Latest News2015-12-02T10:52:51-06:00
1903, 2020

TEA Update on Mediation Requests | Actualizaciones de la TEA sobre las Solicitudes de Mediación

By |March 19th, 2020|Categories: Home, TEA|Tags: , , , |

During this time, TEA will not be receiving visitors and, as a result, will not be able to accept hand delivery of requests for special education mediation. In addition, while requests may still be filed by mail, disruptions in the delivery of agency mail may occur due to possible closures in the mail room and distribution center. TEA, instead, recommends that parties consider using other available filing methods.

1903, 2020

TEA Update on Due Process Hearing Requests | Actualizaciones de la TEA sobre las Solicitudes de Audiencia del Debido Proceso

By |March 19th, 2020|Categories: Home, TEA|Tags: , , , |

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has implemented a mandatory telework policy for agency employees beginning Tuesday, March 17. During this time, TEA will not be receiving visitors and, as a result, will not be able to accept hand delivery of special education due process hearing requests. In addition, while requests may still be filed by mail, disruptions in the delivery of agency mail may occur due to possible closures in the mail room and distribution center. TEA, instead, recommends that parties consider using other available filing methods.

1903, 2020

TEA Update on Special Education Complaints or Reconsideration Requests | Actualizaciones de la TEA sobre Quejas de Educación Especial o Solicitudes de Reconsideración

By |March 19th, 2020|Categories: TEA|Tags: , , , , |

Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, Texas Education Agency (TEA) employees are working from home starting on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. TEA will not be receiving visitors. This means that TEA cannot accept hand delivery of special education complaints or reconsideration requests.

2701, 2020

TEA Needs Your Feedback

By |January 27th, 2020|Categories: Home, Special Education, TEA|

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is creating new supports to help families of students with disabilities. TEA needs feedback from families of students with disabilities to help with this project. This is especially true if you are a family new to the special education process.

612, 2019

May a State Educational Agency Adopt a Regulation That Takes into Account, for Purpose of the Resolution Period Timeline, a School District’s Winter Break?

By |December 6th, 2019|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: , |

No. Under section 615(f)(1)(B) of the IDEA and 34 CFR § 300.510(a), within 15 days of receiving notice of the parent's due process complaint, and prior to the initiation of a due process hearing under 34 CFR § 300.511, the LEA must convene a meeting with the parent and the relevant member or members of the IEP Team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the due process complaint.

411, 2019

LRE Requirements under IDEA to Transition Work Placements

By |November 4th, 2019|Categories: Transition|Tags: |

Informal guidance issued from the U.S. Department of Education indicates that the requirement in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, that students be placed in the “least restrictive environment” extends beyond the confines of the classroom.  Below are the questions and answers from the guidance...

1510, 2019

School, Family, and Community Engagement Network

By |October 15th, 2019|Categories: Special Education|

Partners Resource Network and Region 10 Education Service Center are working with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on the School, Family, and Community Engagement Network. The goal of this Network is to help school staff and parents build collaborative relationships and increase positive outcomes for students with disabilities.

2908, 2019

What is an FBA and How Is It Used?

By |August 29th, 2019|Categories: Behavior, Behavior Issues, School Discipline|Tags: , , |

When a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) has challenging behaviors in school that are not improving, parents may request a re-evaluation to more closely examine the behaviors of concern. As part of that re-evaluation, a district may conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) to identify special education and related services and develop or modify a behavioral intervention plan.

2908, 2019

You Are Not Alone

By |August 29th, 2019|Categories: Parent Leadership|Tags: |

If you have recently learned that your child has a developmental delay or a disability (which may or may not be completely defined), this message may be for you. It is written from the personal perspective of a parent who has shared this experience and all that goes with it.

1607, 2019

¿Listos para el regreso a clases? Serie de Videos en Facebook

By |July 16th, 2019|Categories: Back to School, Communication, IEP, Special Education|Tags: , , , , |

¿Estás listo para afrontar el nuevo año escolar? Únase a nosotros para nuestra serie de Facebook En Vivo de cuatro partes, "¿Listos para el regreso a clases?", mientras discutimos la implementación del IEP, los cambios sin una reunión de ARD, a quién contactar cuando surgen problemas y los pasos que puede tomar cuando el IEP no está funcionando para tu hijo!

2406, 2019

Executive Function Skills at Work: How Technology Can Help

By |June 24th, 2019|Categories: Transition, Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , , , |

This step-by-step guide provides an overview of tools and strategies for executive function skills used in the work place such as time management, motivation, following directions, organizing work space and information, remembering appointments and tasks, and focus and attention.

506, 2019

Military Families and Medicaid

By |June 5th, 2019|Categories: Military Resources|Tags: |

You may have heard that Medicaid waiver programs in some states have long waiting lists, and that it’s not worth applying since you may have to move before your child can get benefits. However, waiting lists are not always first-come, first-served. They can be based on type and severity of disability, or on availability of providers and services. Your child might get benefits sooner than you think!

3005, 2019

IDEA and Parent Participation

By |May 30th, 2019|Categories: IDEA, Parent Involvement|Tags: , , |

Given the power that family involvement has to influence how our children achieve in school and in life, it’s not surprising that the nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), strongly supports parents’ right to be involved in the special education their child receives.

1005, 2019

A Parents’ Guide to Understanding ESSA

By |May 10th, 2019|Categories: Education Laws, ESSA|Tags: , |

Understanding the Every Student Succeeds Act: A Parents’ Guide to the Nation’s Landmark Education Law, is a 19-page publication from the U.S. Department of Education with the stated purpose of helping parents understand the flexibility provided to states and school districts in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

1005, 2019

Participation in High School Graduation Ceremonies for Students with Disabilities

By |May 10th, 2019|Categories: Graduation, Special Education, Transition|Tags: , |

Students with disabilities have the option to participate in a graduation ceremony after completing four years of high school (TEC § 28.025 (f)). Your child can only participate in ONE graduation ceremony so students and families need to consider which situation fits their needs.

804, 2019

Texas Autism Supplement Facebook Series

By |April 8th, 2019|Categories: Autism, Facebook Live, Statewide Events|Tags: , , |

We hope you'll join us this week for our 5 part Facebook series on the Texas Autism Supplement.  Texas regulations (TAC 89.1055) require ARD/IEP committees to consider eleven strategies for students with autism. Schools sometimes use the term “Autism Supplement” to refer to a form that they use at ARD/IEP meetings to address these strategies.

2503, 2019

The New IEP: Using Strengths to Set Goals

By |March 25th, 2019|Categories: IEP|Tags: |

It’s that time of year – IEP season! The IEP meeting room will be full of professions – speech pathologists, teachers, occupational therapists, paraprofessionals, principals, case managers, and parent(s).  But, who is missing?  You guessed it…the student!

2802, 2019

School Nurse Services and the IEP

By |February 28th, 2019|Categories: IEP|Tags: , , |

The need for school nurse services is sometimes documented in Individual Health Plans (IHP). However, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) also provides several opportunities for the involvement of school nurses in the education of students who are or may be students who qualify for special education services.

2002, 2019

Special Education Statewide Leadership Networks | Redes de Liderazgo del Estado

By |February 20th, 2019|Categories: Statewide Webinars, TEA|Tags: , , , |

During the Special Education Statewide Leadership Networks webinar, Steven Prater, M.A., Technical Assistance Manager, TEA Division of Special Education, and Daniela Licona, Program Specialist, TEA Division of Special Education, provided an overview of the purpose of the 10 statewide leadership networks as outlined in the Special Education Strategic Plan.

1802, 2019

5 Questions to Start Conversations About Using Terms Like Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia

By |February 18th, 2019|Categories: Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , |

Parents and educators may have different opinions about specific terms like dyslexia or more general terms like learning disabilities. Understanding these terms and agreeing on which to use can help prevent confusion and conflict.

602, 2019

Questions to Ask at Your Next ARD Meeting

By |February 6th, 2019|Categories: IEP, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Just hearing the word ARD (Admission Review and Dismissal meeting) can cause terror in some parents. I can remember sitting in my very first ARD meeting (in IDEA, this meeting is referred to as the IEP meeting). My husband was out of town and I did not know that I could take anyone with me, so I went by myself. I was brought in and given a chair at a [...]

602, 2019

Understanding the Annual IEP Process

By |February 6th, 2019|Categories: IEP, Special Education, Special Education|Tags: , , |

As a parent or youth over 18, your participation in creating an IEP is central to exercising your rights guaranteed by the IDEA. After a student is found eligible for an IEP, and a plan developed and agreed to by the IEP team, it is generally in place for one year. After that, an IEP meeting must be held. (A one year review is the minimum requirement, but meeting more [...]

2401, 2019

Student Progress Monitoring: What It Means for Your Child

By |January 24th, 2019|Categories: IEP, Progress Monitoring, Special Education|Tags: |

Our children’s progress is being monitored constantly at school, through the steady stream of homework assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, and standardized tests. On first hearing the term ‘student progress monitoring,’ our initial reaction may be ‘they’re doing this already!’ or ‘more tests?’. But do you really know how much your child is learning or progressing? Standardized tests compare your child’s performance with other children’s or with state standards. However, these [...]

901, 2019

7 Ways to Include a Student with Special Needs in Physical Education

By |January 9th, 2019|Categories: IEP, Special Education|Tags: |

Does your child participate in physical education at school? Studies have found that special education students are less likely to be enrolled in physical education compared to their general education peers. Here are 7 everyday challenges and solutions in physical education today, all of which can be written into a student’s IEP.

701, 2019

We Need Your Questions for TEA!

By |January 7th, 2019|Categories: Special Education, Statewide Events|

Partners Resource Network is doing a series of collaborative webinars with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) starting on January 29, 2019. During these webinars, TEA will do a Q&A section based on questions submitted prior to each collaborative webinar. After each webinar, the resulting Q&A will be provided in a document form in both English and Spanish. We strongly encourage you to submit your questions, even if they are not [...]

301, 2019

Making Your Case: Useful Strategies to Obtain Special Education Services

By |January 3rd, 2019|Categories: IEP, Special Education, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Planning and preparation are on-going activities that contribute significantly to success in the IEP process. You cannot control what others do, but you can control what you do. Being prepared for problem-solving in the IEP meeting (in Texas, this meeting is called an ARD) will help you to become a full, meaningful participant in the meeting, as well as to be respected by the other ARD team members. [...]

1212, 2018

What Can I Do if I Think the School’s Evaluation is Wrong?

By |December 12th, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , , , , |

Ask for an Independent Evaluation If you think the school’s evaluation does not accurately measure your child’s need for special education, you may get an independent education evaluation (IEE) at your own expense and/or request an independent evaluation at the school’s expense. Download a sample letter for requesting an independent evaluation from the IDEA Manual > Independent evaluations are done by qualifed persons who are not employed by the school. [...]

1112, 2018

What Is an IEP?

By |December 11th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws, IDEA, IEP|Tags: , |

The Individual Education Program (IEP) is a written plan, designed just for one student. It is an agreement between the school and parents on how the student will be educated. Although the IEP is not as detailed as a teacher’s lesson plan, it must contain measurable annual goals in each area of need. The IEP states what special education and related services and supplemental aids and services the school will [...]

2911, 2018

Is FAPE Required Under a 504 Plan?

By |November 29th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws, FAPE, IDEA, Section 504|Tags: , , |

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including federal funds. Section 504 provides that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination [...]

2911, 2018

Is It an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or ADHD?

By |November 29th, 2018|Categories: ADHD, Disability|Tags: , , , |

Does your child struggle to block out background noise, follow conversations or pronounce words correctly? She may have an auditory processing disorder. Henry is fidgety and distractible during classroom activities, according to his second grade teacher. During gym class, he gets cranky and lashes out at classmates who “are yelling at me and telling me what to do.” His mother has noticed similar behaviors at home. When he’s doing homework, [...]

611, 2018

Tips to Communicate Effectively

By |November 6th, 2018|Categories: Communication, Special Education|Tags: |

It is always best to try to resolve any issue at the lowest possible level with the simplest means of communication available. If you think you can resolve an issue by talking with the teacher, do it. If it doesn’t work, go to the next level. It is good practice to ask people how they prefer to be contacted. Some teachers are comfortable with parents contacting them in person (unscheduled) [...]

611, 2018

Self-Advocacy is a Valuable Skill for Your Teenager with LD

By |November 6th, 2018|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , , |

If your teen has a learning disability, self-awareness and self-advocacy are keys to her future success. The ability to self-advocate is important for kids to learn in order to be successful at all stages of their lives. In the past, self-advocacy was a term applied mostly to adults with disabilities, but recently more focus has been placed on teaching this skill to preteens and teenagers. Self-advocacy is understanding your strengths [...]

3110, 2018

3 Tips for Keeping an IEP Current

By |October 31st, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: |

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a formal commitment from the school that outlines the services and support it will provide to an eligible child in order for the child to benefit from the educational program. An IEP must be developed before a student can begin receiving special education services. It also must be reviewed and updated each year so that the child receives the most appropriate services he needs [...]

3110, 2018

5 Elements of Successful Advocacy

By |October 31st, 2018|Categories: Parent Leadership|Tags: , , |

1. ATTITUDE AND EMOTIONS Don’t yell. Drop your voice when you feel anger. If the other party seems to be acting in good faith, respond in-kind. Focus on how to get your partner(s) to do what you think they need to do. Never threaten anything you are not fully prepared to carry out successfully. Imagine yourself as the advocate for someone else’s child. […]

3010, 2018

Who Has the Information You Need?

By |October 30th, 2018|Categories: Communication, Special Education|Tags: |

The first step in getting services for your child is being prepared to explain what you want for your child and having information that supports your request. After you decide what your child needs, you must be able to clearly communicate to the appropriate person what you are requesting. Communicating with the appropriate person is the quickest, simplest way to resolve or address issues. […]

2910, 2018

My Child’s IEP Doesn’t Seem to Be Working. Now What?

