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Inflexible School Policy… “We Do NOT Retain! Not Ever!”

by Wrightslaw

My 8th grader is deaf, has dyslexia and a language delay.  Her current center-based deaf ed program has a teacher of the deaf and peers who all communicate directly with her.

She feels safe, has friends, and is finally making progress. The school wants to “promote” her to high school. For stability, I think she should remain one more year at the center.

School says “absolutely not.”  We do NOT retain…period.  Our policy is to NOT hold students back…ever.  Can I ask the IEP team to make this decision?

Short answer: Yes, the IEP team can – and is legally required to – design an educational program that is individualized and designed to meet your daughter’s unique needs.

This includes decisions about where your child will be educated = placement.

If the school district has a policy on retention, it needs to be flexible enough that the IEP team can design a program specifically for your child.

The IDEA requires IEP teams to make individualized decisions. [Read more →]

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Reminder – Two Wrightslaw Trainings Coming to Tennessee in February!

by Wrightslaw

The ARC Tennessee is sponsoring two Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Trainings!

Location: Knoxville Marriott in Knoxville, TN.
Date: February 24, 2015
Click here for all conference details!

Location: Holiday Inn University Memphis in Memphis, TN.
Date: February 26, 2015
Click here for all conference details!

See you in Tennessee!

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Pete’s Comments: Pat Howey’s Post & the Decoding Dyslexia Flap

by Pete Wright

In December 2014, advocate Pat Howey published a post on the blog entitled “Wake Up Folks! You are Being Sold a Line of Goods about Dyslexia.” Her post generated a fair amount of controversy.

Several members of Decoding Dyslexia asked me to respond to Pat’s post and clarify whether her post reflects the position of Wrightslaw.

Only a post by Pete Wright or Pam Wright can reflect a position of Wrightslaw. We do not muzzle, edit, or revise opinions posted by others in this blog. A post by anyone other than Pete Wright or Pam Wright does not reflect a position of  Wrightslaw.

However, when I read Pat Howey’s post, I agreed with the essence of her post. Pat expressed concerns that schools are selling parents a “line of goods” by claiming that schools need full funding and that schools cannot teach dyslexic kids because there is no definition for “dyslexia.” I share her concerns about schools selling parents a line of goods.

In her post, Pat pointed out that the word “dyslexia” has been in the federal special education law since the law was enacted in 1975. Pat noted that my client, Shannon Carter was “the original dyslexia case . . . this is the law of the land.” [Read more →]

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Destination…Warwick, Rhode Island – Just Outside of Providence!

by Wrightslaw

Join Pete Wright, Esq., and sponsor, Parent Support Network of Rhode Island on March 24, 2015 for this one-day Special Education Law and Advocacy Training in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Conference fee includes Continental Breakfast, lunch, snacks, a deluxe Wrightslaw highlighter pen and the four Wrightslaw books which retail for $77.80. Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs and Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments.

Register Online Today!

Download and share the conference flyer!

Click here for all conference details.

See you in Rhode Island!

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So Overwhelming! School Refuses to Provide Assessment Results!

by Wrightslaw

Frustrating meeting with the school.We started the process in September and still have not had our IEP meeting!

1. The school has decided that legal timelines are unimportant.

2. I requested assessment results before the IEP meeting and was denied.

3. School said they are only required to give me school records before the IEP meeting. Technically, the current assessments “are not school records” until we hold an official meeting.

4. I asked the school psychologist for the actual names of the assessments so I can research the tests. She ignored my request.

Sound familiar? Here’s where to start.

Read the Law

First.  Turn to page 272 in your Law Book and read the Regulation.

§300.613 Access rights.
(a) Each participating agency must permit parents to inspect and review any education records relating to their children that are collected, maintained, or used by the agency under this part. The agency must comply with a request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP . . .

Next. Find the same regulation in your state special education regulations.

Now. Turn to Chapter 9 in your Law Book and look at FERPA.

…”technically not student records until the IEP meeting”…   A garbage statement! [Read more →]

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Wrightslaw Returning to Albuquerque, NM on March 10, 2015!

by Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference, a Wrightslaw training program featuring Pete Wright, Esq., is being sponsored by Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs.

This March 10, 2015 Wrightslaw training is a Pre-Academy session kicking off the Native American Conference on Special Education (NACSE) which runs from March 10-13, 2015.

The program will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, located at 800 Rio Grande Blvd. NE in Albuquerque. The hotel is offering a special room rate of $83 a night for single and double, $98 for triple and $113 for quad. Reservations must be made by February 16, 2015. Call 505-843-6300 or click here to register online.

Registration includes lunch, afternoon refreshments, a deluxe Wrightslaw highlighter pen and four Wrightslaw books.

Register Online!

Download and share the Registration Form.

Download and share the Exhibitor and Vendor Form.

See all conference details here.

See you in New Mexico!

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Action Alert Virginia! Your Help is Needed Today!

by Wrightslaw

Arc of VA photograph of Alex testifying for HB1443The Virginia General Assembly is addressing the use of restraint and seclusion of students.

Your action is needed today!

The Virginia Senate voted to regulate (SB782) the use of seclusion and restraint in public school children. The House of Delegates will now hear similar legislation (HB1443).

On Monday morning, February 2, 2015, the House Education Committee will consider HB1443.

Please contact your Delegate today and let them know why it is important they support HB1443.

Advocates like Alex (pictured by Arc of VA) have testified in support of HB1443. Now the House needs to hear your voice! [Read more →]

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Can I Insist on an Evidenced-Based Reading Program?

by Wrightslaw

Boy reading at schoolI have a quick reading question.

My 5 year old has Down syndrome.  I’ve read the research about an evidenced-based intervention program designed to teach reading and language skills to children with DS. I think it is the very best approach to teaching him to read.

How can I insist the school use this program? They are not using a research-based program now.

There are no “quick reading questions.”

Schools are notorious for their unwillingness to grant requests from parents. They don’t want to establish a precedent.

Appropriate – Not Best

You need to eliminate the word “best” from your vocabulary.

Your child is not entitled to the best education or the very best education. He is not entitled to an education that maximizes his potential.

He is entitled to an appropriate education. Nothing more.

Keep that in mind when you make requests. Appropriate. Not best. [Read more →]

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Down Syndrome Directions: New Research Plan Released

by Wrightslaw

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of Down Syndrome Directions: The National Institutes of Health Research Plan on Down Syndrome. (December 2014)

You will find the full plan at Down Syndrome Directions (PDF, 71 pages)

The revised plan is an updated strategy to advance research related to Down Syndrome and to meet new research goals and objectives. (The first research plan was released by NIH in 2007.) [Read more →]

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Pre-Registration Extended – Wrightslaw Training Coming to Pensacola, FL on January 24, 2015!

by Wrightslaw

Pre-Registration has been extended to Tuesday, January 20, 2015!

This January 24, 2015  Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference is being sponsored by Autism Pensacola, Inc. This organization is an association of parents, professionals and concerned community members dedicated to supporting, advocating, educating, networking and providing hope for people affected by autism and related disorders of communication and behavior along the Gulf Coast.

Conference fee includes light refreshments during morning and afternoon breaks, lunch and four Wrightslaw books. 7.0 CLE’s (continuing lega education) credits and 0.6 CEU’s (continuing education units) have been approved for this conference. On-site child care will be available. Available on a limited basis for ages 2-adult. Online registration for childcare is required by January 15, 2015. No drop-ins. For all conference details, please click here.

Click here to register NOW!

Download and share the conference flyer.

See you in Florida!

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