Week in Review - February 5, 2016

National Association of Special Education Teachers

February 5, 2016                              Vol 12 Issue # 6

Dear NASET News,

Our second issue with our new look for NASET's Week in Review. We introduced this new format to allow for a better experience for those members who access the Week in Review on their phones and/or tablets. Now, the Week in Review is more "mobile friendly" but still maintains the highest quality for those who access it on their computers and laptops. We are very interested in your feedback about this change. To provide your feedback, email us at news@naset.org


NASET Specia Educator e-Journal

February 2016

Table of Contents:

  • Update from the U.S. Department of Education
  • A Review and Educational Application: Cognitive Disability and its Challenge to Moral Philosophy. By Elizabeth E. Williams
  • From the Journal of American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP): Elements of Good Teaching and Good Teachers: A Theoretical Framework and Effective Strategies for Special Educators. By Dr. Vance Austin

Latest Job Postings - Click Here

Prenatal Antidepressant Use Not Linked to Infant Heart Defects

Taking antidepressants during pregnancy does not appear to increase the risk of having a baby with heart birth defects, a new British study suggests. This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening for depression during pregnancy and the period after giving birth, and treating those who meet the criteria. Women may wonder how depression medication might affect their unborn child. Some previous research has suggested a link between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs -- the most widely used antidepressants in pregnancy) and heart birth defects. This class of medications includes Paxil (paroxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Zoloft (sertraline). Read More

Scientists Uncover Clues to Origins of Schizophrenia

Some people might develop schizophrenia when a normal process of brain development goes haywire in adolescence and early adulthood, Harvard researchers report. Everyone undergoes what is called "synaptic pruning" as they move into adulthood, explained study author Steven McCarroll, director of genetics for the Broad Institute's Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and an associate professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School in Boston. It's how extra brain cells and synapses (the junctions where nerve signals cross from one brain cell to the next) are eliminated in the cerebral cortex, to increase the efficiency of function, he said. But a gene that contributes to synaptic pruning may increase a person's risk of schizophrenia if certain mutations cause things to go wrong, McCarroll and his colleagues explained. Read More

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.Read More

Excess Weight Has 'Unexpected' Effect on Puberty Onset in Boys

Excess weight can delay or speed up puberty in young boys, depending on how many extra pounds they carry, a new study suggests. Overweight boys tend to enter and finish puberty somewhat earlier than usual, researchers found in a study of nearly 3,900 males aged 6 to 16. But boys who have become obese appear to go through puberty slower than boys who weigh less, according to study results published Jan. 27 in the journal Pediatrics. "We found something we didn't expect, which is obese boys go later but overweight boys seem to go earlier," said study author Dr. Joyce Lee, an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. "You would expect a linear relationship between weight and the timing of puberty, but we found that isn't the case." Read More

Did Studies Lack Key Data on Link Between Antidepressants, Youth Suicides?

Antidepressants appear to be much more dangerous for children and teens than reported in medical journals, because initial published results from clinical trials did not accurately note instances of suicide and aggression, a new study suggests. Young people actually have a doubled risk of aggression and suicide when taking one of the five most commonly prescribed antidepressants, according to the new analysis published in the Jan. 27 issue of BMJ. Earlier published drug trial results masked those risks by not accurately reporting suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, and by not emphasizing instances of increased aggression, said study author Tarang Sharma, a researcher with the Nordic Cochrane Centre at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark .Read More


Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.

Congratulations to: Barry Amper, Stephanie Easler, Rena Root, Irene Swedroe, Patsy Ray, Madonna Catiis and Olumide Akerele who all knew the answer to last week's trvia question:

QUESTION: According to Nelson Mandela, what is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world?

ANSWER: Education


What term was coined in 1963 in Chicago by Dr. Samuel Kirk ( a psychologist who had worked extensively with parents of children who had "minimal brain dysfunction," or "strephosymbolia")?

If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, February 8, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.

