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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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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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Why Free Doesn’t Really Apply to FAPE

May 20, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is a myth!  Generally[1] speaking, if your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) they are either receiving a Free Public Education or an Appropriate Public Education but not both.  The term FAPE means special education and related services that:

  1. have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
  2. meet the standards of the State educational agency;
  3. include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and
  4. are provided in conformity with the IEP required under Section 1414(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Read the rest of this entry →
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When a Child’s Disability becomes the “Elephant in the Room”

May 18, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

The phrase “Elephant in the Room” has been a part of the English language for a very long time; I’m sure as adults we’ve all used it in conversation at one time or another.  Wikipedia defines it as “is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed.”  The two words that I think stand out the most in the definition are “ignored” and “unaddressed.”  Let’s now apply this definition to children with disabilities; the “Elephant in the Room” in many schools or households is a child with a disability.  There are many reasons why a child’s disability may be ignored or not addressed.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Subpart E of the Part B Regulations: Procedural Safeguards

April 12, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Subpart E—Procedural Safeguards Due Process Procedures for Parents and Children

§ 300.500   Responsibility of SEA and other public agencies.

Each SEA must ensure that each public agency establishes, maintains, and implements procedural safeguards that meet the requirements of §§300.500 through 300.536.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1415(a))   Read the rest of this entry →

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Transition to Adulthood

April 12, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

When reauthorizing IDEA in 2004 Congress found that “while graduation rates for children with disabilities continue to climb, providing effective transition services to promote successful post-school employment or education is an important measure of accountability for children with disabilities.”

IDEA defined transition services to mean a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:

  1. is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
  2. is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and
  3. includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. Read the rest of this entry →
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How to Prepare for a Manifestation Determination Review

April 11, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

One of the most devastating calls you can receive as a parent is the School calling to tell you they have initiated an expulsion proceeding against your child due to poor behavior. If your child has an Individualized Education Program (“IEP”) before the expulsion process can start they must hold a Manifestation Determination review. This review must be held within 10 days of the conduct. At which time the IEP team must review the complete file and consider all relevant information, including the IEP, any teacher observations, and any information supplied by the parents. The IEP team must then answer two questions: Read the rest of this entry →

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Top 10 Items that Should Be Listed in an IEP

April 10, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

We all know how important it is to have an IEP that addresses our child’s Academic, Developmental and Functional needs; to ensure they are appropriately prepared for an independent future.  Therefore, as parents, we have to make sure our child’s IEP includes the necessary information to prepare them for life after high school.  The results of your child’s most recent assessments, report cards, state tests, school personnel and parent input will assist the team in developing an appropriate IEP. Read the rest of this entry →

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Putting an Appropriate IEP Team Together

March 22, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Pete Wright, the Godfather of Special Education law, has often been quoted saying, “Unless you are prepared to remove your child from public school forever, you need to view your relationship with the school as a marriage without the possibility of divorce.” While this may be true regarding the School relationship, this isn’t the case for individual members of the IEP Team. IEP Team members change frequently and it’s amazing how adding or removing one person from the IEP Team can make a huge difference in the quality and implementation of an IEP. While the Parents are not normally in control of the IEP team members from the School, there are methods the Parents can use to add or remove members. Read the rest of this entry →

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My Child has a Medical Diagnosis why doesn’t he Qualify for an IEP?

March 19, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

I often hear from parents, I have just gotten a medical diagnosis for my child and have set up my first IEP meeting to qualify them to receive services.  That medical diagnosis could be ADHD, a learning disorder, a mood disorder, an anxiety disorder, pervasive developmental disorder or a whole host of others.  These are typically the same parents that are blown away when the School District tells them they don’t qualify. Read the rest of this entry →

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