When I asked a group of parents what their biggest frustration with the IEP process was, one parent wrote that she felt that her child’s IEP was a way for the school district to not hold her child accountable for his behavior and academic growth. She felt that it was basically an easy out for the school district to not have to work hard to figure out how to help her child succeed since he has a disability. I think the idea of special education accountability is an interesting perspective worth exploring.
The basic tenants of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are in direct contrast to her statement, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean her statement is untrue. Continue reading
To medicate or not to medicate? That is the question! Many parents of children with special needs are faced with making the difficult decision about whether to medicate their child or not. Medicating children with special needs is not an easy topic to discuss with parents or with educators. Many children with special needs have behavioral and/or emotional components to their diagnoses that may be better managed with medication. However, giving a child a medication to decrease aggression, to increase attention, to regulate their mood, to decrease impulsivity, or a myriad of other reasons does not mean that it is Continue reading
A parent recently wrote to me about her frustrations with how the therapists working with her child write their special education assessment reports. She wrote that the reports tend to be “written in a way that makes the child’s deficits seem worse than they are and rarely mentions the child’s abilities”. This is something I have heard Continue reading
I became an educator to have a positive impact on the world through educating, counseling, supporting and enhancing the lives of children with special needs and their families. My career as an educator formally began in 1992. Over the last twenty years, I have worked in three different states and five different school districts across the United States. As time has passed, I have seen a very disturbing trend become more and more prevalent. That trend is Continue reading
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), your child’s school district is required to reevaluate your child at least every three years and conduct reevaluation IEP Meetings. Reevaluation may be done as often as once a year if the parent or a teacher requests updated evaluations or if the school district believes that reevaluating the child is necessary for programming. Reevaluations are also required if the school district believes that the child is no longer a child with a disability, except in the cases when the child is due to graduate from high school with a regular diploma or due to age out of FAPE under State law. If there is going to be a change of eligibility category reevaluations are not required unless the team deems it necessary.
There are two primary purposes for a reevaluation. The first is Continue reading