Week in Review - March 19, 2021



National Association of Special Education Teachers

March 19, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #12

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.





Examining the Effectiveness of Fidgets on Attention of Elementary Students with ADHD

Leslie A. Mathews, MA.Ed.

University of Oklahoma

Kimberly J. Osmani, M. Ed.

University of Oklahoma

James E. Martin, Ph.D.

University of Oklahoma

This issue of NASET’s ADHD series is taken from the Fall 2020 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP). Research demonstrates students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other attention difficulties benefit from using tools to expend energy in positive, socially acceptable means while not distracting others. Tactile fidgets may assist with self-regulated behaviors. This study examined the effectiveness of using hand and foot fidgets to increase the focused instructional attention of four elementary students with ADHD. All four participants selected and used their preferred fidget appropriately as directed. ABAB withdrawal design results indicated immediate level and trend change with a 45-55% overall attention gain. Results and implications for future research are discussed. Read More


ADHD Brains on Screens: Decoding a Complicated Relationship

Zoom is not a hammer. Instagram is not a shovel. Your iPad is not a screwdriver. We call these technologies “tools,” but they don’t perform a discrete function and then hibernate in the shed. These screens — used 8.5 hours a day, on average, by ADDitude readers during the pandemic — exert a powerful and sometimes nefarious influence on the ADHD brain. The wins and likes of video games and social media deliver the potent hits of dopamine that ADHD brains crave, a biological need also satisfied — albeit momentarily — by an impulsive Amazon purchase or a hilarious TikTok video. But the ADHD brain is never satisfied. Five hours of Fortnite today will not satiate; it will demand more tomorrow. Video game and social media dependence are dominant concerns today, according to a new survey of 885 ADDitude readers regarding technology use during the pandemic.




There Is No ‘Average Student.’ So How Should Educators Measure Learning?

There are longstanding debates about testing in education. Some say we test kids too much and should do away with things like the SAT. Others think assessments still have value and must continue, but delivered in more modern ways. So, what’s the right amount? But what if that’s the wrong question? What if the way we think about testing and how we measure students is broken altogether? That’s the argument made by our podcast guest this week, Todd Rose, who has researched the history of grades and standardized tests and argues for a new way to think about them.




Improving Accessibility for Students and Faculty with Disabilities

In spring 2020, the emergency pivot to remote learning significantly increased the number of roadblocks for students with disabilities. A year later, many higher education institutions are still struggling to achieve universal design. A growing share of online coursework now contains PDFs, a file format that is difficult for higher education IT departments to make accessible. Meanwhile, unexpected hurdles seem to emerge each day. PBS reports that most COVID-19 vaccine information and registration websites are not accessible for people with visual impairments, creating challenges for IT leaders as they support campus reopening plans. While it may not always be possible to achieve 100 percent accessibility, here are some approaches higher education IT teams can take — even with limited resources — to improve learning experiences for students with disabilities.




Evaluating Psychiatric Disorders Among Adolescents With Chronic Migraine

More treatment methods focused on reducing functionality loss and adopting multidisciplinary and prospective approaches via psychiatric screening should be developed for adolescents with chronic migraine (CM), researchers writing in BMC Neurology concluded. Approximately 3.5% of adolescents suffer from headaches, while around 69.0% of adolescents referred to headache centers are diagnosed with CM, authors explained. As biological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral factors are known to contribute to headache occurrences during adolescence, evaluating comorbid psychiatric conditions among this cohort may provide insights into more comprehensive and effective treatments.



Teenager Publishes Book to Inspire Other Children with Dyslexia

At just 15 years old, a teenager from Westlake is already a published author. Her mission to help others is #SomethingGood. Karlayna Platt, a sophomore at Westlake Academy, just published her first book last week called “Inspire Your Power”. "It's a passion project born from her journey with dyslexia. Platt was diagnosed with the learning disorder in the 3rd grade. “My parents thought I was struggling a little because I would get frustrated. I have a twin sister and she was a little ahead of me,” she said. “I was really confused. I didn’t really know what was going on but I just remember being frustrated with myself and not understanding why I couldn’t pick up topics as fast as everyone.” With the help of teachers, family and friends, Karlayna has worked hard to make sure her diagnoses didn't stop her from living life to the fullest. Outside of classes, she is active on her high school volleyball team and does community work through the National Charity League.




Autism Masking: To Blend or Not to Blend

Hiding who you are is an uncomfortable and exhausting experience. For many autistic people, that experience is a daily reality. In places where neurodiversity is not understood or welcomed, autistic people often feel the need to present or perform social behaviors that are considered neurotypical. Some people may also feel they have to hide neurodiverse behaviors in order to be accepted. Masking autism may sometimes help protect autistic people from being “outed” or harassed at school or work. But masking can also lead to serious health consequences — so it’s important to understand the behavior and its effects on people who regularly camouflage their neurodiversity.




