Week in Review - January 25, 2013

Week in Review - January 25, 2013


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

January 25, 2013 - Vol 9, Issue 4


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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

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New This Week on NASET

NASET's Q&A Corner
January 2013

By Geraldine Markel, Ph.D.


Many children and adults do not perform at a level commensurate with their potential and known abilities. A neuropsychological evaluation is a tool educators, psychologists, and physicians recommend when an explanation for a performance gap is not clear from other assessment tools.

A neuropsychological evaluation is comprehensive battery of tests that provides a detailed picture of a person's aptitude, achievement, and social and emotional status as compared to others at the same stage of development. Only a trained neuropsychologist administers such assessments. The evaluation involves a clinical history and interview, completion of standardized checklists, completion of paper and pencil tasks, hands-on activities, and computer-based tasks. This issue of NASET's Q & A Corner was written by Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. and reprinted with permission by Doug Goldberg of the Special Education Advisor website, at www.specialeducationadvisor.com/about-neuropsychological-evaluations/. It focuses on questions and answers about neuropsychological evaluations.


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

States Split On Mandating ABA Coverage Under Health Law

Despite a requirement that insurers start covering behavioral health treatment for individuals and small groups, a new analysis suggests less than half of states plan to include autism therapy. Many autism advocates were hopeful when the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 that insurance coverage for behavioral therapy used to treat the developmental disorder would be mandated nationwide. Under the law, insurance providers are required to include 10 types of care - including behavioral health treatment - in all plans offered to individuals and small groups starting in 2014. However, what falls under each of the required categories was largely left to the states to determine. Now it looks like many states may choose not to mandate ABA therapy coverage. To read more,click here

Gabe's Care Map: Cristin Lind, Mom, Illustrates What It Takes To Raise One Boy With Special Needs

Cristin Lind couldn't find the words, so she drew a picture. The artistic inspiration hit about a year ago, after she'd been asked to speak to a meeting of primary care physicians, telling them what it took to manage the complex care of her special needs son. Her page was still empty, despite hours trying to collect her thoughts, so she found some colored markers and began drawing circles. Inside a small purple circle, smack in the middle, she placed a G, for her son Gabe. "He's not always the center of the universe," she says with a smile. "But for these purposes he was." Around him, she drew another purple circle containing the rest of the family: Cristin, her husband Dan, and their daughter, Dagny. She built outward from there: the health care providers in blue -- pediatrics, endocrine, cardiology, orthopedics; school-related specialists in red -- everyone from the teacher to the bus driver to the special education director; turquoise for the world of advocacy and support groups; pink for recreation; lavender for those who do the assessments and testing; orange for those who help fight against the rules and for the money. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

The National Secondary Transition and Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) posts the following definition of independent living--Independent Living or life skills are defined as "those skills or tasks that contribute to the successful independent functioning of an individual in adulthood" in the following domains: leisure/recreation, home maintenance and personal care, and community participation.

District Not Required to Serve Private School Student with ADHD

A school district is under no obligation under a federal disability-rights law to provide special education services to a Maryland student enrolled exclusively in a private religious school, a federal appeals court has ruled. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, in Richmond, Va., held unanimously that the Baltimore city school district did not have to provide services to a student with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who attends a yeshiva. The boy's parents sought the district-provided services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal law that prohibits people with disabilities from being excluded from or discriminated against under any federally funded program. In the schools, the law parallels the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, though with some differences in coverage. To read more,click here

Some With Autism Diagnosis Can Overcome Symptoms, Study Finds

Doctors have long believed that disablingautisticdisorders last a lifetime, but a new study has found that some children who exhibit signature symptoms of the disorder recover completely.  The study,posted onlineon Wednesday by theJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, is the largest to date of such extraordinary cases and is likely to alter the way that scientists and parents think and talk about autism, experts said. Researchers on Wednesday cautioned against false hope. The findings suggest that the so-called autism spectrum contains a small but significant group who make big improvements in behavioral therapy for unknown, perhaps biological reasons, but that most children show much smaller gains. Doctors have no way to predict which children will do well. 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

Editorial: How to Keep Talented Teachers from Leaving

Imagine a profession whose influence on individual lives is more significant than that of nearly any other occupation, whose role in society is universally acknowledged to be among the most critical to the future, and whose practitioners are often described as "heroic," "beloved," and "admired." Now imagine that this profession cannot recruit and retain the best people because it is seen by many as a dead end, neither financially remunerative nor socially and creatively fulfilling.  This destructive paradox describes the profession of teaching in theUnited States.

