Week in Review - September 17, 2021



National Association of Special Education Teachers

September 17, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #38

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

Angry Kids: Dealing With Explosive Behavior


When a child—even a small child—melts down and becomes aggressive, he can pose a serious risk to himself and others, including parents and siblings. It’s not uncommon for kids who have trouble handling their emotions to lose control and direct their distress at a caregiver, screaming and cursing, throwing dangerous objects, or hitting and biting. It can be a scary, stressful experience for parent, caregiver, and child alike. Children often feel sorry after they’ve worn themselves out and calmed down. So what does a parent or caregiver do? This issue of NASET’s Parent Teacher Conference Handout provides a resource from the Child Mind Institute for parents on behavioral techniques, what to do when behavioral plans aren’t enough, and how certain disabilities may manifest themselves in explosive behavior. Read More


Study: Adults with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, or Mental Health Disorders are at Increased Risk for COVID-19 and Severe Illness

New research finds that adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, or mental health disorders are at increased risk for COVID-19 and severe illness. After sorting through data from more than a million people, researchers found that autistic people, or those with an intellectual disability, and any mental health condition were at higher risk of getting the virus and becoming severely sick (requiring hospitalization and ICU care) than neurotypical people. This was likely due to a few risk factors including a higher likelihood of living in residential facilities, visiting the hospital more frequently, and receiving more at-home care. Read More


School-Based Vision Program Has Positive Impact on Reading

A school-based vision program, which provides eye examinations and eye glasses to students, has a one-year positive impact on reading scores, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in JAMA Ophthalmology. Amanda J. Neitzel, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the effect of a school-based vision program on academic achievement in students in grades 3 to 7. Participating Baltimore City Public Schools were randomly assigned to receive eye examinations and eye glasses during one of three school years (2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019). Data were included for 2,304 students with a mean age of 9.4 years. The researchers found an overall one-year positive impact as measured by the i-Ready reading test during school year 2016 to 2017 (effect size, 0.09). Read More


Meet the Father Trying to Help a Generation of Oregonians with Autism

Paul Terdal is a Portland father of two boys with autism. For the last 12 years he has fought tirelessly to get help for his sons, and for every other Oregonian with autism. He’s filed lawsuits, passed bills and spent countless hours wrestling with health insurance companies. In fact, he’s still fighting after yet another snag in the latest legislative session. But to understand a little about why he pushes forward, it’s helpful to go backward, to the 1970s. As a kid, Terdal was nerdy, introverted and bookish. “If the standards and understandings that exist today had existed in the ‘70s, somebody would have said ‘Oh, this guy is probably somewhere on the autism spectrum,’” Terdal said. Read More


Students with Developmental Disabilities Face a Difficult Fall Semester

Students with developmental disabilities are working hard to get back on track after a year of virtual instruction deprived them of in-person education and programs that are essential for their development.  Many parents and special education teachers had a difficult time adjusting classes for students with disabilities. Andrea Ruppar, an assistant professor of special education at UW-Madison, says there was no existing guide for teaching those students virtually. “We never gave a thought to how we would teach a student with a developmental disability remotely prior to this pandemic,” she says. “It wasn’t part of our research. All of our evidence-based practices for providing instruction to kids with developmental disabilities has to do with very intensive instruction that involves various kinds of prompts. Those kinds of things, we can’t do them over remote instruction.” Read More


Link between ADHD and Dementia Across Generations

A large study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has found a link between ADHD and dementia across generations. The study, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, shows that parents and grandparents of individuals with ADHD were at higher risk of dementia than those with children and grandchildren without ADHD.  "The findings suggest that there are common genetic and/or environmental contributions to the association between ADHD and dementia. Now we need further studies to understand the underlying mechanisms," says the study's first author Le Zhang, PhD student at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet. Read More

TEACHER VOICE: What My wedding Vows Taught Me About the Return to In-Person Learning

Wedding vow negotiations were a somewhat contentious business when my English teacher fiance and I, a science educator, prepared to tie the knot back in 2007. After several rounds of spirited revisions, we landed on six promises that have held up well over the years. Number 4 resonates with me especially these days: “We will help stay connected to each other, ourselves and what matters most.” As students and teachers prepare for in-person instruction this fall, many of us are still experiencing and processing pandemic-related trauma. No doubt our heightened hurts have the potential to escalate conflicts. These conflicts in turn have the potential to provoke harsh discipline — practices like suspension, expulsion, arrests, restraints, seclusion and corporal punishment. But we can find alternative ways to respond to students — if we all work together to stay connected to each other, ourselves and what matters most. Read More


Can an AI Tutor Teach a Child to Read?

