The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
February 9, 2005

Issue - 297
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Update: Wrightslaw: Special Education Law

Help for Children with Reading Problems

Reading at Wrightslaw

Early Screening & Intervention

Online Advocacy Training

Wrightslaw is Coming to OH, NY, IN, MO, AZ

Annual Conference: Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates (March 10-13)

Interested in Leadership Training?

Subscription & Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the challenging, changing world of special education.

Highlights: Update on Wrightslaw: Special Education Law; help for children with reading problems; reading at Wrightslaw; early screening and intervention; online advocacy training; Wrightslaw coming to OH, NY, IN, MO & AZ; Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates; leadership training. Download this newsletter.

Quote of the Week: "Statistically, more American children suffer long-term life-harm from the process of learning to read then from parental abuse, accidents, and all other childhood diseases and disorders combined."- Children of the Code

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2004 Alexa rankings)

1. Update: Wrightslaw: Special Education Law

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA 97) was reauthorized in December 2004. The reauthorized law is called The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. We refer to it as IDEA 2004. Except for a few provisions, IDEA 2004 will become effective on July 5, 2005.

In our books and training programs, we focus on five key statutes:

Section 1400 - Finding and Purposes
Section 1401 - Definitions
Section 1412 - State Responsibilities (the “Catch All” statute)
Section 1414 - Evaluations and IEPs
Section 1415 - Procedural Safeguards (Rules of Procedure)

The language of many key statutes in unchanged. However there are some changes you should know and understand.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Peter W. D. Wright, Esq. describes the substantive changes to these five statutes by section and subsection. Text added to IDEA 2004 is in italics. Text deleted from IDEA 97 has been struck through. In some cases, we describe changes to the law.

We are using this new publication in our training programs to supplement Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy. If you have either of these books, we encourage you to download and print this publication, and attach it to your book.

Download the Cover Page and Table of Contents (2 pages): https://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/idea.2004.coversheet.pdf

Download IDEA 2004: Overview, Explanation & Comparison (54 pages): https://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/idea.2004.all.pdf

Download the full text of IDEA 2004 (162 pages): https://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/idea.hr.1350.pdf

2. Help for Children with Reading Problems

Most children with disabilities have deficits in reading. These children need intensive research-based instruction that targets their reading problems. But most children do not receive research-based reading instruction and never learn to read proficiently.

If you are concerned about a child who has reading problems, read Sue Heath's answers to these questions:

My Son Can't Read - What Can I Do?

How Can I Get Help for My Child with Reading Problems?

Teaching a Child to Read: Special Ed or Reading First?

Where Can We Find a Tutor Who is Knowledgeable about Research-Based Reading Instruction?

Read more Doing Your Homework columns. Learn about Research-Based Instruction.

3. Reading at Wrightslaw

The Reading Library at Wrightslaw includes information about reading, reading disabilities, research-based reading programs, law and caselaw, certified language therapists, and more.

Parents: Does your child have a reading or learning disability? Read these articles in Learning to Read -

Why Children Succeed or Fail at Reading, Research from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Program in Learning Disabilities

Reading and Learning Disabilities, Position Paper of the Learning Disabilities Association of America

Put Reading First: Helping Your Child Learn to Read - A Parent Guide. Provides an overview of findings of the National Reading Panel; gives ideas for what to expect from a school's reading program based on evidence from the research (preschool through grade 3); suggests ways parents can reinforce reading instruction at home.

Teachers: Check out the articles in Teaching Children to Read -

Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science, What Expert Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do from the American Federation of Teachers.

Put Reading First: Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read. Organized by topic for kindergarten through grade 3 (phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, and text comprehension instruction), lists findings from the research, suggests how findings can be translated to practice.

The "Write Stuff" for Preventing and Treating Writing Disabilities by Virginia Berninger, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Washington at Seattle.

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

4. Early Screening & Early Intervention

According to the Nation's Report Card, 31 percent of 4th graders are proficient readers. Minority students score lower - just 16 percent of African American and 22 percent of Hispanic 12th graders are proficient readers. (U.S. Department of Education, Nation's Report Card, 2002)

What percent of children with disabilities are proficient readers?

Early screening and early intervention are the keys to avoiding and overcoming reading difficulties. Get Ready to Read! (GRTR!) includes an easy-to-administer, research-based screening tool that early childhood educators, child care providers, and parents can use to prepare children to read and write.

The 20-question Screening Tool for 4-year-olds is quick and easy-to-use. (It was developed by reading researchers and shows how the child is developing pre-reading skills.) Read the instructions and click through the screening tool with the child. At the end of the tool, you'll see the child's score and links to activities that can help improve and strengthen pre-reading skills. Instructions in English  Instructions in Spanish

Learn more about early literacy screening. Learn more about Get Ready to Read!

5. Online Advocacy Training

"I've have spent many hours on Wrightslaw and other sites. I have learned a lot but want to learn more. Where can I find advocacy training opportunities?"

In addition to the training programs in this newsletter, you can contact a Parent Training Information Center in your state to learn about advocacy training programs. Directory of Parent Training Information Centers

Online Advocacy Course: Making Your Case

Making Your Case is a three-hour online course that focuses on how to communicate with public officials by telling your personal story, writing letters, providing testimony, and communicating in positive ways.

6. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in New York, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona

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 educational progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.

Columbus/New Albany, OH: February 26, 2005 (Advocacy Training) - NEW

Long Island, NY: March 4-5, 2005 (Mini Boot Camp)

Fort Wayne, IN: March 25, 2005 (Advocacy Training) Attorney Wayne Steedman and advocate Pat Howey present a full-day Wrightslaw training program.

Kansas City, MO: March 29, 2005 (Advocacy Training) - NEW

Glendale, AZ: April 1-2, 2005 (Boot Camp)

All participants will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, (Value: $59.90), and the new publication, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Peter Wright, with their registration.

If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars.

7. Annual Conference of The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates in Atlanta (March 10-13, 2005)

The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), a national organization of parents of children with disabilities and their advocates and lawyers, will hold their annual conference in Atlanta on March 10-13, 2005.

The conference will provide unique opportunities for training and networking with experienced, knowledgeable attorneys and advocates on special education issues. Participants will learn about recent cases, legislative changes, and tactics.

On Thursday and Friday, March 10-11, there will be four intensive hands-on skills trainings:

Track 1: Parents and Advocates Skills Training.
Track 2: Due Process Hearings For Attorneys.
Track 3: Federal Litigation For Attorneys.
Track 4: Orton Gillingham Subscriber Course.

Conference at a Glance.
Conference Info & Registration. Online Registration

Cost: Fees vary, depending on when your form is received, days attended, and membership status.
Early Bird Discounts: Register before February 10, 2005 to assure your spot and save! Tell them Pete & Pam sent you!

8. Interested in Leadership Training?

Partners in Policymaking is a leadership training program for parents of children with disabilities and people with developmental disabilities. Participants attend advocacy skill workshops, resource development, and leadership skills training.

Sessions take place over a period of several months so you must be willing to make a commitment of time, motivation and energy. Expenses for training, lodging, meals and travel are provided through the program.

A few days ago, the NBC Today Show taped Pete and Pam Wright in a Special Education Law & Advocacy Training program at Partners in Policymaking in Richmond, VA.

Overview of program. Contact Your State Coordinator.

Virginia Residents - The Virginia Board is recruiting members for the Partners in Policymaking Class of 2006 now. Learn more about this training opportunity or call 1-800-846-4464.

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-2004 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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