Week in Review - January 18, 2013

Week in Review - January 18, 2013


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

January 18, 2013 - Vol 9, Issue 3


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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

Severe Disabilities Series
January 2013

The Special Education Process: Assessment, Diagnosis, Classification and Placement

of a Child with a Suspected Disability



In order to survive as a general education teacher working with children with special needs, it is important to become very familiar with the process by which children are identified as having a disability. This process is called the special education process and involves a number of steps that must follow federal, state, and district guidelines. These guidelines have been created to protect the rights of students, parents and school districts and as a result you must be knowledgeable to assist parents and students through this involved process. Working together within these guidelines ensures a comprehensive assessment of a student and the proper special education services and modifications if required. When a student is having difficulty in school, there are many attempts made by the professional staff to resolve the problem. When these interventions do not work, a more extensive look at the student is required.

The following parts describe the information you should know in order to guarantee that any child you work with in special education is provided the most comprehensive opportunity to clearly define his/her symptoms, problems, needs, learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, classroom placements, modifications, and so on. While the specific stages of this process may vary from state to state, district to district and even school to school, the following steps encompass the concepts and information that should be utilized by any system.

There are actually two stages to the referral process. The first stage looks at potential high risk children and determines the most suitable direction for that child. This direction might include a wide variety of options e.g., change of program, consolidation of program, disciplinary actions, parent counseling etc. However, when the Child Study Team, the local school committee assigned to monitor children with potential problems determines that the child being reviewed fits the criteria for a suspected disability the second stage begins which is the start of the special education process.

This two stage process involves several different steps. Each step should be reviewed in terms of your responsibilities, the legal procedures, parental rights and responsibilities and implications for the student. This section will take you step by step through this process which will be crucial for you to understand in your role as a general education teacher working with children with special needs.

To read or download this issue -Click here (login required)
Lesser Known Disorders in Special Education

In this issue we will discuss:

  • LD 12.02-Visual Closure Processing Disorder
  • VI 6.03- Blepharitis (Granulated eyelids)
  • OI 1.07- Idiopathic Juvenile Osteoporosis
To read or download this issue - Click here (login required)

Mother-to-Be's Pollen Exposure May Boost Asthma Risk in Baby

Children whose mothers were exposed to high pollen levels in late pregnancy are at increased risk for asthma at a young age, a new study reports. Previous research has found that children born during pollen season are at increased risk for allergies. While pollen season arrives regularly, pollen levels can vary significantly from year to year. Few studies have examined the effect that pollen levels during pregnancy and after birth can have on children. In this study, researchers at Umea University in Sweden looked at about 110,000 children born in Stockholm. The investigators found that children born to mothers who were exposed to high pollen levels during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of hospitalization for asthma symptoms in the first year of life. To read more,click here

Ohio Governor Signs Directive Mandating Coverage For Autism

Autism advocates refer to it as their Christmas miracle - the day Gov. John Kasich announced he would sign an executive order mandating insurance coverage for autism services. Kasich gathered with supporters Wednesday to celebrate with a ceremonial signing of the new directive. Opponents of the new policy argue the mandate will increase insurance premium costs for business owners and the Tea Party sponsors of Ohio's 2011 Health Care Freedom Amendment now say the new mandate also violates the Ohio Constitution. For many parents, the autism diagnosis can provide some relief after months, or even years, of not knowing what was wrong. Then they're confronted with the reality that their insurance does not cover the expensive but necessary treatments. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

If parents or the LEA want to amend or modify the IEP, does the team have to actually, physically, meet? No, not necessarily, subject to certain conditions. This possibility of "meeting without a meeting" is new; it was added in the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA. Now, IEP teams have the option of drafting a written amendment to the IEP, agreeing to the amendment, and incorporating this modification into the IEP. However, before the IEP team can use this new alternative to gathering in person, specific conditions must be met.

Many U.S. Teens at Risk for Suicide Despite Treatment

A new study casts doubt on the value of current professional treatments for teens who struggle with mental disorders and thoughts of suicide. Harvard researchers report that they found that about 1 in every 8 U.S. teens (12.1 percent) thought about suicide, and nearly 1 in every 20 (4 percent) either made plans to kill themselves or actually attempted suicide. Most of these teens (80 percent) were being treated for various mental health issues. Yet, 55 percent didn't start their suicidal behavior until after treatment began, and their treatment did not stem the suicidal behavior, the researchers found. "Most suicidal adolescents reported that they had entered into treatment with a mental health specialist before the onset of their suicidal behaviors, which means that while our treatments may be preventing some suicidal behaviors, it clearly is not yet good enough at reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviors," said Simon Rego, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. To read more,click here

High Bar Urged For Youth With Disabilities

A new federal effort is encouraging young people with disabilities - and those who come into contact with them - to set high expectations. In a public service campaign that launched Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment is highlighting the experiences of seven Americans with varying disabilities who've excelled at work, sports and in life because of the support of others. "Many people who achieve success and have found satisfaction in their careers have done so because one person believed in them and urged them to set their expectations high," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "This PSA challenges viewers to rethink their ideas about what people with disabilities can achieve and consider what they might do to encourage young people with disabilities to pursue their personal and career goals." 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

Do Babies Begin Learning Language in the Womb?