How Covid Relief Will Help People with Disabilities, And What Was Left Out

The American Rescue Plan passed its final vote last week on a 220-211 vote along strict party lines. The plan’s best-known feature, a third round of economic stimulus checks to individuals and families, will start going out almost immediately. The bill seems to have strong support, not just among Democrats and Independents, but from a substantial percentage of Republican voters as well. This is a major political victory for the new Biden Administration. And as many economists say, (though not all of them), the bill looks to be an essential toolbox for Covid-19 pandemic relief and economic recovery. This massive $1.9 trillion package is also a significant win for disabled people in the U.S., though it won’t deliver all that the disability community had hoped for.




Students are Struggling to Read Behind Masks and Screens During COVID-19, but ‘Expectations are No Different’

Reading brings out the competitor in 8-year-old Uriah Hargrave. The second grader at Eaton Park Elementary in Vermilion Parish along Louisiana's southwest coast was thrilled to return to in-person learning in January. One of his favorite things is the Accelerated Reader program in which he wins points for the books he reads. "I like to read because I like to take AR," Uriah said. "You get more (points and prizes) every time. ... Yesterday, I read a big ol' chapter book about animals with kids." His points pay off in extra free time outside and "Star Bucks" that he can use to buy erasers and spy pens at the school store. Plus, his reading helps advance his class's gingerbread cutout on the Candy Land game bulletin board in the school hallway. He proudly pointed out where his class was in relation to the other second grade classes.



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

How to Improve Oxytocin Research for Autism

Few hormones have captured as much interest from scientists and laypeople alike as oxytocin. This hormone is produced primarily in the brain, where it acts as a neurotransmitter, but it also has functions throughout the body. Researchers have known for more than a century that oxytocin helps to initiate childbirth and facilitate breastfeeding, for example, and a wealth of research over the past two decades supports its role in social behavior as well. Administering the hormone may even ease the social difficulties characteristic of autism, according to studies in both animals and people. Thanks to these findings, interest in oxytocin as a treatment for autism is progressing through a ‘hype cycle,’ which characterizes many innovations: Initial excitement is followed by disappointment when results fail to meet high expectations, and then a plateau phase, when expectations match actuality.




Problematic Internet Use and Teen Depression are Closely Linked

Most teenagers don't remember life before the internet. They have grown up in a connected world, and being online has become one of their main sources of learning, entertaining and socializing. As many previous studies have pointed out, and as many parents worry, this reality does not come risk-free. Whereas time on the internet can be informative, instructive and even pleasant, there is already significant literature on the potential harm caused by young children's problematic internet use (PIU). However, a new study led by István Tóth-Király, a Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Substantive-Methodological Synergy Research Laboratory in Concordia's Department of Psychology, is one of only a few that examines PIU's effects on older adolescents. The paper was co-written by professor of psychology Alexandre Morin and Lauri Hietajärvi and Katariina Salmela-Aro of the University of Helsinki.




Study Reveals Process to Explain How Maternal Stress Triggers Idiopathic Preterm Birth

Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant deaths and illness in the U.S. -- yet its underlying molecular causes remain largely unclear. About 40 to 50% of preterm births, defined as births before 37 weeks of pregnancy, are estimated to be "idiopathic," meaning they arise from unexplained or spontaneous labor. And, maternal stress linked to depression and post-traumatic stress disorders as well as fetal stress have been strongly implicated in preterm births with no known cause. Now, for the first time, a University of South Florida Health (USF Health) preclinical study has uncovered a mechanism to help explain how psychological and/or physiological stress in pregnant women triggers idiopathic preterm birth.




Can Moving to Music Help Adults with Physical Disabilities?

A UAB/ Lakeshore Research Collaborative team wants to determine if music and movement can help adults with physical and mobility disabilities. The exercise program is called Movement to Music. It’s a rhythmic-based program delivered through Zoom where participants can actively engage with instructors and other participants at the convenience of their own homes. Project Coordinator Alex Yates says each class comes with its own style. “We have a rock-n-roll class, we have salsa, we have country, even Latin and classical,” said Yates. Organizers say the study is to test the effects of music and movement on health and fitness outcomes in adults with physical and mobility disabilities. The classes meet virtually three times each week for 12 weeks. Yates says so far, the program is a big success, and they are still taking new participants.





Congratulations to: Julia Sappington, Patsy Ray, Mariola Papa, Karen Frantz-Fry, Olumide Akerele, Laurie D'Amico, Cindi Maurice, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Helma Wardenaar, Wanda Routier, and Susan Mason who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

At specific times, and for certain violations of the student code of conduct, the federal law’s (IDEIA) discipline procedures require school systems to conduct what is known as a “manifestation determination review.” The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the child’s behavior that led to the disciplinary infraction is linked to his or her disability. Under IDEIA, a manifestation determination must occur within how days of any decision to change the child’s placement because of a violation of a code of student conduct?

