Week in Review - September 28, 2012


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

September 28, 2012 - Vol 8, Issue 36


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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 Sponsor - Liberty Mutual


To learn more -Click here

New This Week on NASET

Resource Review
September 2012

In this issue you will see topics on:

*             Adolescent School Performance

*             After School Programs

*             Art Education and At-risk Students

*             Assistive Technology

*             Autism

*             Behavior Management

*             Careers

*             Charter Schools and Disabilities

*             Children's Health

*             Disability Awareness

*             Early Intervention

*             Family and Community

*             Inclusion

*             Intellectual Disabilities

*             Parent Involvement

*             Participation Requests

*             Suicide Prevention

*             Transition Services

*             Universal Design

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

NASET's Educating Children with Severe Disabilities Series- September 2012

Part # I- Exceptional Students

Introduction to Students with Severe Disabilities

NASETis proud to offer a new series devoted exclusively to students with severe disabilities. This series will cover all aspects of students with severe disabilities focusing especially on understanding this population and what skills and information are necessary if you are asked to teach this population of students.  However, in order to understand who is included in this population we must first clarify several concepts, definitions, and foundational issues.

At the end of this series you should:

  • Understand concepts and definitions, prevalence, and causes of severe/profound disabilities.
  • Understand the legal rights of persons with severe/profound disabilities.
  • Have knowledge of curriculum based assessment and task analysis with children with severe disabilities.
  • Have knowledge of various public school and community agencies and the types of services they provide.
  • Have knowledge of the physical, cognitive, and learning characteristics of persons with severe/profound disabilities
  • Recognize the differences between key historical and current philosophies of services, curriculum, and instruction for students with profound disabilities.
  • Understand major concepts included within curriculum for students with severe/profound disabilities, i.e. integrated curriculum sequencing (daily routines), functional life routines, partial participation, choice making, community referenced instruction.
  • Identify components of Individual Educational Plans for students with severe/profound disabilities and procedures for conducting person-centered planning..
  • Develop instructional strategies and tactics for teaching the acquisition of new behaviors and skills to students with severe/profound disabilities (i.e. prompting procedures, shaping, reinforcement schedules, materials adaptations, etc.).
  • Develop instructional strategies and tactics for teaching the generalization and maintenance of skills.
  • Identify major types of challenging behaviors and the appropriate use of positive behavioral support procedures.
  • Understand and use different forms and types of data collection including direct measures of behavior, anecdotal records, and portfolio development and assessment.
  • Develop skills for independently seeking information about educational and related services for students with profound disabilities.
  • Develop an awareness of assistive technology options for students with severe disabilities

As you progress through this series, you will be presented with principles, foundations, classroom management techniques and other practical factors for working with students with severe disabilities.

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

Dyslexia Cause May Be Different Than Previously Thought

Dyslexia may result from impairment of a different linguistic system than previously thought, according to research published Sep. 19 in the open access journal PLOS ONE. Speech perception engages at least two linguistic systems: the phonetic system, which extracts discrete sound units from acoustic input, and the phonological system, which combines these units to form individual words. Previously, researchers generally believed that dyslexia was caused by phonological impairment, but results from the current study, led by Iris Berent of Northeastern University in Boston, suggest that the phonetic system may actually be the cause. "Our findings confirm that dyslexia indeed compromises the language system, but the locus of the deficit is in the phonetic, not the phonological system, as had been previously assumed," says Berent. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

Before the school may proceed with the evaluation, parents must give their informed written consent. This consent is for the evaluation only. It does not mean that the school has the parents' permission to provide special education services to the child. That requires a separate consent.

Fraction of Special Ed. Students Proficient on National Writing Test

The overwhelming majority of students with disabilities who took thenational writing assessmentknown as the "nation's report card" did not perform at the proficient level on the test. Just 5 percent of 8th graders and 5 percent of 12th graders who took the new National Assessment of Educational Progress in writing earned a score at or above the "proficient" level. A score at or above this level represents a "solid academic performance," according to NAEP. The test proved challenging for all students, although the performance of students with disabilities was especially low. Overall, only about a quarter of 8th and 12th graders taking the test showed proficiency. To read more,click here

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Scientists Focus on Factors Behind Asthma Attacks

Blocking two particular biological processes might help provide relief to people with asthma, according to a new study. The University of California, San Francisco-led team found that a specific calcium-activated chloride channel called TMEM16A plays a role in the severity of asthma. The channel regulates airway secretions and smooth-muscle contraction: the major factors that lead to an asthma attack. "Maybe if we could inhibit both of these processes by blocking this one channel, then we could affect the two symptoms of asthma," study senior author Jason Rock, an assistant professor at the UCSF anatomy department, said in a university news release. To read more,click here

