Week in Review - August 27, 2021




National Association of Special Education Teachers

August 27, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #35



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 Parent Teacher Conference Handout

Involving Teens and Young Adults in Selecting Assistive Technology



This 4-page resource helps families involve teens and young adults in learning about and selecting assistive technology (AT). An important goal for older students is to understand the areas in which technology can support them in their educational and employment goals. The tip sheet encourages students to advocate for themselves, and to take an active role in selecting assistive technology to address their needs.

 Read More

Board Certified Inclusive Education Specialist (BCIES) -b


Disruptions to Brain’s ‘Thermostat’ May Underpin Autism Traits

Neurons are forever caught in a dance, adapting their signals to stay in step with new information. As the cells change pace, they need to maintain a delicate balance: If they ramp up excitatory signaling too much, it can lead to seizures; too much inhibition can lead to depressive or catatonic states. Neurons strike this balance by way of processes collectively called homeostatic plasticity. Like a thermostat, this set of controls continuously dials excitatory and inhibitory signaling up or down as needed across our neural circuitry. Homeostatic plasticity explains how our brains stay plastic yet preserve their basic functions over time. It might also modulate autism traits, some experts say. Over the past decade, research has shown that knocking out different autism-linked genes in various brain regions and cell types can disrupt homeostatic plasticity — findings that suggest it is a point of convergence for multiple forms of the condition. Read More


Student Survey: Depression, Stress and Anxiety Leading Barriers to Learning as Access to Trusted Adults Drops

Nearly half of American students with learning barriers cited increasing amounts of stress, depression and anxiety as the leading obstacle in the 2020-21 school year. At the same time, students say their access to a trusted adult to discuss that stress decreased, according to a new national survey. In the third and final survey of young people during the pandemic by the national nonprofit YouthTruth, 49 percent of students talked about the detrimental effects of growing mental and emotional issues while just 39 percent said they had an adult at school to whom they could turn for support. The gap in access to social and emotional help has widened even from fall 2020 survey data, at the start of students’ first full pandemic school year. Read More


People Born Blind Can’t See Color but Understand it the Same Way as Sighted People

People born blind have never seen that bananas are yellow but Johns Hopkins University researchers find that like any sighted person, they understand two bananas are likely to be the same color and why. Questioning the belief that dates back to philosopher John Locke that people born blind could never truly understand color, the team of cognitive neuroscientists demonstrated that congenitally blind and sighted individuals actually understand it quite similarly. "A common intuition dating back to Locke is that a blind person could learn the arbitrary fact that marigolds are 'yellow' and tomatoes are 'red' but would still miss out on in-depth understanding of color," said senior author Marina Bedny. "The idea is that to really know something you have to see it for yourself, and without vision, you pick up shallow facts by talking to people. This study with blind people suggests the opposite. Talking to people conveys in-depth understanding of color better than arbitrary color facts." Read More


Experts Offer Advice to Help Children with Autism Transition Back to in-Person School

Heading back to school after summer break can be tough for some students, but this year is unique. Because of the pandemic, distance learning and hybrid schedules have been the norm for over a year, and many kids haven't spent a full, regular week at school since March of 2020. UC Davis MIND Institute experts say there's likely to be a greater focus on mental health in schools this year. For children with autism and other neurodevelopmental differences, transitions like this can be extra challenging. "Routines are important for kids, and the long absence from the classroom, the mask-wearing and other changes mean they have to learn an entirely new school routine," said Patricia Schetter, a board-certified behavior analyst who coordinates the Autism Education Initiatives for the Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Read More


Remote Learning Negatively Impacts Student Engagement

A new study of data generated by an education platform has found that K-12 students in states that allowed in-person learning during the 2020-2021 school year showed more engagement in learning than students residing in states where fully remote learning was the norm. The finding was calculated based on the number of visits to study activities (serving as a proxy for engagement in learning) that students undertook on the software. Those activities might be use of flashcards, multiple choice or fill-in-the blank questions, games or something else. Quizlet, an education technology company that produces study tools by the same name, analyzed data pulled in June 2021 from its platform. Quizlet said it has some 60 million users, including students, teachers and faculty members, and others who are studying any number of topics. Read More


