Week in Review - September 8, 2017




National Association of Special Education Teachers

September 8, 2017                                                Vol 13 Issue # 36

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 5 - Writing the IFSP for Your Child
After your young child's evaluation is complete and he or she is found eligible for early intervention services, you, as parents, and a team will meet to develop a written plan for providing early intervention services to your child and, as necessary, to your family. This plan is called the Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP.

The IFSP is a very important document, and you, as parents, are important members of the team that develops it. This webpage focuses on the IFSP-both the process of writing it and what type of information it will contain.

*What is an IFSP?

*What's included in the IFSP?

*Who develops the IFSP?

*What happens next?

*Resources of additional info on the IFSP

Read More

Genes and Motor Skills Development Linked: Could Lead to New Insights into Cerebral Palsy

Genes for many may be widely associated with determining certain traits and characteristics. Now a study co-led by John H. Martin of The CUNY School of Medicine at The City College of New York is demonstrating that they could also influence neural motor skills. This could lead to new insights in the treatment of motor skills impairments such as Cerebral Palsy. Martin and his collaborators from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Yutaka Yoshida and Zirong Gu, found that the lost function of two genes prevent infant laboratory mice from developing motor skills as they mature into adults. The cause is neural circuits between the brain's motor cortex region and the spinal cord that did not properly reorganize in mice as they matured. These circuits are part of the cortical spinal network, which coordinates the activation of muscles in limbs. Read More

New Treatment for ADHD Uses Wakefulness Drug

A new clinical trial has shown promise in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, with a drug commonly used for narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness. In the trial, Eric Konofal of Robert-Debré Hospital in Paris and his colleagues gave 85 adults with ADHD the drug mazindol, which works as a stimulant to keep people awake, or a placebo. Those who received the mazindol experienced a 50% improvement in their symptoms within two weeks. The result was better than the trials for many of the commonly used ADHD medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, according to a May 31 article in NewScientist.com. Previous studies have shown that the brain pathways for paying attention and falling asleep are linked. Those with the disorder often find it difficult to fall asleep. Read More

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Pushes Education Savings Accounts: Families of Children who Need Special Education Could be Eligible for More Money

A state lawmakers is pitching a plan to form Education Savings Accounts to enable parents in poor-performing school districts to opt for better schools. Critics say it's just another not-so-veiled attempt at creating school vouchers. State Sen. John DiSanto introduced a bill for Education Savings Accounts, which would be state-funded, flexible spending accounts that parents could use to pay for private school tuition, higher education tuition and textbooks. Parents of children with disabilities could use the money for needs such as speech therapy and occupational therapy. Under the bill, parents would get $5,000 to $6,000 per student, which is about the statewide average amount of money spent per pupil in public schools. Families of children who need special education could be eligible for more money. The accounts would be available to families living in school districts ranked among the bottom 15 percent statewide. Read More

With 3D Technology, Special Education Students Can Focus on Content-Not Access

"What's an ox?" That was the confounding question assistive technology specialist Neal McKenzie faced a year and a half ago from one of the 100-plus visually impaired students he helps in the classrooms of Northern California's Sonoma County. The blind 5th-grader had to write a report on rural life and someone had suggested including an ox. But the boy had never touched an ox or even a cow and had no reference for the animal. In the past, that particular problem might have sent McKenzie scrambling to find a toy or model ox for his student to explore by touch. Fortunately, his department had just acquired a 3D printer and he had taught himself Tinkercad, a 3D design app. He downloaded an ox file from Thingiverse, a vast library of 3D designs for physical objects, fired up the printer and, five hours later, had a 3" x 4" plastic ox that he handed to his student. "As soon as the boy held it in his hands, he said, 'Oh, I get it now,'" recalls McKenzie. "It was that simple." Read More

Brain Injury in Kids Might Lead to Alcohol Abuse

Researchers at Ohio State University have surveyed previous studies to investigate the relationship between traumatic brain injuries and alcohol abuse. They found evidence that traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents could be a risk-factor for alcohol abuse in later life. When we think of the link between alcohol and traumatic brain injuries, we probably think of a person's increased risk of injury while drunk. Alcohol intoxication is indeed a significant risk factor for traumatic brain injuries, and one study has reported that alcohol use is involved in as many as 50% of emergency department admissions for traumatic brain injuries in the US. Read More

Cognitive Abilities Seem to Reinforce Each Other in Adolescence

One of the most striking findings in psychology is that almost all cognitive abilities are positively related -- on average, people who are better at a skill like reasoning are generally also better at a skill like vocabulary. This fact allows scientists and educational practitioners to summarize people's skills on a wide range of domains as one factor -- often called 'g', for 'general intelligence'. Despite this, the mechanisms underlying 'g' and its development remain somewhat mysterious. "What this so-called 'g-factor' means is still very much up for debate," explains researcher Rogier Kievit of the Cognition and Brain Science Unit at the University of Cambridge. "Is it a causal factor, an artefact of the way we create cognitive tests, the result of our educational environment, a consequence of genetics, an emergent phenomenon of a dynamic system or perhaps all of these things to varying degrees?" Read More

