Saturday, September 8, 2012

How the internet can solve your kid’s homework problem

There are many students, if I cannot say most of the students in this world, who will be very sad when they get a lot of homework from the school. Fortunately, nowadays, there are so many homework tips that they can use to do their homework. If your kids need some help to do their homework, if you can still manage to help them, it is good for you to do so because your kids will see you as a smart parent simply because you help them with some difficult questions from their homework. However, if you do not know about the subject, you might be able to help your kids by giving him direction how to do it using the internet.
            The internet has been the best way to learn more about something and how to do something. This also includes your kids’ homework. If you do not know how to solve some problems, you may direct your kids to some websites to help them with the question. If you want to know more about this, you might need to click this Link in order to get more information how the internet can help you and your kids in solving their homework problem.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Study help from the internet

School is indeed your first place and the main place to learn about subjects. However nowadays, school is not the only place where students can learn about something. There are so many students who go to the internet to open some website like What kind of website is this and why do students like to open this kind of website? In this article we are going to find and answer those questions through this short and little article.
So, the website that I have mentioned before is a kind of website where students can learn more about the subjects that they have learned in school. The website is used to learn about something that they do not understand from the subject. More or less, this kind of website is like students’ personal advisor in their study.
There are so many things that this kind of website can do to the students. For example, if the students do not understand about the subject that the school taught, they will be able to ask for some more explanation from the website so that they can understand more about the subject. So, what do you think about this kind of website? Is it Useful?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Solution For Your Money Troubles: Payday Loans

            If you are still wondering how a payday loan online can overcome any kinds of money troubles, let us find out the answer right away. Medical expenses, damage loss, a terrible accident, and school fees are some of other conditions which urge you to have cash in a very short time. Those conditions are the results of money troubles. Usually, if you cannot solve one money problem, you will receive more serious money problems. Therefore, getting a payday loan can be a perfect solution to cope with money troubles.
            The significant thing about payday loans is we can get cash at instant. The procedure to get a loan can be done by submitting online loan application. Afterwards, we only need to wait for our application to be reviewed by the lender or company. When the lender approves our application, we can receive cash no longer after that. Then, we can use the cash to pay for, as an example, medical bills rightfully. If there is still some money left, we can save them. Do not forget that we still have an obligation to repay the loan based on the due date. Shortly, as long as we can use the cash wisely, we can overcome many kinds of money troubles.

How Provide the Best Life Insurance for People

      is one of the most recommended online services that will be able to help you to find the best life insurance service to protect your life. This site is very crucial for you because it provides complete information and about life insurance and also some life insurance quotes that you might need to help you to choose the best life insurance service. There are a lot of online life insurance services that are quoted in this site. One of them is Whole Life Insurance. According to this site, this life insurance service provides complete protection for people. This life insurance service has fixed premium that will offer stability. Besides that, this kind of online service will also help you by providing coverage for your entire life if kept current.
            Another life insurance service that is also quoted and reviewed in this site is Term Life Insurance. This kind of life insurance offers the most affordable coverage. This kind of life insurance is also known for its least expensive form of life insurance. Besides that, this kind of life insurance is also very easy to understand and manage the policy. Besides that, you will also be guaranteed with death benefit for current plans. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The best car insurance

With the increasing number of car insurance companies in this country, some people who have just bought a car for the first time sometimes face a difficult situation when they have to choose the right car insurance policy for their car because they do not know what it is about. If you see yourself as one of those people, you might need to read this short and brief article because it will give you some brief overview about the policies that you can get from a car insurance company. The policies that I am about to give you might not be all of the policies, but I think it will be enough for you to know the most common ones.
The first coverage policy is the comprehensive coverage policy. This kind of policy will protect you and your car from some losses which are not related with car accident. Using this kind of policy, you do not have to be afraid when your car is stolen by some bad guys or if your car becomes a victim of vandalism. The second common coverage is the collision coverage. In this type of coverage, the amount of money that you will pay if you are sued by the victim of car accident caused by you will be covered. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Understanding Functional Skills And The Role They Play For A Special Needs Child