Language development begins in the womb, during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, a small new study of U.S. and Swedish infants suggests. Researchers noted that these skills can be demonstrated within the first few hours of life. "The mother has first dibs on influencing the child's brain," study co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, said in a school news release. "The vowel sounds in her speech are the loudest units and the fetus locks onto them." Just hours after birth, babies can tell the difference between their mother's native language and a foreign language, the study authors found. They said this indicates that babies are able to listen to their mothers talk by the time they reach 30 weeks of gestational age, much earlier than previously thought. To read more,click here

Brothel To Cater To Clients With Disabilities

A unique nonprofit in Britain is working to fulfill the carnal desires of those with disabilities, with a full-fledged, accessible brothel in the works. Becky Adams runs the organization known as Para Doxies which currently provides a telephone service linking people with disabilities and sex workers. The longtime madam argues that she's fulfilling a basic need for those with physical and mental disabilities who have human needs, but face difficulties facilitating sexual relationships. The offering will soon be expanding, with Adams setting her sights on establishing a brothel in 2014 specifically designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. 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


Study Suggests Genetic Link Between Epilepsy, Migraine

Migraines and epilepsy may share some of the same genetic roots, a new study suggests. Columbia University researchers report they found that people with a strong family history of seizure disorders are at much greater risk for migraines with aura, or migraines accompanied by other symptoms, such as blind spots or flashing lights. They noted their findings have significant implications for people with epilepsy since coexisting conditions, also known as comorbidities, can affect patients' quality of life and treatment success. The study was published in the Jan. 7 issue of the journal Epilepsia. "Epilepsy and migraine are each individually influenced by genetic factors," study author Dr. Melodie Winawer, from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, said in a journal news release. "Our study is the first to confirm a shared genetic susceptibility to epilepsy and migraine in a large population of patients with common forms of epilepsy." To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

With respect to the agreement between parents and school system to amend the IEP without meeting, the Department of Education observed that ". . . it would be prudent for the public agency to document the terms of the agreement in writing, in the event that questions arise at a later time. Of course, changes to the child's IEP would have to be in writing"

Mental Health of Dads-to-Be May Influence Toddler's Behavior

Plenty of research has linked a mother's mental health during and after pregnancy with her child's well-being. Now, a new study suggests that an expectant father's psychological distress might influence his toddler's emotional and behavioral development. "The results of this study point to the fact that the father's mental health represents a risk factor for child development, whereas the traditional view has been that this risk in large is represented by the mother," said study lead author Anne Lise Kvalevaag. "The father's mental health should therefore be addressed both in research and clinical practice." For the study, published online Jan. 7 in the journal Pediatrics, the researchers looked at more than 31,000 children born in Norway and their parents. 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: Olumide Akerele, Alexandra Pirard, Jessica L. Ulmer, Kay Hennes, Prahbhjot Malhi, Pamela Downing-Hosten, Ope-Oluwa Olubela, and Kathleen George
who all knew the answer to last week's trivia: Approximately1/3 (31.3%) of children said they'd been bullied specifically because of their food allergy
According to Part C of IDEIA, who can make a referral for an infant or toddler for early intervention services?

If you know the answer, send an email tocontactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, January 21, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

A Mother's Appeal ... Look for Hidden Learning Disabilities Early in School

When a child looks typical, but does not learn well, we sometimes make the assumption that the child is lazy or not focused enough on their studies in school. Parents deal with this common and almost always frustrating scenario every day when they have a child with learning disabilities (LD) or special needs. Kathryn Roset, an Arkansas attorney and parent of five, faced this frustration for years since her son Dane, now eleven, was a toddler. "When we see a child with physical issues, we understand their learning challenges instantly and hopefully prescribe strategies and technology accommodations that will help," said Mrs. Roset. "But learning disabilities can be hidden; it becomes more difficult to accept, prescribe and deliver learning experiences in effective ways." To read more,click here

'Dramatic' Increase in Reading Needed for Common Core, Guides Say

A set of new guides to the Common Core State Standards offers a solution, of sorts, to abrewing controversy about the balance of fiction and nonfictionin U.S. classrooms. "Informational text" doesn't have to displace fiction, the guides say, if the overall amount of reading students do increases "dramatically." The"action guides"are meant to help counselors and school principals put the common standards into practice. Issued by Achieve, College Summit, and the two groups that represent elementary- and secondary-level principals, the guides include a primer on the standards, talking points, and an array of tips. But in exploring the instructional shifts in the standards, they also offer common-core advocates' answer to teachers who are worried that assigning a much heftier chunk of nonfiction will force them to drop cherished parts of their literary canon. To read more,click here

