Week in Review - June 25, 2021



National Association of Special Education Teachers

June 25, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #26


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.





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).

With the increasing demands on the special education community, the goal for children to receive a free appropriate public education has often become lost in the ever changing political, monetary and regulatory environment. Therefore, the need for special education advocacy to ensure that children and their parents are protected under the law has never been more important.

The primary responsibility of a special education advocate is to represent the best interests of students in seeking special education supports and services under the law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Advocates are often former teachers, administrators, special education professionals, education specialists, and even parents. They may have expertise in areas like:

  • Teaching methods
  • Specific learning and attention issues, or other disabilities
  • Behavior strategies
  • Evaluations
  • Assistive technology
  • Mediating disputes
  • Knowledge of programs in different private and public schools
  • Special education law

 Read More

Board Certified Inclusive Education Specialist (BCIES) -b


The Benefits of Speech-to-Text Technology in All Classrooms

During in-person instruction, Vikram Nahal would correct console grips in his role as a Resource Specialist Program (RSP) teacher in Northern California. Learning console grips helps students develop the hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills necessary to correctly form shapes on a page. He could provide grip tools for pencils or guide students’ hands with his own, familiarizing them with the strokes. During virtual education, he relied on reference materials and parent assistance when available. An adult in the room could help demonstrate grips, steer hands and inform Nahal when additional resources were needed. Despite the difficulties of offering support remotely, Nahal found that virtual learning allowed him to experiment with new technologies that supported his students with learning disabilities. Speech-to-text technology allowed them to more easily transfer their ideas onto the page. This especially helped his students with ADHD and processing-related disabilities, such as auditory processing disorder or working memory deficits. Read More



Scientists Demonstrate Promising New Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

UNC School of Medicine scientists led a collaboration of researchers to demonstrate a potentially powerful new strategy for treating cystic fibrosis (CF) and potentially a wide range of other diseases. It involves small, nucleic acid molecules called oligonucleotides that can correct some of the gene defects that underlie CF but are not addressed by existing modulator therapies. The researchers used a new delivery method that overcomes traditional obstacles of getting oligonucleotides into lung cells. As the scientists reported in the journal Nucleic Acids Research, they demonstrated the striking effectiveness of their approach in cells derived from a CF patient and in mice. Read More






After Months of Special Education Turmoil, Families Say Schools Owe Them

Roughly 7 million children in the U.S. receive special education services under a decades-old federal law — or did, until the pandemic began. Many of those services slowed or stopped when schools physically shut down in spring 2020. Modified instruction, behavioral counseling, and speech and physical therapy disappeared or were feebly reproduced online, for three, six, nine months. In some places, they have yet to fully resume. For many children with disabilities, families say this disruption wasn't just difficult. It was devastating. Kate Maglothin in Waterford, Mich., says for her and her 7-year-old son, Finn, learning from home without extra support was "mentally and physically and emotionally draining." "I just watched my child not learning and going backwards," remembers Rachael Berg, a mother in Anne Arundel County, Md., whose 6-year-old daughter, Maddie, has an intellectual disability and attention deficit disorder. "I'm just sad for her." Read More



NY Bill Will Let Students with Disabilities Continue Education Past Age 21

Students with disabilities enrolled in special learning programs who reached age 21 during the pandemic would be able to remain in their programs until the age 23 rather than “aging-out” of public education, under legislation that passed the Assembly and Senate last week. The legislation, which was co-sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, would allow special education students to return to school until completing their individualized education plans or turning 23 years old – whichever is sooner. It passed both the Assembly and Senate unanimously among the flood of bills that won approval in the final hours of the 2021 legislative session. “Every student deserves access to a quality education that helps them thrive and for many special education students, that means having supportive school districts that meet the specific needs of their intellectual or developmental disabilities,” said Santabarbara. “As the father of a child with autism, I know the challenges that the pandemic has posed for individuals with disabilities.” Read More





Parents Say Schools Must Make Up For Failing Kids with Disabilities During Pandemic

Families say schools must make up for all their children have lost after the special education services they have a legal right to were disrupted or stopped during the pandemic in many districts. In the U.S., schoolchildren with disabilities have a legal right to special education services. But in many school districts, these vital services - including speech and occupational therapy, behavioral counseling - well, they were disrupted or stopped altogether during the pandemic. Now, 15 months later, many families say schools must make up for all their children have lost. NPR's Cory Turner is here to talk about this. Read More



