October 2011 | News You Can Use

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Addressing Behavior Issues

Young girl is covered up in an autumn leaf pile.IN THIS ISSUE

People’s behavior makes sense if you think about it in terms of their goals, needs, and motives.

~~Thomas Mann.


October is a time of change: The leaves change colors, our clothes change from sleeveless to sweaters, and that charming student behavior from the first month of school changes to . . . reality. Now that we’ve all settled into our routines, kids get comfortable enough to test some boundaries, while at the same time teachers and parents are becoming less patient about mistakes. What to do? Dig into your toolkit of resources – and NICHCY is here to help refill it.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@fhi360.org.

Our best to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities



Co-teaching research summary.
We’ve summarized the major points of Scruggs, Mastropieri, & McDuffie’s 2007 Co-teaching in inclusive classrooms: A metasynthesis of qualitative research (from Exceptional Children, 73[4]). This article examines the results of 32 qualitative studies of co-teaching implementation. The findings section includes “Requirements for Successful Co-Teaching.”

Now, do you need co-teaching resources?
Check out our companion page of resources on co-teaching.

Writing for the Web.
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities–that’s us, NICHCY–has a new resource to help you reach more web users and increase the amount of time they spend on your website. Our Writing for the Web series includes guidance to help shape your web content in ways that draw readers to the info they’re looking for. You’ll find simple, easy-to-follow guidance on:

  • Understanding how people read on the web
  • Helping readers skim and scan
  • Putting the essential message first
  • Chunking your information
  • Using headings & subheadings
  • Writing in plain language

The Writing for the Web series begins at:

All about the IEP: We guest blog for Special Education Advisor.
NICHCY Project Director Elaine Mulligan contributed “All About the IEP” to our friends at Special Education Advisor. In this post, we identify answers to common questions like “What exactly are ‘present levels’?” and “Who decides the appropriate placement/service delivery model for the child?” Check out “All About the IEP” at:

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Want to connect with excellent resources on behavior issues? We’ve waded through what’s out there (and there’s a LOT) and distilled the ocean into a Behavior Suite of 5 separate resource pages.

Behavior Expertise
This page focuses upon where to access..well…expertise in behavior: the centers and projects that focus on it, behavior journals, professionals who can help, and a glossary of behavior terms.

Behavior Assessment, Plans, and Positive Supports
Why is the student exhibiting this behavior? Behavioral assessments can help you answer that question-which, in turn, will help you provide appropriate positive behavior supports.

Behavior at Home
These resources connect families with resources and support to help a child with his or her behavior at home. http://nichcy.org/schoolage/behavior/athome/

Behavior at School
What can teachers and administrators do to help children manage their behavior at school? What’s recommended by disability and behavior specialists? What does the law require?

Bullying is a serious concern for many students with disabilities. Here are resources to help put an end to bullying. http://nichcy.org/schoolage/behavior/bullying/

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Autism Spectrum Disorders Collection
This collection is the product of the IDEA Partnership’s collaborative work on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with 12 partner organization representatives, 9 national and state technical assistance providers, and a number of state and local organizations and agencies. The Autism Spectrum Disorders collection includes Guiding Principles, Fact Sheets, Essential Elements, a Resource Guide, Standards of Evidence in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and more! Find the collection itself at:

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When behavior’s an issue…
Behavior is our special focus this month. We’ve already mentioned our Behavior Suite, which includes the stand-alone page called Behavior at Home. Now, let us connect you with other family-friendly resources that can help you understand and address a child’s challenging behaviors.

Typical behavior challenges in the early years.
Visit ZERO TO THREE’s set of resources designed to help parents better understand and cope with some of the typical challenges in children’s early years: aggression, defiance, inconsolable crying, slow-to-warm-up children, and sleep.

What does temperament have to do with behavior?
Infants and toddlers have temperaments, just like older children and adults. This list of questions describe different child behaviors; the answers link parents to relevant resources.

Is your child’s behavior caused by a disability?
Read more about how problem behavior and disability may coincide. Another great Wrightslaw article.

Sensory integration dysfunction checklist.
Is a child’s behavior due to, or affected by, a sensory integration dysfunction? Have a look at this checklist. Sensory issues are often an underlying component of AD/HD, learning disabilities, mental health issues, and autism spectrum disorders. They can also manifest themselves in difficulties with academic achievement and peer interactions. http://www.childrensdisabilities.info/sensory_integration/sensorydysfunctionteachers.html

2 things to ask your child’s school for.
It’s early days still in the school year. About Special Children offers these 2 suggestions to parents-ask the school for (1) an extra set of textbooks to keep at home; and (2) a plan for managing your child’s behavior, whether formal, parent-written, or simplified. Check out the offshoot articles on both these subjects, including 3 separate ones on behavior.

