Week in Review - October 13, 2017



National Association of Special Education Teachers

October 13, 2017                                                Vol 13 Issue # 41

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 6 - Providing Early Intervention Services in Natural Environments
Early intervention services are to be provided in natural environments to the maximum extent appropriate for the child and for the EI service itself.
So-what's considered a "natural environment"? What isn't? This webpage focuses upon answering these questions and on connecting you with resources of additional information and best practice.

*IDEA's definition of "natural environment"

*Who decides where?

*Based on what?

*What must be included in the IFSP?

*Two points from the Department of Education

*Resources of more information

Read More

NASET's Inclusion Series

Special Education Related Services
This lecture focuses on special education related services. Topics covered include: school health services, parent counseling, and travel training. Click here

Anxious Moms May Give Clues about how Anxiety Develops

Moms may be notorious worriers, but babies of anxious mothers may also spend more time focusing on threats in their environment, according to a team of researchers. In a study, researchers used eye-tracking technology to measure how long babies spent looking at happy, neutral and angry faces. They found that the babies with anxious moms had a harder time looking away from an angry face -- which they could view as a threat -- than babies whose moms were not anxious. Koraly Pérez-Edgar, professor of psychology at Penn State, said the findings -- recently published in the journal Emotion -- could help give clues about which children are at risk for developing anxiety later in life. Read More

Genetics a Cause of Autism in Most Cases: Study

Heredity contributes to about 83 percent of the risk of autism in children with the disorder, a new study suggests. The estimate, from a re-analysis of a previous study, adds a new wrinkle to the ongoing debate over how much autism is inherited from parents. Essentially, the findings suggest that rare genetic traits combine in parents and explain about eight in 10 cases of the neurodevelopmental disorder in children. However, study author Sven Sandin cautioned that "our results do not give any information about specific genes or other direct causes. It only informs us that genes are important." Sandin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, noted that the findings also don't reflect anything about the reported increases in autism rates in recent years. The higher rates must have something to do with increased awareness or environmental factors, "and our study cannot shed any light on this," he said. Read More

For Boys at Risk of Psychopathy, Laughter isn't so Contagious

For most people, laughter is highly contagious. It's nearly impossible to hear or see someone laughing and not feel the urge to join in. But researchers reporting in Current Biology on September 28 have new evidence to show that boys at risk of developing psychopathy when they become adults don't have that same urge. Individuals at risk of psychopathy show persistent disruptive behaviors alongside callous-unemotional traits. When asked in the study, boys fitting that description reported that they didn't want to join in with laughter as much as their peers. Images of their brains also showed reduced response to the sound of laughter. Those differences were seen in brain areas that promote joining in with others and resonating with other people's emotions, not in auditory brain areas. Read More

Answer to Young People's Persistent Sleep Problems

A collaborative research project involving James Cook University and the University of Queensland indicates high rates of sleep problems continuing through teenage years and into early adulthood -- but also suggests a natural remedy. Dr. Yaqoot Fatima from JCU's Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health was associated with a study that tracked more than 3600 people from the age of 14 until they were 21. "Just over a quarter of the 14-year-olds reported sleep problems, with more than 40 percent of those still having sleep problems at 21," said Dr. Fatima. She said the causes of sleep problems were different at different ages. "Maternal factors, such as drug abuse, smoking, depression and anxiety among mothers are the most significant predictors of adolescent sleep problems in their children, at 14-years-old. For all people studied, being female, having experienced early puberty, and being a smoker were the most significant predictors of sleep problems at 21 years." Read More

Self-Esteem in Kids: Lavish Praise is not the Answer, Warmth Is

How do children construct views of themselves and their place in the world? Children's social relationships turn out to be critical. For example, children develop higher self-esteem when their parents treat them warmly. But they develop lower self-esteem when their parents lavish them with inflated praise. These and other findings are included in a special section edited by Eddie Brummelman (University of Amsterdam) and Sander Thomaes (Utrecht University) and soon-to-be published in the journal Child Development. In a series of articles, now available online in 'early view',' the researchers share the results of research on the origins of the self-concept in children. Who am I and what is my place in the world? Children are born without an answer to these pressing questions. As they grow up, though, they start to formulate answers seemingly effortlessly. Within a few years, they recognize themselves in the mirror, refer to themselves by their own name, evaluate themselves through the eyes of others and understand their standing in a social group. Read More

Games Developers Raise Funds to Get People with Disabilities Back into Gaming

Video games can get a pretty raw deal in the news. At worst, we see stories claiming links between playing violent games and some of the worst aspects of humanity, or that games are robbing children of time spent in nature. At best, we hear news stories where games are regarded with a certain distain; something to be smirked at, and not taken seriously. But these sorts of stories completely miss the varied, rich and nuanced experiences that playing games can afford. 
But playing video games isn't always a trivial endeavour. For many children and adults with disabilities, simply being able to pick up a controller and coordinate fine motor movements can be a difficult, even impossible task. SpecialEffect is a charity based in Oxfordshire that tries to help people get back into the game. 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

