The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
May 19, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Your Child's IEP: What is Your Role?

Progress in General Curriculum

How to Use Info from Evaluations in the IEP

Wrightslaw Books

Scratch n Dent Sale

Child's IQ Scores Falling, School Says He is "Doing Fine"

How One Parent Lobbied for an Appropriate Program

Wrightslaw Programs in AL, FL, WA, CA

Free Pubs: IEPs

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 confusing world of special education.

Highlights: Your role at your child's IEP meeting; progress in general curriculum; how to use info from evaluations in the IEP; Wrightslaw books; Scratch n' Dent Sale; child's IQ scores falling, school says he is "doing fine"; how a parent lobbied for an appropriate program; Wrightslaw programs in AL, FL, WA, CA; free pubs about IEPs; 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. Your Child's IEP: What is Your Role?

As the parent of a child with special educational needs, you represent your child's interests. When you negotiate with the school on your child's behalf, you increase the odds that your child will get an appropriate education.

You cannot leave this job to others!

If your goal is to attend the IEP meeting, all you have to do is to show up. If your goal is to participate effectively in developing your child's Individualized Educational Program (IEP), there are things you need to know and be able to do. The articles in this issue of The Special Ed Advocate will help you prepare for your child's IEP meetings.

Learn more about effective advocacy.

2. Your Child's Progress in the General Curriculum

Your child's IEP should be based on information from current evaluations (present levels of educational performance) and your state's curriculum and standards.

The IDEA states that children with disabilities will be involved in and make progress in the general curriculum. (See Appendix A to the IDEA Regulations)

Get a copy of your state's curriculum standards from your state department of education website. (Your state may refer to this as "academic standards" or "curriculum frameworks"). Print the academic standards for the grade your child will attend next year. (This is the "general curriculum" that your child should be involved in.)

Use these curriculum standards and information from current evaluations of your child to write appropriate and measurable IEP goals and objectives for upcoming year.

Essential Resource: Appendix A to the IDEA Regulations discusses legal requirements for IEPs, IEP meetings and teams, the parental role, transition, and other issues. When you read Appendix A, many of your questions about IEPs will be answered. Study Appendix A. Make margin notes. Use a highlighter.

Tip: Appendix A is also available in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law (pages 209-224) and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (pages 249-275).

Learn more about IEPs.

3. How to Use Information from Evaluations in Your Child's IEP

The services in your child's IEP should be based on your child's "Present Levels of Educational Performance." Read the most recent evaluations of your child. If you don't have copies of these evaluations, ask the school to provide them before the IEP meeting.

What do these current test scores reveal about your child's strengths, weaknesses, educational needs, and progress? What remediation does your child need? Does your child need accommodations? Modifications?

These articles about evaluations will help you prepare for the next IEP meeting.

What to Expect from an Evaluation of Your Child by Marianne S. Meyer, M.A. "A good evaluation for a disability is not as simple as 'having your child tested'. First, it requires preparation on your part . . . "

What You Should Know about Evaluations by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq. "As a parent, you must make sure that all areas of possible need are assessed as quickly as possible."

Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate & Attorney. "All important educational decisions, from eligibility to the intensity of educational services provided, are based on psychological and educational achievement test results. Changes in test scores allow parents and school personnel to assess educational benefit or regression. Parents need to learn what tests measure and what test results mean."

Learn about evaluations, assessments, tests.

4. Wrightslaw Books - Great Value. . . and Easy on Tight Budgets

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, Standard Edition - $29.95

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, Deluxe Edition with Legal Companion CD-ROM - $39.95

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide - $19.95 - $10 Off

Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind with NCLB CD ROM - $29.95

Internet Orders l Mail, Fax, Phone Orders l Discounts l

Scratch-n-Dent Sale: Special Ed Law, From Emotions to Advocacy and No Child Left Behind - $9.95 each - Limited quantities available. Order Now

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 their education, special education and special education law courses. Learn more

5. Child's IQ Scores Are Falling - School Says He is "Doing Fine"

A parent writes, "When my son 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 fine". Read My Child's IQ Scores are Falling.

What is the Matthew Effect? The "Matthew Effect" refers to the idea that in reading (as in other areas of life), the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. What is the Matthew Effect? answers questions about falling IQ scores; reasons why IQ scores drop; more.

Learn about reading and research based reading programs.

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

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

In What Can a Parent Do When the School Balks?, follow one parent's journey from emotions to advocacy as she lobbies for the services her son needs.

More FAQs

7. Wrightslaw Legal & Advocacy Programs: AL, FL, WA, CA

Knowledge is power. When you have information and skills, you will be a more effective advocate for your child. Our role is to help you gain knowledge so you can negotiate with the school on your child's behalf.

Birmingham, Alabama - May 25, 2004 - FREE to Alabama parents who sign up early!

Orlando, FL - Family Cafe - May 28-30, 2004 (2 sessions and Keynote)

Seattle, WA - 1 day training at Autism Society of America National Conference - July 7, 2004

Sacramento CA Boot Camp - 1st Boot Camp on West Coast! - July 17-18, 2004

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education law; using the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.

Please join us for a Wrightslaw Training Program. 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. Free Pubs! IEPs

These publications about IEPs will teach you information and skills so you can step up to the plate and actively participate in your child's IEP.

A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services) - Describes how to write IEPs that improve teaching, learning, and educational results. Download - To order free copies, contact ED Pubs, Editorial Publications Center, P O Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794. Phone: 877-4-ED-PUBS

Designing Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Plans The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to prepare students with disabilities for employment and independent living. Transition planning that involves students and families leads to post-school success and independence. This article describes how to design quality IEP transition plans. Download - To order bound copies, contact The Council for Exceptional Children, 1-800-328-0272

An IEP Team's Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans - If you are the parent of a child with behavior problems or an educator who works with these children, read this excellent publication. Learn how to identify underlying causes of child's behavior (what the child "gets" or "avoids" through the behavior) and the IEP team's job of developing proactive instructional strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, to address those behaviors that interfere with learning. Download as pdf file

More Free Pubs! One obstacle in advocating for a child with a disability is finding the time to do research. We spend hours collecting information so you can spend your time learning, not searching. When you visit our Free Pubs page, you will find high-quality free publications about IEPs, special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero tolerance and discipline.

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

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, speech language therapists, tutors, special ed schools, advocates, attorneys, organizations, and support groups.

These articles will help you find help:

What to Expect from an Evaluation of Your Child

Working with Independent Evaluators and Educational Consultants

Strategies to Find a Support or Study Group

Free Listings in the Yellow Pages: If you help parents get services for children (i.e., an evaluator, educational consultant, academic tutor, advocate, attorney, special ed school, etc.) or you facilitate a support or study group for parents, submit an application be listed in the Yellow Pages for Kids. Send an email to app@yellowpagesforkids.com for an application. Listings in the Yellow Pages are free.

Help Others: Please print and distribute Flyers for Your State Yellow Pages for Kids.

10. 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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