The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
January 20, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Message from the Editor

Reading! Information for Parents and Teachers

Help! Tutors, Training, Research-Based Instruction

Free Pubs: Reading, Other Topics

Caselaw about Reading

50% Discount on Books, Exam Copies

Children of the Code Project & Documentary

Put Wrightslaw Training Program on Your To-Do List

Subscription and Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we focus on reading.

Highlights: Reading at Wrightslaw; information and resources for parents and teachers; tutors, training, & research-based instruction; free pubs about reading; caselaw about reading; 50% discount on Wrightslaw books; exam copies; Children of the Code; put Wrightslaw training on your "to-do" list.

Quote of the Week: "Statistically, more American children suffer long-term life-harm from the process of learning to read than from parental abuse, accidents, and all other childhood diseases and disorders combined. In purely economic terms, reading related difficulties cost our nation more than the war on terrorism, crime, and drugs combined." (For source of this quote, go to #7)

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help! Download newsletter

1. Message from the Editor

Most children with disabilities have deficits in reading. These children need intensive research-based instruction that targets their reading problems. But most children do not receive research-based reading instruction and do not learn to read proficiently.

According to the Nation's Report Card, 64 percent of 12th graders are not proficient readers after 12-13 years in school.
Minority students and students with disabilities score lower - by 12th grade, just 16 percent of African American, 22 percent of Hispanic students are proficient readers. (U.S. Department of Education, Nation's Report Card, 2002)

What else do we know?

We know our children blame themselves for their difficulties in learning to read.

"Poor reading produces a perception of stupidity and dumbness to peers and clearly to the youngster who is struggling. They feel like failures - they can’t compete occupationally and vocationally. Adolescents show a level of pain that society doesn’t even see.” - Dr. G. Reid Lyon, Branch Chief, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development

We know our children are ashamed of how they think, how they learn, and who they are. Shame drives our children to juvenile delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and dropping out of school.

"First reading, and then the whole education process, becomes so imbued with and magnified by shame that children develop an aversion to everything that is education." - Donald L. Nathanson, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Jefferson Medical College, author of Shame and Pride

We know too many children are unable to get jobs, attend college, or function successfully in society.

22 percent of adults (44 million) cannot read well enough to fill out an application, read a food label, or read a simple story to a child. Nearly 100 million adults lack the basic reading and math skills needed to function in our society. (National Institute for Literacy)

2. Reading! Information and Resources for Parents and Teachers

We built a new section called Reading at Wrightslaw where you will find reliable information about reading, reading disabilities, research-based reading programs, law and caselaw, certified language therapists, and more.

Does your child have reading problems? You'll want to read Sue Heath's answers to these questions from Doing Your Homework columns:

My Son Can't Read - What Can I Do?

How Can I Get Help for My Child with Reading Problems?

Teaching a Child to Read: Special Ed or Reading First?

Where Can We Find a Tutor Who is Knowledgeable about Research-Based Reading Instruction?

Does your child have a reading or learning disability? Read these articles in Learning to Read -

Reading Disabilities: Why Do Some Children Have Difficulty Learning to Read? What Can Be Done About It?

Reading and Learning Disabilities, Position Paper of the Learning Disabilities Association of America

Are you a teacher? You'll be interested in the articles in Teaching Children to Read -

Put Reading First: Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read - Organized by topic (phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, and text comprehension instruction), lists findings from the research, suggests how findings can be translated to practice.

Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science, What Expert Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do

Visit Reading at Wrightslaw today!

3. Help! Tutors, Training and Research-Based Instruction

Are you looking for a tutor? A psychologist or educational diagnostician? A speech language therapist? A pediatrician? A tutor or academic therapist? An advocate or attorney?

Check the database of service providers from the International Dyslexia Association.

Are you looking for a training or certification program? Check the directory of accredited training courses developed by the Alliance, a group of organizations that promote standards for quality professional preparation.

Are you looking for a research-based reading program? Check the list of providers who use structured, multisensory, alphabetic techniques.

For more information, articles and resources about reading, visit
Reading at Wrightslaw

Information about Research-Based Instruction

Information about No Child Left Behind

4. Free Pubs about Reading, Other Topics

One obstacle in advocating for a child with a disability is finding enough time to do research. We spend hours collecting information so you can spend your time learning, not searching.

Free Pubs about Reading includes:

Put Reading First: Helping Your Child Learn to Read - A Parent Guide. Provides ideas about what to expect from the school's reading program based on evidence from research (preschool through grade 3); suggests ways parents can reinforce reading instruction at home.

Put Reading First: Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read. Organized by topic for kindergarten through grade 3 (phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, and text comprehension instruction), lists findings from the research, suggests how findings can be translated to practice.

Using Research and Reason in Education. Helps teachers become consumers of educational programs and materials, provides guidance on how to recognize scientifically based instructional strategies, how to use the concepts of research in the classroom

For Free Pubs about other topics - IEPs, special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero tolerance and discipline - go to Free Pubs.

5. Caselaw About Reading

Are you an advocate for children with learning disabilities or reading problems?

Reading at Wrightslaw includes cases about dyslexia, reading, and tuition reimbursement.

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.

Carter v. Florence County School District IV. Tuition reimbursement case; focuses on an appropriate program and IEP for Shannon Carter, a child with dyslexia.

Carter v. Florence County, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit "Least restrictive environment" or where child learns?

Florence County School District Four v. Shannon Carter, 510 U.S. 7, (1993).If the public school defaults and the child receives an appropriate education in the private placement, parents are entitled to reimbursement for the child's education. This ruling opened the door to children with autism who receive ABA / Lovaas therapy.  Links to all decisions, transcript of oral argument in Carter

Caselaw about Reading

More Caselaw

6. Discounts & Exam Copies

50% Discount on Bulk Purchases of Wrightslaw Books
-The Advocacy Challenge Discount is a 50-60% discount on bulk purchases of Wrightslaw books for groups and individuals who purchase boxes of books. If you are a special ed organization, parent group, teach an advocacy class, or engage in a similar venture, check out the Advocacy Challenge Discount.

Exam Copies - Teachers in colleges and universities around the country use Wrightslaw books in education, special education and special education law courses. Learn more

Wrightslaw books are reasonably priced ($29.95) - easy on tight student budgets.

Wrightslaw Books:

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law (ISBN 1-892320-03-7)

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide (ISBN 1-892320-08-8)

Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 1-892320-12-6)

7. Children of the Code Education Project

The source of the quote at the beginning of this newsletter is Children of the Code. (this site has dozens of powerful quotes and statistics about reading)

Children of the Code: A Social-Education Project and Television Documentary from PBS aims to reframe how society thinks about reading and teaching children to read. The project has three components:
1) A three hour PBS documentary series;
2) A ten-hour college, university, and professional development DVD series;
3) A series of teacher and parent presentations and workshops.

Learn more about Children of the Code

8. Put Wrightslaw Training on Your To-Do List

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy 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.

Our 2004 schedule includes programs in:

February 17: Jefferson City, MO
February 20:
Skokie IL
February 24: Indianapolis, IN
February 28: Troy, MI
March 26-27: Manchester, NH (Boot Camp)
April 8-9: Juneau, AK (Boot Camp)
April 13-14: Anchorage, AK (Boot Camp)
April 30-May 1: Annapolis, MD (Boot Camp)

We are coming to the West Coast! Join us in Sacramento on July 17-18 for a two-day special education law and advocacy Boot Camp.

For information about these and other programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.
We are scheduling programs for Fall 2004 and 2005. If you are interested in bringing Pete and Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars.

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 Seminars & Training
Advocacy Library Yellow Pages for Kids
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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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