Answer: 10 SCHOOL DAYS

This Week's Trivia Question: According to a UCLA study, students with this disorder make up about 6% of the college student population and represent the most common type of disability supported by college disability offices. What is the disorder?

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by March 23, 2021. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

Family Upset at Southwest After Son with Disabilities Kicked Off Flight for No Mask Despite Doctors’ Notes

A family trying to fly from Midway to Los Angeles Monday said they were discriminated against because their son is disabled and cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. The Fleming family believes Southwest Airlines needs to be aware of how its policies affect its most vulnerable passengers. Bryan Fleming, 22, functions like a toddler due to his disability. Family said he’s vaccinated and has orders from two doctors for a mask exemption. “We had two doctors’ letters, a negative COVID test, we have proof of his two COVID vaccines,” mother Cheri Fleming said. “Gave everything they needed and it still wasn’t good enough still.” Fleming and her son were trying to fly from Midway to Los Angeles on Monday.




We Need to Rename ADHD

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It is an often-used quote, and for good reason. Juliet tragically underestimated the impact of the Montague surname. She was not the first, nor the last, to underestimate the power of the names we give. In psychiatry, handbooks determine which names (or classifications) we give to the difficulties that people face. We use them so that when we say ADHD, schizophrenia or depression, people have a more or less consistent idea of what we mean. Moreover, it enables us to study groups of people with the same classification and learn about treatments and prognostics. However, a severe and often overlooked side effect of this practice is that these names implicitly suggest causality. The classificatory terms we use all refer to disorders that cause symptoms, and therefore suggest that we understand the causes of the problems.




Autism Rates Among Black, Hispanic Children Rise By 40% Since 2014, Study Finds

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among Black and Hispanic children in the United States has increased by more than 40% since 2014, according to an analysis published Thursday by JAMA Network Open. The percentage of Black children diagnosed with the developmental disorder increased to 3.2% in 2019 from 2.2% six years earlier, the data showed. Over the same period, the prevalence of the disorder in Hispanic children rose to 2.1% from 1.5%. These increases are likely due, at least in part, to improved access to diagnostic and treatment services for the disorder, which affects communication and behavior, in these populations, researchers said.  "This rising trend from our study may be explained by the improved access to healthcare for earlier diagnosis, which is the good news, or by genetic inequities, which is the bad news," study co-author Kevin Lu told UPI.



* 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

* Education Specialist - Mental Health and Behavior - Willamette Education Service District is accepting applications for two full-time (40 hours per week). (Bilingual Spanish preferred). Successful candidate will work as a member of the Cross-Functional Equity, Inclusion and Achievement Team in the School Improvement Services Department, and will follow a 205-day calendar.  To learn more - Click here

* Assistant Principal - DC Public Schools - We are looking for highly mo vated and skilled talent to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a signi?cant di?erence in the lives of public school students, parents, principals, teachers, and central o?ce employees. 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

* SEIS Contract Administrator - The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) is seeking an SEIS Contract Administrator to direct the SEIS contract for the benefit of children and youth residing in facilities operated by the Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health, Public Health, Youth Services, and the County Houses of Correction. CES’s mission is to develop and foster educational excellence and opportunity for all learners through collaboration and leadership. To learn more - Click here

* Elementary ICT Teacher (2021-2022) - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Elementary ICT Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, primarily through integrated co-teaching. 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

* Lower Elementary SPED Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Lower Elementary SPED Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, primarily through integrated co-teaching. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. Toe learn more - Click here

Private Special Education Teacher (Guanacaste, Costa Rica) - This is a part-time, live-in position working with two bright and energetic boys, ages 9 and 10, in their fourth-grade homeschool, starting ASAP. Ideal candidates will have bachelors or masters in Special Education, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Certified Behavioral Analysis or a related field. To learn more - Click here

* Intermediate School District 917 is seeking an exceptional leader to serve as Superintendent - ISD 917 is one of four intermediate school districts in Minnesota created by the Minnesota Legislature in the late 1960s. The ISD 917 School Board was organized in March 1970, and is comprised of one board member from each of the nine member school districts. Currently, member districts include Bloomington, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage, Farmington Area, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville Area, Randolph, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area. To learn more - Click here

* SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services) Teacher - At Zeta, we pursue an unprecedented combination of high academic achievement and social-emotional development. We insist that every child receives a world-class education while fostering a love for learning. We are changing the public education landscape for all of New York City’s children, and we are uncompromising in our mission. 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.  You will be an employee and receive full benefits. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teachers - All areas - We are looking for highly motivated and skilled talent to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a significant difference in the lives of public school students, parents, principals, teachers, and central office employees. To learn more - Click here

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


People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Rob Siltanen

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