June 2010 | News You Can Use

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June 2010

Hawaiian mom sits with her two children at the beach, all of them wearing leis.

Summertime! It's summertime!




The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.NICHCY is pleased to send you the latest issue of News You Can Use and to say, bring on summer! There are many great resources coming from OSEP’s TA&D Network (these are marked with the TA&D logo you see to the left) and from organizations beyond the network. May these help you and yours, personally and professionally.

You’d think we were getting off for the summer like our children, because our Special Focus this month is “Summer Time Fun.” We’ve included lots of links to ideas and activities to keep the kids busy, active, and enjoying this time of year.

We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@aed.org.

Our best to you, as always.

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities



We’re pleased to offer you two newly updated resources this month from NICHCY:

Research-based resources on specific disabilities.
The May 2010 update of this resource connects you with both medical research into disabilities and the findings of research into academic and other interventions with children who have special needs. The final section features research associated with these specific disabilities: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities.

NICHCY’s guide to our online publications.
Having a conference and want to include news of NICHCY and its free online resources in your conference packet? Training parents or practitioners about IDEA or disabilities? Just want to let others know what NICHCY has to offer? Share our 4-page guide to our online publications, updated. And thank you for passing news of NICHCY along to others!

A reminder…
…to tap into the brand-new NICHCY en español–our Spanish website on disabilities in children, early intervention, and the special education process. Bring all your Spanish-speaking friends, too, beginning at the Spanish homepage:

And if you don’t speak Spanish…
…but still would like to get your hands on resources relevant to those who need materials in Spanish, not English, find what you ‘re looking for through NICHCY en español…for English Speakers. It’s an alphabetical listing of topics in English, where to find info on that topic in English on our site, and then where to find the same content in Spanish. Find this handy English to Spanish connector list at:

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The new healthcare bill and people with disabilities.
Get answers to your questions about how the Affordable Care Act will give Americans with disabilities greater choices and more control over their health care.

What are Extended School Year services (ESY)?
The May issue of Wrightslaw’s newsletter features the question of Extended School Year (ESY) for children with disabilities. Visit the link abelow to learn about legal standards for ESY, advocacy strategies that will help you negotiate for ESY services, and decisions about ESY from federal courts.

Disbarred: The doctor who claimed a childhood vaccine was linked to autism.
According to Britain’s General Medical Council, the doctor who sparked fears that a childhood vaccine was linked to autism has been barred from practicing medicine after his study was discredited. The doctor “repeatedly breached fundamental principles of research medicine,” a council disciplinary panel found, adding that “his actions in this area alone were sufficient to amount to serious professional misconduct.” Read all about it, at:

Does your child need accessible instructional materials?
The National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials offers information and resources for families and students on topics such as AIM at home and at school, assistive technology, and alternate-format learning materials.

Pathways to bilingualism: Young children’s home experiences learning English and Spanish.
More and more young children in the U.S. have the experience of speaking a language other than English at home, and many parents choose to educate their children bilingually. Here’s a study that explored the home-language experiences, in English and Spanish, of three young Latino girls ages 15 months, 16 months, and 30 months, respectively, when the study began. They were observed at home between 40 and 70 hours for 30 months. Findings suggest that raising children bilingually may require support of the minority language outside the home, with collaboration among the schools, the families, and the community.

Genetics and genetic disorders.
If genetics or genetic disorders interest you, check out these three resources from the Genetic Alliance.

Understanding Genetics begins with a basic introduction to genetics concepts, followed by detailed information on topics such as diagnosis of genetic conditions, family history, newborn screening, genetic counseling, understanding patient stories, and ethical, legal, and social issues in genetics.

Making Sense of Your Genes: A Guide to Genetic Counseling includes general information about genetic counseling, tips on how to prepare for an appointment, and details about different specialties in the field.

