Week in Review - May 5, 2017



National Association of Special Education Teachers

May 5 2017                                              Vol 13 Issue # 18

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 Special Educator eJournal

MAY 2017
Table of Contents
  • Book Review: Transformational Leadership in Special Education: Leading the IEP Team (Lentz, Kirby). By Amanda Nieves
  • Buzz from the Hub
  • Book Review: What Great Principals Do Differently: Fifteen Things That Matter Most. By Deborah Martinez
  • African American Students Disproportionate Representation in Special Education. By Briana Merchant
  • The Inadequate Inclusion of Parents in Special Education: A Review of Literature. By Amanda Nieves
  • The Institutional Shortcomings of Special Education and How We Can Bridge the Gap: A Literature Review. By Ibis Paneca
  • Empowering Families of Students with Disabilities to Collaborate in the Early Years with Educators for Positive Student Outcome: A Review of the Literature.  By Darcy Sanchez
  • Special Education Legal Alert. By Perry A. Zirkel

Unique Womb-Like Device Could Reduce Mortality and Disability for Extremely Premature Babies

A unique womb-like environment designed by pediatric researchers could transform care for extremely premature babies, by mimicking the prenatal fluid-filled environment to give the tiniest newborns a precious few weeks to develop their lungs and other organs. "Our system could prevent the severe morbidity suffered by extremely premature infants by potentially offering a medical technology that does not currently exist," said study leader Alan W. Flake, MD, a fetal surgeon and director of the Center for Fetal Research in the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Read More

Screen Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities for Vision Problems

Many children with neurodevelopmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida have deficits in their senses, with vision impairment perhaps being the most limiting to successful participation in life. Several studies have found that vision care represents one of the greatest unmet needs for children with special health care needs. In addition, infants and toddlers who are socially at risk with functional vision difficulties make up one of the highest subgroups of developmental vulnerability. Examination of the eyes is a routine part of a well-child check. Thus, pediatricians are in a unique position to detect vision impairment in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and ensure that appropriate referrals and intervention occur and classroom accommodations are made. Read More

Family Creates Blockbuster at Home For Son with Autism After Store Closes

Hector Andres Zuniga, a 20-year-old man who has autism and is non-verbal, had been going to his local Blockbuster store in Sharyland, Texas since he was 13. He made the trip to the store at least twice a week to pick up snacks and rent his favorite movies, which typically involve "Barney," "Rugrats," Elmo or "Blue's Clues." Most of the staff at Blockbuster watched him grow up. His father, also named Hector, told HuffPost that whenever they passed the store in the car, his son would point to it and utter one the few words he says: "Barney." A few months ago, Hector Andres' mother, Rosa, got some heartbreaking news. A Blockbuster employee pulled her aside while she and Hector Andres were visiting and told her that the store would be closing. Blockbuster declared bankruptcy in 2010, and only a handful of stores remain open across the U.S. Read More

What's Coming Next? Scientists Identify How the Brain Predicts Speech

An international collaboration of neuroscientists has shed light on how the brain helps us to predict what is coming next in speech. In the study, publishing on April 25 in the open access journal PLOS Biology scientists from Newcastle University, UK, and a neurosurgery group at the University of Iowa, USA, report that they have discovered mechanisms in the brain's auditory cortex involved in processing speech and predicting upcoming words, which is essentially unchanged throughout evolution. Their research reveals how individual neurons coordinate with neural populations to anticipate events, a process that is impaired in many neurological and psychiatric disorders such as dyslexia, schizophrenia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Read More

Cognitive Skills for Children Differ Across Cultures and Generations

An innovative study of children and parents in both Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, led by University of Cambridge researchers Michelle R. Ellefson and Claire Hughes, reveals cultural differences in important cognitive skills among adolescent participants but not their parents. The results are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. "Our findings showed substantial contrast between adolescents in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong when it came to executive functions, which may help to explain substantial differences in academic success," says Ellefson. "However, these differences do not extend to their parents -- which leads to the question of whether these differences might go away over time." 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

