Week in Review - October 16, 2020




National Association of Special Education Teachers

October 16, 2020                    Vol 16 Issue #42

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.



JAASEP FALL 2020 Issue

Table of Contents

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Parents of Children with Special Needs in ‘Panic Mode’ as Virtual Learning Falls Short

When Opal Foster lost her job during the pandemic, she unexpectedly found herself consumed by another full-time gig that didn't pay: at-home virtual learning supervisor for her son with special needs.  "We're all kind of living in panic mode right now," said Foster, a single mother in Silver Spring, Maryland, who is still unemployed. Foster spends all day at the family dining room table working with her son, Jeremiah, who has Down syndrome, as he navigates a labyrinth of Zoom classes, counseling sessions and art projects for eighth grade. "There isn't anybody really available to give you breaks," Foster said. "Financially, I'm not really sure how the end of the year is going to look." Parenting during a pandemic has meant financial, educational and emotional challenges for millions of Americans, but for those with children with special needs it's become a Herculean responsibility. Read More


How Scientists Secure the Data Driving Autism Research

The cardboard box has been sitting in Maya’s house in Ohio for months. The box, no bigger than a hardcover novel, contains six plastic tubes — one for Maya, one for her husband, Mark, and one for each of their four children, two of whom have autism. It also holds labels with each person’s name, date of birth and a barcode printed on them, ready to be affixed to the tubes once the family has filled them with spit. (Maya requested that only her first name be used in this article, to protect her privacy.). The box came from SPARK, the largest genetic study of autism to date. To participate, Maya will have to ship the family’s samples back to a DNA testing lab in Wisconsin. But she keeps wavering. Read More


Students Embrace Hidden Disabilities

I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder a little over a year ago, just a month before the most important academic and professional year of my life. As the politics editor of The Daily Iowan during caucus season, I was spending 20-plus hours a week in the newsroom in addition to class work and on top of several trial-and-error medication regimens. Bipolar II disorder is different from bipolar I, or the condition often depicted in movies and TV shows. Deep, sometimes months-long depressive episodes are the core of bipolar II, and rather than experiencing manic episodes, I experience hypomanic behavior. For me, this has taken the form of loud, uninterruptible speech and heightened irritability. Mental-health disorders and other hidden disabilities make college life difficult. Hidden or invisible disabilities can be used as an umbrella term to describe dozens of neurological and physical impairments that are not immediately visible. Read More


Why Those Living with Disabilities are Floating through a New Reality

Before COVID-19, Morgan Guynes kepta full calendar. The 2017 Brandeis High grad who lives with a developmental disability volunteered at Stinson Middle School on Mondays and Wednesdays, at Steubing Elementary School (where her mom teaches) on Fridays, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, she rode VIAtrans to Methodist Children’s Hospital where she volunteered carrying paperwork and assisting with check-in. Her evenings also had plenty of regular activities like Young Life Capernaum meetings. In March, that all came to a halt with the spread of COVID-19 in San Antonio. Since Guynes has a compromised immune system and asthma, mom Jackie Schafer knew her daughter needed to take quarantine seriously. Since then, Guynes’ dad and sister have come over for socially distant driveway visits and she and Schafer have gone for drives, but otherwise Guynes has been working to fill her calendar from home. “She hasn’t been able to be out at all since mid-March,” Schafer says. Read More


Deaf Missouri Business Owners Talk about Overcoming Challenges during Virtual Panel

The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and DEAF Inc. hosted a virtual panel on Tuesday, Sept. 29 to spotlight deaf Missouri business owners. People who are deaf or have hearing loss often have to go through so many hurdles in life, which can make working for any company difficult, let alone owning their own business. Stephen Foster was born with profound hearing loss, and he is the president of Chill Pak which is a business with headquarters in Springfield. Chill Pak makes two-part polyurethane insulated shipping containers that are eco-friendly and manufactured in the United States. Foster employs people with all kinds of disabilities and 27% of Chill Pak's workforce are people with some type of disability. Foster said it was important for him to speak at the event to let other deaf Missourians know it is possible to succeed. Read More


