One of the most common questions I hear from parents is, what is extended school year? Extended School Year or ESY is not summer school, but rather it is for children with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) who need additional school days to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and prolonged periods of time off will have a negative impact on them. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) describes extended school year to mean: Read the rest of this entry →
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I think I am a fairly reasonable person. I know how to pick my battles and when to use honey to catch flies. This spelling conundrum is getting the better of me. Let me refresh your memory and then give you an update. Awhile back I shared a story about an IEP where the resource teacher and general education teacher unanimously agreed that the 5th grade student with dyslexia really didn’t need to know how to spell because, “…after all, they don’t really need it in middle school anyway and he can just use spell check.” I then put their theory to the test and found that if this student relied solely on spell check in WORD, he would still misspell 27% of the words. Read the rest of this entry →
So, I bet your wondering what the M could possibly represent when we are talking about dyslexia. Money? Mystery? Nope. In this article we are talking about marginalization. It happens often and it happens under the radar. In IEPs and IEP meetings everywhere comments are being made, goals are be written and recommendations are being made that marginalize students with dyslexia. From recommendations of retention to writing goals with low expectations to providing inadequate services, these students are as capable as their peers and there are ways to not only avoid these paths to marginalization but also expose them along the way. Below are some recent comments heard and seen in IEPs and what they really mean.
“We realize she only learned 7 new letters last year, but she has a learning disability…” Read the rest of this entry →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
In case you have not watched the nightly news in the last few months you might not have realized that sequestration began on March 1, 2013. You may not even know what sequestration is but if your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) you will most definitely see the effect. According to USA.gov, “Sequestration, sometimes called the sequester, is a process that automatically cuts the federal budget across most departments and agencies.” Read the rest of this entry →
Spring is here, although you wouldn’t know it judging by the weather in some parts of the country. Spring break is upon us; so many people will be taking family vacations to reconnect with their loved ones. However, when the break is over, it will be time to get down to serious IEP business. When classes resume, there are probably 8-9 weeks of academics left until summer break and during that time your child will be preparing and taking state tests. When you think about it, the semester is almost over. Read the rest of this entry →