I recently had a parent write to me about her fifth grade son. Her son moved from elementary school to middle school this year and he is really struggling. At his previous school, he was making progress and getting by because the school had many RTI interventions in place. When he moved to the middle school none of the interventions followed him. When this mother inquired about the interventions that were successful in his previous school, she was told that he did not need them and they wanted to see what he could and could not do on his own. When she recently checked on his progress he had two F’s and all of his teachers complained that he Continue reading
I have been shocked and dismayed by some of the e-mails I have received from parents trying to get services for their children with special needs. On two occasions in the last six months, I was sure that the parent writing to me must be from another country, but in both situations, that was not the case. Special education requirements are spelled out in the federal law, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This means that these laws apply to all people living in the United States. Each state has some leeway in how they interpret some of the statues in IDEA, but each state is required to provide special education services for people with disabilities from the age of birth through 21. This means people who are rich, poor and in the middle class, people who live in suburban areas, urban areas and rural areas, people of all ethnicities and races and people who fall into any of the disability categories listed in IDEA.
Unfortunately, it has been my experience that many school districts try to get away with providing the minimum level of services. 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