Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
is vacation time. Summer is also the time to fine-tune your advocacy
skills so you are prepared when school begins in the fall.
help for children with reading problems; fighting for appropriate
services; falling IQ scores and the Matthew Effect; reading and
reimbursement caselaw; strategies to find an evaluator, tutor, advocate,
or attorney; free shipping on books from Wrightslaw; advocacy training
programs in KS, PA, VA, NC, MS, NY; managing your newsletter subscription.
1. Getting Help for Children with Reading Problems
My 7 yr old who is making very slow progress in learning to read. Although he repeated kindergarten last year in a full-time special ed class, he has fallen further behind . . . When I mentioned Orton Gillingham tutoring methods to his school team, they said, "We don't do that."
What can I do?
Heath, research editor at Wrightslaw, offers strong advice to this
parent. She warns that some readers will take issue with her advice.
2. Fighting for Appropriate Services
"When my son entered special education in second grade, his reading level was 1.3. After 30 months of special education, his reading level is 2.3. He is falling further behind, not closing the gap.
I have done a great deal of research about appropriate reading programs for learning disabled children. I requested that the school use a program that is structured, systematic, sequential, repetitive and phonologically based. I also refused to sign the IEP.
The special ed director promised to order the Wilson Reading System for all LD classes in our district. Wilson is a great system its based on Orton-Gillingham principles of remediating dyslexic children. I was encouraged by this - until I learned that the resource teacher knew little about the Wilson program . . . and did not plan to use it."
3. My Son's IQ is Dropping But School Staff Says He is "Doing Fine"
Have you heard of a child's IQ dropping? This is happening to my son and Iím concerned about it. When he entered Kindergarten, his skills were about 6 months behind his peers. By second grade, he was about 1.5 year behind, by 4th grade he was 2.5 years behind.
On the most recent evaluation, his Full Scale IQ had dropped by 9 points! On his report cards, he gets average grades and we are told that is doing 'just fine'.
you are the parent of a child with a disability, you need to learn
about testing, IQ scores, and the Matthew Effect. Read Why
Are My Child's IQ Scores Falling?
4. Reading and Reimbursement Caselaw
Carter v. Florence County, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit After Florence County lost in District Court, they appealed to the Fourth Circuit. While arguing that four months of progress in reading was appropriate, the district also argued that because Trident Academy was not on the State's "approved" list, Shannon's parents should not be reimbursed for the placement. Decision includes discussion of least restrictive environment and educational benefit.
Evans v. Rhinebeck Central School District, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Excellent case about tuition reimbursement, procedural and substantive issues, FAPE, dyslexia, objective measurement of progress.
Gerstmyer v. Howard County Schools U. S. District Court, Maryland. Tuition reimbursement for private non-special ed school; inappropropriate IEP goals and objectives for child with dyslexia. Parent's counsel, Wayne Steedman charted new territory with this case.
Brody v. Dare County, NC (NC Review Decision) Case about tuition reimbursement for child with dyslexia.
Cleveland Heights-University Heights v. Sommer Boss, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Vague IEP goals & objectives, failure to provide FAPE, tuition reimbursement (1998).
G. v. Cumberland Valley , U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Tuition reimbursement, LRE and "vigorous advocacy" by parents (1999).
5. Help! How to Find an Evaluator / Tutor / Advocate / Attorney
One of your most frequently-asked-questions is "How can I find an advocate / attorney / evaluator / consultant?"
you are looking for help, this article has strategies you can use.
How to Find an Evaluator / Tutor / Advocate / Attorney
6. Free Shipping!
Harbor House Law Press is offering FREE SHIPPING on all books - you save at least 4.95 per order.
From Emotions to Advocacy by Pam and Pete Wright
7. Advocacy Training Programs in Kansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi & New York
"I have never learned so much useful information at a workshop - thank you for having a heart for kids and the head for the Law." - Susan from Texas
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
20: Pittsburgh PA
8. Managing Your Newsletter Subscription
Publishing an issue of The Special Ed Advocate every week is a big job that takes a great deal of time. We publish often because many people write that our newsletter and websites are teaching them to be more effective advocates.
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9. Subscription & Contact Info
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.