The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
March 16, 2004

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ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

How Can I Get the School to Provide an Appropriate Reading Program?

Review: Special Ed Rights & Responsibilities

What is FAPE?

Save $10 on Emotions to Advocacy

A Parent's Guide to NCLB

Research-Based Reading Programs

Wrightslaw Programs in NH, AK, MD

Help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

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 perplexing world of special education.

Highlights: How to get the school to provide an appropriate reading program; reviewing special ed rights & responsibilities; learning about FAPE; $10 off on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy; A Parent's Guide to NCLB; recommended books about reading and research-based reading programs; Wrightslaw programs in NH, AK, MD; help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.

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. How Can I Get the School to Provide an Appropriate Reading Program?

"My son entered special education in 2nd grade. He is now in 5th grade. When he entered special ed, 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 did research about appropriate reading programs for learning disabled children and requested that the school use a program that is structured, systematic, sequential, repetitive and phonologically based."
"Our district purchased the Wilson Reading System for resource classes in our district. I was encouraged by this until I discovered that his teacher knows little about the Wilson program and does not plan to use it on a regular basis."

"When I asked that my son receive Wilson instruction five days a week, the principal said they were 'trying to meet me half way' but I was 'not entitled to dictate the method they chose to use to remediate Paul.' I have not signed the IEP."

"Should I sign the IEP and be grateful for two days of Wilson?  I am tired of fighting with them. I feel like giving up but my son is too important."

How can this parent get an appropriate reading program for her child? How can she deal with the resistant teacher?

Read How Can I Get the School to Provide an Appropriate Reading Program?

More Qs & As

2. Review: Special Ed Rights & Responsibilities

IEP time is just around the corner. It's time to brush up on your knowledge about special education rights and responsibilities.

If the child has a disability that adversely affects educational performance, the child is entitled to FAPE.
The legal concept of “FAPE” is shorthand for “free, appropriate public education.” In a nutshell, FAPE is an individualized educational program that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit.

You will find FAPE defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) at 20 U. S. C. § 1401(8) (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 27) and in the Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 300.13 (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 142).

How can you tell if your child is receiving educational benefit? If you compare the child's educational achievement test scores over time, you will know if your child is receiving educational benefit.

To learn about test scores and educational benefit, download, print and study Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney -- or read Chapters 10 and 11 in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (on sale, see #4 below).

We recommend that you read the article or chapters three times. Use a highlighter. Make margin notes. Be patient and persistent - don't give up!

Learn more about tests and evaluations.

Learn more about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

3. What is FAPE?

Because special education programs should be designed to meet each child's unique needs, programs will vary. These articles will help you understand what a "free appropriate public education" means for different children.

Loving Parents Want What's Best for Child - But Schools Only Need to Provide FAPE. Learn why you cannot use words like "best" or "maximizing potential" in discussions with school staff; article includes Four Rules About FAPE.

Evans v. Rhinebeck: Your Roadmap to FAPE. How do judges determine if a child is receiving FAPE? Learn about procedural and substantive issues, educational benefit, and how to use test scores to show educational benefit.

FAPE? Ohio Child Entitled to an Education That is Appropriate -- and Free. What is FAPE? Court of Appeals says child entitled to appropriate education that is also free; orders district to reimburse parents for child's tuition at private school.

IDEA Requirements: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) & FAPE. The IDEA includes two fundamental requirements: that the child receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). What does least restrictive environment mean? What is mainstreaming?

Learn more about FAPE.

4. Save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - "An Invaluable Advocacy Tool"

"If I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy skills, this is it!" - Support for Families of Children with Disabilities Newsletter

Expect this book to be tabbed and dog-eared - it is an invaluable advocacy tool." - The Tourette Gazette

Learn more about Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy  l Table of Contents l SMART IEPs l

Discounts & Exam Copies

50% Discount on Bulk Purchases of Wrightslaw Books
-The Advocacy Challenge Discount is a 50% discount on bulk purchases of Wrightslaw books.

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 budgets.

5. A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind

Are you confused about No Child Left Behind? You are not alone!

Sue Heath is the co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind. To help you understand how NCLB will affect you and your child, she wrote A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind.

In A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind, you learn about new requirements for teachers and para-professionals, school and school district report cards, annual testing in math and reading. You also learn about new options for parents including transfers from failing schools and free supplemental services - tutoring, after-school programs and summer school.

Sue explains, "Only 32% of fourth graders are proficient readers who read at a fourth grade level, so a large focus of No Child Left Behind is on reading achievement."

To learn how No Child Left Behind will affect you, your child, and your child's school, read A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind

Print & Distribute

A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind is also available as a 4 page, printer-friendly pdf document. We encourage you to print and distribute this article so parents, teachers and child advocates learn about this important law. By working together, we are making a difference!

Learn advocacy strategies in Doing Your Homework.

Learn more about No Child Left Behind.

Learn about Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind with NCLB CD-ROM.

6. Research-Based Reading Instruction

We asked attorneys, educators, evaluators, and advocates to recommend their favorite books for our Advocacy Bookstore. Here are some recommended books about reading, dyslexia and learning disabilities:

Straight Talk About Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference During the Early Years by Susan Hall, Louisa Moats, and Reid Lyon

Parenting a Struggling Reader by Susan Hall and Louisa Moats

Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Overcoming Reading Problems at Any Level by Sally Shaywitz, MD

Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers by Louisa Cook Moats

Dyslexia: Theory & Practice of  Remedial Instruction by Diana Brewster Clark and Johanna Kellogg Uhry

The Dyslexic Scholar by Kathleen Nosek.

You will find other good books in the Effective Education section of our bookstore.

Go to the Reading Library for reliable information about reading, reading disabilities, research-based reading programs, law and caselaw, certified language therapists, and more.

Learn more about Reading.

Learn more about Research-Based Instruction

7. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in New Hampshire, Alaska & Maryland

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.

Manchester, New Hampshire
(Boot Camp) - March 26-27, 2004

Juneau, Alaska
(Boot Camp) - April 8-9, 2004

Anchorage, Alaska
 (Boot Camp)- April 13-14, 2004

Annapolis, Maryland
(Boot Camp) - April 30-May 1, 2004

Wrightslaw programs are usually "sold out" so if you plan to attend, don't procrastinate - register today!

If you are interested in bringing Pete and Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars. (We are scheduling programs for 2005-2006.)

8. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

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

If you are looking for help - or a helper - visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.
Your state Yellow Pages has many resources - evaluators, therapists, tutors, special Ed schools, advocates, organizations, and support groups.

Strategies to Find a Support or Study Group

What to Expect from an Evaluation of Your Child

Working with Independent Evaluators and Educational Consultants

Questions for a Lay Advocate

Questions for an Attorney

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 Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

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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