NLDline

Subj:    THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, MAY 2, 1999 (VOL. II, NO. 10)
Date:    5/2/99 8:29:51 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From:    webmaster@wrightslaw.com (Pam and Pete Wright)
Sender:    owner-special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com
To:    special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com

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The Special Ed Advocate

The Online Newsletter About

Special Education and the Law

May 2, 1999 Vol. II, No. 10

Visit us today at:

http://www.wrightslaw.com

===================

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special
education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, effective
educational methods, and Internet links.

We publish this newsletter occasionally, when time permits. Back issues
of The Special Ed Advocate are archived at our web site -

http://www.wrightslaw.com

As a subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate, you will receive
announcements and "alerts" about new cases and other events. Contact,
copyright, and subscription information can be found at the end of this
newsletter.

For an html version of this newsletter, go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/nwltr/1999/nl_99_0502.html

This newsletter is never sent unsolicited. You received the newsletter
because you subscribed to The Special Ed Advocate.

If your email address changes, please unsubscribe your old email address
and subscribe your new email address. Directions about how to subscribe
and unsubscribe are at the end of this newsletter.

========================

It’s IEP time. Our mailbox is filled with messages from parents who have
very specific questions. Unfortunately, we are unable to answer specific
factual or legal questions.

When we can, we try to answer general questions. If one person asks a
question, we know other people have similar questions. In this issue of
The Special Ed Advocate newsletter, we share some questions and answers
with you.

1. MARYLAND MOM HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT INDIVIDUALIZED SERVICES IN THE IEP

2. WASHINGTON DAD ASKS ABOUT AN “IEP ATTACHMENT”

3. WISE ADVICE FROM CALIFORNIA MOM

4. NEBRASKA MOM USED WRIGHTSLAW AND “WON”

5. EDITOR’S CHOICE FROM THE ADVOCATE’S BOOKSTORE: GREAT BOOKS FOR MAY!

6. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

7. CONTACT INFORMATION

==========================

1. MARYLAND MOM HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT INDIVIDUALIZED SERVICES IN CHILD’S
IEP

My child is 13 years old and goes to middle school this fall. Last week,
we went to the school for a preplanning IEP meeting.

Our daughter needs speech therapy. The middle school speech therapist
said that our daughter could not receive one-on-one speech therapy. She
said "There is no individual speech therapy. Speech therapy can only be
in groups because it is the least restrictive environment.” She said
“individual therapy wouldn't be in the least restrictive environment."

She knows the law.

Where can I find more information about speech therapy and least
restrictive environment? This is the first time I have heard this and it
made me very uncomfortable.

Dear Maryland Mom:

First, don’t assume "She knows the law." The law does not say that a
child cannot receive individualized instruction or one on one
instruction. Many children with disabilities require direct instruction
or remediation.

Here are some tips that will help you get the answers to your questions.

READ THE STATUTE:

Go to the Law Library our website. Download the statute and read it for
yourself. Use a highlighter to mark passages that relate to your
questions. The statute is in black type. Pete's comments are in blue
type. Here is how the statute is organized on the site

1. TABLE OF CONTENTS & SHORT INTRO BY PETE AT

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/20USC1400MyOverview.html

2. PURPOSE OF SPECIAL ED LAW, DEFINITIONS IS AT

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/20USC1400_1406.html

3. LAW ABOUT PRIVATE PLACEMENTS, CHILD FIND, LEAST RESTRICTIVE
ENVIRONMENT S AT

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/20USC1412.html

4. LAW ABOUT EVALUATIONS, ELIGIBILITY, IEPS, PLACEMENT AT

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/20USC1414.html

5. PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS TO PROTECT CHILD AT -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/20USC1415.html

6. DISCIPLINE -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/discipline.html

READ THE SPECIAL ED REGS:

Suggest that you download the special ed regs from the site, then print
them.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/Index_IDEA_Regs_990313.htm

You can also download the regs in Adobe Acrobat format by going to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/pdf_files.htm

Look for the regulations that address your issues. You want information
and guidance about “least restrictive environment.” After you download
the files, you can search the regs for the term “least restrictive
environment.”

SEARCH THE SITE

You can now search the Wrightslaw site. When you search using the phrase
“least restrictive environment,” you get 22 “hits.” To search, go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/searchsw.html

USING TACTICS & STRATEGY

You can know all about your legal rights and not get the services your
child needs. To get appropriate services, you will need to use “tactics
and strategy.”

