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ASD Professional Development
Dr. Ernsperger, BCBA-D

Promoting evidence based practice in the field of ASD with immediate application to the classroom. Please contact Dr. Lori at, or learn more.


 CASE News

Professional development
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Facebook Two years ago, it was decided to stop having the CASE Winter Institute and instead to move to a virtual conference. This decision was made in part because of the many travel restrictions placed by districts, the cost of travel and the desire to make the great information from CASE professional development opportunities available to more of our members and especially aspiring leaders. Last January, CASE partnered with our professional colleagues from the University of Central Florida and their National Urban Special Education Leadership Initiative and the CASE Hybrid Conference was held. It was a great collaboration with Dr. Suzanne Martin, UCF and NUSELI. We learned lots from this first endeavor and this year CASE is doing the Hybrid conference on our own with some special assistance from Voyager-Cambium Learning Group.

We believe some really important policy issues will be discussed during this 3 day conference and we really need to have every unit represented, either on site or as a virtual site. We need our Canadian members to weigh in on these issues — issues that are not unique to the U.S. We will be having interactive conversations with all sites and we need to have a big a cross stakeholder group as possible. We have 18 states represented right now but we need all of them and we need to hear from Canada. Click here for the 3 day agenda.


Awards and professional development
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Awards deadline extended to Jan. 31. The Council of Administrators of Special Education, Inc. acknowledges the need for a professional association to recognize outstanding individuals among the ranks of its members as well as individuals whose accomplishments have improved the field of special education. CASE has established awards for which nominations are annually solicited from the membership.

An individual may be nominated for one of the CASE awards by a:
  • CASE member or
  • CASE subdivision/unit Nominations for CASE awards are accepted upon the receipt of
  • the nomination form (including descriptive narrative)
  • a current vita of the nominee
  • letters of recommendations
Selection will be based on information submitted to the CASE Membership Committee. The selected individual(s) will be honored at the annual CEC convention,

The Harrie M. Selznick CASE Distinguished Service Award was instituted for recognition of individuals who have been career-long leaders in the administration of special education programs. The intended recipients of the award are individuals who have made significant contributions to the field over extended professional careers. The Harrie M. Selznick Award is the highest CASE honor, and it is accompanied by a cash award. Nominees must be a current member of CASE. Note the winner of this award will be nominated by CASE for the CEC J.E. Wallace Wallin Special Education Lifetime Achievement Award.

The CASE Outstanding Special Education Administrator Award was instituted for recognition of individuals making significant professional contributions to leadership behavior and field practice in the administration of programs for students with disabilities and/or who are gifted. Nominees for this award must have had 10 years experience in the field of special education. Nominees must be a current member of CASE.

The Outstanding Service to CASE Award was instituted for recognition of individuals who have made significant contributions to the CASE organization. Recipients of this award should have a history of contributions to CASE, resulting in a positive and significant impact on the work of the organization. This award is not necessarily given on an annual basis. Nominees may or may not be a current member of CASE.

Deadline: Jan. 31
Nominations should be sent to
Emilie Anderson, membership chair
Special Services Coordinator
Target Range School
4095 South Ave W
Missoula, MT 59804

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
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A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template is an assessment of a software product's compliance with ADA §508 standards, voluntarily created by the developers of the software. Users with disabilities, and those who wish to purchase products for this population, can refer to the VPAT to determine if the software and its documentation are designed to meet their particular needs.

The center conducted a survey of vendors of tools employed in online learning and placed the results in a table accessible from its website. This table can be found at Since creation of a VPAT is voluntary, not all of the products listed will have a VPAT provided. Those products with green in their VPAT column have a completed VPAT available and linked. Those with yellow have provided accessibility information as explained in their accompanying note, but not in the form of a VPAT. Those products with red VPAT entries were contacted thrice and did not provide accessibility information. All of these entries are subject to change as vendors provide the center with new information.

Please also note that our table can be sorted by column if the column headers are clicked: click once for ascending sort and twice for descending sort. Entries are also categorized by the type of product, date of last update, and whether or not the vendor responded to the center's request for a VPAT.

