The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
June 8, 2004

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ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Summer School for Parents

Get a Psychoeducational Evaluation

Measure Your Child's Progress

Learn to Write SMART IEPs

What People Are Saying About Wrightslaw Books

Scratch n' Dent Sale

Get Your State Academic Standards

Wrightslaw Programs: Sacramento & Grand Rapids, MI (July, 2004)

Get 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 to navigate the confusing world of special education.

Highlights: Summer school for parents; get a psychoeducational evaluation; measure child's progress; learn about SMART IEPs; what people are saying about Wrightslaw books; Scratch n' Dent Sale; get your state academic standards; Wrightslaw programs in Sacramento & Grand Rapids; get help from Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities.

Quote of the Week: "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." - John Wooden, basketball coach

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

1. Summer School for Parents

In the last issue of The Special Ed Advocate, you learned steps you can take this summer to prepare for the next school year. You learned about taking care of yourself, preventing burnout, writing thank-you notes, developing a master plan for your child and honing your negotiation skills.

In part two of Summer School for Parents, you learn about evaluations, how to measure educational progress, how to write SMART IEP goals and objective and how to use your state academic standards to negotiate a better program for your child.

Look for the final installment of Summer School for Parents in the next issue of The Special Ed Advocate.

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

2. Get a Comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluation of Your Child

Before you can make wise decisions about your child's special education program, you need accurate information about the child's strengths, weaknesses and educational needs.

Parents, you need to get a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation of your child by an independent evaluator in the private sector - this is your roadmap for the future. This evaluation should describe the educational services the child needs - and provide baseline data so you can measure your child's educational progress. (See Measuring Your Child's Educational Progress)

Choose an evaluator who is independent of the school district and who is willing to work with the school staff. These articles explain what an evaluation should include and why evaluations are so important.

What You Should Know about Evaluations by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq.

What to Expect of an Evaluation of Your Child by Marianne S. Meyer, M.A.

For more information about evaluations, read Chapter 8, Evaluations and Your Child's Disability in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy).

Tip: Be sure the evaluator does not use the terms "best" or "maximize the child's potential" in the evaluation report - these terms are fatal. Your child is entitled to an appropriate education (not the best).

For strategies to find an educational consultant, psychologist, advocate or attorney, read How to Find an Educational Consultant, Advocate, Attorney. You'll learn more strategies in the last installment of Summer School for Parents next week.

3. Measure Your Child's Educational Progress

Pete says, "Knowing how to measure your child's educational progress is more important than knowing the law." Is your child learning and making good progress in the special ed program? Is your child falling further behind the peer group?

To be an effective advocate, you need to learn how to use the bell curve to measure educational progress. You need to learn about percentile ranks and standard scores, composite scores and subtest scatter.

Download and print Tests & Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney. (This article is the #1 download from Wrightslaw) To ensure that you have the graphics in this article, print the article from the screen. Expect to read this article at least three times. Use a highlighter. Make margin notes. Be patient - stick with it.

Tip: For an updated version of this article, read Chapters 10 & 11 of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy.

Slide Show - Download Tests & Measurements Slide Show as a PowerPoint Presentation (204kb)

Learn about evaluations and measuring educational progress.

4. Learn about SMART IEPs

We receive dozens of questions about IEPs from teachers and parents every day. You need to use present levels of performance to write measurable IEP goals and objectives about what the child will learn and be able to do.

In SMART IEPs, you learn how to write SMART IEPs that are specific, measurable, use action words, are realistic and time-limited. (Chapter 12 of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy)

Learn more about IEPs.

Read a book about IEPs - we recommend Writing Measurable IEP Goals & Objectives by Barbara Bateman and Cynthia Herr. Please visit the Advocate's Bookstore for more good books about IEPs.

The Advocate's Bookstore: Read the Wrightslaw Game Plan and look at our recommendations for books about disabilities, educational methods, IEPs, legal rights, tests, negotiation skills, more.

5. What People Are Saying About Wrightslaw Books

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, Standard Edition - $29.95

Makes you feel you have an attorney at the IEP table with you!" - Janie Bowman, Olympia, WA

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

A must have book for anyone who works in Special Education.” Margaret J. Kay, Ed.D. Psychologist

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

"A superb reference . . . very highly recommended reading for all parents of children in need of adapted or special education services ... " Midwest Book Review

"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

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

Easy to read, incredibly informative – a ‘must read’ for all parents in America.” — Dr. Elaine Holden, The Reading Foundation

Does an amazing job of making this law understandable and accessible to lay folk, like me.” — Sandra Rief, master teacher and author of How to Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children

Internet Orders l Mail, Fax, Phone Orders l Discounts 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 their education, special education and special education law courses. Learn more

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

6. Get Your State Academic Standards

When Congress reauthorized IDEA in 1997, they placed "great emphasis on the involvement and progress of children with disabilities in the general curriculum." (See Appendix A to the IDEA regulations; also Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 209).

When Congress reauthorized the No Child Left Behind Act, they applied NCLB accountability requirements to children with disabilities who are often left behind.

You need to learn about the general curriculum for your state. You should be able to get your state's academic standards from your state department of education website.

Download and print the academic standards for the grade your child will attend next year. These standards describe what children in each grade need to know and be able to do. (Your state may refer to this as "academic standards" or "curriculum frameworks.") This is what the school should teach your child.

7. Join Pete & Pam Wright for an Advocacy Training Program: CA, MI

Please join Pete and Pam Wright for a one-day Advocacy Seminar or two-day Boot Camp. These programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities.

July 17-18:
Boot Camp, Sacramento, CA- 1st Boot Camp on West Coast! Sponsored by Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT).

Download informational flyer and registration form.

July 21, 2004: Advocacy Training Program, Grand Rapids, MI. Sponsored by The Williams Sydrome Association.

Download Registration Form
(Fee: $75) Participants receive two Wrightslaw books with their registration (value $59.90)

Fall 2004: Programs are scheduled in Indianapolis, IN; Hartford, CT; Virginia Beach, VA. Full schedule

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

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.

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.

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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