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Top Ten Most Viewed Special Education Advisor Guest Articles for 2011

December 20, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

The following is a list of the most viewed special education advisor guest articles from 2011. Thank you to all of the guest authors that have submitted articles to Special Education Advisor in 2011. The quality of articles and their content has been outstanding and we really appreciate every single submission. Without your submissions we would not be able to fulfill our mission to families with children who have special education needs. Enjoy the list: Read the rest of this entry →

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Top Ten Most Viewed Special Education Advisor Blogs for 2011

December 18, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

The following is a list of the most viewed special education advisor blogs from 2011. This doesn’t include any of our guest articles which will be published separately. 2011 was Special Education Advisor’s first full year of operation and we have grown more quickly that we could ever imagine. We currently have over 21,000 visitors a month and over 50,000 page views per month. We continue to grow every month and it’s all because of our members and visitors. Thank you for your continued support and without further adieu here is the list: Read the rest of this entry →

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Working Together to Keep Our Most Challenged Students in Traditional Schools

December 15, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

With an alarming increase in Autism and other disabilities in the United States, as well as evolving curricula that increasingly focuses on individualized learning, parents are looking at private specialized schools as viable options to help students with learning challenges and behavioral issues.

In an environment in which students benefit from catered instruction in much smaller classes, it is the hope of public school officials that these children can be put on a path to high school graduation and college so they can learn a valuable profession. Read the rest of this entry →

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Become your Teacher’s helper: Tips from ASD kids to Teachers

December 14, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

I was thinking about my 11 year old son’s schooling history recently. Nearly two years ago after a rather bumpy ride on his schooling journey the Department of Education and I decided that James could not be catered for in mainstream schools. I wasn’t angry at all; in fact there was a big sense of relief.

I don’t believe that schools are at fault here; how much can we expect from teachers with 20 odd children in their classes? I mean, really, what exactly do you do with a child who goes missing and is found 30 minutes later asleep in a tree because he has decided he is Buddha and needed some peace to meditate? In the mind of the child his decision making was completely logical – in the mind of the teacher a child went missing and 4 staff members were frantically looking for him. Read the rest of this entry →

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Bribes (Or Rewards) – How to Motivate Your Student to be Successful in High School

December 12, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Many people believe that parents should not bribe their children to do well in school. I say, why not, isn’t it essentially the same as what our employers do to us? No matter what you believe, I can tell you that rewarding high school students can be very beneficial for the student, parents, and teachers if they are intentional and within reason. My goal is to provide you with reasons for motivating students with rewards, types of rewards, and share a success story from one of my former high school students. Read the rest of this entry →

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The Ever Changing IEP 2011

December 11, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Last Friday was my son’s 3 year review. It lasted three hours, which is not uncommon for a 3 year review; ours last that long even when we don’t have assessments to review. As I stated in my previous blog, my son is now in the 5th grade….yes, preparing for that wonderful time called “Middle School.” Our concerns for middle school are with his Academics, Speech/Language and Social Skills. My son’s Woodcock Johnson Achievement scores were quite surprising to us. He is now in the high average range in spelling and math calculation. However, he is still in the low average range in reading comprehension, story recall-delayed and applied problems with regards to math. He has a lot of strengths as well as many needs. Read the rest of this entry →

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Special Education Facebook Pages to Like

December 10, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

The following is a list of Facebook pages that do a wonderful job of tracking, educating and informing on all aspects of Special Education and advocacy.  Anyone that has a child with an individualized education program (IEP) or individual family service plan (IFSP) should like these pages.

Special Education Advisor – Special Education Advisor is a community of parents, educators, and special education service providers dedicated to helping families with special education needs children understand their special education rights and receive appropriate special education services.

Wrightslaw - Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities.

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. – The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates and parents. Our primary mission is to secure high quality educational services for children with disabilities.

IDEA Money Watch – IDEA Money Watch is keeping track of the use of $11.3 billion in federal funds being provided to local school districts as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Special Education Law and Advocacy – Special Education Law and Advocacy, a law firm whose practice is focused upon the representation of children with disabilities.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) – NICHCY serves the nation as a central source of information on:–disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth – ESEA & IDEA (education & special education laws)–research-based information on effective educational practices.

Special Needs Network – SNN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization founded to respond to the needs of low-income and poor families struggling with raising a child or adult with developmental disabilities, particularly as it relates to autism.

Social Thinking – Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, received a Congressional award for her development of Social Thinking for the treatment and teaching of students with Aspergers, high-functioning autism, ADHD and similar challenges.

Council for Exceptional Children – The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a professional association that works to improve the educational success of children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents.  This is the official page of CEC Headquarters in Arlington, Va.

The Advocacy Institute – The Advocacy Institute is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the development of products, projects and services that work to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund – The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, founded in 1979, is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities.

National Center for Learning Disabilities – The National Center for Learning Disabilities works to ensure that the nation’s 15 million children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities have every opportunity to succeed in school, work and life.