We encourage you to make use of our VPAT table at your convenience, and we hope that it will prove useful in your work in online learning.

Contact: Paula Burdette

Have you registered for the CASE Winter Hybrid Conference yet?
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The theme is Evolution, Re-invention or Revolution: The Future of Special Education, Feb. 13-15 in Orlando, Fla. With some of the great minds in education this interactive professional development will be a wonderful opportunity for team building and truly being a part of defining the field for years to come. The Rosen Plaza is a wonderful location — just minutes from so much of the best of Orlando — and the price of $117 is phenomenal. We will have 3 days with a different emphasis each day: Virtual Education and implications for Special Education, The Re-invention of Special Education and The Evolution of Special Education. Click here for a copy of the agenda.

But, wait ... If you can't travel, why not have your own mini conference. You pay one registration fee and then have as many people as you wish to participate with you — what a really great way to build teams. We have even made up a set of HINTS for you to use to get you started. We will even provide a flyer for you to customize to publicize your event. As part of the CASE strategic plan, our goal is to get the best information out to the most people. Go to the CASE website for more information, or contact Gary Myrah, CASE professional development chair at

Daily Themes:
  • Applying Virtual Education
  • Integrated Education for ALL
  • Re-Inventing/Re-Booting SPED
  • Virtual Education: Jeff Jacobson, Matt Wicks, Bennett Rodick and Andy Morrison
  • MTSS: Drs. George Batsche, Judy Elliott and Neil Guthrie
  • SPED Evolved: Drs. Steve Kukic, Melody Musgrove, Bob Pasternack and Alexa Posny

Center on Online Learning
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Online learning programs for K-12 students are enjoying rapid growth nationwide, but there is little understanding of the effectiveness of these programs for students with disabilities. Recognizing the need for research in this area, the Office of Special Education Programs within the U.S. Department of Education created the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities one year ago. The Center aims to improve the accessibility and engagement of K-12 online learning for students with disabilities through a focus on learner variability.

To this end, the center has identified several sites for case studies in online learning. In the last couple of months, the center put into place timelines for a case study with Lawrence Virtual School in Lawrence, Kan., as well as a case study in Washington State, both of which will examine students and parents in actual online learning programs. These studies are scheduled to begin in early 2013.

Representatives from the Center also gathered at several major conferences, including the Council of Administrators of Special Education Conference in November and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education annual business meeting in October, where the center engaged in dialogue with participants on topics including accessibility and accountability of programs and received feedback from state directors regarding state initiatives in online learning. Insight gained from these events guides the center in its research and suggests new avenues of study.

For access to the center's original research and updates on its progress, please visit our website at We encourage those interested in more frequent updates to follow us on Twitter at @onlinecenter1. Please contact Paula Burdette by email at or by phone at 703-519-1504.


READ 180 is a comprehensive system of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development proven to raise reading achievement for struggling readers in grades 4–12+. Designed for any student reading two or more years below grade-level, READ 180 leverages adaptive technology to individualize instruction for students and provide powerful data for differentiation to teachers. READ 180 helps target the specific skill deficits and unique instructional needs outlined in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Learn More

Special Education Law Symposium
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Designed for a national audience, this intensive one-week, well-balanced program is available on both a noncredit and graduate-credit basis and provides a thorough analysis of the leading issues under the IDEA and Section 504. Among the 19 symposium sessions are the following "hot topics": RTI; discipline, including a mock manifestation determination hearing;child find; transitional services; tuition reimbursement and other remedies; disability-­related bullying; and autism. More

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
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The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research — Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program — Minority-Serving Institution Field — Initiated Projects was published in the Federal Register on Monday, Jan. 14.

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2013. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.133G-4 (Research) and 84.133G-5 (Development).

Applications Available: Jan. 14.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 15.