By |October 29th, 2018|Categories: IEP, Individualized Education Program, Progress Monitoring, Special Education, Special Education|Tags: , |

Are you concerned your child’s IEP isn’t working? Are you worried that even though the teacher is following the plan, your child still doesn’t seem to be making the progress you expect? Here are steps from Understood.org that you can take if you think your child’s IEP isn’t working. […]

2910, 2018

Decision-Making Supports and Protections for a Young Adult

By |October 29th, 2018|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , , , |

Even young adults on a typical developmental path don’t immediately begin making every decision, and assuming every responsibility, the day after they turn 18. There are a variety of supports for decision-making, both formal and informal, that parents of all young adults can consider, regardless of the young person’s disability or level of independence. Decision making supports can apply to medical, financial, educational and personal decisions. There are four main [...]

2910, 2018

Writing IEP Goals that Include a Student’s Strengths and Interests

By |October 29th, 2018|Categories: IEP, Individualized Education Program, Progress Monitoring, Special Education|Tags: , , , |

It is important to document a strength and interest-based learning approach in the student’s IEP. This will assist the whole team in using this approach and will lead to more continuity and success throughout the student’s academic career.

2210, 2018

Federal officials tell Texas to go beyond plan for special education overhaul – Texas Tribune

By |October 22nd, 2018|Categories: TEA, US Department of Education|Tags: , , , , |

Federal officials said Texas should be doing even more to improve special education — and they’re planning a visit early next year to check. In a letter Friday, officials from the U.S. Department of Education dissected Texas’ proposed plan for overhauling special education for kids with disabilities — in many cases urging state officials to do even more than they had originally planned. Earlier this year, a thorough investigation found [...]

1910, 2018

Advocating for Your Child Using Endrew F.

By |October 19th, 2018|Categories: Endrew F., FAPE, IEP, Special Education|Tags: , , |

The Supreme Court’s 2017 Endrew F. decision on the meaning of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) can help advocate for your child with disabilities.  The case involved a boy with autism and ADHD, who made almost no progress on his IEP goals because his behavioral and academic needs weren’t addressed. The landmark decision is an opportunity to improve the services IEPs offer students. And it’s up to you as a [...]

1710, 2018

What to Do While You are Waiting for the Results of Your Child’s Evaluation

By |October 17th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: , |

Don’t wait until your child’s eligibility for special education has been determined before taking steps to learn about the special education process, your child’s disability and needs, and how to help your child learn!  Here are five things you can do while you wait! […]

910, 2018

Good Homework Practices

By |October 9th, 2018|Categories: Back to School|Tags: , |

The school year is under way and so are the homework assignments. All kids need homework support from their parents and teachers. Many children with disabilities, however, require additional assistance. Here is some advice from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to ensure that students and their parents are appropriately challenged and not too overwhelmed. […]

910, 2018

Texas Procedures for Use of Restraint and Time-Out

By |October 9th, 2018|Categories: Behavior, School Discipline, TEA|Tags: , , , |

The Texas legislature in the early 2000’s passed a law regarding the use of restraint and time-out in school districts. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) developed rules on procedures for when restraint can be used; training staff, and others; documentation, and notification on the use of restraint; situations that are not considered the use of restraint. Rules were also developed regarding procedures for when time-out can be used; training staff, [...]

910, 2018

Notifying the School About Bullying – Template Letter

By |October 9th, 2018|Categories: Bullying|Tags: , |

Parents should contact school staff each time their child informs them that he or she has been bullied. PACER Center has created template letters that parents may use as a guide for writing a letter to their child’s school. These letters contain standard language and “fill in the blank” spaces so the letter can be customized for your child’s situation. […]

910, 2018

14 Questions to Ask at Your Parent-Teacher Conference

By |October 9th, 2018|Categories: Communication|Tags: |

Knowing that you have to go to your child’s school for a parent-teacher conference may make you feel nervous, intimidated or frustrated. You can print the following list of questions from Understood.org. Bring it with you, and you’ll be likely to leave your meeting with the information you need to further your child’s school experience. […]

910, 2018

TEA is Requesting Feedback Regarding Updates to the Dyslexia Handbook

By |October 9th, 2018|Categories: Learning Disability, TEA|Tags: , |

Educators, parents, and community members are invited to review draft updates to The Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders (Dyslexia Handbook) and to provide specific feedback or recommendations to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The draft updated handbook is available on the Dyslexia page of the TEA website, https://tea.texas.gov/academics/dyslexia/. Earlier this year, the State Board of Education (SBOE) tasked a committee with making recommendations for updates to The Dyslexia [...]

2509, 2018

Addressing Bullying with a Child’s IEP

By |September 25th, 2018|Categories: Bullying|Tags: |

Although they may be targets, children who are bullied do not have to remain victims. With the appropriate tools and support systems in place, a child can be a part of changing the situation. One critical tool available to parents is the Individualized Education Program or IEP. A child’s team – parents, educators, therapists and/or psychologists and school officials – should work together to make the IEP reflect the child’s [...]

2509, 2018

Bullying and Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

By |September 25th, 2018|Categories: Bullying|Tags: |

Children with physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities are more likely to be bullied than their peers. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments— may increase their risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, may also be at higher risk of being bullied. For kids with special [...]

2509, 2018

What Are Public Schools Required to Do When Students with Disabilities Are Bullied?

By |September 25th, 2018|Categories: Bullying|Tags: |

What does a school have to do when a child with a disability is being bullied? School staff, parents, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing and responding to all forms of bullying. If a student with a disability is being bullied, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and [...]

2509, 2018

What Is Cyberbullying?

By |September 25th, 2018|Categories: Bullying|Tags: , |

Before the Internet, bullying mostly happened in person. Kids were bullied at the bus stop, at recess or in the lunch line. But once a child got home, the bullying stopped. Now with technology, online bullying, or cyberbullying, can happen anywhere at any time. It’s scary to think that your child can be threatened, picked on and intimidated nonstop. But with social media, bullies can hurt other kids during school [...]

1109, 2018

How to Talk With Your Child’s Teacher About Too Much Homework

By |September 11th, 2018|Categories: Communication|Tags: , |

Does your child struggle with too much homework? Many schools follow the National Education Association (NEA) rule of 10 minutes of homework per day, per grade level. But it can take kids with learning and attention issues much longer than that to get through their daily assignments. So how do you talk to teachers about your child’s homework load? Here are some suggestions. […]

2908, 2018

New TEA Grants: Don’t Take Them for Granted

By |August 29th, 2018|Categories: Special Education, TEA|Tags: , |

https://www.facebook.com/PRNTexas/videos/1851301521627569/ Multiple Texas Education Agency (TEA) grant opportunities, listed in the Special Education Strategic Plan, have been posted on the TEA website at: TAA Posted July 9, 2018. For more information on the new 12 TEA grants, please go to https://tea.texas.gov/TexasSPED/

2908, 2018

Accommodations & Modifications

By |August 29th, 2018|Categories: Back to School, Related Services, Special Education, Supplementary aids and services|Tags: , |

Every child with a disability has a right to attend general education classes and to have accommodations and modifications so they can be successful in those classes. These can include changes in the method of instruction, the curriculum, and the environment. Accommodations and modifications are important tools for a child to successfully accomplish Individualized Education Programs (IEP) goals and objectives and participate actively with other students in classroom and school [...]

2708, 2018

Modifications, Accommodations, and Supports for Students

By |August 27th, 2018|Categories: Related Services, Special Education, Supplementary aids and services|Tags: , , |

For many students with disabilities—and for many without—the key to success in the classroom lies in having appropriate adaptations, accommodations, and modifications made to the instruction and other classroom activities. Some adaptations are as simple as moving a distractible student to the front of the class or away from the pencil sharpener or the window. Other modifications may involve changing the way that material is presented or the way that [...]

2208, 2018

Outside the Box College Accommodations for Students with Mental Health Disabilities

By |August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Back to School, Section 504, Youth Leadership|Tags: , , |

Students who have a mental health condition may need additional support to help them do the best they can in school and work. The “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) entitles students with disabilities, like mental health conditions, to get academic help with academic accommodations and other legal rights. Most schools are used to providing typical accommodations such as: note taker, extra time for assignments, and assistive technology for students of [...]

2208, 2018

5 Ways to Use Slow Processing Speed Accommodations at Home

By |August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Back to School, Parent Leadership, Special Education|Tags: , , , |

Not all kids work at the same pace. As an educator, I’ve seen many kids with slow processing speed who are smart, but who struggle to keep up with the pace in the classroom. When these kids are at school, they are (or should be) given accommodations like extra time or pre-made notes to help them navigate their school day successfully. With all the pressures of parenting, however, it’s a [...]

1608, 2018

Amending an IEP without a Meeting

By |August 16th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, IEP|Tags: , , |

During the school year, a parent or another member of your child's IEP team might decide that a student’s IEP needs a slight adjustment that may not warrant a full team meeting. When changes are small or limited to a particular service, amending without waiting for a meeting can be a useful way to quickly enact the change. For example, a new semester or school year might mean that [...]

1608, 2018

Strategies to Obtain Special Education Services

By |August 16th, 2018|Categories: Back to School, IDEA, IEP, Special Education|Tags: , |

Planning and preparation are on-going activities that contribute significantly to success in the ARD process. You cannot control what others do, but you can control what you do. Being prepared for problem-solving in the ARD meeting will help you to become a full-meaningful participant in the meeting, as well as to be respected by the other ARD team members.

1608, 2018

2018 State Determination Letters from OSERS

By |August 16th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: |

From the 2018 State Determination Letters from OSERS document revised July 24, 2018: The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released State determinations on implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for Part B and Part C for fiscal year 2016. The 2004 Amendments to the IDEA require each State to develop a State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR) that evaluates [...]

1608, 2018

Summer’s Over – and Our ESY Services Never Happened!

By |August 16th, 2018|Categories: Back to School, IEP, Special Education|Tags: , |

Wrightslaw.org addressed this issue in a blog post: My child’s IEP said she was to receive ESY services – OT, PT, and Speech Therapy. ST was provided throughout the summer. There was no OT or PT. The district stated it was not able to find therapists. They said I could find a therapist, and I did. Then, the district failed to provide information in a timely manner to the therapy [...]

1608, 2018

Response to Intervention: What Parents Need to Know

By |August 16th, 2018|Categories: Back to School, Response to Intervention|Tags: , |

Disability Rights Texas has an infographic that explains RTI (Response to Intervention) and what parents need to know. According to Disability Rights Texas, “School districts in Texas have used RTI to delay getting some students special education evaluations but new laws passed in Texas are forcing schools to stop using this tactic. This infographic helps explain the process and your rights.” […]

608, 2018

Confidentiality and Access to Student Records

By |August 6th, 2018|Categories: FERPA, IDEA, Parent Leadership|Tags: , |

IDEA and other federal laws protect the confidentiality of your child’s education records. These safeguards address the following three aspects: the use of personally identifiable information; who may have access to your child’s records; and the rights of parents to inspect their child’s education records and request that these be amended to correct information that is misleading or inaccurate, or that violates the child’s privacy or other rights. [...]

608, 2018

What is Parental Consent?

By |August 6th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Parent Leadership, Special Education|Tags: , |

One of parents’ most important rights is the right to give (or not give) their consent for certain actions of the school system with respect to their child with a disability. When the term consent is used in IDEA, or the term parental consent, it has the same meaning as the term informed written consent. It means that the parent has been fully informed regarding the action of the school [...]

208, 2018

7 Communication Tips for Building Strong Partnerships

By |August 2nd, 2018|Categories: Back to School, Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: , , , |

The following is a collection of effective communication skills that can be used to encourage solution oriented conversations. 1. Know who and how to contact the right person to address your concerns. Identify your concerns and the outcomes you would like to see.  “We really need to focus on…”  Focus positively on the issue at hand and strive not to allow negativity to take control. “I’m sure we’ll find a [...]

208, 2018

10 Back-to-School Assignments for Parents of Special Needs Kids

By |August 2nd, 2018|Categories: Back to School, Parent Leadership, Special Education|Tags: , |

It’s time to get the kids ready for back to school with new clothes, a fresh supply of notebooks and maybe a cool new backpack.  But what about you?  Are you prepared for your special needs child to start school? Even if your child already has an IEP (Individualized Education Program), remember, it’s just a “plan.” For your child to get the full advantage (and hopefully significant progress) from the [...]

2407, 2018

8 Things a Teacher Should Know about Your Child

By |July 24th, 2018|Categories: Back to School, Parent Leadership|Tags: , |

For many of us the summer brings the opportunity to sleep in late, go to bed later, and generally have less structure around the home in regards to routines and meal times. With the start of school, there is an abrupt shift to following more rigid routines. It is often a difficult transition for parents, as well as children. Teachers are going through these same transitions: getting to know the [...]

2307, 2018

Transportation and Children with Disabilities

By |July 23rd, 2018|Categories: Related Services, Special Education|Tags: , , |

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes transportation within its definition of “related services.” This means that students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) have the right to receive special transportation services if it is needed. Transportation and assistance may be provided to a child whose disability requires the child to: go to and from school; travel between schools; or move around inside of school buildings or around the school grounds. Some students [...]

2307, 2018

Individual Educational Evaluations (IEEs) and Dismissing a Student from Special Education

By |July 23rd, 2018|Categories: OSEP, Special Education|Tags: , , |

The federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) recently posted a response to a letter on the topic of Individual Educational Evaluations (IEEs) and dismissing a student from special education. The question was whether the child must continue to receive services while an IEE was being completed, if the school agreed to provide an IEE. The response is that the school could elect to continue services, but was not required to. [...]

1807, 2018

Special Education Corrective Action Response Requirements and Timelines

By |July 18th, 2018|Categories: Special Education, TEA|Tags: , |

Yesterday, 7/17/2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) posted a letter to schools on actions in the special education corrective action plan that schools must begin preparing to do. Schools must: Collect and retain requests for evaluation data that includes the reason for the request and whether additional services are needed including the timeline for implementation. Annually distribute information to every enrolled student’s family regarding the following: child find and FAPE [...]

1207, 2018

Learning the Rules of the Game

By |July 12th, 2018|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: , |

Parent: “We should be able to trust the system to do what’s right for our kids.” In theory, this sounds good. But when you are dealing with a child with disabilities, there will always be disagreements. You simply will not get agreement from the number of participants who are required to be in these team meetings. Schools are in the decision-making process for the short-term. As a parent, you are [...]

1207, 2018

How to Disagree with the IEP Team Without Starting World War III

By |July 12th, 2018|Categories: Communication, IEP, Parent Leadership|Tags: , , , |

Many parents have questions about what to do when they are presented with an IEP that is not appropriate for their child. You should advise the IEP team that you don’t think the IEP is appropriate, that it does not provide your child with enough help or the right kind of help. You should use facts to support your position (i.e., facts from an evaluation of your child from a [...]

