Week in Review - January 6, 2012


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

January 6, 2012 - Vol 8, Issue 1


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Dear NASET News,

Welcome toNASET'sWEEK in REVIEWHere, we provide you with the latest publications fromNASETto read and or download, as well as some of the most interesting articles that have happened this week in the field of special education. We hope you enjoy this publication.  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

NASET Member's Benefit 
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New This Week on NASET

Practical Teacher

Mental Health Resources

There are many, many organizations and groups that deal with mental health. Often times, professionals and parents are unsure of where to turn or where to get information regarding children and adolescents with mental health related issues.  This issue of NASET's Practical Teacher will help you find the one or ones that offer the type of assistance, intervention, or information you're seeking..

To read or download this issue -Click here (login required)

Parent Teacher Conference Handout

Autistic Savants

When working with children with Autism, parents may recognize that their child has extraordinary skills not exhibited by most persons. These skills may take many forms and parents will need to know what these behaviors actually mean. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout will explain this unique set of behaviors for parents who may be confused.

To read or download this issue -Click here (login required)

Mom's Poverty, Diabetes Might Raise ADHD Risk in Kids

New research suggests that the combination of poverty and having diabetes during pregnancy significantly raises the risk of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a woman's offspring. Children born to such moms are as much as 14 times more likely to have ADHD by the age of 6, the study found. ADHD is a behavioral disorder characterized by difficulty focusing, impulsive behaviors and hyperactivity. A report on the finding appears in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The new study included 212 children. Of these, 115 had "low socioeconomic status" (lower-income) moms, moms with gestational diabetes (arising in pregnancy), or both. Ninety-seven children had neither. Researchers evaluated these children for the signs and symptoms of ADHD when they were aged 3 or 4, and again at age 6. Moms who had either gestational diabetes or were poor were twice as likely to have children with ADHD, but the combination of these two risk factors was even more powerful. To read more,click here

Key to School Improvement: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic ... and Character?

A study of 20 elementary schools in Hawaii has found that a focused program to build social, emotional and character skills resulted in significantly improved overall quality of education, as evaluated by teachers, parents and students. The concept includes organized activities to build character that go beyond more traditional rules or policies to control or punish problem behaviors. But it still takes only about an hour a week away from traditional education, and previous research has documented much lower numbers of suspensions, lower absenteeism, and better reading and math scores on standardized tests. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes (the "blueprints" for who we are) play a large role. ADHD probably results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors such as nutrition, brain injuries, or social environment.

After Jail, Youth With Disabilities Need Special Support to Stay Out

When young people with disabilities end up in the juvenile justice system, they're less likely to return to youth prisons after their sentence is up if they have jobs or go to school quickly after being released, a new paper says. However, comprehensive programs that help these youth go from prison to the outside world are scarce, saysthis piecefrom Project Forum at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. And juveniles with disabilities have a high recidivism rate-more than the 55 percent rate for youth without disabilities. The report looks closely at the practices in four states-Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, and Oregon-when it comes to supporting all juveniles, including those with disabilities, who are leaving the justice system. To read more,click here

Aiding Individuals with Disabilities, Nonprofits Rake in State Money

Every day across New York State, thousands of part-time workers visit the homes of developmentally disabled people to teach them simple tasks, like grooming or how to take a bus. For their work, which requires no special credentials, the employees typically earn $10 to $15 an hour. But when the nonprofit organizations that employ those workers bill the state, they collect three and four times that amount - with some having received as much as $67 an hour. Spending on this little-known home care program, calledCommunity Habilitation, has soared in recent years, creating multimillion-dollar surpluses at some nonprofit agencies and eye-popping salaries and benefits for those who run them. To read more,click here

Autism Training Program Helps Families, Students

The end of the week used to weigh heavily on Malia Bernal, the mother of an energetic toddler with autism."Friday used to be the hardest day of the week," Bernal said, recalling how planning daily activities to keep Ivan engaged, happy and learning would leave her exhausted. "I'd be laying in bed thinking how am I going to get through," she said. Then a friend in a support group for parents of children with autism told her about the Collaborative Autism Training and Support program at Sonoma State University's psychology department. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Most children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as they enter adolescence. Some may not be diagnosed until then. It's not easy being a teenager, but for a teenager with ADHD, it can be especially hard. Staying with the recommended treatments, prescribed medications, psychosocial interventions, or a combination of the two, is also a challenge.

In RTI Era, is Federal Special Education Law Out of Date?

When districts first started adopting response-to-intervention, the approachquickly became the targetof criticism from parents who believed school districts were trying to put off more costly special education services. RTI, an approach that involves using an escalating set of techniques to address skills a student is struggling with,got a boost in 2004, when the federal law changed to require states to let districts use it if they chose. The hope was that its use would help distinguish between children who truly have specific learning disabilities and students whose learning difficulties could be resolved with general education interventions. Sure enough, in the last few years, the number of students identified as having learning disabilitieshas dropped. To read more,click here

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Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
Congratulations to: Lois Nembhard, Deanna Krieg, Alan Reitman, Jennifer Possanza, Joey L. Al-Mutairi,Chaya Tabor,Sara Sorensen Petersen, Karen Bornholm,Andrew Bailey, Olumide Akerele, Alexandra Pirard,Jessica L. Ulmer, Maricel Bustos,Marilyn Haile,Sheryl MacCullough,Marianne Mitchell who all knew the coprrect answer to last week's trivia question was: WILLIAMS SYNDROME


According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, approximately what percentage of children with ADHD have a specific learning disability?

If you know the answer, send an email tocontactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, January 9, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.

