Most Clicked SmartBrief on Special Education Stories

1. Federal officials address evaluations of students with autism

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 29, 2015

Schools must include evaluations by speech-language pathologists and other professionals when determining the needs of students with autism under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, according to a guidance letter from the U.S. Department of Education. Federal officials are concerned about reports that some students received services exclusively from applied behavior analysis therapists without input from other professionals. Disability Scoop (07/28)

2. Program teaches skills to help teens with autism after graduation

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 27, 2015

Counselors at a Pennsylvania nonprofit create individualized transition plans for teens with autism to help them develop life skills after graduation. Referred by participating local high schools, students work one-on-one with counselors for five weeks to learn skills from handling test-related anxiety to students' rights on college campuses. The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) (tiered subscription model) (07/26)

3. How technology can benefit introverted students

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 29, 2015

Teachers can use technology to draw out introverted students, writes Kerry Gallagher, a technology integration specialist at St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers, Mass. In this blog post, she suggests several strategies, games, formative tools and other platforms to engage all learners. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (07/28)

4. What school leaders should know about building teams

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 27, 2015

There are 10 truths to keep in mind when building school teams, writes Elena Aguilar, a transformational leadership coach in California. In this blog post, she writes that administrators should know, among other things, that teams "exist in order to serve the social, emotional, and academic needs of children." (07/24)

5. How statistics, human stories can help students grasp difficult events

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 27, 2015

History educators have much to consider when teaching students about tragic news events, whether they are recent or in the past, teacher Lauren Brown writes in this blog post. She shares three ways to help students understand the significance of tragedies, and why statistics and the human perspective boost understanding. MiddleWeb (07/26)

6. Increase in autism diagnoses tied to reclassifications

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 29, 2015

Reclassification of people with neurodevelopmental disorders accounted for 59% and 97% of the increase in autism prevalence seen in 8- and 15-year-old children, respectively, researchers reported in the American Journal of Medical Genetics. About 65% of the increase in autism cases from 2000 to 2010 came from individuals who were previously classified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's intellectual disability category and reclassified to the autism category, researchers said. Medical News Today (07/25)

7. Nutrition guidelines cover GI symptoms in children with autism

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 27, 2015

An expert panel published guidelines for managing gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The guidelines cover food selectivity, alternative diets and nutrient deficits, and include a decision flowchart and steps for interventions. (07/23)

8. Iowa district to outfit administrators with body cameras

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 29, 2015

An Iowa school district has decided to outfit some administrators with body cameras to be worn on their ties and lanyards. While some say it's a matter of safety, others, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say there should be a distinction between outfitting police with body cameras and outfitting school administrators. EdTech magazine online (07/27)

9. Summer reading intervention disappoints some in Miss. district

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 31, 2015

Almost two dozen elementary-school students in a Mississippi district are at risk of repeating third grade after failing to pass state reading exams following an intensive, four-week summer school program. They failed the test three times. "Nothing is impossible, but being realistic about it, it's almost at the point where there's no help for them in just four weeks," said Daisey Hawkins, a teacher in Sunflower County. The Hechinger Report (07/29)

10. Study: Students with disabilities more likely to be disciplined

SmartBrief on Special Education | Jul 27, 2015

Students with disabilities in K-12 schools are nearly twice as likely as their peers without disabilities to be disciplined, according to a report from UCLA's Civil Rights Project. The report, released about 25 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, found that about one-third of all K-12 students with emotional disabilities have been suspended at least once. The Atlantic online (07/24)

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