Physical Abuse and Punishment Impact Children's Academic Performance

A Penn State researcher and her collaborator found that physical abuse was associated with decreases in children's cognitive performance, while non-abusive forms of physical punishment were independently associated with reduced school engagement and increased peer isolation. Sarah Font, assistant professor of sociology and co-funded faculty member of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, and Jamie Cage, assistant professor in Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Social Work, found that children's performances and engagement in the classroom are significantly influenced by their exposure to mild, harsh and abusive physical punishment in the home. Their study was recently published in Child Abuse and Neglect. Read More

Video Gamers Have an Advantage in Learning

Neuropsychologists of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum let video gamers compete against non-gamers in a learning competition. During the test, the video gamers performed significantly better and showed an increased brain activity in the brain areas that are relevant for learning. Prof Dr Boris Suchan, Sabrina Schenk and Robert Lech report their findings in the journal Behavioural Brain Research. The research team studied 17 volunteers who -- according to their own statement -- played action-based games on the computer or a console for more than 15 hours a week. The control group consisted of 17 volunteers who didn't play video games on a regular basis. Both teams did the so-called weather prediction task, a well-established test to investigate the learning of probabilities. The researchers simultaneously recorded the brain activity of the participants via magnetic resonance imaging. Read More


Congratulations to: Stacy Millspaugh, Christine Garner-Duane, Line Poulin, Elizabeth Ciccarelli-Rosa, Melody Owens, Denise Keeling, Phyllis Caci, Tiffany Pahnke, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Janice McLaughlin, Tracey Christilles, Patsy Ray, William Stolfi, Olumide Akerele, Teresa Pitts, Sharon Johnson-Hiltz, Cindi Maurice, Prahbhjot Malhi and who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question.

QUESTION: According to Aristotle, it is the mark of an ______ to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. 


New Role for Fragile X Protein Could Offer Clues for Treatment

The protein behind fragile X syndrome acts as a genetic conductor, orchestrating a symphony of genes that help shape DNA's 3-D structure. Fragile X mental retardation protein, or FMRP, oversees a set of genes that alter how DNA is packaged, researchers report September 7, 2017 in the journal Cell. This is an important new role for FMRP, and may ultimately reveal novel ways to counter fragile X. In the syndrome -- an inherited disorder marked by developmental delays, intellectual disability, and sometimes autism -- FMRP isn't around to do the overseer's job. Study leader Robert Darnell, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at the Rockefeller University, calls the findings "an exciting step toward a different kind of treatment approach," but cautions that the results, from studies of mice, are preclinical. Read More

Researchers Find Gender Has Role in Autism Risk

Having a daughter with autism is linked to an increased risk that younger siblings will also have the disorder, new research suggests. And that's especially true if the younger siblings are boys, the study authors said. It had been known that having one child with autism raised the chances of having another child with autism, but the role of gender in that risk was unclear. Having this information can help doctors and genetic counselors in assisting families who have a child with autism, the researchers said. "It is important to be able to provide worried parents who have one child with the condition some sense of what they can expect with their next child. That information is critical given how much better we've become at screening for the disease earlier and earlier in life," said study first author Nathan Palmer. He's an instructor in biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School. Read More

California School districts Struggle to Keep Special Ed Staff

Hundreds of California school districts are grappling with an ever-worsening shortage of special education teachers, paying out big signing bonuses and increasingly hiring under-prepared candidates to fill classrooms.  But in the Mountain View Whisman School District, that's only part of the problem. Special education instructional aides -- essential support staff for the district's most vulnerable students -- are frequently leaving the school district after less than a year, according to district reports dating back three years. The high attrition rate forces the district into a year-round recruitment spree to replace staff, and puts an additional burden on change-averse students with disabilities. Read More

Many Young Adults with Autism Also Have Mental Health Issues

College involved "many anxiety attacks and many trips home" for Daniel Share-Strom, an autistic 27-year-old motivational speaker in Bradford, Ontario. It wasn't just the challenge of organizing his assignments and fighting the disability office for the extra time he needed for tests. It was also managing all the aspects of daily life that most people not on the autism spectrum take for granted. "Relationships are so much harder to understand or initiate when by default you don't really know what certain facial expressions mean or what certain actions mean," Share-Strom says. Young adults on the autism spectrum are more likely to also have been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, such as depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than are typically developing people or those with other developmental disabilities, a study finds. And managing those multiple conditions can make the transition to young adulthood especially difficult. Read more

