Week in Review - September 23, 2016



National Association of Special Education Teachers

September 23, 2016                                        Vol 12 Issue # 38

Dear NASET News,

Welcome to NASET'sWEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications from NASETto 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 the WEEK in REVIEW at news@naset.org. Have a great weekend.


NASETNews Team


NASET's Educating Children with Severe Disabilities Series #42

Structured Teaching: Strategies for Supporting Students with Autism
By Susan Stokes Autism Consultant
Structured teaching is an intervention philosophy developed by the University of North Carolina, Division TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children). Structured teaching is an approach in instructing children with autism. It allows for implementation of a variety of instructional methods (e.g., visual support strategies, Picture Exchange Communication System - PECS, sensory integration strategies, discrete trial, music/rhythm intervention strategies, Greenspan's Floortime, etc.). The following information outlines some important considerations for structured teaching to occur. It is one of many approaches to consider in working with children with autism.

Eric Schopler, founder of Division TEACCH in the early 1970's, established the foundation for structured teaching in his doctoral dissertation (2) by demonstrating that people with autism process visual information more easily than verbal information. Read More

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Link Discovered Between Touch of Individuals with Autism, Their Social Difficulties

Many individuals with ASD are over- or undersensitive to sensory information. Some feel overwhelmed by busy environments such as supermarkets, others are less sensitive to pain, or dislike being touched. Large-scale queries in the scientific literature had reported already that the severity of daily social difficulties of individuals with ASD is strongly related to the extent to which they are sensitive to touch, more so than to the extent to which they show visual or auditory sensitivities. To determine why this is the case, Eliane Deschrijver and her colleagues investigated how the brain of individuals with and without ASD uses own touch to understand touch sensations in the actions of others. Read More

New Approach Helps Ease Teens' Stubborn Concussion Symptoms

For teenagers with lingering symptoms after a concussion, treatment that focuses on the "whole person" may speed their recovery, a new, small study suggests.  The researchers tested the effects of so-called "collaborative care" for teens with persistent problems following a concussion. That meant they saw a team of health professionals who provided, among other things, "talk therapy" for their depression and anxiety. After six months, those kids showed a speedier recovery than teenagers who'd received more typical care. "Typical" can vary, because there are no guidelines on how to treat lingering concussion symptoms, explained study author Carolyn McCarty, a researcher at Seattle Children's Hospital. Read More

Through Cerebral Palsy, 'Speechless' Looks to Get People Talking

When it comes to writing, people love to advise "write what you know." But Scott Silveri, creator and showrunner of ABC's new family comedy "Speechless," would be the first to tell you that crafting a narrative out of your own experiences is nowhere near as easy as it seems. "It's like where comedy meets therapy," Silveri said of the series, based on his life growing up in a family that included his brother, who has special needs. Read More

Math Difficulties May Reflect Problems in a Crucial Learning System in the Brain

Children differ substantially in their mathematical abilities. In fact, some children cannot routinely add or subtract, even after extensive schooling. Yet the causes of these problems are not fully understood. Now, two researchers, at Georgetown University Medical Center and Stanford University, have developed a theory of how developmental "math disability" occurs. The article, in a special issue on reading and math in Frontiers in Psychology, proposes that math disability arises from abnormalities in brain areas supporting procedural memory. Procedural memory is a learning and memory system that is crucial for the automatization of non-conscious skills, such as driving or grammar. It depends on a network of brain structures, including the basal ganglia and regions in the frontal and parietal lobes. Read More

Dosing Errors Common with Kids' Liquid Meds

Parents may give their child too much or too little medicine when dispensing liquid medication, especially if they use a dosing cup, a new study reports. Four out of five parents made at least one dosing error when using either a dosing cup or an oral syringe, researchers found during laboratory experiments. Often, those errors were large enough to cause concern, said lead researcher Dr. Shonna Yin, an associate professor of pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. "Over 20 percent of parents made at least one dosing error that was more than two times the dose that was listed on the label," Yin said. 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

Investigation: Thousands of Kids Kept Out of Special Education

During the first week of school at Shadow Forest Elementary, a frail kindergartner named Roanin Walker had a meltdown at recess. Overwhelmed by the shrieking and giggling, he hid by the swings and then tried to escape the playground, hitting a classmate and biting a teacher before being restrained. The principal called Roanin's mother. "There's been an incident." Heidi Walker was frightened, but as she hurried to the Humble, Texas school that day in 2014, she felt strangely relieved. She had warned school administrators months earlier that her 5-year-old had been diagnosed with a disability similar to autism. Now they would understand, she thought. Surely they would give him the therapy and counseling he needed. Read More

For Teens with Leukemia, Pregnancy Tests Often Neglected

Many teen girls with leukemia aren't checked for pregnancy before they receive chemotherapy drugs that can cause birth defects, a new study finds. Despite the risk of birth defects posed by these drugs, there are no standardized guidelines for pregnancy screening in teen cancer patients, the researchers said. "Since nearly all chemotherapy agents used for childhood/adolescent acute leukemia can cause potential harm to a developing fetus, our findings indicate a need for standardized pregnancy screening practices for adolescent patients being treated for cancer," said study author Dr. Pooja Rao. She was with a team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia when the study was conducted. Read More


Congratulations to: Katherine Kittredge, Cindy Struck, Theresa McGee, Monica Ayrod Waasdorp, Catherine Parker, Denise Keeling, Patsy Ray, Pamela Downing-Hosten, Michael Levine, Olumide Akerele and Rena Root who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question.

