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.
Special thanks from Pete & Pam Wright; Psychologists object
to advice about evaluations from independent evaluators; expert witnesses
& psycho-educational reports; parent advocacy - what you should do
and not do; why not the best - lessons about FAPE; online guide to special
education rights & responsibilities; Wrightslaw programs in Indianapolis,
Hartford, Virginia Beach, Oklahoma City; NCLB seminars; free pub about
1. Message from Pete and Pam Wright
A special thanks to Cynthia Pitts, Assistant Superintendent of Middlesex County Virginia Public Schools, who invited Pete to do a training program for teachers about special education law today - and who purchased copies of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law for each teacher who attended the program. Ms. Pitts knew her teachers needed this training and she worked hard to make the program a reality. Pete had a great time!
2. Psychologists Object to Advice About Independent Evaluators
A few weeks ago, we offered parents this advice: "Get a comprehensive evaluation of your child by an independent evaluator in the private sector - this evaluation will give you a roadmap for the future. Choose an evaluator who is independent of the school district and who is willing to work with the school staff."
Several school psychologists objected to this advice. One wrote:
"Your advice for parents to obtain comprehensive evaluation from independent providers, not from those of us who work for the school system, is too biased. You cannot guarantee that an outside evaluation will be more comprehensive than that provided by people who care about students."
facts. Assume you have a medical problem - severe back pain. You consult
with a doctor who recommends surgery. Would you accept this doctor's opinion?
Would you seek a second opinion? What would you think if the doctor tried
to make you feel guilty because you insisted on a second opinion?
We stand by our advice.
3. Expert Witnesses & Psycho-Educational Reports
Attorneys and advocates will be interested in these articles about experts and how to prepare psycho-educational reports that pass muster in special education due process hearings.Factors to Consider When Selecting an Expert by Rosemary N. Palmer, Esq.
Using an Expert as An Effective Resource by Jennifer L. Bollero, Esq. Preparation of a Psycho-educational Evaluation Report by Margaret Kay, Ed.D.
4. Parent Advocacy: What You Should Do . . . and Not Do
As we begin
a new school year, parent attorney Leslie Margolis of the Maryland
Disability Law Center has
some good advice for parents of kids with disabilities. Read What
You Should Do . . . and Not Do to learn five things you should do
(and four things you should not do) Read
5. Why Not the Best? - Lessons about FAPE
Many parents ask how to get the BEST program for their child or a program that maximizes the child's potential. Is your child entitled to the best program? To a program that maximizes the child's potential?
answers to these questions, read Loving
Parents Want What's Best: Lessons about FAPE.
6. Online Guide To Special Education Rights & Responsibilities
you have a child with a disability who receives special education
services, your child should "have available to them a free
appropriate public education that emphasizes special education
and related services designed to meet their unique needs
and prepare them for employment and independent living."
(20 U.S.C. § 1400(d))
Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar in Michigan was a tremendously
rewarding experience and will forever change our practice." - Bryan
I. Eder, Esq., Chudnof & Eder,
Northeast: Hartford, CT (September 21-22)
Mid-Atlantic: Virginia Beach, VA (November 12-13)
legal advocacy programs focus on four areas: special education law, rights
and responsibilities; tests
and measurements to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and
advocacy tactics & strategies.
8. Free Pubs! NCLB & Students with Learning Disabilities, Reading, IDEA Survival Guide
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 Free Pubs page, you can download free publications about IEPs, special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, discipline and behavior, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, and No Child Left Behind. We continually add new publications, so the contents of the Free Pubs page changes often. Here is a new publication you may be interested in:
Child Left Behind and Students with Learning Disabilities: Opportunities
and Obstacles - Parent advocate and special education expert
Cortiella addresses questions about NCLB of interest to
parents of kids with LD, and provides a checklist of NCLB-related
actions that parents can take on behalf of their children.
9. Subscription & Contact Info
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.