Master of Deception: Dealing with Homework Refusal
& Failure

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April 8, 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 430
Subscribers: 59,848

In This Issue:

Homework Refusal and Failure

Does Your Child Have an Undiagnosed Disability?

Resolving Social & Emotional Problems

Coming Soon! New Wrightslaw WebEx Program:
Legal Requirements of IEPs


What Are the Odds that Your Child Will Graduate or Drop-out?

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Evaluations & Assessments
How To Solve Problems & Protect Parent School Relationships
National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities
Dropout Prevention for Students With Disabilities

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Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

Do you have a child who is failing - and you don't know why? Is it possible your child has an unidentified disability?

Do you expect your child to graduate from high school school? Are you afraid your child will be part of the "silent epidemic" - a dropout?

  • confused teenage girlEvery school day 7,000 students leave high school never to return.
  • Students with disabilities drop out of school at significantly higher rates than their peers who do not have disabilities.
  • Of those who do not complete high school, 61.2% are students with emotional/behavioral disabilities.
  • About 35% are students with learning disabilities.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you'll read a parent's questions about homework refusal, school failure, and dropping out. The parent wants to demand more of teachers. Should she?

Research Editor Sue Whitney Heath, author of Doing Your Homework, analyzes the parent's concerns and offers strategies to resolve the problems.

You'll also learn about the odds that your child will graduate or drop-out - and a cool tool to get information about graduation and dropout rates for all school districts - including yours!

Don't hesitate to forward this issue to other families, friends, and colleagues.

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Problem: Homework Refusal and Failure

"My son is a sophomore in high school. He is a master of deception. He says he has no homework. By the time I learn that he did, he has another '0.'
Boy doing homework
"He is failing and won't graduate on time. I'm afraid he'll drop out. The school tested him for learning disabilities but said he didn't qualify..

"Can I demand that the teachers give me a list of his homework assignments? When I requested this help, I was told that 'teachers are too busy.'"

Sue's Response

Complaining that the teachers won't give you his assignments will not solve this problem and will have a negative impact on your relationships with these teachers. His teachers are likely to view you as an over-protective "helicopter parent" - you don't want that identity!

Dealing With More Than One Issue

People do not consciously choose to fail. Yet, your son refuses to do his homework which causes him to fail. Neither you nor your son know why he is sabotaging himself.
  • Does your child have a disability that was not identified in the earlier testing?
  • What can be done to resolve the problem? Who can help?

You need to look at these issues separately.

Does Your Child Have an Undiagnosed Disability?

Find the evaluations that have been completed on your son. Read Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney. This information is also in Chapters 10 and 11 of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition.

A comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation should contain information about your child's strengths and weaknesses and recommendations about what needs to be done to help your son. a minimum).
This evaluation will show you what a comprehensive evaluation includes and how information is presented.

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Resolving Social and Emotional Problems

In Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia, psychologist Michael Ryan describes the high price children pay when they have school problems. These social and emotional problems are not specific to dyslexia. We urge parents and teachers to read this article - it will help you understand what school is like for your children and students.

Talk To Your Son

As your son's parent, you still control the food, money, internet, telephone, and transportation. Use this power to get straight answers from your son about homework. Although he may not be able to do the work, he is capable of telling you what the assignments are, or who he can call to get his assignments.

You need to find out why your son is failing. Does he need help or pressure? Both Don’t you wish Dr. Spock books went through age 25?

The full text of this article by Sue Whitney Heath is at Master of Deception: Dealing with Homework Refusal and Failure.

Read more articles by Sue Whitney Heath in Doing Your Homework.

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Coming Soon! Legal Requirements for IEPs

woman studies at computerDo you have questions about IEPs? You aren't alone!

When Congress reauthorized IDEA 2004, they made many changes to the legal requirements for IEPs. To be an effective advocate and member of your child's IEP team, you must learn about your rights and responsibilities.

In the new Wrightslaw WebEx training program, Legal Requirements for IEPs, Pete Wright teaches you about these new requirements. You will get answers to questions like these:

  • how to determine present levels of academic achievement and functional performance
  • what must be included in the statement of measurable academic and functional goals
  • how the child's progress will be measured
  • how to enable children with disabilities to progress in the general curriculum
  • what must be included in the statement of special education and related services
  • when program modifications and supports for school personnel must be provided
  • how to provide appropriate accommodations that measure academic achievement and functional performance
  • when age appropriate transition assessments must be completed
  • how to develop appropriate measurable post-secondary goals
  • when schools must provide parents with periodic reports about their child's progress toward the annual IEP goals
  • how and when to review and revise IEPs
  • who must attend IEP meetings; when IEP team members can be excused
  • when IEPs must be in effect
  • how to deal with children who transfer
  • what special factors must be considered
  • and much more

Coming Soon! The newest program in the Wrightslaw Special Education and Training Series, Legal Requirements for IEPs, will be available soon.

If you subscribe to The Special Ed Advocate newsletter, you'll receive an announcement about the Special Introductory Offer for this new program.

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What are the Odds that Your Child Will Graduate or Drop-out?

The answer to this question may depend on your zip code.

New research shows that "The likelihood that a ninth-grader in one of the nation's biggest cities will earn a diploma four years later amounts to a coin toss — not much better than a 50-50 chance."

Nationally, about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually. There is a huge gap in graduation rates between public schools in large cities and the suburbs that surround them. Source: Low Graduation Rates in Many Cities (Education Week, 04/01/08)

Cool Tool!

EdWeek Maps is a powerful online tool that allows you to download a graduation report for every school district in the country; also includes comparisons to state and national statistics.
http://www.edweek.org/apps/maps/

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