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Top Ten Most Viewed Special Education Advisor Blogs for 2012

December 25, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

The following is a list of the most viewed special education advisor blogs from 2012. This doesn’t include any of our guest articles which has been published separately. 2012 was Special Education Advisor’s second full year of operation and we continue to grow more quickly that we could ever imagine. We currently have over 36,000 visitors a month and over 75,000 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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Top Ten Most Viewed Special Education Advisor Guest Articles for 2012

December 22, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

The following is a list of the most viewed special education advisor guest articles from 2012. Thank you to all of the guest authors that have submitted articles to Special Education Advisor in 2012. 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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by Jess

My little dude

December 18, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

My little dude,

We made it through our first Christmas together, just the two of us. I can admit to you now that I moved about it reluctantly. I went through the motions hoping my heart would catch up. I knew it would be different and yet I was so bull-headed about making it feel the same. I tried so hard to keep as many of our Christmas traditions intact. I’ve never chopped a tree down but we did it. I wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit, but I decked the halls anyway. I let you listen to “Santa Baby” and “Little Drummer Boy” over and over in the house while I retreated to my world between my left and right ear buds. Christmas can be so wonderful when all is well but for some it only highlights what is missing. Read the rest of this entry →

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A New Year; Time to Reflect on “Parenthood”

December 16, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends and enjoy whatever holiday traditions you have come to know and love. It’s the time to hit the malls for bargain shopping and cross all those gifts off of our to-do list.  Also, with a New Year approaching many of us will make New Year’s resolutions.  Before we can make a New Year’s resolution, we have to take a moment and reflect upon the past year…..of course that would also include the subject of Parenthood. Read the rest of this entry →

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Top Ten Common Questions About Special Education

December 12, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

1.  What is the special education law that can help my child with a disability?

The foundation of today’s special education law was passed in 1975 and enacted in 1977.  This was Public Law 94-142, The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975.  In 1990 EHA was renamed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA.  IDEA was most recently reauthorized in 2004.  The Purpose of IDEA is to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education or FAPE that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.

It’s important to note that the law only guarantees an appropriate education and not the best education.  Best is a four letter word and Parents should learn to replace it with the word appropriate when discussing their child’s special education needs Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Dyslexia: Hear Us Roar

December 11, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

A recent IEP meeting began the same way they always do, “Jake is a great kid. He has a lot of friends and he tries really hard. We really like him and enjoy having him on campus.” Much to my surprise and my utter joy, Jake’s dad took off his glasses, leaned forward and said, “I know my kid is great. I know he has a lot of friends. But that is not why we are here. My kid can’t read, so let’s talk about that.” I beamed with pride and wished this could be said at every IEP/school meeting. Guess what? It can – just do it.

The niceties are over. The pleasantries are done. Dyslexia affects up to one in five children in this country, and it is still laughed off, brushed off, ignored and scoffed at in almost every IEP/SST meeting I attend. The word is not getting to the frontline staff and administrators, and I think it is because we are whispering. Well, now it is time to roar. I usually advocate for a win-win relationship and a healthy relationship between the school and the parents, but my tune is beginning to change. Niceties and pleasantries are not working, so the gloves are off, and we are asking schools the tough, relevant questions. It’s time for the dyslexia community to take control of the situation and ask the questions that require the districts to justify their responses and create some positive, meaningful change. Read the rest of this entry →

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First Quarter 2012 OSEP Policy Documents on the Education of Children with Disabilities

December 10, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

As I have mentioned many times in the past the Federal Register is a goldmine of information when it comes to understanding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).   Section 607 of IDEA requires that the Secretary of Education, on a quarterly basis, publish in the Federal Register a list of correspondence. This is correspondence from the Department of Education received by individuals that describes the interpretations of IDEA or the regulations that implement IDEA.  OSEP has recently published the First Quarter 2012 Policy Documents and as always they are enlightening and should be read by all.  I am going to provide the first couple of paragraphs of each letter below with a link to the entire document. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Why Money Matters

December 9, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Years ago I made a job change.  I moved from being an individual and family therapist in an urban community mental health center to working in a high school for children with Asperger’s Syndrome.  One dramatic change from community mental health to private school is that I rarely have to ask (or beg) parents to come see me.  In fact, nearly every day there is at least one parent who “pops in” to see if I am available to chat.  What is even more interesting is that many of these parents that I see on a daily basis are dads.  My community mental health colleagues know that dads are usually the last family member they will see in the therapy office.  Even more interesting than how many dads I see is the number of these dads who are older dads.  Gray hair, available in the middle of the day, work from home if they like, and retired dads. Read the rest of this entry →

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iPad Apps That Teach Social Skills To Kids

December 4, 2012 in App Review by Jess

Basic social skills may not come easy to some children. However, iPad has a number of applications on the market today that can help teach children social skills in a non-threatening and easy to learn environment. The following are the top iPad applications to help your child interact in social and independent settings.

Stories2Learn

Stories2Learn offers parents and teachers the tools to implement stories utilizing audio messages, text and photos. The stories can then be used to develop the person’s social skills. For example, if someone is learning the concept of taking turns, trying to improve eye contact, sharing or other social activities, the concepts can be showcased in a story that the parent or teach designed within a matter of minutes. The designer can also add their own dialogue and audio to correlate along with the photographs. Read the rest of this entry →

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Helping to Ensure Equal Access to Education

December 3, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Recently, the Office of Civil Rights submitted a report to the President on Helping to Ensure Equal Access to Education.  This 76 page report is nothing short of shocking and shows we have a very long way to go on the issue of student’s with disabilities.  Since I could not do it justice below are some points taken directly from the report.

  • Over the last four years (FY 2009–12), OCR has received 28,971 complaints—more than in any previous four-year period in its history, and representing a 24 percent increase over the previous four-year period. Over half of them addressed disability issues, about a quarter pertained to Title VI concerns, and the remaining addressed sex and age discrimination, 14 percent and 6 percent respectively. Read the rest of this entry →
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