Week in Review - January 11, 2013

Week in Review - January 11, 2013



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

January 11, 2013 - Vol 9, Issue 2


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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


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New This Week on NASET - The Parent Teacher Conference Handout and Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Parent Teacher Conference Handout

Factors Affecting Curriculum for Children with Special Needs

Part I

Children and adults are exposed to a variety of stressors on any given day. For children, these stressors may manifest themselves in school related symptoms which result in dysfunction. All problems create tension. This tension must be relieved either verbally or behaviorally. If a child is unable to communicate his feelings, as is the case for most children, then that tension will exhibit itself in symptomatic behavior. This symptomatic behavior is what teachers see every day in the classroom. While symptoms may not always indicate a serious problem, the frequency, intensity, and duration of the symptoms usually do.

This issue ofNASET'sParent Teacher Conference Handoutsaddresses factors affecting curriculum for children with special needs.

To read or download this issue -Click here (login required)
Autism Spectrum Disorder Series
Apps That Teach Social Skills to Children
By Naomi Easterly
Basic social skills may not come easy to some children. However, iPad has a number of applications on the market today that can help teach children social skills in a non-threatening and easy to learn environment. The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc. An iPad can shoot video, take photos, play music, send and receive email, and browse the web. Other functions-games, reference, GPS navigation, social networking, etc. This issue ofNASET'sAutism Spectrum Disorder Serieswas written by Noami Esterly and reprinted with permission by Doug Goldberg of the Special Education Advisor.  It focuses on the top iPad applications to help children interact in social and independent settings.
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)

New Information On Autism and Genetics

Research out of the George Washington University (GW), published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals another piece of the puzzle in a genetic developmental disorder that causes behavioral diseases such as autism. Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and director of the GW Institute for Neuroscience, along with post-doctoral fellow Daniel Meechan, Ph.D. and Thomas Maynard, Ph.D., associate research professor of pharmacology and physiology at GW SMHS, authored the study titled "Cxcr4 regulation of interneuron migration is disrupted in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome." To read more,click here

Use of Anti-Depressants During Pregnancy Not Linked With Increased Risk of Stillbirth, Infant Death, Study Suggests


In a study that included nearly 30,000 women from Nordic countries who had filled a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescription during pregnancy, researchers found no significant association between use of these medications during pregnancy and risk of stillbirth, neonatal death, or postneonatal death, after accounting for factors including maternal psychiatric disease, according to a study in the January 2 issue of JAMA. "Depression during pregnancy is common with prevalences ranging between 7 percent and 19 percent in economically developed countries. Maternal depression is associated with poorer pregnancy outcomes, including increased risk of preterm delivery, which in turn may cause neonatal morbidity and mortality," according to background information in the article. "Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy has been associated with congenital anomalies, neonatal withdrawal syndrome, and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. However, the risk of stillbirth and infant mortality when accounting for previous maternal psychiatric disease remains unknown." To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

IDEA allows States, at their discretion, to adopt a definition of "child with a disability" that includes children aged 3 through 9 (or any subset of that age range) who are experiencing "developmental delays" and "who, by reason thereof," need special education and related services.

Anti-Common Core Legislation Coming From Indiana Lawmaker

Ever since the defeat of a resolution opposing theCommon Core State Standards at the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Washington-based conservative think tank which ideologically might have been sympathetic with common standards foes, the question for those foes has been where they would go from there. Without the stamp of ALEC's influential approval, what would be their strategy? Indiana Sen. Scott Schneider, a Republican, has one straightforward strategy-he has proposed legislation that would requireIndiana to withdraw from the common standardsin English/language arts and math, the Associated Press has reported. "I am worried that common core was pushed on Indiana without proper review of what it will mean for students and teachers," Schneider said in a press statement Wednesday. His bill is scheduled for a committee hearing Jan. 16. To read more,click here

CA School Districts Shouldering Increased Special Ed Funding Burden


California school districts have been forced over recent years to pick up a greater portion of the price tag for providing special education services to our state's disabled children. Between 2005 and 2011, the cost to California school district to fund special education rose 9%, or approximately 2% a year, adjusted for inflation, according to a new report released yesterday byCalifornia's Legislative Analyst's Office(LAO) in a new report entitledOverview of Special Education in California. In the 2004-2005 school year, school districts paid for 32% of the costs of educating students with disabilities (SWDs), and in 2010-2011, districts paid 39% of the associated costs of special education services. The reasons for this increase are that funding from the state and federal government has remained relatively flat and also special education costs have been increasing. To read more,click here




Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Member

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

Dyslexia and the Quest for Grade-Level Reading Proficiency

The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and Campaign for Grade-Level Reading present a comprehensive report and action plan for helping children with learning disabilities reach grade-level reading proficiency. About 2.4 million children across the nation have been diagnosed with learning disabilities - but how successful is the U.S. education system in teaching these students to read? This new report provides a far-reaching overview of the history and progress in understanding and meeting the needs of children with dyslexia, as well as the persisting challenges that must be overcome, to ensure that all students can read proficiently by the third grade. Don't Dys Our Kids also highlights best practices and examples of solutions that are already working in communities. Based on interviews with nearly 30 experts, the report includes a collection of recommended actions for advancing this movement. To read more,click here

Working a 'Dream Job' at the SEC

James "Tyler" Kirk walks the two blocks to his office at the Securities and Exchange Commission every morning, thinking about how lucky he is. He's 29, loves his work as an SEC lawyer and loves the life he has built. But those two blocks can be dicey. "The most stressful part of my job is crossing Massachusetts Avenue. My heart is literally in my throat," said Kirk, who lost his eyesight when he was 9 to Stargardt disease, a form of macular degeneration. It never stopped him from pursuing his goals, though, and Kirk, with his black Labrador service dog Sailor, makes it across a busy thoroughfare every workday. "I love economics, I love business, I love investment," Kirk said. "This is my dream job, and how could you not be happy working in your dream job?" To read more,click here


Designed for a national audience, this intensive one-week, well-balanced program is available on both a non-credit and graduate-credit basis and provides a thorough analysis of the leading issues under the IDEA and Section 504. Among the 19 symposium sessions are the following "hot topics": RTI; discipline, including a mock manifestation determination hearing; child find; transitional services; tuition reimbursement and other remedies; disability-related bullying; and autism.

Special features include:

  • Parallel tracks for basic and advanced practitioners, starting with a keynote dinner presentation by Dr. Melody Musgrove, Director, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education and ending with a post-luncheon crystal-ball culminating presentationled by national consultant and trainer Julie Weatherly, Esq., recipient of the 2012 National CASE Award for Outstanding Service.
  • Balance of district, parent, and neutral perspectives with a specialized set of topics and presenters for the advanced track.
  • Knowledgeable national faculty including attorneys Laura Anthony (Ohio), Emerson Dickman (New Jersey), Andrew Faust (Pennsylvania), Joshua Kershenbaum (Pennsylvania), Michele Kule-Korgood (New York), Deborah Mattison (Alabama), Marsha Moses (Connecticut), Michael Stafford (Delaware), Julie Weatherly (Alabama), Mark Weber (Illinois), and Dr. Perry Zirkel (Pennsylvania).
  • The symposium will take place on the beautiful campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., located just 60 miles north of Philadelphia and 70 miles south of New York City, with access from Lehigh Valley (ABE), Newark, and Philadelphia International airports.
  • CLE and ACT 48 credits available.
  • Non-credit: $995 full week; or $295 per day.  Lehigh University Graduate Credit (3): $1,695
Special Education Law Symposium ~ June 23-28, 2013 ~ Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA ~ coe.lehigh.edu/law


Elementary School Bias Against Boys Sets Them Up For Failure

Academics from the University of Georgia and Columbia University think they have more insight into why girls earn higher grades on report cards than boys do, despite the fact that girls do not necessarily outperform boys on achievement or IQ tests. Christopher Cornwell, head of economics at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, UGA's David Mustard and Columbia's Jessica Van Paryshave published a studythat they say shows "gender disparities in teacher grades start early and uniformly favor girls." The researchers analyzed data from 5,800 elementary school students and found that boys performed better on standardized exams in math, reading and science than their course grades reflected. The authors suggest that girls are truly only outperforming boys in "non-cognitive approaches to learning" -- defined as attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization -- leading to better grades from teachers. The study is published in the latest issue ofThe Journal of Human Resources. To read more,click here