Special Education Program Gears Up to Welcome Back Students

Some families of Central Oregon special needs students are gearing up to head back to the classroom for in-person learning. The High Desert Education Service District works with Bend La Pine Schools to help students experiencing intensive behavioral and social skill challenges through their NEST program (Nurturing Empathy, Safety and Trust). Recently, they've transformed their learning space for their students. Now, when they come to class, they'll find car designed desks that have Plexiglas dividers, and students and staff will have to wear masks and practice proper hand-washing. Ian Kaye, one of NEST's special education teachers, said Tuesday that this time has been an adjustment for students and their parents. Read More



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

Families of Students with Special Needs Walk a Tightrope between Safety, Falling Behind in Remote Learning

Parents of children with special education needs say they are torn between how to best keep their children's education on track while also keeping them safe during the pandemic. In the case of the Guerrero family of Lawrence, two of their sons receive special education services. Yesenia Guerrero told GBH News her son Javi, 9, has severe autism, and that he is struggling with remote learning in his third-grade class. “He's been able to sit down from one second to five seconds," Guerrero said. "And the longest he's been [able] to sit is 12 seconds sitting down. So remote hasn't been much success for him.” Guerrero said she is conflicted. Lawrence is considered a COVID-19 hot spot community, and in-person learning won’t resume until Oct. 19. She said she’d like Javi in school when students return, but she's fearful of the coronavirus risks. His behavioral issues have gotten worse under remote learning, she said. Read More


Ed Dept: Schools Can Prioritize Re-Openings for Students with Disabilities

In explaining why schools cannot phase-in in-person learning options based on a student’s "race, color or national origin," OCR said such preferences would violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, schools may be required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide in-person services to certain students with disabilities so those students can receive a “free appropriate public education.” The nine-page Q&A document also emphasized that schools must still accept harassment complaints and investigate the allegations under the new Title IX rule, which went into effect Aug. 14 even if schools are only offering distance learning. Schools are not allowed to have blanket policies that prohibit new complaints from being submitted and accepted or to pause investigations and proceedings. Read More


Early Intervention has Lasting Benefit for Children who are Deaf

Children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) who are enrolled in early intervention (EI) by 6 months of age are more likely to be ready for kindergarten than those who enter EI later, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in Pediatrics. Jareen Meinzen-Derr, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues examined the long-term impact of EI on outcomes of kindergarten readiness in children who are D/HH. Data were included from the Ohio Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Data Linkage Project, which linked records for 1,746 infants identified with permanent hearing loss born from 2008 to 2014; kindergarten records were available for 417. Kindergarten Readiness Assessment scores were available for 385 children. Read More


Unequal Education: Pandemic Widens Race, Class Gaps in U.S. Schools

Natalie Cruz, 12, missed math and language arts instruction one recent morning because the school’s virtual interface would not load. Carlos, her 8-year-old brother, sat beside her at the kitchen table, studying with last year’s workbooks because the district had yet to supply him with a PC, weeks after instruction started online. Across town, Zachary and Zeno Lentz, 5 and 9, were at their high-performing elementary schools, where they attend in-person on Tuesdays and Fridays. They learn remotely the other three days, assisted by their college-educated mother, a social worker who can do her job from home. The Cruz and Lentz children are separated by just a few miles in York, Pennsylvania. But they are a world apart in educational opportunities, a gap education experts say has widened amid the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic. Read More


