Week in Review - March 10, 2017



National Association of Special Education Teachers

March 10, 2017                                              Vol 13 Issue # 10

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 Severe Disabilities Issue #46

Examples of IEP Goals and Objectives- Suggestions for Students with Autism

When writing goals for children with Autism it is crucial to be as specific as possible. IEP's need to be individualized but do not always show all of the actual goals and interventions that are being done. As a skill is acquired - new objectives are to be added, it is not to be stagnant. As skills become easier the difficulty is increased. Teachers of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders hope that a fluid process from year to year is maintained. This will require a great deal of communication and collaboration between staff and parents. The following lists are offered as examples of IEP goals that can be used for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Read More

NASET's Parent Teacher Conference Handout

What Parents Need to Know About Cyberbullyings - Issues #136

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior. This issue of NASET's Bullying of Children comes from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and will focus on cyberbullying and can be used as an excellent resource guide for parents. Read More

Horse-Riding Can Improve Children's Cognitive Ability

Recent research published in Frontiers in Public Health shows that the effects of vibrations produced by horses during horse-riding lead to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which improves learning in children. "We wanted to look into these effects because previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of horseback riding with respect to enhancing physical health and the mental effects, but few studies have addressed the effects of horseback riding on children and the mechanisms underlying how riding affects humans" says Mitsuaki Ohta, professor of Tokyo University of Agriculture. Read More

Adults with Autism Overcome Childhood Language Challenges

Results of a small study of adults with autism at Johns Hopkins has added to evidence that their brains can learn to compensate for some language comprehension challenges that are a hallmark of the disorder in children. Studies analyzing electrical activity in the brains of children with autism have shown that they have difficulty sorting out pairs of words that are unrelated -- like "clock" and "frog" -- from those that are related -- like "baby" and "bottle" -- making it hard for them to process written or spoken language. Moreover, investigators believed that for most children with autism, this struggle with language persisted throughout their lives. Read More

Racial Gap in Children's Asthma Linked to Social Inequality

African-American and poor children in the United States suffer disproportionately from asthma. But according to a new study from sociologists at Rice University, racial and socio-economic gaps in the proportion of children in Houston who have asthma may be a result of social inequalities in the neighborhoods where children live. "Comprehensive Neighborhood Portraits and Child Asthma Disparities" will appear in an upcoming edition of the Maternal and Child Health Journal. In the study, the researchers found that of the 12,000+ children in Houston who have asthma, the chronic disease of airways in the lungs is more prevalent among African-American children than white children and occurs most often among African-American children living in poor neighborhoods. The researchers also found that children of all races and ethnicities, including white children, have a greater risk of developing asthma when they live in poor neighborhoods, compared with children living in middle-class or affluent neighborhoods. Read More

Study Finds New Link Between Childhood Abuse and Adolescent Misbehavior

An important learning process is impaired in adolescents who were abused as children, a University of Pittsburgh researcher has found, and this impairment contributes to misbehavior patterns later in life. Associative learning -- the process by which an individual subconsciously links experiences and stimuli together -- partially explains how people generally react to various real-world situations. In a newly released study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Pitt Assistant Professor Jamie L. Hanson detailed the connection between impaired associative learning capacities and instances of early childhood abuse. Read More

Nonsurgical Treatment Can Correct Congenital Ear Malformations in Infants

For infants with congenital malformations of the ear, a treatment system called EarWell can gently reshape the ear -- avoiding the pain and cost of later surgery, reports a study in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). But treatment must begin early -- preferably within the first three weeks after birth, according to the study by ASPS Member Surgeon H. Steve Byrd, MD, and colleagues of Pediatric Plastic Surgery Institute, Dallas. Dr. Byrd comments, "The EarWell system is effective in eliminating or reducing the need for surgery in all but the most severe congenital ear malformations." 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

Effects of a Poor Diet During Pregnancy May be Reversed in Female Adolescent Offspring

Here's some good news if you are female: Research published online in The FASEB Journal, shows that in mice, what is eaten during adolescence or childhood development may alter long-term behavior and learning, and can even "rescue" females from the negative effects on behavior resulting from a poor maternal diet during pregnancy. "These are provocative findings," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal." So many effects during pregnancy have been touted as irreversible -- perhaps not always so. " Read More

Deep Brain Stimulation for Patients with Chronic Anorexia is Safe and Might Improve Symptoms