Smartphone-Controlled Cells Help Keep Diabetes in Check

Cells engineered to produce insulin under the command of a smartphone helped keep blood sugar levels within normal limits in diabetic mice, a new study reports. More than 415 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, and frequently need to inject themselves with insulin to manage their blood sugars. Human cells can be genetically engineered into living factories that efficiently manufacture and deliver hormones and signaling molecules, but most synthetic biological circuits don't offer the same degree of sensitivity and precision as digital sensors. Combining living tissues and technology, Jiawei Shao et al. created custom cells that produced insulin when illuminated by far-red light (the same wavelengths emitted by therapy bulbs and infrared saunas). Read More

Cannabis Use in Adolescence Linked to Schizophrenia

Scientists believe that schizophrenia, a disorder caused by an imbalance in the brain's chemical reactions, is triggered by a genetic interaction with environmental factors. A new Tel Aviv University study published in Human Molecular Genetics now points to cannabis as a trigger for schizophrenia. The research, conducted by Dr. Ran Barzilay and led by Prof. Dani Offen, both of TAU's Sackler School of Medicine, finds that smoking pot or using cannabis in other ways during adolescence may serve as a catalyst for schizophrenia in individuals already susceptible to the disorder. "Our research demonstrates that cannabis has a differential risk on susceptible versus non-susceptible individuals," said Dr. Barzilay, principal investigator of the study. "In other words, young people with a genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia -- those who have psychiatric disorders in their families -- should bear in mind that they're playing with fire if they smoke pot during adolescence." Read More



This week's question:
A favorite childhood pastime also may be teaching kids how to get along. The measured, synchronous movement of children doing this activity can encourage preschoolers to cooperate on subsequent activities, University of Washington researchers have found. A study by the UW's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows the potential of this synchronized movement in helping young children develop collaborative skills.What is the activity?

If you know the answer, email us at contactus@naset.org by May 8, 2017.  We will acknowledge your correct answer in the next edition of the Week in Review

Scientists Unravel How Protein Impacts Intellectual Disability

Your brain needs just the right balance between excitatory "on" signals and inhibitory "calm down" signals. Now scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shown that a protein helps balance nerve cell communication. The new study, published online in the journal Cell Reports, could have implications for potential treatments of intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental disorders. "This paper adds a new dimension to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that impact intellectual disability," said Brock Grill, a TSRI associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience. "Our study is the first to identify a defect in neuron communication caused by altering the activity of a gene called HUWE1, which causes intellectual disability, including Juberg-Marsidi-Brooks syndrome." Read More

Does Death of a Sibling in Childhood Increase Risk of Death in Surviving Children?

Bereavement in childhood due to the death of a sibling was associated with an increased risk for death in both the short and long term, according to a new article published by JAMA Pediatrics. Nearly 8 percent of individuals in the United States are estimated to have experienced a sibling dying in childhood. Yongfu Yu, Ph.D., of Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, and coauthors conducted a population-based study that included more than 5 million Danish and Swedish children who survived the first six months of life. Death of a sibling was experienced by 55,818 (1.1 percent) in childhood (from six months after birth until 18) and the median age was 7 at sibling loss. During a follow-up of 37 years, 534 individuals in this bereaved group died. Read More

Pediatric Clinic Support Boosts Mental Health for Youth

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems in children and adolescents. Youth with these disorders often go to their primary care physicians for referrals, but only a small number of them obtain much-needed mental health care. A new study led by researchers at San Diego State University suggests that providing a brief behavioral therapy in the pediatric primary care setting can help more young people get the help they need. The brief intervention's benefits were especially noteworthy in Latino youth, more than three quarters of whom showed significant improvement. About three in ten children and adolescents suffer from significant anxiety and/or depression that affects their ability to learn in school, form and maintain meaningful relationships, and engage in activities. The study's lead author, V. Robin Weersing, professor in SDSU's Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, said that our mental health system is not currently suited to identify and successfully treat this many youth. Read More

Medical History Reveals Multiple Sclerosis Begins to Impact Patients Sooner

People with multiple sclerosis can show signs of something wrong five years before the onset of disease, much earlier than previously thought, according to a new analysis of health records from people with the condition. The new research, published in Lancet Neurology, is a first step to identifying red flags to help doctors screen for the disease and start interventions earlier. This could point researchers in a new direction for finding the root cause of the disease. "Proving that people with multiple sclerosis have already changed their behaviour in the five years before even the earliest medical recognition of the condition is very important because it means we have to look beyond those five years to understand how it is caused," said Helen Tremlett, senior author of the study and a professor in the department of medicine at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. Read More

