Week in Review - April 21, 2017



National Association of Special Education Teachers

April 21, 2017                                              Vol 13 Issue # 16

Dear NASET News,

Welcome to NASET'sWEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications from NASET to 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.


NASET News Team


NASET's Educating Children with Severe Disabilities Series

Working with the Child with an Emotional Disturbance in the Classroom

What is Emotional Disturbance?
A student can be defined as having an emotionally disability if he/she exhibits certain behavior patterns to a marked extent and over a prolonged period of time. Such patterns may include:
  • An inability to learn on a consistent basis which cannot be explained by intellectual capability, hearing and vision status, and physical health anomalies.
  • An inability or unwillingness to develop or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers, teachers, parents, or other adults.
  • Extreme over-reactions to minimally stressful situations over a prolonged period of time.
  • A general pervasive mood of sadness or depression.
  • A tendency to develop somatic complaints, pains or excessive fears associated with home, school or social situations.   Read More

Special Ed School Vouchers May Come With Hidden Costs

For many parents of children with disabilities in public school systems, the lure of the private school voucher is strong. Vouchers for special needs students have been endorsed by the Trump administration, and they are often heavily promoted by state education departments and by private schools, which rely on them for tuition dollars. So for families that feel as if they are sinking amid academic struggles and behavioral meltdowns, they may seem like a life raft. And often they are. But there's a catch. By accepting the vouchers, families may be unknowingly giving up their rights to the very help they were hoping to gain. The government is still footing the bill, but when students use vouchers to get into private school, they lose most of the protections of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Read More

The Innovating, Creative Superpowers of ADHD

The list of red flags was long for serial entrepreneur Ryan McRae¬-doesn't pay attention in class, bored easily, works on too many projects at once. But it wasn't until he was on the brink of adulthood when he first learned he had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Calling himself The ADHD Nerd, McRae has never viewed his diagnosis as a limitation. In fact, he's used the disorder to his advantage. His transformation from distracted student to seasoned entrepreneur was fueled in part by the high activity and impulsivity stemming from his ADHD. "I've launched a ton of businesses. Too many to count. Consulting. Writing. Public speaking. Coaching. Many, many hats," he said about his entrepreneurial journey. Read More

When it Comes to Reading, Kindergarten is the New First Grade

A new nationwide study has found that children entering first grade in 2013 had significantly better reading skills than similar students had just 12 years earlier. Researchers say this means that in general, children are better readers at a younger age, but the study also revealed where gaps remain -- especially in more advanced reading skills. The good news was that even low-achieving students saw gains in basic reading skills over this time period and actually narrowed the achievement gap with other young readers. However, that didn't translate into better overall reading for the less-skilled children. The research showed that the gap between low-achieving readers and others actually widened when it came to advanced reading skills. Read More

Adolescents with Frequent PE More Informed about Physical Activity's Role in Health

Frequent, long-term instruction in physical education not only helps adolescents be more fit but also equips them with knowledge about how regular physical activity relates to good health, research at Oregon State University shows. The findings are important for several reasons. One is that regular physical education, which is on the decline nationwide, strongly correlated with students meeting the federal recommendation of at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. The results also showed more than one adolescent in five reported no physical education at all; nearly 40 percent of the students in the 459-person sample, whose ages ranged from 12 to 15, were obese or overweight; and only 26.8 percent met the federal government's physical activity guidelines. Read More

Classifying English Proficiency Varies by District, with Mixed Outcomes for Students

The threshold for transitioning students from English learners to fluent English proficient status -- a process termed reclassification -- varies widely across and within states, finds a study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Oregon State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The findings, published in a special centennial issue of the American Educational Research Journal, inform conversations about statewide policies for English learner reclassification, which are now mandated under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act. "Our study examined the effect of state-level decisions as implemented at a local level. With the Every Student Succeeds Act stipulating that reclassification policies be standardized within a state, our work gives a glimpse into what we might see more broadly once these policies are standardized," said Joseph Robinson Cimpian, associate professor of economics and education policy at NYU Steinhardt and the study's lead author. Read More


Congratulations to: Rita Spalding, Olumide Akerele, Melody Owens, Patsy Ray, Sharon Johnson-Hiltz and Maria Diaz who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question.

According to a recent report from the Penn State College of Medicine, researchers said the likelihood of an emergency room visit for a teen with autism are how many time more likely than those without the disorder?

ANSWER:  Four (4) times more likely
This week's question:
According to recent research from  the University of Cambridge, school children who receive this from a teacher are significantly more likely to continue their education beyond the age of 16 than those who do not.  And the influence of it appears to be much greater on students whose own parents never progressed past compulsory education -- an important indicator of a less advantaged background. What is it?

