The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
May 21, 2003

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue . . .

What Are Schools Obligated to Do for Kids with Behavior Problems?

Functional Behavior Assessments & Behavior Intervention Plans

FBAs & Positive Interventions - What Parents Need to Know

Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives

How to Use Tactics & Strategies to Avoid Common IEP Problems

How to Use a Parent IEP Attachment

Caselaw About Discipline

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. This issue is about behavior, discipline and IEPs.

Highlights: What schools are obligated to do for kids with behavior problems; functional behavior assessments and behavior intervention plans; what parents need to know about behavior assessments and positive interventions; Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives; tactics & strategies to avoid common IEP problems; how to use a parent IEP attachment; caselaw about discipline.

Quote of the Week: "Sadly, many professionals who work with Individualized Educational Programs, if given a chance, would abolish them." To learn who wrote this, scroll down to #4.

Subscribers on May 20, 2003: 43126

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1. Question of the Week: What Are Schools Obligated to Do for Kids with Behavior Problems?

A special educator writes, "We have a 15 year old tenth grader who is '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 this 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 teachers, school staff, and other students?"

In Behavior Problems: What Are Schools Obligated to Do? Pete describes the school's obligations to provide FAPE. The school needs good diagnostic testing before they can develop an appropriate educational plan for this boy. He asks hard questions.

* What is driving the boy?
* Why are his academic skills at the 2nd grade level?
* Why is he not receiving remediation of academic skills?

After he describes a treatment program he developed when he was a juvenile probation officer, Pete asks, "Why do we have to reinvent the wheel again and again?"

Behavior Problems: What Are Schools Obligated to Do? at:


More questions & answers: https://www.wrightslaw.com/faqs.htm

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

3. FBAs & Positive Interventions: What Parents Need to Know by Dixie Jordan

Is the child a problem? Does the child have a problem? Is suspension from school "good medicine for bad behavior?"

In this article, Dixie Jordan describes strategies that parents and teachers can use to assess problem behavior and teach appropriate behavior skills to children. Read Functional Behavioral Assessments & Positive Interventions by Dixie Jordan:


Read more articles: https://www.wrightslaw.com/articles.htm

4. Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives by Barbara Bateman & Cynthia Herr

"Sadly, many professionals who work with Individualized Educational Programs, if given a chance, would abolish them," writes Barbara Bateman in the Preface to her new book, Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives.

Question: What do these IEP goals and objectives have in common?

"Rebecca will increase her active listening skills."

"Kevin will decrease his inappropriate remarks to other children 90% of the time."

"Given 10 words, Alex shall group letters and pronounce letter sounds in words with 80% accuracy."

Answer: These IEP goals / objectives are not measurable.

Writing Measurable IEP Goals & ObjectivesIn Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives, Dr. Bateman and Dr. Herr teach a new way to write IEP goals and objectives "that is simple, clean, useful, economical, worthwhile, common-sensical, legally correct and revoluntionary." The book is divided into three parts:

Part I: About Goals & Objectives (measurability, vagueness / specificity)
Part II: Writing Goals & Objectives (present levels, writing goals & objectives, writing measurable goals & objectives, how to project annual goals, how to move the child's performance to the goal, how to put PLOP, Objectives / Benchmarks, Goals in the IEP).
Part III: Sample PLOPs, Objectives, Goals (includes 75 samples for children with all disabilities)

Order Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives from Wrightslaw:

Internet Orders: https://www.wrightslaw.com/store/index.html

Mail, Fax & Phone Orders: https://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/orderform.htm

5. Use Tactics & Strategies to Avoid Common IEP Problems: A Session with Pete Wright

How can you get good goals and objectives in your child's IEP? What can you do if the school wants to use subjective "teacher observations," not objective testing in the IEP? How can parents avoid methodology disputes?

Read Tactics & Strategies to Avoid Common IEP Problems, and Objectives:


6. How to Use a Parent IEP Attachment by Judy Bonnell, Advocate

Confused at IEP meetings? Do you find that your questions and concerns are not answered? Frustrated?

In this article, parent advocate Judy Bonnell teaches you how to use a simple form to track your requests, the school's response, issues that are resolved, and issues that are still on the table.

Read How to Use a Parent IEP Attachment at:


7. Caselaw About Discipline

Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988). Decision from U. S. Supreme Court in discipline case that involved two emotionally disturbed students who had academic and social problems. Clarifies that schools may not expel children for behaviors related to their handicaps; "stay put"; that procedural safeguards are designed to protect children and parents; describes parent role.


Community Consolidated Sch. Dist. #93 v. John F. (IL)

Excellent decision in discipline case; includes procedural violations, prior written notice requirements, manifestation determination review, suspensions for more than 10 days, expedited hearings, special education and related services under IDEA, "passing grades" not evidence that school provided FAPE, homebound instruction violated LRE, more.     Decision in Word    Decision in pdf

https://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/IL_dist93_johnf_00_10.pdf (pdf)

https://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/IL_dist93_johnf_00_10.doc (word)

More Caselaw - https://www.wrightslaw.com/caselaw.htm

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Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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