Week in Review - August 7, 2020






National Association of Special Education Teachers

August 7, 2020                    Vol 16 Issue #32

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.





Table Of Contents


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How Will School Work for Students with Special Needs? Some Parents are Still Unsure

As students prepare to return to class in the upcoming weeks, some parents of children with special needs are still waiting to find out how the year will work for their kids. Jennifer Lloyd’s 19-year-old son Adam has cerebral palsy and a developmental delay. Lloyd said switching to non-traditional instruction in March was challenging to the point where they couldn’t accomplish any school work. “We had zero luck. We just weren’t able to do it. We weren’t able to carry it out,” Lloyd said. “We spent all of our time just trying to keep him happy so there wasn’t much time to really concentrate on trying to provide the instructional services to him.” Read More

Parents of Children with Special Needs Desperate as Districts Discuss Hybrid & Remote Learning

As more central Ohio school districts announce they’ll be starting the 2020-2021 school year with a full remote learning model, many parents are saying they’re desperate. “I am very nervous, scared, anxious, worried,” grandmother Stacy Lake left in a voicemail Friday to Scoring Our Schools. Her grandson is currently on an individual education plan with his school and requires special accommodations. “We have no outside source of help as far as his learning. And I have no clue what to do,” she said. Scoring Our Schools will be asking Disability Rights Ohio for answers after the organization just settled a nearly 30-year lawsuit with the Ohio Department of Education regarding special education and on behalf of the state’s 250,000 special education students. “(I’m) considerably concerned about some of our populations of students who are more vulnerable,” Dublin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley said to his parents virtually on Tuesday. The district had just been advised by health officials to start online-only for all students next month. Read More

Special Education Advocates Say to Meet with Specialists Now Before Remote Learning Starts

Anxious parents are asking for answers as their schools go back to remote learning and their children are with special needs. This comes after some superintendents call certain interventions impossible in a remote setting. "He gave up a lot," said mom Christy Kuder whose son attends Hayes Intermediate within South-Western City Schools. "He stressed. At times, he even came to tears." Alek Kuder, 11, is given a reading specialist, writing specialist, and occupational therapist as part of his individual education plan. When instruction transitioned online last spring due to the pandemic, face-to-face supports turned into individual sessions on zoom. The boy's mother said it was not enough. Read More

Virtual School Poses Challenges for Students with Special Needs

Just like all students across San Antonio, students with special needs will also have to navigate at least the first few weeks of school, virtually. However, special education classes are catered to fit the needs of each student. And for students who participate in many hands-on techniques, distanced learning will be tricky. Lionela Castillo's son, Christopher, is autistic. She says that when school first went virtual in the spring, there were new challenges. "We did definitely start experience a lot of new behaviors," Castillo said. "More aggression - his anxiety would skyrocket." To better understand what parents can do now to prepare, we reached out to Northside ISD. Read More

Parents of Children with Special Needs Have Concerns about Schools Reopening

Parents with special needs children are concerned of what schooling will look like for their kids once schools reopen. Proposals for school district’s reopening plans were due at noon on Friday and will give parents a better idea of what to expect. For Cathy Weiss and her family, this is a milestone year for her son, Jonah. Jonah has developmental disabilities. “Special ed kids are always the ones that are sort of forgotten about. And if you aren’t a parent that is very vocal and is willing to fight for every single thing that you can get for them, like we are, then they will definitely get lost in the shuffle,” said Weiss. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on many families like the Weiss’s. The stay-at-home mom has filled in not only as teacher when classrooms went virtual, but as nurse and therapist for her son. Read More




NASET ADVOCACY - Board Certification for Advocacy in Special Education (BCASE)

Helping People with Autism through COVID

As the Coronavirus pandemic has us all locked in place, Brita Darany von Regensburg, of Friends of Autistic People, saw herself barred from seeing her daughter, Vanessa, once a week. Brita was devastated at not being able to see her daughter. Added to that, was the fact that Vanessa was very upset and disoriented that her Day Programs, which had provided her scheduled learning and activities during the day, had been cancelled. A Day Program, usually in another location, allows for a predictable structure for people with autism that they need and thrive on. Friends of Autistic People (FAP), recognizing that feelings of suffering and depression for autistic people are caused by the lack of a predictable routine, saw an innovative approach to help provide relief: Previously, FAP and Infinity Music Therapy had partnered to create music therapy for adults and children with profound autism from financially struggling families. Read More