Parental Concern May Skew Scores on Autism Test

A widely used test for diagnosing autism may miss children whose parents are not concerned that their child may have the condition, according to a new study. The tool, called the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), is a 93-item questionnaire that caregivers fill out. It is often used with another test, called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), that clinicians complete. Results on the two tests usually agree, but children who score high on the ADOS sometimes score low on the ADI-R. The study provides a possible explanation for this mismatch: Some parents do not recognize autism features in their children, or do not consider them to be problematic. Read More

Do Fidget Spinners Help?

A host of fidget gadgets, designed to help people focus, have suddenly caught on in cities. Some are discussing their hidden benefits, while others dismiss them as "distracting toys", or a marketing ploy. We asked some experts to weigh in on the issue. "Fidgeting can be defined as making small repeated movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or excitement. It is a very common 'semi-voluntary' movement witnessed in many normal people. Anything from a little wriggle, restlessness, squirm, jiggle, twist or shuffle, shaking of legs or tapping the feet qualifies as fidgeting," explains Amit Srivastava, senior consultant, neurology, at the PSRI Hospital in Delhi. It can be observed in some medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, mental retardation and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also. Read More


This week's question: What is the name of the term that describes the rules that govern and describe how language is used in different contexts and environments?

If you know the answer, email us at contactus@naset.org by September 11, 2017.  We will acknowledge your correct answer in the next edition of the Week in Review

Child's Home Learning Environment Predicts 5th Grade Academic Skills

Children whose parents provide them with learning materials like books and toys and engage them in learning activities and meaningful conversations in infancy and toddlerhood are likely to develop early cognitive skills that can cascade into later academic success, finds a new study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The study, published online in the journal Applied Developmental Science, followed a group of children from birth through 5th grade to track the influence of early home learning environments on later cognitive skills and understand the factors that might explain long-term influences. Read More

Birth Defects, Cancer Linked

Some children born with birth defects may be at increased risk for specific types of cancer, according to a new review from the Brown School and the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. In the first systematic and most comprehensive review on the topic, Kimberly Johnson, associate professor at the Brown School, and her colleagues, including Todd Druley, a pediatric oncologist and assistant professor in the School of Medicine, analyzed articles reporting data from 80 studies conducted around the world. They found an increased risk for certain cancers among children born with birth defects. The analysis, "Pediatric Cancer Risk in Association With Birth Defects: A Systematic Review," was published July 27 in the online journal PLOS ONE. Read More

The U.S. Justice System has an Autism Problem

Kate Hooven had a hypothetical question for her son, Ryan. How would he react if he was in court and a judge warned him that if he kept getting in trouble, he would wind up deeper in the "system"? Ryan started laughing. As a teenager on the autism spectrum, the only "system" he understood was that of his Wii gaming system and there was no possible way to fit deeper into that. He said he would have laughed at the judge. It was an innocent misunderstanding due to Ryan's tendencies for processing language literally. But Hooven, a justice system consultant at the ASERT Collaborative Eastern Region, a partnership of service providers, universities and autism research centers, said such miscommunications are common for autistic people and can cause them problems when dealing with law enforcement and the courts, paving the way for a lifetime of flitting in and out of the prison system. Read More

Brain Stimulation for Children with Learning Difficulties?

Applying a brain stimulation method, which was previously suggested to enhance mathematical learning in healthy adults, may improve the performance of children with mathematical learning difficulties, according to an exploratory study by researchers from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The early stage, small-scale study, which has been published in Nature's open access journal Scientific Reports, involved twelve children between the ages of eight and eleven with learning difficulties in mathematics. The study took place at Fairley House, a specialist day school for children with specific learning difficulties in London. After careful safety screening, the children were split into two groups of six. One group wore a cap attached to a light, battery-operated device through which painless low electrical current was applied over the left and right areas on the forehead, above regions of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. This region has been highlighted to play a role in mathematical learning. The method of stimulation, which is known as transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), was applied in nine 20-minute sessions over 5 weeks. Read More

Exclusion from School Can Trigger Long-Term Psychiatric Illness

Research by the University of Exeter, published in the journal Psychological Medicine found that a new onset mental disorder may be a consequence of exclusion from school. The study, also found that -- separately -- poor mental health can lead to exclusion from school. Professor Tamsin Ford, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Exeter's Medical School, warned that excluded children can develop a range of mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety as well as behavioral disturbance. The impact of excluding a child from school on their education and progress is often long term, and this work suggests that their mental health may also deteriorate. The study is the most rigorous study of the impact of exclusion from school among the general population so far and included a standardized assessment of children's difficulties. Read More

