The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
September 16, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. Message from the Editor

2. Child with Reading Problems is Falling Further Behind, What Can Mom Do?

3. No D's & F's Allowed? What Does the Law Say About Passing Grades?

4. How Can I Get My Child's IEP Changed?

5. Do Teachers Have to Provide Accommodations in IEPs?

6. Surviving Due Process: When Parents & the School Board Disagree - Prepub Offer Ends 9/28

7. Find Help in the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

8. The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law & Practice

9. Wrightslaw Programs in CT, VA, OK

10. Subscription & 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: Getting help for a child with reading problems; what does law say about passing grades; can parent get child's IEP changed: do teachers have to provide accommodations in child's IEP; prepub offer Stephen Jeffers v. School Board ends 9/28; finding help in the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities; new issue of The Beacon on high-stakes testing; Wrightslaw programs in CT, VA, OK.

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

1. Message from the Editor

We get thousands of questions from readers. Some questions come up again and again - and from time to time, we answer them in the newsletter. Here is the latest crop, along with our answers.

2. Child with Reading Problems Is Falling Further Behind, What Can Mom Do?

"My 7 yr. old is making very slow progress in learning to read. He repeated kindergarten last year, is in full-time special ed class, but is falling further behind. When I mentioned Orton Gillingham instructional methods to his team at school, they said, "We don't do that. What can I do?"

Sue Heath, research editor at Wrightslaw, answers this parent's questions in Getting Help for Children Who Have Reading Problems.

Read more articles by Sue Heath in Doing Your Homework.

Reading at Wrightslaw: A large section of Wrightslaw is devoted to reading - learning to read, teaching children to read, research-based reading programs, free pubs about reading, caselaw about the need to provide effective reading programs, a database of service providers, multisensory structured language courses and certification, and more.

3. No D's or F's Allowed? What Does the Law Say About Passing Grades?

"I am a special education teacher. Our director said our students are not 'allowed' to make any grades below a C. (no Ds or Fs allowed). If a child receives a grade below C, this means the IEP isn't valid. Can you tell me what the law says about grades?"

Your director's advice about giving children passing grades could get him/her and teachers into hot water. If special ed kids always get passing grades, it won't take a lawyer or an auditor to know that someone is cooking the books!

Although there is nothing in the IDEA statute that requires students with disabilities to get passing grades, there is one issue that you need to be aware of . . .

Read No D's or F's Allowed? What Does the Law Say About Passing Grades?
Read more articles about special education law.

4. How Can I Get My Child's IEP Changed?

"My child isn’t making progress under the current IEP. I asked that we convene an IEP meeting to revise the IEP. I was told that I cannot ask that the IEP be changed now because I signed the IEP earlier Is this true?"

What do you think? Can parents ask that an IEP be changed? Read our answer to this parent in How Can I Get My Child's IEP Changed?

Learn more about IEPs.

5. Do Teachers Have to Provide Accommodations & Modifications in the IEP?

"If an accommodation or modification is marked on the child's IEP, is the regular ed teacher required to include the accommodation or modification on every test or activity? What about calculators - can the teacher make an assignment where students are not allowed to use calculators?"

Read Pete's answer to this teacher - and learn his "big gripe" about special education in Must Teachers Provide Accommodations & Modifications in the Child's IEP?.

Accommodations & Modifications

Some children with disabilities need accommodations and modifications to their special education program. Accommodations and Modifications is a 4-page article that defines accommodations and modifications that may be included in the IEP; gives examples for books, curriculum, instruction, assignments, and behavior.

6. Stephen Jeffers v. School Board DVD - Prepublication Offer Ends Sept 28

The Surviving Due Process: When Parents and the School Board Disagree - Stephen Jeffers v. School Board DVD takes you through a special education due process hearing, from initial preparations to testimony by the final witness.

As you watch Surviving Due Process, pay attention to your reactions to the witnesses. What impression did each witness make on you? Who did you trust most? Least? Why?

Three witnesses testified for the School Board - which witness gave the most persuasive testimony? Three witnesses and Stephen's mother testified for the parents - which witness was most persuasive? Least persuasive? Why?

Did you have different ideas or feelings about special education due process hearings by the end of Surviving Due Process? How did your perspective change?

Read the Story
Meet the Cast
Prepublication Offer (ends 9/28)

7. Find Help in the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

The most common question we receive is "I need to find an advocate, psychologist, educational consultant, tutor, attorney. Please help me!"

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 or a helper:

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.

8. The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice

The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice is a multi-disciplinary electronic journal of special education law and practice published by Harbor House Law Press.

The Beacon publishes articles and essays for attorneys, advocates and others who are interested in special education law and practice. Each issue focuses on a theme and includes practical and theoretical articles.

The Fall 2004 issue of The Beacon, published this week, focuses on high-stakes testing and exit exams. The issue includes articles by attorneys and an advocate, and testimony from an expert about including students with disabilities in high-stakes testing.

Previous issues dealt with mediation and negotiation, documents, expert witnesses, No Child Left Behind, and reading. You can read these issues in the Beacon Archives. You may subscribe to The Beacon from the Harbor House Law site. Learn more about The Beacon. More free newsletters about special education legal issues.

9. Put Wrightslaw Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training on Your To-Do List

"The Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar in Michigan was a tremendously rewarding experience and will forever change our practice." - Bryan I. Eder, Esq., Chudnof & Eder, PLC

Wrightslaw legal advocacy programs focus on four areas: special education law, rights and responsibilities; tests and measurements to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies. Participants will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, as part of their registration (Value: $59.90).

Northeast: Hartford, CT (September 21-22)

Mid-Atlantic: Virginia Beach, VA (November 12-13)

South Central: Oklahoma City, OK (December 4) FREE to Oklahoma parents & educational caregivers

Don't procrastinate - register now! (Tomorrow's program in Indianapolis sold out two weeks ago.)

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

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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