Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to
navigate the confusing world of special education.
Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward
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1. My Child is Not Learning to Read - What Can I Ask the School to Do?
"My son is 8 years old and in the 2nd grade. He is not learning to read, is failing math, and barely passing his other subjects. The school wants to retain him. An outside evaluator found that he has dyslexia and dysgraphia."
"What can I ask the school to do? How should I handle the retention issue? How can I prepare and make good decisions for my child? The process of getting help is incredibly slow."
Can I Ask the School to Do?, Sue Heath offers advice to parents who
have questions about what they can ask the school to do. Learn about IEPs,
research-based reading programs, retention, how to prepare for meetings,
and other thorny issues.
2. Amid Affluence, a Struggle Over Special Education
Affluence, a Struggle Over Special Education, Alison Leigh Cowan of
The New York Times takes a hard look at the intense, expensive battles
between school districts and parents of disabled children.
3. Breaking News! School Bd Plans to Appeal Case to Supreme Court - And Work Toward Settlement (April 26, 2005)
On Tuesday morning, April 26, the Hamilton County School Board voted to continue their appeal of the autism lawsuit that has cost them at least $2.3 million so far. (See Amid Affluence, a Struggle Over Special Education above) The Board also announced that "a committee will be formed to work toward settlement of the case." This committee will seek a meeting with Gary Mayerson, attorney for the Deal family.
In December 2004, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the Deals and refused to reconsider that ruling. (Read the decision in Zachary Deal v. Hamilton County TN.)
The only appeal remaining is to the United States Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court has already agreed to hear a special education case in Weast v. Brian Schaffer during their next term.
describe this as "a precedent-setting case that would require schools
to provide a 'Cadillac' program for special education students" that
could cost the county $10 million or more.
4. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004
We are working on Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004, a new publication that includes the full text of the reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004), commentary and discussion of the statute, and critical changes from IDEA 97. The format, layout, and statutory explanations are similar to Wrightslaw: Special Education Law.
Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 will be available before July 1, 2005 when IDEA 2004 goes into effect.
Subscribers to The Special Ed Advocate newsletter will receive advance notice before Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 is available to the public. Watch your email box - we'll keep you posted.
5. Parent Advocacy: What You Should Do - and Not Do by Leslie Margolis
Good special education services are individualized, intensive and expensive. Schools often balk at providing intensive services. What can you do?
You must learn to anticipate problems, manage conflict, and avoid crises. If you have a dispute with the school, using tactics and strategies will help you control the outcome.
In What You Should Do - and Not Do, attorney Leslie Margolis has good advice for parents of kids with disabilities. Learn the five things you should do (and four things you should not do) in What You Should Do - and Not Do
More articles about how to effectively advocate.
6. When Parents & Schools Disagree by Ruth Heitin
In When Parents & Schools Disagree, Ruth Heitin, an independent educational consultant, describes common areas of disagreement between parents and schools and offers suggestions and strategies to handle these problems:
Does the student have an educationally-related disability? Does the child's disability have an impact on his/her educational performance?
Does the child require special education services? Are the special education services effective?
Dr. Heitin writes, "I often tell my clients that if my own parents were alive, they would never understand what I do for a living." Read When Parents & Schools Disagree.
If you enjoyed this article, you may want to find an educational consultant, advocate or attorney who represents children with disabilities. Read Help! How to Find an Educational Consultant, Advocate, Attorney.
7. Understanding the Playing Field: Trust, Expectations & Power Struggles by Pat Howey
In Understanding the Playing Field: Perspectives & Power Struggles, Pat Howey talks about trust, expectations, power struggles between parents and schools - and how to avoid them. She also describes your parental role and the need to understand different perspectives. Read article.
Pat also wrote What You Need to Know Before Filing a Complaint
Pat and attorney Wayne Steedman provide full-day Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Programs. These advocacy programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, advocates, educators, attorneys, and health care providers who represent children with disabilities. Pat's bio & schedule
8. Coming Up! Wrightslaw Programs in New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan, Hawaii
Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education laws including significant changes in IDEA 2004; how to use the bell curve to measure educational progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.
Manchester, NH: May 6-7, 2005 (Boot Camp)
IL - May 13-14, 2005 (Boot Camp)
9. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids
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 support
Free Listings in the Yellow Pages: If you help parents get services for children (i.e., an evaluator, educational consultant, academic tutor, advocate, attorney, special ed school, etc.) or you facilitate a support or study group for parents, submit an application be listed in the Yellow Pages for Kids. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for an application. Listings in the Yellow Pages are free.
Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education
legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers
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on Wrightslaw books.