Knowing What Schools Did in the Pandemic is Crucial. So Is Preserving That Data

Key information about how COVID-19 created an unprecedented year for students is at risk of being lost if it’s not compiled in a way that can help track the effects of the pandemic for years to come, one prominent researcher says. So even as schools look forward to recovery, Brown University economics Professor Emily Oster is looking back, leading a project to capture all of the data states collected about school operations in 2020-21 and to present it in a consistent format that can inform researchers and policy makers well into the future. “I think we are at risk of losing this information,” Oster said. “If we just decide, ‘OK, forget it,’ and then we don’t think about the next six months, I think we may actually find ourselves in a worse situation than we would be otherwise.” Read More



To Get Billions in COVID-19 Aid, States Pledge Focus on Mental Health, Learning Recovery

States seeking access to billions in federally enacted coronavirus relief say they plan to prioritize the mental and emotional needs of students, support academic-recovery strategies such as intensive tutoring, and focus on services ranging from nutrition to payments to staff who participate in summer-learning programs. The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that it is reviewing plans from 28 states detailing how they will use $122 billion in American Rescue Plan money to address the pandemic’s impacts and will do so before releasing that COVID-19 relief to states. The documents provide insights into how states want to, and in some cases already have, taken steps to ensure safe in-person learning environments and address academic concerns, among other priorities. Read More



Oppositional Defiant Disorder and How Paint is a Solution

The anger unleashed in a road conflict with horns, curses and even blows surely had its origin in that some of those involved, during their childhood, experienced oppositional defiant disorder. This according to Gema Lucero Sánchez Gutiérrez de Lara, Emergency psychiatry at the Marina Mazatlán Hospital, who in an interview for Tec Review, expresses the following: “It is not the same for a child to throw a tantrum when he is in the classroom and rolls and kicks than when he is an adult he gets out of the car and grabs with the person in front of him because he did not move forward with the light in yellow of the traffic light ”. The consequences, in the long run, are also less schooling, poor interpersonal relationships, divorces and more. Read More





Congratulations to: Catherine Cardenas, Tracey Christilles, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Karen Frantz-Fry, Helma Wardenaar, Cindi Maurice, Olumide Akerele, and Stephanie Jenkins who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

This person is most well-known for his groundbreaking work with “Victor”, the so-called homme sauvage or “wild boy”. His systematic attempts at educating Victor, whom he believed to be a victim of social/educational deprivation, signaled the start of the notion that individuals with significant disabilities are capable of learning. Though never making the progress he had hoped, this person’s techniques and willingness to stand up for the cause of "Victor the Wild Boy” were very influential to the training and education programs of the time. Who is this person that some call “The Father of Special Education”?


This week's trivia question: This syndrome is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. It results from a change, or mutation, in a single gene, which can be passed from one generation to the next. It appears in families of every ethnic group and income level. Symptoms of this syndrome occur because the mutated gene cannot produce enough of a protein that is needed by the body's cells, especially cells in the brain, to develop and function normally. People with this syndrome also share certain medical problems as well as many common physical characteristics, such as large ears and a long face. What is this syndrome?

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

Executive Dysfunction in Children with Autism

Executive function is a collective term for critical functions such as planning, working memory, impulse control, inhibition, initiation, and monitoring of tasks or actions. Executive functioning is mediated by the frontal lobe, meaning any developmental delay that implicates the frontal lobe typically results in executive dysfunction.  Executive dysfunction is observed in conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This article will look at the cognitive theory of executive dysfunction in ASD. Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by difficulties in social interaction and social communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. These autism traits make general functioning much more challenging, and many scientists argue that executive dysfunction explains these traits. Read More



Alternative Gene-Therapy Approaches Take Aim at Rett Syndrome

In theory, researchers know how to reverse many of the debilitating effects of Rett Syndrome: Boost expression of the protein MECP2. People with the condition typically have a mutated copy of the MECP2 gene and, as a result, deficient levels of its protein. This loss leads to intellectual disability, autism, seizures and trouble walking, talking and breathing. But in practice, getting people’s cells to express the right level of MECP2 protein has proved complicated. Unlike with protein deficiencies in some other genetic syndromes, MECP2 levels must be carefully titrated: Too little causes Rett syndrome; too much also leads to autism, seizures and developmental delay. Read More



