Week in Review - June 1, 2012



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

June 1, 2012 - Vol 8, Issue 20


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Welcome toNASET'sWEEK in REVIEW Feel free to send us articles for this publication or let us know your thoughts about theWEEK in REVIEWat news@naset.org.Have a great weekend.


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- Special Educator e-Journal

New This Week on NASET

NASET Special Educator e-Journal

JUNE 2012

In this issue:
  • Update from the U.S. Department of Education
  • Calls to Participate
  • Special Education Resources
  • Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  • Latest Employment Opportunities Posted onNASET
  • Upcoming Conferences and Events
  • Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities
  • Acknowledgments
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Designing Common Core Tests for All Proving a Challenge

Although more students with disabilities than ever are included in state testing programs, the task of giving these students high-quality assessments in the future that measure how adept they are at mastering the Common Core State Standards seems to have an endless number of hurdles to overcome before students face these new assessments in the 2014-15 school year. And one of them has less to do with the test than with instruction, said Stephen N. Elliott, a professor of education at Arizona State University. Elliot spoke Tuesday at a U.S. Department of Education meeting addressing the challenges that remain in preparing new tests that all students are scheduled to take in 2014. This was the fourth meeting about the assessments. In his research looking among several states, Elliott found that the most time any state was able to spend on teaching the standards was 81 percent of the time students were in school, and special education teachers covered even less of the content and standards. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus Aureus(MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections.

Autism Often Not Diagnosed Until Age 5 or Older: U.S. Report

Even though autism symptoms typically emerge before age 3, most children with autism are diagnosed when they're 5 or older, a new snapshot of autism in America shows. More than half of U.S. children with an autism spectrum disorder are taking at least one psychotropic medicine -- including stimulants, anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, sleep aids, seizure medications or antipsychotics -- even though there are no drugs that have clearly been shown to impact the core symptoms of the disorder. The findings are from a nationally representative survey of more than 4,000 parents or guardians of children with special needs aged 6 to 17, including about 1,400 who had an autism spectrum disorder. The report was compiled by researchers from the U.S National Institute of Mental Health in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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

Report: 'Ashley Treatment' Violates Disability Rights

A first-of-its-kind report is casting a harsh light on what's believed to be a growing practice of parents utilizing controversial medical treatments to physically alter people with disabilities. The report released Tuesday examines cases where parents have used procedures to prevent puberty or make other significant changes to their children with disabilities. The study also looked at instances where life-saving medical treatment has been withheld from those with disabilities. "The thought of doctors and guardians, together, deciding to remove the body parts and stunt the growth of a child based on assumptions about their awareness and quality of life is shocking and disgusting," said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, an umbrella group for the protection and advocacy organizations in each state which produced the report. To read more,click here

Some Overweight or Obese Children at Risk of Blindness, Study Says

Some overweight or obese children are at increased risk for a brain condition that can lead to blindness, a new study shows. The risk of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) -- also called pseudotumor cerebri -- is especially high in older white girls, according to the Kaiser Permanente researchers. People with the condition have increased pressure around the brain that is not caused by other diseases. Symptoms include headache, blurred vision, nausea and eye movement abnormalities. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension can lead to blindness in up to 10 percent of patients, particularly if not diagnosed and treated promptly. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Most MRSA infections are skin infections that may appear as pustules or boils which often are red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage. They often first look like spider bites or bumps that are red, swollen, and painful. These skin infections commonly occur at sites of visible skin trauma, such as cuts and abrasions, and areas of the body covered by hair.

Lehigh University Special Education Law Symposium, June 24-29, 2012

Lehigh University's intensive week-long special education law symposium provides a practical analysis of legislation, regulations, and case law relating to the education of students with disabilities. The symposium provides a thorough analysis of the leading issues under the IDEA and Section 504. Special features include: parallel tracks for basic and advanced practitioners, starting with a keynote dinner and presentation by Dr. Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, and ending with a post-luncheon crystal-ball session  by Chicago attorney Darcy Kriha; a balance of knowledgeable district, parent, and neutral perspectives; essential topics with proven effective presenters for the basic track; and a brand new set of "hot topics" and faculty presenters for the advanced track.For more information visit http://www.lehigh.edu/education/law. Questions? Contact Tamara Bartolet (tlp205@lehigh.edu or 610/758-3226).

High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy May Threaten Kids' Heart Health

Preeclampsia, a dangerous spike in a woman's blood pressure during pregnancy, may predispose offspring to high blood pressure in childhood and young adulthood, a new study finds. From early in life, these children have distinct cardiovascular risk factors that may put them at risk for health problems later on, the British researchers said. "A pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia is an early warning sign that both the mother and offspring are going to be at greater risk of developing high blood pressure later in life," said lead researcher Dr. Paul Leeson, from the department of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Oxford in England. 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: Joan Manchester, Heather Shyrer, Shannon Hepler, Merril Bruce, Warren Roberts, Bob Hennes, Meredith Powell, Vicky Gill, Kerry Scheetz Drossos, Olumide Akerele, Ann Blaido, Jessica L. Ulmer, Lois Nembhard, Marilyn Haile, Pamela R. Downing-Hosten, Elena Ghionis, Prahbhjot Malhi, Craig Pate, Joanie Dikeman, Robin E. Kittai, Catherine Cardenas,Elaine Draper, and Emily Cayon who all knew the answer to last week's trvia question:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)


According to the latest research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, what is leading cause of death in the world among children under age 5?

If you know the answer, send an email tocontactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, June 4 , 2012 at 12:00 p.m.