1207, 2018

The Art of IEP Diplomacy

By |July 12th, 2018|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: , |

During IEP season the stakes are high. Parents and teachers alike go into those meetings full of emotions and ideas. Sometimes I am surprised that what is unsaid seems just as loud as what is actually said. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of going into an IEP angry. I did not get the best results for my son at that meeting. So I’ve been trying different tactics over [...]

1207, 2018

Learning to Negotiate is Part of the Advocacy Process

By |July 12th, 2018|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: , |

Negotiating solutions to disputes and/or claims saves time and money. Most of our experience is in the civil area, but the techniques and skills in special education cases are the same. By using these techniques, we rarely are forced to take a special ed case all the way to a hearing. Here are a few techniques that have worked for us. Perhaps they will be helpful for you. [...]

1207, 2018

10 Related Services Parents May Not Know About

By |July 12th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, IEP, Related Services|Tags: , , |

In general, the term Related Service means: “services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as described in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.”

1107, 2018

7 Communication Skill Development Tips

By |July 11th, 2018|Categories: Communication, Disability|Tags: , |

Communication skills. How can parents encourage them in kids with special needs who are non-verbal? A post at Austisable (www.autisable.com) offers answers for parents asking that question. Communication Ideas for Parents The folks at Autisable asked speech experts to share their best tips for parents, and they came up with these seven suggestions. Although they are made with an eye towards kids with autism, they have value for kids with [...]

1107, 2018

The Path to Independence: Mobile Apps to Support Transition-Age Youth

By |July 11th, 2018|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , |

Many free and low-cost mobile apps are available to support transition-age youth with disabilities as they embark on their journey towards post-secondary education, job training, employment, and independent living. This PACER Center guide lists mobile apps that have been reviewed by parents and professionals and found to be useful and well-designed. […]

1107, 2018

IEEs: Parents Have the Right to Select an Evaluator of Their Choice

By |July 11th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program|Tags: , |

The school evaluated my child and I don’t agree with the results. What can I do? Will I have to pay for another evaluation? Who will do the evaluation? If you disagree with the school district’s evaluation and/or recommendations, you have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at the school district’s expense. […]

1107, 2018

Is the School Required to Provide Social Skills Training?

By |July 11th, 2018|Categories: Behavior, Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Social skill is not a “service” but a functional skill necessary for daily living activities. Learn what the IDEA, the federal regulations, and the Commentary say about Present Levels of Functional Performance and IEP goals for functional skills. […]

1107, 2018

Comments that Parents Hear: “We only provide social skills training for students with Autism.”

By |July 11th, 2018|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear, Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

In this edition of the Comments that Parents Hear blog posts, Chuck Noe, Education Specialist, addresses comments parents often face when trying to obtain social skills training for their child: “Your child does not have social skills deficits.” “We do not provide social skills training.” “We only provide social skills training for students with Autism.” […]

1007, 2018

The “E” in IEP is More Than Grades

By |July 10th, 2018|Categories: IEP, Special Education|Tags: |

Schools refuse to accept the fact that "education" as used in an I'E'P is not just grades. This issue comes up in the context of arguments over whether FAPE has been provided, and whether a child should be eligible for an IEP. The argument frequently turns on whether a child who earns good or even exceptional grades can be eligible, and whether good grades insulate a district from charges that [...]

207, 2018

Rights Under IDEA

By |July 2nd, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: , |

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 04), the 2004 reauthorization of the IDEA, guarantee all students with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 the right to a free, appropriate public education designed to meet each student’s individual needs. There are six principles under IDEA that guarantee the rights of children with disabilities and their families. […]

207, 2018

Using Assistive Technology to Support Socialization

By |July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Behavior, Communication, Special Education|Tags: , |

Assistive technology (AT) can support socialization in many ways. It can help children interact independently with their environment and peers by providing ways to express themselves. It can also help children build friendships, explore their environment and reduce frustration that may bring about or be associated with challenging behaviors. These types of AT devices are most often labeled as visual supports or social supports. […]

2806, 2018

Services for Students with Dyslexia Facebook Live with Steven Aleman, Disability Rights Texas

By |June 28th, 2018|Categories: Learning Disability, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Watch our special Facebook Live as Steven Aleman of Disability Rights Texas discusses TEA’s recently released Letter to the Administrator on the Provision of Services for Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders. https://www.facebook.com/PRNTexas/videos/10155847493804163/ Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PRNTexas

2706, 2018

Related Services | Key Definitions in IDEA

By |June 27th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws, IDEA, Individualized Education Program, Related Services, Special Education|Tags: , , |

The related services that a student receives are based upon his or her unique needs related to disability. So it’s important to know what kinds of related services are available and which would appropriately support the student’s learning.

1206, 2018

10 Common Mistakes Parents Make Regarding Their Procedural Safeguard Rights

By |June 12th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: , |

Schools are to give parents the Texas Education Agency (TEA) document Notice of Procedural Safeguards Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities at least once a year. It is also to be given when an initial evaluation for special education services is begun or when a parent requests an evaluation, when the first state complaint or due process hearing complaint is made in a school year, and whenever a parent [...]

1206, 2018

How to Communicate with Schools in Writing

By |June 12th, 2018|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: , , |

The bank,  elected official, a credit card company, a boss, a fellow employee, or a local handyman have all asked customers and consumers to “put that in writing, please.” For parents of children with disabilities, there are even more reasons to “put that in writing, please.” They might be providing documentation about their child’s disability to strangers. A request for a meeting with a teacher, a change in their child’s [...]

1206, 2018

Comments that Parents Hear: “Modifications and Accommodations Are the Same Thing.”

By |June 12th, 2018|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear, Special Education|Tags: |

Recall the Law There is no definition or mention of these terms in IDEA regulations.  It is generally accepted that “Accommodations are changes in how a student accesses information and demonstrates learning.  Accommodations do not substantially change the instructional level, content, or performance criteria.  The changes are made in order to provide a student with equal access to learning and equal opportunity to show what he or she knows and [...]

706, 2018

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

By |June 7th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws, FERPA|Tags: , |

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches [...]

706, 2018

What Does Parent Participation Mean in the Procedural Safeguards?

By |June 7th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: , |

Ask five people and you might easily get five different answers, including at least one response of, “Huh?” The term procedural safeguards sounds rather legalistic and perhaps even a little scary. When it comes to education, what or who needs to be safeguarded? Children? Parents? Teachers? Schools? For our purposes, Procedural Safeguards are a set of requirements to ensure that children with disabilities are provided with a free appropriate public [...]

606, 2018

What is Educational Need?

By |June 6th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: |

Under the IDEA children with disabilities are entitled to a "free appropriate public education (FAPE) designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living. FAPE requires that a school district provide special education and related services designed to meet the needs of a particular student and are in conformity with the IEP. There is a two part process in determining if a student [...]

506, 2018

Teaching Social Skills to Kids Who Don’t Yet Have Them

By |June 5th, 2018|Categories: Behavior|Tags: |

Do any of these comments sound familiar? “I tell him to stop doing that, but he keeps on doing it. This kid must have been raised by wolves!” “That kid knows how she is supposed to behave. She CHOOSES to misbehave.” “I ask him what he is supposed to be doing and he can tell me. He knows better, so why isn’t he doing it?” Yep. Some kids know “intellectually” [...]

506, 2018

Prior Written Notice of Refusal

By |June 5th, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: |

Prior written notice of refusal, often referred to as PWN, is frequently mentioned on parent forums and advocacy sites. This post will address what prior written notice of refusal (PWNR) is and how it can assist parents in dealing with public schools to promote the provision of appropriate and required services for their child. Prior Written Notice (PWN) is a procedural safeguard provided in the federal law for parents and [...]

506, 2018

Comments that Parents Hear: “Your Child will Not Receive Recess or Lunch with Peers”

By |June 5th, 2018|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear, LRE|Tags: |

Recall the law: Districts “must take steps, including the provision of supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the child’s IEP Team, to provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in the manner necessary to afford children with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in those services and activities. (b) Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest [...]

106, 2018

Be Like the Cool Kids

By |June 1st, 2018|Categories: Youth Leadership|Tags: |

Image matters, or at least we think so in high school. From the stars of the most recent Netflix series to the kids that sit at the “cool kid table” in the cafeteria, image matters.  Although many of us as adults recognize that being cool is not everything, to a teenager it is. But what happens when it’s impossible to find cool kids like you?  Is it possible to be [...]

3105, 2018

Child with a Disability | Key Definitions in IDEA

By |May 31st, 2018|Categories: Child with a Disability, Disability, IDEA, Special Education|Tags: , , |

The definition of “child with a disability” explains how and why children are found to be eligible – or ineligible – for special education and related services under IDEA.  A “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA, is entitled to a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet the child’s unique needs.

3005, 2018

Special Education | Key Definitions in IDEA

By |May 30th, 2018|Categories: Special Education, Special Education|Tags: |

Special education is at the core of how schools address the needs of students with disabilities and support them in achieving the annual goals stated in their IEPs as aligned with the state’s academic content standards. Accordingly, how this term is defined in law and implemented in the real world is extremely important to students, families, and schools.

2905, 2018

LRE | Key Definitions in IDEA

By |May 29th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Individualized Education Program, LRE, Special Education|Tags: , |

LRE is an acronym that stands for least restrictive environment.  IDEA does not define “least restrictive environment” in its definitions section. However, it requires that each student receive special education and related services in the “least restrictive environment” and describes what this means.

2905, 2018

Comments that Parents Hear: “We cannot/will not provide services to your child during after school activities or nonacademic services.”

By |May 29th, 2018|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear, FAPE, Special Education|Tags: , |

Recall the Law: Schools (a) “must take steps, including, the provision of supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the child’s IEP Team, to provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in the manner necessary to afford children with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in those services and activities.” “(b) Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest [...]

2905, 2018

FAPE | Key Definitions in IDEA

By |May 29th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws, FAPE, IDEA|Tags: , |

FAPE is an acronym that stands for free appropriate public education.  A cornerstone of IDEA, our nation’s special education law, is that each eligible child with a disability is entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet the child’s unique needs and that prepares the child for further education, employment, and independent living. Defined in IDEA at | 34 CFR [...]

2905, 2018

Endrew F. Question and Answer Document

By |May 29th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws|Tags: |

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Re-1, 137 S.Ct. 988. In this decision, the court held that “to meet its substantive obligation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a school must offer [a child] an IEP [individualized education program] reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” [...]

2905, 2018

Making My Way through College

By |May 29th, 2018|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , |

Making My Way through College is a guide for any student pursuing a degree or other type of credential (e.g., certification, license) at a two-year or four-year community college, college, or university. You will find information on a variety of topics relevant to preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work. Much of the information provided is relevant to all students, but the [...]

1805, 2018

5 Top Tips About the 2018 STAAR Test

By |May 18th, 2018|Categories: Special Education, STAAR|Tags: , |

With STAAR testing season in full swing, teachers are prepping, kids are stressing, and parents are…questioning? The lack of clarity around the STAAR test and the Texas state standards can be disheartening and stressful for a passionate parent trying to ensure their child succeeds. If you can relate, don’t worry – you don’t have to be a STAAR test expert to be a great mom or dad. We are the [...]

1605, 2018

Services for Secondary Age Students with Autism or Social Skill Deficits

By |May 16th, 2018|Categories: Autism|

Services for students with disabilities for students in junior high/middle and high schools present issues and problems to parents, teachers, and administrators. At these campuses most students have many teachers, and change classes after each period. Teachers feel stretched dealing with a 100+ students a day. They have difficulty keeping up with IEPs, and required accommodations, in addition to the needs of all students, and the demands on them as [...]

1605, 2018

Options for Summer Services for Students with Disabilities

By |May 16th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

A variety of situations arise where parents, and others feel that summer services for a student would be beneficial so that they do not regress in certain skills, continue their multisensory reading program, or gain more access to the general curriculum, and perhaps perform closer to their grade level. IDEA rules require schools to provide extended school year (ESY) services when an ARD/IEP team determine they are needed for the [...]

1605, 2018

TEA Special Education Improvement Plan Takeaways!

By |May 16th, 2018|Categories: Special Education, TEA|

In case you missed our last webinar on TEA Special Education Improvement Plan or, like us, would like to have one source for the major TAKEAWAYS then consider reading/printing Chuck’s TEA-IP major points. These are: 1. A high goal is being set. “For the majority of students served by special education, performing on level academically with their non-disabled peers is an attainable and reasonable goal.” Pg. 7. Focus should go [...]

1605, 2018

Evaluation and IEP Timelines

By |May 16th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

The school must take steps to ensure that parents are present at each ARD/IEP meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate, including notifying them of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend and scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place. The school must allow parents who cannot attend to participate in the meeting through other methods such as telephone calls, or video conferencing.

1505, 2018

FAQs About Evaluations for Learning and Attention Issues

By |May 15th, 2018|Categories: ADHD, Disability, IDEA, Individualized Education Program, Learning Disability, Special Education|

Deciding to have your child evaluated for learning and attention issues is a big step. You may have questions about the process. Here are some frequently asked questions about evaluations from Understood.org: What are the benefits of getting my child evaluated? The evaluation process can provide more information about the specific issues that are causing your child’s difficulty with learning. It’s also a way to see if your child is [...]

1005, 2018

5 Options for Resolving a 504 Plan Dispute

By |May 10th, 2018|Categories: Section 504, Special Education|Tags: , |

Sometimes, a school district and parents disagree on the details or delivery of a child’s 504 plan. Some disagreements become serious disputes. A good example is when a school won’t provide assistive technology for a child. The term “504 plan” is from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, a federal law protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities. Section 504 provides several ways to resolve conflicts. However, the federal [...]

1005, 2018

What Are Related Services and How Are They Provided?

By |May 10th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

Related services are the supportive services or activities necessary for some students with disabilities to maximize their educational outcomes. Any related service or support that helps a student to benefit from or achieve the goals set out in his or her individualized education program (IEP) should be provided by the appropriate related services personnel. Special education and related services are intended to be flexible to meet the needs of an [...]

