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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
January 3, 2002

Issue - 146

In this Issue

A Message from the Editor

Suspensions, Expulsions and IEPs by Robert Crabtree, Esq.

Behavior Problems: What Schools Are Obligated To Do by Pete Wright

Functional Behavior Assessments & Behavior Intervention Plans

Free Books & Newsletters

New Topics Pages

Subscription & Contact Info




Welcome back to our common task of advocating for children with disabilities. We hope you had a great holiday season. This is the first of two issues about discipline and behavior issues.

Highlights: New articles about discipline, behavior problems, suspensions, and expulsions by parent attorneys Bob Crabtree and Pete Wright; functional behavior assessments and behavior intervention plans; links to new books on "Free Pubs" page; new topics pages.

Subscribers on January 3, 2002; 34,698

Do you feel helpless and frustrated? Combat negative feelings by helping others. How?

Download, print and distribute a Wrightslaw flyer. Where? At schools, churches, day care centers, your pediatrician's and psychologist's offices!

Still frustrated? Forward this newsletter or the subscription page to your friends. Together we can make a difference!

A Message From the Editor

We continue to reorganize hundreds of articles on the Wrightslaw site and create new topics pages. This is a huge undertaking but should make your research easier. As part of this process, we decided to give The Special Ed Advocate a new look too.

Over the next few months, we are scheduled to speak in several cities - Lincoln, NE; Cleveland, OH; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Racine, WI; Richmond, VA; Columbia, SC; Montgomery Co, MD; and Minot, ND. For details about confirmed and pending training programs, please check our Schedule page. The schedule includes Wrightslaw Boot Camps. We hope you will plan to attend a program.

Knowledge is power. With knowledge, you are a more effective advocate for your kids with disabilities. Our role is to help you gain the knowledge you need so you can navigate the confusing world of special education.

Suspensions, Expulsions, and IEPs by Robert Crabtree, Esq.

"My daughter has a language impairment and an IEP. She has been suspended twice for fighting. The vice principal plans to expel her. Can they do that?"

In this new article, parent attorney Robert Crabtree answers questions about suspensions, expulsions, IEPs, dangerous weapons, illegal drugs and alternative educational settings.

Learn about functional behavioral assessments, behavior intervention plans, long-term suspensions and expulsions, the child's rights, and what parents can do to protect these rights. Learn how to request a behavior assessment, an expedited hearing, and how to invoke "stay put." Read Suspensions, Expulsions, and IEPs.

Behavior Problems: What Schools Are Obligated to Do by Pete Wright

A special educator writes, "We have a 15 year old tenth grader who is diagnosed "seriously emotionally disturbed." Academically, he is functioning at the 2nd grade level. He is placed in a self-contained classroom."

"Must we continue to provide special education services in the current setting if we believe the student is a danger to himself or others? What if the school has no alternative placement? What about the safety of other students, teachers, administrators?"

In Behavior Problems: What Schools Are Obligated to Do, Pete describes the school's obligations to provide FAPE. He asks hard questions. What is driving the boy? Why are his skills at the 2nd grade level? Why is he not receiving remediation of academic skills? He explains that the school team needs good diagnostic testing before they can develop an appropriate educational plan.

After describing a treatment program he developed when he worked as a juvenile probation officer, Pete asks, "Why do we have to reinvent the wheel again and again." Read Behavior Problems

Functional Behavior Assessments & Behavior Intervention Plans

If you are dealing with discipline or behavior issues, you need to learn about functional behavior assessments and behavior intervention plans. These three articles will help.

Functional Behavior Assessments: What? Why? When? Where? Who? by Stephen Starin, Ph.D.

If you are confused about discipline, this article will help you sort things out. You will learn:

  • What is a "Functional Behavioral Assessment"?
  • Why Do Functional Behavioral Assessments?
  • How Do You Determine the Cause or Function of Behavior?
  • Observe and Analyze Behavior in Natural Environment
  • Types of Problem Behavior
  • Systematic Manipulation of Environment
  • What About Qualifications and Training?
  • Don’t Waste Valuable Time!
Behavior Interventions: Creating a Safe Environment in Our Schools published by the National Mental Health and Education Center and National Association of School Psychologists.

This 28 page newsletter (in pdf) includes several articles about school discipline and behavior management. Learn about "best practices" in school discipline; managing disruptive behavior; defusing disruptions; violence prevention; more.

Disciplining Students with Disabilities by Kevin Dwyer, Executive Director, National Association of School Psychologists. This article provides readers with practical advice about how to increase positive behaviors and decrease negative behaviors; recommended for school personnel and parents.

Free Books & Newsletters

We have added several new books to our Free Pubs page.

"An IEP Team's Guide to Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans" by the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice.

In this publication about Functional Behavioral Assessments and IEP teams, you will learn about the need to identify the underlying causes of the child's problem behavior (what the child "gets" or "avoids" through the behavior) and about the IEP team's job of developing proactive instructional strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, to address behaviors that interfere with learning.

"Interim Alternative Educational Settings for Children with Disabilities" by the National Association of School Psychologists.

54-page publication that includes helpful information about discipline and interim alternative educational settings. Useful for school personnel and parents.

"Implementing IDEA: A Guide for Principals" from the U. S. Department of Education and the Council of Exceptional Children.

This 80 page publication xxxx. School principals are responsible for educating ALL students in their schools. What a concept!

Download free books and publications from the Free Pubs page.

Check our list of free online newsletters about legal, special education, and disabilities information. Each listing has a link that you can follow to subscribe.

New Topics Pages

For information, FAQs, articles, caselaw, and other resources about discipline, behavior problems, functional behavior assessments and behavior plans, visit the new Discipline/Behavior Page.

Advocacy by Parents Free Appropriate Education (FAPE)
Assessment/Testing IEPs

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Letter Writing & Documentation



Discipline / Behavior

Section 504 & Discrimination

Master Topics From A-Z Page

Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources.
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Citation Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
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