In New Hampshire, Pandemic Exacerbates Lack of Special Education Resources

Some New Hampshire school districts are reporting more inquiries than usual into special education services, as families contend with learning loss, developmental delays, and disabilities diagnosed during the pandemic. Whether these inquiries will translate to more special education plans, called IEP’s, is still unclear. The process begins with a referral-often from a doctor, parent, or service provider – which can jumpstart a formal evaluation and sometimes lead to an IEP. Nancy Michaud, the director of student services for the Somersworth School District, estimates special ed referrals for preschoolers have doubled this year. She says in some cases, kids were so isolated during the pandemic that they have developmental delays with language. Michaud noted kids weren’t doing many of their typical activities during the pandemic. Read More


EPA Bans Agricultural Pesticides Related to Child Health Problems

NS Pesticides lined neurological damage to children’s behavior, such as IQ deterioration, working memory loss, and attention deficit disorder, has been banned by the Biden administration after years of court struggle. Environmental Protection Agency officials ruled Wednesday, saying chlorpyrifos could no longer be used for food flowing into American dinner plates. According to authorities, the move aims to better protect children and farmers.  In a statement, manager Michael Regan called it “a delinquency measure to protect public health from the potentially dangerous consequences of this pesticide.” “After the delay and denial of the previous administration, the EPA will follow science and put health and safety first,” Reagan said. Health and labor organizations have been campaigning to cancel the use of chlorpyrifos for many years. Read More



Both Early Experiences and Gene Expression Influence Impulsivity in Chicks

Differences in impulsivity between individuals are linked to both experience and gene expression, according to a study on the ancestor of domestic chickens, the red junglefowl. The study from Linköping University, Sweden, has been published in the journal Animal Behaviour. More impulsive individuals are more likely to respond rapidly to situations without planning or considering the consequences. In many species, including humans, impulsivity differs between individuals, but we do not yet understand why this is, as research into what lies behind these differences is limited. "Variation in impulsivity is especially puzzling, because individuals with high impulsivity can suffer negative consequences, such as taking risks without considering the outcome. We expect natural selection over time to favor behavior that benefits the individual, so why do we regularly observe individuals who are considerably more impulsive than others?" asks Hanne Løvlie, associate professor in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Linköping University, who led the study. Read More


Progress Continues in Ensuring Safety for Nation’s High School Athletes

Starting in 2017, UConn's Korey Stringer Institute (KSI), a part of the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, began publishing annual reports and bi-annual updates examining the health and safety policies for secondary schools for each individual state and Washington, D.C. The evaluations are based on safety measures states can implement, including emergency action plans, having automatic external defibrillators on site, training coaches to look for signs of concussion, treatment of exertional heat stroke and others. Since KSI began this process three years ago, 38 states have adopted legislative or state high school athletic association changes that improve safety for student athletes, according to its latest findings. The paper detailing nationwide updates and progress was published this week in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Read More


Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Common in Kids and May Impact Blood Pressure, Heart Health

Obstructive sleep apnea, a form of sleep-disordered breathing, is common in children and adolescents and may be associated with elevated blood pressure and changes in heart structure, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association. A scientific statement is an expert analysis of current research and may inform future guidelines. "The likelihood of children having disordered breathing during sleep and, in particular, obstructive sleep apnea, may be due to enlargement of the tonsils, adenoids or a child's facial structure, however, it is important for parents to recognize that obesity also puts kids at risk for obstructive sleep apnea," said statement writing group chair Carissa M. Baker-Smith, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., director of pediatric preventive cardiology at the Nemours Children's Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, and associate professor of pediatric cardiology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Read More



Congratulations to: Karen Frantz-Fry, Olumide Akerele, Laura Esquilona, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Stacy Shrimplin Kaser, Karen Breisinger, Patsy Ray, Katrina White, Cindi Maurice, Tracey Christilles, and Zenaida Lemus who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

A new study by researchers at the Yale Child Study Center demonstrates that these movable models of a person or animal can attract and hold the attention of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), raising the potential for developing more engaging therapies that strengthen social engagement and facilitate learning. The study, published in the journal Autism Research, is the first to test anecdotal evidence that children with ASD, like most youngsters, pay attention to these artificial figures representing a human being or an animal, manipulated by the hand, rods, or wires. What did the Yale Child Study Center find is attracting the attention of students with ASD?