In South Carolina, Educators Want Special Education Reform

Charleston County school leaders want their special-education students to be able to earn a high school diploma, but making that happen will require changes beyond their control, and they're asking for help. The state doesn't have an alternative high school diploma for students with special needs, and it lacks multiple options for testing students with disabilities. Charleston educators already briefed the county's legislative delegation on those problems, and they plan to make a formal proposal for needed changes after winter break. They've also come up with some ideas they could implement in the district without state assistance, and they're putting those into place. To read more,click here

Lots of Exercise May Boost Kids' Grades

A Dutch review of prior research reveals that the more physically active school-aged children are, the better they fare in the classroom. Most of the studies in the review had been conducted in the United States, while one came out of Canada and the other out of South Africa. The findings are published in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. "We found strong evidence of a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance," the researchers, led by Amika Singh of the Vrije Universiteit University Medical Center at the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, said in a journal news release. To read more,click here

Parents Looking to Special Education Advocates

There has been a lot of talk about special education reform over the past several years, but the progression really hasn't been noticed by parents and students. It has now gotten to the point that parents are taking matters into their own hands in order to help their children receive the best possible education from their school district. More and more parents across the country are now hiring their own personal special education advocates to help them understand and fight for their child's needs. These advocates are lawyers, former special education teachers, or parents who are trying to make a difference in the community. They are there to help parents steer through the multifaceted system of special education. Fortunately, it looks like this new idea is beginning to help parents understand the system a little more. To read more,click here



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

Advocates, Experts Call for More Attention to Bullying of Students with Special Needs

Special-education advocates are calling for the state to do more to address the bullying of disabled students, saying that a recent lawsuit against the city school system highlights the long-lasting harm that harassment can do to such children. Experts want officials to strengthen Maryland's anti-bullying laws to provide more detailed rules for educators to follow in reporting incidents and more scrutiny in situations that involve sometimes-fragile students. "They have targets on their back, and with a child who already has a disability, the damage can be greater," said Ellen Callegary, an attorney and special-education advocate for more than 30 years, who is part of a coalition of advocates pressing for changes at the state level. "There appears to be an inability of school personnel to understand how deeply that is felt." To read more,click here

Luggage Forwarding Services Help Families of Children with Autism

As the holiday travel season comes to a close, many parents of children with autism are relieved that it's over. Aswe've documented in the past, traveling with a child with autism can be a major challenge, with airports and airplanes providing a multitude of sensory challenges for those with special needs. Adding to these issues for parents is the burden of hauling heavy bags around the airport, all while simultaneously tending to their children. What many may not be aware of is the emergence of luggage forwarding services in recent years. These are provided by companies that offer convenient door-to-door luggage shipping services for a fee. Companies will pick up bags at your home or office and ship them to just about any destination of choice. Your bags will be there upon arrival and the process is then repeated for the return trip home, eliminating the issue of hauling heavy bags around during family vacations or business trips. Prices vary based on destination, bag size/weight and urgency of delivery. To read more,click here

MP3 Players May Be Major Source of Hearing Loss

A new study suggests that about 90 percent of New York City residents may be at risk of hearing loss due to noise exposure, with MP3 players appearing to be a major culprit. The research has major limitations: It doesn't directly measure what Big Apple residents hear during their daily lives or physically track their activities. Even so, the study's lead author said the findings are a sign that risks to hearing lurk in the urban environment. "We need to step up our efforts to encourage people to protect their hearing," said Richard Neitzel, an assistant professor of risk science at the University of Michigan. "Maybe we need to put a little more money into making transit quieter and do a better job educating people that listening to music, if it's loud enough, can hurt you." To read more,click here

Florida Parents Seek Help from Special-Education Advocates

Tavious Diamond, 9, knows he's missing out on events such as Field Day and subjects such as art because he's in special-education classes at his elementary school. His mother, Jennifer, is sure he would do better in reading if he were moved into regular classes. But she has felt so stymied trying to convince his school that she hired a special-education advocate. "I'm furious," said theAltamonte Springsmother of three, who has hired Deltona advocateJamison Jessup. "I thought the school system was going to do everything they could do. They failed my son." Diamond is one of a growing number of parents in Central Florida and across the country who are paying advocates or lawyers to help them navigate the complex world of special-education services. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Since inattention can be a problem, driving is another major concern for teenagers with ADHD.

The New Face of Pet Therapy

No doubt about it. People have a deep and complex relationship with animals, which elicit a wide range of emotional responses by their very presence and interactions with human beings. But these days, animals are being involved in human therapy in innovative ways that depart drastically from traditional notions of animal-assisted therapy. "Most people think of nursing homes, and people going in to cheer up the elderly," said Bill Kueser, vice president of marketing for the Delta Society, a nonprofit group that promotes animal-assisted therapy. "It's really become much more than that." To read more,click here

Father Creates App to Navigate Autism

Joe Hill watched his son press a finger against the screen of an iPhone, pull back an animated slingshot, and fire a bird through the virtual air. He was amazed at how quickly Deacon, 3 at the time, mastered the game Angry Birds. A year earlier, Deacon had been diagnosed with autism, a developmental disorder that impairs the ability to socialize and communicate. As Hill watched Deacon play the popular game, an idea bubbled in his mind for a computer application to help children with autism learn to communicate. Hill's startup company launched Aeir Talk for the Apple iPad tablet on Nov. 30. To read more,click here

No Child Left Behind Waivers Leave Behind Students With Disabilities

What concerns the National Center for Learning Disabilities and other groups about the applications11 states filedwith the Education Department seeking waivers from the No Child Left Behind law? What they don't say. Ina letterto federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan this week, NCLD Executive Director James Wendorf writes that the department's flexibility amounts to a trade off, with students with disabilities on the losing end of the swap. Many groups that advocate for students with disabilities, including NCLD,heralded the No Child Left Behind lawfor finally holding schools accountable for these students. To read more,click here

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

What matters the most should never give way to what matters the least.


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