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

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Scheduling Homework and the Urge to Battle Zombie Mutants

June 28, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

There is a general acknowledgement in our house that if you can’t find my youngest son, go find a computer and there he will be. This really wasn’t too much of a problem until he hit high school. Then the workload for school became so intense that it really cut into his computer time and the battle was on.

How do you get a child who is fixated on computer surfing and gaming to concentrate on his homework, which is all done on computers nowadays. At first we tried not allowing any breaks when he came home from school. RIght away to the homework. This way we figured that he would still be in school mode so there would just be the push towrds the end of the day. Now that really didn’t have too much effect on his efficiency. In fact, the fighting that ensued was legendary. I tried the positive approach…now if you do your homework you will earn “so much time” on the computer to play your games or surf the net. It didn’t really work because he just steamrollered through his homwork, not paying attention and not learning anything. OK, try one down, next… Read the rest of this entry →

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I’m NOT Your Enemy: Secrets from Your Child’s Special Education Teacher

June 27, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Morgan Kolis

How often have you read articles, blogs, or tweets where the special education teacher appears as the bad guy?  The special education teacher has an alternate agenda or makes a plan without the knowledge of the parents? The IEP team excludes the parents as part of the team? 

Too many articles and blogs point to the special education teacher and make him/her appear as an enemy to the parents of the child with special needs. 

WE ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY! 

But there are some secrets that your special education teacher wants you to know:  Read the rest of this entry →

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China, Special Education, and Time Travel

June 26, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

For the last ten days we have had fifteen visitors from China, as part of the Heartspring Teacher Exchange program, who come for almost two weeks to observe, learn, and understand not only what we do, but how we do it. Last evening I had the honor of hosting the entire delegation at my house for dinner, and today my world view is refreshed, and clear, again.We share so much more than we might imagine; beyond the limiting veil of language, at the heart of emotion and experience, is a place of togetherness. What has been the most remarkable, and perhaps most important, experience is what I think of as, “Applied Time Travel”.  Read the rest of this entry →

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The Art of Asking Questions at an IEP

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

It has been said, “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions” (Naguib Mahfouz, Nobel Prize Winner for Literature).  These are words to live by and my wife, Dennise, and I have found that asking questions in an IEP meeting is a very effective strategy for advocating for your child.  Yesterday, Dennise wrote in her blog, “Needs Drive Goals and Goals Drive Services in an IEP”;

….. if you think your child needs additional services always remember to start at the beginning.  First, update your child’s present level of performance.  Next, write multiple goals for every area of need including all of the components.  Lastly, use the present levels of performance and goals to justify additional services.  If parents remember to work from beginning to end they should have a much more productive IEP meeting. Read the rest of this entry →

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Needs Drive Goals and Goals Drive Services in an IEP

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

As I reflect on the prior IEP season one common theme continues to jump out at me.  You can’t request additional services for your child if there isn’t a written goal that the service will help the child achieve.     This is crucial for parents to understand.  A well written IEP starts with an accurate Present Levels of Performance (PLOP) that outlines the child’s strengths and needs.  If additional assessments are necessary to accurately update the child’s PLOP then make sure the request is made with ample time for the assessments to be performed prior to the annual IEP date.  Once you have an accurate picture of the PLOP make sure you write a goal for every area of need.   You would be surprised how often goals are not written to address every need and parents will have a very hard time justifying additional services without a goal.  Read the rest of this entry →

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The Importance of Play

June 21, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Research suggests that children’s social imaginative play helps build executive function skills, including self-regulation. A child pretending to be a king may sit longer and more regally on his “throne” than a child who is simply asked to sit still.

Imagination can boost our self-control. Teachers of young children take advantage of this when they quiet a class walking down the hall with, “Let’s pretend to be little mice.” Pretend play strengthens memory and impulse control as children plan a play scenario and act it out, choosing appropriate additions to the storyline and rejecting interruptions and distractions. Read the rest of this entry →

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Why Is He Behaving “That Way?” The Answer: PEAT

June 20, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Ever wonder why your child behaves “that way?” Wonder why he dawdles, why he won’t read, why he fights with David and Brian? We can’t tell you about his genes, his DNA, the chemicals in his body, each of his neurons, or David and Brian. We don’t know all the causes of troubling behaviors, especially for individual children. But we can tell you about PEAT. Using PEAT might help you learn what’s currently causing his troubling behavior, an important step in figuring out a solution.

PEAT

PEAT stands for Physiology, Experience, Action, and Thought. First we’ll define the words and ask some questions that help explain them. Then we’ll show you how you might use PEAT to help your mythical 10-year old son, Charlie.

Physiology refers to your child’s physical needs. Does he get enough sleep? Does he have a nutritious diet? Is he having an allergic reaction? Do his ears and throat hurt? Is he forced to sit in class far more than his body can tolerate? Read the rest of this entry →

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Incomplete classroom assignments and anxiety with homework should be a Red Flag

June 14, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Nowadays, students who are high functioning are placed in general education classes.  However, with the constant rise in class size, sometimes a child with a disability will have a difficult time keeping up in the classroom; for example, completing classroom assignments.  A child may not always express their frustrations verbally or ask for help if they are unable to complete classroom assignments.  More often than not, the child will shut down and give up in class.  Read the rest of this entry →

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What Is Assistive Technology and How Can It Help Your Child?

June 13, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Assistive technology is expanding the opportunity for children of all ages with cognitive, sensory, or physical impairments to achieve greater levels self-confidence, while also providing the ability to become better integrated into the mainstream environment at home, in the community, and at school. 

Definition of Assistive Technology

Assistive technology equipment is any mechanical device that compensates for a cognitive, sensory, or physical deficit. Assistive devices may be homemade, purchased in a store, or ordered from a special manufacturer and are used by children (and adults) to assist with “activities of daily living.”  Assistive technology covers a wide range of equipment from pencil grips, helmets, and paper weights to such “high tech” items as voice synthesizers, Braille readers, hearing devices, motorized wheelchairs, and computers.  As per Sherril Steel-Carlin of Education World magazine, assistive devices include all of the following:1 Read the rest of this entry →

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High Road School “unleashes” a Cheerful New Therapist

June 12, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

NORMAL, Il. –  The newest staff member at High Road School turned out to be a real jack-of-all-trades. 

“Chip” – as everyone calls him – cheerfully greets students as they arrive at the Jersey Avenue-school. He’s a vigilant hall monitor. He helps students with their reading, encourages them to exercise at recess, and he even sits in on parent meetings. 

Chip works hard, but not for peanuts. “He likes dog biscuits better,” said JoAnn Ziegler, director at High Road School, who “hired” Chip last November and had the Yorkshire terrier trained as a therapy dog for her students who have learning, language, social and behavioral disabilities.  Read the rest of this entry →

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