The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
July 23, 2003

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

Getting Help for Children with Reading Problems

Fighting for Appropriate Services

My Son's IQ is Dropping, School Says He's "Doing Fine"

Reading and Reimbursement Caselaw

How to Find an Evaluator, Tutor, Advocate, Attorney


Advocacy Training Programs in KS, PA, VA, NC, MS, NY

Managing Your Subscription

Subscription & Contact Info

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Summer is vacation time. Summer is also the time to fine-tune your advocacy skills so you are prepared when school begins in the fall.

Highlights: Getting help for children with reading problems; fighting for appropriate services; falling IQ scores and the Matthew Effect; reading and reimbursement caselaw; strategies to find an evaluator, tutor, advocate, or attorney; free shipping on books from Wrightslaw; advocacy training programs in KS, PA, VA, NC, MS, NY; managing your newsletter subscription.

1. Getting Help for Children with Reading Problems

My 7 yr old who is making very slow progress in learning to read. Although he repeated kindergarten last year in a full-time special ed class, he has fallen further behind . . . When I mentioned Orton Gillingham tutoring methods to his school team, they said, "We don't do that."

What can I do?

Sue Heath, research editor at Wrightslaw, offers strong advice to this parent. She warns that some readers will take issue with her advice.

Read Getting Help for Children with Reading Problems at:


Sue also writes Doing Your Homework, a column about creative advocacy strategies.

2. Fighting for Appropriate Services

"When my son entered special education in second grade, his reading level was 1.3. After 30 months of special education, his reading level is 2.3. He is falling further behind, not closing the gap.

I have done a great deal of research about appropriate reading programs for learning disabled children. I requested that the school use a program that is structured, systematic, sequential, repetitive and phonologically based. I also refused to sign the IEP.

The special ed director promised to order the Wilson Reading System for all LD classes in our district. Wilson is a great system – it’s based on Orton-Gillingham principles of remediating dyslexic children. I was encouraged by this - until I learned that the resource teacher knew little about the Wilson program . . . and did not plan to use it."

Read How Can I Get the School to Provide Appropriate Services? at:


Read more letters to Wrightslaw at the FAQs page:


3. My Son's IQ is Dropping But School Staff Says He is "Doing Fine"

Have you heard of a child's IQ dropping? This is happening to my son and Iím concerned about it. When he entered Kindergarten, his skills were about 6 months behind his peers. By second grade, he was about 1.5 year behind, by 4th grade he was 2.5 years behind.

On the most recent evaluation, his Full Scale IQ had dropped by 9 points! On his report cards, he gets average grades and we are told that is doing 'just fine'.

If you are the parent of a child with a disability, you need to learn about testing, IQ scores, and the Matthew Effect. Read Why Are My Child's IQ Scores Falling?


Learn more about Tests and Assessments: https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/test.index.htm

4. Reading and Reimbursement Caselaw

Carter v. Florence County, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit  After Florence County lost in District Court, they appealed to the Fourth Circuit. While arguing that four months of progress in reading was appropriate, the district also argued that because Trident Academy was not on the State's "approved" list, Shannon's parents should not be reimbursed for the placement. Decision includes discussion of least restrictive environment and educational benefit.

Evans v. Rhinebeck Central School District, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Excellent case about tuition reimbursement, procedural and substantive issues, FAPE, dyslexia, objective measurement of progress.

Gerstmyer v. Howard County Schools
  U. S. District Court, Maryland. Tuition reimbursement for private non-special ed school; inappropropriate IEP goals and objectives for child with dyslexia. Parent's counsel, Wayne Steedman charted new territory with this case.

Brody v. Dare County, NC   (NC Review Decision) Case about tuition reimbursement for child with dyslexia.

Cleveland Heights-University Heights v. Sommer Boss, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Vague IEP goals & objectives, failure to provide FAPE, tuition reimbursement (1998).

G. v. Cumberland Valley
, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Tuition reimbursement, LRE and "vigorous advocacy" by parents (1999).

For caselaw on various topics, go to the Caselaw Library at: https://www.wrightslaw.com/caselaw.htm

5. Help! How to Find an Evaluator / Tutor / Advocate / Attorney

One of your most frequently-asked-questions is "How can I find an advocate / attorney / evaluator / consultant?"

If you are looking for help, this article has strategies you can use. Read Help! How to Find an Evaluator / Tutor / Advocate / Attorney at:


We also recommend that you visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities:


6. Free Shipping!

Harbor House Law Press is offering FREE SHIPPING on all books - you save at least 4.95 per order.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law (both editions) by Pete and Pam Wright

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy by Pam and Pete Wright

Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives by Barbara Bateman and Cynthia Herr

Why Johnny Doesn't Behave by Barbara Bateman and Annemieke Golly

To place an order in the Wrightslaw store, go to https://www.wrightslaw.com/store/index.html

To order by Mail, Fax and Phone, go to https://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/orderform.htm

7. Advocacy Training Programs in Kansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi & New York

"I have never learned so much useful information at a workshop - thank you for having a heart for kids and the head for the Law." - Susan from Texas

Wrightslaw training programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.

August 25-26: Wichita KS (Boot Camp)

September 20: Pittsburgh PA

September 23: Annandale VA (Northern Virginia/DC area)

September 26: Charlotte NC

November 7-8: Jackson MS (Boot Camp)

November 15: Syracuse NY

To learn about other Wrightslaw training programs scheduled for the 2003-2004 year, please check our Seminars & Training page: https://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm

If you want to learn how to bring Pete & Pam to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars: https://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/faqs.htm

8. Managing Your Newsletter Subscription

Publishing an issue of The Special Ed Advocate every week is a big job that takes a great deal of time. We publish often because many people write that our newsletter and websites are teaching them to be more effective advocates.

We need your help! Some Internet Providers (including AOL, Earthlink and Juno) block Wrightslaw newsletters as sp*m because we publish newsletters to nearly 50,000 subscribers. When a newsletter is blocked several times, the delivery system automatically unsubscribes those email addresses. If you stop receiving newsletters from Wrightslaw, you need to re-subscribe at https://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Please empty your email box often. The newsletter system also removes subscribers who are consistently over their message quota. If you stop using an account, please unsubscribe your old account.

With several hundred emails a day, we cannot personally respond to every message. If you send a question or request for help, you will receive an "auto-responder" message that we wrote to answer frequently asked questions. Thanks for your help and understanding.

9. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library - https://www.wrightslaw.com/law.htm

Advocacy Library - https://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc.htm

Free Newsletter - https://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Newsletter Archives - https://www.wrightslaw.com/archives.htm

Seminars & Training - https://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm

Yellow Pages for Kids - http://www.fetaweb.com/help/states.htm

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 10s08
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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