Students Living With a Genetic Condition: A Guide for Parents | You know how to identify and manage symptoms at home, and it may be scary to have someone else manage your child’s medical care in your absence. This guide provides information that may be helpful when writing a letter or when preparing to meet with your student’s teacher, school nurse, and physical education teacher or coach. This may also be a useful resource for bus drivers, babysitters, church leaders, or any other potential caregiver.

Bring Change2Mind: Fighting the stigma of mental illness.
This national anti-stigma campaign was born of a partnership between Glenn Close (the actress) and Fountain House, where Glenn volunteered in order to learn about mental illness, which affects both her sister and nephew. BringChange2Mind.org also provides those with mental illness (and those who know them) with information and support.


911 in-crisis support
Call 800-273-TALK (8255)

411 mental health information and resources
Call 1.877.726.4727

A parent’s guide to teaching life skills.
Ready, Set, Fly is a companion tool for the Casey Foundation’s Life Skills Guide. It covers things such as money management, social skills, nutrition, self-care, work skills, housing and transportation, community resources, and learning about candidates in elections. This guide will help families help their young adults gain the skills they need to live as independently and as well as possible.

Blogs from students with intellectual disabilities talking about college.
Visit the Think College Student section to see new information and resources, including these student blogs.

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The Listening and Learning about Early Learning Tour ends.
The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) have completed their Listening and Learning about Early Learning Tour, which involved meetings held this spring in four cities: Washington D.C., Denver, Orlando, and Chicago. Presentation materials from the expert presenters at each of the four meetings, written input, and blog entries are now available online from the tour, at:

Understanding and addressing early childhood trauma.
Combining knowledge of child development, expertise in the full range of child traumatic experiences, and attention to cultural perspectives, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) serves as a national resource for developing and disseminating evidence-based interventions, trauma-informed services, and public and professional education.

Meeting the mental health needs of poor and vulnerable children in early care and education programs.
Policy makers and early childhood experts are focusing on implementing and evaluating a range of interventions designed to improve school readiness for young children living in poverty. This article provides an overview of the various factors that threaten optimal development of young children living in poverty and that place them at risk for emotional and behavioral problems. The article then addresses the challenges to meeting the needs of these children and their families in early care and education settings.

Early intervention for children supports healthy development and improves family life.
According to a new report released by SAMHSA, behavioral and emotional problems decreased among nearly one-third (31%) of young children with mental health challenges within the first 6 months after entering services through systems of care program. The report, Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Young Children and Their Families, describes the academic, social, and emotional performance outcomes of children ages 8 and younger receiving services in systems of care.

Reading the intentionality of young children.
Through six video clips and accompanying commentary, this article describes how,  by carefully observing how very young children play, adults can gain insight into their high-level thinking and their knowledge, as well as the implications that their strategies hold for their assumptions, theories, and expectations. Adults can then become more protective of children’s time during play, more skillful in making a parallel entry into their world, and more effective in helping them extend or reconsider their assumptions about how the social and physical world works.

The State of Preschool 2009: 7th annual yearbook released.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has released its 7th annual State Preschool Yearbook profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs in the U.S.

Introductory materials on the new Home Visiting Program.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released introductory materials related to the new Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, which was created as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act earlier this year. To learn more, go to:

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Ideas for ending this school year well: From the Principal’s Tool Box.
Getting ready for EOSY—end of the school year? Here are two resources that principals may enjoy.

Year-End Toast & Celebration

Keeping Learning Alive as the Countdown to Summer Gets Underway
With state tests behind you and the school year winding down, the first reaction might be to slide into summer. But many principals encourage teachers to keep the learning alive during the countdown to summer.


Working together: Building improved communication.
Working Together is a collection of resources from CADRE (Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education) designed to support effective collaboration between parents, schools, and early childhood programs. The online suite includes short videos, a study guide, and related resources on Listening Skills, Understanding Positions & Interests and a module titledThe Tale of Two Conversations, which was developed in collaboration with the Office for Dispute Resolution in Pennsylvania.

