Week in Review - November 6, 2020




National Association of Special Education Teachers

November 6, 2020                    Vol 16 Issue #45

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.



November 2020 - Special Educator e-Journal

Table of Contents

  • Special Education Legal Alert. By Perry A. Zirkel
  • Preliminary Summary of Dispute Resolution Survey Results. By Natalie Jones & Perry A. Zirkel
  • Buzz from the Hub
  • U.S. Department of Education Releases Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide
  • Prevalence of Hearing Loss in the Winneba Municipality, Ghana. By Emmanuel Kwasi Acheampong
  • Exploring Factors Related to Burnout among Special Education Teachers in Specialized Schools. By Oksana Huk and Brian Cesario
  • Book Reviews
  • Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader: A Guide to Cultivating Effective Leadership and Organizations. By Julie M. Pfeiffer
  • Lead like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for your Students and Staff. By Cristina Barros
  • If You Don’t Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students! Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers. By Sofia M. Borron
  • Latest NASET Job Posting
  • Acknowledgements

Read More


Getting to the Basics of Humor for People on the Autism Spectrum

From an early age, autism spectrum disorder has played a significant role in Maja Watkins’ life. Not only is her older brother Zack on the spectrum, Watkins is a social and emotional learning specialist who works with children and adults diagnosed with ASD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. It’s largely marked by difficulty in social communication or interaction and repetitive behaviors. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because there is a high degree of variability among the individuals diagnosed. Growing up, Watkins experienced a number of instances where her and her brother’s communication styles didn’t always align, especially in the area of humor. Read More


Myrtle Beach Parents: Schools Not Fulfilling Legally-Binding Special Education Plans During Hybrid Learning

Teresa Gaddy quit her job to help guide her daughter through her schoolwork after the switch to hybrid learning meant her daughter wasn’t getting the in-person support she needs. “She needs face-to-face,” Gaddy said. “She needs hands-on. She needs that one-on-one that she’s not getting in school right now.” Gaddy’s daughter is in the third grade at Palmetto Bays Elementary School in Myrtle Beach. Her learning disability means she has an IEP — an individualized education program — that outlines her special needs and which interventions she will receive. It is a legally-binding document. That plan includes providing specialized teachers for reading and math, where Gaddy’s daughter reviews assignments before her regular instructor teaches them. With the district’s current hybrid learning model, Gaddy said her daughter isn’t getting that support. Read More


Mothers Pass on Allergies to Offspring

Mothers can pass allergies to offspring while they are developing in the womb, researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore reported this week in the journal Science. The study, which employed an animal model conducted according to the National Advisory Committee for Laboratory Animal Research (NACLAR) guidelines, shows that the key antibody responsible for triggering allergic reactions, immunoglobulin E (IgE), can cross the placenta and enter the fetus. When inside the fetus, the antibody binds to fetal mast cells, a type of immune cell that releases chemicals that trigger allergic reactions, from runny noses to asthma. After birth, newborn mice develop allergic reactions to the same type of allergen as their mothers at the time of first exposure -- unlike adult mice, which require two exposures. Studies in the laboratory also showed that maternal IgE can bind to human fetal mast cells, indicating they might cross the placenta in humans in a similar way. Read More


Most Parents Worry Students Will Fall Behind Due to the Pandemic

A Pew Research Center survey found that 32% of parents are very concerned and 36% of parents are somewhat concerned that their children will fall behind in school as a result of any disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While parents of children learning at least partially online are concerned, so are parents of children learning in-person only. About one-third, 34%, are somewhat concerned, compared to 21% who are very concerned about their children falling behind in school because of the pandemic. While schools across the country continue to decide the best way to educate students and whether to open schools in person, a majority of parents of students are satisfied with the way their children's school has handled instruction so far this school year, whether in person or a mix of both. Read More


When Kids Say ‘I’m Not a Reader’: How Librarians Can Disrupt Traumatic Reading Practices