The CADRE Caucus
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CADRE will host a free webinar with Assistant Director Philip Moses. The Parent Dispute Resolution Showcase is the result of feedback from parent leaders on resources that would be most helpful to parent center staff, family members, parents and professionals as they prepare to participate in the full range of dispute resolution processes and practices. This webinar will help users understand how the nearly 200 individual items contained in the Showcase are organized and different ways of accessing them. More

Kids In Need Foundation
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The Kids In Need Foundation, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically disadvantaged school children and under-funded teachers, is launching its third annual teacher grants program sponsored by Elmer'sÒ Products Inc., an industry leader in adhesives, arts and crafts, office and educational products. Beginning Feb. 14, teachers nationwide can visit the Kids In Need Foundation website to apply for an Elmer's Teacher Tool Kit grant that can range from $100 to $500. More

Targeted Intervention with CASE-Endorsed Programs
Get fast, permanent gains by targeting critical skill gaps and building foundation skills with Academy of READING® and Academy of MATH® online intervention software. Results show that Academy programs can significantly increase student achievement in just 30 minutes per day, 3-5 times per week. View customer video and learn more about Academy programs.
SRA Reading Laboratory 2.0
• Any device anytime,   anywhere
• More than 85% new content

• Motivating short reads with   text dependent questions
• Simple Management tools   for teachers

• Improve students' Lexile®   scores with access to   complex text
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• Reports on Lexile® level,   student progress, standards,   and fluency
AutismPro provides online tools to help school districts meet state compliance and due process requirements in supporting students with Autism and Related Disorders. It's a comprehensive suite of professional development and case management resources for educators and professionals working with students with ASDs.

 CEC Policy Insider

Obama's 2nd Inauguration celebrates diversity, civil rights; education remains legislative priority in 2013
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President Barack Obama's second term began on Monday, Jan. 21 as between 800,000 and 1 million people gathered on the Mall in Washington D.C., to watch the ceremonial swearing in of the president and vice president of the United States. The Inauguration celebrated civil rights and diversity with performances by Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, as well as a poem read by Richard Blanco. More

Obama proposes comprehensive plan to protect children in our nation's schools
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In response to the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, in early January President Barack Obama issued a plan, called Now is the Time that focuses on bolstering mental health services and public school safety to prevent similar tragedies. More

US Department of Education releases ESEA flexibility brochure and fact sheets
CEC Policy Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Available today via the U.S. Department of Education's website are a set of materials that provide a substantive overview of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility process — also known as ESEA waivers — by which 34 states and the District of Columbia have applied for and received flexibility regarding certain provisions of ESEA. The intent of these materials — a brochure and five companion fact sheets — is to explain the rationale and intent of ESEA flexibility, as well as address its key components and highlight plan elements for a number of states approved for flexibility. More

Speak out on behalf of special and gifted education and share a child's success story with CEC
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Every year, CEC publishes the Federal Outlook for Exceptional Children, providing an overview of federally-funded programs — IDEA and Javits grants — that impact the lives of children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. The Outlook is distributed to members of Congress, federal agencies and other leaders in the education community with the hope that a better understanding of such programs will lead to increased federal funding for special/gifted education programs. More

 Hot Topics

ADHD rises by almost 25 percent in 1 decade
WebMD    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of children with ADHD is rising rapidly, according to a study of more than 840,000 California children. While the research findings echo those of nationwide studies, the new study is stronger than some other studies, says researcher Dr. Darios Getahun, a scientist at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, a large health plan. "We relied on the clinical diagnosis of ADHD [by doctors] and medication prescriptions rather than teacher or parent report," he says. More

Dyslexia is no joke for a struggling child
The Irish News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dyslexia can be a debilitating condition for children and adults alike but, as Leona O'Neill points out, no one need be defined by this one single difficulty three years ago we were told our oldest boy had dyslexia. For almost a year he was struggling with his reading and having real trouble with his writing and spelling. You could tell something was wrong when he would constantly reverse his letters and get really frustrated and annoyed when trying to comprehend his homework. More

