Week in Review - June 19, 2020


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National Association of Special Education Teachers

June 19, 2020                    Vol 16 Issue #25


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’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Structured Teaching for Students with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms: A Review of the Literature

By Eunjung Lim

This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Eunjung Lim. It seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the Structured Teaching to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in mainstream or general education classrooms. Specifically, whether the structured teaching is translatable to inclusive settings and to generalize this strategy into all ages and other settings in order to increase independence and organization skills. The results of the research displayed positive aspects of supporting students with ASD to increase engagement and independence in varying age groups. The structured Teaching strategies maximize visual strengths of individuals with ASD and compromise weaker skills to perform high levels of executive function in general education classes. In spite of positive effects of the Structured Teaching, further researches are required to pay attention on individuals’ meaningful learning, to evaluate social validity of the approach, and to investigate individuals’ inner experiences and well-being. Read More

Teacher Transforms Garage into Gym for Virtual Classes with Students with Special Needs 


The coronavirus pandemic changed how schools operate with students now learning via virtual classrooms. For one California physical education teacher, it meant getting creative by transforming his garage into a gym. Jared Sellers, an adaptive PE teacher for the Auburn Unified School District in California, renovated his garage into a home gym for virtual classes. He says it cost him around $1,500 of his own money, buying equipment, flooring and adding a new drain so the garage wouldn’t flood if it rained. “I looked at my garage, and it was a bit of a mess. I knew that I could transform it into a space where I could still teach students. It was a process, and it took a village to put it together,” Sellers said. That effort all went toward making online lessons for his students, who need help with motor learning skills, feel as in-person as possible. For students like Paloma and Vanessa Clark, the classes mean a lot, their mother says. Read More


Mozart May Reduce Seizure Frequency in People with Epilepsy


A new clinical research study by Dr. Marjan Rafiee and Dr. Taufik Valiante of the Krembil Brain Institute at Toronto Western Hospital, part of University Health Network, has found that a Mozart composition may reduce seizure frequency in patients with epilepsy. The results of the research study, "The Rhyme and Rhythm of Music in Epilepsy," was recently published in the international journal Epilepsia Open. It looks at the effects of the Mozart melody, "Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448" on reducing seizures, as compared to another auditory stimulus -- a scrambled version of the original Mozart composition, with similar mathematical features, but shuffled randomly and lacking any rhythmicity. Read More

How the Brain Controls Our Speech


Speaking requires both sides of the brain. Each hemisphere takes over a part of the complex task of forming sounds, modulating the voice and monitoring what has been said. However, the distribution of tasks is different than has been thought up to now, as an interdisciplinary team of neuroscientists and phoneticians at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics Berlin has discovered: it is not just the right hemisphere that analyses how we speak -- the left hemisphere also plays a role. Until now, it has been assumed that the spoken word arises in left side of the brain and is analyzed by the right side. According to accepted doctrine, this means that when we learn to speak English and for example practice the sound equivalent to "th," the left side of the brain controls the motor function of the articulators like the tongue, while the right side analyses whether the produced sound actually sounds as we intended. Read More

The Mystery of Visual Stability


We move our eyes several times per second. These fast eye movements, called saccades, create large image shifts on the retina -- making our visual system work hard to maintain a stable perceptual world. Remapping the retinal image compensates for this; however, errors in actual eye movements cause image shifts, even with remapping. To do this, our eyes reduce sensitivity to the displacement of visual stimuli during saccades using a process called Saccadic Suppression of Displacement (SSD). However, SSD remains a mystery to researchers. A research team at Tohoku University's Research Institute of Electrical Communication, led by Professor Satoshi Shiori, investigated the mechanisms underlying SSD. Read More


Students with Disabilities Grapple with Transition to Online Instruction, Face Uphill Challenges


