The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
May 25, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Message from the Editor: Evaluations, Top 5 Articles

Using an Expert as an Effective Resource

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Evaluator

Wrightslaw Books

Scratch n Dent Sale

Preparation of the Psycho-Educational Report

Mistakes People Make: Independent Evaluators & Advocates

Top 5 Articles in May 2004

Wrightslaw Programs in FL, WA, CA

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: Evaluations; how to use an evaluator; factors to consider when selecting an evaluator; Wrightslaw books; Scratch n' Dent Sale; preparing psycho-educational reports; mistakes people make - independent evaluators & advocates; top 5 articles in May; Wrightslaw programs in FL, WA, CA; 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. Message from the Editor

Before parents and educators can make decisions about a child's special education program, they need accurate diagnostic information about the child's disability, strengths, weaknesses, and educational needs.

Parents, get a comprehensive evaluation of your child by an independent evaluator in the private sector - this evaluation will give you a roadmap for the future. In addition to information about your child's needs, the evaluation should include a plan to address your child's problems.

Choose an evaluator who is independent of the school district and who is willing to work with the school staff.

In this issue of The Special Ed Advocate, you will find a new feature - the top 5 articles for the month.

2. Using an Expert as an Effective Resource by Jennifer Bollero, Esq.

In Using an Expert as an Effective Resource, attorney-author Jennifer Bollero explains why parents should rely on advice from trained professionals to make informed decisions about educational interventions. You will learn why medical experts should advise parents to seek the best medical and therapeutic treatments - and why a request for the "best" education from the school is fatal.

Using an Expert as an Effective Resource

Learn about evaluations, assessments, tests.

3. Factors to Consider When Selecting an Evaluator by Rosemary Palmer, Esq.

In Factors to Consider When Selecting an Evaluator, attorney Rosemary Palmer describes the comprehensive evaluation, advantages of multi-disciplinary evaluation teams, and the roles of members on the team. She explains why schools and private sector providers need a system to document services.

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?

Read Factors to Consider When Selecting an Evaluator

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. Preparation of the Psycho-Educational Report by Dr. Margaret Kay, Psychologist

Psychologists who testify at due process hearings are in a unique position to provide hearing officers with information about appropriate programs and placements. In Preparation of the Psycho-educational Report, psychologist Margaret Kay describes best-practice guidelines for writing psycho-educational evaluation reports.

Dr. Kay's article will help you learn about observational data collection from parents and teachers, process assessment, cognitive assessment, achievement tests, tests of attention and executive function, tests of emotional and social status, personality tests, and how various tests should be interpreted.

Dr. Kay's article was originally published in The Beacon: The Journal of Special Education Law and Practice (Winter 2002).

Learn about The Beacon. (To subscribe to The Beacon, enter your name and email address in the Subscribe Box on the left side of the page)

6. Mistakes People Make: Independent Evaluators & Advocates by Bob Crabtree, Esq.

Mistakes People Make: Independent Evaluators

To make their case for services or a specific program for their child, parents usually need a competent, credible independent evaluator. In due process hearings there is usually no more important witness for the family. Serious mistakes by evaluators can make undermine their credibility or render their opinions powerless. To learn about mistakes independent evaluators should avoid, read Mistakes Independent Evaluators Make.

Mistakes People Make: Advocates

Because the non-lawyer advocate plays an extremely important role in the special education process, advocates must be mindful of the power of their role and the trust parents place in them. The more serious mistakes advocates may make are generally ones of excess . . . read Mistakes Advocates Make

More Mistakes People Make Articles by parent attorney, Bob Crabtree

Mistakes People Make: Parents
. Because the stakes are so high, it is difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need.

Mistakes People Make: Schools. What makes parents angry? Parents are angry when school personnel take actions that undermine trust, create a negative climate that destroys peace of mind, and deliver inadequate services to the child.

7. Top 5 Articles on Wrightslaw: May 2004

4 Great Things About Reading in NCLB. Regardless of their "category" or label, most kids with special educational needs have deficits in reading. No Child Left Behind includes four legal definitions of reading that attorneys, advocates, educational consultants, and parents are using to get effective reading programs.

#2. Functional Behavioral Assessments: What? Why? When? Where? Who? Dr. Stephen Starin describes problem behaviors, functional behavior assessments, environmental manipulation, and qualifications and training of evaluators. 

Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Educator, Advocate & Attorney. Your child has received special education for three years. Has your child caught up with the peer group? Has your child fallen further behind? How do you know? To successfully negotiate for quality special ed services that provide educational benefit, you need to know how to interpret test scores.

Your Child's IEP: Practical and Legal Guidance for Parents. This comprehensive article about about IEPs and the IEP process; includes present levels of performance, measurable goals and objectives, measuring educational progress, objective testing and subjective observations, educational benefit and FAPE; Appendix A; sample IEP goals.

How to Write IEP Goals and Objectives: Wrightslaw Game Plan. From the email we receive from parents and teachers, it seems that everyone is confused about how to write good IEP goals and objectives. This Wrightslaw Game Plan will help. 

8. Summer Wrightslaw Programs: 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.

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

Seattle, WA - 1 day Wrightslaw Legal Advocacy Program at the 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.)

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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