In this article I am going to tell you how functional skills can be used to bring out the very best in your special needs child. The reason I am going to tell you about the role functional skills play is because eventually every special needs child is going to grow up to be an adult.
By equipping them with the necessary life skills at an early age will serve them well and help them to be as independent as they possibly can be and lead as normal a life as possible (within their developed capabilities).
In this article I am going to teach you
  • what are the main functional skills to be given when you are a special needs child and
  • why functional skills are important for special needs children
The main functional skills applicable for special needs children are communication, problem solving, time management and self-help. These skills apply to real life situations and so are very practical and important for your child to develop these life skills.
The communication aspect deals with verbal and non verbal communication. Listening skills also form part of communication. Understanding what was said or implied and the tone, expressions, gestures etc used all form part of the communication process.
By being able to communicate effectively and understand what is being communicated, the special needs child will be able to integrate better into society.
Problem solving skills can cover a diverse range of topics such as how to deal with conflict, how to prioritize etc. It involves breaking down problems into manageable information segments covering how to determine what the problem is initially, breaking it down into manageable portions, considering the ways to approach solving the problem and then implementing change.
Time management involves setting priorities and timelines to get different tasks accomplished. It is often the case for special needs children that they look in detail at one component and not see the bigger picture or what needs to be accomplished.
Learning to see the task as a whole yet comprising of parts needs to be learned, followed then by determining what needs to be done and how long it will take for each part.
Self help can cover a diverse range of activities such as bathing, dressing, cooking, going shopping, managing money, learning to say no, asking for help etc. The level of self-help skills that each person needs will differ and how long it will take each person to master will differ from person to person.
By mastering the above functional skills, a special needs child should be able to adapt well to everyday living and be equipped to meet most challenges.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Emotionally Disturbed Children May Significantly Benefit From Individualized Education Programs

Many emotionally disturbed children are eligible for special education if their emotional condition occurs over a period of time to a significant degree and it adversely affects their educational performance. According to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) a child with an emotional disturbance must exhibit one or more of the characteristics: " an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors, and inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers, inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances, a general; a pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression and/or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems."
Each state in the United States has regulations of their own to carry out the policies in IDEA. Some parents find it confusing that each state is allowed to determine what to name their categories of disabilities. For example; children with emotional and/or behavioral disabilities may be categorized under many different names, such as; emotionally disturbed, behaviorally disordered, significant identifiable emotional disability, emotional/behavioral disability and likely others I am unaware of. Regardless of what the disability category is called, if your child qualifies he or she is entitled to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with annual goals and objectives, services and accommodations and modifications.
I have worked with many children with emotional disturbances who were in a self-contained classroom setting or integrated into the general education population with pullout and/or inclusion support. The diagnoses of the children I have worked with most often over my career as an educator are children with bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorder, reactive attachment disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Some children with emotional disabilities are stabilized through medication and private therapy and their emotional disability does not negatively affect their education for long periods. Other children with these diagnoses tend to exhibit many behaviors as well as learning difficulties because of their emotional disabilities.
If your child qualifies for special education under the category of emotional disturbance, many interventions may be used in either the general education or special education setting to assist your child in experiencing more educational success. Some of the most common are: individual psycho-educational counseling, general group counseling or topical group counseling such as anger management or social skills, classes or participation in curricula in social skills, study skills and life skills, having a check-in/check-out person, graphic organizers to help with organizational skills, a designated "cool down" place to can go if the child gets overly angry, anxious or emotional, designated seating, testing and/or instruction in a smaller environment and a regular home-school communication system.
If you have a child with an emotional disability who has experienced significant struggles with school for an extended period of time and meets one or more the criteria listed in the first paragraph of this article, you may want to request, in writing, a special education evaluation from your child's school to determine their eligibility.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To Help Your Autistic Child Develop Social Skills

