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Ten Tips to Build Self-Advocacy Skills

August 30, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Self-Advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions. (VanReusen et al., 1994)

Below are ten tips to help build self-advocacy skills:  Read the rest of this entry →

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Strengths and Challenges of Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome

August 30, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is an inherited genetic disorder that results in a range of characteristics which include autistic-like features, such as gaze avoidance, hand-flapping, difficulty with transitions, and impaired social and communication skills. It is the most commonly known inherited cause of intellectual disability, affecting 1 in 4000 males and 1 in 8000 females (Dykens, Hodapp, & Finucane, 2000). Organizations such as the National Fragile X Foundation and FRAXA are working to raise awareness about FXS; however, families continue to consistently hear “Fragile what?” when advising physicians, clinicians, teachers, friends, and neighbors of their child’s condition.

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What do Assessment Results Really Say?

August 29, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

There is an old adage: “Statistics never lie, but statisticians do.” In other words the results are not just the data, but rather how one analyzes and interprets the data. When reviewing assessment results, be sure to look at the actual assessment scores reporting grade level and percentile performance. I have had school psychologists claim that a child scoring in the first or second percentile is in the “low average range.” When they say this, my question to them is, “How low does the student have to score to be in the low range?” Also review the individual sub-test scores because the Broad Scores are averages that don’t always identify the needs of the student.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Temple Grandin, Roy Rogers & Reality TV

August 26, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Cue the music……One of these things is not like the others.  One of these things just doesn’t belong.  Can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish my song?

Did you guess which thing was not like the others?  Did you guess which thing just doesn’t belong? If you guessed “Reality TV” is not like the others, then you’re absolutely…right! Read the rest of this entry →

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A Mother’s Appeal: Look for Hidden Learning Disabilities Early in School

August 23, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

When a child looks normal, but does not learn well, we sometimes make the assumption that the child is lazy or not focused enough on their studies in school. This common and almost always frustrating scenario is what parents deal with every day when they have a child with learning disabilities (LD) or special needs. And that is exactly what Dane, a sinewy child with pretty white blond hair and the biggest of smiles, faces every time he picks up a pencil or a book. Read the rest of this entry →

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To Punish or Not to Punish?

August 21, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Punishment is widely used in our society.

Punishment can be seen in imprisonment, late fees, speeding tickets, and detention all for not following socially acceptable rules. By definition, punishment is anything that follows a behavior that leads to the decrease of that behavior in the future. This may include adding something to the environment or situation such as giving detention or issuing a parking fine. It also includes removing things from the environment of situation such as taking away dessert after dinner as well as the popular “grounding” (e.g., no television or computer, cannot go over friend’s homes on the weekends).  Read the rest of this entry →

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Determined young man with Asperger’s shares his journey and hope for the future

August 18, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

As the end of the school year approaches, many students are reflecting on their accomplishments and looking forward to their future goals. One student has a lot to think about this summer as he is deciding if he will give traditional public school another chance to get it right. He is a 5th grader who has attended a PA cyber school for two years now. In those two years, he has made amazing progress academically and socially. This young man has had plenty of challenges along the way but continues to look forward beyond his past circumstances. Read the rest of this entry →

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The Myth about IEP Team Collaboration

August 15, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

If you have been following my blogs lately, I recently got into a debate in the comment section of the Top Ten Negotiating Skills to Learn for an IEP. I’m going to focus this blog on one comment that was made:

“The (IEP) “team” concept does not in any way suggest a process of negotiation, rather it suggests collaboration. There is a significant difference with the former implying a relationship of possibly opposing views, while the latter implies a co-operative relationship.” Read the rest of this entry →

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Creative Cognitive Approaches in the Treatment and Education of the Severely Autistic Child

August 14, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

At its core, autism is a disorder of relating and communicating. Due to challenges with sensory processing, cognitive development, language acquisition and socialization, children with autism have severe impairment in their ability to connect and communicate with other people. Individualized Educational Programs ( IEP) routinely include goals for sensory regulation, communication, behavioral problems and socialization, but not goals written with clear strategies aimed at improving cognitive functioning whereby independent problem-solving skills are developed.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Behavior and Discipline for Children with a Disability

August 13, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Nothing upsets me greater than when a child is continually disciplined at School when the behavior is obviously a manifestation of their disability. The Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) has set up specific discipline rules to follow when this occurs. My problem is when these ruled aren’t followed and the child is thus denied their right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Before I expand on how I have seen schools skirt their legal responsibility with regard to discipline in the United States, I’m going take a moment to address what is happening elsewhere in the world regarding this issue.

I came across this article yesterday from the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia, “Parents of disabled children rebel against suspensions”. The first thing that jumped out at me from the article was: Read the rest of this entry →

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