Week in Review - May 26, 2017



National Association of Special Education Teachers

May 26, 2017                                                Vol 13 Issue # 21

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 LD Report Issue #26

Benefit and Limitations of Technology Use for Students with Reading and Writing Disorders in the General Education Classroom: A Systematic Review. By Brigid Ovitt

This issue of NASET's LD Report was written by Brigid Ovitt. This systematic research review addresses the gap between claims that specific technologies or classes of technology are effective in improving affective and objective academic performance of secondary students with specific learning disability (SLD) and research supporting those claims. The purpose of this review was to examine and synthesize research over the past ten years detailing the effects of educational technology on secondary students with reading and writing disorders. A comprehensive search of educational and psychological research yielded ten studies addressing the effectiveness of specific technologies addressing the academic experience of secondary students with SLD in reading, writing, or both.  Just under half of the studies indicated that the technologies they examined can have positive effects on learning when used in conjunction with effective teaching.  Twenty percent of the studies indicated that the technologies they studied were effective in increasing students' academic engagement and self-perception.  Thirty percent of the studies indicated that the technology they focused on had neutral or detrimental effects.  Overall, this review of literature indicates that while technology can benefit students with SLD in high school and middle school, the benefit is by no means uniform across technologies, and the technologies studied do not substitute for engaged, effective teaching.  Read More

Pet Dogs Help Kids Feel Less Stressed

Pet dogs provide valuable social support for kids when they're stressed, according to a study by researchers from the University of Florida, who were among the first to document stress-buffering effects of pets for children. Darlene Kertes and colleagues tested the commonly held belief that pet dogs provide social support for kids using a randomized controlled study -- the gold standard in research. "Many people think pet dogs are great for kids but scientists aren't sure if that's true or how it happens," Kertes said. Kertes reasoned that one way this might occur is by helping children cope with stress. "How we learn to deal with stress as children has lifelong consequences for how we cope with stress as adults." Read More

Shared Genetic Pathways Underlie Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder

A trio of studies make the strongest case to date that autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) share similar genetic causes. The findings could help explain why up to 80 percent of children with autism also meet the criteria for ADHD. Several studies have shown that autism and ADHD co-occur in families, but researchers have yet to identify overlapping genes. "It's a conundrum," says Amir Miodovnik, a pediatrician at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, who was not involved in the studies. "That's why people are continuing to try to show the genetic linkage in different ways." Read More

What Special Education Teachers Wish People Knew

Working long hours, using your own money to pay for classroom materials, and struggling to engage students who are ready for summer vacation-yes, doing all that makes teaching a tough job. Now add the challenge of getting kids with learning disabilities like dyslexia on track academically, plus endless meetings and mountains of paperwork, and you'll have the role of a special education teacher. But here's a secret: The people who work with kids in special ed do it because really, really love their work. That's what becomes evident when you watch this short video created by The Mighty, which asked the special educators in their community to answer a question: "What's one secret about your job you wish the rest of the world knew?" They compiled the responses from about two dozen teachers onto Post-its and let the words speak for themselves. Read More

The Family Dog Could Help Boost Physical Activity for Kids with Disabilities

The family dog could serve as a partner and ally in efforts to help children with disabilities incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives, a new study from Oregon State University indicates. In a case study of one 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his family's dog, researchers found the intervention program led to a wide range of improvements for the child, including physical activity as well as motor skills, quality of life and human-animal interactions. "These initial findings indicate that we can improve the quality of life for children with disabilities, and we can get them to be more active," said Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences and corresponding author on the study. "And in this case, both are happening simultaneously, which is fantastic." 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

Loss of Spinal Nerve Fibers not the Only Cause of Disability in Multiple Sclerosis

It is commonly thought that in MS, the loss of axons (nerve fibres) contributes to the chronic disability found in many patients. This has led to the wide use of MRI to measure the cross sectional area of the spinal cord in order to predict disability. But researchers from Queen Mary University of London have now sampled spinal cords of thirteen people with MS and five healthy controls, and found that spinal cord cross sectional area is not a good predictor of axonal loss. Lead researcher Klaus Schmierer said: "The lack of association between axonal loss and spinal cord cross sectional area significantly changes our understanding of chronic disability in MS. Read More

Learning Styles: A Once Hot Debate Redshifts

What is the best way for teachers to teach so students will really learn? That's an age-old question. Since the 1970s, one theory that has been popular among schoolteachers and pervasive in education research literature in the United Kingdom and the United States is the idea of "Learning Styles," the notion that people can be categorized into one or more 'styles' of learning (e.g., Visual, Auditory, Converger) and that teachers can and should tailor their curriculum to suit individual students. The idea is that students will learn more if they are exposed to material through approaches that specifically match their Learning Style. But in recent years, many academicians have criticized Learning Styles saying there is no evidence it improves student understanding. Read More


Congratulations to: Jessica Wuerth, Patsy Ray, Laura Malena, Jessica Gaspar, Melody Owens, Chiquita Almo, Kaye Randle, Tracey Christilles, Prahbhjot Malhi and Olumide Akerele who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question.

