Week in Review - March 26, 2021




National Association of Special Education Teachers

March 26, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #13

Dear NASET Members and Guests,

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications fromNASET to read and or download, as well as some of the most interesting articles that have happened this week in the field of special education. We hope you enjoy this publication.  Feel free to send us articles for this publication or let us know your thoughts about the WEEK in REVIEW at news@naset.org. Have a great weekend.




NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Answering Wh-Questions with the Support of Graphic Organizers: Effects on 8th Graders with Autism Spectrum Disorder



Karin R. Kliemann

Arlington Independent School District


Miriam C. Boesch

University of North Texas   


Endia J. Lindo

Texas Christian University

This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series comes from the Winter 2021 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP). Students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are being educated in general education content classrooms that use lessons directed to whole groups of students which limit use of visually presented material. For some students with ASD, having limited visual support hinders their abilities to process and comprehend material. Research shows promising results associated with the use of a graphic organizer to increase comprehension accuracy. The purpose of this study was to document the relationship between using a graphic organizer and increasing reading comprehension for students with ASD. The study used a single-subject, multiple-baseline design across participants to evaluate whether the use of a graphic organizer impacted the accuracy of answering wh-questions for grade-level social studies content. Participants included four eighth-grade students with ASD in an urban public school. Results supported current research by showing an increase in comprehension skills with the use of a graphic organizer. Read More


Families of Students with Disabilities Face New Challenges in the Era of Distance Learning

This past year has brought massive change for Oregon and Washington students. For students with both intellectual and developmental disabilities, learning at home brings added difficulties for families, as they’re forced to recreate school environments at home, with unfamiliar tools and without receiving services they’re accustomed to. And as schools are ramping up in-person instruction for students, families are concerned that some children have fallen behind and may not get the support to catch back up. OPB stayed in touch with a few families through the difficulties of the last year to learn more about their recent school experience and the decisions they’ll make going forward. Read More



20-Year-Old with Autism Pens Viral Letter to His ‘Future Employer’: ‘Take a Chance on Me’

After deciding he'd like to pursue a career in animation, 20-year-old Ryan Lowry penned a heartfelt message to his "future employer" that described his talents and passions, while also noting that he has autism. Ryan, who recently celebrated his birthday, posted the handwritten letter to LinkedIn. In it, he described his gift of mathematics, his sense of humor, and his go-getter attitude that made him ready to learn anything he needs to succeed.  "I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me, I don't learn like typical people do," he wrote, in part. "I would need a mentor to teach me, but I learn quickly, once you explain it, I get it. I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you'll be glad that you did." "I will show up every day, do what you tell me to do, and work really hard," he added. Read More



A Year into Pandemic, People with Developmental Disabilities Struggle to Connect

Demetrius Broyles' mom helped him log into a Zoom session with a few of his coworkers from Easterseals, a nonprofit that works with people living with developmental disabilities. It provides job services and socialization opportunities. But a lot of people the organization works with are unemployed now because of the pandemic.  "I'm at home right now because of this mess and I can't do nothing right now," Broyles says. "Because I'm missing out on church, my friends at church, missing out on a lot of activities — going places like going to the Reds games."  He'll especially miss the Opening Day parade, even though he says they never win. While people all over are missing things like baseball and friends, it's a little different for Broyles because his life — work, friends, family — used to be so dependent on the community he's built for himself at Easterseals. He's been employed there for more than a decade, doing a lot of different jobs. Most recently, he was a custodian. Read More



The COVID Chronicles: Teachers Have Adapted Amid Pandemic Challenges

About a year ago, no one knew this would happen, Lisa Robinson and Travis Byrnes said as they sat in a classroom at Batavia High School after dismissal Monday, looking back on the closing of schools from mid-March 2020 until the end of the year and the planned reopening in September, with the health and safety guidelines in place and the mix of remote and in-person instruction models. “We were told ‘two weeks’ and then it just kept extending from there,” Robinson, a special education teacher, said. “This year, I feel like we’re handling things much better.” Byrnes, a health teacher, said it’s been a learning process for everyone. “Obviously, our concern is providing the best opportunity for kids to succeed, whether it’s learning new software that we’re using online or whether it’s learning to manage in-person and virtual at the same time, or just virtual,” he said. “We started at Point A, where we didn’t know exactly what was going to be the future to now we’re there and I think we’re starting to piece it together in a way that is meaningful.” Read More



