Week in Review - June 9, 2017



National Association of Special Education Teachers

June 9, 2017                                                Vol 13 Issue # 23


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 Early Intervention Series

Part 2 - What is Early Intervention?
Early intervention is a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention focuses on helping eligible babies and toddlers learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life, such as:
  • physical (reaching, rolling, crawling, and walking);
  • cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems);
  • communication (talking, listening, understanding);
  • social/emotional (playing, feeling secure and happy); and
  • self-help (eating, dressing).
Read More

NASET's Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Autism Research Report: Autism, Social Communication, and Pragmatic Skills: A Review of the Literature. By Cathy Ann Lang

This issue of NASET's Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Cathy Lang. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder clinically defined by impaired social reciprocity and communication (Gotham, Risi, Pickles, & Lord, 2007).  Children with ASD have developmental delays with auditory awareness which in turn resulted in volume control and vocalization deficits.  Children with autism spectrum disorder also showed significant deficits in social communication (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). These volume deficits hindered learning and language comprehension and processing in the classroom setting. Speech prosody and volume control can play a role in social communication. This is important because it affects both the components and flow of a conversation. Prosody can be used to indicate affect (Juslin & Scherer, 2005) or "can be the means through which mood, emotion, or personal state is conveyed" (Bellon-Harn, Harn, & Watson, 2007).  Social interaction is a necessary component for students' social-emotional success in K-12 settings.  It is imperative that students recognize and express many different modes of effective communication using corresponding pragmatic skills. Identifying children's wants and needs through communication and social interactions occurs daily and across all K-12 settings. Understanding the challenges that occur with spontaneous conversation and overall social communication, including the functions of shifting topics and the use of working memory can be challenging.  The use of visual supports can be a helpful tool to provide additional time for processing. Read More

Illinois Special Education Teacher Receives National Recognition from NASET

Krista Markowski says her daughter's special education teacher at Countryside Elementary School in Barrington stands out so much she nominated her for a national honor. It turned out Markowski was onto something. The teacher, Anne McNamara, last week became one of 16 in the country to receive an Outstanding Special Education Teacher Award for the 2016-17 academic season. McNamara's kudos came from the National Association of Special Education Teachers. She's the lone Illinois representative on this year's list. "She goes above and beyond for her students every single day; customizing lessons, collaborating with parents and other teachers to help those students achieve as much as possible," Markowski said. "She helps them excel by making each one of them feel loved and safe and motivated. It takes a really special person to do that." Read More

Whirring, Purring Fidget Spinners Provide Entertainment, Not ADHD Help

Fidget spinners - the trendy toy of the moment - are causing a commotion. A lot of kids love them, just as many teachers hate them and some people think they're more than just toys. The basic fidget spinner has three prongs centered around a circle with bearings in the middle. Take one prong, give it a spin and watch as the triangle shape becomes a blur, sort of like a ceiling fan. The toys are manufactured by several different companies, and sold all over the place - airports, gas stations, train stations, toy stores. In many places where fidget spinners are sold, they're touted as miracle toys that help people focus as well as aid people dealing with post-traumatic stress and other disorders, but one expert says those claims aren't backed up by science. And some teachers have complained that the toys are causing disturbances in the classroom. Read More

Baby Teeth Link Autism and Heavy Metals, NIH study suggests

Baby teeth from children with autism contain more toxic lead and less of the essential nutrients zinc and manganese, compared to teeth from children without autism, according to an innovative study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers studied twins to control genetic influences and focus on possible environmental contributors to the disease. The findings, published June 1 in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that differences in early-life exposure to metals, or more importantly how a child's body processes them, may affect the risk of autism.
The differences in metal uptake between children with and without autism were especially notable during the months just before and after the children were born. The scientists determined this by using lasers to map the growth rings in baby teeth generated during different developmental periods. Read More

Obesity Can Cause Cardiovascular Ill-Health, Even in the Young

Higher than normal body mass index (BMI) is known to lead to cardiovascular ill-health in mid-to-late life, but there has been limited investigation of its effect in young, apparently healthy, adults. Researchers have now shown that having a higher BMI can cause worse cardiovascular health in those aged as young as 17, according to a study to be presented to the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics. Dr Kaitlin Wade, a Research Associate at the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC-IEU) at the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, and colleagues used data from The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to investigate the potential link between increased BMI and cardiovascular health. "ALSPAC is a world-leading birth cohort study, started in the early 1990s with the inclusion of more than 14,000 pregnant mothers and their partners and children, and provides an excellent opportunity to study environmental and genetic contributions to a person's health and development. It was therefore ideal for this purpose," Dr Wade will say. Read More

