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You are browsing the archive for 2012 June.

Eight Special Needs Dads that Rock

June 17, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Stuart Duncan - Autism from a Father's Point of View

“Here’s to you… the friend, role model, strongest person in the world, the vanquisher of monsters, the guy who slips their kid a dollar or a treat even when mom says no… you’re the man of the house and with that you deserve more than just a day.” from This one is for the dads Read the rest of this entry →

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The Inspirational Teacher Series – Morgan Kolis

June 13, 2012 in Inspirational Teacher Series by Dennise Goldberg

Today in the Inspirational Teacher Series we profile Morgan Kolis. Morgan was one of my original twitter friends and has graciously written some guest posts for us. One of my favorites, I’m NOT Your Enemy: Secrets from Your Child’s Special Education Teacher was one of our top ten most viewed guest posts last year. As you will see from her responses, she is a passionate, hard working educator that any parent would be lucky to have assigned to their children. Read the rest of this entry →

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End Seclusion and Unnecessary, Dangerous Restraints in Schools. Our Children’s Lives Depend on It.

June 12, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Today, somewhere at a school near you, a child sits alone in a small, unvented room.  Maybe all day.  Sometimes in the dark.  Another has four adults sitting on their back; physically restrained for throwing noodles in the cafeteria.  Yet another is finally finished the school year, home for the summer, and afraid to go into his bedroom closet. His parents have no idea why.  And even more unthinkable and tragic, another child’s life may have just ended due to inappropriate and unnecessary restraint and seclusion used in school.

That’s abuse,” you say. We think so too.  “It can’t possibly happen in our schools.”  But it does, every day.  And according to the Office of Civil Rights, hundreds of thousands of times a year, disproportionately on students with disabilities. For example, recently reported OCR data indicates that of 131,990 instances of physical restraint tallied by the data collection in the 2009-2010 school year, 78.6%  involved students with disabilities, compared with 21% for other students. Yet just 12% of the students in the data set have disabilities.  Although seclusion and restraint are primarily associated with students eligible for special education, the data show those technique are used on all students.  Unfortunately, despite some progress at the state level, no federal law exists to protect all students from such abuse. Read the rest of this entry →

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Judge to School District, “No Legal Fees for You!”

June 12, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Almost six years ago the parents of a child with autism sat in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting and disagreed with the Schools offer of FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education). The parents’ felt their child, Chuka Chibougwu, was not being provided an appropriate education and exercised their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to disagree with the School District’s offer and request a due process hearing. This caused the School District to put a bulls-eye on the backs of Mr. & Mrs. Chibougu and try their best to bankrupt this family. The School District that was trying to financially ruin this family was the Alief Independent School District in Texas and the story that played out was nothing short of amazing. Read the rest of this entry →

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Summer Shock

June 11, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Hooray, it's summer! School's out! No more homework! No classes. Lots of free time...

No more school? The normal routine is out the window. For most children and moms, this is not a big deal. They are able to transition from the everyday routine of school into the usually unplanned chaos that is summer. However, our children don't usually fall into that category and thus our children and us are thrown into what I lovingly call "Summer Shock".

Around our house, we experienced this with Blondie almost immediately after she graduated Pre-K a few short weeks ago (although it feels I've aged a year since). This summer is the first that she will not be attending any type of school or child development center (CDC). For her, routine and consistency is paramount to being able to function and cope with her world. Sometimes, it doesn't work perfectly but most days it makes the difference in her behavior, ability to regulate her own emotions without redirection, handle transitions and adjust to situations with more ease. Read the rest of this entry →

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IEP’s, Football, and the Importance of Coaches

June 10, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

In my long-time role of parent volunteer (nationally and locally), people know and seem to like me. They certainly aren’t afraid of me – as I’ve discovered as a classroom volunteer at my kids’ schools…“no classroom presence” is the verdict.

In the courtroom – as opposed to the classroom - I command more attention, of course. Being a lawyer does that. Ditto in the IEP meeting room. People sit up and take notice. As they should. Things get done. Again, as they should.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Top 10 Most Important Sensory Environment Tips

June 7, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Jess

10. Be clear about what you want your child’s room to inspire. Identify what the goals and challenges they presently have as well as in any and every space in your home.

9. Always be decisive about who will be using the room, if it’s going to be shared by more than one person or be utilized for more than one function. Read the rest of this entry →

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OSEP has Spoken Again: No More Summertime Blues

June 6, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the United States is on fire. Earlier this week I found out OSEP sent a memorandum to the State of New Jersey regarding Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) and when a parent has the right to request an IEE. Now OSEP has weighed in on timely evaluations and stated that initial evaluations cannot be delayed due to summer vacations. The letter to Reyes can be found below. Read the rest of this entry →

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Writing without the Blocks

June 5, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

I am dictating this blog post using a Jawbone bluetooth headset and Windows Seven Speech Recognition. This is a very easy way for your students to begin the writing process, eliminating the struggles with holding a pen, or keyboarding, or spelling, or just the mechanical transfer from brain to hand.

One of the biggest issues I see in student writing is all the things which block students from effectively telling their stories, all the things which burn up cognitive effort and leave nothing left over for communication. Read the rest of this entry →

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Whole Wide World App, Learning Games for ages 5-8

June 5, 2012 in App Review by Dennise Goldberg

This past Memorial Day, I caught an episode of the Martha Stewart Show; one of the guests was promoting their app for children. The app is called Whole Wide World by Fingerprint. I decided to check it out to see if any child could use it. I tested it out with my son who is 11 years old and is past the intended audience. The games were too simple for a child his age, but he found it entertaining for a while due to the interesting facts that he learned about the different parts of the world. The age range for the games is accurate and any child can use this app for fun and educational purposes.

The games help with visual processing, fine motor skills, simple math and spelling skills. The games are based on a reward system. If a child completes the games in the allotted amount of time, they will receive a stamp for that country and learn an interesting fun fact. Once the child has accumulated all the stamps for that particular country they will receive a post card as their final reward. The games might be in the form of matching pictures, mazes or racing. In addition, some games will teach spelling or have simple math questions attached.

The countries that are available are Iceland, Italy, Egypt, China, USA, Mexico, Australia and Antarctica.

For example, if your child selects China, they will play a variety of matching games.

If the child finds all the pictures that they are supposed to in the given amount of time, then they will receive a stamp and learn an interesting fact about China. Once they have collected all four stamps they will receive a post card.

If the child chooses Australia, then they play a variety of racing games with a kangaroo and collect pictures. At the end of the race, they will have to answer a simple math question, such as 19-8. Once again after completing the games, they will collect stamps and hear fun facts about Australia.

You can find another fun and educational game in the country of Egypt. A word will pop up and the child will be given a few letters to locate on the map using their avatar. Once they have found each letter, the avatar will give an interesting fun fact about what they just spelled. The game informs and teaches spelling at the same time.

I wish my son had this when he was younger; he would’ve been on it every day!  The Premier version of Whole Wide World can be purchased for $2.99.

 

 

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