Fewer Indiana Students Were Evaluated For Special Ed Services During The Pandemic

The total number of IEP evaluations completed in the 2019-20 school year — just more than 25,000 — dropped by about 16% compared to the 2018-19 school year, when nearly 30,000 evaluations were completed. The total number of evaluations initiated also dropped by about 13% over that period. (Eric Weddle/WFYI). Fewer Indiana students were evaluated for disabilities that would qualify them for special education services in the 2019-2020 school year than in previous school years, according to data provided by the Indiana Department of Education. Under federal law, an individualized education program (IEP) evaluation must be conducted to determine whether a student has a disability and is therefore eligible for special education services. These stats come as the state prepares to release standardized testing results that show a drop in scores — data that highlights the impact of the pandemic on students. Read More




Colorado Adopts More Rigorous Reading Test for Prospective Teachers

Colorado soon will require prospective elementary, early childhood, and special education teachers to take a more in-depth exam on reading instruction to earn their state teaching licenses. The State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt the new exam, called the Praxis 5205. The requirement will take effect Sept. 1 for all teacher candidates who are taking licensure tests for the first time on or after that date. The shift to a test that demands prospective teachers have more knowledge about reading instruction aligns with the state’s ongoing push to boost reading proficiency rates among Colorado students. State officials said they’d heard concerns from some teacher preparation program leaders that the new test could make it harder for prospective teachers of color to enter the field because they have historically not passed licensure tests at the same rates as have white teacher candidates. Read More



5 Ways School Leaders Can Model Well-Being to Staff

There is a famous saying in business that "culture eats strategy for breakfast". This is usually taken to mean that the culture of a company always determines success, regardless of how effective the strategy may be. Over the past 10 years, schools have introduced a range of strategies to enhance staff wellbeing: I’ve worked in schools where we have provided fruit at break and put on yoga and even gong baths at lunchtime. However, these strategies are useless if the culture of the school is pulling in a different direction. Thirty minutes of meditation is not going to cut it if the overriding context is an "arrive early, leave late" culture. Read More



Adolescents Who Stopped Studying Math After 16 Are at Greater Disadvantage in Cognitive Development

Years of studying math, like algebra, fractions, and mental arithmetic, may have some adolescents thinking to stop learning them at the earliest time possible. However, that move may not be beneficial for them. A new study, entitled “The impact of a lack of mathematical education on brain development and future attainment” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that quitting math at the age of 16 may have an adverse effect on cognitive development. Researchers from the University of Oxford led the study, which found that adolescents who continued learning math in their A-levels have higher levels of a crucial chemical in the brain that is responsible for memory, learning, and problem-solving. Read More



How to Introduce Lessons on Disability

In Illinois, where I work as a fourth-grade teacher, two new state plans will make it critical that schools select thoughtfully curated social and emotional learning (SEL) curricula that are culturally responsive and designed to serve marginalized students. Most of us know that identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, nationality, and religion are crucial aspects of this work. And they are, full stop. Yet there’s one area that often gets overlooked in these conversations: disability. As we begin the 2021–22 school year with a renewed focus on identity studies and anti-bias instruction, we must look to broaden our lens of intersectionality to incorporate disability. Read More



A Flickering Screen Helps Children with Reading Difficulties Concentrate Better

Children with reading and writing difficulties had an exceptionally hard time due to Covid-19. For this group, reading a normal book is already a huge challenge, but taking in school lessons via a screen and maintaining concentration is even more difficult. Researchers from Sweden and Norway have been looking for a way to solve this and have found a solution in what is known as “visual white noise.” This is what the University of Gothenburg has reported in the study Sensory white noise improves reading skills and memory recall in children with reading disability. Some people may already be familiar with the concept of auditory white noise. This is a monotonous sound. Think, for example, of a radio that is not tuned to a channel, a fan, a vacuum cleaner, or the roar of the sea. Previous studies have shown that this can help children with attention problems perform certain cognitive tasks better. Read More




* Emotional Disabilities Teacher Wanted (SPED) - Teachers To Go is looking for two highly motivated and skilled Special Education Teachers to fill two full-time emotional support classroom teacher positions at a special needs private school in Philadelphia. Positions are open for grades 1-3 or 6-9 or 9-12 (your choice) for the 21/22 school year. To learn more - Click here

* Autism Program Coordinator - Hammitt Schools - The Autism Program Coordinator works collaboratively with the school staff to ensure development and implementation of best practice social/behavioral, communication, and instructional strategies within the Challenges classrooms. Serves as a clinical leader in developing instructional and behavioral interventions in classrooms. To learn more - Click here.