Cannabidiol Reduces Seizures in Children with Severe Epilepsy

Results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that children with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, had fewer seizures after taking a daily oral solution of the cannabis compound called cannabidiol, which does not have the psychoactive properties of marijuana. Over a 14-week treatment with cannabidiol, convulsive seizures dropped from a monthly average of 12.4 to 5.9. In comparison, seizures in the placebo group decreased from a monthly average of 14.9 to 14.1. During the study, seizures stopped completely in 5 percent of patients taking cannabidiol. "Seizures in Dravet syndrome are extremely difficult to control and they can be deadly," says study co-author Linda Laux, MD, from Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "Our results are encouraging, especially considering that we don't have any antiepileptic drugs approved for Dravet syndrome in the U.S." 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

Studying Children at Increased Risk of Suicide

Teenagers injured through drinking, drug abuse or self-harming have a five-fold increased risk of dying from suicide in the next decade. Children and young people admitted to hospital in England with injuries related to self-harming, drugs or alcohol faced an increased risk of killing themselves over the following 10 years, according to new research. While previous studies have shown that children and adolescents who self-harm are at a higher risk of suicide, the paper by academics from UCL and the University of Leeds, argues that the risks apply to a larger group of adolescents. The researchers say children injured through drink or drugs faced a similar increased risk of suicide as children who had been self-harming -- and the National Health Service needed to revise its guidelines to target help and support at these young people. Read More

Assessing and Addressing the Impact of Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma is the experience of a highly distressing event or situation during one's youth, which is beyond a minor's capacity for coping or control. Trauma encompasses many possible events, from enduring sexual or physical violence to facing the death of a parent. While such events would be painful for anyone, some children who experience trauma become particularly susceptible to psychosis. That is, they may become more prone to experiencing unusual thoughts, beliefs, and experiences that might make it hard to distinguish things as either real or imagined. Before most people experience full-blown psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, they are often diagnosed as being at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis. A small but growing number of studies on the CHR population have begun to focus on identifying possible factors that predict the conversion to psychotic disorders, such as the role of childhood trauma. Read More


Congratulations to: Tracy Christilles, Laura Malena, and Olumide Akerele who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question.

According to the latest research in the field of preschool education, children in what program who miss 10% or more of the school year have fewer gains in academics than their peers who attend preschool more regularly. What is the name of the program?

This week's question:  According to recent research in the field,  a certain hormone (neuropeptide/hormone produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland) has been found to influence how individuals with autism perceive emotion in others. This is an important first step for a potential pharmacological treatment of autism. Individuals with autism are generally less sensitive to social information, which can influence their interactions with others as they may overlook social cues. Research has shown that this hormone, known to be involved in childbirth and mother-child bonding, also has the potential to improve social information processing in youth with autism.  What is it?
If you know the answer, email us at contactus@naset.org by June 12.  We will acknowledge your correct answer in the next edition of the Week in Review

Visual Recognition Memory Impaired After Multiple Exposures to Anesthesia During Infancy

Repeated exposure to a common anesthesia drug early in life results in visual recognition memory impairment, which emerges after the first year of life and may persist long-term, according to a study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published online May 31 in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. Each year, approximately a million children under the age of four undergo surgery with general anesthesia, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Experimental studies in animals have shown that exposure to general anesthesia in infancy can cause loss of cells in the central nervous system and long-term impairments in neurocognitive function. Some human epidemiological studies have shown that children who undergo more than one operation under general anesthesia before they are four years old are at a greater risk of learning disability and other cognitive impairments. 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.