If you know the answer, email us at contactus@naset.org by April 24, 2017.  We will acknowledge your correct answer in the next edition of the Week in Review

Silk Clothing Did Not Improve Eczema in Children

No significant differences were observed in eczema severity for children with moderate to severe eczema who wore silk garments compared with those who wore their usual clothing, according to a randomized controlled study published in PLOS Medicine by Kim Thomas from University of Nottingham, UK, and colleagues. Clothing may play a role in either exacerbating or soothing eczema, and patients often avoid wool garments and turn to cotton and other fine weave fabrics, including silk. In the new study, 300 children age 1 to 15 years with moderate to severe eczema were recruited from five UK centers covering a range of rural and urban settings. The participants were randomly divided into two groups: half the children received the standard of care and the other half received the standard of care plus silk garments that are claimed to be beneficial for eczema. Read More


Lehigh University's intensive one-week institute provides a practical analysis of legislation, regulations, and court decisions relating to the education of students with disabilities. The symposium is designed for special education coordinators and teachers, principals, psychologists, parent advocates, charter school personnel, attorneys (on both sides), hearing officers, state education agency personnel, and other individuals interested in a thorough exploration of the special education legal landscape.
The Symposium is offered with the options of graduate or continuing education credit for week-long participants. Shorter, including daily, registrations are also available. For full information, go to http://go.lehigh.edu/spedlaw. For any questions, email or call Shannon Weber or Donna Johnson at specialedlaw@lehigh.edu or (610) 758-5557.

Genetic Basis for Drug Response in Childhood Absence Epilepsy

Consider two children who have childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), the most common form of pediatric epilepsy. They both take the same drug -- one child sees an improvement in their seizures, but the other does not. A new study in the Annals of Neurology identified the genes that may underlie this difference in treatment outcomes, suggesting there may be potential for using a precision medicine approach to help predict which drugs will be most effective to help children with CAE. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), both part of the National Institutes of Health. Read More

One in Three Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder Receives Driver's License

A new study from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) finds one in three adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) acquires an intermediate driver's license, and the majority does so in their 17th year. The vast majority of teens with ASD who receive a learner's permit goes on to receive their license within two years after becoming eligible, suggesting that families are making the decision of whether their children with ASD will learn to drive and pursue a license before their teens ever get behind the wheel. The study was published today in the journal, Autism. Researchers conducted a unique linkage of more than 52,000 electronic health records (EHR) of children born from 1987 to 1995 and New Jersey driver licensing data to determine current rates and patterns of licensure among adolescents and young adults with ASD (without intellectual disability) and those without ASD. This is the first large-scale study to provide detailed information on the number of adolescents with ASD who are licensed and the rate at which they progress through the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system. Nearly 90 percent of learner's permit holders with ASD received an intermediate license within two years, at a median rate of 9.2 months later than other adolescents. By age 21, more than 34 percent of drivers with ASD received their intermediate license. With an intermediate license, drivers are allowed to travel without an adult in the car, but are not able to drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and are limited to one non-family passenger. Read More

Parent-Mediated Therapy May Help Babies at Risk of Developing Autism

The earliest autism intervention study in the world that uses video to provide feedback to parents of babies at family risk of autism, has indicated a reduction in the severity of emerging signs of autism. This study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, is the first of its kind to work with babies in their first year of life who have a sibling with autism and are therefore at higher risk of developing the condition. Previous research has found that the earliest markers of autism; such as reduced social interest or difficulties with attention and disengagement may be present around the end of a child's first year of life. This latest study led by Professor Jonathan Green at The University of Manchester in collaboration with Professor Mark Johnson's MRC-funded team at Birkbeck, and teams at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and Evelina London Children's Hospital, aimed to reduce these early symptoms and lower the likelihood of the child developing difficulties associated with autism later on in childhood. Read More

Cross-Cultural Study Strengthens Link Between Media Violence, Aggressive Behavior

New research offers compelling evidence that media violence affects aggressive behavior. This first-of-its-kind study, led by Craig Anderson, a Distinguished Professor of psychology at Iowa State University, confirms six decades of research showing the effect is the same, regardless of culture.
Anderson and a team of researchers in seven different countries designed the study using the same methods and measures in order to determine if the results varied by culture or were equal. The effect of media violence was significant even after controlling for several risk factors. The paper is published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology BulletinRead More

