand-Eye Coordination
Lower IQs and problems with visual-motor and language skills are common among children who survive an arterial ischemic stroke, according to a new study. It included 42 childhood stroke survivors who underwent neuropsychological testing at least 10 months after their ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. The testing evaluated their thinking abilities, academic skills, memory, language and visual-motor skills. Visual-motor skill is the ability to have the eyes and hands work together, such as when writing, using scissors, catching a ball and doing a host of other daily activities. To read more,click here
FDA OKs Drug That Targets Rare Form of Cystic Fibrosis
Kalydeco, the first drug that targets the defective protein behind a rare form of the deadly lung disorder cystic fibrosis, was approved Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
One patient advocate group applauded the decision. "Today marks an important milestone in our journey to find a cure for cystic fibrosis," Robert Beall, president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, said in a news release. "Kalydeco addresses the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, and the science behind the drug has opened exciting new doors to research and development that may eventually lead to additional therapies that will benefit more people." People with cystic fibrosis have mutations in a gene that produces a protein called CFTR, which regulates the movement of ions (such as chloride) and water in the body. This defect causes sticky mucus to accumulate in the lungs and other organs, resulting in infections, digestive problems and usually death in early adulthood. To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
Cystic Fibrosis affects breathing and digestion. CF causes the body to make thick, sticky mucus that clogs the airways of the lungs, and it can prevent the pancreas from doing its job to help digest food. In people with CF, the sweat glands also make very salty sweat.
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
Surprisingly High Number of Adults With Severe Learning Disabilities Also Have Autism, UK Research Shows
New UK research on autism in adults has shown that adults with a more severe learning disability have a greater likelihood of having autism. This group, mostly living in private households, was previously 'invisible' in estimates of autism. Dr Terry Brugha, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Leicester, led research on behalf of the University for the report Estimating the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Conditions in Adults: Extending the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, which has just been published by the NHS Information Centre. The report involved a survey of adults from learning disability registers in Leicestershire, Lambeth and Sheffield between August 2010 and April 2011. To read more,click here
White House Plans Nine-City Disability Tour
Obama administration officials are planning to fan out across the country starting this spring for a series of regional White House conferences to address disability issues. In a conference call last week with leaders from several disability organizations, White House officials laid out preliminary plans for the events, according to those who participated in the call. The regional meetings are expected to be held in Columbus, Ohio; Austin, Texas; Los Angeles; Denver; Atlanta; Boston; Minneapolis; Orlando, Fla.; and Kansas City, Mo. starting in mid-March, with some scheduled into the summer. To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
Cystic fibrosis is inherited when both parents carry an altered CF gene and pass it on to their child. A person who has one altered CF gene is called a "carrier." Carriers usually do not have any health problems caused by CF. When two CF carriers have children together, each baby has a one in four (25%) chance of having CF. Most children with CF do not have a family history of the disease.
N.Y.C. Special-Needs Students Lack Services, Access to Elite High Schools
New York City failed to provide special education services to about one in four students who were entitled to them during the 2009-10 school year, the city comptroller has found, and the city's most elite high schools need to admit more students with disabilities. In an audit this month, New York City Comptroller John Liu found that speech, occupational and physical therapy, vision and hearing services weren't provided to 72,306 of 285,736 students referred for such help,the New York Daily News reported. He found that the city's education department doesn't have enough contractors to provide these therapies."As a result, (the department) is authorizing the use of independent consultants ... to provide these services, which may result in higher rates paid under lesser performance standards, monitoring constraints, and insurance requirements," he wrotein the audit. To read more,click here
NASET Sponsor - AbleNet
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: Mary Caserta, Lois Nembhard, Deanna Krieg, Marilyn Haile, Cindy Pittman, Olumide Akerele, Alexandra Pirard, Gabrielle Frazier, Aimee Denton, Chaya Tabor, Marlene Barnett, and Jessica L. Ulmer who all knew that the eight foods that account for 90% of all food-allergy reactions in the U.S.A. are:
Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, and Wheat.
THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
Under IDEIA, there are 13 classifications by which an exceptional child can received special education services. However, one of those classifications is NOT "gifted and talented". Gifted and talented students are clearly "exceptional students", so why is "Gifted and Talented" not a special education classification under IDEIA?
