Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education.
Highlights: Your role at your child's IEP meeting; progress in general curriculum; how to use info from evaluations in the IEP; Wrightslaw books; Scratch n' Dent Sale; child's IQ scores falling, school says he is "doing fine"; how a parent lobbied for an appropriate program; Wrightslaw programs in AL, FL, WA, CA; free pubs about IEPs; help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.
is ranked #1 in education
education law, and special
education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)
1. Your Child's IEP: What is Your Role?
the parent of a child with special educational needs, you represent your
child's interests. When you negotiate with the school on your child's
behalf, you increase the odds that your child will get an appropriate
If your goal
is to attend the IEP meeting, all you have to do is to show up. If your
goal is to participate effectively in developing your child's Individualized
Educational Program (IEP), there are things you need to know and be able
to do. The articles in this issue of The
Special Ed Advocate will help you prepare for your child's IEP meetings.
2. Your Child's Progress in the General Curriculum
IEP should be based on information from current evaluations (present
levels of educational performance) and your state's curriculum and standards.
A to the IDEA Regulations discusses legal requirements for
IEPs, IEP meetings and teams, the parental role, transition, and other
issues. When you read Appendix
A, many of your questions about IEPs will be answered. Study
A. Make margin notes. Use a highlighter.
3. How to Use Information from Evaluations in Your Child's IEP
The services in your child's IEP should be based on your child's "Present Levels of Educational Performance." Read the most recent evaluations of your child. If you don't have copies of these evaluations, ask the school to provide them before the IEP meeting.
What do these current test scores reveal about your child's strengths, weaknesses, educational needs, and progress? What remediation does your child need? Does your child need accommodations? Modifications?
about evaluations will help you prepare for the next IEP meeting.
You Should Know about Evaluations by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq. "As
a parent, you must make sure that all areas of possible need are assessed
as quickly as possible."
4. Wrightslaw Books - Great Value. . . and Easy on Tight Budgets
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide - $19.95 - $10 Off
Scratch-n-Dent Sale: Special Ed Law, From Emotions to Advocacy and No Child Left Behind - $9.95 each - Limited quantities available. Order Now
Discounts & Exam Copies
50% Discount on Bulk Purchases of Wrightslaw Books -The Advocacy Challenge Discount is a 50% discount on bulk purchases of Wrightslaw books.
5. Child's IQ Scores Are Falling - School Says He is "Doing Fine"
A parent writes, "When my son 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 fine". Read My Child's IQ Scores are Falling.
is the Matthew Effect? The "Matthew Effect" refers to the
idea that in reading (as in other areas of life), the rich get richer
and the poor get poorer. What
is the Matthew Effect? answers questions
about falling IQ scores; reasons why IQ scores drop; more.
6. How Can I Get the School to Provide an Appropriate Program?
"My son Paul began special education in second grade. He is now in fifth grade. When he entered special education, his reading level was 1.3. After 30 months of special education, his reading level is 2.3. He was falling further behind, not closing the gap."
7. Wrightslaw Legal & Advocacy Programs: AL, FL, WA, CA
Knowledge is power. When you have information and skills, you will be a more effective advocate for your child. Our role is to help you gain knowledge so you can negotiate with the school on your child's behalf.
Birmingham, Alabama - May 25, 2004 - FREE to Alabama parents who sign up early!
Orlando, FL - Family Cafe - May 28-30, 2004 (2 sessions and Keynote)
Sacramento CA Boot Camp - 1st Boot Camp on West Coast! - July 17-18, 2004
Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education law; using the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.
Please join us for a Wrightslaw Training Program. If you are interested in bringing Pete and Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars. (We are scheduling programs for 2005-2006.)
8. Free Pubs! IEPs
These publications about IEPs will teach you information and skills so you can step up to the plate and actively participate in your child's IEP.
A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services) - Describes how to write IEPs that improve teaching, learning, and educational results. Download - To order free copies, contact ED Pubs, Editorial Publications Center, P O Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794. Phone: 877-4-ED-PUBS
Designing Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Plans The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to prepare students with disabilities for employment and independent living. Transition planning that involves students and families leads to post-school success and independence. This article describes how to design quality IEP transition plans. Download - To order bound copies, contact The Council for Exceptional Children, 1-800-328-0272
An IEP Team's Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans - If you are the parent of a child with behavior problems or an educator who works with these children, read this excellent publication. Learn how to identify underlying causes of child's behavior (what the child "gets" or "avoids" through the behavior) and the IEP team's job of developing proactive instructional strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, to address those behaviors that interfere with learning. Download as pdf file
Free Pubs! One obstacle in advocating for a child with a disability
is finding the time to do research. We spend hours collecting information
so you can spend your time learning, not searching. When you visit our
Pubs page, you will find high-quality free publications about IEPs,
special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health,
harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero
tolerance and discipline.
9. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities
If you are looking for help - or a helper
- visit the Yellow Pages
for Kids with Disabilities. Your state Yellow
Pages has many resources - evaluators, speech language therapists,
tutors, special ed schools, advocates, attorneys, organizations, and
to Find a Support or Study Group
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.