Animal Assisted Therapy Can Improve Outcomes in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Doctoral candidate of the Education Programme of Castellón's Jaume I University (UJI), Juan Vives Vilarroig, has highlighted in his thesis the importance of working on basic aspects such as balance and postural control to improve sensory integration in children with autism spectrum disorders, using horses as the main elements of this intervention. The thesis addresses an innovative methodology that uses animal assisted therapy, in this case horses, as a complement to the formal education conducted inside the classroom. Children with autism spectrum disorders have taken part in it for eight months, and their evolution has been analyzed in the research. The conclusions of the study indicate that when the balance and postural control increases, their academic and social performance increase, and that taking education out of the classic surroundings of the classroom and taking it to natural environments, and motivating students with new educational strategies are the main challenge of new teachers to be able to generate inclusive educational surroundings. Read More


To Improve Students' Mental Health, Study Finds, Teach Them to Breathe

When college students learn specific techniques for managing stress and anxiety, their wellbeing improves across a range of measures and leads to better mental health, a new Yale study finds. The research team evaluated three classroom-based wellness training programs that incorporate breathing and emotional intelligence strategies, finding that two led to improvements in aspects of wellbeing. The most effective program led to improvements in six areas, including depression and social connectedness. The researchers, who reported findings in the July 15 edition of Frontiers in Psychiatry, said such resiliency training programs could be a valuable tool for addressing the mental health crisis on university campuses. "In addition to academic skills, we need to teach students how to live a balanced life," said Emma Seppälä, lead author and faculty director of the Women's Leadership Program at Yale School of Management. Read More


How the Americans with Disabilities Act Transformed a Country

More than 2,000 disability rights advocates gathered on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on a hot summer day. It was July 26, 1990, and they’d come together to witness one of the most momentous civil rights victories in decades: President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. During the signing ceremony—days after the Fourth of July—Bush admitted that the United States hadn’t always lived up to its founding principles of freedom and equality. “[T]ragically, for too many Americans, the blessings of liberty have been limited or even denied,” he said. “Today’s legislation brings us closer to that day when no Americans will ever again be deprived of their basic guarantee of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Read More


Bringing Student Voice into IEP Conversations

Let’s face it: At this moment, many questions, concerns, and uncertainties linger in the minds of educators, parents, and students. What will the future bring? Will school ever be the same again? Are we going about this the right way? The truth is, the only thing we know for certain is that everyone is figuring it out together. One specific area of concern and focus is students with individualized education programs, or IEPs. As educators adapt to the new normal, it’s important to keep in mind how the shifts we’re undergoing affect IEP meetings and the way we make and discuss plans. Whether via Zoom or face-to-face, providing students with agency and voice through thoughtful questions can keep them focused, goal driven, and invested in their learning. Read More


Flexibility Needed to Maintain Teacher Training During Coronavirus

With the uncertainty of in-person instruction as a result of COVID-19 combined with pre-existing staffing shortages and budget cuts, districts will likely have to adjust teacher training, hiring and evaluation practices. A research brief recently released by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and Results For America suggests schools can best navigate this in a partially or fully remote environment by considering the following:  A recent study suggests teachers who practice online teaching and are virtually coached see significant improvements in their skills. New teachers whose student teaching experiences were interrupted by the pandemic will need and benefit from continuing support. Read More


Teen Makes Jewelry to Raise Money to Help Others with Autism

Rather than go stir-crazy with cabin fever during the COVID-19 pandemic, a teenager with autism is using the downtime to learn a new skill that he is using to help others. TaKota Allen, 14, has not always had an easy time of growing up. “My life has been very challenging,” he said. “I have struggled with impulsiveness, friendships, academics, communication, empathy, and I have felt loneliness and low self-esteem for years.” When he was about 6 years old, his teachers noticed that he was having a hard time in school — he couldn’t sit still and had trouble focusing. Health care professionals used the NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scales to diagnose TaKota with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, it was not until many years later that his doctors assessed him as being high-functioning Level 1 autistic. Read More




Congratulations to: Katie Venable, Cindi Maurice, Kristi McGeehan, Mary Ellen Denmon, Wanda Routier, Karen Frantz-Fry, Mariola Papa, Angela Fernandez, Patsy Ray, Elizabeth Ciccarelli-Rosa, and Jan Simmons who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

According to the definition set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in the body. They determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome number (#) ___. A medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is ‘trisomy.’ Down syndrome is also referred to as Trisomy (#) ___. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges for the baby.


Answer: 21


This Week's Trivia Question: This Act became law in 1990 and is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. What is the name of this law?