In this article I am going to tell you how to help your autistic child develop social skills. The reason I am going to tell you how to teach your child this is because with the right tools and strategies, you can help your autistic child reach their full potential when it comes to communicating meaningfully with others.
In this article I am going to teach you
  • How to turn normal every day activities into fun, learning events
  • How to make interactions with your child more meaningful
  • How to engage with your child and keep conversations going and
  • How to teach them something without appearing to be in teaching mode
Every day events such as meal times, bed time, bath time and travel time can be turned into a fun time where you can interact in a meaningful and productive way with your autistic child.
For example at meal times you can talk to your child about where different foods come from and encourage them to plant and tend to some seeds.
Face your child if possible and ask open-ended questions that encourage your child to answer. Stress certain words, speak slowly, say less so your child does not have to process too many pieces of information
If your child appears stuck or fixated on one topic, talk to them about what they are interested in but then introduce a new idea such as "I wonder what the dinosaurs' favourite food was?
Then give them time to answer and follow with something like "mine is ravioli" and change topic to something about different foods to buy for dinner etc.
This way your child does not notice you have switched topic and almost by distraction you will engage them on other subjects.
Keep bringing the child back to the topic you want to talk about unless it becomes very clear they simply are not interested at that time. If this is the case try later!
Books can also be used for teaching social skills especially ones that are visual, imaginative or have a clear story or lesson to be learned.
Get your child to follow along with what is happening with each character and help them with understanding why some character is saying, what they mean or are thinking and what is really happening in the picture between the different characters.
Using visual aids such as pictures or drawings or even writing words will help explain to your child what you mean when you seem to be at a stalemate.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How To Determine The Best Autism Treatment For Your Special Needs Child

In this article I am going to tell you how to determine the best autism treatment for your special needs child. The reason I am going to tell you this is because each autistic child is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses so there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to determining the best autism treatment for your special needs child.
In this article I am going to teach you the questions you need to ask first to determine the best autistic treatment for your child the types of autism treatment for special needs children, and how to determine the most appropriate autism treatment tailored to meeting your child's needs.
When considering an autism treatment, it is important to ask yourself the following questions which will help point you in the right direction.
1. What are my child's strengths and weaknesses?
2. What is the main concern I have that I want to address for my child?
3. What is the main skill I want my child to have, that they are lacking at present?
4. What activity does my child like that could possibly be incorporated into a treatment?
When you can answer all these questions you will then be in a better position to look at an autism treatment that best suits your child.
The types of autism treatment available include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), verbal behavior intervention, Gluten Free (GF), Casein Free Diet (CF), occupational therapy (OT), Sensory Integration Therapy, Relationship Development Intervention, Speech therapy, PECS, TEACCH, and Floortime.
Some of the above therapies address behavioural issues, developing social skills and communication. Other therapies are for sensory issues, motor skills development, emotional problems and dealing with food intolerances/sensitivities.
To select the best autism treatment for your child, you need to do your research and ask questions of the specialists working in this field. The program you select needs to address what is covered in the numbered bullet points above.
Try to observe a therapy taking place even if it's a video presentation, talk to other parents of special needs children, and ask how the treatment is structured and how progress is measured.
See if this program meets the needs identified for your child and ask for an estimated timescale for achievable targets and objectives. You need to be confident that the therapy selected will fit in with your child's needs and abilities work with their strengths and develop areas in which they are week.
Do not be afraid to ask for feedback and regular progress reports so you can gauge how your child is responding to the autism treatment. This way you can assess whether a different treatment needs to be sourced.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How To Implement Teaching Strategies And Training For Autistic Kids