Soon the education priorities forPresident Obama's second administration will begin to take shape. They will no doubt include, as they did during his first term, recruiting and retaining strong teachers who can prepare young people for the contemporary workforce. They should also include renewing our national commitment to teaching as a profession of status and a life of consequence. To read more,click here

Pfizer Launches First U.S. Once-Daily Liquid ADHD Drug

Pfizer ($PFE) has launched Quillivant XR (controlled-release methylphenidate hydrochloride) for the treatment ofADHD. This is the first once-daily, extended-release liquid methylphenidate for ADHD available in the U.S. The FDA approved Quillivant XR in September 2012 for use in patients 6 years old and above. It usesTris Pharma's OralXR+ platform, which coats tiny drug particles so that they release the drug over 24 hours and then suspends them in a liquid. Known as LiquiXR, this liquid formulation masks the taste of the drug, is easier to swallow than tablets or capsules, and allows accurate dose adjustment, making it ideal for use in children. Pfizer bagged exclusive U.S. rights to Quillivant XR when it acquiredNextWave Pharmaceuticalsin a deal worthup to $680 million. NextWave developed Quillivant XR in collaboration with Tris Pharma, and is also developing NWP09, an extended-release chewable formulation of methylphenidate. This has completed a Phase III trial in children, and an NDA is planned for this year. 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


How Tough Kids Can Make Us Better Teachers

Early in the school year, Mr. Spriggs asked me to sit in on a conference with his most challenging student. Jon rarely participated appropriately in class, instead drawing attention to himself by "accidentally" dropping books, suddenly having coughing spells and loudly expelling air from either end. It was considered a relative victory when his disinterest expressed itself more quietly through slouched shoulders, bored yawns and feigned sleep. As the conference began, Jon seemed prepared for an expected onslaught of demands and nagging, defending himself with a steely downward glare and arms firmly folded across his chest. Mr. Spriggs opened the conversation by saying, "Jon, I just want to tell you that I am really glad you're in my class. I know that it is not your favorite place to be, but I'm trying hard to make sure I'm the right teacher for you. I've tried many different ways to teach you, but so far they haven't worked very well. I'll keep trying so that you learn. That is what is most important to me. I want to thank you for being a part of my class. You are forcing me to be a better teacher, and that is good for me. If you can help me understand what I might be able to do that would make you want to be a better student, I would really appreciate knowing that." Seeming surprised if not shocked by the absence of blame and expected vitriol, Jon appeared to relax and hesitantly offered a few ideas -- such as not being asked to read aloud and being corrected in private -- that led to an eventual meeting of the minds and vast improvement. To read more,click here

Editorial: How to Succeed - Despite Dyslexia

Some people with disabilities or challenges focus on how much harder their lives are because of the odds they were dealt. Others spend their time figuring out ways to live their lives to the fullest despite those challenges. Twenty-three-year-oldElisa Cabrerabelongs to the latter group. She didn't let dyslexia - a learning disability that affects reading - stand in her way. Instead, she figured out how to succeed in spite of the obstacle. On Saturday, her determination paid off as she graduated from Centenary College in Hackettstown at the top of the 247 students who earned degrees for the 138th January commencement. Cabrera, a Middlesex County, N.J., native, earned her bachelor's degree in liberal arts and several education certificates. To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

It's important to understand that not all students with disabilities will need an indepth investigation of, and preparation for, independent living after high school. As the Department of Education stated in its Analaysis of Comments and Changes (2006): [T]he only area in which postsecondary goals are not required in the IEP is in the area of independent living skills. Goals in the area of independent living are required only if appropriate. It is up to the child's IEP Team to determine whether IEP goals related to the development of independent living skills are appropriate and necessary for the child to receive FAPE. (71 Fed. Reg. at 46668)

Dance is Freedom for 10-year-old Girl with Cerebral Palsy

Dancing is everything to Hope Rowley, a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. Hope has been dancing since 2006, when she was 3 years old. She said she one day wants to play the character Clara in the Nutcracker ballet, "because she dances with the Nutcracker prince." "I feel special when I'm on stage," she said, and her mother, Anna-Marie Rowley, backs her up. "She just loves the way that she feels when she's twirling and flowing, and she has big dreams of being a big ballet dancer one day. It's not realistic, but in her mind, she thinks she looks like that on stage," she said. "She doesn't look awkward. She doesn't look like she can't move her legs. She doesn't look like she's in braces and back braces and wheelchairs and walkers. She looks free." Hope has come a long way since she started dancing at the Wasatch Dance Co., according to her mom. Where before, there were meltdowns whenever anyone would touch her, now she can be seen "twirling, and flowing and moving, and it's so great to see the smile on her face, and to see her moving so freely," her mom said. 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: Kerry Drossos, Alexandra Pirard, Ope-Oluwa Olubela, Marlene Barnett, Marilyn Haile, Pamela R. Downing-Hosten, Lois Nembhard,  and Olumide Akerele  who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question: Under Part C of IDEIA, "anyone" who has concerns about a child's development including parents, family members, friends, physicians, hospitals, child care staff, and social workers can make a referral for an infant or toddler for early intervention services.


What is the name of the French physician (1774-1838) who is considered to be the "father of special education"?