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Giving a Voice to Autism

The main argument in favor of realistic novels, aside from the pleasure in reading them, is that they instruct us. By recognizing ourselves in fictional characters sent slaloming through the moral and ethical gates of life, we find our own repertoire of choices widened at those crucial moments when we, too, have to figure out what to do when a parent dies, a spouse deserts us, or the pilot gets on the PA system and advises us all to pray. But what if a story is told by a man whose disabilities make it difficult for him to express his thoughts? My first novel was recounted in the third person and described, with fair autobiographical fidelity, my growing up with an autistic brother. I'm currently writing a novel told entirely from that autistic brother's point of view, and I find myself continually shoved up against a paradox: How do you make interesting a world which is by definition pathologically self-enclosed? How does the tool kit of the novel, with its venerable elements of dialogue, landscape and plotting, persuasively present the first-person experience of someone who is overstimulated by the input of life and yet lacks the cognitive means to process and communicate it? To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

According to IDEA, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, "developmental delays" must be in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; or adaptive development.

New Research Helps Explain Why Girls Do Better in School

Why do girls get better grades in elementary school than boys-even when they perform worse on standardized tests?New research from the University of Georgia and Columbia University published in the current issue of Journal of Human Resources suggests that it's because of their classroom behavior, which may lead teachers to assign girls higher grades than their male counterparts. "The skill that matters the most in regards to how teachers graded their students is what we refer to as 'approaches toward learning,'" said Christopher Cornwell, head of economics in the UGA Terry College of Business and one of the study's authors. "You can think of 'approaches to learning' as a rough measure of what a child's attitude toward school is: It includes six items that rate the child's attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization. I think that anybody who's a parent of boys and girls can tell you that girls are more of all of that." 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: Kay Hennes, Doris M. Jackson, Mary Hempel, Merril Bruce, Kerry Drossos, Michelle Carpenter, Ope-Oluwa Olubela, Cheri Mclean, Alexandra Pirard, Lauren Thomson, Andrew Bailey, Heather Cannon, Pamela Downing-Hosten, Lala Sangalang, Walter Thorton, Sue Brooks, Marilyn Haile, Donna Block, Rhonda Black, Olumide Akerele, Catherine Cardenas, and Patty Lockhard
who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

If a child receives special education and related services for diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, or Tourette syndrome, under what IDEIA disability would he be classified?

Many children with food allergies may be bullied at school -- sometimes with potentially dangerous threats to their physical health. According to a recent studyof 251 families at a New York City allergy clinic (reported in NASET'sWeek in Reviewon 1/4/13), approximately what percentage of children said they'd been bullied specifically because of their food allergy?

If you know the answer, send an email tocontactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, January 14, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

Mental Disorders Linked With Domestic Violence, Study Says

People diagnosed with mental illness are more likely than others to be victims of domestic violence, a new analysis finds. Previous research has linked depression to domestic violence, but this review looks at a possible link between mental illness overall and domestic abuse in men and women. "In this study, we found that both men and women with mental health problems are at an increased risk of domestic violence," senior study author Louise Howard, a professor at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, said in a college news release. "The evidence suggests that there are two things happening: Domestic violence can often lead to victims developing mental health problems, and people with mental health problems are more likely to experience domestic violence," Howard said. To read more,click here

Move Over, Mean Girls

Preteens are happier when they engage in "acts of kindness," new research suggests. The finding applies to boys and girls aged 9 to 12, and stems from a four-week long comparison between kids who acted kindly towards someone and those who simply paid visits to a series of "pleasant places." Not only did the kinder tweens say they were happier by the end of the study period, but their peers were more likely to want to hang out with them than with the other group. The results appeared in the journal PLOS ONE. "The findings suggest that a simple and relatively brief prosocial activity can increase liking among classmates," study author Kristin Layous, of the University of California, Riverside, said in a journal news release. "Given the relationship between peer acceptance and many social and academic outcomes, we think these findings have important implications for the classroom." To read more,click here

Treating Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Pregnancy May Improve Fetal Health

A new study suggests that treatment of mild sleep-disordered breathing with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in pregnant women with preeclampsia improves fetal activity levels, a marker of fetal well-being. Results show that the average number of fetal movements increased from 319 during a night without CPAP treatment to 592 during the subsequent night with CPAP therapy. During the course of the night without CPAP treatment, the number of fetal movements decreased steadily by 7.4 movements per hour. In contrast, the number of fetal movements increased by 12.6 per hour during the night with CPAP therapy. To read more,click here