If you know the answer, send an email email@example.com
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, February 13, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
Overweight Mothers Who Smoke While Pregnant Can Damage Baby's Heart, Study Finds
Mothers-to-be who are both overweight and smoke during their pregnancy risk damaging their baby's developing heart, finds research published online in Heart. Congenital heart abnormalities are some of the most common defects found at birth, with around eight in every 1000 babies affected. A likely cause is only found in 15% of cases. The authors base their findings on an analysis of almost 800 babies and foetuses who were born with congenital heart abnormalities, but no other defects, between 1997 and 2008. To read more,click here
Parents Push Oregon School District on Talented and Gifted program
ManyTigard-Tualatin School Districtparents expressed frustration and asked questions with no apparent answers at a meeting meant to explain changes to theTalented and Giftedprogram. With about 100 attendees, the agenda for the Tuesday night meeting at Fowler Middle School included a presentation on the new plan, small group discussions and an open question period. This meeting came after parents complained last fall that they were left in the dark about changes their students were reporting, including disappearing or downsized programs. The district has been in the process of moving from a program where students were pulled out of class for TAG assignments with specialists, to a system where the specialists are now coaching teachers to provide differentiated learning within their daily instruction. More than 1,800 students are in the TAG program. To read more,click here
Lower Levels of Sunlight Exposure Link to Allergy and Eczema in Children, Study Suggests
Increased exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of both food allergies and eczema in children, according to a new scientific study published this week. Researchers from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, along with several Australian institutions, have found that children living in areas with lower levels of sunlight are at greater risk of developing food allergies and the skin condition eczema, compared to those in areas with higher UV. The research team used data from a study of Australian children and analysed how rates of food allergy, eczema and asthma varied throughout the country. As well as finding a link between latitude and allergies to peanut and egg, the results showed that on average children in the south of the country are twice as likely to develop eczema as those in the north. To read more,click here
NASET MEMBER'S BENEFIT -
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Inherited Risk Factors for Childhood Leukemia Are More Common in Hispanic Patients, Study Finds
Hispanic children are more likely than those from other racial and ethnic backgrounds to be diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and are more likely to die of their disease. Work led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists has pinpointed genetic factors behind the grim statistics. Researchers studying a gene called ARID5B linked eight common variants of the gene to an increased risk of not only developing pediatric ALL but of having the cancer return after treatment. Two more ARID5B variants were tied to higher odds of developing the disease. Investigators found that Hispanic children were up to twice as likely as their white counterparts to inherit a high risk-version of ARID5B. To read more,click here
Schools Must Do More to Involve Parents, Students in IEP Process
Parents and students with disabilities aren't as involved in the process of mapping out their goals with schools as much as they should be, although federal law intends for parents and school staff to work together on these plans, anew studyfinds. The study, published this month online in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies, found that participation in IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings varied based on the type of disability a student has, their family income, and their racial or ethnic background. Parents of students who had demonstrated "challenging" behavior at school, or who had poor social skills, reported they found meetings about their IEPs or transition from high school to college or work less than satisfactory, the authors found. To read more,click here
Epidural Plus Fever in Mom May Raise Risks for Baby
The babies of women who develop an epidural-related fever while in labor are at greater risk of having problems right at birth, including poor muscle tone, breathing difficulties, low Apgar scores and seizures, a new study suggests. The Apgar score is a test used to measure a child's skin color, pulse and overall vigor in the moments after birth. Prior research has found an association between epidurals -- or anesthesia delivered into the epidural space around the spinal cord -- and fevers in some moms during labor. This study, which involved more than 3,200 women delivering a full-term baby at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston in 2000, found a similar association. To read more,click here
Breastfeeding Linked to Improved Lung Function at School-Age, Especially With Asthmatic Mothers
Breastfeeding is associated with improved lung function at school age, particularly in children of asthmatic mothers, according to a new study from researchers in Switzerland and the UK. "In our cohort of school age children, breastfeeding was associated with modest improvement in forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF50) in our whole group and with improvements in forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1) only in the children of asthmatic mothers," said Claudia E. Kuehni, MD, MSc, professor at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern. "In contrast, some earlier studies have suggested that breastfeeding might be harmful in the offspring of mothers with asthma." To read more,click here
Did You Know That....
Although presently there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, there have been many advances in treatment. Individuals with CF must eat a healthy high-calorie diet and take special vitamins. Most people must also take medication to get more nutrients from the food they eat. To breathe better, many people with CF need help clearing mucus from their lungs each day. Some medications can also prevent lung infections and help with breathing.
Mom's Love Good for Child's Brain
School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress. The new research, by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children's brain anatomy are linked to a mother's nurturing. Their research is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. "This study validates something that seems to be intuitive, which is just how important nurturing parents are to creating adaptive human beings," says lead author Joan L. Luby, MD, professor of child psychiatry. "I think the public health implications suggest that we should pay more attention to parents' nurturing, and we should do what we can as a society to foster these skills because clearly nurturing has a very, very big impact on later development." To read more,click here
True Origin Of Cerebral Palsy May Be Genetic
Long thought to be caused by problems at birth, researchers now say that in most cases cerebral palsy may actually originate in a person's genes much like other developmental disabilities. The finding,reportedonline in the journal The Lancet Neurology in January, comes as cerebral palsy rates have remained steady for over 40 years despite marked progress in medical care during and after birth, the researchers note. "There is a widespread misconception that most cases of CP are caused by difficult delivery leading to birth asphyxia," said Andres Moreno De Luca of the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania and the lead author of the paper. "What we're finding is a growing body of evidence that suggests mutations in multiple genes are responsible for CP. In fact, we suspect these genetic abnormalities may also be the cause of some difficult births to begin with." To read more,click here
Young Children Exposed to Anesthesia Multiple Times Show Elevated Rates of ADHD
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that multiple exposures to anesthesia at a young age are associated with higher rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children exposed to two or more anesthetics before age 3 had more than double the incidence of ADHD than children who had no exposure, says David Warner, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pediatric anesthesiologist and investigator on the observational study. The findings are published in the Feb. 2 edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. When basic science studies in the medical literature began to suggest anesthesia used in surgery causes changes in the brains of young animals, Dr. Warner and a group of researchers at Mayo Clinic took note. To read more,click here