Special Education Today Newsletter 1(17)

The week’s news and info for 11 October 2021

Dear dear folx,

Here is yet another e-mail about Special Education Today. You're getting it because someone forwarded it to you or, at some time since about June of 2021, you submitted your address to the list for this publication. (In case you're getting the forwarded version, please create your own entry in the email database; its free; just click the button at the end of this paragraph). If you no longer want to get the newsletters—and, oh how I hope you still want to receive them—you will find an "unsubscribe link" at the end...it'll only work if you have your own subscription, not if you're getting someone else's forwarded message—you might unsubscribe the person who sent it to you!

This 17th weekly issue of the first volume-year of SET has some pretty predictable content. As usual, it refers to articles published on the Web site this past week. There is also a brief status report for the site and the newsletter, and a bit of commentary at the end. The organization should sound familiar to most regular readers!

However, there is one atypical feature in this newsletter. I have added notes about the behavior management series that some of you may have read. Those notes appear right before the commentary.

Status update

The number of e-mail subscribers continues to increase, though it's a bit like inch-worm progress right now. There hasn't been a day of rapid growth as there was in July when I posted about the US Department of Health and Human Services investigating inappropriate billing by some autism services providers.

Whatever growth there is, it's thanks to you, dear readers. I've not used self-aggrandizing techniques to publicize SET. I sometimes drop a Tweet on Twitter. I never say anything on Facebook (though, hooray, many addresses have come from that source, meaning y'all are sharing there). I just keep hoping that the content I'm publishing is attractive enough that folks will want to subscribe!

Anyway, please keep clicking on those share buttons. Not each share will increase the base of addresses, but I appreciate your help.

Flashes of the electrons

This week's probably incomplete list shows who among SET pals interacted with the magazine (4-10 October) by either liking posts or commenting on them (or both). Thanks to everyone:

  • Jane B.

  • Michael K.

  • Clay K.

  • Ed M.

  • Gretchen S.

  • Tina C.

  • Betsy T.

  • Carrie C.

And all those whom I missed.

Thanks, too, for tweets, retweets, and likes on Twitter. I am sure there was some activity there this week, but I didn't log it. Sigh. Probably I missed tweets from followers or others who liked or retweeted content, as Michael K. and Tina C. often do. I appreciate y'all spreading the word!

And This Week’s ToC

Well, I posted at least a half-dozen notes on SET since the last newsletter. I hope that they are helpful. Here's a listing:

Seems exhausting! Sigh.

Notes about the behavior management series

The behavior management series is appearing with some temporal consistency. As it progresses in time, some weeks there may be two entries, other weeks there may be none!. So far, there have been four, which four have all pretty much focused on establishing foundational concepts. Beginning with the next installment, things will become much more practical.

My goals with the series are to make transparent what educators and parents can do in their minute-to-moment interactions with students (with and without disabilities) to promote success, competence, and happiness. I want the content to be true to empirical evidence, but I do not want it to be like a graduate class textbook. I greatly admire work represented in the applied behavior analysis literature (I've even reported a few ABA experiments!), including especially the analytic precision that is a fundamental characteristic of work in the ABA tradition; here, however, I am foregoing some of the more technical features and academic sourcing so that the concepts are more accessible to readers.

Said, another way, the content of this series is not aimed at those professors who are readers of SET. Although I hope they grok it, I hope they understand that these posts are more of an intro for naive behaviorists...sort of a pre-introduction.

Having said all that, I understand that I may have mis- or ill-represented some of the ideas I cover in the posts. I welcome thoughtful, grounded discussion of the posts. Please help me clarify what I'm communicating.

By the way, dear readers, you may expect a similar set of notes about the planned series on research methods. Essentially, these notes boil down to me explaining that I want SET to have content that is accessible to the general reader, that I write the accessible content on the basis of empirical evidence and other scholarship, and that I acknowledge that I am not a world-class expert on any of these topics, but I know enough to be dangerous! Correct the content as you see fit, please.


Before I wade into this section, let me throw a mea culpa. I had set the Friday Photos post about Elizabeth Talbott for 8 October 2021. Things seemed all set in the to-be-published-soon queue. I messed up and hit "publish now" early in the week. So, the Friday Photo of Bets has been up on the site for a few more days than the usual. Also, Bets reminded me (see comments) that during her practicum assignment at the preschool that Pat Lloyd was running in the 1980s for UVA, she also got to work with Corey, who at age 9 was already showing her clinical competence.

Also, let me thank folks for sending personal, back-channel notes about my health. Y'all are wonderfully considerate colleagues, associates, and pals! I'm doing quite well, thanks!

About the “slave burial ground” that I am hoping to protect: We met this past week with the executive director of the Fluvanna County Historical Society. We are quite impressed with her efforts not only to preserve long-neglected cemeteries, but also her efforts to uncover (ahem) and document histories of African-American people who lived in that area for 100s of years.

OKAY, here are my familiar admonitions:

  • Wear your seatbelts: Remember to affix them right away when you get into your car!

  • COVID: Get vaccinated (I got a booster Friday!), but understand that having a vaccination doesn't solve the problem. A solution will require that we also ventilate spaces where people congregate, keep safe social distance, wash our hands, and use masks.

  • And, I implore you to teach your children well (including teaching them how to behave safely during a pandemic).


SET Editor guy

SET should not be confused with a product with the same name that is published by the Council for Exceptional Children. SET predated CEC’s publication by decades. Despite my appreciation for CEC, this product is not designed to promote that organization.