Oklahoma Schools Struggle to Attract Qualified Special Education Instructors

Schools in Oklahoma started their years with more than 500 teaching vacancies, despite the state Board of Education approving more than 1,400 emergency certificates for the current academic term. Oklahoma schools are finding it difficult to fill regular teaching positions, but they're finding it particularly tough to hire special education teachers. Those wanting to become special education teachers are not eligible for emergency certificates - likely part of the reason for the shortage. However, there appears to be a multitude of reasons why schools are losing special ed professionals. Every teaching position comes with paperwork, but those who work with disabled students have far more. "If I were to speculate, the shortage would probably be because of the paperwork," said Susan VanZant, director of special services at Tahlequah Public Schools. "When you are a special education teacher, you write a plan for every student you have; it's called an individualized education plan." Read More

Arizona Teachers Use Grants for Special-Education Classroom Makeovers

The Wishes for Teachers program was started last year by Fiesta Bowl Charities and grants teachers in Arizona $5,000 each, no strings attached. Teachers fill out an application detailing their wish and winners are selected by random drawing. Last year, 100 teachers received a grant.  This year, Fiesta Bowl Charities and The Arizona Republic want to grant even more teachers their wish. You can help. To donate, fill out the online form by Nov. 3. Teachers can apply at wishesforteachers.org through Nov. 3.  Before applying for a grant through the Wishes for Teachers program, Tracey Antista did her research to decide what made the most sense to spend the money on. "My wish was to have flexible seating for my special education students," she said. "It's been shown that there's a 15 to 25 percent increase in engagement when they have the right kind of seat." Read More

New Insights into Leading Cause of Miscarriage, Birth Defects Discovered

Two recent Northwestern University studies shed new light on the mystery of the leading cause of birth defects and miscarriage, laying the foundation for further research in an understudied but crucially important field of genetic study. The studies look at what happens during the process that produces egg cells (oocytes), which later become embryos when they are fertilized. Ten to 25 percent of human embryos contain the wrong number of chromosomes because the egg cell has not divided properly, which is a problem unique to egg cells. These mistakes are the leading cause of miscarriages and birth defects such as Down syndrome, and the incidence of these errors rises dramatically as women age. Understanding why egg cells are more prone to this division error is critical, given that women are increasingly choosing to start families at later ages. Read More



* Special Education - Bard High School Early College - Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Queens, a ten-minute subway ride from central Manhattan, is founded on a partnership between Bard College and the New York City Department of Education. We invite applications for a full-time special education faculty position in mathematics and/or science beginning immediately. BHSEC, a national model in the field of public school reform, enables talented and highly motivated students to move in four years from the ninth grade through the first two years of college, earning an associate of arts (A.A.) degree from Bard College as well as a New York State Regents high school diploma. To learn more - Click here

* Developmental Therapist - Provide developmental instruction to children birth to three years old with developmental delays or disabilities in the home, child care center, hospital or any other environment that is natural to the child.  Provide coaching to caregivers to help them implement strategies to increase the child's learning opportunities and participation in daily life. Evaluate developmental levels of children, participate in IFSP and IEP meetings. To learn more - Click here

* Early Childhood Special Educator- Sterling/Magnum Medical seeks an Early Childhood Special Educator to work at Naples, Italy and Lakenheath, UK - 2 positions available. The program provides services to children of American military families stationed overseas who are at risk for, or diagnosed with, developmental delays. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Supplemental Health Care is seeking a qualified and dedicated Special Education Teacher for high school age or middle school students for a school in Chicago. The position requires a dedicated educator with a passion for education and students. To learn more - Click here

* Director of Special Education -  National Heritage Academies (NHA), one of the nation's leading charter school management organizations, currently operates 84 schools across nine states serving over 58,000 students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Founded in 1995 and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, NHA is a for-profit organization with nearly 5,000 employees. National Heritage Academies is seeking an experienced and knowledgeable Director of Special Education to lead a department in meeting the needs of NHA's student population nationwide. To learn more - Click here

* ESE Preschool Teacher - We have an opening in our Preschool for an ESE Preschool Teacher to provide high quality, comprehensive and developmentally-appropriate instruction and child care to meet the individual needs of children and their families. Ideal candidates will have some experience teaching preschool students with disabilities, possess exceptional interpersonal and communication skills and have a passion for teaching young children. To learn more - Click here

* Lead ED Special Education Teacher - The Lead Special Education Teacher for Cornerstone is an integral member of the academics team whose focus is to guide students in their social-emotional and academic development. To learn more -Click here

* Assistant Professor of Education- The Moravian College Education Department invites applications for a tenure-track position in educational psychology with a focus on special education, inclusive education, and/or disability studies in education, beginning the Fall Term 2018. Members of the Moravian College Education Department view and carry out their work in the context of the College's liberal arts ethos. 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..........

We must have the courage to let go of the past if we are going to grasp the future.
David DeNotaris

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