If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by August 11, 2020. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

School Closures Reduced COVID-19 Cases, Deaths up to 60%, Study Finds

Closing schools across the United States in March reduced the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths by as much as 60% in some areas, a study published Wednesday by JAMA found. States with lower numbers of confirmed infections at the time of school closure likely saw the biggest positive impact of children remaining at home, cutting cases by an estimated 72%, researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center said. Still, states with more COVID-19 cases may have reduced their total number of infections by 49% by shutting schools, they said. "States that closed schools earlier, when cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was low, had the largest relative reduction in incidence and mortality," the researchers wrote. Read More


What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Here Are the Symptoms to Watch For and How It's Treated

Most kids are oppositional and defiant from time to time—arguably, these behaviors are signs of healthy development. But when a child has a frequent, repeated pattern of arguing, getting angry, defying their parents or other adults, and/or is malicious toward others, they may have a condition called oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). ODD is one of a group of behavioral disorders called disruptive behavior disorders (DBD), so-called because children who have these disorders have a tendency to disrupt others. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, evidence suggests that up to 16% of children and adolescents have ODD. Here’s what you need to know about this mental health condition. Read More


Parents (and Lawyers) Say Distance Learning Failed too Many Special Education Students. As Fall Approaches, Families Wonder if Their Children Will Lose another School Year

Georgianna Kelman’s phone doesn’t stop ringing nowadays. A special education attorney in Los Angeles, Kelman currently represents 60 families in Southern California with complaints that their children didn’t receive services they were entitled to when schools closed in the spring. “I can only imagine the bottleneck of litigation that is coming,” Kelman said. “I have clients to this day who have not heard from their teachers or their service providers.” Because of the abrupt switch to remote learning when COVID-19 swept the country, districts nationwide have struggled to follow through with the services students are required by law to receive. It was made even harder by the fact that individualized education programs, or IEPs, that determine services for each special education student were never meant to be delivered virtually. These services might range from extra tutoring or speech therapy to extensive, one-on-one assistance for students with severe and complex health needs. Read More


* Special Ed Teacher - The Home at Walpole seeks a Special Education Teacher for their Massachusetts Chapter 766 Special Education School, Clifford Academy. Clifford Academy provides a year-round engaging and comprehensive program focused on education, career development, recreation/fitness, and an individualized therapeutic approach.Under direction of a Principal, participate in the implementation of individualized educational programs for special needs children at varying academic levels. To learn more - Click here

* Executive Director of Special Education - Garland ISD seeks an Executive Director of Special Education with the following qualifications, Master’s Degree, Special Education Certification, Principal/Mid-Management Certification, three (3) years’ teaching experience; special education preferred, experience in successful leadership role at the District or State level, earned or in progress doctorate. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Is sought who demonstrates a commitment to the success of all SLA students and specifically to raising the academic achievement of children in high-poverty communities and/ or children with special needs. Has a desire to grow professionally and seek out new opportunities to learn; and integrity and clarity in all communications and interactions. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Teacher needed for students ages 7-23 with intellectual disabilities. Students are in non-graded classes but do have goal work. Located in Columbia, TN (45 minutes south of Nashville), the school boasts small (4-to-1) student-to-teacher ratio class settings. Teachers enjoy extensive training opportunities, generous classroom supply budgets, benefits, and competitive non-public-school salaries. To Learn more - Click here

* Chief Executive Officer - St. Coletta of Greater Washington is seeking an experienced Chief Executive Officer to lead and manage the organization while achieving educational and operational goals. This person will be responsible for strategically growing St. Coletta with an eye toward achieving success not only for the school, but for the children and adults that benefit from their services.To Learn more - Click here

* Asst Supt - Exceptional Children - The Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Services is a critical leadership role that directly affects the acceleration of improved student outcomes for GCS’s 10,534 students with special needs. This role directs, monitors and strengthens programs and ensures all services are implemented within federal, state, and local regulations. To learn more - Click here

* Education Specialist - We are always looking for compassionate, exceptional educators to join our SPED Team (grades K-5 or 6-8) ! You’ll work collaboratively with your colleagues to drive the achievement of all students in your grade level. You will be encouraged and supported to lead engaging, personalized, and rigorous lessons that integrate our four pillars: Heart, Smart, Think, and Act. To learn more - Click here

* High School Special Education Teacher - New Trier High School is a large, high-achieving school in the northern suburbs of Chicago with two campuses in Northfield and Winnetka, Illinois. The outstanding Special Education department is large and comprehensive. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - We are looking for highly motivated and skilled Special Education teachers to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). DCPS serves more than 51,000 students through the e?orts of approximately 4,000 educators in 117 schools. DCPS intends to have the highest-performing, best paid, most satis?ed, and most honored educator force in the nation and a distinctive central o?ce sta? whose work supports and drives instructional excellence and significant achievement gains for DCPS students. To learn more- Click here

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


Loyalty is a characteristic trait. Those who have it, give it free of charge.

Ellen J. Barrier

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