Week in Review - May 3, 2019



National Association of Special Education Teachers

May 3, 2019                     Vol 15 Issue #18

Dear NASET Members and Guests,

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications fromNASET 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 Special Educator e-Journal

MAY 2019

Autism Runs in Families with History of Brain Conditions

Children in families with a history of brain conditions are at increased odds of being autistic, a large study in Sweden suggests. The more closely related the family members with these conditions, the greater the child's chances of having autism. Other studies have reported similar trends: A child's odds of having autism increase if she has a sibling with autism, ADHD, or intellectual disability, or a parent with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety. The new study looked at family history of these conditions, as well as epilepsy and more than a dozen others, and included grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Read More



How One Mother's Battle is Changing Police Training on Disabilities

Working with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, like Down syndrome or autism, can be complex and challenging even for those with years of training. But one group - law enforcement - often encounters people with these conditions in high-stress situations, with little or no training at all. Patti Saylor knows all too well what the consequences of that can be. Her son Ethan, who had Down syndrome, died after an encounter with law enforcement when he was 26. It's a tragedy she believes could have been prevented. In January 2013, Ethan went to see the movie Zero Dark Thirty at a mall in Frederick County, Md. Afterward, when his support aide went to get the car, Ethan went back inside to try to see the movie a second time, but he didn't buy a new ticket. Read More


Gifted Classes May Not Help Talented Students Move Ahead Faster

One of the big justifications for gifted-and-talented education is that high achieving kids need more advanced material so that they're not bored and actually learn something during the school day. Their academic needs cannot be met in a general education class, advocates say. But a large survey of 2,000 elementary schools in three states found that not much advanced content is actually being taught to gifted students. In other words, smart third graders, those who tend to be a couple grade levels ahead, are largely studying the same third-grade topics that their supposedly "non-gifted" classmates are learning. The survey found that instead of moving bright kids ahead to more advanced topics, gifted classrooms are preoccupied with activities to develop critical thinking and creativity, such as holding debates and brainstorming. The third most common focus in gifted curriculums is to give students more projects and games, so-called "extension activities" that are tangentially related to their grade-level content. Read More

How a Florida High School Turned Around Their English Language Learner (ELL) Program

West Broward High School, located in Pembroke Pines, Fla., serves more than 2,000 students in grades nine through 12. Results on standardized tests revealed that about a quarter of our 9th- and 10th-grade students weren't reading at grade level. Many of those struggling were English-language learners (ELLs) whose English proficiency wasn't at the level needed to comprehend challenging texts within these exams. Some were students with learning disabilities. Others simply hadn't discovered texts that engage them, so hadn't spent enough time developing the reading skills they need for success. With the help of our literacy coach and reading department chair Elizabeth Rivero, we developed a set of strategies for closing the gaps by targeting struggling readers through specialized instruction. Any student in grades nine or 10 who didn't score a level 3 or above on the Florida Standardized Assessment (FSA) in the previous year is now placed in a dedicated reading class. Any 11th or 12th grader who hasn't met the reading score requirement for graduation through the FSA, SAT, or ACT is placed in this class as well, along with all level one or two ELL students. Read More



This Week's Trivia Question:  About 4 million children worldwide develop a specific health condition each year because of inhaling nitrogen dioxide air pollution, according to a study published by researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH). The study, based on data from 2010 to 2015, estimates that 64 percent of these new cases of this health condition occur in urban areas. What is the health condition? 

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by May 6, 2019. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review 

Rescue Animals with Special Needs Help Texas Kids Overcome Disabilities

An animal rescue group that helps children with disabilities is struggling to overcome the financial challenges it faces as a non-profit. The therapy offered is unique and expensive.  "The healing that takes place between a shared bond and common experience is amazing," said Jamie Griner, the owner and operator of Safe in Austin.  It all started with a boy and his dog.  Jackson, diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, found comfort in the way his friend Angel would hold him.  "The changes that we saw in his personality and his heart were not anything that she had been taught, it was just something that she did on her own," Griner said. Read More

In Canada, Functional Life Skills Program Tailors Learning to students with Disabilities

It's Monday morning. Eleven students sit in a semi-circle in a classroom at Chief Whitecap School. They pass around a book filled with cartoons and descriptive words, and use this to recount their weekend and what they had for breakfast. One of three functional life skills programs in Saskatoon, it is designed to support children with cognitive or learning disabilities. This classroom consists of students ages six to 11. The room has a reading circle, art stations, group tables and a kitchen. The walls are covered in art projects done by the students. This focused classroom is designed to avoid having students constantly pulled from regular classrooms for additional help.  The students do all their learning here, among their peers. The goal is to meet each student where they are at and continue expanding on academic and personal success. Read More