Deep brain stimulation might alter the brain circuits that drive anorexia nervosa symptoms and help improve patients' mental and physical health, according to a small study published in The Lancet Psychiatry. Despite having the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, there are few effective ways to manage treatment-resistant anorexia. While the study only included 16 patients, it suggests that the intervention is safe and could help improve some symptoms of anorexia, but more research is needed. Worldwide, 0.5% of people have anorexia, and teenage girls account for the majority of cases. The eating disorder is characterized by persistent concerns about bodyweight, shape and size, leading patients to maintain a low weight. Many patients experience mood and anxiety disorders, deny their illness and avoid seeking medical help for it. Read More


This week's question:  

According to a study by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, women actively infected with genital herpes during early pregnancy had twice the odds of giving birth to a child later diagnosed with what disorder?
If you know the answer, email us at contactus@naset.org by March 13, 2017.  We will acknowledge your correct answer in the next edition of the Week in Review

What Effect Does Prenatal and Postpartum Maternal Depression Have on Children?

The results of a large study do not support the notion that prenatal and postpartum maternal depression is particularly detrimental to children's psychological development. Instead, the most robust effects were found for maternal depression occurring during children's preschool years. The analysis examined 11,599 families including 17,830 siblings from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study. Using sibling comparisons, investigators accounted for genetic and shared environmental factors, as siblings share family environments and their mothers' genetic risk for depression. Read More

Removing Barriers to Early Intervention for Children with Autism

In the February 2017 issue of Pediatrics, investigators representing the South Carolina Act Early Team report a five-fold increase in the number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) eligible for early intensive behavioral therapy (also known as applied behavior analysis therapy or ABA) after statewide implementation of a two-tiered screening process to identify who children who were "presumptively eligible" for intervention. ABA is the gold standard for treating children with ASD and is known to, sometimes dramatically, improve outcomes and quality of life. However, ABA can be expensive and so is out of the reach of many families without governmental support. In South Carolina, BabyNet is the IDEA Part C program, with state-level intervention, that pays for early behavioral interventions for children three and under. Prior to the policy changes, a formal diagnosis of ASD was required before BabyNet would pay for early intervention. However, the requirement of a formal diagnosis led to delays in treatment. Read More

Sorting Out Risk Genes for Brain Development Disorders

Gene discovery research is uncovering new information about similarities and differences underlying various neurodevelopmental disorders. These are a wide-ranging collection of conditions that affect the brain. They include autism, intellectual impairments, developmental delays, attention deficits, tic disorders and language difficulties. To better understand how gene-disrupting mutations contribute to the biology of neurodevelopmental disorders, researchers recently conducted a large, international, multi-institutional study. Read More

Tired Teens 4.5 Times More Likely to Commit Crimes as Adults

Teenagers who self-report feeling drowsy mid-afternoon also tend to exhibit more anti-social behavior such as lying, cheating, stealing and fighting. Now, research from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of York, in the United Kingdom, shows that those same teens are 4.5 times more likely to commit violent crimes a decade and a half later. "It's the first study to our knowledge to show that daytime sleepiness during teenage years are associated with criminal offending 14 years later," said Adrian Raine, the Richard Perry University Professor with appointments in the departments of Criminology and Psychology in the School of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry in Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Read More

Artist's Stunning Photos Shatter Misconceptions About Disabilities

Ceridwen Hughes, a photographer from North Wales, wants the world to view disabilities differently. In an effort to change people's perspectives, he created a photo project called "We Can..." that focuses on what people with disabilities can do, rather than what they cannot. "People make assumptions based on the way people look and act and do not always see the person behind the condition," Hughes told The Huffington Post. The photographer visited Coleg Cambria, a school in Northop, North Wales, that has a program teaching independent living skills to people with disabilities. He spoke to students while taking their portraits. Read More

Is Teacher Preparation Failing Students with Disabilities?

