Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
School is stressful for many kids, especially kids with disabilities. Parents feel the stress too. By spring, many parents and children are counting the days until school ends for the year.
School pressure is off.
Maybe things will be better next year. Not yet! Here is your Summer
To Do List.
1. Join a Parent Support Group or a FETA Study Group
When you join a parent support group, you meet other parents who can provide emotional support and teach you the rules of the game. Learn from them.
As you look for a parent group, think about your interests and needs.
Your answers to these questions will help you decide what type of group to join.
for an active parent group that meets the needs of their members.
You may find groups that were established to meet the needs of children
who have different disabilities than your child. Don't rule these
groups out. Parents of children with all disabilities share common
interests and want to get good special education services for their
Learn more about FETA Study Groups - http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.feta.groups.htm
2. Organize Your Child's File
If you are like most parents, you do not have a complete copy of your child's file. Because special education generates so much paper, parents toss documents into cardboard boxes or bags. If you do this, you will not be able to find what you need.
Get copies of all evaluations,
IEPs, correspondence, medical reports, and other information about
Note: You are entitled to a complete copy of your child's file from the school. The school may charge a "reasonable" photocopying fee.
3. Measure Your Child's Educational Progress
Is your child making progress? Is the child falling further behind? Do you have objective evidence to support your position?
Read our article, Understanding
Tests and Measurements.
4. Chart Out Your Child's Test Scores
You need to learn how
chart out your child's test scores. If you use a software program
like Excel, Word or Access, this is easy. After you plug in your
child's test scores, the program will make charts of your child's
progress or lack of progress.
5. Learn About Your Rights and Responsibilities
Read the special education
law and regulations. Portions
of the IDEA statute with Pete's comments are available on
the Wrightslaw site. http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/20USC1400MyOverview.html
Our book, Wrightslaw:
Special Education Law, includes the full text of the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act and implementing regulations, Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and FERPA and implementing regs.
6. Learn to Touch-Type
A neurologist told us that writing is the most complicated neurological process that human beings must perform. The process of writing by hand (handwriting) is extremely difficult for most children with disabilities. Your child needs to learn to touch type.
Children learn from their parents. If you "hunt and peck," will your child want to learn how to touch type? Probably not. But, if you use a typing software program like Mavis Beacon Teaching Typing for 10 minutes three times a day, you will be typing 30 words a minute in no time.
Your goal is to touch type at a rate of 30 wpm or more by the end of the summer. If you are learning to touch type, you can expect and require your children to learn too. After a week or two, they will begin to compete with you - and will try to increase their speed over yours.
Your children will thank you for being such a great role model - in about 10 years!
7. Sign up for a Wrightslaw Advocacy Training Program
This fall, Pete and Pam Wright will do advocacy training programs in Wichita KS, Pittsburgh PA, Northern Virginia, Charlotte NC, Jackson MS, and Syracuse NY. Programs are scheduled in other parts of the country in 2004. Full schedule
Wrightslaw seminars and training programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.
25-26: Wichita KS (Boot Camp)
20: Pittsburgh PA
you are interested in learning how to bring Pete & Pam to your
community, please read our FAQs
about Seminars: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/faqs.htm
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