905, 2018

Autism Services in Texas: 2018 Update from the TCDD

By |May 9th, 2018|Categories: Autism, Education Laws|

As the understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) evolves, so do the programs and services that are designed to support people with ASD and their families. The Texas Legislature and the federal government have taken steps to expand and improve services for people with ASD, but many people still don’t have access to adequate supports and services. However, statewide planning for services and supports is challenging because understanding of ASD [...]

805, 2018

Can a Student Have Both an IEP and a 504 Plan?

By |May 8th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws, IDEA, Individualized Education Program, Section 504, Special Education|Tags: , |

It’s possible to have both, but it would be very unusual for your child to need both. Here’s why: Everything that’s in a 504 plan can be included in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP can also provide services and supports that would be not available in a 504 plan. So if your child qualifies for an IEP, typically there is no reason to also have a 504 plan. [...]

105, 2018

Special Education Testing

By |May 1st, 2018|Categories: Disability, Individualized Education Program, Special Education|

Aspects of the Special Education Assessment Psychological Assessment (conducted by a school psychologist) – This evaluation may include cognitive assessments, look at emotional and behavioral concerns, and measures of adaptive functioning. Cognitive assessments measure a student’s intellectual abilities. It gives general information relative to other students the same age. The test shows how well he problem solves, how he best interprets information (visual, auditory, etc.), and measures other areas such [...]

105, 2018

Admission to Community and Junior Colleges

By |May 1st, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: |

Traditionally students with disabilities could enroll in any educational institution (community college, junior college, or four year college/university), trade school or technical institute that would accept them. Recently the Texas legislature passed legislation (Texas Success Initiative – TSI) designed to help postsecondary institutions determine if a student is ready for college level coursework. Students who graduate in Texas must take the TSI assessment and score at a certain level to [...]

105, 2018

13 Ways To Enhance Your Child’s Social Skills And Make Friends

By |May 1st, 2018|Categories: Behavior|

Making friends can be a challenge for some children and adults with special needs. They may lack confidence or have difficulty developing the necessary social skills. But there are ways you can help teach your child to overcome their fears and make friends. Friendships and social interaction are extremely important for self-esteem. But it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Making friends takes practice, and you can help your child by [...]

2504, 2018

Accommodations, Modifications, and Alternate Assessments: How They Affect Instruction and Assessment

By |April 25th, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

When school staff talk about accommodations and modifications for your child with learning and/or attention problems, are you confused? What do these terms mean in a classroom? Has an alternate assessment been recommended for your child on a state- or district-wide test? What do you need to know when it comes to standardized tests used to make important decisions about your child? […]

2004, 2018

15 Tips that Can Help Overcome Conflict in Special Education

By |April 20th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|

Parents advocate for the welfare of their child. Educators advocate for the welfare of all the children in their school. To be effective, both groups must contribute to an atmosphere of collaboration so all parties can achieve a sense of comfort that their responsibility to the child has been satisfied. But why, then, is there so much conflict in the field of special education? The answer is relatively simple. Conflict [...]

2004, 2018

3 Ways Technology Can Help Students with Autism

By |April 20th, 2018|Categories: Autism|

Digital tools have the power to help students with learning disabilities communicate and gain confidence. It is a statistic that most Americans would probably be stunned to find is so prevalent: One of out every 68 kids in the United States is on the autism spectrum, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While it’s true that most children these days are considered “digital natives,” children [...]

2803, 2018

Independent Educational Evaluations: It’s a Testy Business!

By |March 28th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

What is an IEE? The language regarding IEEs is found in the regulations implementing IDEA. Specifically, the right to an IEE is defined as: “A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at the public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency. However, the public agency may initiate a hearing under Reg, 300.506 of this subpart to show that its evaluation is [...]

2702, 2018

Responsibilities and Timelines Regarding Parent Requests for Special Education Evaluations under the IDEA, TEC, and TAC

By |February 27th, 2018|Categories: Special Education, TEA|Tags: , , |

A new “To The Administrator Addressed Correspondence” letter has been posted on the TEA website: February 26, 2018 TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED: SUBJECT: Responsibilities and Timelines Regarding Parent Requests for Special Education Evaluations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Texas Education Code (TEC), and the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). In late 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) initiated visits to Texas [...]

2302, 2018

Update on Texas Corrective Action Plan

By |February 23rd, 2018|Categories: Special Education, TEA|Tags: |

TEA has posted some new documents at https://tea.texas.gov/TexasSPED/ that provide additional information. We have not reviewed it all yet, but would direct your attention first to the presentation to the state special education directors from their recent meeting in Austin  - TCASE Special Education Update presented on 2/20/2018. It gives more information on their plans involving ESCs.  

1902, 2018

TEA extends survey deadline for special education corrective action draft plan

By |February 19th, 2018|Categories: TEA|Tags: , |

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has extended the comment deadline for its online survey soliciting feedback on a draft corrective action plan for special education. The online survey period will now run through Tuesday, Feb.20. At the direction of Governor Greg Abbott, TEA drafted an initial corrective action plan regarding the support and delivery of special education services in the state’s public schools. The initial draft addresses all issues identified [...]

1902, 2018

It seems like the school is not following my child’s IEP… what can I do?

By |February 19th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , , |

As a parent, it is important that you feel comfortable with what the IEP team agreed upon, and you must be kept informed that services and accommodations are actually being provided to your child. The following are some useful steps that parents can take to be sure that the IEP is implemented as it is written.

1602, 2018

IEP Meeting Conversation Stoppers

By |February 16th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

Some of the statements made to parents at IEP meetings are “conversation stoppers” — comments that create barriers and can prevent the IEP team from working cooperatively to develop effective special education services and supports for students with disabilities. Here are nine common “conversation stoppers,” some information about what may be the real issues of concern and suggestions for how parents can respond in a forceful but respectful way so [...]

1502, 2018

Student-Centered Funding Pilot

By |February 15th, 2018|Categories: US Department of Education|Tags: |

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) will host two webinars regarding a new pilot to afford local educational agencies (LEAs) flexibility to create equitable, student-centered funding systems Wednesday, February 21 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM Eastern Time and Thursday, February 22 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM Eastern Time. The intended audience is LEAs, though other interested parties are also welcome. The webinars will include identical information, and the Department will [...]

1302, 2018

TEA Parent Focus Groups – Special Education Corrective Actions

By |February 13th, 2018|Categories: Special Education, TEA|Tags: |

Texas Project First has just released the following update: During the 2016-2017 school year, the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) performed a series of onsite monitoring visits to review Texas’ compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The final report was provided to TEA on January 10, 2018. The findings from that report require TEA to develop a plan to address four [...]

1302, 2018

Tips for Teens: Use Your IEP Meetings to Learn How to Advocate for Yourself

By |February 13th, 2018|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , |

Self-advocacy is a key step in becoming an adult. It means looking out for yourself, telling people what you need, and knowing how to take responsibility. No one is born knowing these skills. Everyone has to learn them. Ready to begin learning? Here is some great information that can start you on your way. […]

1302, 2018

Learning to Read and Write are Important, but so are Functional Skills

By |February 13th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

Learning to read and write are important, but so are functional skills, that can help a child live a full and enriched life! This article shares 3 parenting tips that you can use in your advocacy efforts! Tip 1: Use Federal special education law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA 2004 to strengthen your advocacy efforts for functional skill training. IDEA states that every IEP that is developed for [...]

1202, 2018

New FAQ’s about RtI and Children Not Eligible for Special Education

By |February 12th, 2018|Categories: Response to Intervention|Tags: |

Response to Intervention (RtI) is an approach that schools use to help all students, including struggling learners. The RtI approach gives Texas students opportunities to learn and work at their grade level. The idea is to help all students be successful. Senate Bill (SB) 1153, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, changed Texas Education Code (TEC), Section 26.0081. The changes require the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to update the Student Handbook [...]

1202, 2018

US Commission on Civil Rights Issues Report on Inequities in Public School Funding

By |February 12th, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: |

The United States Commission on Civil Rights has issued a new report concerning the inequities in public school funding. The conclusion of the report is that America’s schools are profoundly unequal. Here are the recommendations of the Commission: We agree with the Equity and Excellence Commission that the federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation’s public schools. […]

2601, 2018

A Parent’s Guide to Effective Instruction

By |January 26th, 2018|Categories: Learning Disability, Special Education|Tags: , |

Reading problems are the most common type of academic underachievement. Especially for students with dyslexia, learning to read and write can be exceedingly difficult. Dyslexia and related reading and language difficulties are the result of neurobiological variations, but they can be treated with effective instruction. Effective instruction is instruction that is tied to student needs, as determined by diagnostic testing and evaluation. It is instruction delivered by knowledgeable and skilled [...]

2501, 2018

Comments that Parents Hear: “Let’s wait until your child is more … before trying that”

By |January 25th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Recall the Law: Schools must ensure that: “All children with disabilities … who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.” 300.111(a) “A free appropriate public education (FAPE) must be available to all children residing in the state between the ages of 3 and 21”. “Each State must ensure that FAPE is available to any individual child with a disability who needs special education [...]

2401, 2018

Annual IEP Review Meeting

By |January 24th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

An annual review is an IEP meeting required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that must be held at least once a year. The meeting brings the IEP team together to review the student's progress and program, and plan for the following year. As with other IEP meetings, the school district must provide parents with advance written notice of the meeting and consider their availability when scheduling the [...]

2301, 2018

4 Important Signs That Your Child’s IEP Is Working

By |January 23rd, 2018|Categories: IEP, Progress Monitoring, Special Education|Tags: , |

The Individualized Education Program (or IEP) lays out the school’s commitment to provide special education and related services to your child. Developed annually, an IEP must be tailored to the individual needs of your child, with your involvement and input. Once formulated, the IEP becomes your roadmap to track your child’s progress throughout the year. Here Are Four Important Signs That Your Child’s IEP Is Working: 1. Your child’s IEP [...]

2201, 2018

Parent Participation in IEP Meetings

By |January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

IEP meetings can be emotional and overwhelming, but knowing how to work with the education team effectively is very important. You are a key member of the IEP team with the unique perspective that comes with the long view of your child’s developmental history, dreams, and resources. Your participation is very important. As the IDEA notes: “Almost 30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of children [...]

1901, 2018

New & Improved IEP Meetings

By |January 19th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

The words, “IEP meeting,” can strike fear in the hearts of parents and educators alike.  Anger, apprehension, dread, and a variety of other emotions may rise to the surface in anticipation of the meeting in which an Individual Education Program is written for a student who receives special education services. But we can change this!  And many of the tips from Kathie Snow's  "New & Improved" IEP Meetings article can [...]

1701, 2018

What Treatments are Available for Speech, Language and Motor Issues for Children with Autism?

By |January 17th, 2018|Categories: Autism, Disability, Special Education|Tags: , |

The following therapies—also called “allied health services”—address symptoms commonly associated with autism, but are not specific to the disorder. Speech-Language Therapy Most autism behavioral intensive therapy programs include speech-language therapy. With a variety of techniques, speech-language therapy addresses a range of challenges often faced by persons with autism. For instance, some individuals on the autism spectrum do not speak, while others love to talk but have difficulty using conversational speech [...]

1601, 2018

What are Supplementary Aids and Services?

By |January 16th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

According to IDEA, Supplementary Aids and Services means, aids, services and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate. Supplementary Aids and Services can include changes in: […]

1501, 2018

7 Assessment Tools to Identify Strengths

By |January 15th, 2018|Categories: Disability, Special Education|Tags: , |

It is part of federal law that students with special needs should have their strengths identified and described in their IEPs (IDEA 2004 Section 1414(d)(3)(A)). And yet, when I search the special education literature online, I find virtually nothing dedicated to identifying strengths in these students. If a student is having difficulty in school, what they need is to have adults around them who see the very best in them, [...]

1101, 2018

Help! No Teachers are Trained to Work with My Son

By |January 11th, 2018|Categories: Home, Special Education|Tags: , , |

What do you do? Turn to what IDEA says about support and training for school personnel. IDEA envisions services that are provided to the parents or teachers of a child with a disability to help them to more effectively work with the child – that’s why “supports for school personnel” was included in this section of the law.

901, 2018

Advances in Technology Make Driving More Accessible for Individuals with Disabilities

By |January 9th, 2018|Categories: Youth Leadership|Tags: , |

Only the ability to drive a vehicle can make unlimited freedom of travel possible. This is particularly true for a person with a disability. Advances in technology have made private vehicle travel attainable, and even more preferable. More and more, persons with a disability are able to modify their vehicles and obtain an adaptive driver’s license to enhance their independence. Driving allows persons with a disability to participate in activities [...]

901, 2018

6 Things to Know About Private Schools and Special Education

By |January 9th, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: |

It’s important to know how special education law affects private schools. If your child qualifies for special education and you choose to send him to private school, he may be able to receive some special education services that are paid for by the public school district. However, some private schools might not offer much support or grant admission to students who struggle.

901, 2018

Attendance for Course Credit

By |January 9th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws, Special Education, TEA|Tags: |

Frequently, students with disabilities are not able to attend a class (due to doctors or specialists appointments, illness, behavior, tardiness, related services, etc.).  Absences affect a student’s ability to learn: the skills, content taught in the class, and restrain the teacher’s ability to measure the student’s learning. Educators and the Texas Legislature are concerned about attendance and a law was passed to address this issue.  The intent is to provide [...]

901, 2018

10 Things to Know about the ADA

By |January 9th, 2018|Categories: Education Laws|Tags: |

1. Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all public and private places that are open to the general public. There are five sections, referred to in the law as “titles” that detail the rights of approximately 54 million [...]

901, 2018

What Do Reading Levels Tell Us?

By |January 9th, 2018|Categories: Reading|Tags: |

Q: My child is in second grade and her report card includes a reading level, but I don’t know what it means. How can I find out what the level means so that I can understand what my daughter needs help with? A: The reading level that you’re referring to is either a number or a letter, which is meant to tell you if your child is reading at grade [...]

801, 2018

How the Age of Majority affects an IEP

By |January 8th, 2018|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

What is the age of majority? The age in which the child will now be considered an adult and MUST receive notice of an IEP meeting, consent to an evaluation, select the participants of an IEP meeting, attend an IEP meeting and consent to the contents of an IEP. These rights must be explained no later than one year prior to the age of majority. The age of majority is [...]