“I’m not a reader.” It’s a common refrain Julia Torres, a teacher-librarian in Denver Public Schools, has heard throughout her 16-year career. She’s seen students tear up books, throw them away or check them out only to immediately return them all because they didn’t have confidence in their ability to read. As a librarian, Torres feels strongly that libraries should be spaces of liberation, places where students can develop a love of reading at any stage. Reading is a skill that everyone can grow to love, but too many negative experiences during a child’s literacy education can result in trauma that appears as boredom, apathy or even anger. When a student has a poor experience like being shamed for their reading choices, they can begin to associate reading with painful feelings of insecurity, humiliation and/or toxic stress. These negative experiences can start as early as kindergarten and go on to impact a student’s self-image throughout their entire educational career. Read More


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

4 Ways Leaders are Keeping Teachers Motivated Through Pandemic Disruption

From the pressure put on first responders to the demands placed on essential workers, COVID-19 upended professional norms across all industries — especially education. Last spring, teachers had to retrofit in-person curricula for a virtual environment and adopt new approaches for teaching students from afar. Then came fall, with the question of whether buildings would reopen hanging over every district. Concerns about the virus are mixed with worries that students aren’t getting as much through online learning as they did in the classroom. With cases continuing to surge into winter, the light at the end of the tunnel remains distant. Through it all, principals and other administrators are continuing to serve as cheerleaders and make connections to invaluable resources. We asked four leaders how they're keeping teachers and staff motivated. Here's what we learned. Read More


World Campus Program Supports Special Education Teachers Through Pandemic Challenges

Working with children with special needs during the pandemic has presented new challenges for educators. Penn State World Campus students who are special education teachers say the support they get from the education faculty and program is helping them manage those challenges.  The faculty in the College of Education, home to the master of education in special education program, have created lists of resources for teaching online, set up one-on-one meetings with students and held Zoom open houses for students to talk with professors and each other about their experiences on the job. “It’s really nice to have that support there,” said Alex Condie, an emotional support teacher working with fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania, school district. Condie is pursuing a master’s degree in special education with an emphasis in academic and behavioral supports. Read More


Virginia Department of Education Stepping Up Its Monitoring After Critical Federal Report

Richmond and other local public school divisions will face more oversight of their special education programs from the Virginia Department of Education. Notification that VDOE is stepping up its monitoring went out last month and follows a critical federal report issued June 23 that found the state education department failed to respond to parents’ complaints about the services local school divisions provided to their children, failed to monitor local programs and failed to responsibly enforce a federal law governing special education. Seeking to address those issues, Dr. James F. Lane, state superintendent of public instruction, has advised local school divisions that VDOE will be more on the case as a result of the wake-up call from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. Read More


World's First Agreed Guidance for People with Diabetes to Exercise Safely

A Swansea University academic has helped draw up a landmark agreement amongst international experts, setting out the world's first standard guidance on how people with diabetes can use modern glucose monitoring devices to help them exercise safely. The guidance will be a crucial resource for healthcare professionals around the world, so they can help people with type 1 diabetes. The guidance, approved by an array of diabetes experts and organizations, was drawn up by a team including Dr. Richard Bracken of the School of Sports and Exercise Sciences, College of Engineering and the Diabetes Research group, located in the Medical School at Swansea University. Read More


Integrating Molecular Data May Reveal Subgroups of Autism

People with autism appear to fall into two groups based on molecular differences in their brains, including alterations in gene expression and chemical tags on DNA, according to a new study. One group shows a molecular signature distinct from that of controls, whereas the other group does not. Understanding how the molecular differences correlate with clinical traits could help researchers to classify the condition into subtypes and find therapeutic targets, experts say. Genetic studies have implicated hundreds of genes in autism, but DNA variants in these genes don’t explain all instances of the condition. So researchers have started to explore other molecular factors, such as RNA molecules expressed in the brain. Read More




Congratulations to: Stephanie Jenkins, Heidi Kreusch, Olumide Akerele, Wanda Routier, Mariola Papa, Jocelyn Chavis, Karen Frantz-Fry, Laurie D'Amico, Cindi Maurice, Patsy Ray, and Angela Fernandez who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

For people living with autism, finding a job can be an extremely difficult process. This automotive company is looking to fix that. People on the spectrum have some of the highest unemployment rates, but they’re qualified and smart enough to have good high paying jobs. That’s why this automotive company has worked to hire more people with autism over the last few years -- and it’s proving to be highly successful. In 2016, this automotive company partnered with the Autism Alliance of Michigan to introduce its program that focuses on hiring individuals who are on the autism spectrum. What is the name of this automotive company?




