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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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by Jess

10 Basic Steps in Special Education

November 3, 2013 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

Children can have all sorts of difficulties growing up. Sometimes problems are obvious right from the start; and sometimes they don’t appear until a child is in school. Some children have trouble learning to read or write. Others have a hard time remembering new information. Still others may have trouble with their behavior. For some children, growing up can be very hard to do!

When a child is having trouble in school, it’s important to find out why. The child may have a disability. By law, schools must provide special help to eligible children with disabilities. This help is calledspecial education and related services.

There’s a lot to know about the process by which children are identified as having a disability and in need of special education and related services.

This brief overview is an excellent place to start. Here, we’ve distilled the process into 10 basic steps. Once you have the big picture of the process, it’s easier to understand the many details under each step.  Read the rest of this entry →

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The flexible classroom: Helping students with mental health challenges to thrive

September 15, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Dennise Goldberg

About 10% of the school population — 9 to 13 million children — struggle with mental health challenges, some of the most challenging students that educators face. In our inclusive classrooms, teachers are becoming skilled at working with children who exhibit learning, physical, and cognitive disabilities, as well as those on the autism spectrum while students with mental health challenges continue to mystify and frustrate. Read the rest of this entry →

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Accommodations and Modifications in an IEP

August 20, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Accommodations – Accommodations do not reduce grade level standards but rather help provide access to the curriculum.  Accommodations can include visual presentation, auditory presentation, multi-sensory presentation, response, setting, organization, timing and scheduling.

When choosing accommodations make decisions:

  • Based on individualized needs;
  • That reduce the effect of the disability to access the curriculum;
  • That are specific about the Where, When, Who and How the accommodations will be provided;
  • With input from parents, teachers, student and therapists; and
  • Based on specific needs in each content area. Read the rest of this entry →
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The Importance of Including Your Child in Their Own IEP Meeting

March 6, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

We as parents spend a lot of time advocating for our children when they are young.  However, there comes a time when our children become older and they have to learn how to advocate for themselves; knowing when the time is right will depend on your child.  If your child is still attending elementary school, they are most likely NOT mature enough to participate.  For those of you who have children in middle school, now is the time to think about the prospect of someday having your child attend their own IEP meeting. Read the rest of this entry →

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Keyboarding…..You’re Never Too Young!

January 15, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

When I was in Middle School it was the 70’s…typing classes were part of the curriculum.  It was a useful skill to learn back then even though we were using electric typewriters.  They were fun classes where you learned to type to music; occasionally we took tests to see how fast we could type.  At the time, I took the class because I knew I could do well in it; not thinking about the fact that the class was preparing me for high school and college.  As a matter of fact, I used an electric typewriter through college.  Typing classes are no longer necessary because technology has come such a long way since I was in school.  Gone are the days of struggling to edit your work on a typewriter; where you didn’t have spell check to watch your back! Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

College-Bound: What Every Student with Learning Differences Needs to Know

January 1, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

During this time of year, high school juniors and seniors are hard at work preparing for college entrance exams, writing the perfect admissions essay, touring colleges, and eagerly awaiting decision letters from their institutions of choice. While this can be an exciting, yet stressful time for all students, students with learning differences have another level of factors that they need to take into consideration when choosing the right college. It is important for these students to not only consider the skills necessary to set themselves up for success, but to also be aware of the supports available to them at the colleges where they are considering attending. Read the rest of this entry →

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Accommodations in an IEP are just as important as Services

November 4, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

When we talk about IEP’s, many times we focus on what services a school should be providing; however, the appropriate accommodations are just as important for children with disabilities.  Many of them struggle with staying on task in school, completing homework assignments, remembering to turn in homework assignments, have difficulty understanding the material, etc…and the list goes on and on.  A simple accommodation in an IEP could help a child become a successful student.

For example, let’s look at what happens when a child has difficulty staying on task; basically, a short attention span.   I receive phone calls about this all the time from parents and the first question I ask is “where does your child sit in class?”  Some parents do not know the answer; others might say the class is quite crowded and their child sits in the back or off to the side.    I cannot stress how important it is for students who struggle with focus to sit at the front of the class or close proximity to the teacher.  The further away from the teacher, the greater the chance the student will not be paying attention in class.  This can prevent daydreaming, doodling or any other type of distraction.  If this accommodation is not written in your child’s IEP, make sure you add it….if it’s there, make sure the teacher is following it!  It will make a huge difference in their ability to pay attention in class. Read the rest of this entry →

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Why Teacher Education and Supports Matter for Children with Autism

April 27, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

The other day I read a blog by Phillip Hain, the West Region Director of Autism Speaks, called Why Awareness Matters that deeply disturbed me. In this blog Phillip shared a letter so ignorant, so abhorrent it made my skin crawl. It also made me angry, not only with the people who wrote the letter, but with the School this child attends. As you are all aware I am a Special Education Advocate and I spend my days championing for every child’s needs and writing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to meet those needs. Before we get into exactly why I am angry with the school and what IEP’s have to do with my anger I think it’s important for you to read the letter: Read the rest of this entry →

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Ten Myths About Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

January 30, 2012 in Special Education Articles by bob fitzsimmons

The regulations that implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are complex, detailed and broad. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about them, and it is not uncommon for school staff, who generally have good intentions, to misstate a regulation or to rely on an assumption about a particular regulation. When school staff rely on special education mythology, two things occur: the school risks being in noncompliance; and more importantly, the all-important relationship with parents is undermined, eroding the trust that is necessary to achieve genuine consensus. Read the rest of this entry →

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