801, 2018

How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child’s Special Education

By |January 8th, 2018|Categories: IDEA, Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

Prior to IDEA 2004 the standard for a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) was that schools had to provide services so that the child received some educational benefit.  Congress said that the purpose of IDEA 2004 is to provide FAPE that “emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their (the child’s) unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.”  “Further education” is an outcome [...]

401, 2018

17 Tips for Getting Quality Special Education Services for Your Child

By |January 4th, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

Before the IEP Meeting The IEP is developed at a meeting with required staff and the parent(s).  For more information on IEPs, click here. 1. Request Needed Assessments in Writing or Get Independent Assessments Your child can be assessed in any area of suspected disability and for any services needed for him to benefit from school.  For example, assessments may be done to determine/identify: Reading or math levels Modifications [...]

301, 2018

I don’t think my child’s IEP is working, what do I do?

By |January 3rd, 2018|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

Before scheduling an IEP meeting to discuss your concerns, do some homework. Your initial concern may not be the primary cause of your child’s difficulty. 1. List each of your concerns. Next, look for data to support your concerns. Talk with the teacher  informally if this feels comfortable. 2. Gather your child’s IEP and any assessments. If you aren’t sure you have everything, write a letter asking the school to [...]

201, 2018

What Does Age of Majority Mean?

By |January 2nd, 2018|Categories: Disability|Tags: |

“Age of majority is the legal age established under State law at which an individual is no longer a minor and, as a young adult, has the right and responsibility to make certain legal choices that adults make” (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, 2002). Thus, when people use the term age of majority, they are generally referring to when a young person reaches the age where one is [...]

1912, 2017

Unique Needs of the Visually Impaired Child

By |December 19th, 2017|Categories: Visual Impairment|Tags: |

Vision is the primary learning modality and source of information for most children. No other sense can stimulate curiosity, integrate information or invite exploration in the same way, or as efficiently and fully, as vision does. The child who comes into the world without a dependable visual system, or without vision at all, has to navigate through the incomplete messages received through the other sensory modalities in order to put [...]

1812, 2017

7 Ways That An Autism Service Dog Could Benefit Your Child

By |December 18th, 2017|Categories: Autism|Tags: |

1. The dog can assist children with autism safely access different environment’s. This could help your child become more independent and also help with transitions, which can be difficult for children with autism. 2. The dog can be a calming influence and give a sense of security to your child. 3. The dog can actually help your child focus on academic and social tasks. The reason that this happens is [...]

1312, 2017

What Are Some Behavioral Challenges Typical In Persons with Down Syndrome?

By |December 13th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Intellectual Disabilities|Tags: , , |

The behavioral challenges seen in children with Down syndrome are usually not all that different from those seen in typically developing children. However, they may occur at a later age and last somewhat longer. For example, temper tantrums are typically common in 2-3 year olds, but for a child with Down syndrome, they may begin at 3-4. When evaluating behavior in a child or adult with Down syndrome it is [...]

1212, 2017

Social Skills Interventions: Getting to the Core of Autism

By |December 12th, 2017|Categories: Autism|Tags: , |

Every child on the autism spectrum is unique, with different strengths and needs at different ages. It is the family’s challenge to cobble together an individualized treatment plan based on a wide variety of options, from speech and language therapy to applied behavior analysis, from medication to special diets. One intervention many families consider is social skills training. A lack of intuitive social ability is a hallmark of autism. Social [...]

1112, 2017

TEA New Career & Technical Education (CTE) Resource Center and Website

By |December 11th, 2017|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: |

A new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Resource Center and Website from TEA (Texas Education Agency) offer students personalized, flexible learning delivered by experts with over 120 programs of study in more than 79 career pathways. Career and technical education programs offer a sequence of courses that provides students with coherent and rigorous content. CTE content is aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to [...]

1112, 2017

Students Who Won’t or Can’t Go to School

By |December 11th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Special Education|Tags: , , |

As the concept of chronic absenteeism gains traction across the country, some people are under the impression that it’s just a politically correct way of saying truancy. However, the two terms describe different aspects of our absenteeism problem and require different approaches to bringing students back to school every day. First, let’s take truancy, a term that generally refers to unexcused absences. In the past, federal law required states to [...]

1112, 2017

Tutoring as a Direct Service in IDEA

By |December 11th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

Too often public schools do not have, within their educational structure, someone who is trained to provide direct one to one tutoring, nor do they have the staffing to provide such. Tutoring is typically provided at least one period per day if the child attends a private special education school, such as one of the Orton-Gillingham based (reading) programs around the country. This period of tutoring is not viewed as [...]

1112, 2017

New Q&A on FAPE issued following Supreme Court decision

By |December 11th, 2017|Categories: Education Laws, IDEA, Special Education|Tags: |

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) announced this month its release of a Question and Answer (Q&A) document addressing the Endrew F. decision. OSERS is issuing this Q&A document to provide parents and other stakeholders information on the issues addressed in Endrew F. and the impact of the Court’s decision on the implementation of IDEA. The Q&A explains the case and provides a summary of the Court’s final decision and prior [...]

1112, 2017

School Evaluations for Emotional Challenges

By |December 11th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Disability|Tags: , , |

When a child’s emotional needs get in the way of his or her education, a request can be made for an assessment to see if the needs are severe enough for Special Education or a 504 plan. Put this request in writing. If your child is already in Special Education, the assessment would find out if counseling should be added to the IEP as a related service. Because Special Education [...]

712, 2017

School Says, “No Advanced Classes for Kids with IEPs”, Now What?

By |December 7th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

My child has a learning disability. Her teachers want her to enroll in advanced classes. She is eligible based on her test scores and school performance. The School will not let her enroll her because she has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). What are her legal rights? Wrightslaw.com says: Your child has an IEP because she is a child with a disability that adversely affects her education. Because of her [...]

712, 2017

Positive Emotions: Helping a Teen with LD Cope Better with Stress

By |December 7th, 2017|Categories: Learning Disability|Tags: , , |

With mounds of homework, looming SAT tests, and worries about the future – being a teen in today’s world can be incredibly stressful. Add a learning disability (LD) to the mix, and you’ve no doubt witnessed your fair share of short fuses. You can’t eliminate stress altogether for your teen – nor would you want to. But when stress is taking too high a toll, what’s the answer? A growing [...]

612, 2017

13 Holiday Survival Tips For Your Child With Special Needs

By |December 6th, 2017|Categories: Holidays|Tags: , |

While most children live for the holiday season, it can be an extremely stressful time of year for children with autism and other forms of learning disability. The disruption to their routine, unfamiliar sights and smells, the house full of noise and people – it can all prove too much. Holidays are all about the family, but it can be hard keeping everyone happy. The following tips for surviving the [...]

612, 2017

7 Communication Skill Development Tips for Non-Verbal Kids

By |December 6th, 2017|Categories: Autism|Tags: , |

How can parents encourage them in kids with special needs who are non-verbal? The folks at Autisable asked speech experts to share their best tips for parents, and they came up with these seven suggestions. Although they are made with an eye towards kids with autism, they have value for kids with a variety of special needs. […]

2711, 2017

Is Your Child Gifted and Needs Special Education?

By |November 27th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

“Your child is gifted and needs special education?” Many parents are all too familiar with this kind of comment. You may hear it from friends. From family. Even from some teachers and doctors. Yet there are lots of people who have exceptional ability in some academic areas and significant learning difficulties in other areas. Educators use a special name to describe students who qualify for gifted programs as well as [...]

2011, 2017

Least Restrictive Environment, Mainstreaming, and Inclusion

By |November 20th, 2017|Categories: LRE, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Least restrictive environment refers to the IDEA’s mandate that students with disabilities should be educated to the maximum extent appropriate with peers without disabilities. The LRE mandate ensures that schools educate students with disabilities in integrated settings, alongside students with and without disabilities, to the maximum extent appropriate.

1511, 2017

Accommodations & Modifications

By |November 15th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

Every child with a disability has a right to attend general education classes and to have accommodations and modifications so they can be successful in those classes. These can include changes in the method of instruction, the curriculum, and the environment. Accommodations and modifications are important tools for a child to successfully accomplish Individualized Education Programs (IEP) goals and objectives and participate actively with other students in classroom and school [...]

1511, 2017

5 Benefits of Inclusion Classrooms

By |November 15th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , , |

If your child is eligible for special education services, you may worry he’ll be placed in a different classroom than other kids his age. But most kids might be place in classrooms that are known as inclusion (or inclusive) classrooms. In an inclusion classroom, the general and special education teachers work together to meet your child’s needs. This is key. As Carl A. Cohn, Ed.D., executive director of the California [...]

1011, 2017

Changes in Texas Law on Bullying

By |November 10th, 2017|Categories: Bullying, Education Laws|Tags: |

The Texas legislature has passed a law (SB 179) that adds to the rules on harassment, bullying and cyberbullying of a public school student or minor. Starting September 1, 2017, notice of alleged bullying must be given to the parent of the target student on or before the third business day after the incident is reported.  The alleged bully’s parent is to be notified within a “reasonable time.” Chapter 37 [...]

911, 2017

What is a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)?

By |November 9th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Behavior Issues, Special Education|Tags: , , |

When a child with a disability engages in behavior or breaks a code of conduct and the school proposes to remove the child, the school must hold a hearing to determine if the child’s behavior was caused by his disability. This hearing, a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR), is a process to review all relevant information and the relationship between the child’s disability and the behavior. Consequences for problem behaviors should [...]

911, 2017

My Child’s 504 Plan Doesn’t Seem to Be Working. Now What?

By |November 9th, 2017|Categories: Progress Monitoring, Section 504|Tags: , |

Are you concerned your child’s 504 plan isn’t working? Sometimes 504 plans need to be adjusted to better serve your child and help her make progress. Here are steps you can take if you think your child’s 504 plan isn’t working. 1. Define what “not working” means to you. The first step is to identify why you think the 504 plan isn’t working. Maybe you expected your child to improve [...]

611, 2017

No Progress. School says: “No Change is Good?!”

By |November 6th, 2017|Categories: Progress Monitoring, Special Education|Tags: |

I am a special education teacher with a child who has an IEP. The IEP team agreed that my child’s progress in Math will be measured with the KeyMath test. When the school last administered the KeyMath test, her scores dropped! The school wasn’t concerned. They said “No change is good.” It is not good news when a child’s test scores drop. […]

3010, 2017

An Inadequate IEP will Make it Difficult to Consider LRE Placement

By |October 30th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

An inadequate IEP will make it difficult to consider any child's placement in an organized way. To assist schools and parents, the department has developed and widely distributed a model form that addresses all the required IEP components. Next, each placement option is examined not only as it currently exists, but also as it might be modified. Then, each educational placement option is examined in sequence from least restrictive to [...]

3010, 2017

Student Progress Monitoring: What This Means for Your Child

By |October 30th, 2017|Categories: Progress Monitoring|Tags: |

Progress monitoring can give you and your child’s teacher information that can help your child learn more and learn faster, and help you make better decisions about the type of instruction that will work best with your child. Our children’s progress is being monitored constantly at school, through the steady stream of homework assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, and standardized tests. On first hearing the term “student progress monitoring,” our initial [...]

2510, 2017

I Don’t Think My Child’s IEP Is Working as Well as It Should, What Do I Do?

By |October 25th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

Before scheduling an IEP meeting to discuss your concern, do some homework. Your initial concern may not be the primary cause of your child’s difficulty. 1. List each of your concerns. Next, look for data to support your concerns. Talk with the teacher  informally if this feels comfortable. 2. Gather your child’s IEP and any assessments. If you aren’t sure you have everything, write a letter asking the school to [...]

2310, 2017

Temporary Student Absences

By |October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Disability, Special Education|Tags: |

We have been hearing from more parents about issues with schools about their child’s absences. There is a Guidance document on this topic (Temporary Absences of Children with Disabilities) on the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) special education webpage. The Guidance document begins by addressing the recent law that allows students with autism to attend school and also leave for an appointment with a health care professional. (TEC 25.087(b-3)

2310, 2017

Texas Virtual School Network

By |October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: |

The Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) provides Texas students and schools with equitable access to quality online courses and instructors. It is a valuable resource for interactive, collaborative, instructor-led online courses taught by state-certified and appropriately credentialed teachers trained in effective online instruction. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) under the leadership of the commissioner of education, administers the TxVSN, sets standards for and approves TxVSN courses and professional development for [...]

2310, 2017

The Texas Academic Achievement Record (AAR)

By |October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education, Transition|Tags: , , |

Parents are often confused about the rules regarding course credits, graduation programs/plans, and what a school can do regarding course accommodations and content modification. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) develops a Minimum Standards for the AAR document each year.  The information in this post, much of it quoted heavily from the TEA document, can assist parents during ARD/IEP meetings to explore available options, if standard high school courses and/or content [...]

2310, 2017

Excerpts from the Texas Dyslexia Handbook

By |October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Disability, Learning Disability, Special Education, TEA|Tags: , |

Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist, shares excerpts of interest from the Texas Dyslexia Handbook (available online at https://www.region10.org/r10website/assets/File/DHBwithtabs10214.pdf) “Texas has a long history of supporting the fundamental skill of reading. This history includes a focus on early identification and intervention for children who experience reading difficulties, including dyslexia.” and determining a student's reading and spelling abilities and difficulties “In Texas, assessment for dyslexia is conducted from kindergarten through grade 12.”(page 6) [...]

2310, 2017

When Should Parents Receive ARD/IEP Paperwork?

By |October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

By Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist I recently ran across a very interesting document on the Education Service Center (ESC) 13 website. It contains a Texas Education Agency (TEA) Q & A document on Prior Written Notice. There is no date on it, but a 2008 U.S. Department of Education letter is attached. What is interesting is a one page list of “Additional Information from TEA” –  it says:  “The [...]

2310, 2017

ARD/IEP Committee Decision Making Process

By |October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

Federal regulations refer to an IEP team. In Texas, this team is referred to as the Admission, Review, and Dismissal or ARD committee. This committee meets at least once a year to develop, review and/or revise a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). IDEA says that the IEP meeting serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, and enables them, as equal participants, to make joint, informed decisions regarding- [...]

