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 →
November 2, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess
I love a good success story about a child with dyslexia as much as the next person. Unfortunately, my job is to fix wrongs and I spend most of my time with my mouth hanging open and my hand covering it. I spend my time in total and utter disbelief at either what I am reading on an IEP, school testing or listening to yet another story about the downright negligent behavior by the schools when educating a child with dyslexia. I sit in IEPs silently while I allow the school to showcase their lack of training about dyslexia and patiently wait my turn. If you’ve ever met me you know I am not a particularly loquacious person, so I keep my comments short and sweet, but meaningful and I try to show little to no emotion. Today was different. Today I was moved to tears and moved to share the story of one family with you so that you can begin to forgive yourself or lend support to a parent who is struggling with this process. Read the rest of this entry →
October 13, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess
“They cannot use RTI or an SST to delay an IEP or 504. Also are they using OG and have they requested AT and OT assessment? Lastly, what is the status of her OG tutor?” There are a lot of things that are right with these sentences but there one thing that is glaringly wrong with it. Go back and read that sentence again and this time read it as a parent who might just be starting their journey with a child with dyslexia. How would you feel? Left out? Overwhelmed? Well, I must admit this is what I allowed to happen in one of my own IEP meetings very recently. When we adjourned the meeting and stepped outside to debrief, the dad said, “What was going on in there? Were they speaking Spanish?” Right then I knew I had failed to do part of my job. I had failed to check-in with my clients and make sure they understood what we were talking about. I failed to prepare them with a list of acronyms to refer to. I failed to make sure they understood they could pause the meeting at any time to ask for clarification. The ironic part of this story is that the dad is active military which means he speaks in acronyms all day long – and the IEP jargon was overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I am not taking all of the responsibility, the school side of the table (yes, I know we are supposed to be a team, but…) were equally as guilty as myself. We get into this mode of talking to each, preaching to the choir and forget how overwhelming and new this is for parents. So, to prevent this from happening again, I have listed below some commonly used terms during IEP meetings for a child with dyslexia, what they mean and how they can be misused and misunderstood and why they come up in meetings about students with dyslexia. Read the rest of this entry →
September 2, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg
The new school year has begun and many of your children are attending middle school for the first time in their lives. It’s a difficult transition for all kids; it’s especially difficult for a child with special needs. The curriculum becomes harder and there is new schedule of classes they will have to follow. The days of sitting in one classroom for all academic instruction is now over. In addition, kids have to be able to run to their hall lockers in between classes and make it to their next period without being tardy. To make matters worse, most kids will be required to change for P.E…..then change back into their regular clothes to go to their next period on time. It’s been many years since I attended middle school; however, when my son started last year, he had a difficult time adjusting the first semester. The following are few tips that helped my son navigate through his first year of middle school. Read the rest of this entry →
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 →
August 19, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg
In General the term Related Service means services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as described in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. The Related Services most people are familiar with are Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Transportation.
The following list describes ten Related Services you may not know about: Read the rest of this entry →
July 30, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg
10. Get your child excited about going back to school by talking with them about it.
9. Go school supply shopping with your child and let them choose the school supplies that they want…..within reason of course!
8. If your child receives transportation, make sure it’s arranged in advance and that your child is fully informed so that they are comfortable with it. Read the rest of this entry →
July 15, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess
Have you ever asked yourself what your local school teachers know about dyslexia? What have they learned on their own? What professional development have they been exposed to since they finished their teacher training programs? Have you ever wondered what they know to be an intervention for dyslexia? I recently read a thread on a Facebook page dedicated to teachers when the topic of dyslexia was posed to 75,000+ teachers. How they responded was not completely unexpected, but it was unnerving.
Before I go on, let me assure you that I love teachers. There are many, many teachers in my life. We have five teachers who work for us as reading therapists and I think they are all intelligent, empathetic, creative and passionate people. So, this article is not a bashing of teachers, instead the purpose is to shed light on what they have been taught, or not taught, to do for children with dyslexia. Read the rest of this entry →
May 21, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg
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 →
May 12, 2013 in Featured, Special Education Articles by Jess
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 →