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

Schooling Has Changed Forever. Here’s What Will Stay When Things Go Back to Normal

There’s no going back. That is the consensus emerging from education leaders across the country as the nation enters a second year of schooling in a pandemic. A public school district in Arizona is looking to become a service provider for parents who have pulled their children out to home-school them. In Oklahoma, students are having a say in where and when they learn. And educators everywhere are paying closer attention to students’ mental well-being. “None of us would have ever wanted to go through this,” said Deborah Gist, the superintendent of schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  “We have a chance now to make it something that will change teaching and learning forever for the better.” Read More



How Students are Fighting Zoom Fatigue

Zoom. Google Meet. Microsoft Teams. We used to work in offices or go to school for classes. Now many of us are working all day in little “Zoom boxes” where the line between work and rest gets blurrier every day, along with our eyesight. Experts say many who work remotely are experiencing the same side effect of quarantine: exhaustion borne from endless video meetings, known as Zoom fatigue. Students, attending hours of online class, five days a week, may experience the worst of it. We’re all aware of the hypothetical solutions. More exercise! Avoid screens! Do something relaxing! However, all of these quick fixes are easier said than done. We think to ourselves: How can I exercise if I need to finish all my homework for today? How do I have fun when there’s a global pandemic going on? Read More



Where Have All the Kindergartners Gone?

Five years old and already knowing her letters and basic subtraction, Annika Dunlap sat down in late August for her first day of kindergarten. Her mom helped her log in. Ninety minutes later, kindergarten was over for Annika. For good. “We decided, this is not for a 5-year-old,” said her mom, Nahoko Dunlap, 39. “The teacher was great, and I was really hoping she would love her teacher, but asking a 5-year-old to sit in front of a computer for 90 minutes wasn’t ideal.” After that one morning session, Dunlap, a scientist who grew up in Japan, withdrew Annika from kindergarten at her local public elementary school in Fremont, California. She and her husband, who works as a software engineer, felt that Annika’s social experience was more important than any academic progress she might make in remote kindergarten. Read More



Hybrid Hangups: What Teachers Struggle with Most in Hybrid Instruction

K–12 education in the U.S. is all over the board: Some districts are fully online, some are fully in-person, and many have implemented a hybrid model. To learn about the struggles teachers are experiencing, I reached out to educators across the country and compiled a list of the biggest challenges when it comes to the hybrid model, and how teachers are meeting those challenges. Hopefully, the following insights will encourage teachers who may be feeling anxious about moving to a hybrid model and reassure others that they’re not alone in some of the challenges they’re facing. Read More



Advocates, Agencies Weather COVID-19 without Federal Autism Committee

The committee tasked with coordinating autism research and services across government agencies in the United States has not met since July 2019, leaving advocates and agencies unsupported during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) usually meets at least twice a year to hear from experts and make recommendations to the secretary of Health and Human Services. Without these regular sessions, former members say, it has been challenging for autism agencies, researchers and advocates to choreograph coronavirus-related efforts, such as adapting autism services to telehealth or researching what makes some people with developmental conditions more vulnerable to COVID-19. Read More




Congratulations to: Jenny Hickman, Arpi Tamzarian, Telisha Latham, Tracey Anderson, Kathleen Klier, Renee Quarles, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Stephanie Jenkins, Laurie Crawford, Patsy Ray, Olumide Akerele, Karen Frantz-Fry, Cindi Maurice, and Tracey Christilles who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

When selecting tests to assess children for suspected disabilities we want to be sure that the tests measure what they are supposed to measure. For example, if we administer a reading comprehension test, we need to be sure that the research suggests that this test actually does measure reading comprehension. What is the term used in assessment that addresses the question “Does the test measure what it is supposed to measure”?


This Week's Trivia Question: The prevalence of this disorder among Black and Hispanic children in the United States has increased by more than 40% since 2014, according to an analysis published this month by JAMA Network Open. According to the researchers of the study, the 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. 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 30, 2021. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

A Tool for More Inclusive Autism Screening

Screening tools for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often fail to identify ASD among children from low-income families and racial/ethnic minority groups, particularly when English is not the family’s primary language. A new visually-based tool may reduce these disparities at a pivotal point in children’s development. In Pediatric, Zuleyha Ciday, David Mandell, , and colleagues found that the  Developmental Check-In Tool (DCI) can accurately identify ASD risk among young children from families that have low income or speak English as a second language. Most of the sample was Hispanic, enrolled in Medicaid or uninsured, and from families where English was not the primary language. The DCI is written in both English and Spanish, and it includes 26 pictures in four domains: communication, play, social, and behavior. Each picture includes a brief description. Read More



