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

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I Have a Dream for Special Education

January 17, 2016 in Featured, Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Special Education in America has come very far in the 30 plus years since the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed.  The problem is somewhere along the way the spirit of the law and the practice of the law started to breakdown.  The cornerstone of the special education law is the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and decisions about the IEP are decided at an IEP team meeting.  The IEP becomes useless if the IEP team meeting goes off task.  Unfortunately, instead of a team, often it becomes parents against the school and a massive communication breakdown occurs.  There can be a significant lack of trust on both sides.  Many times I hear from School personnel, “Why don’t parents think we are capable of assessing their children properly?”  While on the other side parents think schools are turning them down for eligibility and services due to lack of funds when their children really need help. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Independent Educational Evaluations: It’s a Testy Business!

January 11, 2016 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Jess

Q. What is an IEE?  

A. The language regarding IEEs is found in the regulations implementing IDEA. Specifically, the right to an IEE is defined as:  Read the rest of this entry →

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Top Ten Common Questions About Special Education

December 12, 2015 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

1.  What is the special education law that can help my child with a disability?

The foundation of today’s special education law was passed in 1975 and enacted in 1977.  This was Public Law 94-142, The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975.  In 1990 EHA was renamed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA.  IDEA was most recently reauthorized in 2004.  The Purpose of IDEA is to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education or FAPE that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.

It’s important to note that the law only guarantees an appropriate education and not the best education.  Best is a four letter word and Parents should learn to replace it with the word appropriate when discussing their child’s special education needs Read the rest of this entry →

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Peer-Reviewed Research & Research Based Instruction

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

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) when reauthorized in 2004 introduced the concept of Research Based Instruction. This was done in order to align the regulations with the No Child Left Behind Act and to hold Schools more accountable for the lack of progress children with disabilities were making in their classrooms.

Congress, in their findings, determined, “the implementation of this title (IDEA) has been impeded by low expectations, and an insufficient focus on applying replicable research on proven methods of teaching and learning for children with disabilities.” Read the rest of this entry →

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What is compensatory education?

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

What is it?

Compensatory education is generally defined as a remedy owed to children with a disability who have been denied, a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Compensatory education may include summer services, additional therapy hours, or other measures that make the student whole for past violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by the School District. Compensatory education is intended to be a onetime offer to compensate for past denial of FAPE and doesn’t relieve the School District of providing FAPE on a go forward basis. Thus, compensatory education should be in addition to the necessary services to provide the child FAPE in the current or future Individualized Education Programs (IEP). Read the rest of this entry →

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Learning Basic Life Skills in High School

August 17, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

What should families expect their children to learn in a life skills class at the high school level? A simple question; however, I think many schools seem to struggle with providing valuable life skills lessons. Our students age out at 22 years old, which means the state is no longer responsible with providing the students services through public schools. When students attain that age and leave our system, it is incredibly important for them and their family that the student has learned coping skills to assist them to become more independent in their life. 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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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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What is a Special Education Advocate?

January 25, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Special Education Advocates or IEP Advocates help parents write appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and attain special education services for their child with a disability from their public school system.  They do so by familiarizing themselves with the special education process.  Please be aware, advocates are not attorneys.  However, advocates are extremely helpful in IEP meetings to assist in the negotiation process between parents and their school.  The Advocate can provide information about special education options and requirements and can help seek specific services or programs.  The advocate knows local schools resources and can see solutions others might not.  A Special Education Advocate is: 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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