Effective advocacy for special education Part 1


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Learn special education advocacy for your child with learning disabilities.

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Effective advocacy for special education Part 1

  1. 1. EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PART 1Copywrite 2011 by Lynne Adams http://www.napsea.coFree 3 Videos to Learn Effective Special Education Advocacyhttp://www.napsea.coFeel Free to Share This Informative E-Book with A Friend As Long As AllLinks Are Intact.Contents: 1. How to Address Your Concerns 2. How to Get Your Child Evaluated 3. What Evaluations to Ask for 4. What Happens Next1|Page
  2. 2. ConcernsAcademic AreasYou may have concerns about your child’s learning.  You may start to see your child struggling and not keeping up with the school work.  You’ve thought that the teacher would give your child some extra help and everything would be ok.  You start to help your child more with homework and realize that he doesn’t understand the academics.  You meet with the teacher and the teacher also sees your child’s difficulty.  The teacher asks if you’ve considered medication.Social AreasYou may have concerns about your child’s social skills.  You start to worry that your child isn’t making friends.  When they are with other children, they aren’t interested in playing with them.  They get too close or don’t make eye contact.  They don’t play appropriately with toys.Emotional AreasYou may have concerns about your child’s emotional health.  You start to see mood swings.  Your child is anxious.  Your child is depressed.  Your child is complaining of a stomach ache or head ache but there is nothing physically wrong.  Your child is constantly going to the nurse.2|Page
  3. 3. Behavioral AreasYou may have concerns about your child’s behavior.  Your child is getting into trouble in school.  Your child is always in the principal’s office.  Your child is getting suspended from school.  Your child is refusing to do work (defiant)  Your child is obsessive with routines.  Aggressive behavior that is not provoked.  Frequent tantrums that last a longer than 30 minutes.  Extreme responses to situations.Physical AreasYou may have concerns about your child’s physical development.  You may see problems with handwriting or manipulating small objects.  There may be difficulty with throwing a ball, riding a bike, balance, climbing, etc…  You may see unusual fatigue.  You might see poor posture.Seeing one or two of these things may not be worrisome, but a multitude of issues will causeconcern. Trust your instincts and judgement. If you are concerned, it’s usually right to be.What can you do?First Steps 1. Start to write down all of the things that you are concerned about with details (dates, times, items, and areas of concern).3|Page
  4. 4. 2. Request a meeting with the teacher to see what is happening in school and if the teacher shares your concerns or has other concerns. 3. Request in writing that your child be evaluated to determine if your child needs special education.You have the right to have your child evaluated in all areas related to thesuspected disability.  Educational  Psychological  Speech and language  Occupational Therapy  Physical Therapy  Specific Learning disability  Social/Emotional/BehavioralThese evaluations should provide a detailed description of your child’seducational needs and answer these questions: 1. Does your child have a disability? What type? 2. Does the disability cause the child to be unable to progress effectively in regular education? 3. Does the child require specially designed instruction to make effective progress or does the child require a related service or services in order to access the general curriculum?Once you request these evaluations, the school department must get yourconsent. A consent form will be sent to you for your signature. When you signand return the consent form, the school department has a limited time toevaluate your child and hold a meeting to discuss the results and determineappropriate action.4|Page
  5. 5. The meeting will be held to determine eligibility for special education, based onthe student’s evaluations and other information provided by the team members,including the parent and student.Team MeetingRequired Members  Parent  Student (at age 14 or earlier when appropriate)  Teacher  Special education teacher  School district representative (special education director)  Someone Qualified to interpret evaluation results (speech therapist)Optional members  Others with information to share  Parents guest/advocate  Outside providers (therapists…)At the teem meeting, you will be asked to state your concerns and what you hopeto see your child accomplish. Everyone will discuss your child’s challenges,strengths, and evaluation results.If your child is determined eligible, an IEP (individual Education Program) isdeveloped with accommodations, skill goals, services and other provisions whichwill assist your child with learning and accessing the curriculum.Be sure to address other areas of development as well, social, emotional,behavioral, and physical. Sometimes the academics is the focus, but these areasaffect academics and the child’s outcomes.5|Page
  6. 6. The school district will then propose the final draft of the IEP for you to accept orreject*. You can reject in whole or in part.*Never reject your first IEP in full. If you disagree with sections, then reject thosesections. But accept all other areas of the IEP so that your child can begin to getsome support.PlacementOnce you have developed the IEP the team should discuss Placement. This is thetype of classroom where the IEP will be implemented and where your child canmake progress. This should be the least restrictive environment. The leastrestrictive environment is where typically developing students are taught and isconsidered general education.Your child may need a more restrictive environment, but this should be only untilthey are making sufficient progress to be placed back in the mainstreamclassroom.For more information, read Effective Advocacy for Special Education Part 2Join Lynne Adams at NAPSEA National Association for Professional SpecialEducation Advocates and Parents http://www.napsea.co6|Page
  7. 7. Federal Resources  US Department of Education www.ed.gov  US DOE Office for Civil Rights www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/  National Council on Disability www.ncd.gov  National Information Center for Children & Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) www.nichcy.org  U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/  NCLB No Child Left Behind Act  NAPSEA National Association for Professional Special Education Advocates7|Page