In this article I am going to tell you about implementing teaching strategies and training for autistic children. The reason I am going to tell you about this is because autistic children often have a limited learning style and struggle to adapt to new ways of learning information such as in a classroom setting.
In this article I am going to teach you
  • how to recognise the learning style of your child, and
  • how to help your autistic child adapt to a new learning style
Learning to recognise the learning style of your autistic child is the first thing you need to identify before you try to introduce any more new concepts for training your child.
For example your child may process information visually so looking at pictures, reading books and looking at how something is done will help them learn new information.
If they respond by learning using their auditory senses, then listening to someone teach, listening to a recording or to music will stimulate them to learn.
Alternatively if they are kinaesthetic learners then they respond to touch and will need movement breaks and a certain amount of "practical demonstration" for information to sink in.
Most people use at least two of the above to process information where as autistic kids seem to focus mainly on one learning style to the exclusion of the other two.
These are the areas that need to be developed and how they are developed will depend on the learning style to be worked on.
For example if your child is a visual learner, try talking about what is happening as it is happening and check periodically for comprehension. This will encourage them to develop their auditory skills where they will learn how both are related and used to learn.
If you child learns more through physical stimulation, try to incorporate visual and or auditory elements into the training so that they learn to respond to different stimuli.
If your autistic child fixates on something; to break the deadlock incorporate their interest into a story by starting off talking about what they are interested in and then deviating slightly by introducing a new twist such as "that train looks the fastest I have ever seen, I wonder would that train take us to the Zoo?" (and then talk about the Zoo).
Be persistent in trying to introduce new ideas to your child to open their minds to new things.
The above provides a general guide to implementing teaching strategies and training for autistic children, use this information to help your child learn to the very best of their ability.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Other Health Impairment: When Does Your Child With a Medical Diagnosis Need an IEP Instead of a 504?

Other Health Impairment is a disability category under the United States federal law, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Many parents are unaware that their children with chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome are eligible for an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Just having one or more of these diagnoses does not make a child eligible for special education; the disability must also adversely affect your child's educational performance.
Many children have one or more of these diagnoses and function quite well at school and have no need for a specialized plan. In general, school personnel have worked hard to learn how to accommodate the needs of children with health impairments. Many children with health impairments are put on a Section 504 plan based on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This is not the same thing as an IEP. A 504 plan usually offers the child accommodations to help them be more successful in the general education setting. 504 plans may be adequate for many children with health impairments. However, there are three conditions that often markedly affect children's educational performance; attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Tourette syndrome.
Many schools will put children with these three disorders on 504 plans first, rather than assessing them for special education. If your child only needs accommodations, then a 504 plan is great way to assist your child, with a health impairment, to be more successful and to not be discriminated against. If the 504 plan is working then there is no reason to look for alternative solutions. However, if your child is on a 504 plan and their behavior is not improving and you believe their educational performance is being significantly affected by their disability you may want to request a special education evaluation.
IEPs are much more comprehensive than 504 Plans. Accommodations are only one part of an IEP. IEPs also include annual goals and objectives tied to the core content standards and specific service delivery from special education teachers and/or related services personnel (such as Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and Behavior Specialists). Although they are both based on United States federal laws with similar procedural safeguards, students who exhibit significant behaviors related to these disabilities are usually better served with an IEP. If your child does not qualify for an IEP, then a 504 Plan would be the next best thing. If you decide to request a special education evaluation, put it in writing. Each state has laws in effect pertaining to how long after the school district receives the request that they need to meet with you to have you sign permission for an evaluation to begin.

Monday, March 26, 2012

No Shame on You

As the dad of a 13 year old autistic boy, this is advice I would give to a younger me.
You feel some shame for your sons condition. Don't. There is no shame in being disabled. This should be obvious but it is not.
I had an interesting discussion about shame with a friend. They talked of feeling shame. They suffered through an illness and now there are things they can no longer do physically. They are now disabled and were ashamed to admit it.
Society has conditioned us to feel shame if we deviate at all from the status quo we see in the media. If you don't look like Megan Fox or George Clooney, you should be a little embarrassed. But if you, God forbid, become disabled through an accident or illness, you should feel shame. Not sadness over loss, but out and out shame.
You're disabled? You should hide.
You should tell no one.
Don't open up to others about what you are going through.
Life is always grand, we never go through any difficult times.
Fake it till you make it.
That is my least favorite one. I understand where it comes from. But if you fake it and then never make it, you're just a faker. Nice advice. Just lie to everyone and most importantly to yourself, forever. Great.
When I look around and see people with giant Cheshire cat grins on their faces, I always wonder: Real or replica, blissful or bitter?
People feel shame in disability when they should not. You should not feel shame for being something you did not chose. It is what it is.
Why do we suffer in pain, silently? Alone. Quieted by the shame. Why do we feel shame at all for suffering from a disability we did not chose?
We don't (and shouldn't) feel shame about your height, bone structure, skin color, or race, things we didn't decide. No one chooses disability.
In that way my son is lucky. He does not have societies baggage to deal with, shame is not something he struggles with. We have no shame in being who we are.
He could run through a Walmart, butt naked screaming and feel no shame. (Being Walmart, no one would even give him a second look, come on people, its Walmart).
Oh to be like my son and be yourself 100% of the time and feel no shame.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Inclusion in Mainstream Schools for Children With Learning Disabilities

