November 2010 | News You Can Use

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An African-American toddler works on a puzzle, stacking colorful wood rings by size.

Holidays on the horizon...resources to get ready!

November 2010



NICHCY is pleased to send you the latest issue of News You Can Use.

The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.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.

Our special topic for November is getting ready for the holidays. Crazy as that seems, they are bearing down on us again, aren’t they? We’ve a host of resources to give you gift ideas for those with special needs as well as strategies for coping with all the hussle and bustle of the holiday season ahead.

We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at

Our best to you, as always.

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities



The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.

This month, we’re pleased to offer four updated and revamped resources on our website. They are:

Effective Practices in Early Intervention.
This resource page will connect you with the impressive knowledge base of experience the field has built regarding the delivery of early intervention services.

Resources Especially For…Military Families.
It’s Military Family Appreciation Month. And to show our appreciation…

Resources Especially For…Foster or Adoptive Families.
It’s estimated that at least one-third of the children and youth in foster care today likely have disabilities. This page is written for the families who’ve adopted children with disabilities and those who offer them safe haven through fostering. It’s also written for those who work in state agencies or in private organizations who find foster homes and adoptive families for children.

Moving to a New Location.
When you have a child with a disability, moving to a new place will involve more than just packing up the house. Map out your strategy before you move. This is especially important regarding school and your child’s special education needs.


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Disability benefits for those with mental impairment? Speak up now!
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has proposed changes to the way decisions are made for awarding disability benefits based on a mental impairment. These changes would drastically reduce the number of children and adults with serious mental disorders who qualify for disability benefits. If this concerns you, submit your comments to SSA by November 17th. Read all about it, and find out where and how to submit input at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Military Family Appreciation Month.
Out of approximately 2 million military students, approximately 13% are special needs students. In this issue of Wrightslaw’s Special Ed Advocate, read about the unique challenges of military families who have children with exceptional needs. You’ll find information and resources to help military families locate programs, services, and supports to meet their needs.

New and improved IEP meetings.
Looking for tips? Here are some very wise ones!

Subsidized adoption: A source of help for children with special needs and their families.

Rosa’s Law and “intellectual disability.”
President Barack Obama has signed into law Rosa’s Law, which will change references in federal law (including IDEA) from “with mental retardation” to “with intellectual disabilities.”

Speaking of intellectual disability…what about Medicaid?
The Medicaid Reference Desk is a resource for people with intellectual disabilities and their families to learn about Medicaid and other public benefits, services, and supports.

Webinar on Customized Employment.
December 14, 2010 | 2:00-3:00 PM ET
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) will sponsor a discussion of customized employment and the success it can bring to individuals with significant disabilities. Strategies and suggestions will be provided, including identifying natural workplace supports, using assistive technology, and negotiating employment tasks.

This website was created by a group of young adults with mental health challenges. It connects young adults with mental health challenges across the country so they can talk to each other about things that are important to living happy and independent lives.
HHS has announced a new website,, the first website of its kind in Spanish, to help consumers take control of their health care by connecting them to new information and resources that will help them access quality, affordable health care coverage. Information specifically for people with disabilities is in the “Incapacitados” section of the site.

Teaching your child to become independent with daily routines.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) has published a new Family Tool to help parents and caregivers understand what self-help skills can be expected from young children and to provide tips for helping children learn how to become more independent with daily routines.

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Baby Brain Map.
The Baby Brain Map reveals the secrets of how early care enriches development.

An introduction to social and emotional learning.
Emotional intelligence must be developed in children before any other learning can effectively take place.

The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning.
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research on how social and emotional learning can affect the brain.

Effective early childhood education programs: A systematic review.
A new report published on the Best Evidence Encyclopedia website provides an extensive review of the research on the outcomes of 27 early childhood programs for children aged three to five in a group setting.

When children have challenging behaviors.
ZERO TO THREE has developed a set of resources designed to help you better understand and cope with some of the typical challenges parents face in the early years: aggression, defiance, inconsolable crying, children who are slow-to-warm-up, and sleep.

Music therapy.
Imagine, the first annual online magazine dedicated to early childhood music therapy, is now online and free to all.

Planning for terrific transitions.
This guide/training package focuses on the need to facilitate children’s transition to kindergarten. It’s designed to help transition-to-school teams improve their transition processes through more effective planning, implementation, and evaluation.The training package includes the trainer’s guide, a participant’s guide, a CD with all the transparencies needed, and a copy of all the handouts necessary for the training.

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How to make inclusion happen.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.The LRE Part B Community of Practices held this webinar recently, and it’s now available online at the link below. When you click on the link, a form will open and ask for your first and last name plus your email address. Once this form is submitted, you will have access to the recording of the webinar.

Improving family-to-school communication.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or district administrator, this new guide provides you with relevant and valuable tools and resources for how best to strengthen the bonds between schools, families, and communities.

Are there too many students of color in special education at your school?
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Does the pattern continue in spite of your efforts to make change? Here’s a resource that can help you identify the root causes of placement patterns. “Distinguishing Difference from Disability: The Common Causes of Racial/Ethnic Disproportionality in Special Education” is the Equity Alliance’s newest publication in its Equity in Action series.

