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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When reauthorizing IDEA in 2004 Congress found that “while graduation rates for children with disabilities continue to climb, providing effective transition services to promote successful post-school employment or education is an important measure of accountability for children with disabilities.”
IDEA defined transition services to mean a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:
- is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
- is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and
- includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. Read the rest of this entry →
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 →
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 →
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 →
The following is a list of the most viewed special education advisor blogs from 2012. This doesn’t include any of our guest articles which has been published separately. 2012 was Special Education Advisor’s second full year of operation and we continue to grow more quickly that we could ever imagine. We currently have over 36,000 visitors a month and over 75,000 page views per month. We continue to grow every month and it’s all because of our members and visitors. Thank you for your continued support and without further adieu here is the list: Read the rest of this entry →
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 →
Last year my daughter entered 6th grade and middle school. Rachel has Down syndrome and has always been fully included. Middle school conjures up visions of all kinds of difficulties for families of typical students. Add in an intellectual disability and the imagination can go wild with all the “what if’s.” Based on the testimony of many parents and students, some of those “what ifs” are real and not imagined. We had a fabulous first year of middle school and I’d like to share some of the reasons I believe this to have been so. Read the rest of this entry →
Today is my son’s graduation from elementary school. For seven years he has attended this school and he even started way back in preschool. This makes him the longest attending student in this school since none of his other preschool classmates are still around. It’s a monumental day because it marks an incredible triumph in his young life because nothing has come easy for him. I can’t think of one of life’s milestones that my son has accomplished without a little extra support. He doesn’t even grow naturally and requires a daily shot of growth hormones to help nature run its course. It’s been this way for every aspect of his life including eating, speaking, fine motor, gross motor, learning, socialization and more. The amazing thing about my son is he manages these struggles with a huge grin, a heart of gold and the desire to learn when taught correctly. Don’t get me wrong he has many strengths to compensate for his challenges and he ALWAYS find a way to compensate but it takes time, effort and patience to teach him how. This is why today we will all celebrate this major accomplishment in my son’s life because he has progressed so far but this is also why tomorrow I start to worry. Read the rest of this entry →
Another acronym? Yes! And this one’s been around for forty years. It pre-dates the first federal special education law. CILs remain a vital, but too often untapped resource for people of all ages with disabilities.
A CIL (pronounced S-ill ), is a Center for Independent Living. Sounds like a place where people live, right? But, it’s not.
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are non-profit community-based organizations that are run by people with all sorts of disabilities. CILs are an integral part of the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movements in this country. Read the rest of this entry →