The Wrightslaw Way

to Special Education Law and Advocacy

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Can I Insist on an Evidenced-Based Reading Program?


I 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? […]

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IMO, Passing from Grade to Grade Means Little


The district evaluation and our IEE show my 8th grade daughter has regressed and is falling far behind. Reading – 5th grade level. Math – 4th grade level. Verbal score 122 (93rd percentile) and performance score 72 (3rd percentile). She has had an IEP since 5th grade. The district says she does not need to […]

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Cannot Teach My Child to Read? – No Way!

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“Your child is reading 7 grade levels below his peers.” How would you like to hear these words? That is what we heard after years of working with the school on behalf of our son who has ADD/LD and dyslexia. He was going into 8th grade as a primer (first grade) reader. He could comprehend […]

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Finding Evidence Based Programs for Reading and Math


As a special education teacher and tutor, I would like to know what are good reading programs up to high school level? What about programs for math and writing through all the grades? We recommend Orton-Gillingham based programs. These programs have over 60 years of research that supports their effectiveness and they work for everyone. […]

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Executive Function: The Impact on Math Skills

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My daughter’s executive function skills and processing speed are in the 1st percentile. She is far below grade level in math. She needs good instruction in programs/strategies that are scientifically based to help strengthen her executive function and math skills. The school just wants to accommodate. They say she just isn’t capable of learning math […]

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Why Do Schools Resist Writing Methodology into IEPs?


Our child has a learning disability and has difficulty reading, writing & spelling. Nobody at the school understands dyslexia or how desperate our child is. We want multi-sensory learning like an Orton Gillingham approach. The school said they get to choose any curriculum/methodology at their sole discretion. Why do schools resist writing methodology into IEPs? […]

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Most Kids Are Not Proficient Readers … We Need Better Teacher Preparation by Dr. Marcia Henry


Science leads to better readers by Marcia Henry It’s a grim story to read. Fifteen years ago, Wisconsin fourth-graders placed third in the country in state rankings of reading ability known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress. By 2009, our fourth-graders’ scores plunged to 30th, with a third of the students reading below basic levels. […]

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Reading is NOT “One Size Fits All”


A reading program needs to be chosen based upon the unique and individual needs of a particular student. One reading program will not work for all students, even if the reading program is research based. Is your child not making progress in reading?  Do you know why? Where to Start If your child is not […]

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Test Scores Dropping – What Can You Do?


Did you receive academic test results for your child that were much lower than you expected? In some cases parents say they received no scores for certain subjects or were told their child “either scored so low she could not be graded or she was not given the test.” What can you do? First, focus […]

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Do Students Have to be out of Resource Room by 9th Grade to go to College?


You asked: “Do students need to be out of the resource room by 9th grade in order to go to college?” I’m confused about this question. A “resource room” is simply a classroom where kids with disabilities get specialized instruction to meet their unique needs, delivered (hopefully) by teachers who are trained in research based […]

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