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You are browsing the archive for 2014 July.

When Food goes from Foe to Friend

July 27, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

As many of you know, over the years I have written about our son’s difficulty with food.  From the very beginning with his texture sensitivity with food, apraxia and sensory processing difficulties… food has not been a friend to him.  He is now 13 ½ years old and he finally looks at food as something to look forward to and not something to fear.

It all started a couple of months ago when he started to watch the Food network and Cooking Channel with me.  Mind you, I do cook quite a lot at home but he was never interested in watching me or tasting my dishes….trust me I asked him on many occasions to taste what I was cooking and he refused with vigor!!  I haven’t pushed food in the past several years because he’s older and that window had closed, so I secretly hoped that someday that window would re-open again.  Well sure enough, I was watching Brunch at Bobby’s one day and he was making scrambled eggs, my son looked at it and said, “That looks good!”  I was shocked to hear him say that because I’ve made it many times at home and he was never interested in trying it.  I asked him if he would like me to make some for him and he said yes.  So I made him one egg the next morning with salt a pepper and he tasted it and said, “Yuck.”  I told him to try it again and he did and after the second bite he said, “Yeah….I could eat that!”  He ended up eating half the egg that morning.  Fast forward to present day, he now eats three scrambled eggs mixed with cheddar cheese in one sitting.  Someday if I ever see Bobby Flay, I have to thank him for inspiring my son to eat scrambled eggs!!  So it began, our son’s love of food. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Learning Outside the Box

July 11, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

As children and parents negotiate their way through the final weeks of summer and approach the beginning of a new school year, they experienced the inevitable and vast array of thoughts and feelings about the upcoming challenges they will face.  Many students feel a predominance of excitement as they anticipate who their new teachers will be, look forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, and sharing the experiences they have had since June.  As a person, I hope that all children feel, on balance, more excitement than concern at the prospect of a fresh opportunity; however, as a Special Educator with thirteen years of school based experience, I know that many – if not most – children with special needs face every school year with worry and trepidation. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

The Five Keys to Unlocking a Successful School Year

July 11, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Executive functioning skills are essential to succeed in life. Certain executive functioning skills, such as time management and organization, help individuals in their jobs, daily chores, and day to day responsibilities. Students with a variety of learning challenges, such as ADHD, learning disabilities, or autism spectrum disorders, may have deficits in such executive functioning skills, which can, in turn, adversely affect the school experience. Although these deficits may seem insurmountable at times, there are ways to tackle them to achieve success.

As a new school year is beginning, high school faculty and staff, parents, and students themselves, are searching for systems to put in place to develop such executive functioning skills and to maximize the classroom learning experience. To help, here are New Frontiers in Learning’s Five Keys to a Successful School Year: Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Orton-Gillingham: Who, Where and Why?

July 10, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

To those of you who have tried (and some have succeeded) it seems like you need a secret handshake to get Orton-Gillingham training. After a quick search on the internet, it might appear that you need to fly to a destination that is most likely east of the Mississippi and requires at least two weeks of your time away from home. Then once you complete this two week training, you must dedicate the rest of your life to become ‘certified.’ But this is all an illusion, an illusion that really hampers the ability of very good people to get their knowledge and training to those who need it the most, the struggling kids. Read the rest of this entry →

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ADHD Behavior Management – Teach Your Kids How

July 9, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

This is a common refrain at our house – sound familiar?

“Son, you look like you’ve lost focus. What do you need to do to get back on task?”

Wouldn’t it be great if your son’s behavior management was his responsibility, not yours?

Recently, my sons answer made me laugh with pride, “I need a motivator!” he said with a huge smile on his face. He quickly created an incentive for himself (something to do with ice-cream I think) and finished his homework in record speed.

Motivation is a powerful tool for behavior management. We know that the ADHD brain needs to be motivated in order to maintain focus. It is powerful when our kids begin to understand the concept and create tools to help themselves. Read the rest of this entry →

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Using Prior Written Notice as a tool

July 8, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

How many parents attended IEP’s recently where you requested changes to your child’s IEP only to be met with resistance and ultimately the School District refused to make the change.  This happens often and many times the parents leave the meeting unsatisfied and not understanding why their request was not approved.  If that is the case the School District is not adequately following the requirements under Prior Written Notice (PWN).  Not only are decisions about your child’s IEP supposed to be Team decisions BUT they are also supposed to be fully thought out, based in facts and put in writing.  This is why the Prior Written Notice requirement was put in place.  It’s easy for a School to say no, it’s not always so easy for them to articulate why they said no.  It becomes increasingly more difficult for the School to explain if the real reason they said no was not based on your child’s individual needs but based on budget concerns or other monetary issues. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Understanding the Importance of IEP Goals and Objectives

July 7, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

The Goals and Objectives section of the IEP is the”meat” of the IEP. Goals and objectives should be directly linked to the child’s educational needs. Special educators determine what a child’s education needs are through formal and informal assessments, through observations of the child’s behaviors and social interactions, through parent feedback, through work products the child creates and through evaluating the child’s level of success with different teaching interventions. The goals and objectives are the specific skills the child is going to learn during the course of the IEP, which is usually one year. Read the rest of this entry →

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Strong Advocacy & Positive School Relationships are not Mutually Exclusive

July 5, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

I don’t understand why every time we post an article on Special Education Advisor regarding advocacy or relationships with your child’s school we always get the same type of comments. If the article is discussing how to collaborate with your school or create a positive relationship I receive comments about how utilizing this philosophy would put you in a weak position. On the other hand, every time we post an article about being a strong advocate for your child we get comments about how this is counterproductive to the collaborative nature of the IEP Meeting. Since when did we start living in a universe where you can’t have a positive relationship with your child’s school and be a strong advocate for their needs? You absolutely can do both, but it requires finesse. Before we talk about how to do this I want you to see two of these comments we have received. On the article Top Ten Methods to Foster IEP Team Collaboration we received this comment: Read the rest of this entry →

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Communicating with Your Child

July 1, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Maybe They Need To See What You Say!   

We believe hearing sounds begins in the womb; perhaps learning to recognize a mother’s voice or benefitting from listening to certain types of music. So in all likelihood processing sounds, the beginning of language acquisition begins before birth. A parent may or may not enhance those opportunities. After birth those who have a significant role in a child’s life have a major part to play in language development.  Read the rest of this entry →

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