Bullying Harms Kids With Autism, Parents Say

Nearly 70 percent of children with autism suffer emotional trauma as a result of bullying, according to a new study. The study also found that many children with autism fear for their safety at school and that those with autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression had the highest risk of being bullied. Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by social, communication and behavioral difficulties. Researchers surveyed the parents of more than 1,200 children with autism, and found that 38 percent of the children were bullied over a one-month period, and 28 percent were frequently bullied. Immediate consequences of being bullied included emotional trauma (69 percent) and physical injuries (8 percent). Nearly 14 percent of the children who were bullied said they feared for their safety. 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

University of Utah's iSTAR Program Helps Children with Autism Shine

The University of Utah'siSTAReducational program focuses on children with autism - specifically teaching them how to use computers for 3-D modeling. The university held a demonstration for parents and teachers Thursday to show how SketchUp, a free downloadable design program, could help children at home and in the classroom. Children with autism often face challenges in school, but this program gives them an opportunity to shine and show people what they can do. The program uses Trimble's SketchUp to display the child's spatial-visual strengths. Mason designed a character for a video game. The 15-year-old said he likes the program, "because you can do basically anything on it." To read more,click here

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30 Ways To Promote Creativity in Your Classroom

The concept of teaching creativity has been around for quite some time. Academics such asE. Paul Torrance, dedicated an entire lifetime to the advancement of creativity in education. Torrance faced much opposition in his day about the nature of creativity. Creativity was considered to be an immeasurable, natural ability. Torrance called for explicit teaching of creativity. He advocated that it was skill-specific, requiring intentional instruction. His life's work ultimately led to the development of the Torrance tests and gifted programs throughout the world. To read more,click here

Chicago Faulted on Learning Disabilities

When Rashaan Payne was 2 years old, his pediatrician noticed that he was not talking at the level of most children his age. After autism was diagnosed, Rashaan began receiving speech therapy once a week at his home on the South Side of Chicago, paid for by the federal and state governments. When he turned 3 in October, federal law mandated that he leave that program and be evaluated for services within the Chicago Public Schools. But while his mother, Treva Thompson, said she has filed paperwork and repeatedly called the neighborhood school, Rashaan has yet to be evaluated. She is worried that after making progress, her son will lose ground. "It's like he's at a pause now," said Ms. Thompson, who left her factory job packing ice cream cones to stay home and take care of Rashaan. "When you're dealing with special-needs children, you need to be consistent with whatever you're doing. You can't do something and then stop in the middle of it." To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

In keeping with IDEA's requirements that all service providers of the child must have access to the child's IEP and must be informed of their responsibilities for implementing it, the school system must ensure that the child's IEP team is informed of any changes made to the child's IEP. The team must also be informed when and how the IEP has been changed. Modifications to the document, especially to the services or supports enumerated there, may directly affect their involvement and responsibilities.

Heart Muscle Cells Regenerate in Kids, Research Shows

Human hearts continue to generate new cells after birth, a finding that could lead to new ways to treat heart problems, researchers say. The team, from Boston Children's Hospital, analyzed specimens from the hearts of healthy people, up to age 59. They found that heart muscle cells in infants, children and teens continue to divide and increase in number. This regeneration peaks during infancy and then declines. It then increases during the adolescent growth spurt and continues until about age 20, according to the study, which was published in the Jan. 7-11 online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings overturn the long-held belief that growth in the human heart after birth occurs only by enlargement of existing cells, and raise the prospect that it may be possible to stimulate the production of new cells in order to repair damaged hearts. To read more,click here

Assessing the Efficacy of Sensory Diets on Latent Responding and Frequency of Inappropriate Behavior

Typically developing people can take in all sensory input (i.e.: visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory, etc) and regulate their sensory systems to remain at a state of homeostasis (i.e.: sensory integration). However, people with Autism do not have the same ability. It has been described by people that are on the Autism Spectrum (e.g.: Temple Grandin) as an experience that leads them to seek out sensory input that allows them to regulate their behavior (i.e.: sensory seeking-squeezing themselves into small places, stereotypic behavior-hand flapping, toe walking, visual "stimming" [self-stimulation], etc.). Sensory integration leads to improved motor skills and responses, speech perception and intellectual and cognitive functioning in children. Therefore, children with sensory dysfunction have a more difficult time acquiring and maintaining skills that are essential for learning. Furthermore, attention (i.e.: concentration) is needed to facilitate learning. To read more,click here

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

Too often, we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.

Roger Lewin


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