Prepare for Virtual Assistants in Special Education

The benefits of virtual assistants for individuals with disabilities have many special educators eyeing these tools for their potential use in the classroom. The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind uses Google Home mini devices in six classrooms, says Patrick Turnage, FSDB's assistive technology specialist. "For a subset of our students, tablet and computer interfaces can be daunting and complicated, both visually and cognitively," Turnage says. Navigating a computer with a screen reader or magnification can be overwhelming for these students. Virtual assistants have made it easier for students to quickly access information, Turnage says. "Our students have a sense of confidence now that they didn't have before," he says. "It's benefited them to an extent even beyond what we anticipated." Read More

CDC: Prevalence of Autism at Age 4 Years Increasing

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children aged 4 years increased from 2010 to 2014, according to research published in the April 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Deborah L. Christensen, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends in prevalence and characteristics of ASD in 2010, 2012, and 2014 using data from the Early Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. Data were collected in seven sites during surveillance years 2010, 2012, and 2014. The researchers found that the overall prevalence of ASD was 13.4, 15.3, and 17.0 per 1,000 children aged 4 years in 2010, 2012, and 2014, respectively. ASD prevalence among children aged 4 years varied across surveillance sites within each surveillance year and was lowest each year for Missouri and highest for New Jersey. Read More

Lehigh University Section 504 Coordinators Institute - June 27-28, 2019

This two-day program provides the following legal and practical components for an up-to-date professional development experience:

* recent data and pertinent considerations for avoiding under- and over-identification of 504-only students - Perry A. Zirkel, University Professor Emeritus of Education and Law, Lehigh University

*  a practical review of recent court decisions specific to P-12 students under Section 504 and the ADA, including those with overlapping IDEA coverage - Julie Weatherly, School Attorney, Resolutions in Special Education, Inc.

*  a nuts-and-bolts session on effective forms and procedures that comply with the current requirements for identifying and serving 504-only students - Lisa Hardcastle, Section 504 Coordinator, Clear Creek (Texas) Independent School District

For information and registration go to:


South Carolina Bill Aims to Help People with Disabilities in Traffic Stops 

A South Carolina lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow people with disabilities or their caregivers to apply for a special vehicle registration that would note their condition and alert law enforcement during a traffic stop. The proposal filed last week in the South Carolina House would allow individuals with a disability, neurological disorder, brain injury, neuro-immune condition or mental illness to register up to three vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The optional registration would notify officers checking the license plate that the driver or occupant of the vehicle has impaired cognitive functioning. The alert would not specify the diagnosis. Anyone seeking the special registration would have to provide proof from a physician certifying the conditions, bill author Rep. Kambrell Garvin said. The Columbia Democrat said he wants to create a fair system that protects law enforcement officers and state residents. Read More

Digital Parent Training for Child's Disruptive Behavior Successful in Primary Health Care

Transferring an evidence-based treatment to practice is not self-evident but requires extensive work. The study published in the open access Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) examined how evidence-based digital parent training intervention with telephone coaching can be put into practice in primary health care. The study compared families that participated in parent training during the randomized controlled trial with families that participated in the program during the implementation study. The families were identified as part of the risk group during their fourth-year visit to a child health clinic. The Finnish child health clinics provide regular check-ups that offer universal health care and are attended by 99.6% of the children. During the study, the parents were offered research-based support for parenting by teaching daily parenting and problem solving skills. The training took place on the internet and by telephone. Read More

Hiring Those with Disabilities isn't Charity, it's Good Business

Any time Bet-R Neighborhood Market owner Cliff Boulden has a job opening, he tries to hire a person with an intellectual or developmental disability-not as a sign of sympathy, but because he sees them as an untapped workforce that's eager to stock shelves and read labels. Boulden already knows many of them through his involvement with the Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy, the alma mater of his 25-year-old daughter, Molly, who is developmentally delayed. After Molly aged out of the school a few years ago, Boulden hired her part-time as a way to keep her busy and focused. But since then, he's also brought on at least a half-dozen of her friends with special needs, who now comprise roughly 15% of his payroll. Read More

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: What Parents Need to Know

Little kids have tantrums, and bigger kids can be irritable, snotty and moody. So how do you know when it's a difficult phase or when there is a bigger problem brewing that needs attention? A child need not rise to the level of harming people or animals, destroying property or stealing to have a diagnosable issue that can really benefit from treatment. Oppositional defiant disorder is a repetitive pattern of emoting and behaving that lasts for at least six months and is specifically directed towards some authority figure in their lives, such as a parent, teacher or coach. If the aggression is physical, then it is another problem called conduct disorder. ODD is verbal and not physical. The latest version of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, states that a child must exhibit four of these eight symptoms. Read More