Folic Acid May Reduce Some Childhood Cancers

Folic acid fortification of foods may reduce the incidence of the most common type of kidney cancer and a type of brain tumors in children, finds a new study by Kimberly J. Johnson, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, and Amy Linabery, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. Incidence reductions were found for Wilms' tumor, a type of kidney cancer, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET), a type of brain cancer. Since 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has mandated fortification of foods with folic acid because earlier studies show that prenatal consumption of folic acid significantly reduces the incidence of neural tube defects in babies. To read more,click here


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Study Sheds Light on How Diet May Affect Epilepsy

It's long been known that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can reduce epileptic seizures that resist drug therapy, and now researchers studying mice say they think they know why. The results of their research in mice suggest that resistance to seizures among people who eat what's called a ketogenic diet is linked to a protein that modifies cellular metabolism in the brain. The findings, reported in the May 24 issue of the journal Neuron, may lead to the development of new treatments for epilepsy, according to the researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston. "The connection between metabolism and epilepsy has been such a puzzle," study co-leader Gary Yellen, a professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, said in a Harvard news release. "I've met a lot of kids whose lives are completely changed by this diet. It's amazingly effective, and it works for many kids for whom drugs don't work." To read more,click here

Indoor Navigation System for Blind

University of Nevada, Reno computer science engineering team Kostas Bekris and Eelke Folmer presented their indoor navigation system for people with visual impairments at two national conferences in the past two weeks. The researchers explained how a combination of human-computer interaction and motion-planning research was used to build a low-cost accessible navigation system, called Navatar, which can run on a standard smartphone. "Existing indoor navigation systems typically require the use of expensive and heavy sensors, or equipping rooms and hallways with radio-frequency tags that can be detected by a handheld reader and which are used to determine the user's location," Bekris, of the College of Engineering's Robotics Research Lab, said. "This has often made the implementation of such systems prohibitively expensive, with few systems having been deployed." To read more,click here

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Babies' Vulnerability to Colds Tied to Immune Response at Birth

The immune response babies are born with affects their risk for colds in the first year of life, a new study finds. "Viral respiratory infections are common during childhood," first author Dr. Kaharu Sumino, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a university news release. "Usually they are mild, but there's a wide range of responses -- from regular cold symptoms to severe lung infections and even, in rare instances, death," she said. "We wanted to look at whether the innate immune response -- the response to viruses that you're born with -- has any effect on the risk of getting respiratory infections during the baby's first year." To read more,click here

Asthma Meds May Be Linked to Irregular Heartbeat

New research suggests that young asthma patients who use drugs known as inhaled anticholinergics -- such as ipratropium [Atrovent] -- could be more likely than others to suffer from potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat. However, the increased risk was not seen for some types of anticholinergics. "Obviously, this finding raises concern because of the recent interest in use of anticholinergics in asthma," study author Todd Lee of the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society. Still, "while we did find an increase in the risk of events associated with the use of anticholinergics, the overall number of events we found was relatively small," Lee said. "Therefore, the absolute risk of an event for an individual patient is relatively low." To read more,click here

Treatment of Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Reverses Brain Abnormalities

Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children normalizes disturbances in the neuronal network responsible for attention and executive function, according to a new study. "OSA is known to be associated with deficits in attention, cognition, and executive function," said lead author Ann Halbower, MD, Associate Professor at the Children's Hospital Sleep Center and University of Colorado Denver. "Our study is the first to show that treatment of OSA in children can reverse neuronal brain injury, correlated with improvements in attention and verbal memory in these patients." The results will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco. To read more,click here

Oxytocin Improves Brain Function in Children with Autism

Preliminary results from an ongoing, large-scale study by Yale School of Medicine researchers shows that oxytocin -- a naturally occurring substance produced in the brain and throughout the body -- increased brain function in regions that are known to process social information in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A Yale Child Study Center research team that includes postdoctoral fellow Ilanit Gordon and Kevin Pelphrey, the Harris Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, will present the results on May 19 at the International Meeting for Autism Research. "Our findings provide the first, critical steps toward devising more effective treatments for the core social deficits in autism, which may involve a combination of clinical interventions with an administration of oxytocin," said Gordon. "Such a treatment approach will fundamentally improve our understanding of autism and its treatment." To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

MRSA infections can occur in any geographic location and anywhere on a person's body and can affect anyone. Historically, MRSA infections occurred in hospitalized patients, but now these infections are common in the community. The biggest risk factor for MRSA infection is open or broken skin (such as a wound or surgical site); however, MRSA infections can occur even on areas of the skin where there is no obvious wound or break in the skin.

Arizona Tops 50-State Ranking of Disability Services

Arizona's Medicaid program provides the best services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to a national ranking released last Wednesday. The annual list produced by United Cerebral Palsy compares services and quality of life for people with disabilities all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Arizona, Michigan, California, New Hampshire and Vermont came in at the top of the list this year. Meanwhile, for the sixth year in a row, Mississippi was dead last, with Illinois, Arkansas and Texas rounding out the low performers. To read more,click here

How Should Students With Learning Disabilities Be Identified?

Who are students with learning disabilities? It depends on what state or school district you live in. The combination of a surge in the use of response to intervention and a lack of consensus about how much of a role cognitive assessment should play in an evaluation prompted the National Center for Learning Disabilities this month to issue a new set of guidelines on its view of how students with specific learning disabilities should be identified. As the use of RTI has grown, there have also been concerns that it has been used inappropriately, delaying or preventing the identification of some students as having learning disabilities, or other disabilities. NCLD says comprehensive evaluations of students should include multiple prongs, which it cites as coming straight from the 2004 version of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. To read more,click here

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

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

Albert Einstein

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