* 21-22 Middle School Special Education Teacher 5-8 - We know that talented, committed, culturally competent teachers and leaders have the power to amplify our children’s potential by creating a school experience that affirms, values, and challenges them each day. We seek to create a professional environment full of joy, candor, care and respect where excellent educators can make a long-term home. To learn more - Click here

* Learning Disabilities Teacher, ES/MS/HS - Provides and is accountable for the planning, assessment, instruction, communication, human relations, safety, and management of a classroom or assigned instructional setting. Supports FCPS mission to "inspire, enable, and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and demonstrate responsible citizenship." To learn more - Click here

* Emotional Disabilities Teacher, MS/HS - Provides and is accountable for the planning, assessment, instruction, communication, human relations, safety, and management of a classroom or assigned instructional setting. Supports FCPS mission to "inspire, enable, and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and demonstrate responsible citizenship". To learn more - Click here

* Multiple Disabilities Teacher, ES/MS/HS - Provides and is accountable for the planning, assessment, instruction, communication, human relations, safety, and management of a classroom or assigned instructional setting. Supports FCPS mission to "inspire, enable, and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and demonstrate responsible citizenship." To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Provides services to students with a range of moderate to severe disabilities ages three to 21 years of age. Leads the IEP team to develop data driven student learning and behavioral goals. Responsible for developing curriculum and program strategies consistent with the student's learning level and to continually assess student progress towards IEP goals. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher LBS 1 - The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (O-School) is a private independent school that provides educational and therapeutic services to youth ages 8-22. For more than a century the O-School has provided a culture of support, a safe haven, and a path to hope for students with mental health challenges, who are on the autism spectrum, or both. We provide a supportive, nurturing environment that provides each child with individualized treatment that allows them to reach their full potential. 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

* Director of the Vocational Independence Program - Direct and oversee the overall operations of the program including supervision of staff, budget, and administrative functions. Will also work with various departments on campus, outside agencies including school districts, advocacy and family organizations to recruit a cohort of students for the CMSV-VIP program each year. To learn more - Click here

* Learning Specialist -  Kehillah Jewish High School is seeking a full-time experienced Learning Specialist to support students with learning needs through case management, collaboration and consultation with classroom teachers, and partnership with parents. The ideal candidate must be an expert in understanding the strengths of students with high-incidence disabilities and learning differences, and a proven practitioner in the implementation of research-based interventions and teaching learning strategies. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - Willamette Education Service District is accepting applications for a full-time (40 hours per week) Special Education Teacher position; bilingual Spanish preferred. Successful candidate will work as a member of the School Improvement Services department and will follow a 225-day calendar. To learn more - Click here

* Director of Special Education - Reports directly to the Executive Director with responsibility for planning, directing, and coordinating the delivery of school-wide special education and related services in compliance with state regulations and federal laws. The Director of Special Education provides leadership and coordination to ensure the overall design and implementation of individualized educational programs and support services. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher- Albemarle County Public Schools is committed to providing all students the opportunity to learn from talented, diverse teachers who represent the many cultures and experiences of our community. We seek to hire educators who demonstrate the ability to work with culturally diverse students, and who see themselves as lifelong learners – always willing to learn new things to best meet the ever-changing needs of our students. To learn more- Click here

* High School Learning Specialist 20-21 and 21-22 - Opportunity Charter School (OCS) teachers are trained in cutting-edge, research-based methodology of evaluating students’ academic strengths and challenges. To maximize each child’s personal development, an individualized education plan is created that is tailored to his or her unique needs. Students receive differentiated instruction in every curricular area with the goal of expanding their higher cognitive thinking. 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

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


Never be afraid to sit a while and think.

Lorraine Hansberry

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