Study Finds Recreation Websites Lacking in Disability Inclusion

A new study published in the Journal of Kinesiology and Wellness finds the majority of college recreation programs assessed had “only minimal information for and representation and visibility of students with disabilities at their websites.” A group of kinesiology researchers at Oregon State University -- Anna M. Bruning, Bradley J. Cardinal and Winston Kennedy -- examined 24 campus recreation websites for terminology and images inclusive of students with disabilities. The researchers found “large variability” in the use of inclusive language across the websites, “with one university continuing to use the outdated term ‘handicap.’ Two universities accounted for nearly 40 percent of the observed frequencies of the 11 terms investigated.” Similarly, while researchers identified 49 total inclusive images across the 24 websites, 14 of the programs “showed neither a person with a disability or a piece of adaptive equipment on their website. Read More


Special Education Teacher Takes on the Challenges of Keeping Kids on Track During Remote Learning

Lesson in this special education program definitely look different. “So, we have the whole class, all the aides come on, I come on and we sing songs together and we say good morning. It’s just a way for us to come together and then the rest of the day I do small groups no more than three or four kids at a time.” Victoria Arredondo, or Ms. V as here students call her, sits at a computer in an empty classroom inside Mission Manor Elementary School. “It’s really difficult for our students,” Arredondo said. To make remote learning possible for her students, Ms. V is working very closely with parents. Read More





Congratulations to: Laurie D'Amico, Cindi Maurice, Patsy Ray, Karen Frantz-Fry, Tracey Christilles, Shaundas Knighton, Patience Scott-Buford who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

Which Part of the federal special education law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA) focuses on early intervention services, addresses at risk “infants and toddlers”, and provides explanations of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs)?

Answer: PART C

This Week's Trivia Question: Fill in the Blank: According to a study published online Sept. 28 in Pediatrics, children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) who are enrolled in early intervention (EI) by 6 months of age are more likely to be ready for ______ than those who enter EI later.

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by October 19, 2020. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review


Special Education Returns to Classrooms in Mobile, District Begins Welcoming Students Back in Phases

The Mobile County Public School System began welcoming students back to the classroom on Monday. The first students to return were self-contained special education students. Callahan School, a school for the blind and deaf, greeted their students who they haven’t seen in-person since March. “Distance learning over the computer has not been optimal for these special needs students so I’m grateful they are sending these kids back so they can be in the classroom and have the hands on learning,” said Amy Hess, the Mobility Specialist at Callahan School. The return to in-person learning was delayed because of the coronavirus and Hurricane Sally. Special education students were originally scheduled to go back to school on September 14. Read More


Akron Schools Working to Offer In-Person Supports for Students with Significant Disabilities

Out of concern about the limitations of online learning, Akron Public Schools is working to bring students with significant disabilities back into school buildings in some fashion as soon as possible. The 450 or so students with the most significant disabilities, who normally spend their days in separate classrooms, would likely still do the majority of their learning online but would have access to additional in-person services. "Those students have some of the most challenges, so we want to try and be as responsive to those families as we can," Superintendent David James said. Read More


Increasing Delays in Development May Signal Autism in Preterm Babies

Some preterm babies who are later diagnosed with autism show increasing developmental delays during infancy, according to a new study. This distinct pattern could help doctors identify autism in preterm babies and start them on therapies in infancy, says Li-Wen Chen, pediatric neurologist at National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine in Taiwan, who designed and conducted the study. About 7 percent of children born preterm have autism, compared with 1 to 2 percent of children in the general population. Researchers cannot accurately predict which preterm babies are most likely to be later diagnosed with the condition, however. The new study tracked ‘very preterm’ babies — meaning those born more than 8 weeks prematurely and weighing 3.3 pounds or less — from birth to 5 years old. It shows that preterm autistic babies’ development deviates significantly from that of their non-autistic peers starting at 6 months of age. Read More


Pandemic Sets off Future Wave of Worsening Mental Health Issues

Long after a COVID-19 vaccination is developed and years after the coronavirus death toll is tallied, the impact on mental health will linger, continuing to inflict damage if not addressed, according to new research. Michael Zvolensky, University of Houston Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and director of the Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory/Substance Use Treatment Clinic, has published two papers discussing the psychological, addictive and health behavior issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic from a behavioral science perspective. "The impact of COVID-19 on psychological symptoms and disorders, addiction and health behavior is substantial and ongoing and will negatively impact people's mental health and put them at greater risk for chronic illness and drug addiction," reports Zvolensky in Behaviour Research and Therapy. "It will not equally impact all of society. Those at greater risk are those that have mental health vulnerabilities or disorders." Read More


