The Wrightslaw Way

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The School is Taking Away My Son’s Para

by Wrightslaw

paraprofessional aide and student boyMy 4th grade son has a one-one para. He has autism, is easily distracted, and has a hard time staying on task.

The school said since he has no severe behaviors, they will take away his para. The principal said my son didn’t need a “crisis management” para.

Can the school just delete this from his IEP?

Documentation and Data!

You are an essential part of the IEP team that reviews and revises your son’s IEP. The IEP Team, not just the principal, develops the IEP based on your child’s unique needs.

Be prepared when you have your IEP meeting.

Have your documentation ready for the IEP meeting.  If you don’t have documentation, request it! [Read more →]

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Why Did the Teacher Give Us the SAME IEP as Last Year?

by Wrightslaw

boy reading in school libraryMy son’s special ed teacher decided to give us the same IEP from last year? Is this legal? She didn’t even make out a new one!

You are not alone.  We receive email every day with questions like yours.

The goals in my child’s IEP never change from one year to the next. “Evan will improve his reading skills” is in every IEP since he entered special ed four years ago.

Get out your Special Education Law book and get up to speed on your rights and your child’s rights.

Remember that:

  • IEPs must be reviewed annually
  • IEP goals should be specific, measurable, and tailored to the unique needs of your child
  • Parents are part of the team that develops and reviews the IEP

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Sleep Disorders, Truancy and Student Needs: A Complicated Mix

by Wrightslaw

I have a student with a sleep disorder and emotional issues.

How do the compulsory attendance laws and a student with special education needs intertwine?

Good question. All states have compulsory attendance laws. I am not aware of exceptions for children with disabilities, but suggest you contact your State Department of Education to find out if your state has exceptions.

  • Are the sleep issues a recent problem?
  • What do the parents say?
  • Is the child’s doctor aware of the frequent  absences and the impact they are having on his education? [Read more →]
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Parent Request: “No Restraint”

by Wrightslaw

serious boy at the school bus windowDoes the school system need parental consent to restrain a student with autism?

He has never had to be restrained before. He does not communicate well, but he is not a danger at all. They restrain him for silly reasons.

A Dangerous Intervention

The frustrating reality for children who cannot communicate well is that they are constantly misunderstood.

Restraint is a dangerous intervention that can lead to injury, trauma, or death in children.  You are wise to be concerned and to learn what your rights and your child’s rights are.

The special education law, IDEA 2004, requires the use of functional assessments of behavior and positive behavior support plans to address behavior challenges.

Open your law book, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition and start with these statutes and regulations:  1414(d)(3)(B)   1415(k)  34 CFR §300.324(a)(2)(i)  34 CFR §300.530(f)

Send a “No Restraint” Request

Write a letter to the Director of Special Education in your school or district. Note your concerns and that –

you have not authorized and will not consent to any activity that involves physically or mechanically restraining my child while at school or going to and from school

You will find a sample letter requesting “no restraint” here[Read more →]

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Wrightslaw Training Heading to the West Coast!

by Wrightslaw

On Friday, August 14, 2015, H & H Associates is hosting it’s 3rd annual one-day-6 hour Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training at the Embassy Suites Valencia Hotel in Valencia, CA… just 33 miles North of downtown Los Angeles.

Speaker Pete Wright, Esq. presents this information packed training.

Registration includes lunch, snacks and parking. Also, four books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs and Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments.

Registration also includes a “Putting It Into Action” seminar with additional advocacy materials. Case studies putting Pete’s training into practice, led by Hadassah Foster, nationally-known special education advocate. The seminar takes place on Saturday, August 15, 2015.

Register Online Today!

See you in California!

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How Safe Is The Schoolhouse?

by Wrightslaw

Updated March 2015! How Safe Is The Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies by Jessica Butler. The report examines state restraint and seclusion statutes, regulations, rules, and policies/guidelines in 51 “states” (to include Washington, D.C.)

How Safe Is The Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies by Jessica Butler

Seclusion and restraint are highly dangerous.

At least 20 students have died in restraint, according to a Congressional agency report. Others have died and been injured in seclusion.

Over 110,000 students were restrained or secluded in 2011-12.  But in many states, a child can be duct-taped to a desk or put into a concrete block seclusion isolation room she cannot escape, even when no one’s safety is threatened.

Only 22 state laws provide some meaningful degree of protection against restraint and seclusion for all children; 34, for children with disabilities.

Still, many state laws that seem strong at first glance are more like Swiss cheese, riddled with loopholes.

While some states adopted new statutes and regulations in 2014 and early 2015, including AK, HI, NH, MA, and VA, bills and proposals failed in other states. [Read more →]

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Parent Observation in the Classroom? Yes!

by Sophie

To paraphrase Jane Austen… it is a truth universally acknowledged that parental involvement supports positive student outcomes.

But does ‘parental involvement’ extend to parents coming into the school to observe their child in his or her school setting?

The answer is yes! 

A parent’s right to observe his or her child during the school day is supported by federal law.  This applies to all students, in regular and special education alike.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), states: [Read more →]

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Rescheduled – Wrightslaw Training Coming to Knoxville, TN on June 17, 2015

by Wrightslaw

New Reschedule Date!

The ARC Tennessee is sponsoring this Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training.

Location: Knoxville Marriott in Knoxville, TN.
Speaker: Pete Wright
Date: June 17, 2015

Conference includes coffee/tea in the morning, lunch, afternoon snacks, a deluxe Wrightslaw highlighter pen and the four Wrightslaw books which retail for $77.80!

Click here for all conference details!

See you in Tennessee!

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Oh No! What Did I Sign?

by Wrightslaw

signing document at IEP meetingI signed the attendance sheet at my IEP meeting. Does that mean I agreed to what was said in the meeting? At the meeting, the school agreed to Orton-Gillingham, but when I got the IEP, it was not included. What should I do?

Without seeing the actual document, there’s no way of knowing exactly what you signed.

The federal special education law and regulations do not require a child’s parent to sign the IEP.

Parents are required to give informed consent before the school can provide services in the initial IEP, but not subsequent IEPs.

IDEA and Federal Regulations about Consent

You need to learn or review what the law and regulations say about informed parent consent.

Turn in your Wrightslaw: All About IEPs book to Chapter 3: Parent Participation and Consent.

You’ll find the law about parental consent in IDEA in your Special Ed Law Book beginning on page 92 and in the federal regulations on page 195 and page 238.

Check Your State Regulations

It is important to check your state special education regulations to learn what your state requires. [Read more →]

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Reminder – Wrightslaw Training at the JFK Airport Hilton on May 14, 2015!

by Wrightslaw

Don’t Miss Out!

This one-day Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training will take place at the JFK Airport Hilton on May 14, 2015. Join Pete Wright, Esq. and sponsors, Keren Eliana Parent Advocacy and Resource Center (PARC) for this special event.

The JFK Airport Hilton is offering overnight guests on May 14, 2015, a reduced group rate of $169 (single/double occupancy). Cut-off date to register is April 29, 2015. Mention “Kulanu Parent Advocacy” when making a reservation.

Registration fee includes kosher Continental Breakfast, coffee, tea and water throughout the day and a kosher buffet lunch. The registration fee will also include a deluxe Wrightslaw highlighter pen and the four Wrightslaw books which retail for $77.80.

Register Online Today!

Print and share the conference flyer!

See you in NY!

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