Childhood Obesity Quadruples Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Children with obesity face four times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to children with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range, according to a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society. Both obesity and diabetes are epidemic health problems. Obesity affects about 12.7 million children and teens in the United States. The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study found 3,600 cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed in U.S. children and teens each year between 2002 and 2005, according to the Endocrine Society's Endocrine Facts and Figures report. The researchers who published the Journal of the Endocrine Society study found a similar trend in a large-scale analysis of diabetes and obesity rates among British children. Read More

Young Adults with Uncomplicated Epilepsy Fare as Well as their Siblings

A 15-year follow-up study of young adults with epilepsy found that those with uncomplicated epilepsy who were seizure-free for five years or more did as well as their siblings without epilepsy in measures of education, employment, family arrangements and driving status. Youth with complicated epilepsy had worse social outcomes and were less likely to drive, even if living without seizures. Results were published in the journal Epilepsia. "So far there has been conflicting data on whether adults with uncomplicated childhood-onset epilepsy have worse social outcomes compared to people without epilepsy," said senior author Anne T. Berg, PhD, from Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "Our study provides further evidence that children growing up with uncomplicated epilepsy who stay seizure-free have a favorable prognosis. Read More

Expensive, Grueling Fights in Store for US Special Education

Lisa Connor felt her daughter with a disability should have been making more progress in school, yet annual meetings with the district to set services and goals sometimes felt like a tug of war. A stroke had left Polina with a limp and vision problems, but there was always debate about keeping physical therapy, Connor said. Battles erupted over whether she should stay in public school or would do better in a private placement. "You know your own kid," Connor said, explaining why she hired lawyers to push for the out-of-district services she thought were best for her now 15-year-old daughter. Thousands of parents each year clash with their children's school districts over the level of special education services. The proceedings can be emotionally grueling and expensive, diverting education dollars away from classrooms, and in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling seen as empowering parents, some are expecting only more challenges as cash-strapped schools are called upon to meet higher standards. Read More

How Do Fidget Spinners Help with ADHD? Let's Investigate the Latest Toy Craze

Helping your child manage their Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be an incredible challenge. Between therapies, appointments, and finding adaptations that actually work for your child, it seems like there is little time for anything else. As research advances, and more adaptations emerge, you often feel like you'll buy anything that's supposed to help. Studies show fidget toys to be a successful way to manage ADHD, but what about the latest trend, fidget spinners? You might be wondering, how do fidget spinners help with ADHD? According to the National Institue of Mental Health (NIMH), ADHD is a disorder marked by both an inability to sustain attention, and an increased amount of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Fidgeting can increase concentration in kids with ADHD, as mentioned in The New York Times, by "being a mechanism for cognitive self-regulation." As a result, fidget toys have garnered success by being a mindless way to harness nervous energy or hyperactivity in order to boost attention and focus. Read More

Children with Reading and Spelling Difficulties Lag Behind Their Peers Despite Special Education

The reading skills of children with reading and spelling difficulties (RSD) lag far behind the age level in the first two school years, despite special education received from special education teachers. Furthermore, the spelling skills of children who in addition to RSD had other learning difficulties also lagged behind their peers in the first two school years. The follow-up study was carried out at the University of Eastern Finland and the findings were published in the European Journal of Special Needs Education. "Our findings are relevant both in terms of teacher education and in terms of special education resources schools allocate to reading and spelling skills," says Professor of Special Education Leena Holopainen from the University of Eastern Finland, summing up the findings. Read More

'Minibrains' in a Dish Shed a Little Light on Autism and Epilepsy

Tiny, 3-D clusters of human brain cells grown in a petri dish are providing hints about the origins of disorders like autism and epilepsy. An experiment using these cell clusters - which are only about the size of the head of a pin - found that a genetic mutation associated with both autism and epilepsy kept developing cells from migrating normally from one cluster of brain cells to another, researchers report in the journal Nature. "They were sort of left behind," says Dr. Sergiu Pasca, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford. And that type of delay could be enough to disrupt the precise timing required for an actual brain to develop normally, he says. Read More


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

Play is the highest form of research.

Albert Einstein

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