Halfway through fall semester, first-year University of Minnesota student Lee Knutson received accommodations from the Disability Resource Center. Knutson, who has a history of anxiety and panic attacks, is now allowed extra time on exams and has the option to take them alone, instead of in a large classroom setting. But when he signed on to his Zoom class for a physics test a few weeks into online instruction, all students could see each other to ensure a secure testing environment. Knutson had previously been told he would be able to take the test in private with a TA present. While he understood the confusion due to the pandemic, the new testing process felt like a violation of his accommodations, he said. Read More



The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) and the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (AASEP) recognize the increasing need for qualified special education advocates. In order to enhance this area of concern, they have created a comprehensive special education advocacy program whereby upon completion, you become a Board Certified Advocate in Special Education (BCASE). The BCASE program offers you all the materials to be an effective, articulate, and qualified special education advocate. completion of the BCASE program will provide you with the knowledge, skills and abilities to be confident as an advocate for children with special needs and their parents.­ To learn more about becoming a Board Certified Advocate in Special Education (BCASE).

Read More

How Disability Can Help STEM Progress


STEM employers have historically been behind the curve in terms of welcoming diversity — in 2017, it was reported that STEM industries have 75% fewer people with disabilities than in the general population, which certainly isn’t representative. Engineering seal supplier, FPE Seals, take a look at how STEM industries can benefit from increasing its workforce diversity. STEM is notoriously competitive and intellectually challenging. According to a report from the US Department of Commerce, STEM careers grew at a rate three times that of non-STEM careers between 2000 and 2010, however people with disabilities have faced challenges in pursuing careers in these fields. Unfortunately, some employers view disabilities as a barrier. But why? Frequently cited barriers derive from a lack of preparation and accessibility for disabled people, such as access to programs and courses, facilities, appropriate equipment, and acceptance by establishments and workplaces. Read More

Students with Special Needs Hit Bumps with Online Learning


When Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) introduced online instruction due to COVID-19 in March, students who have special learning needs were disproportionately affected as compared to their more able counterparts. In-person instruction gives students with special needs the resources that cannot be replaced by a couple virtual meetings throughout the week…Carolyne (whose name, along with her son’s name, has been changed at her request) is a single mother of two, and this past year her special needs son Daniel was a fourth-grader at William Burnett Elementary School. Under normal circumstances, Daniel was in a classroom with 12 students with similar needs. The class was facilitated by one teacher along with two to three aides. Meanwhile, Daniel received speech therapy through the school, as well. Under shelter in place rules, however, Daniel had a daily Google classroom hangout. Every day at the same time, the class came together and did a condensed version of their normal routine. Each student was also sent a packet of worksheets that the teachers had created, along with online activities. Read More


National Autism Indicators Report: The Connection between Autism and Financial Hardship


An autism diagnosis can present a number of challenges for families from learning about the neurodevelopment disorder and accessing support services and resources to financial struggles. A new report from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University highlighted the financial challenges facing households of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States. According to the report, households of children with ASD experience higher levels of poverty, material hardship and medical expenses than households of children with other special health care needs. The report also found that over half of children with autism live in low-income households (household income below 200% of the federal poverty level, or FPL, with an income of $48,500 four a family of four) and 30% live in very low-income households. Read More

Study Finds Little Evidence to Back Cord-Blood Therapy for Autism


An infusion of umbilical cord blood does not improve social skills in children with autism, according to results from the largest clinical trial of the therapy’s effectiveness for autism to date. Independent experts say the findings are unfortunate but not unexpected. Doubts have surrounded the trial since its start at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in 2014. “It’s not a surprise; it is nonetheless a disappointment,” says Arnold Kriegstein, professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study. “I’ve been skeptical of this kind of treatment from the beginning.” The new study took a rigorous approach: The Duke team randomly assigned 180 autistic children aged 2 to 7 to receive a single infusion of cord blood or a placebo. Neither the researchers nor caregivers knew which children had received cord blood when the team evaluated them six months later. Read More

