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Subj:    THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, APRIL 24, 2000 (V. 3, NO. 14)
Date:    4/26/00 10:27:12 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From:    webmaster@wrightslaw.com (Wrightslaw)
Sender:    owner-special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com
To:    special-ed-advocate@wrightslaw.com

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter is sent by permission only. To unsubscribe, please follow the directions at the end of this e-mail. Thanks!

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THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE

Online Newsletter About Special Education and the Law

April 26, 2000 Vol. III, No. 14

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1. NEWS FLASH! JUDGE ISSUES RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST MARYLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT (April 25, 2000)

2. LETTER TO WRIGHTSLAW: “MY CHILD HAS A DISABILITY, BUT SCHOOL SAYS HE’S NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL ED . . .”

3. “YOUR CHILD HAS SCHOOL PROBLEMS: WHO IS TO BLAME?” (revised)

4. QUESTION: “WHERE CAN I FIND LOW COST SERVICES?”

5. RESOURCES FROM THE ADVOCATE’S BOOKSTORE

6. ENFORCE IDEA NOW: GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY KIT & TIPS

7. THE SECOND BOOK: MORE HEROES

8. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

9. CONTACT INFORMATION

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1. NEWS FLASH! JUDGE ISSUES RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST MARYLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT (April 25, 2000)

“On Tuesday, April 25, 2000, the Circuit Court of Montgomery County (Maryland) issued a Temporary Restraining Order that enjoined Montgomery County Public Schools from enforcing its "EIGHT SEMESTER RULE" against a student with Attention Deficit Disorder.”

“Because of learning problems related to Attention Deficit Disorder, the student repeated ninth grade and was unable to complete high school in eight semesters. Montgomery County Public
Schools has an EIGHT SEMESTER RULE. If a child cannot complete high school in eight semesters, the child is not allowed to participate in sports.”

In granting the Order, the Court found that “immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm will result” to the child before a full hearing could be held.

To read the full article about the Court’s ruling on reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, go to -
http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2000/MD_TRO_lacrosse.htm

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2. LETTER TO WRIGHTSLAW: “MY CHILD HAS A DISABILITY, SCHOOL SAYS HE’S NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL ED . . .”

Eric writes, “My son has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), ODD, learning disabilities in written expression and a graphomotor disorder.”

“The school staff agree with this diagnosis but say he doesn’t qualify for special education because he is making good grades. Is this true? What guidelines exist about grades and eligibility for special education?”

FROM WRIGHTSLAW: Good question: How are eligibility decisions made?

Your position is that your child has a disability AND that your child needs special education.

The school’s position is that your child has a disability but does NOT need special education.

* GAME PLAN TO RESOLVE ELIGIBILITY DISPUTES *

Most eligibility disputes involve disagreements about whether a child with a disability needs special education services, not whether the child has a disability.

Here is a game plan to help you resolve this dispute. Although you won’t be able to resolve EVERY dispute with this plan, many disputes can be resolved by taking these steps.

First, you need to learn about:

* Legal Rights and Responsibilities
* School Culture
* How to Use Tactics and Strategy
* Importance of Presentation

To learn more about Eligibility disputes and to get copy of the Eligibility Game Plan, go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/ltrs/eric_eligibility_disputes.htm

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3. “YOUR CHILD HAS SCHOOL PROBLEMS: WHO IS TO BLAME?” (revised)

One of the most popular articles on the Wrightslaw site is “Whose Fault Is It?” The article describes findings from a survey of school psychologists by Dr. Galen Alessi and helps parents
understand the power of school culture.

We recently revised and renamed this article. To get your copy of “Your Child Has School Problems: Who is to Blame?” go to -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/alessi_problems_blame.html

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4. QUESTION: “WHERE CAN I FIND LOW COST SERVICES?”

Gayle writes, “Our son is 12 years old -- he has hyperlexia and mild CP. His math skills are non-existent – he can’t add simple numbers.”