If you know the answer, send an email tocontactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, January 28, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

Social-Emotional Needs Entwined with Students' Learning, Security

Students' ability to learn depends not just on the quality of their textbooks and teachers, but also on the comfort and safety they feel at school and the strength of their relationships with adults and peers there. Most of education policymakers' focus remains on ensuring schools are physically safe and disciplined: Forty-five states have anti-bullying policies, compared with only 24 states that have more comprehensivepolicies on school climate. Mounting evidence from fields like neuroscience and cognitive psychology, as well as studies on such topics as school turnaround implementation, shows that anacademically challenging yet supportive environmentboosts both children's learning and coping abilities. By contrast, high-stress environments in whichstudents feel chronically unsafeand uncared for make it physically and emotionally harder for them to learn and more likely for them to act out or drop out. To read more,click here

CDC: People With Special Needs Should Be On 'High Alert' For Flu

With the flu widespread across much of the country far earlier than normal, federal health officials are warning people with developmental disabilities to be particularly cautious. Currently, 47 states are reporting widespread flu activity, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which was released Friday. Typically flu season peaks in January and February. This year the illness hit about a month ahead of schedule, CDC experts said. Health officials are urging people with disabilities to be especially vigilant. While no more likely to get the flu than typically developing individuals, those with neurologic conditions like intellectual disability and cerebral palsy are more prone to hospitalization and even death as a result of the illness. 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

Gifted, Talented and Separated In One School:  Students Are Divided by Gifted Label - and Race

It is just a metal door with three windows, the kind meant to keep the clamor of an elementary school hallway from piercing a classroom's quiet. Other than paint the color of bubble gum, it is unremarkable.  But the pink door on Room 311 atPublic School 163on the Upper West Side represents a barrier belied by its friendly hue. On one side are 21 fourth graders labeled gifted and talented by New York City's school system. They are coursing through public school careers stamped accelerated. And they are mostly white. On the other side, sometimes sitting for reading lessons on the floor of the hallway, are those in the school's vast majority: They are enrolled in general or special education programs. They are mostly children of color. To read more,click here

Classifying Food Allergies as Disabilities Could Make Restaurants More Liable

People with severe food allergies have a new tool in their attempt to find menus that fit their diet: federal disabilities law. And that could leave schools, restaurants and anyplace else that serves food more vulnerable to legal challenges over food sensitivities.  A settlement stemming from a lack of gluten-free foods available to students at a Massachusetts university could serve as a precedent for people with other allergies or conditions, including peanut sensitivities or diabetes. Institutions and businesses subject to the Americans With Disabilities Act could be open to lawsuits if they fail to honor requests for accommodations by people with food allergies. Colleges and universities are especially vulnerable because they know their students and often require them to eat on campus, Eve Hill of the Justice Department's civil rights division says. But a restaurant also could be liable if it blatantly ignored a customer's request for certain foods and caused that person to become ill, though that case might be harder to argue if the customer had just walked in off the street, Hill said. To read more,click here

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Fetal Deaths Up Among Unvaccinated Moms in H1N1 Pandemic: Study

Pregnant women were urged to get a flu shot during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, and new evidence supports that advice. Norwegian researchers have found that vaccination in pregnancy was safe for mother and child, and that fetal deaths were more common among unvaccinated moms-to-be. Influenza is a serious threat to a pregnant woman and her unborn child, said Dr. Camilla Stoltenberg, director general of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, lead researcher of the new study. "Our study indicates that influenza during pregnancy was a risk factor for stillbirth during the pandemic in 2009," she said. "We find no indication that pandemic vaccination in the second or third trimester increased the risk of stillbirth." To read more,click here

Did You Know That....

It's up to each student's IEP team to decide if planning for independent living is needed. If the team feels that the student can benefit from transition planning and services in this domain, then independent living will be an area of discussion during IEP meetings where transition is discussed.

No Link Between Low Birth Weight, Asthma: Study

Low birth weight does not increase the risk of asthma in young children, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at data on nearly 4,000 children (193 low birth weight and 3,740 normal birth weight) born in Rochester, Minn., from 1976 through 1979. Of the children with a low birth weight, nearly 7 percent developed asthma, compared with about 5 percent of those with a normal birth weight. The researchers concluded that birth weight had no effect on the risk of a child developing asthma within the first six years of life. The study was published Jan. 15 in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "Asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood and is a leading reason for missed school days," lead author and allergist Dr. Hyeon Yang, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a news release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. To read more,click here

Screen Time Near Bedtime Means Less Sleep for Kids

Children and teens who spend time watching television, playing video games or using the computer right before bedtime are likely to take longer to fall asleep than those who watch less or none, according to new research. And that could add up to a sleep deficit, experts said. "Reducing screen time in this pre-sleep window could be a good strategy for helping kids go to sleep earlier," said study leader Louise Foley, who was a researcher at the University of Auckland in New Zealand at the time of the study. Foley and her team zeroed in on how much TV watching and video game playing children and teens, 5 to 18, did in the 90 minutes before their bedtime. They also looked at how long it took them to fall asleep. The more screen time, the longer it took to doze off. To read more,click here

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

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

Stephen King
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