Schools' Use of Seclusion Rooms not Against Law, Probe Finds

New Hanover County Schools' use of seclusion rooms to deal with students' aggressive behavior does not violate North Carolina law, according to Rick Holliday, assistant superintendent for support services. On Aug. 27, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) completed an investigation into the district's seclusion rooms that was opened in February. The inquiry found that the district had no compliance issues with N.C.'s Greenblatt Act, which gives schools strategies, such as seclusion rooms, to deal with students' aggressive behavior. The investigation stemmed from a two-fold complaint filed in January by parents of a 5-year-old special education student. The complaint alleged that the student was being placed in a seclusion room and forced to stay inside and that the district was only using its seclusion rooms for students with disabilities. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

If parents refuse consent for an initial evaluation (or simply don't respond to the school's request), the school must carefully document all its attempts to obtain parent consent. It may also continue to pursue conducting the evaluation by using the law'sdue process proceduresor itsmediationprocedures, unless doing so would be inconsistent with state law relating to parental consent.

Baby Deaths Linked to Formula Thickener, Says FDA

Seven infants have died after ingesting SimplyThick formula thickener and developingnecrotizing enterocolitis(NEC), a gastrointestinal condition, says the federal Food and Drug Administration. "The Food and Drug Administration wants parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals to be aware that infants of any age may face an increased risk of developing a life-threatening condition if fed a thickening product called SimplyThick," according to anFDA release. NEC, characterized by infection, inflammation, and destruction of tissue in the intestines, occurs mostly in premature infants. The exact cause is unknown. While research is needed to affirm a link between SimplyThick and NEC, the FDA has issued the precautionary warning.To read more,click here


Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
Congratulations to:Jessica L. Ulmer, Ope-Oluwa  Olubela, Shan Ring, Sue Brooks,

Rea Howarth, Olumide Akerele, Dildreda Willy and Craig Pate who knew that the two Presidents of the United States since 1950 diagnosed with hearing impairments were Ronald Reagan and William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton.

Parents were not always included in the team that determined their children's eligibility for special education and, in fact, were often excluded. When did the federal law mandate that parents be a part of the team that determined their children's eligibility for special education services?

If you know the answer, send an email tocontactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, October 1, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.

Drug May Treat Fragile X, Autism

A new drug is showing promise for treating social withdrawal and challenging behaviors associated with fragile X syndrome and some cases of autism.In a clinical trial of the drug compound STX 209, also known as Arbaclofen, researchers reported Wednesday that both kids and adults alike with fragile X syndrome showed signs of improvement. Researchers tested the medication as compared to a placebo on 63 people ages 6 to 39 with fragile X between December 2008 and March 2010. Using a behavior rating scale and parent observations, thestudypublished in the journal Science Translational Medicine indicates that the drug yielded gains in socialization and problem behaviors. 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

Alaska Politician Suggests that It is Time to Stop Educating Children with Disabilities

Mark Ewing, a former city councilman from Wasilla, Alaska, and candidate for the state House recently squared off in a debate with his opponent. In that debate, Ewing made several surprising comments, including "I love coal. I love the smell of burning coal in the morning."

Of course, coal is one of the most polluting sources of energy around. A single power plant dumps tons of harmful pollutants into the air, inflicting damage on people and nature. Enjoying the smell of burning coal is as wise as inhaling tobacco fumes and bragging about how great it is for one's health. Perhaps all that inhaling helps explain Ewing's next comment. Thesewordscannot go down well with Wasilla's more famous resident Sarah Palin whose youngest child is handicapped. "I got to be honest with you, I am not in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act. We are spending millions and millions of dollars educating children that have a hard time making their wheelchair move and, I'm sorry, but you've got to say, 'no' somewhere. We need to educate our children, but there are certain individuals that are just not going to benefit from an education," Ewing said. To read more,click here

Secondhand Smoke in Pregnancy Seems to Harm Baby, Too

Expectant mothers are often told they shouldn't smoke, but a new study reports that even secondhand smoke has a negative effect on the brain development of newborns. Pregnant women who smoke or inhale secondhand smoke put their children at risk for learning difficulties, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and obesity, the researchers from Spain said. The investigators also found that babies who have been exposed to nicotine have impaired physiological, sensory, motor and attention responses in the first two to three days of life. For the study, scientists from the Behaviour Evaluation and Measurement Research Center of the Rovira i Virgili University examined 282 healthy babies 48 to 72 hours after they were born to assess their behavior and responses. To read more,click here

More U.S. Kids Prescribed Off-Label Antipsychotics: Use is Particularly High among Children with ADHD or Conduct Disorder