Negative Effects of Pesticide Exposure on Birth Outcomes

A new study by researchers at UC Santa Barbara addresses the issue in a novel way -- by analyzing birth outcomes in California's San Joaquin Valley. With more than one-third of the country's vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts produced there, the San Joaquin Valley, not surprisingly, is a heavy pesticide-use region. The UCSB team investigated the effect of exposure during pregnancy in this agriculturally dominated area and observed an increase in adverse outcomes accompanying very high levels of pesticide exposure. Their findings appear in the journal Nature Communications. "For the majority of births, there is no statistically identifiable impact of pesticide exposure on birth outcome," said lead author Ashley Larsen, an assistant professor in UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. "Yet mothers exposed to extreme levels of pesticides, defined here as the top 5 percent of the pesticide exposure distribution, experienced between 5 and 9 percent increases in the probability of adverse outcomes with an approximately 13-gram decrease in birth weight." Read More

Origins of Autism: Abnormalities in Sensory Processing at Six Months

The origins of autism remain mysterious. What areas of the brain are involved, and when do the first signs appear? New findings published in Biological Psychiatry brings us closer to understanding the pathology of autism, and the point at which it begins to take shape in the human brain. Such knowledge will allow earlier interventions in the future and better outcomes for autistic children. Scientists used a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), known as diffusion weighted imaging, to measure the brain connectivity in 260 infants at the ages of 6 and 12 months, who had either high or low risks of autism. The lengths and strengths of the connections between brain regions was used to estimate the network efficiency, a measure of how well each region is connected to other regions. A previous study with 24-month-old children found that network efficiency in autistic children was lower in regions of the brain involved in language and other behaviors related to autism. The goal of this new study was to establish how early these abnormalities occur. Read More
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* Special Education Teacher - JCFS is currently seeking a Special Education Teacher to work with individuals and small groups of children (K - 12) with emotional and behavior disorders, which may include aggressive behaviors, in a therapeutic special education classroom. The students attending the Therapeutic Day School have been referred from their home districts to our School to receive an individualized and intensive educational program in our supportive and therapeutic environment. To learn more -Click here

* Full Time Special Education Teacher - Provide multi-grade, standards-based instruction and academic interventions that afford students the opportunity to thrive academically. The Teacher provides a clear, consistent structure for the classroom, ensuring that each student's needs are met within the guidelines of the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) and the Treatment Plan. To learn more - Click here

* Full Time Special Education Teacher - Duties of this job include, but are not limited to:Meets and instructs assigned students at designated locations and specific times. Creates a classroom environment that is conducive to learning and appropriate to the maturity and interests of the students. Guides the learning process toward the achievement of curriculum goals and--in harmony with the goals--establishes clear objectives for all lessons, units, projects and the like.  To learn more - Click here

* Chief Program Officer - Serve as a key member of the Executive Team and partner closely with the Executive Director and CEO to further mission-specific and core competency goals. Interface with the Board of Directors in matters related to program operations. Participate in strategic planning and provide guidance necessary to assist the organization in setting vision, determining direction and implementing strategy. To learn more - Click here

* Private Teacher - This position includes the opportunity to travel and an interest in sports is a plus! The family is willing to hire the right person immediately for a full-time role to perform tutoring until the 2018-19 school year. This is a full-time position with compensation of $90,000 to $110,000 offered, depending on experience, with benefits. Local candidates are preferred. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - LEAD Public Schools - Special Education (SPED) teachers are champions for the cause of equality within the school and make sure that their students' needs are being met.  Our ideal SPED teacher is passionate about supporting our students with IEPs, loves working with students who need the most support, is flexible, is coachable, and wants to grow as a teacher. To learn more - Click here

* Regional Special Education Teacher- Essential Duties & Responsibilities are to create, review and implement Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students, effectively progress monitor student achievement and gather evidence in order to deliver individualized instruction and supports that are aligned to students' goals. Plan and teach at least one section of reading, math, or English Language Development intervention, and/or plan and teach one section of PE (teacher's choice, i.e. yoga, crossfit, weightlifting etc.). To learn more - Click here

* SPED Teacher, Grades K-5 - Our public charter school is looking for a Special Education Teacher to join our team of dedicated educators in Yuma, AZ. Are you passionate about helping all students reach their potential? Do you love working in a bright, active, positive environment? Are you interested in joining a team devoted to helping all children succeed? To learn more - Click here

* Director of Autism Education - Manages the Building Blocks program and staff of professional educators and behavior technicians. The Director of Education is responsible for the ongoing daily operations of the program in accordance with the VDOE and VAISEF. The Director of Education is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the program in accordance with current best practices in the field of autism 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..........

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.

Anthony J. D'Angelo

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