Video-Led Feedback Program Reduces Behavior Problems in Children as Young as 12 Months

A home-based parenting program to prevent childhood behavior problems, which very unusually focuses on children when they are still toddlers and, in some cases, just 12 months old, has proven highly successful during its first public health trial. The six-session program involves providing carefully-prepared feedback to parents about how they can build on positive moments when playing and engaging with their child using video clips of everyday interactions, which are filmed by a health professional while visiting their home. It was trialed with 300 families of children who had shown early signs of behavior problems. Half of the families received the program alongside routine healthcare support, while the other half received routine support alone. When assessed five months later, the children whose families had access to the video-feedback approach displayed significantly reduced behavioral problems compared with those whose families had not. Read More



Pandemic Underscores Challenges in Special Education

After a year of the pandemic, schools are starting to get back to normal with more and more switching to full, in-person classes. While virtual learning has been going by the wayside, new infections has led to targeted shutdowns of individual classes. The occasional week of virtual classes may seem like a minor irritant for some students and parents but for kids with special needs, it can be particularly difficult. Kat Bodkin is Executive Director of the Lowcountry Autism Foundation – a nonprofit serving around 3,000 families. She is also the parent of a child with autism. “He went virtual and he just kind of shut down because he did not understand seeing his teachers on virtual and we saw a lot of behavioral changes and really, frankly, a lot of the students can’t sit that long, can’t stay focused and engaged that long,” Bodkin said. Read More



UNICEF: COVID-19 Threatened a Generation, Set Back Education

After a year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, indicators measuring child and adolescent development have all regressed with closed schools, surging poverty, spike in forced marriages and rising depression affected by the pandemic among many other factors, a setback that heralds lasting stigma for an entire generation, UNICEF warned Thursday. "The number of children who are hungry, isolated, abused, anxious, living in poverty and forced into marriage has increased," Henrietta Fore, executive director of the UNICEF, said in a statement released exactly one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) classified COVID-19 as a pandemic. "Their access to education, socialization and essential services including health, nutrition and protection has decreased. The signs that children will bear the scars of the pandemic for years to come are unmistakable," Fore said in the statement.



Exercise During Pregnancy May Save Kids from Health Problems as Adults

Exercise during pregnancy may let mothers significantly reduce their children's chances of developing diabetes and other metabolic diseases later in life, new research suggests. A study in lab mice has found that maternal exercise during pregnancy prevented the transmission of metabolic diseases from an obese parent -- either mother or father -- to child. If the finding holds true in humans, it will have "huge implications" for helping pregnant women ensure their children live the healthiest lives possible, the researchers report in a new scientific paper. This means that one day soon, a woman's first trip to the doctor after conceiving might include a prescription for an exercise program. "Most of the chronic diseases that we talk about today are known to have a fetal origin. This is to say that the parents' poor health conditions prior to and during pregnancy have negative consequences to the child, potentially through chemical modification of the genes," said researcher Zhen Yan, PhD, a top exercise expert at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Read More



Research Evidence Increases for Intensive Tutoring

This month marks a full year since many school buildings around the country closed and the pandemic changed the way our children learn. I believe it’s safe to say that most students haven’t thrived online. Everyone is worried about the year of lost learning but there’s less consensus among politicians and policymakers on what to do about it. Proposals are circulating for summer school, afterschool, remedial instruction, giving students an extra year of school and a somewhat fuzzy concept of “acceleration.” Yet some of the strongest research evidence points to an intensive type of tutoring as a way to help children catch up. Read More



University of Alabama


* ESE Teacher - The ESE Teacher position is responsible for coaching, motivating and instructing special education high school students within the company model, with attention given to each student’s Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) and Individual Educational Plan (IEP) The ESE teacher collaborates with classroom teachers and support staff to insure that the instructional and social-emotional needs of the special education student are met. To learn more - Click here

* New Visions Charter Special Education Teacher - New Visions for Public Schools is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of public education in New York City. Today, we support over 1,050 public schools and thousands of teachers, serving 700,000 students, in their most critical work: deciding what and how to teach, helping keep students on track to graduation, and preparing students for success beyond high school. New Visions directly manages a network of 10 charter high schools across the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. 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

* 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

* 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


A year from now you may wish you had started today.

Karen Lamb

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