According to research published in by JAMA Ophthalmology by Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, is the number of preschool children in the U.S. to be diagnosed with visual impairments projected to increase, decrease or remain the same in the coming decades?




Stress-Mitigation Interventions for Parents did not Lessen Symptoms Among Kids with Asthma

The patient-centered study's premise was straightforward: Since there is a definite link between parents' psychosocial stress levels and asthma suffered by inner city kids, if you provide stressed-out parents effective coping skills, would kids take their medicines more regularly and would their health improve?A $2.2 million, first-of-its kind randomized study found no differences between kids with asthma who received standard care based on National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines compared with kids whose parents received stress-mitigation techniques in addition to evidence-based asthma care. The stress-mitigation techniques were designed by a team at Children's National Health System funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Read More

Chronic Childhood Illness Linked with Later Life Mental Health Problems

A new study into the effects of chronic physical illness in children on their life-long mental health has found that such experiences appear to increase the chances of them having depression and anxiety in adulthood. Researchers at the University of Sussex and University College London systematically reviewed evidence from a large number of medical studies, looking for associations between eight chronic physical illnesses in childhood, such as arthritis, asthma and cancer, and emotional problems experienced by the sufferers in later life. The paper, published today in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (JCPP), reveals that the sufferers of all chronic conditions reviewed were at increased risk of developing depression or anxiety, emotional problems that persisted beyond childhood and adolescence and into adult life. Read More

Playground Politics: What Drives Rejection Amongst Children?

Children learn how to make friends and interact with others in the first few years of school. Unfortunately, rejection is part of daily life in a classroom and we can all remember the bitter feeling of being left out by classmates. Some children suffer widespread rejection at school and this can this can have a long-term effect. In an effort to reduce negative relationships, research has traditionally focused on the behavior of the disliked child, asking, 'What did they do to warrant rejection?' Blaming rejection on a child's behavior, however, does not explain why an aggressive child might sometimes be a popular classmate. In addition, the bad behavior of a rejected child may not actually be the cause, but rather the consequence, of being rejected. 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.

For Anorexia Nervosa, Researchers Implicate Genetic Locus on Chromosome 12

A landmark study led by UNC School of Medicine researchers has identified the first genetic locus for anorexia nervosa and has revealed that there may also be metabolic underpinnings to this potentially deadly illness. The study, which is the most powerful genetic study of anorexia nervosa conducted to date, included genome-wide analysis of DNA from 3,495 individuals with anorexia nervosa and 10,982 unaffected individuals. If particular genetic variations are significantly more frequent in people with a disorder compared to unaffected people, the variations are said to be "associated" with the disorder. Associated genetic variations can serve as powerful pointers to regions of the human genome where disorder-causing problems reside, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. Read More

Nonprescription Use of Ritalin Linked to Adverse Side Effects, Study Finds

New research from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions that explored the potential side effects of the stimulant drug Ritalin on those without ADHD showed changes in brain chemistry associated with risk-taking behavior, sleep disruption and other undesirable effects. Ritalin, the brand name for methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a growing problem among college students who use it without a prescription as a so-called "study enhancer." The drug works by increasing the concentration of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that control reasoning, problem solving and other behaviors. Read More

Better than BMI: More Accurate Way to Determine Adolescent Obesity

The body mass index calculations that physicians have been relying on for decades may not be accurate for assessing body fat in adolescents between the ages of 8 and 17. A new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics shows that tri-ponderal mass index estimates body fat more accurately than the traditional BMI in adolescents. These new findings are timely as diagnosing, treating and tracking the prevalence of children and adolescents with obesity is a high public health priority. Moreover, many school districts are sending home report cards labeling adolescents as overweight -- a practice that has been controversial because children and adolescents tend to be more vulnerable to weight bias and fat shaming than adults. Read More

Children in Head Start Who Miss More Preschool Show Fewer Academic Gains

A new study has found that children in Head Start who miss 10% or more of the school year have fewer gains in academics than their peers who attend preschool more regularly. Many researchers see high-quality preschool programs as a way to reduce long-term disparities in education. Placing an emphasis on attendance in preschool programs may be important to maximizing benefits. The study, from researchers at the University of Virginia and The Ohio State University, appears in the journal Child Development. "Preschool absences may undermine the benefits of high-quality preschool education," explains Arya Ansari, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Virginia, the study's lead author. Ansari cautioned that while the findings of the study are not causal, they highlight the scope and consequences of preschool absences. "Given the large investments in early childhood programs, we need to consider the ramifications of more frequent absences for children's early learning, especially in programs such as Head Start, the largest federally funded preschool program in the United States." Read More

