The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
August 30, 2000

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Issue - 85

ISSN: 1538-3202

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1. New England Conference Update: CLEs & CEUs, Hotel Information 

On September 8-9, 2000, Pete and Pam WRIGHT will join John O. WILLIS and Thom HARTMANN for a 2-day conference about Special Education Law in Bedford, New Hampshire (conference agenda below). 

In addition to special education legal issues about least restrictive environment, inclusion, mainstreaming, pull-out services, special education in general education classrooms, "collaborative" models, "methodology," statewide assessments, peer tutoring, and "best practices," Pete and Pam Wright will talk about how school personnel can advocate for children with disabilities - while avoiding problems with the school system. 

Dr. WILLIS will discuss best practices, evaluations, and IEPs. Thom HARTMANN, author of several best-selling books about ADD/ADHD, will discuss the Hunter/Farmer metaphor, self-esteem, and damage to ADD/ADHD children by the failure to provide an appropriate education. 

Dot French of Education-A-Must advises that she has Continuing Legal Education credit for New Hampshire attorneys, and has received verbal CLE approval for New York. We understand that CLEs for Connecticut and Maine are pending. 

Dot advises that the conference has been approved by several New England states for Certificates of Attendance for Continuing Education Units. She has received reservations from Florida and North Carolina, in addition to New York and the New England states. Thanks! 

The conference is being held at The Wayfarer Inn, 121 South River, Bedford, New Hampshire. Reservations: 877-489-3658.  As of this afternoon (8/30), the Wayfarer Inn had 40 rooms left. If you plan to attend this conference, you need to act quickly to reserve a spot. 

You can register for this conference by phone, fax, or email

Please contact Dot French to make reservations: Phone: 603-437-6286 

Fax Registration: 603-434-0371 

Education-A-Must Website 

Please print out the conference agenda to share with friends and colleagues. 

Agenda in pdf

Agenda in html

2. Upate on the New Creative Solutions Contest 

An alert newsletter subscriber wrote that we omitted some important information in our Alert about the new Creative Solutions Contest. Get more information about the Contest, including deadlines, voting, and prizes.

3. Back to School - Links to Articles, Cases, Other Info  It's "Back to School Time"- and time for us to publish an updated list of articles and information for parents and advocates. Because site visitors have different needs, we tried to devise a list of useful articles by interest and experience level. We hope this will help you find information that meets your learning needs. 

If you are NEW to the amazing world of special ed - as a parent or a teacher - start with these articles: 

Wrightslaw Game Plan: Practical Guidance for New Parents 

"There's an old saying, "Prior planning prevents problems." This is especially true for parents who want to ensure that their child gets effective, appropriate special education services. As a parent, you negotiate with the school for services. To be a successful negotiator, you must understand the system and how it works. Many parents don't realize that school systems are bureaucracies. Parents often don't know how important decisions are made - or by whom." Read this article . .

From Emotions to Advocacy: The Parents' Journey 

"Parenting encompasses difficult periods-times when parents feel concerned and confused-sleepless nights when they worry about how well they are fulfilling their responsibilities to their children. Raising a disabled child "ups the ante." Meeting the complex needs of the child with a disability can be extraordinarily difficult, frustrating, emotionally draining-and expensive! 

Parents of disabled children understand one crucial fact - that only by obtaining an appropriate education will my child have a real opportunity to lead a fulfilling, productive life." Read more from this article . . .

Seven Steps to Effective Parent Advocacy 

"School is stressful for most kids with disabilities. Parents feel the stress too. Read our new article, "Seven Steps to Effective Parent Advocacy." When you take these steps - which include planning and preparation - you'll increase your power with your child's IEP team and your school district." Read more from this article . . . 

MORE EXPERIENCED parents, teachers and advocates have questions about IEPs, evaluations, and educational progress ("benefit"). Do you have copies of these articles? Here are the top downloads from Wrightslaw: 

Your Child's IEP: Practical and Legal Guidance for Parents   (#1 for 2000) 

"If you are like many parents, when you receive a telephone call or letter inviting you to an IEP meeting, you respond with anxiety. Few parents look forward to attending IEP meetings. You may feel anxious, confused and inadequate at school meetings. What is your role? What do you have to offer? What should you do? Say? Not do?" Get this article . . . 

Understanding Tests and Measurements for the Parent and Advocate  (#1 in August, #2 in 2000) 

"Most parents of special needs children know that they must understand the law and their rights. Few parents know that they must also understand the facts. The "facts" in a child's case are contained in the tests and evaluations that have been administered to the child. Changes in test scores over time provide the means to assess educational benefit or regression." Download this article   . . . 

Wrightslaw Game Plan: IEP Goals and Objectives 

"Parents and teachers ask for help in writing IEP goals and objectives. Why are IEP goals and objectives so difficult? What makes this IEP process so confusing?" Get a copy of this article about IEP goals and objectives

4. August Newsletters Now in the Archives 

The August issues of The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter have been uploaded to the Newsletter Archives

 Special Issue: Assistive Technology. (August 2, 2000) What is "assistive technology"? How should it be used? Newsletter includes lots of resources, information about conferences. 

August 9, 2000 issue of The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter includes new Decision from 8th Circuit  in case about graduation as change of placement and procedural safeguards; new links and resources. 

Special Issue: Rights, Responsibilities, and Procedural Safeguards. (August 21, 2000) Also Parent Notice, Supremacy Clause; important new decision in Sarah M. v. Veast (MD)


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Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 3rd Edition by Pete and Pam Wright
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Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
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Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
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Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
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