Making Charter Schools More Inclusive

Two years ago, Elizabeth Marcell, the director of intervention services at ReNEW Schools in New Orleans, faced an unenviable challenge. As the charter network worked to open its first two schools in the city, she saw that every special education file she inherited from the schools the network took over failed to comply fully with federal and state laws. Marcell, who wrote her dissertation on charters and special education, knew she had to act quickly. Some people in the charter world "don't understand they are legally obligated to serve students with disabilities," Marcell says. "But I don't think ignorance is going to be a viable answer for much longer." As charter schools transition from a fringe alternative to a mainstream option in many communities, special education is emerging as their Achilles' heel. Over the last few years, numerous reports have shown that most charters do not enroll as large a proportion of disabled children as do their traditional school counterparts. The gaps are particularly wide when it comes to students with the most challenging needs, such as multiple disabilities and severe autism, who cost much more to educate. To read more,click here

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Did You Know That....

States do not have to adopt use of the term "developmental delay" in their definitions of "child with a disability." It's an option for States. Even if the State adopts the term (which includes defining the age range of children to which it applies), it can't force any of its LEAs to do so. If the State does not adopt the term, its LEAs may not independently decide they will use the term. It's only an option for LEAs if the State adopts the term-and then, the LEA must use the State's definition, including the age range specified by the State.

Prenatal Methamphetamine Exposure Linked with Problems

In the latest findings from an ongoing study of the effects of prenatal methamphetamine exposure on child development, primary caregivers reported more signs of increased emotionality, anxiety, and depression in exposed nonexposed children at ages 3 and 5 years. The caregivers also reported that at age 5, methamphetamine-exposed children were less able to sustain attention and more prone to act out aggressively or destructively than were nonexposed children. The NIDA-supported Infant Development, Environment, and Lifestyle (IDEAL) study has followed more than 200 children exposed to methamphetamine prenatally, along with matched controls, since birth. Previous IDEAL reports linked prenatal methamphetamine exposure to reduced neonatal size ("Methamphetamine Restricts Fetal Growth, Increases Lethargy in Newborns") and alertness as well as deficits in fine motor skills through age 3 years. To read more,click here

Teenagers Without Internet Access at Home Are Educationally Disadvantaged, UK Study Suggests

A major in-depth study examining how teenagers in the UK are using the internet and other mobile devices says the benefits of using such technologies far outweigh any perceived risks.  The findings are based on a large-scale study of more than 1,000 randomly selected households in the UK, coupled with regular face-to-face interviews with more than 200 teenagers and their families between 2008 and 2011. While the study reflects a high level of parental anxiety about the potential of social networking sites to distract their offspring, and shows that some parents despair at their children's tendency to multitask on mobile devices, the research by Oxford University's Department of Education concludes that there are substantial educational advantages in teenagers being able to access the internet at home. To read more,click here

Benefits of Competency-Based Grading

This ancient Chinese proverb sums up my view on why just three years ago it was time for my school, Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, NH, to stop "talking" about making the change to a competency-based grading and reporting model and why it was time to start "doing it." With a leap of faith in support of the latest educational research from authors Colby, Marzano, O'Connor, Reeves, Stiggins, and Wormeli, our school community "jumped into the deep end of the pool" of high school redesign. Looking back on this now, I firmly believe it was the best thing we could have done. While we haven't solved all of our issues yet, I think we are well on our way toward realizing our vision of "learning for all, whatever it takes." As you might expect, our leap of faith into the deep end of the pool didn't happen without some advanced strategic planning and groundwork. In the years leading up to our jump, teachers in my school spent a great deal of time developing common course-based competencies and making sure they were aligned to the New Hampshire Grade Span Expectations (GSEs) and ultimately the common core. They worked in teams to develop common assessments and common rubrics to measure student learning. As a school, we talked about the importance of focusing our professional work on student learning and mastery of competencies. Still, we were only scratching the surface of our potential. We knew that if we truly wanted to impact student learning on a large-scale in our school, we were going to have to operate differently. To read more,click here

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


When one teaches, two learn.

Robert Heinlein

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