About 14% of Cerebral Palsy Cases May be Tied to Brain Wiring Genes

In an article published in Nature Genetics, researchers confirm that about 14% of all cases of cerebral palsy, a disabling brain disorder for which there are no cures, may be linked to a patient's genes and suggest that many of those genes control how brain circuits become wired during early development. This conclusion is based on the largest genetic study of cerebral palsy ever conducted. The results led to recommended changes in the treatment of at least three patients, highlighting the importance of understanding the role genes play in the disorder. The work was largely funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health. "Our results provide the strongest evidence to date that a significant portion of cerebral palsy cases can be linked to rare genetic mutations, and in doing so identified several key genetic pathways involved," said Michael Kruer, M.D., a neurogeneticist at Phoenix Children's Hospital and the University of Arizona College of Medicine -- Phoenix and a senior author of the article. "We hope this will give patients living with cerebral palsy and their loved ones a better understanding of the disorder and doctors a clearer roadmap for diagnosing and treating them." Read More





* FT Special Education Teachers, (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) - PA Virtual has openings for Full Time Special Education Teachers at the Elementary, Middle and High School Levels. All teaching positions are remote and we require candidates to have a current, valid certification to teach in the state of Pennsylvania. The Teacher position is responsible for the planning, organization and implementation of an appropriate instructional program, in an elementary or secondary virtual learning environment. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - A local school district in Charleston, SC has partnered with an industry leading healthcare job placement agency, to fill several vacant Special Education Teacher positions in Charleston, SC for the entire 2020-21 School Year. The Special Education Teacher is responsible for planning, coordinating and the provision of special education services to eligible students. This position assures adherence to timelines and federal and state requirements for special education services and the responsibility for monitoring compliance with Individualized Services Plans (ISP) and/or Individualized Education Plan (IEP). To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Merakey is seeking a Special Education Teacher to join our Education Services within our Children's and Family division in our school in Chambersburg PA for the 2020-2021 school year. The Merakey Children's and Family Division focuses on a continuum of care throughout the lifespan. The core, fundamental principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are incorporated into a specialized approach across all service offerings. To learn more - Click here

* Exceptional Children's Teacher - Sterling Montessori is seeking a full time Exceptional Children’s teacher who has experience working with students in K-8th grade. Candidates must have an undergraduate degree and EC licensure. Ideal candidates have Montessori experience or a desire to learn the Montessori method. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education (Autism) PreK-4  - General responsibilities indlude aiding each student consistent with his or her abilities and educational needs. Develop competence in the basic learning skills, progress on the basis of achievement, and to qualify for further education and/or employment. To learn more - Click here

* Virtual Special Education Teacher Positions - K12 believes in education for everyone. We provide families an online option for a high-quality, personalized education experience. Students can thrive, find their passion, and learn in an environment that encourages discovery at their own pace. In support of this, we are committed to creating and maintaining a culture of inclusion and diversity. 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. You will be an employee and receive full benefits - To learn more - Click here

* (Remote) Special Education Teacher - Special Education Teacher provide instruction, support and guidance, manage the learning process, and focus on students’ individual needs as defined by each student’s IEP. The special education teacher is also responsible for the compliance documents required in serving students with special needs. To learn more - Click here

* Early Childhood Specialist - Willamette Education Service District is accepting applications for multiple full-time (1.0 FTE) EI/ECSE Specialist positions with the Special Education Department’s Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) program. The positions are for the 2020-2021 school year and may be based in Marion, Polk and/or Yamhill County. Successful candidates will will follow a 190-day calendar and will begin on August 21, 2020. 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

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


There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.

Khalil Gibran

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