1810, 2017

RTI and Reading: Response to Intervention in a Nutshell

By |October 18th, 2017|Categories: Response to Intervention|Tags: , , |

The effort to understand Response to Intervention (RTI) has occupied many thousands of hours and hundreds of position and policy statements, white papers, consensus documents, and research articles. RTI is a process intended to shift educational resources toward the delivery and evaluation of instruction, and away from classification of disabilities. RTI is not a particular method or instructional approach. The success of RTI depends on the timely delivery of research-based [...]

1610, 2017

Join us Oct. 17 @ 12:15 p.m. CST for our FREE webinar!

By |October 16th, 2017|Categories: Statewide Events|Tags: , |

Join us on October 17 @ 12:15 p.m. CST for this FREE webinar where we will discuss a key component of your child’s IEP – the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipe5IVNi-dg&w=500 Why is the PLAAFP important?  Think of the IEP as a road map guiding your child from a beginning level of performance to a higher level of performance.  To plan effectively, you need to know where your [...]

1210, 2017

When, Where and How are Disabilities Diagnosed?

By |October 12th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Children may be diagnosed with a disability by a medical provider or by the school district. However, one must understand that being simply diagnosed with a disability is not a guarantee of services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Having a disability is the first question when determining if a student qualifies. The evaluation team must also answer two additional questions: Does the disability impact the child’s educational [...]

1110, 2017

How Do I Get Special Education Services for My Child with Special Needs?

By |October 11th, 2017|Categories: IDEA, Special Education|Tags: , , |

When children are struggling in school, it is important to determine whether a learning, cognitive, and/or physical disability is affecting your child’s educational performance. If this is the case, your child may be eligible for special education services and related services that can help your child to succeed. This article from the Friendship Circle Blog discusses the evaluation process and your child’s legal rights in the classroom setting. Special education [...]

1010, 2017

Is My Child Making Progress Towards IEP Goals?

By |October 10th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Progress Monitoring|Tags: , |

By the time “Mrs. Bailey” contacted a professional to evaluate her son, she had been receiving quarterly progress reports from his public school for five years, telling her that Kevin was making progress toward achieving the academic goals listed in his Individualized Education Program (IEP). However, her observations of Kevin’s homework and the graded school work that came home didn’t match the school’s evaluation, and she wanted a psychologist to [...]

910, 2017

9 Things Every Parent Should Know About the “10 Day Rule”

By |October 9th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Behavior Issues, Special Education|

Sometimes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Consider, for example, the widespread belief that there is a ten day limit on the number of days that a child with disabilities can be suspended from school. As with many widespread beliefs, the common version of the rule is only partially true. Here are nine things that every parent should know about the so-called “ten-day” rule and the laws governing the [...]

410, 2017

Writing IEP Goals

By |October 4th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Progress Monitoring, Special Education|Tags: , |

Creating an IEP with a team of people who are all there to design a good educational program for one unique child can be a pleasure. It can also be very productive. When the whole team has the same level of understanding about IEPs, it is even better. Sounds like crazy talk? Just ask those who have seen it happen. The big winner here is the child. A Lesson in [...]

410, 2017

5 Common Techniques for Helping Struggling Students

By |October 4th, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Disability, Learning Disability, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Teachers know that students walk into their classrooms with a wide range of abilities. But teachers try to find ways to meet the needs of all students, including those with learning and attention issues. Here are five common teaching methods. 1. Differentiated Instruction With this approach, teachers change and switch around what students need to learn, how they’ll learn it, and how to get the material across to them. When [...]

310, 2017

Protections for Students Not Yet Identified as Eligible for Special Education

By |October 3rd, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , , |

The parent may assert any of the IDEA protections (i.e. manifestation determination, due process hearing, mediation, complaint, and functional behavior assessment) if the LEA has knowledge that the student is a student with a disability before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurs. When a parent asserts IDEA protections, the LEA must determine if it has a basis of knowledge or not. […]

210, 2017

Is Your Child’s PLAAFP a Flop? Webinar

By |October 2nd, 2017|Categories: Statewide Events|Tags: |

Join us on October 17 @ 12:15 p.m. CST for this FREE webinar where we will discuss a key component of your child’s IEP - the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP). Why is the PLAAFP important?  Think of the IEP as a road map guiding your child from a beginning level of performance to a higher level of performance.  To plan effectively, you need to know where your child is [...]

2609, 2017

Identifying Struggling Students

By |September 26th, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Disability, Learning Disability, Special Education|Tags: , , |

Early and accurate identification of learning disabilities and ADHD in schools can set struggling students on a path for success. But identification can be influenced by many factors—and too often is not happening early enough. Not all children with learning and attention issues are identified in school as having a disability. Students who are identified by schools as having a disability may qualify for one of two types of assistance. [...]

2609, 2017

Inadequate IEPs and a Child’s Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

By |September 26th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

PRN note: While this was written for New Jersey parents, the basic concepts apply in all states. The second factor listed is from a fifth Circuit Court case against a Texas school. An inadequate IEP will make it difficult to consider any child’s placement in an organized way. To assist schools and parents, the department has developed and widely distributed a model form that addresses all the required IEP [...]

2609, 2017

Using the School Years to the Max!

By |September 26th, 2017|Categories: Transition|Tags: |

Public school is the last mandated service that a student with a disability can access. After graduation, a person must apply to get services and supports and prove eligibility through income as well as disability. Public school is the last opportunity for free education, with a wide range of modifications and a requirement for parent input. Make the most of public school services as you plan for your youth’s transition [...]

2509, 2017

Manifestation Determination Q&A

By |September 25th, 2017|Categories: Behavior|Tags: , , |

What recourse does a parent have if he or she disagrees with the determination that his or her child’s behavior was not a manifestation of the child’s disability? The regulations, in 34 CFR §300.532(a), provide that the parent of a child with a disability who disagrees with the manifestation determination under 34 CFR §300.530(e) may appeal the decision by requesting a hearing.  A parent also has the right to file [...]

2009, 2017

Comments that Parents Hear: “We cannot/will not provide X service(s) to your child during after school activities or nonacademic services.”

By |September 20th, 2017|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear, Special Education|Tags: , |

If a parent, student or the school decides that the student will or should participate in nonacademic or extracurricular services and activities, the school must make plans that will allow the student to participate in these services and activities. As part of this process the IEP team must consider whether supplementary aids and services are “appropriate and necessary” to allow “an equal opportunity for participation”. If the student is provided [...]

1909, 2017

What can I do if the school isn’t following my child’s IEP?

By |September 19th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

It is important to always maintain a good relationship with your child’s school district. When difficulties arise, a parent needs to maintain that relationship. Sometimes parents find out or believe that the district is not following their child’s IEP. When this situation occurs, it is essential for the parent to act quickly and to take the right steps in resolving the issue. The first step is to write a letter [...]

1909, 2017

How Can We Help Kids With Transitions?

By |September 19th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Behavior Issues|Tags: , , |

Many children struggle with transitions, which are common triggers for behaviors that range from annoying (whining, stalling) to upsetting (tantrums and meltdowns). There are many ways parents and teacher can help kids have an easier time with transitions — and be able to behave better—but  it may take a little experimentation to find out what clicks with each particular child. These tools are useful  to help kids of all stripes with transitions. But for [...]

1409, 2017

Texas Autism Supplement

By |September 14th, 2017|Categories: Autism, Behavior Issues|Tags: , , |

Texas regulations (TAC 89.1055) require ARD/IEP committees to consider eleven strategies for students with autism. Schools sometimes use the term “Autism Supplement” to refer to a form that they use at ARD/IEP meetings to address these strategies. This fact sheet can help parents in the development of adequate and appropriate strategies for their child with autism.

1109, 2017

HB 21 Passed in the 2017 Texas Legislature Special Session

By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Education Laws, TEA|Tags: |

Grant programs for students with Autism, and another for students with Dyslexia were approved. $20 million is budgeted to fund ten public or charter schools for each program for two years beginning in the 2018-19 school year. The programs are for children three through eight years of age. Parents must give consent for their child being in the program. The programs must incorporate: evidence-based and research-based design; the use of [...]

1109, 2017

Signs Your Young Child Might Be Struggling With Anxiety

By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Behavior Issues|Tags: , , |

Childhood is full of new experiences that can feel scary to young kids. Think about learning to ride a bike or starting at a new school, for example. Kids with learning and attention issues may be even more likely than their peers to worry about school, social activities and change. And they may be more likely to develop anxiety. Do you think your preschooler or grade-schooler may be struggling with [...]

1109, 2017

Does ADHD Raise the Risk of Mental Health Issues?

By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Behavior, Behavior Issues|Tags: , , |

Children who have ADHD are more likely than other kids to experience other mental health problems. A recent study followed kids with ADHD from the age of 8 into adulthood. It found that those with ADHD are at greater risk for behavioral issues, learning issues, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and self-injury. Adolescence is when kids with ADHD are most at risk of developing another issue. Knowledge, though, means power. Learn [...]

1109, 2017

Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit from Autism Speaks

By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Behavior, Behavior Issues|Tags: , |

Sometimes the difficulties of autism can lead to behaviors that are quite challenging to understand and address.  Autism Speaks has a a video series and tool kit on challenging behaviors.  The  Autism Speaks Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit can be downloaded through their website at here: http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-se... In the video series, Nicole Weidenbaum, M.S.Ed., SAS, Executive Director, Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism, addresses questions about challenging behaviors. Questions addressed: 1) What [...]

709, 2017

What educational rights and supports are available for students made homeless as a result of Hurricane Harvey?

By |September 7th, 2017|Categories: Hurricane Assistance|

If you and your family are experiencing homelessness, you may be struggling to enroll and keep your children in school. If you have a child with special needs, you may have even more challenges to make sure your child receives the help she needs. Here are some concerns that parents often have: not knowing who to talk to about their child’s needs; not knowing if their child’s problems in school [...]

709, 2017

Behavior Intervention Plans: What You Need to Know

By |September 7th, 2017|Categories: Behavior|Tags: , , |

Does your child have trouble behaving in the classroom? If so, that problem behavior could satisfy an unidentified need for your child. A functional behavior assessment (FBA) can help figure out the cause of problem behaviors. A behavior intervention plan (BIP) is a plan that’s based on the FBA. A BIP can help to replace problem behaviors with more positive ones. Here’s what you need to know about behavior interventions [...]

509, 2017

Hurricane Assistance

By |September 5th, 2017|Categories: Hurricane Assistance|

Emergency Phone Numbers First, call 911. If you can’t get through to 911 on first try, keep calling. Jefferson County Emergency Management Address: 1149 Pearl St, Beaumont, TX 77701 Phone: (409) 835-8757 Website: co.jefferson.tx.us Hardin County Emergency Management Phone: (409) 246-5119 Website: co.hardin.tx.us Orange County Office of Emergency Management Address: 11475 Fm 1442, Orange, TX 77630 Phone: (409) 882-7895 Website: https://www.facebook.com/OCEmergencyManagement Chambers County Emergency Management Address: 404 Washington Ave, Anahuac, TX [...]

2208, 2017

Is Your PLOP a Flop?

By |August 22nd, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

Special Ed e-News at the Special Ed Connection advises that in the panic to write the IEP, cover all the necessary goals, objectives, benchmarks (if applicable), and figure out how to accurately measure progress, the PLOP (present levels of performance) often gets neglected. If you are into acronyms, the PLOP is known now as the PLAAFP. The Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance provide baseline information about your child’s [...]

2108, 2017

Does My Child’s 504 Plan Have to Be Reviewed at the Beginning of Each School Year?

By |August 21st, 2017|Categories: Back to School, Section 504|Tags: , |

Does my child’s 504 plan have to be revisited at the beginning of each school year? Is there a legal requirement to review it annually? No, unlike with IEPs, there’s no legal requirement to review a 504 plan each year. But it’s a good idea to have an annual 504 plan review meeting anyway. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a situation where you wouldn’t want to revisit the plan [...]

1708, 2017

Talking to Your Child About Social and Emotional Issues

By |August 17th, 2017|Categories: Behavior|Tags: |

When your child struggles with social and emotional issues, it can be a challenge to talk to him about the issues he faces. Avoiding the subject isn’t helpful. But helping your child put it in perspective is. The goal is to let your child see himself as someone who struggles with specific things—not with everything. The first step is to isolate his area of difficulty and name it. This will [...]

1708, 2017

Dual Enrollment and Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD)

By |August 17th, 2017|Categories: Dual Enrollment, Early Childhood, PPCD|Tags: , |

PPCD stands for Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities. It is important to remember that the second “P” represents “Programs” and not “Place.” PPCD programs are not limited to a self-contained classroom on an elementary or early childhood campus. The law requires a full continuum of services to educate young children with disabilities. Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) offer services to preschoolers with disabilities in a variety [...]

1608, 2017

How Do I Get My Child’s IEP Going at the Beginning of the School Year?

By |August 16th, 2017|Categories: Back to School, Communication, IEP, Special Education|Tags: , |

My daughter got her first IEP last spring when she was a fifth grader. She started attending middle school this fall and it seems to be taking a long time for the school to line up some of her service providers. Is there anything I can do to help get her IEP going at the beginning of the school year? Unfortunately, this problem is not uncommon. Schools often have to [...]

1608, 2017

What is Dual Enrollment?

By |August 16th, 2017|Categories: Dual Enrollment, Early Childhood|Tags: |

Families of 3- and 4-year-olds in Texas have an option available to them called “Dual Enrollment.” In Texas, children ages 3 and 4 can go to a private preschool and receive services, such as speech therapy, through the public school. As another option, preschoolers may stay home (like many children this age do) and receive needed public school services. Recognizing that many PPCD programs are designed only for students with [...]

1408, 2017

Hello from Austin, TX

By |August 14th, 2017|Categories: Other|

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GLvdBj7yp8&w=500 Kristina, Kim, Laura and Lisa attended the PTAC conference earlier this month to gear up for the new school year. If you would like more information about the services provided by the Texas Parent Training and Information (PTI) projects, please visit call our state office at 409.898.4684.

1408, 2017

Join us tomorrow for the Negotiation 101 webinar at 12:15 p.m.

By |August 14th, 2017|Categories: Statewide Events|Tags: |

Did you miss the Negotiation 101 webinar? Don’t worry, we recorded it just for you!  The recording of the Negotiation 101 webinar is available for a limited time! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Yec593JlY&w=500 Kim, Kristina and the PRN specialist team hope you join us tomorrow, August 15, at 12:15 p.m. CST for our next Statewide webinar Negotiation 101: How to Get the Special Education Services Your Child Needs.  We will discuss negotiation strategies used to effectively [...]