US mental health experts urge focus on childhood screening
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The U.S. mental health system has huge gaps that prevent many children with psychological problems from receiving effective treatment that could prevent tragic consequences later in life, experts told U.S. lawmakers. Just over a month after the shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, mental health experts said psychological disorders usually emerge before people enter high school but that only one-quarter of children with problems see trained professionals and often the care is not enough. More

Study: ADHD medication can slow growth in teenage boys
Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Adolescent boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to be shorter and slimmer than their same-age peers, according to a new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Dr. Alison Poulton from the University of Sydney and her coauthors investigated the influence of stimulant medication on the growth and physical development during puberty of adolescent boys with ADHD. More

ChalkTalk™ - An on-demand video interview series

ChalkTalk™ videos are cost-effective and are available "on demand". The talk show format focuses on educational issues and best practices in educating students with disabilities. Information is available at your fingertips, as the videos become an archived electronic library that you can access at any time. Click here to learn more!
A web-based system that addresses the challenge of intervention scheduling in the schools. It's designed for anyone who needs to schedule and document interventions. MORE


State finance lawsuits roil K-12 funding landscape
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As state budgets slowly recover from several years of economic contraction and stagnation, significant court battles continue to play a related yet distinct role in K-12 policy, even in states where the highest courts have already delivered rulings on the subject. This year, meanwhile, marks the 40th anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that was a turning point for the role of property taxes in financing school districts and that continues to complicate fiscal decisions for state policymakers. The 5-4 ruling, in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, held that the state did not have to justify the higher quality of education for wealthier districts that might result from their local property taxes. More

Duncan addresses gun violence in new 'Ask Arne' video series Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dan Brown, a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education, writes: "As a teacher and a parent, what our nation's education leaders think, really matters to me. And with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about to begin a second term, it matters even more. Today, we're excited to announce the launch of a new #AskArne video interview series, where the Secretary addresses the hot topics and burning questions in education today. In light of the president's announcement to address gun violence, the first episode, titled 'Free from Fear,' focuses on gun violence, school safety, and out of school factors influencing student achievement." More

California ranks low in providing special-needs care to children
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California children with special healthcare needs receive worse care than those in most other states, according to an analysis by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. The foundation ranked California 46th in effective coordination of medical care and 50th for referrals to specialty care. Children with chronic physical, developmental or emotional problems need special care. About 1 million such children live in California, according to the Palo Alto-based foundation, which was founded in 1997 to increase the quality and accessibility of children's healthcare. More

In these 19 states, teachers can still spank kids
Take Part    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If John Tate, a North Carolina State Board of Education member, has his way, North Carolina will no longer allow teachers to spank their students. Tate has asked the State Board to recommend that the North Carolina General Assembly and local school boards prohibit corporal punishment in every school in the state. "The good news is that the vast majority of North Carolina's districts ban the use of corporal punishment," Tate said in an interview. More

Food allergies become a bigger legal issue
The Associated Press via St. Louis Post-Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Allergic to gluten? What about peanuts? Federal disabilities law may be able to help. The Justice Department said in a recent settlement with a Massachusetts college that severe food allergies can be considered a disability under the law. That gives those who suffer from such allergies a new avenue in seeking menus that fit their diet. But some say it goes too far. The decision leaves schools, restaurants and other places that serve food more exposed to legal challenges if they fail to honor requests for accommodations by people with food allergies. More

Department of Education releases ESEA flexibility brochure and fact sheets
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The brochure and fact sheets can be found on the department's updated ESEA flexibility Web page. More

 In the News

Sports help children with developmental disabilities excel
The Port Lavaca Wave    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When children are diagnosed with a learning or a neural developmental disorder, parents and doctors usually hold little hope of the child playing competitive sports. Two youths have beat the odds with the game of basketball. Xavier King, 14, who is an eighth grade student at Travis Middle School in Port Lavaca, Texas, is considered an asset to his Fiddler basketball B Team despite his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, a learning disorder. More

