Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

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Right to Receive a Complete Explanation of IDEA’s Procedural Safeguards

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

At least one time a year, the parents of a child with a disability must receive from the school system a complete explanation of all the procedural safeguards available to them, as parents, under IDEA. This explanation is called the “Procedural Safeguards Notice.”

In this page, we’ll examine the purpose and contents of this notice, the times that parents will receive it, and other aspects of this important safeguard. 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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Top Ten Methods to Foster IEP Team Collaboration

March 7, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

In my opinion parents and school districts can’t collaborate because they have different agendas. School Districts are businesses that are limited by school budgets and costs. Their business is educating the masses of children in the most cost effective method possible. Parents on the other hand are only interested in educating and raising their children. Parents want the best for their children while School Districts want the cheapest cost. While I don’t believe School Districts and Parents can collaborate the good news is, I do believe Parents and School Personnel (individuals) can collaborate. Believing in collaboration between individuals is one thing, but how do you actually foster collaboration? Read the rest of this entry →

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Ten Steps to Writing Effective IEP Goals

January 23, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that all Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) include:

A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals, designed to (a) meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and (b) meet each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the child’s disability. Read the rest of this entry →

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How to Help Your Child with Special Needs be More Independent

January 19, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

The ultimate goal of a parent is the independence of their child.  Parents try to set the stage perfectly – with love, support, encouragement, guidance and nurturance. As different developmental stages occur, opportunities emerge to foster skills that will lead to independence.  We want our kids to be ready when these chances happen.

This process holds additional complexities for parents of children with special needs. Everyone struggles with the age-old question of when to ‘let go’ at each developmental stage.  And the answer for every child and parent is different.  However, just because developmental progress occurs in a more idiosyncratic or even delayed fashion doesn’t mean that the moments for these decisions on how much to let go and transitions in parental behavior aren’t arriving at all.  They are, and with a special needs child, a parent’s approach to fostering independence needs to be even more intentional and sophisticated. Read the rest of this entry →

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In order to be fair we have got to treat them different

December 19, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

A couple of months ago I was touring an inclusive charter school that my wife and I want my son to attend for middle school. As we toured the different classrooms I noticed a sign hanging over the blackboard in every class. The sign read, “Fairness is not getting the same thing as everyone else, but getting what you need.” This motto seemed appropriate since the charter’s school inclusion “model allows for the individual needs of each child to be addressed in a manner that enhances each child’s strengths while also addressing learning needs” all within the general education setting.

Being the curious type I snapped a picture of one of the signs and went home to research the individual who came up with this philosophy. After doing some Google searches I found the following YouTube video from Rick Lavoie. Read the rest of this entry →

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The Dad and Dyslexia

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 →

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Father’s Day: What Makes My Son Special

June 15, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Over the years, there have been many famous quotes about the responsibilities of a father.  As Father’s Day approaches this Sunday, the three that speak to me the most are:

“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.” (Anne Geddes);

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” (Sigmund Freud); and

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” (William Shakespeare) Read the rest of this entry →

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Sorting Through Online Educational Training Systems

June 3, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Finding Virtual Learning Technology Answers. Parents and teachers are finding a proliferation of virtual remediation to acceleration brain training programs promising fast and optimum gains in learning reading, math, and science that are research based. It is difficult to believe these promises, as most often the program designers do not have a background in classroom implementation let alone e-Learning implementation, which is totally different form pure classroom teaching.

Many virtual learning entrepreneurs come from backgrounds of scientists and somewhat related fields to education like optometry (testing vision), psychiatry, psychology, and medicine pediatrics (medically treating the whole child, and prescribing stimulant medications). Others are business and technology product development entrepreneurs who have never worked in a classroom, and understand technology delivery parameters, but not how children/adults actually learn and retain information so that it will transfer into real life productivity. Read the rest of this entry →

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Stress & Worry

May 8, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Attention special needs parents.  I want to share with you two things you can do today to decrease your stress and worry.

But first, want to acknowledge that if you are like most of the parents I know raising a child with special needs, you are stressed and you are worried.

And you have good reason to be stressed.  You have good reason to be worried.

So before we talk about skills and strategies and ways to manage the big challenges on our agendas let us first say that whatever you are thinking and feeling about the situation you find yourself it is likely extremely reasonable.

When our children struggle, we struggle.  Often our children need us to be cheerleaders and advocates but we are also scared and anxious.  We are worried about the future and we may be struggling in the present. Read the rest of this entry →

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