Sharing Voluntarily Makes Young Kids Happy

If humans are primarily motivated by self-interest, as traditional economic theory claims, why do we sometimes perform acts of generosity that don't yield us any material benefits? Indeed, such altruistic behavior may sometimes even come at a personal cost. So, why do we like to give? Because, it turns out, sharing makes us happy. And because we feel happy, we want to share more, explaining why psychologists consistently find that people like to "give" more than they like to "have." But do we still enjoy the emotional benefits of sharing if it is not entirely voluntary, but obligated by social norms? Dr. Zhen Wu and colleagues examined this question in a group of preschool children in China, and reported their findings in Frontiers in Psychology. This study is especially intriguing since little children are often encouraged to share, but very little is known about whether they benefit emotionally from such sharing. Read More

Health Care Process a Roadblock for Adolescents with Autism and Their Caregivers

For most people, trips to the doctor can be quite scary. For adolescents and young adults with autism, taking control of health care decisions is not only frightening, it also can be a barrier to independence. Now researchers from the University of Missouri have found that the health care process not only impacts adolescents with autism, but caregivers also feel they lack the skills and support necessary to help those adolescents achieve health-related independence. As more children with autism enter adulthood, improved communication between providers, adolescents and caregivers is needed to help those with autism transition to independence. "A significant part of adulthood is managing health care, which includes regular trips to the doctor, following treatment plans, and being aware of symptoms and changes in health," said Nancy Cheak-Zamora, an assistant professor in the MU School of Health Professions and researcher in the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. "This can be especially challenging for adolescents and young adults with autism." Read More

FDA Approves First Generic Forms of Strattera for ADHD

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first generic versions of Strattera (atomoxetine) to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in pediatric and adult patients. Apotex Inc, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc, Aurobindo Pharma Limited, and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited received approval to market atomoxetine in multiple strengths. In clinical trials for atomoxetine in children and adolescents, the most common side-effects reported were upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, and mood swings. In adults, side-effects included constipation, dry mouth, nausea, decreased appetite, dizziness, sexual side effects, and problems passing urine. Read More

Largest Study to Date Finds Autism Alone Does Not Increase Risk of Violent Offending

A diagnosis of autism alone does not increase the risk of violent offending suggests a study published in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). The study analysed data from 295,734 individuals in Stockholm County, Sweden, of whom 5,739 had a diagnosis of autism. The researchers tracked these individuals for violent crime convictions between ages 15 to 27 years using records from the Swedish National Crime Register. The team, led by researchers at University of Bristol's Population Health Science Institute and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, found that individuals diagnosed with autism initially appeared to have a higher risk of violent offending. However, this risk was significantly reduced once the presence of additional attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or conduct disorder were taken into account. Read More

Students with Special Needs help UCLA Catalog US, Local History

At Leichman Career and Transition Center in Reseda, special education adult students are at work on a project that will preserve history. Camrey Lallemand, 20, demonstrated how she adds a barcode to a VHS tape, uses an iPad to scan the code, then enters the date of the tape, information she gets from a handwritten label on the edge. All of that information goes to a database at UCLA, which is endeavoring to archive news and public affairs broadcasts recorded since the late 1970s. UCLA staff has, over the past several decades, taped thousands of hours of local and national newscasts that were broadcast in Los Angeles. It's all on old Betamax and VHS tapes, kept at UCLA and in off-site storage. There are so many tapes, with little organization, that even UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling, in charge of the project, isn't sure how much footage needs to be processed. Read More

'Authentic' Teachers are Better at Engaging with Their Students

Teachers who have an authentic teaching style are more positively received by their students, according to new research published in the National Communication Association's journal, Communication Education. To achieve a more authentic style, teachers should use time before and after class to converse with students, allow opportunity to share experiences, and view teaching as an opportunity for dialogue between themselves and their students. However, to be truly authentic, teachers should enact such behaviors only so far as their personality and demeanor naturally allow, say study authors Professor Zac Johnson of California State University and Professor Sara LaBelle of Chapman University.  Read More

Honor Society for Special Education Teachers


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Reporter Looking to Interview Special Education Teachers (Article on Autism)

Dear NASET members -- Hi, I'm Zoë Kirsch, a reporter writing a national story for Slate about the issues facing the families of toddlers with autism. To better understand this topic, I've spoken with policy experts, researchers, and therapists across the country. Here's where I'm hoping you come in: I'm trying to clarify what special education teachers are seeing unfold on the ground. What have your experiences been like working with young children on the spectrum? What's it like to work with a child who was diagnosed as a toddler, as opposed to a child who was diagnosed later in life? What kinds of stigma do you see the families of young autistic children facing? If you'd like to talk with me -- either on background (not for quoting) or on the record -- please don't hesitate to reach out. Cell: 617-721-7403. Email:zoe.kirsch@gmail.com



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

In summer, the song sings itself.

William Carlos Williams

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