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You are browsing the archive for 2013 April.

The Countdown to the 2012/2013 School Year Has Begun

April 29, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Believe it or not, we’re in the homestretch for the 2012/2013 school year!  State tests will finish and the mad rush to complete IEP’s has begun.  If you need to call an IEP because of concerns you might have for your child, now is the time to do it!!  Remember, when you request an IEP meeting without assessments, the school has 30 days to hold the meeting under California Law (please check you State law to determine timing in your State).  Like myself, I’m sure your school begins summer break at the end of May or early June; which means if you need to write a letter requesting an IEP meeting, it needs to be done immediately.  There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to hold an IEP at the end of the school year.

Maybe your child has been struggling with completing homework this year.  It might be a good idea to bring the IEP team together and discuss accommodations with regards to homework.  Remember that every new grade brings additional homework, especially in middle and high school.  If your child is having difficulty staying on task long enough to complete their homework, accommodations can made where your child will still be on track to graduate with their classmates. Read the rest of this entry →

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Which of Your Child’s Services are You Willing to Give Up?

April 28, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Take a moment and reflect on your child’s IEP and the programming and services that are in that IEP. Which of those are you willing to give up? You are probably asking yourself “What kind of a question is that?” All right then, which would you give up for something else?  Farfetched questions? Not if you enter an IEP meeting thinking that IEPs should be negotiated. If, for example, you are thinking that “If I don’t get adapted PE, I will go for more hours of speech therapy,” you are thinking in terms of negotiating your child’s services and are willing to give up something to gain something else. Why would you do that to your child? Let’s look at how an IEP meeting is supposed to proceed.

Let’s assume that the IEP team has agreedto your child’s present levels of academic and functional performance from a review of all available and current information.  And from that information, the team has also identified and agreed to the child’s needs that are to be addressed in the IEP. So where is the twist? It’s coming.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Overview of Special Education in California

April 21, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

A few months back the Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote a 28 page primer entitled, “An overview of Special Education in California.”  While it is meant to be an introduction to Special Education in the State of California a large portion of the report parallel’s special education across the nation and is worth reading even if you are not living in California.  Especially since California has approximately 10% of the more than 6.6 million children currently receiving Special Education services across the United States.

About One in Ten California Students Receives Special Education Services. About 686,000 students with disabilities (SWDs) receive special education services in California, comprising about 10 percent of the state’s public school enrollment. Specific learning disabilities—including dyslexia—are the most common diagnoses requiring special education services (affecting about 4 percent of all K–12 students), followed by speech and language impairments. While the overall prevalence of students with autism and chronic health problems still is relatively rare (each affecting 1 percent or less of all public school students), the number of students diagnosed with these disabilities has increased notably over the past decade. Read the rest of this entry →

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Seven Points Parents Should Know Prior to Starting the IEP Journey

April 18, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

For those of you who beginning the IEP process, I just wanted go through some common misconceptions parents have regarding IEP’s.  They are not magic and do not make all your child’s problems disappear.  It is merely a tool to help your child be more successful in school and receive an appropriate education; as a result, your child will have the opportunity to lead an independent adult life in the future.  Read the rest of this entry →

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The Effects of Separation on Attachment

April 16, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Attachments are the ties that bind (i.e.: the connection with people interacted with and comforted by). When separation occurs, children become distressed when a preferred caregiver (whom they are attached to) leaves. In toddlers, the children also try to deter the preferred caregiver from departing. Crying, reaching for, approaching and climbing on the departing caregivers are common behaviors for children during this stage to display (Berk, 2010).

There are three important factors that influence separation anxiety: child’s temperament, context of the departure and caregiver’s behavior. The child’s ability to regulate his or her emotions to the changing situation, who and where the child is left, and supportive caregivers facilitate an easy transition and decrease the amount of separation anxiety the child experiences (Berk, 2010). Read the rest of this entry →

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12 Best Special Needs Apps of 2012-Special Education

April 2, 2013 in App Review by Jess

Dear Developmental Doc:

I have a 14 year old son who has high functioning autism. He loves anything to do with the computer but has a tendency to use technology as a way to hide from social and emotional experiences. I was reading about recent technological breakthroughs where computer apps actually encourage social/emotional and developmental growth. Do you have any recommendations? Lucille M.-Oxnard, CA.

Dear Lucille,

You are right, we are now living in a time where technology can assist in helping to build social and emotional bridges between persons with special needs and the greater communities at large. The following are a list and a description of the 13 best special needs apps of 2012. I recommend parents do their due diligence by doing research on each site before installing the apps for their child. Of particular note, please check out the complexity of the app, whether it can be adapted to the specific needs of your child and of course, cost (if any) per use. Best of luck with your entrance into our Brave New World! Esther Hess, a.k.a The Developmental Doc. Read the rest of this entry →

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April, a Time for Autism Awareness……a Time to show Compassion

April 1, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Once again April is upon us and while it brings the thought of spring time, it also reminds us as a community how important it is to address the subject of Autism.  While some of us discuss Autism all year long for many April is the one time of year when society discusses Autism; how does it happen, why does it happen and what can we do to not only be aware of Autism but to accept all forms of neurodiversity.  These are all valid discussions but let’s not forget those who have yet to be diagnosed.  In spite of what the statistics say, I believe there are many more children and adults who are never diagnosed. Read the rest of this entry →

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