Special Education – 6 Factors to Consider When Advocating for Extended School Year Services

Are you the parent of a child with autism or a learning disability,
who believes that your child needs educational services outside of the
school day? Have you been told that your child does not qualify for
summer school because there is no proof of regression?
This article will discuss the 6 factors that IEP teams must consider
when discussing Extended School Year (ESY).Extended school year is educational and related services outside of
the regular school year. The child must need ESY, in order to receive
a free appropriate public education (FAPE). ESY can extend beyond
summer school, if the child needs it.In the court case Reusch vs. Fountain the court found six factors for
IEP teams to consider in deciding if a child is eligible for ESY
services.Factor 1: Regression and Recoupment: Is the child likely to lose
critical academic or functional skills, or fail to recover these
skills within a reasonable time.
Many special education personnel only use regression and recoupment to
determine ESY eligibility. Courts and OSEP have ruled that this is not
the only consideration.Factor 2: Degree of progress toward IEP goals and objectives. If
your child did not make progress during the school year, you could use
this to ask for ESY.Factor 3: Emerging skills/and Breakthrough opportunities. Is your
child just starting to learn to read, and will a long summer break
prevent progress from continuing? You could use this as a reason to
ask for ESY, for your child with a disability.Factor 4: Interfering Behavior. Behavior that affects your child’s
ability to benefit from special education.Factor 5: Nature and Severity of Disability. OSEP released a policy
letter on February 4, 2003 that states A public agency may not limit
ESY services to particular categories of disability, or unilaterally
limit the type, amount, or duration of these services. Many school
districts were only offering extended school year services to children
with the most severe disabilities, this is not allowed.Factor 6: Special circumstances that interfere with your child’s
ability to benefit from special education. Was your child ill, or
missed a lot of school because of illness. You could use this reason
to ask for ESY services for your child.By using these 6 factors you will be able to advocate for ESY for your
child. Children with autism, and also learning disabilities often need
extended school year services, in order to benefit from their
education. You may have to fight for this important service, but it
will be worth it. After all, isn’t your child worth the fight!

4 Parenting Tips – How to Overcome Blame, From Special Education Personnel

Are you the parent of a child with autism that has been blamed for your child’s behavioral difficulties? Have you been told by special education personnel that your child’s learning disability or difficulty is your fault? This article will discuss a study of school psychologists about blame for children’s learning difficulties. And also, give you tips,on how to overcome the blame, placed by some disability educators.Several years ago, I heard about a study where school psychologists were asked who they blamed, when a child had learning difficulties. The basic outcome of the study showed that 100% of the psychologists that were surveyed, placed the blame on the child or the parents. Not one school psychologist blamed the school district, teacher, inappropriate curriculum, lack of resources, or inadequate instruction, for children’s learning difficulties. Years ago, I heard a school psychologist blame a mother for her daughter’s learning disability, since then I have heard it several times.While the study did not include blame for behavioral difficulties, it has been my experience that school personnel often blame parents for children’s school behavioral issues. Parents must overcome both types of blame, so that they can advocate for an appropriate education, for their child.Tip 1: If a school person tells you that your child’s behavior, is because of something that is going on at home, stand up to them. Tell the person that you do not believe that this is true. If your child has autism, they may have a lot of behavioral difficulties due to their disability. Most families are not perfect, but most times do not cause a child’s behavioral difficulty; especially if the child’s behavioral difficulty is at school.Tip 2: Try and figure out what your child is telling you by their behavior; perhaps the work is too hard, they are not receiving appropriate instruction. Try and figure out the ABC’s of Behavior; A stands for antecedent (what was happening before the behavior), B stands for Behavior (what was the specific behavior), and C stands for the Consequence (what did the child get out of the behavior). By focusing on the behavior, and not the blame you will help your child.Tip 3: If your child is struggling with academics due to a learning disability; make sure that they are receiving research based instruction, which is required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Children with learning disabilities need a reading program with five principles: Simultaneous multi sensory, systematic and cumulative, direct interaction, diagnostic teaching, and analytic instruction. Check out http://www.ortongillingham.com for more information.Tip 4: Tell the special education person, that your child has the right to a free appropriate public education, and you will be holding them accountable for that. Be honest, and bring up any school related reasons that you believe your child is having academic difficulty, or behavioral difficulty. Many schools continue using outdated curricculums that do not work, which can cause lack of academic progress and frustration in some children.You can overcome the blame that some disability educators try and place on your or your child. Continue to focus on your child, and their needs, and this will help you overcome the blame. Your child is depending on you!

Kids Educational Toys

Kids educational toys serve a much larger purpose besides simply giving your child something to play with, and keeping the out of your hair. Kids learning toys do just that; they create opportunities for your child to grow mentally, and to learn tools and functioning skills that they will need to call upon for their success as an adult. As a matter of fact, this is the main reason why parents want their children to have educational toys. They want their kids to have a leg up when they go to school. Most parents are savvy enough to understand that education is a process, and not just something that takes place during school hours. Education needs to be supplemented at home. Parents who educate their children before the child starts school have often found that their child is more advanced, and have been elevated to higher grade levels above their age group. When parents supplement their child’s education in school with educational tools at home, they are setting their children up to become sophiticated, well-rounded people who are able to problem solve, and to understand complex concepts. Not only do these things help in college, but it also helps them in their career years at work. Educated kids became educated adults who can provide for themselves, and their families.Kids educational toys can either promote creativity, or they can promote problem solving. Educational toys are sold for children who are newborns, up to their pre-teen years. Believe it or not, many parents want to immerse their children in educational pursuits from the time that they born! Parents feel that if they immerse their newborn into learning with kids toys, then the infant will pick up concepts by osmosis. Many parents want to challenge the brain function of the infant, so that when the child learns how to walk, talk, and interact with the world, the child will hopefully be more advanced then other children their age. Parents hope that if the child is advanced in their education, certain opportunities will come their way that might not otherwise.When you are selecting kids educational toys for your child, keep in mind that while the purpose of educational toys are to help enlarge your child’s mentality, at the end of the day, it is a toy, and your child is a child. To that end, it’s very important to buy educational toys that your child will actually want to play with. You could buy kids educational toys that teaches your child how to count to 10 in five languages, or how to become a rocket scientist. But if your child doesn’t like the toy, or if the toy is too complex or frustrating, your child won’t play with it. This defeats the purpose, of course!With this in mind, try to find kids educational toys that are the right mixture of fun and learning.