Visit the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials.
This site serves as a resource to state- and district-level educators, parents, publishers, conversion houses, accessible media producers, and others interested in learning more about and implementing AIM and NIMAS. Resources for educators include:

AIM Explorer, a self-paced tutorial tool providing demonstrations of tools used to create AIM for print-disabled students.

AIM Navigator, a guided AIM selection tool using a question-and-answer format designed to guide users through the selection and use of AIM by IEP teams.

Both are available at:

New in the RTI corner.
The National Center on RTI and many others are working hard to provide the field with tools they can use in implementing response to intervention (RTI). Here’s what’s new for you to use!

Progress Monitoring Tools Chart.
This chart represents the results of the second annual review of progress monitoring tools by National Center on RTI’s Technical Review Committee (TRC). It’s designed to help educators and families become informed consumers who can select progress monitoring tools that best meet their individual needs.

Response to Intervention and English Language Learners.
This brief from the Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE) outlines the tiered structure of RTI and how it can be implemented as an effective technique for teaching English learners who are having difficulty making academic progress.

Tiered Interventions in High Schools.
Using Preliminary ‘Lessons Learned’ to Guide Ongoing Discussion provides a brief description of the RTI framework and the essential components of RTI, illustrates how the essential components of RTI are implemented at eight schools, and highlights contextual factors unique to high schools as well as how these factors can affect school-level implementation of tiered interventions.

The 2010 U.S. Department of Education Reading Institute.
On July 19-21, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education will host the 2010 Reading Institute in Anaheim, California. The Institute will feature national reading experts, researchers, and practitioners presenting on topics of reading comprehension and vocabulary as well as other essential elements of teaching and learning to read. There will also be a separate strand entitled “Learning and Development: Birth to Third Grade.” This strand will address the research regarding developmentally appropriate early learning goals grounded in child development, sound policy, effective practice, and clearly stated standards. Teachers, coaches, principals, and state and district administrators are welcome to attend the 2010 Reading Institute.  There is no registration fee. Sign up to attend at:

ASCD launches a new social networking website for educators.
ASCD has launched ASCD EDge, a free online community specifically for educators and those who are interested in education.

Teaching Now, a new blog for teachers.
Teacher magazine announces the launch of Teaching Now, a blog devoted to the latest news, ideas, and resources for teacher leaders. Coverage will run the gamut from the inspirational to the infuriating, from practical classroom tips to raging policy debates, and from “news you can use” to “news of the weird.” Comments are welcome.

How-to transition videos.
Check out these two videos at NSTTAC, the National Secondary Transition Techical Assistance Center.

Writing Postsecondary Goals

Completing a Summary of Performance (SOP) Form

2010 update of the Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment Guide.
Another great resource from NSTTAC.

Teaching secrets: 10 to-dos for new teachers.
OK, so the school year is ending. But there will be many new teachers in the fall who might appreciate these teaching secrets now, to get ready.

What do teachers think of alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities?
This report provides information on the background and experiences of teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities, the skills and characteristics of the
students they teach, and their classroom environments. It also describes their perspectives on how well they understand the alternate assessment system, their expectations and beliefs, the availability and use of instructional resources, and their students’ opportunity to learn academic content.

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Resolving special education disputes.
The Dispute Resolution Workgroup, with membership from the OSEP-funded Regional Resource Center Program, Parent Technical Assistance Centers, and CADRE (the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education), has just released several tools for parents and state and local personnel to improve special education dispute resolution.

Mediations and Resolution Sessions: Do you want to know how to increase the possibility of reaching agreement during a special education mediation or resolution session?

Hearings and State Complaints: Are you trying to improve your timeline compliance for reaching hearing decisions?  Are you not sure what is an “exceptional circumstance” that would allow you to extend your complaint investigation timeline?

Finding Trained Dispute Resolution Practitioners: Take a look at the extensive ADR national directory to help you locate assistance within your state.