When Jaclyn Brown Wright took over as principal of Brewbaker Primary School in Montgomery, Alabama, she knew she needed to figure out a way to boost literacy rates. At Brewbaker, which in 2020 served more than 700 students in pre-K through second grade, nearly 20 percent of her students are English learners and 71 percent are economically disadvantaged. In 2019, a year before Brown Wright was hired, less than 20 percent of students were proficient on the school’s reading assessments, the principal said. Brown Wright knew the stakes were high: In Alabama, students can be held back if they are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Brown Wright turned to something unconventional for help: an artificial intelligence avatar named Amira. Amira is the namesake of an AI reading program that aims to improve reading ability by giving kids a personal literacy assistant and tutor. Read More


An Exercise in Digital Storytelling

To engage my 11th-grade English students during the 2020–21 school year, I created a digital storytelling unit. Whether they attended school in person or remotely, it was a success. Students were able to explore various frames of reference, identify a personal story to share using digital media, and experience empathy throughout the process. Digital storytelling has a permanent place in my classroom. As an initial activity, students analyzed “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” by Walt Whitman. After they made their own analyses, they viewed three different digital representations and readings of the poem. As they experienced each visual depiction, students answered a few guiding questions: How is the story told? What elements/strategies contribute to the story being told? Which one do you prefer? This activity demonstrated how an author can convey their message through digital media and intonation. Read More


3 Questions that Will Help School Leaders Navigate this Year

Education is rooted in change. In fact, the very act of learning requires nimble navigation of processing, parsing, and pivoting new and known variables, continually checking understanding against introduced information. Leading is no different. To be the change, we must embrace meaningful change. And to make meaning, we must seek and synthesize feedback. We can use the three questions below to audit the now, diving deeply to analyze culture and climate, previous practices, instructional efforts, and stakeholder relations. This simple three-step framework is applicable to any effort and provides you with a ready-made action plan to ensure that the changes you’re making are, in fact, making change. Read more


Speech Recognition Works for Kids, and it’s About Time

Speech recognition technology is finally working for kids. That wasn’t the case back in 1999, when my colleagues at Scholastic Education and I launched a reading intervention program called READ 180. We’d hoped to incorporate voice-enabled capabilities: Children would read to a computer program, which would provide real-time feedback on their fluency and literacy. Teachers, in turn, would receive information about their students’ progress. Unfortunately, our idea was 20 years ahead of the technology, and we moved ahead with READ 180 without speech-recognition capabilities. Even at the height of the dot-com bubble, speech recognition for classrooms was still largely the stuff of science fiction. Read More


Congratulations to: Lauro Esquilona, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Patsy Ray, Olumide Akerele, Karen Frantz-Fry, Cindi Maurice, and Tracey Christilles who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

According to a recent large study conducted at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Georgia, children who are born with these types of problems are 32 percent more likely to have autism than their typical peers. What types of problems did the researchers find that made these children 32 percent more likely to have autism than their typical peers?


This week's trivia question: Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics are the five components/domains of what?

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by September 21, 2021. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

2 in 3 parents Support School Mask Mandates as Pediatric Cases Surge

About 2 in 3 parents of children under the age of 18 say they support mask mandates for both teachers and students as pediatric cases have risen, according to a poll released Tuesday.  The USA Today/Ipsos poll determined that 64 percent of parents back requiring teachers to wear masks in schools regardless of their vaccination status, and 62 percent approved of the same mandates for students.  Among American adults, the support for mask mandates remains relatively the same, with 65 percent backing mask requirements for teachers and students. The general adult population appears to be more supportive of mandating vaccines for teachers and school staff, with a 65 percent approval rate, compared to 56 percent among parents. Half of parents reported that they support requirements for eligible students to be vaccinated, compared to 59 percent of all American adults. Read More