What is the term that refers to a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn and provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs?

ANSWER:  Universal Design for Learning
This week's question:  An analysis of last year's 100 top-grossing Hollywood films finds that people with disabilities are rarely portrayed and, when they are, they often have minimal roles. According to the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, approximately what percentage of characters with speaking or named parts were presented with a disability?

If you know the answer, email us at contactus@naset.org by Monday, September 26, 2016.  We will acknowledge your correct answer in the next edition of the Week in Review

Childhood Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall: CDC

The number of U.S. children who die from cancer has fallen 20 percent since 1999, and leukemia is no longer the top killer, a new federal government report shows. The decline continues a trend that began back in the 1970s, experts said. What's new is that leukemia -- the most common type of childhood cancer -- is no longer the leading cause of cancer deaths. Survival among children with leukemia has improved to the degree that brain cancer now tops the list. "It had been leukemia for decades, but only recently has there been this switch," said lead researcher Sally Curtin, who is with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Read More

Facebook Bullying Can Cause Depression in Young People

Negative experiences on Facebook can increase the odds of depression in young people, a new study found. "It's important that people take interactions on social media seriously and don't think of it as somehow less impactful because it's a virtual experience as opposed to an in-person experience," said study author Samantha Rosenthal. She is an epidemiology research associate at Brown University's School of Public Health in Providence, R.I. "It's a different forum that has real emotional consequences," she said in a university news release. Of 264 study participants surveyed in 2013 and 2014, more than 8 in 10 reported at least one negative Facebook experience, such as bullying, meanness, misunderstandings or unwanted contacts. And 63 percent said they'd had four or more negative experiences since they'd started using the online service.Read More

Texas AG: Law Requiring Cameras in Special Needs Classrooms Too Broad

An new law meant to keep special education students safer in Texas schools is having unintended financial consequences for school districts due to way it was written. The law allows parents or school staff to request cameras to be installed in special needs classrooms. It's meant to give parents, like Stacy Ford whose daughter has Down Syndrome, peace of mind while their children are at school. Ford advocated for the new law, after she says her daughter was mistreated at a Central Texas school. "At that time, in first grade, she was non-verbal. She couldn't come home and tell me what was going on, so these cameras are their eyes," says Ford. But unintentional wording in the law, which passed last year, could cost school districts millions of dollars. Read More

Touchscreens May Boost Motor Skills in Toddlers

A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology has shown that early touchscreen use, and in particular actively scrolling the screen, correlates with increased fine motor control in toddlers. Smartphones and tablets are now commonplace at work and in the home. If you are reading this on your morning commute on public transport, it is likely to be on a touchscreen device, while surrounded by people who are completely absorbed by their own touchscreens. There has been a dramatic increase in the ownership and use of tablets and smartphones in recent years. In the UK, family ownership of touchscreen devices increased from 7% in 2011 to 71% in 2014. It is therefore not surprising that children are using touchscreens from a very early age, but is this a good thing or not? Read More

Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It's Time to Address the National Teacher Shortage

The good news: There's an uptick in the hiring of new teachers since the pink-slip frenzy in the wake of the Great Recession. The bad news: The new hiring hasn't made up for the teacher shortfall. Attrition is high, and enrollment in teacher preparation programs has fallen some 35 percent over the past five years - a decrease of nearly 240,000 teachers in all. Parts of most every state in America face troubling teacher shortages: the most frequent shortage areas are math, science, bilingual education and special education. Read More

Antidepressant Might Prevent Depression Following Brain Injury

Depression can often follow a traumatic brain injury, but new research suggests the antidepressant Zoloft might help prevent this from happening. One expert said prior studies have produced similar findings. The new research "provides further support of the possibility that depression following neurological injury could be avoided, rather than treated after the fact," said Dr. Paul Mattis. He is chief of neuropsychology at Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y. The new study was led by Dr. Ricardo Jorge, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His team randomly assigned 94 patients who suffered a traumatic brain injury to receive a low dose of sertraline (Zoloft) or a placebo pill for six months, or until they developed symptoms of a mood disorder. Read More