In this article I am going to tell you how inclusion works in mainstream schools for children with disabilities. The reason I am going to tell you this is because inclusion can work very well for most special needs children.
In this article I am going to teach you
  • The advantages and disadvantages of inclusion for children with learning disabilities
  • The factors to consider before your child joins the same classroom as other "regular" students
  • How to assess a successful inclusion program for your child with learning disabilities
There is a legal need to give an education system to children with disabilities in the "least restrictive environment".
As a means of interpreting these requirements, mainstream schools try to accommodate students with special needs or disabilities and integrate them into the classrooms along with their "normal" peers as much as practically possible.
To do this, they first need to consider the level of disability and effects of the disability on the child, and consequently the potential impact on fellow students and teaching requirements.
Inclusion can bring about a win-win situation for all students where special needs children can learn social skills from their peers. They will also receive the same or a similar education as them, and the typical mainstream students will get to appreciate diversity, learn empathy and build mutually rewarding friendships with other special needs children.
However, inclusion may not always work well. For example a student may be disruptive, need more help than other students, and the teacher may have to spend more time with that student while the rest of the class receive less attention and teaching time.
The class may also be distracted by the special needs student and the teacher may struggle with limited ability in dealing with special needs children.
Before your child is included in a mainstream classroom setting, it is important to decide in advance how your child would respond to a greater number of children in the classroom, a faster pace of teaching, and how they would interact with their regular peers who have always been in mainstream education.
For successful inclusion of your special needs child, the school needs to have a number of educational components in place. These include having a curriculum that is language based and a form of teaching that progresses throughout the day and achieves measurable goals.
The curriculum for children with learning disabilities must also address multiple skill development and record pertinent data, with frequent review and change where necessary.
By considering the above factors, you will be able to make an informed decision about what would be the best educational option for your child. I wish you the very best of luck with educating your child no matter what option you chose.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Making The Most Of The Special Education Process For Educating Special Needs Children

In this article I am going to tell you how to make the most of the special education process when it comes to educating your special needs child.
The reason I am going to tell you this is because it is so easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to matters concerning the education of your child and finding your way around the special education process.
In this article I am going to teach you
  • The main mistakes that parents of special needs children make in the Special Education Process
  • How to make sure that you get the most out of the Special Education Process
Firstly, the main mistakes parents make in the special education process are mainly around poor record keeping and not understanding what they are signing or agreeing to. Withholding information, misinterpreting information and making ill-informed decisions are other mistakes that parents tend to make.
As a parent, not only do you know your child better than anyone else, but there will be some information that can only be gathered by specialists. This information will be very necessary for special educational people to access to decide the best education plan for your child.
If you are unsure of anything, you need to ask for clarification and be very sure of the understanding of anything you are asked to sign as it is very hard to get some things overturned or amended when you formally agreed in writing.
Do not feel under too much pressure to sign something you have not had a chance to read in full or if you feel you are not quite sure if you have understood correctly what the implications are if you do sign for something concerning educating special needs children.
Poor communication with the school or difficult relationships with educational personnel resulting in decisions being made for your child whether wrong or right also cause great distress for parents who are trying to find their way around the special needs process.
To make sure you get the most of the special education process, it is vital you keep correct and up to date records about your child and agree to have your special needs child take part in relevant and important educational and developmental assessments.
Having your child assessed is never easy but it is so important if they are to get the most from the educational system they are either part of or will form part of.
It is also vital to keep up a professional relationship with all relevant special education staff and not to withhold information which may be pertinent to your Child's educational welfare.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Should You Home School Your Special Needs Child?