How a Remote Maine School Union Uses Telehealth for a Variety of Needs

Dr. Karen Watts, director of special services at School Union 93 in Maine, lives and works in quintessential, rural Maine. "The advantages are the clean air, verdant hills and meadows, outstanding wildlife, clean air, the crystal clear water of Penobscot Bay that surrounds the Blue Hill Peninsula, peace and quiet, and our friendly communities," she said.  "Being positioned to hire exceptional therapists, psychologists and counselors for our students, however, is not in the list of advantages. There is a dearth of highly qualified, experienced clinicians in our school union geographic area." As a special services administrator, Watts spent countless hours searching for possible clinicians to support her students, to no avail. As a last resort, she reached out to special education directors – her Canadian neighbors in the Maritime Provinces – asking for leads. The Canadians recommended Dotcom Therapy. Read More


Getting Eight Arms Around Autism

Usually, conversations justifying animal models of autism center on how similar a species is to humans. But Gül Dölen takes a different view. “What if we went for the animal that is least similar to humans?” says Dölen, associate professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “You want to compare across maximally different animals who can solve the same kinds of problems.” That principle led Dölen to octopuses, invertebrates with eight arms, three hearts and blue blood. The animals do have at least one thing in common with people, however: They are known for being exceptionally clever. “Octopuses are able to do some fairly complex cognitive tasks,” she says, solving puzzles to access food, even outwitting their keepers to escape from aquariums. “And yet their brains look nothing like ours.” Read More

Ethnic Studies Increases Student Engagement and High School Graduation

New research from UMass Amherst shows that enrolling 9th graders who are struggling academically in an ethnic studies course greatly improves the likelihood those students will graduate from high school and enroll in college. Sade Bonilla, assistant professor in the College of Education, along with Thomas S. Dee of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford and Emily K. Penner of the School of Education at the University of California Irvine, conducted the research on the longer-term effects of ethnic studies requirements that was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  In one California school district, 9th graders with a grade-point average of 2.0 or under were automatically enrolled in an ethnic study course. Read More


How Do You Open School in a Pandemic? Start by Asking Teachers and Students

How do you open a school for a third year in the shadow of a pandemic? How do school leaders create a welcoming community amid fear and grief and, in some places, discord? How do teachers balance the need to identify and begin to address important unfinished learning from the past year with the need to connect with young people who may have been away from school for many months? A good place to start is talking to students and teachers.  Over the past six months, we’ve invited teachers across the United States, in all grade levels and subjects, to interview their students and ask them five questions: What worked last year that we should carry forward? What didn’t work in the past that we should leave behind? What should adults do to make this year as good as possible? What do you feel like you’ve lost in the past 18 months? And what are you most proud of? Read More


* Special Ed Teacher: Secondary Emotional Support - (Fredericksburg, PA) The IU13 is an innovative leader in providing educational services to students, school districts, and communities in Lancaster and Lebanon counties and across Pennsylvania. Special Education Teachers are responsible for planning and implementing an effective program of instruction based on students’ Individual Education Programs (IEP’s). To learn more - Click here

* Special Ed Teacher: Secondary Emotional Support - (Lancaster, PAThe IU13 is an innovative leader in providing educational services to students, school districts, and communities in Lancaster and Lebanon counties and across Pennsylvania. Special Education Teachers are responsible for planning and implementing an effective program of instruction based on students’ Individual Education Programs (IEP’s). To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Professional- We are looking for teachers who are passionate, informed, and are already skilled at working with children with behavioral issues and interested in transferring that passion and talent and become a therapist. Family Solutions wants to help you transition into your new career through our DT and OP career positions. Family Solutions, providing a continuum of behavioral health services for children and families in the Rogue Valley, seeks Therapists (license not required) who will lead the reopening of the day treatment and outpatient services (post COVID). To learn more- Click here

* Special Ed Teacher-Preschool Early Intervention- What is the key to IU13's success? A talented, dedicated team of employees working together toward making a positive difference for all we serve. We are looking for Special Education Teachers that are ready to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow! Teachers who are excited about doing “Work Worth Doing”! To learn more- Click here

* Special Education Teacher, Institutional Settings- The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) has an opening for a licensed Special Education Teacher for 2021-2022 School Year to work in Department of Youth Services program sites in the Metro Region of Massachusetts as a member of our Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS) team. We are especially excited about candidates with experience working in institutional settings. To learn more- Click here

* 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

* 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 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


Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand. Hayley Williams

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