Welcome to the 2022-01-24 issue of the first year of the newsletter for Special Education Today. As regular readers will readily guess, this issue has the usual organization. It includes (a) a few house-keeping notes, (b) a listing of recent posts, and (c) a little bit of eminently skippable commentary.
Thanks to those of you who corresponded, read posts, commented, and ticked the “like” button...and especially those who subscribed over the past week.
I am especially happy to let readers know that SET garnered 14 new subscribers over the past week. I’m always happy to see the (free) subscriber base growing. Please tell your colleagues and friends that they are welcome to join in the action!
I appreciate how many readers took the time to click a link, post a Tweet, or send me a private message. I hope I don’t overlook any one who did so: Jane B. (5), Tina C. (4), Lysandra C., EF, Jennifer G., Clay K. (4), Michael K. (3), Jeannie K. (4), Ley D., & Bob P. I don’t have detailed data, but I am pretty sure that this is a record number of interactions (likes + comments) of the Web site for one week...and I’m not counting Tweets or other correspondence (Joel M. and John U., I’m looking at you!). Thanks, y’all!
Thanks, too, to family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else who has connected via Twitter. You can find the account for SET at @SpecialEdToday and for me at @JohnWillsLloyd..
The Past Week
Over the past week, I provided five posts. Other activities (e.g., shoveling snow and ice) took precedence, so I didn’t write as much as I would hope I would. Here’s the week’s list.
Dear John: Letters from Angela—10—What became of Angela over the years?
SPED—What’s in a word?
Dear John: Letters from Angela—ToC—Might this be a useful guide for readers...and maybe a place to drop comments about the entire series of posts?
Emily Oster on reading bologna—What should we make of Doman-Delacato methods?
Friday Photos—14—It’s Michael Kennedy, and Molly!
Readers do not have to depend on this weekly summary for links. Feel free to check the home page any time. This coming week, those of you who do check will find new articles about various topics in the magazine. It’s great to know that some readers are finding them informative. Keep the feedback coming, please.
I reflect frequently on the effects of the prolonged public health crisis that we lump under the word “Covid” will have on people, especially those childen and youth with whom most of us are concerned. Over the last months, patient readers have endured me posting about these matters multiple times.
Some of those posts are more similar to news reports than others that I hope have provided substantive research content. I’ll link to a few as well as some sources that I have in my current collection as a part of this note.
Other sources have, as readers are almost certainly aware, provided content that some of y’all may find interesting, including pieces in the popular press One good example from early on was Faith Hill’s “The Pandemic Is a Crisis for Students With Special Needs” in The Atlantic from early in the pandemic. More recently (i.e., 23 January 2022), Melissa Davey of The Guardian published a story under the headline, “Australian children facing ‘generation-defining disruption’ due to pandemic, experts say.” Here on SET I published some more general pieces, too, such as “Editorial: Making up for lost instruction,” “News: How have siblings with disabilities (and their family) responded to the pandemic,” and “News: NPR reporting on special education during the pandemic.”
To be sure, some content provides a heavier dose of evidence. In “Consequences of COVID for children with ASD and their families,” I described a review of 17 international studies examining the effects of COVID on individuals with ASD and their families. A few months ago I was reading yet another literature review in which Urvashi Panchal and colleagues described 61 articles covering nearly 55 thousand children and adolescents (see here for an open access copy) in which they plead for guidelines to address the consequences of COVID for our kids.
So, what’s the point of dredging up all these sources (and there are many others!)? One purpose is to remind us that this crises is affecting lots of our pals as well as our kids and ourselves, and we need to keep perspective. To be sure there are serious reasons for concern, but I suspect most of us will come through the COVID times OK and probably wiser, if not unscathed. Another purpose is to keep us focused on what we can do for our students (and families). As I write this, the pandemic is roughly two years old; for an old guy such as I, two years seems like a brief time, but for a child of six, say, it’s a huge chunk of her life. Yet another reason for posting these notes is that I hope they provide another reminder about how important it is for all of us to stay safe, take care of each other, and teach our children well.
John Wills Lloyd, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, UVA School of Ed & HD
Co-editor, Exceptional Children
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