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism – The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (website & book) helps people with autism & their families make sense of the bewildering array of available autism treatments & options, & determine which are worth their time, money, & energy.

Disability Rights Legal Center – Championing the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy and litigation.

LD OnLine – LD OnLine.org is the world’s leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD, serving more than 200,000 parents, teachers, and other professionals each month.

The Inclusive Class – A site dedicated to providing resources to create the best possible learning environment for your special needs child.

Center on Disabilities at CSUN – The Center on Disabilities produces the International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN Conference) and Assistive Technology Application Certificate Program (ATACP) training.

The Coffee Klatch – Offering parents world renowned experts,, physicians, psychiatrists, celebrity activists, special education and special education law advisors along with experienced parent advocates to educate support and inspire the special needs parents on their journey.

The Help Group – Founded in 1975, The Help Group is the largest, most innovative and comprehensive nonprofit of its kind in the United States serving children with special needs related to autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, abuse and emotional problems.

About.com Children With Special Needs – Stay up-to-date on all things related to parenting children with special needs. Guided by Terri Mauro.

Educate.Advocate - We are a group of parents and caregivers that have decided to educate ourselves so that we are better able to advocate for our children with special needs.

National Association of Special Education Teachers -  NASET is the only national membership organization dedicated solely to meeting the needs of special education teachers and those preparing for the field of special education teaching.

Kids Enabled - Kids Enabled was founded in 2005 to help other parents navigate the special needs community more easily. Learning differences is defined as a diagnosis that falls within the neurological disorder spectrum such as speech, auditory processing, language processing, visual processing, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autism and Asperger Syndrome. In 2008, Kids Enabled received their 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status.

Leigh Law Group - Whether you are a small business, an employee, a student or parent of a child with disabilities our office can effectively represent you. When you meet with us for your initial consultation, you can expect that our attorneys will help to provide you options that work for your situation.

Bay Area Mocha Autism Network - TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG!! This is a fact that we know and a movement we want to forward throught the Bay Area community.

Feel free to comment or add to the list below.

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Scott James – Overcomes Disablity to Perform on X Factor

December 8, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

I recently came across this video of Scott James performing at the U.K. version of the X-Factor.  It’s about two years old but it hasn’t really made the rounds here in the United States.  What’s amazing about this video is not that Scott has aspergers or that he has a beautiful voice but that he has barely left his house in seven years.  All I can say is what a way to make an entrance back into society.  According to an article in the Sun:

The timid 22-year-old was so badly bullied because of his autism that he didn’t leave his house for SEVEN YEARS.

He was beaten, kicked and taunted by classmates — partly because of his love of music.

Congratulaions Scott on overcoming your fears because you were great.  Enjoy the video below and you might want to grab your tissue’s before watching.


The X Factor 2009 – Scott James – Auditions 6 HQ by metora83

Sorry for the advertisements but this was the only one I could find that I could embed in my post.

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Trashing the Branding Iron

December 6, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

In the early 1970’s I had the wonderful opportunity of working with two students with special needs whose mother’s were relentless in insisting on a law in Wisconsin that would mandate a quality education for their children as well as others. Elaine Keller and Lila Kelly inspired me to look closely at the needs of their children as well as all students whether they were defined as gifted, with learning problems or were simply involved in the general education program. I always had a curiosity as to why we labeled children rather than simply focusing on their needs. Why do we brand children for failure when we know they are all different in one way or another?

Fast forward to 1985 and I was still learning, not only from parents, but from the children that need us the most. After 15 years of teaching I became the administrator of an alternative school serving the most emotionally problematic kids in the city. From them I learned several hard lessons. One was that every child wanted to learn. They didn’t necessarily want to go to school, but they wanted to be able to read and write and had a tremendous curiosity. I had previously worked with a wide range of disabilities including cognitively disabled children, autistic, physically disabled and others and from them learned that children in general learn in different ways, sometimes at different rates but they always wanted to learn. What was important was that the information learned be valuable to them and their future. I learned that it was necessary to put a strong focus on what was important including the skills necessary to continue lifelong learning on their own. Read the rest of this entry →

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Advocate On Fire – Emily enters First Grade

December 4, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

This is the final in a series of posts by Lori Gertz about the process of becoming an advocate for her growing special needs child. Click here to read the first part of the series, click here to read the second part.

First grade started before the summer had a chance to end. The third week of August had me lugging all three kids into Emily’s orientation day with school supplies. The other schools, private in nature, weren’t starting for a few more weeks. Emily’s first grade teacher, as it turned out, was the first cousin of a dear friend of mine and so I met her socially prior to the transition IEP meeting at the end of Emily’s kindergarten year. When I placed her at the IEP meeting, I was a bit taken aback. I had actually poured my heart out to her about Emily on a 1:1 parent to parent basis, I felt like she had seen me undressed. Read the rest of this entry →

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