How often have you heard the School District blame the Parents for the failure of an IEP? I’ve heard it more often than I would like and it’s more common than some would like to believe. This very topic was at the heart of a recent appeals proceeding conducted by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Anchorage School District v. M.P.. The 9th Circuit was reviewing a ruling from a District Court that was “declining to consider whether M.P. received a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) because his parents were equally or more at fault for the absence of an updated IEP.” This ruling from the District Court, if upheld by the 9th Circuit, would have undermined the entire process established by Congress in IDEA and the rights afforded to parent’s to protect their child’s right to receive FAPE. The 9th Circuit understood the enormity of what the District Court had ruled and agreed to a judicial review of the lower court’s decision. During that review, “The school district argued that the parents were at fault because “they left the IEP meeting, did not file a dissenting report,” and did not adequately communicate their concerns to the school district.” The 9th Circuit Court of appeals disagreed and wrote the following: Read the rest of this entry →
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Special Education Advocates or IEP Advocates help parents write appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and attain special education services for their child with a disability from their public school system. They do so by familiarizing themselves with the special education process. Please be aware, advocates are not attorneys. However, advocates are extremely helpful in IEP meetings to assist in the negotiation process between parents and their school. The Advocate can provide information about special education options and requirements and can help seek specific services or programs. The advocate knows local schools resources and can see solutions others might not. A Special Education Advocate is: Read the rest of this entry →
I was in a Team meeting once and the team chair said "I was surprised that the student with diagnosed with nonverbal learning disability because they talk all the time."
The term Nonverbal Learning Disorders (or NLD) refers to a neurological syndrome believed to result from damage to the white matter connections in the right-hemisphere of the brain, which are important for intermodal integration. Three major categories of dysfunction present themselves: (1) motoric (lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with fine graphomotor skills); (2) visual-spatial-organizational (lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, and difficulties with spatial relations); and (3) social (lack of ability to comprehend nonverbal communications, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction). Individuals with NLD generally have exceptional verbal skills, do well in school subjects requiring decoding (the word recognition aspect of reading) and encoding (spelling) written language, have excellent auditory attention and memory, and learn primarily through verbal mediation. This syndrome appears to be the exact opposite of dyslexia. This is taken from Nonverbal Learning Disorders Revisited in 1997 by Sue Thompson, Read the rest of this entry →
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that all Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) include:
A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals, designed to (a) meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and (b) meet each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the child’s disability. Read the rest of this entry →
The ultimate goal of a parent is the independence of their child. Parents try to set the stage perfectly – with love, support, encouragement, guidance and nurturance. As different developmental stages occur, opportunities emerge to foster skills that will lead to independence. We want our kids to be ready when these chances happen.
This process holds additional complexities for parents of children with special needs. Everyone struggles with the age-old question of when to ‘let go’ at each developmental stage. And the answer for every child and parent is different. However, just because developmental progress occurs in a more idiosyncratic or even delayed fashion doesn’t mean that the moments for these decisions on how much to let go and transitions in parental behavior aren’t arriving at all. They are, and with a special needs child, a parent’s approach to fostering independence needs to be even more intentional and sophisticated. Read the rest of this entry →
Equality is a key in every sphere of life. The basic rights have to apply equally for all irrespective of the class, creed, race, and motor and physical disabilities. A person suffering and subjugated by physical disability requires close attention and intense care. Teachers and fellow students should be equally kind and farsighted in welcoming other students with physical disabilities. The following points will introduce certain expectations and prospective resources to a student suffering from motor or physical disability that should be incorporated in pertinence to a daily routine by delving into their academic journeys to ensure success in the future: Read the rest of this entry →
Conflict is a necessary part of life. It inevitably occurs in classrooms where groups of individuals, with varied needs and experiences, pursue shared and individual goals. Successful classrooms are not “conflict free zones,” nor are they environments where every request, transition and interaction is a “battle of wills.” The trick is to create an environment where conflict is strategic, fruitful and relatively rare.
The best way to promote constructive conflict is actually to avoid conflict whenever possible. Learning from conflict takes patience and time, both of which are often limited resources in a classroom. It’s important to pick your battles. Avoiding conflict does not mean “turning the other cheek” or not holding young people up to expectations. But there are myriad ways to address negative behavior that are non-confrontational and proactive. Read the rest of this entry →