Find all at: http://spp-apr-calendar.tadnet.org/explorer/view/id/852

NCES releases The Condition of Education 2010.
The National Center for Education Statistics just released The Condition of Education 2010, a Congressionally mandated report to the nation on education in America today. It covers all aspects of education, with 49 indicators that include findings on enrollment trends, demographics, and outcomes.

Index of OSEP policy documents.
Section 607 of the IDEA Amendments of 2004 requires that the Secretary of Education, on a quarterly basis, publish in the Federal Register a list of correspondence regarding the education of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. Find OSEP’s correspondence in this index, organized by topic.

Financing Special Education: State Funding Formulas.
This policy report describes the funding formulas used by states in 2008-2009 and examples of complexities within formulas. Other sections describe changes in formulas over the years and in how states are allowed to spend their special education funds, with an appendix giving each state’s special education funding formula.

Disproportionate representation: An annotated biliography.
This annotated bibliography developed by the National Center on RTI provides citations for key articles to help in understanding disproportionate representation. Each citation expands to provide a short abstract of the article. The bibliography can be accessed at:

Rapid Response: RTI Policy.
This “Rapid Response” report released by the Southeastern Comprehensive Center provides an overview of state policies on RTI. The goal of the report is to provide decisionmakers and other stakeholders with information on formal RTI policy so they can compare their regulations with those in other states.

Need to use the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), the Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) and the Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS)?
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will sponsor a two and a half day seminar (July 28-30, 2010) on using the SASS, TFS, and PFS. The training is limited to those who hold a current restricted-use license for the 2007-08 SASS or who have submitted an application to receive a restricted-use license. Deadline for applications: June 14, 2010. There is no fee to attend this seminar. NCES will provide training materials as well as computers for hands-on practice. NCES will also pay for transportation, hotel accommodations, and a fixed per diem for meals and incidental expenses incurred during the training seminar. For more information, go to:

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SPECIAL FOCUS:  Summer Time Fun

It’s almost time for the kids to explode out of school for the summer. What to do to keep them active and engaged, even on rainy days? Here are some ideas.

Sweet Possibilities to Consider

Check out Reading Rockets’ May 2010 newsletter on the subject.

Adventures in summer learning.
From Reading Rockets.

More about summer learning.
Don’t let your kids forget all they’ve learned this year! Discover how to stop the summer brain drain and make learning a fun part of your everyday routine.

Activities to keep kids with disabilities busy this summer.

Family fun.

Accessing summer fun.
From Disabilities Unlimited.

Summer Fun 2010.
The guide from the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

Going to Washington, DC?
Check out the accessibility of the Smithsonian’s 16 museums.

Express the self through art.
Get your child involved in VSA (formerly Very Special Arts), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a society where people with disabilities (including physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities) can learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. Find the VSA chapter nearest you, at:

Find the adaptative sports equipment your child needs.
Let Disabled Sports USA connect you with the many devices and equipment that enable individuals with a range of disabilities to participate in sports such as fishing, cycling, and golf.

Getting physical.
Lots of great ideas and resources at the National Center for Physical Activity and Disability.

Check out the goings-on at national parks and federal recreation centers.
The link below lets you identify nearby national resources as well as what’s available nationwide.

Gardening and other hobbies for those with disabilities.

Keys to a meltdown-free vacation.

All about accessible travel.
Tips, checklists and other resources for travelers with disabilities and their families.

AbleData’s Travel Information Center.

Disability-Specific Articles and Ideas

AD/HD: Planning the summer vacation.

AD/HD: How to maintain your child’s school skills during the summer.
School is a challenge for most kids with ADHD. Although summer promises no homework or expectations, there’s still a need to maintain academic skills.

Autism: Planning ahead for travel.

Autism: Going on vacation to Disney World.

Learning disabilities: Summer activities.
From the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Learning disabilities: Summer fun learning.

Learning disabilities: Summer fun and low-cost activities.
From GreatSchools.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N080003 between AED and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.


Comments on our newsletter? Too long? Too short? Off-target? Right on? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@aed.org. We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to http://www.parentcenterhub.org.