1308, 2017

TEA Guidance on Inviting Agency Representatives to an ARD/IEP Meeting

By |August 13th, 2017|Categories: Special Education, Transition|Tags: |

The following information is excerpted from the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) webpage Guidance for Inviting Agency Representatives to Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee Meeting: Current federal regulations govern the provision of services for sixteen-year-old students with disabilities or for younger students if determined appropriate by the admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee. These provisions require that a student’s individualized education program (IEP) include measurable postsecondary goals as well as the transition [...]

1308, 2017

What is a REED?

By |August 13th, 2017|Categories: Special Education, TEA|Tags: , |

REED is an acronym for Review of Existing Evaluation Data.  The following information about REEDs is excerpted from the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) webpage Review of Existing Evaluation Data Frequently Asked Questions: A review of existing evaluation data (REED) is the process of looking at a student’s existing data to determine if additional data are needed as part of an initial evaluation (if appropriate) or as part of a reevaluation. Specifically, the [...]

908, 2017

8 Tips for Building a Good Relationship With Your Child’s Teacher

By |August 9th, 2017|Categories: Communication|Tags: |

Developing a good relationship with your child’s teacher will make it easier for you to share concerns and work together to help your child succeed. Here are some tips from Understood.org for building a partnership: 1. Meet with the teacher and staff ASAP Consider meeting even before the school year starts, if possible. If your child has an IEP, give the teacher a copy of it. Share other information—like hobbies, [...]

808, 2017

Learning to Negotiate is Part of the Advocacy Process

By |August 8th, 2017|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: |

Be specific! When you make a statement like “I want my child to have a free appropriate education,” this is like asking for a piece of string of unknown or undefined length. Your statement of “I want . . .” must be followed by a “because.” The “because” should come from your well-stated issues and your supporting factual evidence. Why? Because any issue that you identify as a grievance is [...]

708, 2017

TEA’s ESSA State Plan Draft Is Open for Comments

By |August 7th, 2017|Categories: Education Laws, ESSA|Tags: |

The draft of the Texas ESSA state plan has been posted online at: http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Laws_and_Rules/ESSA/Every_Student_Succeeds_Act/ Comments on the plan can be made until August 29th, 2017.  However, the draft mentions disabilities very little. If anyone has any addition information on the state plan, please let us know. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has also posted the following video: https://youtu.be/h_uLySg9o1Y%20&w=500 […]

708, 2017

How Can I Help My Child Cope With Anxiety About Going Back to School?

By |August 7th, 2017|Categories: Communication|Tags: , |

My son is anxious about going back to school, and the closer we get to the first day back, the worse it gets. He’s been acting out and throwing tantrums, saying he refuses to go. What can I do? Going back to school can be a stressful time for both parents and children. Starting a new school year can make kids nervous, especially if there will be changes from the [...]

508, 2017

9 Tips to Help You Advocate for Your Child

By |August 5th, 2017|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: , |

1. Know the rules All public schools abide by specific laws and regulations which provide special services for children with disabilities who qualify for such services. The criteria for eligibility vary in each state and some school districts, but all schools must adhere to a minimum federal standard.  To learn more about the laws in your state and your rights as a parent, contact us. 2. Get to know the [...]

308, 2017

Interactive Timeline Decision Tree

By |August 3rd, 2017|Categories: Special Education, TEA|

The Texas Education Agency and ESC 18 have developed the Timeline Decision Tree: The Child-Centered Special Education Process. This timeline is an interactive tool designed to help users understand the legal requirements of the special education process. Access the Timeline Decision Tree online >

308, 2017

The Art of IEP Diplomacy

By |August 3rd, 2017|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: |

During IEP season the stakes are high. Parents and teachers alike go into those meetings full of emotions and ideas. Sometimes I am surprised that what is unsaid seems just as loud as what is actually said. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of going into an IEP angry. I did not get the best results for my son at that meeting. So I’ve been trying different tactics over [...]

208, 2017

Learning the Rules of the Game

By |August 2nd, 2017|Categories: Communication, Parent Leadership|Tags: |

Parent: “We should be able to trust the system to do what’s right for our kids.” In theory, this sounds good. But when you are dealing with a child with disabilities, there will always be disagreements. You simply will not get agreement from the number of participants who are required to be in these team meetings. Schools are in the decision-making process for the short-term. As a parent, you are [...]

108, 2017

Negotiation 101: How to Get the Special Education Services Your Child Needs

By |August 1st, 2017|Categories: Statewide Events|

Improve your negotiation skills and become a more effective advocate for your child! Join us on August 15 @ 12:15 p.m. CST for this FREE webinar where we will discuss effective negotiation strategies you can use to gain appropriate special education services for your child. These strategies can help you become a more successful member of your child’s IEP team! Webinar hosted by KIM TORRES PRN Training & Evaluations Specialist [...]

2707, 2017

Comments that Parents Hear: “Your child is too smart to have an IEP.”

By |July 27th, 2017|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear|Tags: , , , , , , |

Fact: Intelligence has no bearing on disability or need. Even individuals with genius level IQs can have a disability that affects their ability to access the curriculum. A student with a disability and "high cognition" can have needs (organizational skills, homework completion, social skills, counseling, and classroom behavior, etc.) that need to be addressed through special education and related services. IDEA does not require schools to help a child reach [...]

2507, 2017

Advice for Parents of Kids With Learning Disabilities

By |July 25th, 2017|Categories: Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , , |

Was your child recently diagnosed with a learning or attention issue, like dyslexia or ADHD? Would you like some advice from parents who are farther along in the journey? As part of Understood.org's Real Parents, Tough Topics series, Understood has brought together four parents of kids with learning and attention issues. Watch their conversation as they each share “What I wish I’d known sooner” about their children’s issues, working with [...]

2407, 2017

Understanding Dysgraphia

By |July 24th, 2017|Categories: Disability, Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , |

This article from Erica Patino and Understood.org will help you understand what dysgraphia is, which skills are affected by dysgraphia, how dysgraphia is diagnosed, conditions related to dysgraphia, and how you can help your child. You probably hear a lot about learning and attention issues like dyslexia and ADHD. But chances are you don’t hear much about dysgraphia. If your child has trouble expressing himself in writing, you may want to [...]

2007, 2017

Comments that Parents Hear: “We place all children with Autism here.”

By |July 20th, 2017|Categories: Autism, Comments that Parents Hear, Disability|Tags: , , , , , , |

The IDEA regulations put an emphasis on students being served at their home campus. Courts, hearing officers, and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) have allowed schools to place some groups of students with disabilities on one or more campuses with non-disabled students rather than on every campus. However, the law and regulations put a priority on the concept of students being educated with their peers and in the general [...]

1907, 2017

My Child Has a Lot of Trouble With Social Skills. Should I Be Worried About Autism?

By |July 19th, 2017|Categories: Autism, Disability|Tags: , |

This Q&A is from Understood.org and Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D.  My son has a lot of trouble with social skills, and I’m beginning to suspect he has autism. What’s the difference between autism and the social challenges associated with learning and attention issues? Social challenges are one of the hallmarks of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome may share some characteristics with kids who have [...]

1707, 2017

Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

By |July 17th, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Autism, Disability, Learning Disability|Tags: , , |

This article from Understood.org will help you understand what Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD) are, skills affected by NVLD, how NVLD is diagnosed, and how you can help your child. Many people think of “learning disabilities” as issues with verbal skills such as reading or writing. But what if your child has strong verbal skills and a big vocabulary, but doesn’t understand when somebody is being sarcastic? What if he reads [...]

1207, 2017

Comments that Parents Hear: “We do not evaluate students for dyslexia.”

By |July 12th, 2017|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear, Learning Disability|Tags: , , , |

Many schools do not understand dyslexia or have staff trained to evaluate for dyslexia.  While schools may have dyslexia programs, they are often weak or not available especially at the middle and high school levels, although they are required.  Many students with dyslexia are served in special education programs which may or may not be appropriate. In Texas and a few other states, schools are required to have specific programs for [...]

1107, 2017

Noneducational Community-Based Support Services

By |July 11th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

In 1995, the Texas Legislature appropriated funds for the provision of noneducational community-based support services for certain students with disabilities and their families so that those students may receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). These funds may be used only for eligible students with disabilities who, without the provision of noneducational community-based support services, would remain or would have to be placed [...]

1107, 2017

Dyslexia: What Is and What Isn’t?

By |July 11th, 2017|Categories: Disability, Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , |

https://youtu.be/kE3DqJP-nkI?list=PL0Kjy0JtEbaTwV11xWYtnNTe5S6wqj_vS&w=500 If you’ve heard the term dyslexia and aren’t sure what it means, you’re not alone. People tend to have a lot of questions about dyslexia. Is it a general term that covers many kinds of learning issues? How is it different from (or the same as) a specific learning disability? The answers here can help you develop a better understanding of dyslexia. What exactly is dyslexia? [...]

1007, 2017

Dyslexia and Anxiety: What You Need to Know

By |July 10th, 2017|Categories: Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , , |

Kids know how important reading is. They hear it from their parents and teachers starting at a very young age. So when kids with dyslexia struggle with that vital skill, it can create feelings of anxiety. In most cases, those feelings are passing and limited to situations that involve reading. That might be anything from reading a menu to taking notes for a book report. But sometimes, kids with dyslexia [...]

707, 2017

Facts about Nonpublic School Placements

By |July 7th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

According to the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Accessible Content from the 2016 Nonpublic Day and Residential PowerPoint and document, “A nonpublic school placement is the placement of a student by a district, at district cost, into a private setting to receive special education and related services that the district is unable to provide for the student while still providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE).” Facts about Nonpublic School Placements TEA must approve [...]

707, 2017

An Overview of Different Kinds of Learning Disabilities

By |July 7th, 2017|Categories: Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , , |

Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia—many different learning issues fall under the umbrella of “learning disabilities.” This video from the National Center for Learning Disabilities describes them. It also explains what issues don’t fall under that umbrella. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG_xSBsFMPQ&w=500

607, 2017

Working with the ARD Committee on LRE

By |July 6th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: |

Your child’s IEP must be built upon the PLAAFP.  The PLAAFP should identify the needs of your child.  IDEA regulations say – “(6) In evaluating each child with a disability under Sec. Sec. 300.304 through 300.306, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified. (7) [...]

607, 2017

Access to the General Education Curriculum

By |July 6th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , |

Access to the general education curriculum is about ensuring that all students with disabilities have access to be involved in and show progress in the general curriculum through curricular/instructional adaptations in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and ESC 20 have developed the Progress in the General Curriculum Network (PGC).  The PGC Network has developed documents on Standards-Based Individualized Education Program (IEP), Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), [...]

607, 2017

Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

By |July 6th, 2017|Categories: TEA|Tags: |

Senate Bill 6 from the 82nd Texas Legislature, First Called Session, 2011, created an instructional materials allotment (IMA) for the purchase of instructional materials, technological equipment, and technology-related services. Each district and open-enrollment charter school is entitled to an IMA. The amount of the IMA is determined biennially by the commissioner and is based on the legislative appropriation. Districts and open-enrollment charter schools have access to their allotment through the [...]

507, 2017

I’m Concerned My Child Might Have Learning and Attention Issues

By |July 5th, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Disability, Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Are you wondering if learning and attention issues are causing your child’s challenges in school or at home? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. One in five kids have learning and attention issues. And with the right support, they can thrive in school and in life. This article from Understood.org provides steps you can take to determine if your child has learning and attention issues, and where to go from there. 1. [...]

307, 2017

The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5

By |July 3rd, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , , |

Building on NCLD’s 40-year history as the leading authority on learning disabilities, The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5 report uses recently released data for the 2015–2016 school year and other field-leading research to shine a light on the current challenges and opportunities facing the 1 in 5 children who have learning and attention issues such as dyslexia and ADHD. […]

3006, 2017

PPCD Preschool Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

By |June 30th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , , , |

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is a requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for all children, including preschool children with disabilities. Because providing preschool classes is not a requirement for local education agencies, finding natural environments for preschool-aged children with disabilities to receive special education services can be a challenge for school districts. […]

3006, 2017

Metacognition: How Thinking About Thinking Can Help Kids

By |June 30th, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Disability, Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

When kids hit difficult problems — the seemingly insurmountable English essay, a math test that takes on epic proportions, social struggles that leave them feeling frustrated — it can be tempting to give up and resort to four words no parent ever wants to hear: “I can’t do it.” Kids need to be able to make the transition from ‘I can’t’ to the proactive ‘How can I?’ In order to thrive, [...]

3006, 2017

5 Reasons Why Presuming Competence is ALWAYS a Good Idea

By |June 30th, 2017|Categories: Disability, Intellectual Disabilities|Tags: , , , , |

This is an article that Kim, PRN Training & Evaluations Specialist, gives to everyone who works with her son, Hayden. I think all teachers have had students who led them to that “ah-ha” experience that helped them realize why they got into teaching in the first place. The students were eager, curious, funny, stubborn, persistent, or just plain nice kids. It happened for me back in 1992. I was doing [...]

2906, 2017

Comments that Parents Hear: “Since your child just moved here, there is no reason to review the IEP.”

By |June 29th, 2017|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear, Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , , , , , , , |

How should you respond if the school says: “Since your child just moved here, there is no reason to review the IEP. We will just transfer the old goals to our new forms.”  Chuck Noe, Partners Resource Network’s Education Specialist, shares possible options in this post from the Comments that Parents Hear series. The regulations differentiate between a student who has transferred within the state and one who transferred from [...]

2806, 2017

2017 Texas Bills Regarding Education

By |June 28th, 2017|Categories: Education Laws|Tags: , , , , , |

Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist, shares his insights on newly signed Texas legislation. Please keep in mind that even though a bill is effective immediately, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must go through the process of developing and posting rules before schools can begin implementing some of the laws. HB 1866 “Sec. 8.061.  DYSLEXIA SPECIALIST. Each regional education service center shall employ as a dyslexia specialist a person licensed as a dyslexia [...]

