Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

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Learning “Sculpts” Brain Connection

March 31, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Spontaneous brain activity measurably changes after a person learns a new task.

Spontaneous brain activity formerly thought to be “white noise” measurably changes after a person learns a new task, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Chieti, Italy, have shown [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106:17558-17563].

Scientists also report that the degree of change reflects how well subjects have learned to perform the task.  Read the rest of this entry →

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LAUSD to Place School Psychologists on Reduced Work Schedule

March 29, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

In yet another major blow to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s 82,000 Special Education students, next year they will have limited access to their School Psychologists.  Last week, LAUSD distributed an email to all of its School Psychologists informing them that for the 2011 – 2012 school year they will be put on a reduced work schedule.  This comes on the heels of the 2010 – 2011 cuts to LAUSD’s Special Education program which included closing approximately 200 Special Day Classes.  Exactly how this reduced work schedule will play out is unclear, but schools will be without a school psychologist for multiple weeks. Read the rest of this entry →

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They Ain’t Happy Tears, But They Should Be

March 28, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

I had an opportunity to work with Tessa this afternoon. Earlier in the day, she brought a book to me that she hoped I’d share with the class. I said I would, but upon flipping through it, I thought better of it, and decided it’d be more meaningful if she read it instead. Read the rest of this entry →

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Things not to say to LD people (or their parents)

March 27, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

1. You can’t be LD, you’re so bright! Ummm, you can be smart and LD, average intelligence and LD, or less than average intelligence and LD. Just like you can be tall and fat, tall and thin, or tall and average weight. LD means that you have a pronounced deficit in some area of learning. My deficits are entirely outside academic work: I have Nonverbal Learning Disability or something like it. My biggest problem in grad school was finding my way to the classroom. Read the rest of this entry →

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IDEA Fairness Restoration Act: Will the Third Time finally be the Charm

March 23, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

It’s that time of year again, birds are chirping, bees are buzzing and the latest introduction of the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act has just occurred.  This is an important Bill for Parents who are trying to exercise their Due Process Rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Why is that?  The Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that while Parents can be reimbursed for Attorney Fees, if they prevail, they can’t be reimbursed for Expert Witness Fees.  This puts Parents at a major disadvantage to all of the School Districts who already employee these types of specialists.  The Supreme Court has also ruled in the past that the “Burden of Proof” in any IDEA related case is on the Party that files.  This means that when a Parent files a Due Process complaint they must prove their case or the Hearing Officer must assume the School District is in the right.  You can only prove your case with facts and testimony from Experts in the field.  Parents are spending thousands of dollars to hire Expert witnesses to assess their children and testify at the Hearings on their behalf.  The IDEA Fairness Restoration Act would add to IDEA that Expert Witness fees could be reimbursed to Parents who prevail in a Due Process Hearing. Read the rest of this entry →

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Always use facts instead of emotions to guide your actions in an IEP

March 22, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

I remember when my husband and I first entered the world of IEP’s.  We were overwhelmed by the magnitude of information, definitions, assessments, etc.  Of course, there was also the feeling of helplessness with regards to making sure our son had all the services he needed.  Sometimes, when a parent loses control of their emotions that can interfere with their ability to be an effective advocate for their child.  It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, when we as parents are trying desperately to convince the school district to give our child the services they need.  We might exhibit our frustrations through anger, tears, or depression because we are losing the argument with the school district.  When that happens, all communication between the school district and the parent’s stops and both sides walk away with resentment and ill will towards each other.  Since we are our children’s advocates, we must learn how to accomplish this by using a fact based argument instead of an emotional based argument.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Assignment notebooks, IEP’s and teaching a bad lesson…

March 22, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

I want to take a moment to discuss an activity that schools are participating in, but are going through the motions and as a result of this, in my opinion, are teaching the wrong lesson.  If you have read some of my previous posts or followed me on Twitter, I have a son who has some health issues and is on an IEP.  He is now in sixth grade and is pretty much behind by two or more grades.  My son also is integrated in the regular classroom for some subjects and in a smaller group setting for the core subjects. Read the rest of this entry →

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Developmental Milestones: Relevance to Nursing and Early Childhood Education

March 21, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Often, college students do not realize the relevance a class may have in other academic areas.  One example is developmental milestones of children. Pediatric nursing as well as early childhood education both focus on these aspects in their curriculum and show intertwining relevance to the respective educational and career paths. While most people realize children grow and develop, most do not comprehend the importance of assessing the process of growth and development. Read the rest of this entry →

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Ten Reasons that Individualized Education Programs Matter

March 17, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

I have a strong urge today to remind myself and others why IEP’s matter.  You see, sometimes we get so caught up in the legalese of Special Education that we forget about the child who needs our help.  So below are my reasons that IEP’s matter:

1.   Every child deserves to have their rights protected even if they have a disability; Read the rest of this entry →

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Is Baby Sign Language Just a Parenting Fad?

March 17, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Etel Leit, MS

Baby sign language isn’t the first popular parenting method to come around. Remember when babies couldn’t be put to sleep without a Mozart tape playing or else they’d be behind every other kid in preschool? Have you seen all those late-night infomercials for teaching babies to read by simply setting them in front of a television to watch a program? There have been hundreds of trends promising to make your baby an Einstein! So, this begs the question; what makes Baby Sign Language different?  Read the rest of this entry →

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