MS Drug Tied to Higher Risk for Potentially Deadly Brain Virus

People with multiple sclerosis who are treated with the drug Tysabri (natalizumab) may have up to a 10 times greater risk for a rare and potentially deadly viral infection, a new study finds. The germ in question is the John Cunningham virus (JCV), a pathogen thought to cause a deadly brain condition known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The link between Tysabri and PML isn't new: Numerous studies published over the past few years have shown an increase in risk for the disease in patients taking the drug. However, even though the new study showed a link between Tysabri and JCV infection, experts stressed that the drug can be of great help to patients, who should weigh its benefits against its risks. Read More

Prenatal Vitamin D Supplements May Not Lower Baby's Asthma Risk

There's been speculation that a daily vitamin D supplement taken in pregnancy might lower the odds for asthma in children. However, two new studies find no evidence for such an effect. One study "did not show a statistically significant effect on the primary end point of persistent wheeze," concluded a team led by Dr. Hans Bisgaard of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. However, experts stressed that a longer, larger trial might be needed to see a benefit for babies when mothers take a vitamin D supplement in pregnancy. Both studies are published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. As stated in a journal news release, rates of childhood asthma and vitamin D deficiency are rising in Western nations. And there's been speculation that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may affect immune system development in the fetus, leading to an increased risk of asthma in childhood.Read More

Parents Often Ill-Informed About Food-Allergy Emergencies

Many parents of children with food allergies say doctors did not discuss emergency care for their youngsters, a new study finds. It's crucial that parents have a written emergency plan for home and school, the study authors said. "This is potentially lifesaving information," study author Dr. Ruchi Gupta, an associate professor in pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a university news release. "Physicians need to make sure patients understand when and how to use epinephrine and that they have an emergency action plan," she added. Gupta's team surveyed 859 Chicago-area parents of children with food allergies. Less than 70 percent said their child's allergist explained when to use epinephrine, and less than 40 percent said their child's pediatrician did so, the study found. Read More

Preventable Ills Cause Nearly 8 Million Childhood Deaths Globally

Most of the nearly 8 million deaths of children and teens around the world in 2013 were avoidable, a new report says. More than 6 million children younger than 5 lost their lives because of treatable conditions like malaria, diarrhea and respiratory tract infections, according to pediatric researchers who've analyzed results of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. "The vast majority of deaths in children and adolescents are preventable," said the authors from the Global Burden of Disease Pediatrics Collaboration. "Proven interventions exist to prevent diarrheal and respiratory diseases, neonatal conditions, iron deficiency anemia and road injuries, which result in some of the highest burdens of unnecessary death and disability among children and adolescents." Read More

Genetically Modified Monkeys Might Aid Autism Research

Chinese scientists report they've created monkeys that carry a gene linked to autism-like behaviors.
The altered monkeys also produced offspring that inherited the human gene, according to research published online Jan. 25 in the journal Nature. The so-called "transgenic" monkeys provide a "very unique model for studying human autism," study co-author Zilong Qiu, of the Institute of Neuroscience at the Chinese Academy of Science in Shanghai, told reporters at a news briefing to announce the findings. Currently, gene-altered mice are widely used to model human genetic conditions, but scientists cite obvious limitations. Read More

Cystic Fibrosis Drug Seems OK for Preschoolers

The cystic fibrosis drug ivacaftor appears safe and effective for young children, a drug company-funded study suggests. "This was a small trial, but we are thrilled to see these results," said study leader Jane Davies, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London in England. "Ivacaftor is a potential new treatment to offer children aged 2 years and older with cystic fibrosis and a [specific gene mutation linked to the disease]. This novel therapy could substantially impact these children's lives, potentially opening the way to even greater progress in years to come." Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that destroys the lungs and digestive system. More than 70,000 people worldwide have cystic fibrosis, the researchers said.Read More

Obesity Before Pregnancy Tied to Raised Risk of Newborn Death

Infants whose mothers were obese before pregnancy appear to have an increased risk of death, according to a new study. But even though the researchers found that pre-pregnancy obesity was related to worse outcomes for infants, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Still, the study's lead author, Eugene Declercq of Boston University School of Public Health, said, "There is a need for more open, honest discussions about avoiding the possible risks of maternal obesity on infant health." For the study, researchers reviewed data from more than 6 million newborns. The babies were born in 38 states between 2012 and 2013. Read More