Israel Won't Use Economic Factors to Assess Special Education Eligibility 'In the Short Term


The Education Ministry has instructed the committees that evaluate children with disabilities to use professional considerations only in their assessments “in the short term,” disregarding economic factors. In the long term, the ministry said in a letter sent Tuesday to the Israel Psychological Association and the directors of educational-psychological services in the ministry, it will continue to implement a a reform that has faced criticism from professionals in the field and from parents of children with disabilities. Critics of the reform claim that it ties the hands of the members of the panels that determine children’s eligibility for special education services. Some critics say the reform forces professionals to apply inflexible criteria that are not clear to the parents, and that the composition of the committees favors the position of the Education Ministry. Read More 

How One School Is Delivering Trauma-Informed Care From Afar 


Every morning at Valley Day School starts off the same way. After the kids have arrived at school, passed through the metal detectors with their see-through bags and backpacks in tow, and received their morning greetings from up to a dozen staff members, they head into homeroom and begin what’s known as a “community meeting.” During a community meeting, the kids go around and, with their teachers’ coaxing, answer several questions: How are you feeling? What is your goal for today? Who can help you with that goal? The ritual creates consistency and establishes a daily connection between teacher and pupil, which for Valley Day’s approximately 90 students—all of whom have special needs—is important for building trust and communicating to the staff what kind of mental and emotional state the student is in that day. Read More

Special Education Advocates Say Creativity Schools Use During COVID-19 Needs To Last


For special education students and their families, finding the right materials and support in schools can be difficult, but the pandemic is forcing schools to rethink what learning looks like – and how it’s delivered. Susan Cobb is the director of Covered Bridge Special Education District – a special education cooperative in Terre Haute. “Not even not just special ed, but other areas in our school corporation, we're going ‘well, gosh, we just do this because we've always done it,’” she says. Cobb says the shift to remote learning has been tricky. One of the districts she works with wasn’t using e-learning before the pandemic hit. Read More


Congratulations to: Mariola Papa, Melody Owens, Olumide Akerele, Jamie Patton, Deborah Serio-Vaughan, Amy Ross Bradl, Cindi Maurice, Vanessa Chratian, Patsy Ray, Karen Frantz-Fry, and Cynthia Daniels-Hall who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:


What Part of the federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), specifically pertains to the birth to 3 year old population. Is it Part A, B, C, or D?


Answer: PART C


This Week's Trivia Question: This Week's Trivia Question: In 1963, American psychologist and educator, Dr. Samuel Kirk, delivered a speech to an education conference and was the first to use and define a new term in education. His speech then led to a major impact on social policies and provided a framework and language for this new academic field. What is the term?


If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by June 22, 2020. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

Study Reveals Birth Defects Likely Caused by Flame Retardant


A new study from the University of Georgia has shown that exposure to a now-banned flame retardant can alter the genetic code in sperm, leading to major health defects in children of exposed parents. Published recently in Scientific Reports, the study is the first to investigate how polybrominated biphenyl-153 (PBB153), the primary chemical component of the flame retardant FireMaster, impacts paternal reproduction. In 1973, an estimated 6.5 million Michigan residents were exposed to PBB153 when FireMaster was accidentally sent to state grain mills where it made its way into the food supply. In the decades since, a range of health problems including skin discoloration, headache, dizziness, joint pain and even some cancers have been linked to the exposure. Read More

Boys' Poor Reading Skills Might Help Explain Higher Education Gender Gap


Researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Essex in the United Kingdom found boys' poor reading skills in adolescence, combined with the social attitudes about women attending college, can help explain why fewer men than women enroll in higher education or other types of post-high school education. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Reading scores are important for both boys and girls, and we know that girls, on average, score better on reading tests," said co-author David Geary, a Curators Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science. Geary said adolescent reading scores and social attitudes toward women attending college can predict the ratio of men and women attending college or other post-secondary education. Read More

