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Special Education Services

Special Education Information:


The Brain and Dyslexia

February 16, 2001 Web posted at: 11:40 AM EST (1640 GMT) SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) — Discovery of a deficit in key reading and visual centers of the brain could lead to early diagnosis and treatment for a disorder that affects about 15 percent of the population, researchers report. A study at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington suggests that people with dyslexia have a much lower level of activity in the brain’s left inferior parietal, an area that is important both in reading and in processing of visual images. Dr. Guinevere Eden and Dr. Thomas Zeffiro, a husband and wife team and co-directors of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown, also found that the right inferior parietal can be taught to compensate for the weakness in the left side of the brain through a program of intense reading training. “These study results are further evidence that dyslexia has biological roots,” said Eden. She and Zeffiro discussed their study Thursday at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dyslexia is generally diagnosed in elementary school children who have great difficulty learning to read. The core of this difficulty, said Eden, is the inability to link up visual symbols with sounds, an essential process in reading. A youngster with dyslexia, for instance, could not associate the sounds in the spoken word “cat” with the letters that make up the simple word, said Eden. It is estimated that 5 percent to 15 percent of the population suffers from some degree of dyslexia, she said. Some learn to compensate and eventually become good readers, but Eden...

Discipline Disputes

Continued behavior problems often indicate that a child’s program is not appropriate. If parents suspect that behavior problems are preventing their child from succeeding at school, they should write to the principal and request an IEP Team Meeting or “Pre-Hearing Conference.”

The Rights of Students with Physical or Health Impairments

WHO DOES NEED SPECIAL EDUCATION? Some children with disabilities may need special accommodations in school, and yet not need formal “special education.” These children can include those with epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, muscular dystrophy or other health or physical impairments. These children have rights under a federal law known as “§504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,” and state regulations known as “Chapter 15.” 1. What rights does my child have under §504 and Chapter 15? Under most circumstances, the school district must provide the modifications, accommodations and services that a child with a health or other disability needs to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program. The district must make sure that the child has equal access to all school programs and activities, including extra-curricular clubs or programs, assemblies, lunch and field trips. For example, a district might be required to make changes in a child’s schedule to take account of a health need, dispense medication that the child needs during the school day, allow a child who uses a wheelchair to use the staff elevator, provide a desk or other equipment or material that is modified for the child’s use, or provide assistance to the child for toileting or for traveling around the school building. 2. How do I get the services my child needs? If you believe that your child needs this type of help to participate fully in school, you must write to your school district. In your letter, explain the type of assistance you believe is needed. If you have evaluations, records or prescriptions from a specialist that you are willing to...

AD/HD under IDEA

What You Need To Know About AD/HD Under The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (By Matthew Cohen, JD)

Diabetes Issues in the School and Classroom

Insulin pumps and classroom finger stick testing have improved treatment, yet schools often are hesitant or have concerns regarding their use. These documents go a long way toward addressing school issues and allowing student’s independence.

Your Right to Disagree

The Child Advocate is devoted to children and the parents and professionals that work with them and advocate for them.  Your right to disagree is basic to advocating for your child with special needs.  The information presented at this site is for general use only and is not intended to provide personal advice or substitute for the advice of a qualified professional.  If you have questions about the information presented here, please consult the resources listed or other professional in your area. Mediation under IDEA 1992 – a quick summary Mediation under IDEA 1997 Due process rights (Federal) Office for Dispute Resolution (Pennsylvania but similar in other states) Recurring Issues with Due Process for Pennsylvania (example for state procedures) -Many of the training opportunities have accompanying support materials to further explain the concepts addressed in training and to provide “take home” materials for learners. Our featured Instructional Materials are highlighted below. You can also view a complete listing of all PaTTAN Instructional Materials....

The Instruction Support Team

IST – The Instruction Support Team What is IST ? The Instructional Support Team (IST) is an innovative program whose goals are to maximize individual student success in the regular classroom, while at the same time serving as a screening process for students who may be in a need of special education services. IST is a positive, success-oriented program which uses specific assessment and intervention techniques to help remove educational, behavioral, or affective stumbling blocks for all students in the regular classroom. The program shifts the critical question in education from asking “What’s wrong with the student?” to asking “What resources can we use to increase the student’s chances for success?”. IST answers this question through a team approach that provides for greater cohesiveness, coordination, and instructional continuity, and complements existing curriculum and instructional programs. Any Elementary student who experiences consistent academic or behavioral problems may be a candidate for IST. This includes students beginning to display problems in regular education, as well as students with disabilities who are included in regular education programs. Students are identified for IST services by the classroom teacher, other educators, or parents. Who Are The Members of the IST? Although members of the IST may differ from school to school, the team always includes the building principal, the student’s classroom teacher, and the support teacher. The parents are encouraged to participate as active partners in the process. The school psychologist, guidance counselor, Chapter I teacher, speech pathologist, school nurse and representatives from community agencies may also serve on the IST, depending on the needs of the student. The IST determines what strategies should...

Individualized Education Programs (IEPS)

To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of all Children with Disabilities – 1995 Table 6.4 Summary of Findings in Final Monitoring Reports Issued During FY 1994 Individualized Education Programs (IEPS) 300.343(a) and (d) — Public agencies must conduct meetings to develop, review and revise IEPs for all students with disabilities. 300.344(a)(1) — Agency representative must participate in each IEP meeting. 300.345(b)(1) — Notification to parents of IEP meetings must indicate purpose, time, and location of meeting and who will be in attendance. 300.345(d) — If public agency unable to convince parents to attend IEP meeting,public agency must have record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed on time and place. 300.346(a) — Each IEP must include:   A statement of child’s present levels of educational performance;  Annual goals, including short-term instructional objectives;  Statement of specific special education and related services to be provided to child and extent child will be able to participate in regular educational programs;  Projected dates for initiation and anticipated duration of services; and  Appropriate objective criteria and evaluation procedures and schedules for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether the short term instructional objectives are being achieved. 300.346(b) — Beginning no later than age 16 (and at a younger age, if determined appropriate), each child’s IEP must include statement of needed transition services as defined at 300.18.   Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment 300.550(b)(2) — Child may be removed from regular educational environment only if education in regular classes cannot be achieved satisfactorily with use of supplementary aids and services. 300.551(a) and 300.552(b) — Continuum of alternative placements must be available...

Section 504 and IDEA

Although parents of children with disabilities are frequently more familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), they should also acquaint themselves with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (hereinafter “Section 504”).

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