Data data data! Eligibility decisions and progress should be based on more than cold hard quantitative data because there is the equally important qualitative data that is more often than not, completely ignored in the decision making process. Qualitative data can include observations, miscue analysis, writing samples and observations of performance in timed and untimed situations.
At the risk of being a Debbie Downer, I wanted to share with you some facts about special education that you should know to prevent any unnecessary delays or frustration. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was enacted to protect children from being denied an education because of their disability. What many people seem to overlook is the fact that this legislation was not set up to provide special education services to everyone with a disability, because not every disability interferes with learning. So, it is not as easy as, Michael has dyslexia, therefore he is entitled to special education services. It doesn’t work that way. Continue reading
Today the school psychologist walked into the room where we were having our IEP meeting, saw me sitting at the table, let out an audible sigh and turned around and walked out. I am not kidding, this really happened. Of course, we have a history and that history includes him not wanting to hear anything anyone has to say about scores, eligibility, goals or dyslexia. He is the fast-talking wordsmith (used car salesman?) in an IEP meeting. He is the kind of guy that talks in circles so most parents, who don’t have support at IEP meetings, are given very little opportunity to question his decisions because he won’t allow it. He is unable to think flexibly and does not like it when there is someone in the room who knows more than he does – he is the expert, no wait, he is the dictator.
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and in celebration of this amazing opportunity to raise awareness for the cause to which we have dedicated our lives, we are excited to be hosting a giveaway each week during the month. This week we will be giving away a copy of the essential resource, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition. This valuable guide breaks down special education law and addresses questions about IEPs, eligibility and placement issues, and so much more.