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Special Education Students Who Are Turning 21


A federal court judge ruled that the state of Connecticut must continue to provide services to special education students until they turn 22 years old and anything less “constitutes a gross violation of the IDEA.” U.S. District Court Judge Charles Haight Jr. ruled that the Connecticut State Board of Education’s decision to limit services to special education students after their 21st birthdays violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The ruling found that because Connecticut provides public education to non-disabled individuals over the age of 21 in the form of adult education and GED programs, it must offer something similar for special education students. The ruling in the class action lawsuit goes even further by saying it must offer compensatory education services to these students if those services have already been denied. Read More

For Students with Learning Disabilities, Remote Learning Presents Unique Challenges


Significant changes are headed for the classroom this fall when South Carolina students return to class. Thursday’s Accelerate-Ed meeting heard each committee present their ideas for returning to school, including adjusting students' schedules and extending the school day. Task force members also discussed moves like staggering drop-off and pickup times to cut back on crowding. There also could be social distancing marks on the floors, plexiglass barriers and teachers wearing face shields. The state’s director of special education services, Beckie Davis, says communication between schools and parents is paramount. “It really is going to be a child-by-child decision about how the child's progressed,” Davis said. “That’s why it’s so critical to get parent input throughout this process. Communication. Our second priority has been communication with parents.” While the transition to online learning has been difficult for everyone, it’s especially heightened for students with a learning disability. Remote learning presents unique obstacles for these students and support services are difficult to replicate online. Read More

NASET Career Center Programs

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

Paraprofessional Skills Preparation Program Video



* 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 PreK-12 - Essential duties are: aid each student, consistent with his or her abilities and educational needs to develop competence in the basic learning skills, progress on the basis of achievement, qualify for further education and/or employment, develop ethical standards of behavior and participate in society as a responsible family member and citizen. To learn more - Click here


* Assistant Principal - Avondale House is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency that provides, educational services to individuals with autism, a day habilitation program for young adults, where clients receive training in daily living skills and pre-vocational activities, employment services for those with disabilities and four residential homes for adults unable to live in their own home. This position will assist the Principal in order to maintain smooth operations, administratively and pro-grammatically, of the Avondale House School. To learn more - Click here


* Exceptional Student Education, Teacher - Responsible for the educational leadership of students placed in exceptional education programs, including gifted students and students with disabilities. This position encompasses the three standards included in Teacher Professional Expectations in School Board Policy, which are high student achievement, safe learning environment, and effective and efficient operations. To learn more - Click here


* Academic Resource Center Math Specialist/Teacher - Academic Resource Center (ARC) Mathematics Specialist/Teacher is a teacher leader who is responsible for supporting effective Grade 9 through 12 mathematics instruction and student learning with a particular focus on students with service plans and exceptional needs. To learn more - Click here


* Diverse Learner Teacher - We are seeking experienced full-time Diverse Learner Teachers (K-8 Grades) to join CICS Avalon, CICS Basil, and CICS Washington Park Campuses for the 2020-2021 school year. A Diverse Learner Teacher holds primary responsibility for providing academic, emotional, and physical services for students who require additional support to thrive within the school’s core academic program. 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 efforts 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 signi?cant achievement gains for DCPS students. To learn more- Click here


* Special Education Teacher - $60,000/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). STARS is the largest school contract agency in AZ. STARS is owned and operated by Occupational Therapists. To learn more - Click here


* Special Education Teacher - Environmental Charter Schools is seeking a talented and dynamic Special Education Teacher who is passionate about preparing low-income students of color for college success. The mission of the Environmental Charter Schools (ECS) is to reimagine public education in low-income communities of color to prepare conscious, critical thinkers who are equipped to graduate from college and create a more equitable and sustainable world. To learn more - Click here



If you are an employer and want more information about Job Postings on NASET, please use this link - NASET Job Postings



Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.


Joel A. Barker

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