Philadelphia Zoo Marks 20 years of Connecting the Local Autism Community

Dawn Powell has attended the annual Autism Awareness Day at the Philadelphia Zoo for the past eight years - Sunday marked the event's 20th anniversary. For Powell, whose 12-year-old son Anthony was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old, coming back each year is a way to observe a sense of community. "In the beginning, it's hard every day," she explained. When Anthony first got his diagnosis, his mother said he would often run away from her, so she had to find ways to keep him close. "A lot of times, people will look at you like, 'Oh, you have your kid on a leash, why would you do that?'" she said. Read More


Anesthesia and Future Learning Disabilities

Every year in the US, up to 75,000 pregnant women undergo surgery under anesthesia. How that affects the fetus is unclear - but new research has pinpointed a worrying possibility. In a study on pregnant rats, a team of researchers found that anesthesia seems to disrupt the migration of neurons in the fetus' brain, preventing them from arriving at their destinations in the cerebral cortex. "The cerebral cortex, or grey matter, is the brain's computer processor," explained neuroscientist Vicko Gluncic of Rush University. "Cognitive processes like thinking, memory, and language are directed there, thus neurons never reaching their proper and predetermined positions in the cortex may have a profound impact on brain function." Previous studies had shown a strong correlation between prenatal or early-life exposure to anesthetics and learning disabilities in humans, and behavioral abnormalities in animals, so Gluncic and colleagues sought to investigate why. Read More

free IEP


Sign Language Class at High School Fosters Friendships, Communication

High school teacher Meredith Mattey-Percival stands on a chair at the front of her classroom, signing the word for "french fry." Close to 40 students mimic her at their seats, before going on to other food items. Students at Lorain High School have the chance to learn something other than Spanish or French as a foreign language, and American Sign Language I typically has a wait list for the 70 spots available each year. Teacher Meredith Mattey-Percival said this is the third year for the popular course - this year alone more than 160 students in ninth through 12th grades wanted to take the course - which was restarted after a hiatus during the combining of the district's high schools into the current building. Read More


*  Coordinator of Learning Services/Learning Specialist - Trinity School is seeking a certified Learning Specialist to lead a small team of specialists in the role of Coordinator of Learning Services. The ideal candidate is one who has taught in a variety of settings; a range of ages; and used different approaches. This person knows about remediation and how to provide strategies for students and teachers through direct and indirect services. To learn more - Click here

*Chief Clinical Officer - Criterion Child Enrichment is conducting a search for a Chief Clinical Officer (CCO).  Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit organization, Criterion has served families for over 30 years and is a leading provider of early childhood education and early intervention services in Massachusetts. The Chief Clinical Officer will work in partnership with the agency’s Chief Administrative Officer to oversee operation of programs fulfilling Criterion’s Mission and Strategic Plans. To learn more - Click here

*Teacher - Special Education (All Areas) - Approximately 100 positions! - We are looking for highly motivated and skilled talent to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a signifcant difference in the lives of public school students, parents, principals, teachers, and central once employees. To learn more - Click here

*ESP (IEP) Specialist - This position will be responsible for the design and implementation of Educational Support Plans (ESP's), similar to IEP's. To learn more - Click here

*Special Education Teacher - This is an opportunity to work in rural bush Alaska. We offer teacher housing, health benefits, and a competitive salary. We have multiple openings for this position. To learn more - Click here

*Curiculum/Special Ed. Coordinator - Responsible for the effective implementation of special education services, testing, certifications of students and related services throughout the district. Serves as the district liaison with the Alaska Department of Education in all Special Education matters. To learn more - Click here

*Special Education Teachers - Responsible for providing an educational atmosphere where students have the opportunity to fulfill their potential for intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological growth. This person is responsible for organizing and implementing an instructional program that will maximize the learning experience of students with special needs. To learn more - Click here

*Special Education Teacher - $50,000/school year (185 days), summers off with year round pay and year round appreciation.  Special Education Teachers needed in Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding cities). Needs are in the self-contained and resource settings serving students with emotional disabilities (ED), Autism (A), Severe/Profound (S/P), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID).  To learn more - Click here

* Physical Education Teacher - Jewish Child & Family Services (JCFS) provides vital, individualized, results-driven, therapeutic and supportive services for thousands of children, adults and families of all backgrounds each year.  To learn more - Click here

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


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

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.

                                    John Holmes



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