Feds, State Make Nice Over Special Ed Dispute

A long-running disagreement over special education funding is coming to a close. The U.S. Department of Education said it has reached a settlement with education officials in South Carolina to resolve a clash over the state's special education budget dating back to 2010. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, states are required to spend at least as much money each year on special education as they did the year prior. Those that do not meet or exceed that threshold may face a reduction in federal funding. Read More

Food Allergies Linked to Raised Risk of Asthma

Children with food allergies are at increased risk for asthma and hay fever, and the risk rises with the number of food allergies, new research shows. The study included information on nearly 363,000 children and teens. Half of the kids were white, and 40 percent were black. Between 7 and 8 percent had one food allergy. "For patients with an established diagnosis of food allergy, 35 percent went on to develop asthma," said study senior author Dr. Jonathan Spergel. He is chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Patients with multiple food allergies were at increased risk of developing asthma as compared to those with a single food allergy," he added in a hospital news release. Read More

Brain Scans Show Building Blocks Activate Spatial Ability in Children Better than Board Games

Research from Indiana University has found that structured block-building games improve spatial abilities in children to a greater degree than board games. The study, which appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, measured the relative impact of two games -- a structured block-building game and a word-spelling board game -- on children's spatial processing. Such processing includes mental rotation, which involves visualizing what an object will look like after it is rotated. The research lends new support to the idea that such block games might help children develop spatial skills needed in science- and math-oriented disciplines. Read More

Sleep and Anxiety Treatment Is Helping Children Cope with ADHD, New Studies Suggest

Children with ADHD often have sleep and anxiety disorders flying under the radar, and new studies are revealing treatment for these conditions can improve ADHD symptoms in children too. More than 300,000 young Australians have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and research shows 70 percent of these children are affected by sleep difficulties. Sixty four percent of children with ADHD are also affected by anxiety. Clinical psychologist and researcher Dr Emma Sciberras told The Huffington Post Australia most children with ADHD have one or more additional conditions. "There are some particular conditions that go under the radar and don't tend to get picked up by clinicians," Sciberras, who is an honorary research fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, said. Read More


*Teacher of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (HS) - Plans and implements classroom instruction, specializing within one or more areas of curriculum, to specifically meet the educational needs of students and to encourage the best possible student educational experience. To learn more -Click here
*Special Education Coordinator - The Special Education Coordinator is passionate about supporting the students who are at-risk for academic underperformance due to emotional and/or physical challenges so that they can succeed in the school's rigorous academic program. The Special Education Coordinator holds primary responsibility for providing academic, emotional, and physical services for students who require additional support to thrive within the school's core academic program. To learn more -Click here
* Assistant Professor of Education- The Moravian College Education Department invites applications for tenure-track positions in mathematics, literacy, and special education. The positions begin Fall Term 2017. Members of the Moravian College Education Department view and carry out their work in the context of the College"s liberal arts ethos. To learn more -Click here
*Special Education Teacher - Is sought who will support HUSD Vision, Mission & Goals, implements instructional activities that contribute to a climate where students are actively engaged in meaningful learning experiences and identifies, selects, and modifies instructional resources to meet the needs of the students with varying backgrounds, learning styles, and special needs. To learn more - Click here
*Special Education Coordinator - BASIS Educational Group is seeking Special Education Coordinators for 2016-2017 whose primary responsibility will be to oversee the entire special education program at a school site. We have multiple locations; Prescott, Goodyear and Chandler with openings. The academic program is consistently ranked among the top 10 programs nationally and is competitive on an international scale. To learn more - Click here
*Curriculum Coordinator - Is responsible for coordinating the curriculum resources (print, technology, and created) for the school in order to meet the needs of our students in accordance with the COMAR regulations set forth by the Maryland State Department of Education.  The CC serves as the school Test Coordinator for all state mandated testing (Alt-MSE, NCSC, etc).  To learn more  - Click here
*PRINCIPAL - STEM3 ACADEMY - We are seeking an engaged, knowledgeable, enthusiastic individual to take on the position of Principal for a new STEM Academy for students with social and learning differences, including autism. STEM3 Academy is for students in grades 9 through 12 who have a talent and passion for STEM-related activities. To learn more - Click here
*Intervention Specialist, Grades 9-12 - At Life Skills High Schools we strive to provide our unique students with the best education possible. It is our goal each and every day to Educate, Innovate, Inspire, and Love each and every individual that comes to our schools. We pride ourselves in knowing that our students are not only receiving the best education that they deserve, but also developing the necessary life skills needed in this day and age to become the successful person that is in us all. To learn more - Click here
*Special Education Teachers - The special education teacher will develop, implement and monitor the students' Individualized Education Programs in collaboration with parents and other IEP Team members. The teacher will promote a collaborative relationship with school staff and parents that will foster inclusionary practices. To learn more -Click here

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

To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can't just accept the ones you like.

Mike Gafka

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