This week's trivia question: Individuals with this disability manage a number of challenges each day. Now, a recent study finds the coronavirus pandemic is posing another risk to their well-being. Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University find the COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound effect on these individuals, as well as their caregivers. Results show that this disability is the second leading risk factor for death from COVID, second only to old age. According to lead study author Jonathan Gleason, “the chance of dying from COVID-19 are higher for those with this disability than they are for people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease or lung disease, a profound realization that we have not, as a healthcare community, fully appreciated until now”. What is the disability? (Hint-see NASET Week in Review from 8/20/21)

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by August 31, 2021. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review


‘WeThe15’ Stresses Rights of 1.2 Billion with Disabilities

The opening next week of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo is being used as a stage to launch a human-rights movement aimed at the world’s 1.2 billion people with disabilities. The campaign is called “WeThe15”and gets its name from World Health Organization estimates that persons with disabilities represent 15% of the global population. The campaign is being spearheaded by the International Paralympic Committee, UN Human Rights, the International Disability Alliance, and others. The IPC is also hooking up in the campaign with other sports bodies including the Special Olympics, the Invictus Games Foundation, and the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf. Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC, told The Associated Press that “WeThe15” aims to put persons with disabilities on the inclusion agenda along with “ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.”. Read More


How Popular Pressures and Judgements Can Unnecessarily Isolate and Target People with Disabilities

One of the most difficult parts of being a person with a disability in today’s closely connected society is knowing when to take social pressures and popular opinions about things personally, and when not to. Some of us are experiencing a classic example of this right now, around the issue of COVID-19 vaccination. The increasing social pressure to get vaccinated for COVID-19 is in most cases more than fully justified. Despite the recent resurgence in cases –– including “breakthrough” infections in some vaccinated people –– for the vast majority getting vaccinated is the healthiest thing to do for themselves, and the most responsible thing to do for their communities.  However, at least some people with disabilities or chronic health conditions find themselves in an odd position. They approve of vaccination overall, especially as a way to curb a pandemic that poses an even higher risk for them than for most others. Read More


Many States Have Left Schools Hanging About How to Reopen Safely, Analysis Finds

As schools scramble to reopen amid the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant and changing conditions, many states have ceded their role in ensuring students are safe and able to learn in-person. That’s the conclusion drawn by authors from the Center for Reinventing Public Education, who reviewed every state’s guidance to school districts between July 29 and Aug. 6, creating a database of policies it plans to update regularly. They found a patchwork of varying, and sometimes incomplete, directives on issues like universal mask requirements, plans for remote learning, and tracking teacher vaccinations. That has left many schools with big questions about how to start the school year and even bigger concerns about maintaining public trust, especially as rates of the virus climb in their communities. Read More




Schools Across U.S. Staff Up to Address Pandemic-Fueled Rise in Mental Health Needs

Selma City Schools in Alabama didn’t have any of its own social workers last year. Over the next few months, the district plans to hire four. A few of its eight schools lacked a full-time counselor last year, too. This year, there will be a counselor for each. “We need the additional support so that we can engage the families, so that we can address any trauma or mental health issues,” said Superintendent Avis Williams. Students in her district, which has high rates of poverty and homelessness, would have benefited from that support before COVID, she said, and now their needs are even greater. “If we do not address those areas, then learning will absolutely be negatively impacted,” she said. Read More



Is Your Head Spinning? 7 Decision-Making Tips for Principals

Delaware high school principal Kristina Macbury wrote an essay in September of 2019 for the National Association of Secondary School Principals that posed this question: “How do you make the most difficult decisions?” Little did she know at the time that just six months later she would be making a dizzying array of some of the most difficult decisions of her career during the pandemic.  “That has been super difficult, and it takes a toll,” said Macbury, the principal of Sarah Pyle Academy in Wilmington, Del. “We’re weary.” But the fact that Macbury was already thinking about and asking that question before the pandemic even started helped her make those tough decisions with a sense of purpose and a level of flexibility that is being put to the test again as the Delta variant spreads across the country and schools wrestle with big social justice and equity challenges and hot button issues such as critical race theory. Read More



Does the Future of Schooling Look Like Candy Land?