Blind People Have Brain Map for 'Visual' Observations Too

Is what you're looking at an object, a face, or a tree? When processing visual input, our brain uses different areas to recognize faces, body parts, scenes, and objects. Scientists at KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium, have now shown that people who were born blind use a 'brain map' with a very similar layout to distinguish between these same categories. Our brain only needs a split second to determine what we're seeing. The area in our brain that can categorize these visual observations so quickly is the so-called ventral-temporal cortex, the visual brain. Like a map, this region is divided into smaller regions, each of which recognizes a particular category of observations -- faces, body parts, scenes, and objects. Scientists have long wondered whether we're born with this map, or whether its development relies on the visual input that we receive. Read More

Cystic Fibrosis Study Offers New Understanding of Silent Changes in Genes

Cystic fibrosis is a common life-shortening inherited disease that affects over 70,000 people worldwide, the majority of whom are children and young adults. Individuals living with cystic fibrosis carry faults in a single gene that disables or destroys a protein called CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator). CFTR plays a crucial role in cells by forming a gated pathway for chloride ions, one part of salt, to stream across cell membranes. However, loss of CFTR leads to ducts and tubes in the body becoming blocked by thick, sticky mucus, causing breathing difficulties in the lungs and problems digesting and absorbing food in the gut. Read More

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Gene Study Sheds Light on Causes of Childhood Sight Loss

A genetic mutation that contributes to sight loss in children has been identified by scientists. The mutation was identified in patients with a disease known as ocular coloboma, which causes part of the eye to be missing at birth. The findings shed light on its causes and help to explain how genes contribute to development of the eye, researchers say. Ocular coloboma accounts for up to 10 per cent of all childhood blindness. It can cause a distinctive keyhole-shaped pupil as it commonly results in a missing segment in the iris, the coloured part of the eye. Few genetic causes have so far been found to explain the cause of coloboma. Read More

New ADHD Pharmacologic Treatments Needed But Few Are On the Way

Behavior therapy can benefit most patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the vast majority of patients with the condition will still need pharmacotherapy to manage their symptoms and prevent the disorder from interfering with their lives. Yet little progress has been made in identifying effective agents for patients who don't respond to the handful of existing medications. "There are still pretty major gaps in optimal treatment of ADHD that potentially might be filled if we could find further ways of getting at the problem of ADHD," said Glen Elliott, MD, PhD, chief psychiatrist and medical director of Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, California. Read More


*Early Childhood Special Educator - Home-based early intervention program providing services to developmentally delayed infants and toddlers of American military families stationed overseas. To learn more- Click here
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*Certified Special Education Substitute Teacher - Substitute teachers are an integral part of education as they provide the classroom continuity needed for effective learning. Source4Teachers, recently named one of Forbes' America's Best Large Employers of 2017, has daily and long-term substitute opportunities each day at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. To learn more - Click here
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*Teacher of the Visually Impaired - Help Lighthouse Louisiana to build a better tomorrow for our students with vision impairment, while living in an exciting city with food, fun, and festivals galore. Lighthouse Louisiana is seeking a Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired who is eager to use his/her skills and creativity to provide itinerant vision services and to develop youth programs for children with vision loss in the Greater New Orleans area. To learn more - Click here
*Special Education Teacher - District of Columbia International School (DCI) is a public charter middle and high school in DC. We aim to provide our students with a world-class education that empowers them to follow their passions and change the world. To learn more - Click here
*Special Education Teacher - Valhalla & Bronx - Easterseals Bronx Child Development Center is seeking a Special Education Teacher for their preschool program for children with special needs for summer session beginning July 3 - August 11, 2017. To learn more - Click here
* Classroom Teacher - Special Education - Come for a job, find a family. Where else but Benedictine? Be inspired to come to work every day knowing that you are making a difference in someone else's life. Our teams of professionals work together to improve the quality of life of adults and children with developmental disabilities by helping them achieve their greatest potential in all aspects of life; school, residential, and vocational. To learn more - Click here
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*Teaching in New York City - New York City public schools offer competitive starting salaries ranging from $54,000 to $81,694, based on prior teaching experience as well as your undergraduate and graduate education. To learn more -Click Here
*Special Education Specialist - The primary responsibility of the Special Education Specialist is to provide instruction and other related services to Special Education students. The Special Education Specialist will also facilitate diagnostic assessment including administration, scoring and interpretation. To learn more - Click Here

If you are an Employer looking for excellent special education staff - Click here for more information

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

I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom-how great is that?

Soledad O'Brien

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