2706, 2017

Tips for Surviving Your Freshman Year of College

By |June 27th, 2017|Categories: Transition|Tags: , , , |

One of the first things I figured out after I graduated from high school and went to college was that college has a lot more responsibilities and work than high school.  In high school, you may have had a whole posse (group of people to support you) behind you, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc.  In college, you are on your own to find the help you need, even [...]

2706, 2017

Advocating for Yourself in Middle School and High School: How To Get What You Need

By |June 27th, 2017|Categories: Youth Leadership|Tags: , , , , |

You should always be able to have the accommodations you need in school for your disability or health care needs. Sometimes it just takes some extra effort to get what you need. Just because you have a disability it doesn’t mean you can’t do as well as the other kids in school, you have the same rights to succeed. By law every school has a process [a set way] for [...]

2106, 2017

TEA’s Special Education Data Sharing Request

By |June 21st, 2017|Categories: TEA|Tags: , , , |

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) sent the following letter to school administrators titled “Special Education Data Sharing Request – Eligibility for Reimbursement”. Many parents might wonder if sharing IEPs with the state is a violation of confidentiality. FERPA rules allow state education agency staff to view records for several purposes, including research. We believe the U.S. Department of Education is most likely aware that this [...]

1406, 2017

Congratulations Maria!

By |June 14th, 2017|Categories: Other|Tags: |

Maria Cordero of our TEAM PTI was the Keynote Speaker at the Border Region MHMR's 23rd Annual Conference in Laredo, Texas. Maria and her sons - Alan, James and Aaron - gave a motivational session for families.  Congratulations, Maria and sons!

1406, 2017

Texas Legislative Update for June 2017

By |June 14th, 2017|Categories: Education Laws|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist,  shares his insights on newly signed Texas legislation.  Please keep in mind that even though a bill is effective immediately, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must go through the process of developing and posting rules before schools can begin implementing some of the laws. HB 657  An ARD committee (IEP team) may promote a student to the next grade level if the committee concludes that [...]

1406, 2017

Texas Success Initiative and Postsecondary Education

By |June 14th, 2017|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , , , , |

Traditionally students with disabilities could enroll in any educational institution (community college, junior college, four year college/university), trade school or technical institute that would accept them. Recently, Texas passed legislation (Texas Success Initiative – TSI) designed to help postsecondary institutions determine, if a student is ready for college level coursework. […]

1406, 2017

Facilitated IEPs in Texas

By |June 14th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program|Tags: , , , , |

In the last ten years, Texas has taken interest in the growing use of “facilitated IEPs” to assist in dealing with “difficult” IEP meetings and resolving disagreements.  In 2013, the Texas passed legislation addressing facilitated IEPs.  IEP facilitation offered by a school is now an option for resolving disputes. TAC 89.1196 (a)  – IEP facilitation “refers to a method of alternative dispute resolution that involves the use of a trained [...]

1306, 2017

What is a CRCG?

By |June 13th, 2017|Categories: Parent Leadership, Youth Leadership|Tags: , , , |

Unfortunately, Community Resource Coordination Groups (CRCG) are an asset that many parents, state agency staff and the general public are not aware of.  A CRCG can provide help and support to many individuals with disabilities and their families while also supporting the efforts of professionals. […]

1306, 2017

Charter Schools in Texas

By |June 13th, 2017|Categories: Charter Schools|Tags: |

Charter schools differ from public schools in many ways and parents are often confused about them in general and specifically regarding serving children with disabilities. The purpose of Texas charter schools is to: (1) improve student learning; (2) increase the choice of learning opportunities within the public school system; (3) create professional opportunities that will attract new teachers to the public school system; (4) establish a new form of accountability [...]

1306, 2017

Individualized Health Care Plans

By |June 13th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , , |

Many parents are not aware of Individualized Health Care Plans (IHPs) and that schools are required to provide these plans to students.  IHPs can be beneficial to some students served by special education.  The information excerpted below comes from the Texas Guide to School Health Services manual by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). […]

906, 2017

Transitioning Between Schools

By |June 9th, 2017|Categories: Back to School, Individualized Education Program, Special Education, Transition|Tags: , |

When we have children with disabilities, we hear the word “transition” a lot. And most of the time, we are talking about our children’s transition into adulthood. But even though that is an important transition, it isn’t the first one your child will face. There are transitions between home and preschool, preschool and elementary school, middle and high school – and maybe even between school districts, if your family moves. [...]

606, 2017

IEPs and School Transfers

By |June 6th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Transition|Tags: , , , |

IDEA provides guidelines for a child with a disability transferring to another school in or out of district within the same state or out of state. The guidelines are specific as to the child’s right to have a free appropriate public education with services that are comparable to those in the previous IEP.

1705, 2017

Rights of Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools

By |May 17th, 2017|Categories: Charter Schools|Tags: , |

The key word is public – if a public Texas charter school is not following federal and state special education rules, it would fall to TEA (Texas Education Agency) to enforce them under the dispute resolution processes. Information on the laws and regulations that Texas charter schools must follow is at http://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/Charter_Schools/Charter_Schools_-_Resources/ On December 28, 2016, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special [...]

1605, 2017

Extended School Year (ESY) for Kids with Autism

By |May 16th, 2017|Categories: Autism|Tags: , , , , , |

If your child with autism is like mine, he thrives on routine. Set up a program that works for him, and he’s up with the sun, ready to jump on the school bus, and eager to do what he’s done yesterday and the day before. Then the school year ends. And for many families, the problems begin. Children with autism have a tough time adjusting to transitions and change.  But summer [...]

1505, 2017

What Are Extended School Year (ESY) Services?

By |May 15th, 2017|Categories: Special Education|Tags: , , , , |

If your child receives special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), did you know he or she may be eligible for a program of special education and/or services beyond the normal school year? Such services are commonly referred to as extended school year (ESY) services. Read on to learn how ESY might help your child, the types of services it might include, and how the Individualized Education [...]

805, 2017

Common Mistakes that Undermine Parents’ Ability to Obtain Appropriate Services

By |May 8th, 2017|Categories: Parent Leadership|Tags: , |

Because the stakes are so high, it is sometimes difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need. Here are some common mistakes that undermine parents’ ability to obtain appropriate services: […]

805, 2017

Bullying in Texas Schools

By |May 8th, 2017|Categories: Bullying|Tags: |

Texas laws require schools and school administrators to take actions to prevent bullying and to investigate reports of bullying.  The law breaks bullying into 3 components: Conduct:  Physical conduct that occurs at school, a school function, or in a school vehicle. - Written, verbal or electronic expression.; Motivation:  Bullying involves exploiting an imbalance of power. - Exploit: "to use selfishly for one's ends." - Exploitation involves intentional conduct.; Effect: The conduct must [...]

805, 2017

A Parent’s Guide to Effective Instruction for Students with Dyslexia

By |May 8th, 2017|Categories: Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , |

Reading problems are the most common type of academic underachievement. Especially for students with dyslexia, learning to read and write can be exceedingly difficult. Dyslexia and related reading and language difficulties are the result of neurobiological variations, but they can be treated with effective instruction. Effective instruction is instruction that is tied to student needs, as determined by diagnostic testing and evaluation. It is instruction delivered by knowledgeable and skilled [...]

805, 2017

The Dyslexia-Stress-Anxiety Connection

By |May 8th, 2017|Categories: Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , |

Stress is the reaction of the body and brain to situations that put us in harm’s way. The stressor may be a physical threat (e.g., a baseball coming quickly toward you) or a psychological threat (e.g., a worry or fear that you will make a mistake delivering your lines in a play or write a passage that won’t make sense to the reader). Stress, or more specifically, the stress response, [...]

805, 2017

Planning for a Meeting about Your Child’s Behavior Needs

By |May 8th, 2017|Categories: Behavior Issues|Tags: , , , , , , |

Raising a child with a disability is challenging.  Raising a child with a disability who also has behavioral needs is even more challenging.  As a parent, you may find yourself among competing approaches to handling behavior concerns.  Planning ahead for an individualized meeting about your child’s behavior needs will help you explain your own ideas about the best way to help your child in addition to listening to the ideas [...]

805, 2017

Need for Functional Skill Training

By |May 8th, 2017|Categories: Intellectual Disabilities, Special Education|Tags: , |

Functional Skills are defined as life skills that people use every day, in different environments. Functional skills focus on different areas such as home, family, self help skills, social skills, independent living skills.  Also, skills needed for employment and job retention, recreation, community living, as well as functional academics that can be used every day. While academic skills are important for all children with disabilities, many parents and advocates seem [...]

805, 2017

5 School Trouble Spots

By |May 8th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program, Special Education|Tags: , |

Getting your child an appropriate educational program is hard enough, but even if you’ve dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” on the IEP, or chatted up every teacher on your child’s strengths and weaknesses, there will still be times during the school day when all those helps fall down a hole. Periods like recess and lunch and gym and locales like restrooms and buses are hard for most school [...]

305, 2017

Awkward! The Tough Transition to Middle School

By |May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Transition|Tags: , , |

Article by Kelly Wallace, CNN  There is a reason why when people post pictures of themselves during their middle school years on Facebook for "Throw Back Thursday," we all stop and take notice. We recognize the fear or uncertainty or absolute angst in their eyes. Raging hormones. Changing bodies. Awkward social interactions. No longer a child but not yet an adult. Those are just a few of the zillion [...]

205, 2017

The State of LD: Understanding Learning and Attention Issues

By |May 2nd, 2017|Categories: ADHD, Learning Disability|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

1 in 5 children in the U.S. have learning and attention issues Children with dyslexia, ADHD and other kinds of learning and attention issues are as smart as their peers. But without the right support, many fall behind academically and struggle socially. They’re more likely to repeat a grade, get in trouble at school or with the law, drop out and struggle as adults to find work. But this downward spiral [...]

2404, 2017

Disability Disclosure in Postsecondary Education

By |April 24th, 2017|Categories: Transition, Youth Leadership|Tags: , , , , |

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMb5aURm81s&w=500 Accommodations at the postsecondary level (after you exit high school) are provided only when a student discloses his or her disability and requests reasonable accommodations. It is not essential to divulge specific personal information about your disability. What is most important and helpful is to provide information about:  how your disability affects your capacity to learn and study effectively the environment, supports, and services you’ll need in order [...]

1004, 2017

6 Options for Resolving an IEP Dispute

By |April 10th, 2017|Categories: Dispute Resolution|Tags: , , , , |

No matter how good your relationship with a school, there may come a time when you and the school disagree over what’s best for your child. Conflicts can arise over the amount or quality of services that the school is providing in your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Sometimes the disagreement may be about your child’s placement. The good news is that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) gives [...]

304, 2017

Who Won Endrew F?

By |April 3rd, 2017|Categories: Education Laws|Tags: , , |

Article by Jim Gerl, Special Education Blog @ http://specialeducationlawblog.blogspot.com/2017/03/who-won-endrew-f-fape-iep-scotus.html I got an email from a reporter last week asking a fascinating question: did parents or school districts win in the Endrew F decision by the US Supreme Court? You can read the entire high court decision here. Also our previous posts concerning the case are available here and here. The reporter noted that it seems that parent groups are [...]

304, 2017

A Supreme Disappointment for Students with Disabilities

By |April 3rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

Article by Kalman R. Hettleman, The Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-scotus-schools-20170327-story.html The Supreme Court held unanimously last week — in its most momentous ruling on special education in over three decades — that the standard for services owed to students with disabilities under federal law is higher than "merely more than de minimis." Lower courts had been divided, with some saying services must be "meaningful" or "significant," and others saying "merely [...]

2403, 2017

Supreme Court Decision in Endrew F. Focuses on Mainstreaming, Progress, and Designing IEPs to Meet Child’s ‘Unique Needs’

By |March 24th, 2017|Categories: Education Laws|Tags: , , , , , |

Article by Wrightslaw What a great day! On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued another unanimous ruling in favor of children with special needs and their parents. The Court emphasized that full inclusion is the primary standard, with the "child progressing smoothly through the regular curriculum." The Court held that "merely more than de minimis" progress is not enough. Chief Justice Roberts wrote, "...IDEA demands more. It requires [...]

2303, 2017

Supreme Court Clarifies FAPE Standard

By |March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Education Laws|Tags: , , |

The United States Supreme Court issued a big decision on Wednesday. The high court clarified what FAPE means and how courts should apply the FAPE requirement. The decision in Endrew F by Joseph F v. Douglas County School District RE-1, # 15-827,  580 U.S. (2017) vacates and remands a previous decision by the Tenth Circuit. This was a unanimous decision, the second special education unanimous decision by the Supreme Court this year. Although [...]

1002, 2017

U.S. Department of Education Publishes New Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities

By |February 10th, 2017|Categories: Transition|Tags: |

Transition planning is a mandatory aspect of special education service delivery, according to federal special education law (IDEA 20 U.S.C. 1400). Federal law requires that school special education teams engage in transition planning for each student’s transition to adulthood — that is, from high school to college or employment. The law states specific requirements for transition planning. These requirements include timing, assessment, goals, and services. In January 2017, the United [...]

1002, 2017

ARD/IEP Committee Decision Making Process

By |February 10th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program|Tags: , , , |

Federal regulations refer to an IEP team.  In Texas, this team is referred to as the Admission, Review, and Dismissal or ARD committee. This committee meets at least once a year to develop, review and/or revise a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP). IDEA says that the IEP meeting serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, and enables them, as equal participants, to make joint, informed decisions regarding- [...]

902, 2017

Comments that Parents Hear: “We don’t have an aide (or service, equipment item, etc.) for your child”

By |February 9th, 2017|Categories: Comments that Parents Hear|Tags: , , , |

“We don’t have an aide (or service or equipment item, etc.) for your child, although we agree that it’s a good idea. Our budget is really tight and we just can’t afford it.” Recall the Law The school district must provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for children regardless of cost or funding issues. The school is required to identify building resources to meet the students’ needs. “Special education [...]

802, 2017

Ignoring This Will Derail Your Child’s IEP Goals: An IEP Strategy

By |February 8th, 2017|Categories: Individualized Education Program|Tags: , , , , |

Traits, personality traits, or characteristics … no matter what you call them, if ignored, it is almost a guarantee that your child’s IEP goals will fail. What are these traits you ask?  They are the immeasurable qualities that make your child who they are. Things like: Your child’s learning style Your child’s interests Your child’s anxiety triggers or fears Your child’s view of themselves Knowing and documenting these characteristics will [...]