'Standing Desks' in Classrooms May Kickstart Kids' Activity

Parents who worry that too much sitting might harm their children's health may have a new ally: "standing desks" in the classroom. A new research review reports that use of the desks at school helped kids get more active. The researchers also found that standing desk use was tentatively linked to better classroom behavior and greater energy expenditure among children, although the results were mixed -- stemming from varied studies. "There's a lot of research out there about integrating standing desks into the workplace that generally found favorable impacts on reduced sitting time and increasing standing time," said study author Karl Minges, a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Nursing in Orange, Conn. Read More

Excess Weight Linked to Blood Clot Risk in Kids

Obese children and teens may have an increased risk for blood clots in their veins, called venous thromboembolism (VTE), a new study suggests. "This is important because the incidence of pediatric VTE has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, and childhood obesity remains highly prevalent in the United States," lead study author Dr. Elizabeth Halvorson, assistant professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., said in a hospital news release. While the study found a connection between obesity in youngsters and blood clots, the research wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Read More

Rate of Severe Stomach Birth Defect Increased Over Two Decades

A birth defect involving the stomach called gastroschisis has been increasing among U.S. infants for decades, and more than doubled among young, black mothers over an 18-year period, federal health officials report. Babies with gastroschisis have a hole in the stomach wall at birth through which the intestines, and sometimes other organs such as the liver, protrude. The condition requires immediate surgery. Most babies do well after the operation, experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "We don't know why gastroschisis is increasing," said Suzanne Gilboa, team leader and an epidemiologist in the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Read More

Honor Society for Special Education Teachers


Lego Rolling Out Minifigure In Wheelchair

Lego said it will include a boy in a wheelchair in a forthcoming set of its iconic minifigures. The toymaker confirmed the plan this week after a handful of websites that report on Lego revealed pictures and video of the new product taken at an industry event recently in Germany. The wheelchair will be part of a LEGO City set called "Fun in the Park" that will be available in June, said Michael McNally, senior director of brand relations for LEGO Systems, Inc. Read More

Obama Administration Delaying Web Accessibility Rules

Long-anticipated federal rules detailing how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to much of the Internet are still years away. The U.S. Department of Justice said it doesn't expect regulations on accessibility for non-government websites until 2018. The news comes more than five years after the agency signaled that it was considering defining accessibility rules for the Web, with a 2010 notice soliciting comment on the matter. Read More

Kids Get 'Ability Awareness' Training

Hayden Allen, 9, gestured wildly as he tried to communicate instructions to his classmates without using words. As he acted out "arranging toy cars in a row," his classmates guessed that he was counting, dancing and even flying. Hayden finally gave up. "It was hard and frustrating, and I couldn't do it very well," he said. Hayden and the rest of the fourth-grade class at Griffin Creek Elementary School last week participated in a series of simulations intended to teach students what it's like to live with a disability. The exercises are part of the Medford School District's Ability Awareness Campaign, which was proposed by the Special Education Parent Outreach Committee. Read More


* Assistant Professor of Special Education - Texas Woman's University College of Professional Education is seeking qualified candidates for a tenure- track position as Assistant Professor of Special Education in Denton, Texas. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Our real masterpiece is the unleashing of human potential.  While our main focus is on creating the conditions of success for children to achieve their dreams, we also focus on developing one another through meaningful relationships, challenging work, constructive feedback, sound professional training, and a true commitment to nurturing the career path of each team member. To learn more-
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* Early Childhood Special Educator- Magnum Medical has openings for  Early Childhood Special Educators to work with children of American military families stationed at Bahrain.  Position works in a home-based early intervention program, providing services to infants and toddlers of American military families stationed overseas. To learn more -
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* Special Education Teachers- needed in Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding cities). Needs are in the self-contained and resource settings serving students with emotional disabilities (ED), Autism (A), Severe/Profound (S/P), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID). To learn more -
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Food For Thought..........

My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair but because the broader environment isn't accessible

Stella Young

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