Deaf-blind fact sheets for families.
The Region 1 Parent Technical Assistance Center has developed a series of fact sheets, parent mini guides, tools, and a Parent Center Guide to help families use the tools, related to the Educational Services Guidelines. You can find the resources, in English and Spanish, at:
http://www.parentcenternetwork.org/region1/resources/other_topics.html (scroll down to Deaf-Blind)

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Behavior resources for starters.
Our Effective Practices in Early Intervention page will connect you with 7 top-notch resources on addressing challenging behavior in young children.

More on behavior: Individualizing interventions | A toolkit.
This toolkit is designed to help mental health consultants guide teachers, teams, and families in developing and implementing an individualized plan of support that reduces challenging behavior in young children and promotes communication and social skills. From the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation.

Preventing the use of restraint and seclusion with young children.
This issue brief reviews current concerns regarding the use of restraint and seclusion to control the behavior of children with disabilities and/or challenging behavior, and discusses positive strategies that can be used to prevent behaviors that could lead to the use of restraint or seclusion.

Promote children’s success at reading.
The National Research Council highlights the key aspects of language and literacy development from birth to grade 3, translating research findings into everyday practice. The report clearly identifies the skills that children must master to succeed in reading and includes practical guidelines for helping children to develop those skills.

Read or download the full report:

Listen to a podcast summarizing findings from the report:

The new IDEA Part C regulations | Video.
What’s in the new, long-anticipated IDEA regulations for early childhood? Get your information from the source — Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary of Education for Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, explains the main provisions in this 19-minute video.

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Behavior resources for schools.
In addition to the resources you’ll find listed in NICHCY’s Behavior Suite (which includes a stand-alone page called Behavior at School), here are several recent tools you may find relevant:

IEPs for students with behavior problems.
Pat Howey answers questions from parents whose children have behavior problems, describes IDEA requirements and offers strategies parents can use to request help. From Wrightslaw.

Identifying the reasons for problem behavior and developing a behavior plan.
This training module from the IRIS Center delves into the role (and “how-to’s”) of conducting a functional behavioral assessment.

Disciplining students with disabilities.
Under IDEA, what authority does the school system have to discipline children with disabilities who violate a student code of conduct?

Related services: Common supports for students with disabilities.
This new module from the IRIS Center describes related services and offers an overview of the benefits they provide to students with disabilities in the general education classroom. It highlights 5 commonly used related services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work services, and psychological services) and briefly highlights many of the other related services identified in IDEA ’04.

Free webinar series on accessible instructional materials.
The AIM Center webinars offer interactive opportunities to develop and extend knowledge about accessible instructional materials. The webinars are divided into three series to enable participants to select the webinars that focus most specifically on their individual needs, interests, and responsibilities. All webinars are free of charge and open to anyone. Check out ‘AIM Basics’ on Tuesday, October 4! http://aim.cast.org/experience/training/webinars

100 useful tools for special needs students and educators.
This list of 100 useful tools can help students with disabilities use the Internet and other technology systems to tackle reading, math, organization, social skills, and more.

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DOE’s new document on physical education, extracurricular athletics, and students with disabilities.
In August 2011, the U.S. Department of Education released Creating Equal Opportunities for Children and Youth with Disabilities to Participate in Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics. This document responds to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that opportunities for physical activity are limited for children and youth with disabilities. DOE provides an overview of the problem and offers suggestions for increasing opportunities for children and youth to access PE and athletics.

NCES releases an e-book version of The Condition of Education 2011.
The Condition of Education 2011 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2011 report presents 50 indicators on the status and condition of education and includes indicators in five main areas: (1) participation in education; (2) learner outcomes; (3) student effort and educational progress; (4) the contexts of elementary and secondary education; and (5) the contexts of postsecondary education. For the first time, the book is made available in an e-book version, which can be used on the iPad, Nook, and other non-Kindle devices. The mobi file is for use on the Kindle only.

Projections of Education Statistics to 2019.
Just released, from the National Center for Education Statistics, this 39th edition provides national-level data on enrollment, teachers, high school graduates, expenditures at the elementary and secondary school level, and enrollment and earned degrees at the postsecondary level for the past 14 years, and makes projections to the year 2019.

Outcomes of young adults with disabilities up to 6 years after high school.
This new IES report uses data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 to provide a national picture of post-high school outcomes for students with disabilities. The report includes postsecondary enrollment rates; employment rates; engagement in employment, education, and/or job training activities; household circumstances (e.g., residential independence, parenting status); and social and community involvement.

State of educational practices for children who are deaf/hard of hearing.
This new policy analysis from Project Forum is based on surveys sent to directors of special education and IDEA Part C coordinators. It includes information on state screening practices, schools for the deaf, services provided, professional development, funding, changes since cochlear implants became available, and challenges.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N080003 between FHI 360 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.

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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.