“We don't have much money for outside consultants. Is there an independent testing organization that is free or inexpensive?”

WRIGHTSLAW ANSWERS:

Here are some suggestions about low cost evaluations:

1. Ask your child's pediatrician or neurologist for recommendations about educational evaluators.

2. Contact a university, child development clinic, and /or children's hospital, and ask if they do educational evaluations on a sliding fee scale.

3. Post your question in our Discussion area. This is where people ask questions and share information. Here is a link to the Discussion area:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/feedback_purpose.htm

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5. RESOURCES FROM THE ADVOCATE’S BOOKSTORE

In dealing with the school staff, parents are negotiating for services. Here are two books that will get you off to a good start. Each of these books is helpful in different ways.

* “HOW TO ARGUE AND WIN EVERY TIME” by Gerry Spence *

" HOW TO ARGUE" is NOT about arguing. “HOW TO ARGUE” will teach you how to present your case effectively, using story telling and visual imagery. " HOW TO ARGUE” is one of Pete's favorite advocacy books.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312144776/thespecialedadvo/

* “EVERYDAY LETTERS FOR BUSY PEOPLE” *

Parents must learn to document their concerns in writing. If you make a statement or share a concern about your child BUT you don’t put your concerns in writing, then for practical and legal purposes, you did not express concerns.

EVERYDAY LETTERS will help you write effective letters. The book includes sample Parent-School letters that you can adapt to your situation.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1564143392/thespecialedadvo/

Visit the Advocate's Bookstore at

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

The Tactics and Strategy section of the Bookstore is at

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

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6. ENFORCE IDEA NOW: GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY KIT & TIPS

On January 25, the National Council on Disability released their long-awaited IDEA Compliance Report, “Back to School on Civil Rights.” According to the NCD Report, every state was out of
compliance with the IDEA.

* NCD NEWS RELEASE *

http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2000/NCD_IDEA_Report_00_0125.htm

These findings became a rallying point for parents of disabled children around the country.

* INFORMATION KIT *

The National Parent Network on Disabilities (NPND) put together  an “information kit” to help advocacy groups and parents of disabled children educate their communities about states’ dismal records in enforcing the IDEA. The Kit includes:

* sample press releases,
* tips for communicating with the press/media and elected officials,
* recommendations about how to improve special education services.

For information about the Information Kit, go to

http://www.npnd.org/TableofContentsKit.htm

The National Parent Network on Disabilities site is at

http://www.npnd.org

The IDEA Compliance Report, “Back to School on Civil Rights,” is available at Wrightslaw. The index or table of contents page is at -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/reports/IDEA_Compliance_Index.htm

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7. THE SECOND BOOK: MORE HEROES

The Wrightslaw “Free Books Offer” ended on April 14. Hundreds of subscribers to The Special Ed Advocate have received their free copies of WRIGHTSLAW: SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW and the WRIGHTSLAW TACTICS AND STRATEGY MANUAL. Harbor House is continuing to send
out free books.

What are people doing with their second books? You can find out at --

http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2000/second_book.htm

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8. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

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

As a subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate, you’ll receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases and other events. Back issues of The Special Ed Advocate are in the Newsletter Archives at the Wrightslaw site -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/main_newsletter_archives.htm

TO SUBSCRIBE to The Special Ed Advocate, go to

http://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe_nltr.htm

and follow the instructions on that page.

TO UNSUBSCRIBE to The Special Ed Advocate, send an email to

majordomo@wrightslaw.com

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

unsubscribe special-ed-advocate

If you want to unsubscribe, DON'T add anything else to your message. Majordomo is a computer program t  hat automatically processes newsletter “subscribes” and “unsubscribes.”

If you have problems, please read these directions again, then follow the directions exactly.

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9. CONTACT INFORMATION

Pete and Pam Wright
c/o Wrightslaw & 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 2000, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

END