Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.
Summer school for parents; get a psychoeducational evaluation; measure
child's progress; learn about SMART IEPs; what people are saying about
Wrightslaw books; Scratch n' Dent Sale; get your state academic standards;
Wrightslaw programs in Sacramento & Grand Rapids; get help from Yellow
Pages for Kids with Disabilities.
1. Summer School for Parents
In the last issue of The Special Ed Advocate, you learned steps you can take this summer to prepare for the next school year. You learned about taking care of yourself, preventing burnout, writing thank-you notes, developing a master plan for your child and honing your negotiation skills.
In part two of Summer School for Parents, you learn about evaluations, how to measure educational progress, how to write SMART IEP goals and objective and how to use your state academic standards to negotiate a better program for your child.
the final installment of Summer School for Parents
in the next issue of The
Special Ed Advocate.
2. Get a Comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluation of Your Child
Before you can make wise decisions about your child's special education program, you need accurate information about the child's strengths, weaknesses and educational needs.
Parents, you need to get a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation of your child by an independent evaluator in the private sector - this is your roadmap for the future. This evaluation should describe the educational services the child needs - and provide baseline data so you can measure your child's educational progress. (See Measuring Your Child's Educational Progress)
Choose an evaluator who is independent of the school district and who is willing to work with the school staff. These articles explain what an evaluation should include and why evaluations are so important.
You Should Know about Evaluations by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq.
For strategies to find an educational consultant, psychologist, advocate or attorney, read How to Find an Educational Consultant, Advocate, Attorney. You'll learn more strategies in the last installment of Summer School for Parents next week.
3. Measure Your Child's Educational Progress
"Knowing how to measure your child's educational progress is more
important than knowing the law." Is your child learning and making
good progress in the special ed program? Is your child falling further
behind the peer group?
Tip: For an updated version of this article, read Chapters 10 & 11 of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy.
Show - Download
Tests & Measurements Slide Show as a PowerPoint Presentation (204kb)
4. Learn about SMART IEPs
We receive dozens of questions about IEPs from teachers and parents every day. You need to use present levels of performance to write measurable IEP goals and objectives about what the child will learn and be able to do.
In SMART IEPs, you learn how to write SMART IEPs that are specific, measurable, use action words, are realistic and time-limited. (Chapter 12 of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy)
Learn more about IEPs.
Read a book about IEPs - we recommend Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives by Barbara Bateman and Cynthia Herr. Please visit the Advocate's Bookstore for more good books about IEPs.
The Advocate's Bookstore: Read the Wrightslaw Game Plan and look at our recommendations for books about disabilities, educational methods, IEPs, legal rights, tests, negotiation skills, more.
5. What People Are Saying About Wrightslaw Books
Special Education Law, Standard Edition - $29.95
must have book for anyone who works in Special Education. Margaret
J. Kay, Ed.D. Psychologist
"If I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy skills, this is it!" - Support for Families of Children with Disabilities
No Child Left Behind with NCLB CD ROM - $29.95
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.
Copies - Teachers in colleges
and universities around the country use Wrightslaw books in their
education, special education and special education law courses. Learn
6. Get Your State Academic Standards
When Congress reauthorized IDEA in 1997, they placed "great emphasis on the involvement and progress of children with disabilities in the general curriculum." (See Appendix A to the IDEA regulations; also Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 209).
When Congress reauthorized the No Child Left Behind Act, they applied NCLB accountability requirements to children with disabilities who are often left behind.
You need to learn about the general curriculum for your state. You should be able to get your state's academic standards from your state department of education website.
Download and print the academic standards for the grade your child will attend next year. These standards describe what children in each grade need to know and be able to do. (Your state may refer to this as "academic standards" or "curriculum frameworks.") This is what the school should teach your child.
7. Join Pete & Pam Wright for an Advocacy Training Program: CA, MI
join Pete and Pam Wright for a one-day
Advocacy Seminar or two-day
Boot Camp. These programs are designed to meet the needs of parents,
educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent
children with disabilities.
8. 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
Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education
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