Over the past decade, off-label use of antipsychotic drugs has increased among children enrolled in Medicaid, according to a new study representing 35 percent of children in the United States. Off-label drug use is a term used to describe when drugs are prescribed using a dosage, type of dosage or for a purpose that hasn't yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the study, researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found a 62 percent jump in the number of publicly insured children between the ages of 3 and 18 taking antipsychotics. In 2007 alone, 65 percent of the 354,000 children on these drugs were taking them for uses that have not been approved by the FDA, the investigators pointed out. To read more,click here

Maternal Drinking During Pregnancy Can Damage the Earliest Fetal Learning

Habituation refers to the ability of an organism to stop responding to repeated stimulation. A new study has examined the impact of maternal drinking on fetal habituation or learning abilities while still residing in the mother's womb. Results showed that those fetuses exposed to heavy binge drinking required significantly more trials to habituate, and also exhibited a greater variability in test performance. While it has become clear that drinking during pregnancy can damage the fetal central nervous system, these outcomes can also be influenced by factors such as timing, type, amount, and duration of alcohol exposure. Furthermore, most studies of fetal neurobehavioral effects have been conducted during the postnatal period. This study is the first of its kind, examining alcohol's effects on fetal brain function -- information processing and stability of performance -- at the time of exposure to alcohol. To read more,click here

Children With Autism Experience Interrelated Health Issues

One in 88 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that many children with ASD also experience anxiety, chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems and atypical sensory responses, which are heightened reactions to light, sound or particular textures. These problems appear to be highly related and can have significant effects on children's daily lives, including their functioning at home and in school. Micah Mazurek, an assistant professor of health psychology and a clinical child psychologist, found in her study of 2,973 children and adolescents with ASD that nearly one-fourth also had chronic GI problems, such as constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or nausea. The results also showed that children with chronic GI problems were more likely to experience anxiety and sensory problems. To read more,click here

Sign Language that African Americans Use is Different from that of Whites

Carolyn McCaskill remembers exactly when she discovered that she couldn't understand white people. It was 1968, she was 15 years old, and she and nine other deaf black students had just enrolled in an integrated school for the deaf in Talledega, Ala. When the teacher got up to address the class, McCaskill was lost. "I was dumbfounded," McCaskill recalls through an interpreter.The teacher's quicksilver hand movements looked little like the sign language McCaskill had grown up using at home with her two deaf siblings and had practiced at the Alabama School for the Negro Deaf and Blind, just a few miles away. It wasn't a simple matter of people at the new school using unfamiliar vocabulary; they made hand movements for everyday words that looked foreign to McCaskill and her fellow black students. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

If a child is home-schooled or has been placed in a private school by parents (meaning, the parents are paying for the cost of the private school), the school may not override parents' lack of consent for initial evaluation of the child.

Outcomes for Students With Severe Disabilities Can, Must Improve

Students who have the most severe disabilities aren't often enough being prepared well for work or more education beyond high school, and Congress has an opportunity to change that when it gets around to renewing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. TheCollaboration to Promote Self-Determinationtoday shareda set of recommendationsthat target reform of the tests taken by students with severe cognitive disabilities and the instruction these students receive. The group's goal is to better prepare students with significant disabilities for the workforce and continue their education after high school.To read more,click here

Vitamin D in Pregnancy Critical for Brain Development

Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could hinder babies' brain development, impeding their mental and motor skills, a new study suggests. Researchers in Spain measured the level of vitamin D in the blood of almost 2,000 women in their first or second trimester of pregnancy and evaluated the mental and motor abilities of their babies at about 14 months of age. The investigators found that children of vitamin D-deficient mothers scored lower than those whose mothers had adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin. "These differences in the mental and psychomotor development scores do not likely make any difference at the individual level, but might have an important impact at the population level," said study lead author Dr. Eva Morales, a medical epidemiologist in the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona. To read more,click here

Disability Caused by Traumatic Brain Injury in Children May Persist and Stop Improving After Two Years

A child who suffers a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may still have substantial functional disabilities and reduced quality of life 2 years after the injury. After those first 2 years, further improvement may be minimal. Better interventions are needed to prevent long-lasting consequences of TBI in children conclude the authors of a study published in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Frederick Rivara and colleagues from University of Washington, Seattle, and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, Tacoma, WA, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, describe the functional and quality of life outcomes of children who experienced a moderate or severe TBI when they were 0-17 years of age. In the article "Persistence of Disability 24 to 36 Months after Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study" they follow up on a previous report that found improvement in some areas of functioning for up to 24 months. In this expanded study, the authors showed no significant improvement in the children's ability to function, participate in activities, or in their quality of life between 24 and 36 months post-injury, and they suggest that a plateau is reached in the recovery. To read more,click here

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

The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shore line of wonder.
Ralph W. Sockman

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