At first glance, the binders incorporating a whole year of learning at the Parker-Varney elementary school in Manchester look a little like Candy Land, the beloved game of chance where players navigate a colorful route past delicious landmarks to arrive at a Candy Castle.  The pathway for kindergarten math displayed on the cover of one binder, for example, begins on a lower left square featuring a giant “20” and the statement, “I can count to 20.” It ends on the upper right with a drawing of a child sporting a humongous smile: “I can fluently add and subtract to 5!” In between are 14 squares representing other essential learning standards.  Last year, like many schools, Parker-Varney navigated months of remote learning, in which standardized tests were disrupted and absences soared. Unlike many, however, Parker-Varney had no need to guess what its students had missed. Teachers used those colorful pathways in a competency-based system to track what each student had learned — and hadn’t learned — in real time. Read More



* Special Education Teacher- Under direction of the school principal and special education supervisor, the special education teacher provides direct instruction and instructional support to students with disabilities and works in collaboration with the general education teacher. Monitors and evaluates outcomes for students with disabilities. Assists in the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEP). To learn more- Click here

* Network Director of Mental Health- Reporting to the Managing Director of Programs, the Network Director of Mental Health will be responsible for leading strategy across DREAM schools to ensure the mental health needs of all students are met. This is an exciting opportunity for an individual who has extensive knowledge of best practices in mental health for students. To learn more- Click here

* (2021-2022) High School Math Learning Specialist - will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, through integrated co-teaching, in small group settings, or a combination of both. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. To learn more - Click here

* Teacher III, Susan Gray School - Will independently lead the teaching team to plan, develop, and implement classroom instructional programs and activities, as well as, help in the development of individual educational program (IEP) for an inclusive classroom including typically and atypically developing children. To learn more - Click here

* [2021-2022] Literacy Intervention Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Literacy Intervention Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students that are reading significantly below grade level in grades K-2 through small group instruction (3-4 students) and push-in support. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teachers - Multiple Locations - BSI Solutions is currently seeking passionate Special Education Teachers with an interest in providing school-based services to students. To learn more - Click here

* Director III, Special Education Procedural Support- Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the nation’s 11th largest school division, is seeking a proven educational leader to serve as Director, Special Education Procedural Support in the Department of Special Services.Located in the Washington, D.C. region, FCPS serves a diverse student population of more than 189,000 students in grades pre-K through 12, 14% of which receive special education and related services under IDEA. To learn more- Click here

* Special Education Teacher - McLean County Unit District No. 5 is seeking Special Education Teacher who provides specialized instruction in order to meet the unique educational needs of students with disabilities, evaluates and assesses progress, in accordance with the student’s IEP, in a variety of settings. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - STRIVE Prep is a Denver-based community of public charter schools that challenges every student to strive for college and thrive throughout life by helping them to discover and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in college and beyond. We encourage you to read our 2020 Impact Report and learn more about what a career at STRIVE Prep is like here. To learn more - Click here

* Classroom Teacher- Work with students in various settings, develop and modify a therapeutically guided curriculum, generate reports to meet students’ needs, communicate with families, coordinate with therapists, and plan for teaching assistants. To learn more- Click Here

* Special Education Teacher- Provides instruction, directly and with the assistance of Education Assistants and Classroom Assistants, of students with developmental disabilities in education, vocational, functional and self-help, social-emotional, and behavioral areas.  Instruction is enhanced by the ongoing collaboration with other team members (i.e. behavior department, parents, related services, etc.) in a multi-disciplinary approach. To learn more- Click Here

* Special Education Teacher- We're looking for exceptional Special Education Teachers for full-time positions in North View, GA for the 2021-2022 school year, from July 29, 2021 - May 24, 2022. These positions are 37.5 hours per week working with elementary-high school age students, with various degrees of  cognitive impairment. TherapyTravelers is a mission-driven organization in the business of changing lives! To learn more- Click Here

* Special Needs Tutors -  is seeking dynamic, state credentialed special needs teachers to tutor on our virtual platform teaching learners all over the world. This is a perfect second job to earn extra money from the safety of your own home.  There is no minimum hourly requirement; all you need is a computer, reliable internet, a quiet space and willingness to teach. To learn more - Click here

* Full Time Director of Special Needs Ministry - The Director of Special Needs Ministry will provide oversight and leadership to five direct reports. This leader will be responsible to develop, oversee and implement a philosophy of ministry that shares the gospel, provides discipleship and creates a sense of belonging for those with special needs and their families. To learn more - Click here

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


The most successful people I know are also the most reliable.

Wayne Gerard Trotman

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