Low levels of common flame-retardant chemical damages brain cells
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A common ingredient in flame retardants, BDE-49 accumulates in human blood, fat and breast milk. Despite these concentrations, little research has been done on the chemical's potential health risks. However, a study by scientists at the UC Davis MIND Institute is shedding new light on BDE-49's potential danger to brain health. The study showed that even tiny amounts of the compound damage neural mitochondria, the energy plants that power our cells. The chemical, quite literally, reduces brain power. More

The benefits of using social media in the classroom
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hesitation on administrators' part is often cited as a top barrier to incorporating more social media tools in classrooms. But with a carefully crafted social media policy, educators and administrators can learn to use social media tools effectively with students. Advocates of social media in the classroom say that, when used properly, social media tools can boost student engagement, link students to content experts and real-world examples of classroom lessons and help them establish an online body of work. More

Schools troubled by shortage of special education aides
Pioneer Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Alyse Dansby helps with reading assignments, trots beside students in gym class and diffuses tension in the bustling cafeteria. It's her job to tell apart the kids set off by touch, the ones who crave it and the child who needs to carry a heavy box of textbooks to feel grounded. It's her job to spot the "Einstein-smart" kids behind walls of reticence. Dansby is a veteran aide, or paraprofessional, in the program for students with autism at St. Paul's Washington Technology Magnet School in Saint Paul, Minn., — and no day goes exactly as planned. This school year, program staffing has thrown many of the wrenches. More

Study: Children with ADHD earn less, work less later in life
The Atlantic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In July, Jason Fletcher, a professor at Yale's School of Public Health, released a working paper concluding that depressed teenagers earn roughly 20 percent less on average later in life. Fletcher has recently released a new paper looking at the consequences of childhood Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, using data on some 15,000 Americans who were tracked from their teens to around age 30. And much like in his depression study, Fletcher reaches some startling conclusions. They are summarized in the graphs below. More

ADHD study skills breakthrough: Fewer steps lead to greater learning
PRNewswire via Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents and teachers who want a student with ADHD to do better in school should get to know the ADHD brain, states a breakthrough article recently published by ADDitude Magazine. The author, Susan Kruger, M.Ed., is founder of SOAR® Learning, Inc., a leading resource for study skills and study skill curriculum for ADHD students. The article provides a simple explanation about the brain biology of ADHD then clearly illustrates how to work with that biology to maximize learning power. More

How to succeed — despite dyslexia
Express-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some people with disabilities or challenges focus on how much harder their lives are because of the odds they were dealt. Others spend their time figuring out ways to live their lives to the fullest despite those challenges. Twenty-three-year-old Elisa Cabrera belongs to the latter group. She didn't let dyslexia — a learning disability that affects reading — stand in her way. Instead, she figured out how to succeed in spite of the obstacle. More

Clinical trial finds intensive treatment highly effective for children with high-functioning autism
Canisius College via ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a second randomized clinical trial, researchers at the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius College have found a comprehensive summer treatment to be highly effective for children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Children with the disorders endure lifelong impairments involving social and social-communicative functioning and restricted and repetitive interests and behaviors. Despite their significant needs, few comprehensive programs have been developed and validated for children with HFASDs. More

Mapping our online communications — from bullying to relationships
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When we typically think of kids who are the victims of school bullying, what comes to mind are isolated youth who do not fit in. A new study, however, shows that when that harassment occurs online, the victims tend to be in mainstream social groups at the school — and they are often friends or former friends, not strangers. The research is part of a burgeoning field of study into the effects of social media on everyday relationships and behavior. Personality and social psychologists are finding surprising ways in which people's online environments and relationships reflect and influence their real-world ones, as presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting in New Orleans. More


Event       Location     Dates Notes

CASE Winter Conference       Orlando, Fla.     Feb. 13-15 This is a hybrid conference. You can attend in person or via the Internet.
Daily Themes:
Applying Virtual Education
Integrated Education for ALL
Re-Inventing/Re-Booting SPED

CASE EC       San Antonio     April 2 More information to come.

CASE Member/BOD Meeting       San Antonio     April 3 More information to come.

CASE Night       San Antonio     April 4 More information to come.


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