Medically Monitoring Premature Babies with Cameras

In the near future, premature babies kept warm in neonatal incubators could be medically monitored using cameras rather than with sensors attached to their skin. This system is about to be tested on preemies at University Hospital Zurich (USZ-CH). The underlying technology was developed by EPFL, CSEM and USZ as part of the Swiss research program Nano-Tera. The camera system was developed to improve the way babies' heart rates and breathing are monitored. "Skin sensors placed on the babies' chests are so sensitive that they generate false alarms up to 90% of the time, mainly caused by the babies moving around," said Jean-Claude Fauchère, a doctor at USZ's neonatal clinic. "This is a source of discomfort for the babies, because we have to check on them every time. It's also a significant stress factor for nurses and a poor use of their time -- it distracts them from managing real emergencies and can affect quality of care." Read More

Deep Brain Stimulation Decreases Tics in Young Adults with Severe Tourette Syndrome

A surgical technique that sends electrical impulses to a specific area of the brain reduces the "tics," or involuntary movements and vocal outbursts, experienced by young adults with severe cases of Tourette syndrome, according to a new study led by investigators from NYU Langone Medical Center. The study, published April 7 in the Journal of Neurosurgery, is a retrospective review of Tourette patients who underwent an experimental technique known as thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) at NYU Langone. The findings, according to the researchers, add to a growing body of evidence supporting DBS as a safe and effective treatment for severe cases of Tourette syndrome -- and may ultimately lead to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read More

Study Helps Explain Varying Outcomes for Down Syndrome

Aneuploidy is a condition in which cells contain an abnormal number of chromosomes, and is known to be the cause of many types of cancer and genetic disorders, including Down Syndrome. The condition is also the leading cause of miscarriage. Disorders caused by aneuploidy are unusual in that the severity of their effects often varies widely from one individual to another. For example, nearly 90 percent of fetuses with three copies of chromosome 21, the cause of Down Syndrome, will miscarry before birth. In other cases, people with the condition will live until they are over 60 years old. Researchers have previously believed that this variation is the result of differences in the genetic makeup of those individuals with the condition. Read More

Under Challenge: Girls' Confidence Level, not Math Ability Hinders Path to Science Degrees

When it comes to mathematics, girls rate their abilities markedly lower than boys, even when there is no observable difference between the two, according to Florida State University researchers.
"The argument continues to be made that gender differences in the 'hard' sciences is all about ability," said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology in the College of Education. "But when we hold mathematics ability test scores constant, effectively taking it out of the equation, we see boys still rate their ability higher, and girls rate their ability lower." Perez-Felkner is the lead author of a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas are co-authors of the study. Read More

"He Spent Most of Preschool Sitting in a Tree"

"The teacher says Harry keeps climbing under his desk during class," my wife, Margaret, told me over dinner. "It's first grade," I said. "He's creative. Heck, he spent most of preschool sitting in a tree." That used to be an amusing Harry story, but it wasn't any more. Margaret told me she wanted him to be evaluated by a psychologist. Harry was diagnosed with ADHD, and soon he was getting help and accommodations, which later included medication for attention deficit disorder. Now Harry is 23. He has moved out and is on his own. He's a sweet guy and is doing fine. It's a story with a happy ending. But, for a parent of a child with ADHD, or children, happy endings don't come easy. Ever. Read More

Honor Society for Special Education Teachers


Advocates: Virginia Beach Failing Military Families with Children with Special-Needs

With more than a quarter of its 67,214 students coming from military families, the school district in Virginia Beach is one of the most military-connected divisions in the country. The region is home to six aircraft carriers, dozens of ships and hundreds of aircraft. It hosts the largest U.S. naval base in the world, half the Navy SEAL population, a nuclear shipyard, and thousands of military families and defense contractors who anchor the economy. The Virginia Beach City Public School district has many programs supporting military families that are often recognized for excellence. But when it comes to special education, some military families say Virginia Beach is failing their children. Half a dozen military families who spoke with Stars and Stripes said their special-needs children fell through the cracks, and experts working with them said the children were denied services they need to learn. Read More

FDA Warns Parents Beware of Fake 'Cures' for Autism

Don't fall for products claiming to cure autism, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.
There's no cure for the neurodevelopmental disorder, the agency said. Yet bogus "cures" and therapies abound - from toxin removal to raw camel milk. Some of these fraudulent treatments could be harmful, and should be avoided, the agency said Wednesday. Among them: chelation therapies, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and detoxifying clay baths. Autism spectrum disorder affects about 1 in 68 children in the United States, boys, far more often than girls. "Autism varies widely in severity and symptoms. Existing autism therapies and interventions are designed to address specific symptoms and can bring about improvement," FDA pediatrician Dr. Amy Taylor said in an agency news release. Read More



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Food For Thought..........
Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the education system.
Sidney Hook

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