When Mary Fair became a teacher in 2012, her classes often contained a mix of special education students and general education students. Placing children with and without disabilities in the same classroom, instead of segregating them, was a growing national trend, spurred on by lawsuits by special education advocates. But in those early days, Fair had no idea how to handle her students with disabilities, whose educational challenges ranged from learning deficits to behavioral disturbance disorders. Calling out a child with a behavioral disability in front of the class usually backfired, and made the situation worse. They saw it as "an attack and a disrespect issue," Fair said. Read More

Helping Teachers Understand What Differently-Abled Children Need

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I was diagnosed with a language-based learning disability in elementary school. Before the diagnosis, I often felt lost in a sea of words that seemed to have no meaning without a visual context. I didn't know that my brain acquired knowledge differently from the way others learned. The special education services got me the tools I needed to learn the information visually and through hands-on experiences. When I finally understood the material, it was as though a missing piece of the puzzle fell into place. For the first time, I began to enjoy school. Throughout this, I had parents who advocated for me every step of the way. I received free and appropriate public education including the specialized services and accommodations to make learning a successful experience. Years later, these experiences influenced my decision to become an early childhood special education teacher. Read More

How Maryland Legislators Can Fix a Problem One Mother Found with Special Education

I recently wrote a post about Katherine Spurlock, a former public school teacher who moved to Montgomery County, Md., from a tiny school district in New York and discovered shocking about special education. Spurlock wanted to make sure that her daughter, who has dyslexia, received appropriate interventions and placement in school but learned that Montgomery County - nor any other county in Maryland and perhaps across the United States - did not compile  data about how much money was being spent on early academic or behavioral interventions for students who need them. Why does this matter? As I wrote in the earlier post, research shows that early interventions - from kindergarten through third grade - can help alleviate learning disabilities and improve student outcomes. Read More

Florida Still Lags in Providing Gifted Classes to Children of Color

Each gifted child is unique. Some gifted children - only a few, actually - match the stereotype of the quiet genius who works independently and earns straight As. Some gifted children - many, in fact - are inquisitive, witty, strong-willed and super active. Yet, others are prolific readers, writers, mathematicians and/or scientists. Many gifted children are passionate humanitarians with a fierce desire to right the wrongs in the world, while others are creative musicians, dancers and artists. The one thing gifted children all seem to have in common is the intense need for novel, enriching and challenging educational experiences that meet their individual academic and social-emotional needs. 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 program offers two parallel tracks, one for basic that offers in-depth foundation knowledge about the IDEA and Section 504: eligibility, FAPE, LRE, student discipline, and remedies. The other track is for advanced participants, offering brand new "hot topics," such as child find nuances, pending Supreme Court cases, the behavioral legal alphabet soup, current parental participation parameters, and settlement strategies.

Included in the symposium is a separable two-day (June 22-23) training for school district Section 504 coordinators, including the latest litigated Section 504 disputes, an in-depth comparison of the IDEA and Section 504, and a "nuts and bolts" how-to session about how to appropriately and effectively implement Section 504.
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.

People with Disabilities: The New Diversity Frontier

Twenty percent of Americans say they are living with a disability. But at nonprofits, people with disabilities account for maybe 2 percent of board members. Experts say that's a generous guess, and a figure that needs bolstering.  Two local groups, Access Living and ADA25 Advancing Leadership, are trying to make disability part of the diversity conversation. They're also creating pipelines that will help nonprofits and other public-sector organizations identify new board members.  "The same people get asked over and over-me and Karen (Tamley, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of People with Disabilities," said Marca Bristo. In 1977, Bristo broke her neck, and the accident left her paralyzed. "It was day and night, what I could do before and after," she said. In 1979, she founded Access Living, which helps Chicagoans with disabilities live a full life. Read More
free IEP

Special Education Teachers Should Think Critically Before Investing in Unproven Practices, Professor Says

Special education is a field in which teachers are constantly trying to find new methods to help their students learn. In doing so, educators may be tempted to try untested, unproven and even pseudoscientific interventions, all with the best intentions. Using such practices not only often fails to help students with disabilities but can have harmful effects, waste limited school resources and students' time, and lead to teacher burnout, a University of Kansas professor says in a new article. Special educators have an ethical responsibility to ensure the interventions they use to teach their students are backed by empirical evidence, and Jason Travers has published an article outlining ways to help teachers distinguish between effective, unproven and potentially pseudoscientific methods. Travers, assistant professor of special education, published his article in the journal Intervention in School and Clinic. Critical thinking skills, ability to distinguish between reliable and questionable evidence and healthy skepticism are important for preparing educators to spot non-evidence-based practices, he said. Read More



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

Go ask three people who their favorite teacher in school was. Watch their eyes and listen to the way they talk about that teacher. You get to be that.
Tom Rademacher, Teacher

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