Examining access to education and community activities for young children with disabilities.
A new Institute of Education Sciences report finds that most kindergarteners with disabilities are educated in a regular education classroom. Many other findings, too!

Edutopia’s special education discussion.
Here’s a place for teachers and other providers of special education services to support each other, share information, and discuss topics, including assessment.

Classroom-management video tips for teachers.
Educators share how to keep it all together in class.

Other cool videos for teachers.
Edutopia is a real treasure trove. Here are just a few of the other videos you can watch to learn specific things…

Assistive technology tools for teaching students with visual impairments.
A teacher at Boston Latin School demonstrates the latest devices for helping students who have visual impairment.

Assistive technology: Enabling dreams.
From voice-activated software to customized laptops, tech is changing the way students with disabilities communicate, learn, and play.

Building a better school with brain-based learning.
Technology use, strategies based on brain research, and unique classroom environments for different learning styles give students an edge at Key Largo School in Florida.

An introduction to teacher development.
New models for preparing educators in training focus on practical tips and feedback.

Review of selected physical therapy interventions.
This document discusses physical therapy procedural interventions and provides recommendations for application to physical therapy school-based practice as well as future research.

Responding to a student’s depression.
An article in the October issue of Educational Leadership.

Virtual Toolbox for Mental Health in Schools.

New NAMI website for those with AD/HD.
NAMI has launched a new, interactive, online resource center to support children and adults living with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Preparing teachers to provide effective learning strategy instruction.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Teacher Preparation and Professional Development in Effective Learning Strategy Instruction describes learning strategies and how learning strategy instruction can effectively transform ineffective learners into effective learners. The author also explains the kinds of knowledge and skills teachers must acquire to be competent learning strategy instructors and makes recommendations related to teacher training programs that specifically address learning strategy instruction.

Enforcing federal laws on bullying.
The Department of Education has issued guidance for educators about complying with their responsibilities to prevent harassment, as laid out in federal laws. The guidance is the product of a year-long review of the federal statutes and case law covering sexual, racial and other forms of harassment.

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Navigating HQT requirements for special education teachers under NCLB.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.This technical assistance brief describes how seven states address the requirements for identification, documentation, and notification of highly qualified status for special education teachers as established through the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Financing class size reduction.
This publication examines resource issues related to successful class size reduction program implementation. The finance guide provides definitions of class size reduction terminology with implications for understanding class size research, guidelines for financing class size reduction implementation, case studies of successful class size reduction implementations at little or no extra expenditure, and a summary of class size reduction cost-benefit considerations. It also includes a comprehensive bibliography.

Teacher preparation to deliver inclusive services to students with disabilities.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.This Issue Paper briefly reviews the legal and policy foundations and best professional practices for inclusive services. It also discusses the key components of inclusive services that should be incorporated in teacher preparation at the preservice and inservice levels and offers an Inclusive Services Innovation Configuration, which can be used to evaluate general and special education teacher preparation and professional development programs.

Identifying professional development needs in math: A planning tool for grades 3-7.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.This newly updated resource from the Center on Instruction identifies professional development needs specific to mathematics. It includes a series of guiding questions that help SEAs evaluate their existing programs and identify professional development activities that meet their needs.

Characteristics of the 100 largest public school districts.
Three states — California, Florida, and Texas — accounted for almost half of the 100 largest public school districts, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

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SPECIAL FOCUS:  Holidays on the Horizon

The holiday season is bearing down on us again. It may be the season to be jolly, but it can be crazy, too, and challenging when it comes to gifting ideas, holiday activities, and what will “work” for a child with a disability. So here are a gift-wrapped package of resources that we hope will help make this holiday season enjoyable for all who participate.

Coping with the Stress and Hubbub

Holiday stress: 10 tips for staying sane during the holidays.

Preparing your home for visitors with disabilities: Accessibility issues.

Five holiday survival tips for parents of children with learning disabilities.

Making family gatherings good, not ghastly.

Holiday survival kit.

How to attack holiday stress head-on.

Holiday travel tips for kids with special needs.

Holiday tips (and a few great excuses) for families.

10 ways to make a disabled family member comfortable during the holidays.

Survival tips for standing in line this holiday season.

Effective ways to reduce stress and depressed mood during the holidays.

Gift and Activity Ideas

Ultimate holiday guide for friends and family of people with vision loss.

Holiday season can be difficult for hearing impaired.
Visit the country’s central source on toys and play for children with special needs.

The 2010 Toys “R” Us guide for differently-abled kids.

AblePlay provides parents of children with special needs and the professionals who work with them a unique search tool to match AblePlay-Rated toys to disability categories. AblePlay evaluates the toys and their appropriateness within four disability categories — physical, communicative, sensory and cognitive, taking the guesswork out of toy shopping for children with special needs.

Children’s books and authors.
Reading Rockets has gathered many resources for sharing the joy of reading with children. By highlighting great books and authors, Reading Rockets says, “we hope you’ll find the books that unlock the love of reading in the children you care about.”

Toys & resources for children with special needs.

Toys and playtime tips from Fisher-Price.

Toys for special needs children.

Special needs gift giving.

Fun & family-friendly kids’ christmas movies for the holidays.–family-friendly-kids-christmas-movies-for-the-hoildays-a296869

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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.


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