Brainstem Neurons Control Both Behavior and Misbehavior

A recent study at the University of Helsinki reveals how gene control mechanisms define the identity of developing neurons in the brainstem. The researchers also showed that a failure in differentiation of the brainstem neurons leads to behavioral abnormalities, including hyperactivity and attention deficit. The mammalian brain is big, but the state of its activity is controlled by a much smaller number of neurons. Many of these are located in the brainstem, an evolutionarily conserved part of the brain, which controls mood, motivation and motor activity. What are the brainstem neurons like? How do they develop in the embryonic brain? How are defects in their development reflected in brain activity and behavior? Read More


Liquid Nanofoam: A Game Changer for Future Football Helmets and Concussions

A liquid nanofoam liner undergoing testing could prolong the safe use of football helmets, says a Michigan State University researcher. When a helmet withstands an impact severe enough to cause a concussion to the player wearing it, the safety features of the helmet are compromised, rendering equipment unsafe for further use, said MSU's Weiyi Lu, an MSU assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. Lu has been testing a liquid nanofoam material that could change that and the research was published on Oct. 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The material is full of tiny nanopores. "The pore diameters are between two and 200 nanometers and that creates a large amount of surface area," Lu said. "The whole area of MSU's Spartan Stadium could be folded up into one gram of nanofoam. Read More


Students Earn Tokens to Retrieve Free Book from Book ATM

All it takes is three tokens, and the book is all yours. “We were looking for something different to get kids motivated to read, not only at school but at home,” Greenway Elementary principal Dr. Jamie North said. Greenway Elementary is the first school in North Central Florida to get a Book ATM. “I was surprised, I’ve never seen anything in here like that,”fourth-grader Jayden Padro said. “When I first saw it, I was like ‘wow, that’s so cool,’” fifth-grader Suinaya Torres said. The book vending machine sits in the cafeteria. Hundreds of kids pass the machine daily. “When you see a vending machine, you’re automatically thinking ‘there’s something in there that I want.’ We’re showing them a book machine and telling them ‘there’s something in this that you definitely want,’” Librarian and Media Specialist Greg Wilson said. Read More


Report: Students with Disabilities Face More Pandemic Hardships

Students with disabilities are more likely to experience financial hardships, mental health challenges and food and housing insecurity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent survey report published by the Student Experience in the Research University, or SERU, Consortium. Students who self-identified as having a range of disabilities -- physical, learning and neurodevelopmental or cognitive (such as autism or attention deficit disorder) -- were twice as likely to have lost their off-campus job during the pandemic than students without disabilities, said the report, which is the latest in a series of policy briefings by the SERU Consortium. The reports are based on a survey of nearly 30,000 undergraduate students who attend large public research institutions that was administered from May to July to assess how students are faring during the health and economic crisis. Read More


Epilepsy Meds During Pregnancy May Raise Autism Risk in Child

Women who take the epilepsy medication valproic acid during pregnancy have more than twice the risk of having a child with autism, new research suggests. The study also found that taking the drug during pregnancy almost doubled the odds that a child would have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), compared to children who weren't exposed to the drug during pregnancy. "These women are in a bind. Valproic acid is a first-line drug for epilepsy, and having uncontrolled epilepsy is also a risk to mom and baby. We're not trying to point a finger at valproic acid, but we did see these associations," said study author Kelsey Wiggs. She's a doctoral candidate in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington. Read More




* Educational Instructional Support Specialists - The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) is seeking Educational Instructional Support Specialists to assist with onsite coordination of hybrid and/or remote teaching and learning. The Specialist will provide structure, onsite support and the connection to teachers as needed. The Specialist's purpose is to make sure that students have what they need in order to actively, and successfully engage with their learning when done via remote instruction, or through a combination of in person and on-line (hybrid) programming. To learn more- Click here

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

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

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

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

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

* Special Education Teacher - $60,000/school year (185 days), summers off with year-round pay and year round appreciation. Special Education Teachers needed in Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding cities). Needs are in the self-contained and resource settings serving students with emotional disabilities (ED), Autism (A), Severe/Profound (S/P), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID). STARS is the largest school contract agency in AZ. STARS is owned and operated by Occupational Therapists. You will be an employee and receive full benefits - To learn more - Click here

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


Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Return to Week in Review Main Page - Click here

forgot username or password?