Your private sector expert must be willing to say that for an
appropriate education, your child needs one-on-one speech therapy. (As a
Mom, your opinion will not be given any weight.)

Write a short polite letter to the school. Explain that you went to a
“Pre-IEP Meeting” and were advised that your child could not receive
one-on-one speech therapy.

Ask the school to provide you with a copy of the law, regulation or
policy which says that all children with disabilities must have speech
therapy in groups, regardless of their needs. The tone of your letter
should be polite and businesslike. Keep us posted.

========================

2. FROM WASHINGTON DAD ABOUT USING AN IEP ATTACHMENT

I have a 5 yr. old autistic son in the public school special education
program.

I hope to consent to an IEP that is on the table but I want to add an
IEP attachment about what I think should be included in the IEP. I
expect that the special education people will vigorously object to this.

Is there any law or regulation or any other thing that the special
education people can come up that would prevent my adding such a
statement? Thanks.

DEAR DAD:

Read the statute and regs about IEPs, especially Appendix A. Appendix A
is 40 Q & As about IEPs, in part about strengthening the parental role.
There is a section in the statute that discusses the need to improve
special ed outcomes by strengthening the parental role so you are on
firm ground.

Here is the link to Appendix A

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/IDEARegs_AppendixA.htm

Check your state’s education regulations or proposed regulations to see
if there is anything that helps.

Our clients often ask that a Parent IEP Attachment be attached to the
child's IEP. This attachment can serve many purposes –add important
information, document your concerns, etc.

Suggest that you follow up the meeting with a letter that documents your
understanding of what transpired. Good luck to you.

=================

3. WISE ADVICE FROM A CALIFORNIA MOM

I just had to let you know what a valuable tool your website has become
for me. In fact, I'm recommending it to parents whenever I get a chance
who are struggling with their LD kids in school.

My son is dyslexic. Without your help on how to deal with the school, he
would still be ignored – and the school would be telling us parents that
he's lazy, etc.

The biggest piece of advice I can give parents is to document and make a
record of EVERYTHING. Most schools have e-mail, and e-mail creates a
permanent record. Phone conversations can't be recorded without both
parties agreeing, but e-mail is much more convenient and creates that
"paper trail." Also, tape record the IEP meetings -- I've had to refer
to specific sections on the tape for future use. :)

The other thing I would strongly advise parents to do is to understand
the test scores, and goals and objectives from IEP meetings. When I
compared the test scores from three years ago to today, I discovered
that my son had actually REGRESSED in over half of the areas.

The school psychologist didn't complete some sections of certain tests.

Jaws dropped at my son's IEP meeting when I blew apart their program
with their own tests and scores. My son's school didn't bother to check
whether or not he was making any progress -- quite frankly, they didn't
care. The school psychologist was so rattled that she walked out of the
meeting.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

=====================

4. GOOD NEWS FROM A NEBRASKA MOM WHO USED WRIGHTSLAW AND “WON”

I had my son's IEP meeting today. The meeting was supposed to be next
Friday. Yesterday, I got an email telling me that the meeting was
changed to today after school. (The school knows this is when I am in
class.) I skipped school to go to the IEP meeting. When I got to the
school at 3:30, there was a note for me saying that the principal and
reading teacher couldn't make it so the meeting would be rescheduled
again. I blew a fuse.

This happens often at our school - IEP meetings are cancelled at the
last minute. Months pass before the meeting are rescheduled. The school
wanted to reschedule this rescheduled meeting for June 8th – I said no
way.

I had all of my son’s test scores from the beginning to the present. I
had graphs that showed regression in reading and writing. At age 8 , he
is just beginning to learn how to read. These graphs showed that his
areas of greatest deficit had never been addressed in the IEPs (i.e.,
weak auditory and verbal skills).

We had the IEP meeting after all. The new IEP provides for 2 additional
hours a day with an aid, new teaching strategies with information about
when the strategies are implemented and how my son’s learning will be
measured objectively.

Thank you for all you do for the children.

DEAR NEBRASKA MOM:

What good news - you are learning the steps to the dance!

You looked at the tests and figured out what your son's weaknesses are.
You learned how to measure educational progress using objective tests.
You learned how to present this information with charts (visual aids).
You got an outside expert involved who is willing to say what your son
needs. You documented your discussions and concerns in writing.

