The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
March 16, 2005

Issue - 302
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. Retention! Teacher Has Questions, Parent Has Doubts

2. Learn the "Rules of the Game"

3. Overwhelmed? You Aren't Alone! Game Plan for New Parents

4. Mistakes Parents Make

5. Parent Advocacy at Fetaweb

6. Wrightslaw Books - Great Values, Easy on Budgets

7. Must Teachers Provide Accommodations in IEP?

8. Mistakes School Districts Make

9. Wrightslaw Programs in IN, MO, AZ, NH

10. Get Help - Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

11. Subscription & Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain knowledge and skills to navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we focus on retention and parent advocacy.

Highlights: Retention - teacher has questions, parent has doubts; learn "rules of the game"; game plan for new parents; mistakes parents make; parent learn advocacy at Fetaweb; Wrightslaw books; teachers providing accommodations in child's IEP; mistakes school districts make; Wrightslaw programs in IN, MO, AZ & NH. Download this newsletter. All newsletters published in 2005. Newsletter Archives.

Are you feeling helpless and frustrated? Combat negative feelings by helping others. How? Print and and distribute the Wrightslaw flyer. Where? At school meetings, doctor's offices, churches, libraries, and day care centers!

Quote of the Week:
"Research tells us that fear and humiliation are not the strongest motivators for struggling students." - The Grade Retention Fallacy, Harvard Civil Rights Project

1. Retention! Teacher Has Questions, Parent Has Doubts

"I am a special ed teacher and am having a disagreement with my mentor about retention. I said research shows that retention is not successful. He disagrees. Can you suggest resources or caselaw that may help?"

"My son's teacher wants him to repeat first grade. When I expressed doubts, she insisted that repeating first grade would give him a 'chance to mature.' Your advice?"

In Retention! Special Ed Teacher Has Questions, research editor Sue Heath offers advice about retention - and hard facts to back up this advice:

"Retention is not an educationally sound practice for any student, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. The National Association of School Psychologists speaks against . . ." Read article

In 10 Strategies to Fight Mandatory Retention & Other Damaging Policies, Sue shows you how to find answers to your questions in the law and describes strategies you can use to fight damaging policies. You can adapt these strategies to other school obstacles and problems. Sue says,

"Retention is a primitive approach to failed teaching. There is NO research that retention benefits children and substantial research that retention damages children." Read article

Read more articles about creative advocacy strategies by Sue Heath in Doing Your Homework. Meet Sue Heath.

Learn more about retention
. Print and distribute the Wrightslaw Retention Flyer.

2. Learning the "Rules of the Game" by Pat Howey

Good special education services are individualized, intensive and expensive. Schools often balk at providing intensive services. What can you do?

You need accurate information about your child's educational needs and legal rights. You also need to use use tactics and strategies to anticipate problems, manage conflict, and avoid crises.

When you learn the rules of the game, you will be a more effective advocate for your child. You need to learn about gatekeepers, special education teams, and one-size-fits-all (OSFA) programs. In Learning the Rules of the Game, special ed advocate Pat Howey will get you on track.

Note: On March 25, 2005, special ed attorney Wayne Steedman and parent advocate Pat Howey will present a full-day Wrightslaw training program in Fort Wayne, Indiana. If you are in the area, try to attend - you won't regret it!

3. Overwhelmed? You Aren't Alone! Get the Wrightslaw Game Plan for New Parents

"My son is 8 years old and in the second grade. He is diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD. He is in a self- contained reading class because he cannot read or spell. Where do we start?"

"My 10 year daughter has been in special education classes for two years but she isn't learning. When we asked for more help, school staff said she was doing fine. What can we do to become better advocates for our child"

Every week, we receive dozens of requests for help from "new parents" - parents who are new to special education or parents who now realize that they must be effective advocates for their children.

Are you confused about special education? Overwhelmed? Not sure what you should learn first? The Wrightslaw Game Plan for New Parents will help you focus on what is important.

If you know other parents who are struggling, please forward this article to them!

4. Mistakes People Make: Parents

Because the stakes are so high, it is hard for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need. Don't shoot yourself in the foot! Read Mistakes People Make - Parents by parent attorney Bob Crabtree.

5. Learn Effective Parent Advocacy at Fetaweb

If you want to learn how to advocate for children with special educational needs, visit Fetaweb, the companion site we built for our book, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy. Fetaweb has articles, checklists, sample letters, charts, and other resources about effective parent advocacy.

If you are a newcomer to special ed, you will learn the basics about advocacy, advocates, and the need to plan in Getting Started.

Learn about obstacles, conflict, the rules of the game, and crisis management in Advocacy 101.

Learn how to organize the child's file, measure educational progress, and write SMART IEPs in the Parent as Expert.

6. Wrightslaw Books - Great Values. . . 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

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

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

7. Must Teachers Provide Accommodations & Modifications in Child's IEP?

Do teachers have to provide the accommodations and modifications listed in the child's IEP?

Pete answers questions about IEPs, accommodations and modifications, Helen Keller -- and shares his "Big Gripe" about special education in Must Teacher Provide Accommodations & Modifications in the IEP?

Read more frequently asked questions and answers.

8. Mistakes People Make: School Districts

Why are parents angry? When school district staff take actions that undermine parents' trust, they create a climate that is costly in dollars, time, peace of mind, and the quality and success of services given to the child.

To learn why parents are angry, read Mistakes School Districts Make by attorney Bob Crabtree.

9. Pete & Pam Hit the Road - Training Programs in IN, MO, AZ, NH

"I have never learned so much useful information at a workshop - thank you for having a heart for kids and the head for the Law." - Susan from Texas

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.

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)

Manchester, NH: May 6-7, 2005 - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training

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

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

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

10. Get Help from Your Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Your State Yellow Pages for Kids has listings for psychologists, educational diagnosticians, therapists, health care providers, academic tutors, special education schools, advocates, attorneys, support and study groups, and others who provide services to parents and children.

If you are looking for help, visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities!

Help Others - Distribute Flyers

Who? Millions of parents are looking for help. Reach out and give them a hand.

What? Let them know about the Yellow Pages for Kids.

Distribute flyers for your state Yellow Pages.

At schools, day care centers, libraries, doctor's and psychologist's offices, community centers, and hospitals.

When? Now!

Tip: Ask your school, public library, day care center, and support group to post your state flyer on bulletin boards and websites.

11. 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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