Congratulations!

=========================

5. EDITOR’S CHOICE FROM THE ADVOCATE’S BOOKSTORE: GREAT BOOKS FOR MAY!

“BETTER IEPS: HOW TO DEVELOP LEGALLY CORRECT AND EDUCATIONALLY USEFUL
PROGRAMS” BY BARBARA BATEMAN AND MARY ANNE LINDEN

“Better IEPs” is our #1 book recommendation for parents, advocates and
attorneys who are trying to develop good IEPs.

The Third Edition has been completely updated and revised. Better IEPS
guidelines about HOW TO and HOW NOT TO develop IEPs and examples of IEPs
– good and bad.

For more about “Better IEPs” go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/bkstore/bks_law.htm

----------------

THE CHALLENGING CHILD: UNDERSTANDING, RAISING AND ENJOYING THE FIVE
“DIFFICULT” TYPES OF CHILDREN BY STANLEY GREENSPAN AND JACQUELINE
SALMON.

Our favorite Kindergarten teacher writes:

“I love the book you recommended on your site, Greenspan's “Challenging
Child.” It is my Bible right now for some of my students. I really like
the way he suggests working with these temperaments to change some
things around. Very clear, very positive, innovative.

“I have a student who is the Active Aggressive kid to the max. Greenspan
talks about this child's need for lots of stimulation because he doesn't
perceive stim well at a low level--This kid loves loud, noisy, tactile,
strong sensations and yells rather than talks. I keep stuff on his desk
just for him to fiddle with, and it helps him to relax.

“I also really like the way Greenspan discusses talking with these
children to help them develop the language and ideas to express
themselves, rather than to rush into immediate action because the ideas,
the ability to think about something (vicariously) just aren't there
yet.

“I was talking with this child today, "What will you do at recess? Who
will you play with? What else might you do?" And he could NOT say --I
kept plugging away, pulling this out--yet he was so driven to get to the
playground.

“I am curious about these kinds of conversations, the ploys you can use
to help a child (is this the word?) ideate. Must look for more of his
stuff. And my school is going to buy this book. Thank you!”

For information about “Challenging Children” go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/bkstore/bks_disability.htm

-----------------------

We have added another book by Dr. Greenspan to the Advocate’s Bookstore.

THE CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: ENCOURAGING INTELLECTUAL AND EMOTIONAL
GROWTH BY STANLEY GREENSPAN, SERENA WIEDER.

Covering all kinds of disabilities--cerebral palsy, autism, retardation,
ADD, and language problems--this comprehensive guide offers parents
specific ways of helping all special needs children reach their full
intellectual and emotional potential.

This is what one reviewer had to say about “The Child with Special
Needs”:

“Nature or nurture? One of the most intense debates in understanding the
development of the human mind is whether cognitive ability is based in
genetics or developed through learning experiences.

“While biology clearly plays a part, recent research shows that the
interactions experienced during infancy and childhood can actually
change the physical structure and wiring of the brain.

“Does this mean many children with developmental and learning
disorders--such as autism, PDD, language and speech problems, ADD, Down
syndrome and others--can make greater progress than previously thought?
The research cited by Dr. Greenspan and Serena Wieder strongly supports
this idea.”

For more information about “The Child with Special Needs” go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/bkstore/bks_disability.htm

==============================

6. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

To subscribe to The Special Ed Advocate, send an email to

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In the beginning of your message, insert the following words exactly,
with the hyphens, all lowercase

subscribe special-ed-advocate

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In the beginning of your message, insert the following words exactly,
with the hyphens, all lowercase

unsubscribe special-ed-advocate

===========

7. CONTACT INFORMATION

Pete and Pam Wright
c/o The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Phone: 804-257-0857
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com

The resources at this website are copyrighted by the authors. They may
be used for non-commercial purposes only. They may not be redistributed
for commercial purposes without the express written consent of Peter W.
D. Wright.

It is not necessary to obtain our consent to link to our website or
copy, print and distribute our articles and newsletters for nonprofit
purposes so long as the material is reproduced in its entirety and
credit is given to Pete and Pam Wright and "wrightslaw" including the
URL -

http://www.wrightslaw.com

Copyright 1999, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights
reserved.

END