In this article I am going to tell you what you need to consider when it comes to home schooling your special needs child. The reason I am going to tell you this is because people generally tend to have very definite opinions on home schooling and as a parent of a special needs child, this may be an option you wish to consider.
In this article I am going to teach you
  • What a home school is all about
  • What are the advantages for your special needs child?
  • What are the disadvantages for your special needs child?
  • How to decide if this is a viable option for your special needs child
Home schooling allows parents or carers the legal option of having their children tutored at home and not in a formal school setting. This is carried out for a variety of reasons, many of which simply boil down to the matter of personal choice. This is also a choice that applies for special needs children.
For those who prefer to have their children taught at home, they cite a number of reasons for preferring the home school option over attendance at a formal school. These include medical reasons where a child may be too ill to attend school or prone to infections he or she may catch from others in a school setting.
A child may have behavioural or emotional problems which would cause distress to them in a school with many others. The child may be a slow learner and not be able to "keep up" with other students in a classroom setting.
Parents may also lack confidence that the school will be able to meet their special needs child educational needs or may not approve of the way the curriculum is taught.
Other reasons for educating at home include religious beliefs, distance to the school, anti social behaviour in the school and potential effects of peer pressure on their impressionable child.
The main reasons cited for those who disprove of the home schooling route include not being qualified to teach, wanting their kids to have lots of friends and learn socialization skills and having their kids integrated into system that will give them the same advantages and access to resources as everyone else.
Only you as parent or principal caregiver to a special needs child can decide if providing a home school environment for your child is a viable option.
You may have strong beliefs either way but just try to detach yourself from these beliefs and think about and ask advice from reputable people who are pro and anti home schooling before making an informed decision.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Individualized Family Service Plan - Help for Families of Young Children With Developmental Delays

Individualized family service plans (IFSPs) are a tool to assist parents of children with disabilities from birth through the age of two. They are created collaboratively by multi-agency teams of professionals and the family of the child with a suspected developmental delay. IFSPs revolve around helping the family to facilitate the child's development. The guidelines for IFSPs are spelled out in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and all states in the United States have laws and processes for providing early intervention services.
Children are usually referred to early intervention services through their doctor or through child find services available from your local school district. In some states, IFSPs are coordinated through the Department of Education and in other states, IFSPs are coordinated through the Department of Human Services. If you Google your state's name and IFSP you should be able to find the resources you need. If you have a child who exhibits developmental delays in their physical, cognitive, communicative, social and emotional and/or adaptive skills areas they may qualify for an IFSP.
IFSPs may include screenings, providing a range of therapies to the child, providing family training, providing financial assistance, providing important medical and educational information and providing emotional support to the families of children with developmental delays in one or more areas. Services are not based on financial need and service fees are usually based on a sliding fee scale and vary from state-to-state. There is a strong emphasis on providing support to families of underserved populations, which include; children of color, children living in poverty, homeless children, children living in rural communities and children who are wards of the state
IFSPs are generally revised annually and reviewed every six months or sooner if the parents put in a request for an earlier review. IFSPs are focused on the family as a whole rather than just the individual child because the environment that the child is developing in strongly correlates with their development. Services from agencies are not forced upon parents but are offered to assist the parents in helping their child to reach developmental milestones. The child find team usually includes professionals from the field of education, the medical field, the social services field, the pediatric therapy field and the counseling field.
This diverse team usually screens and assesses the child and then works with the family based on their level of need in different areas to access services their child may need. Whenever possible, therapies are provided in the natural environment of the home or community to enhance the families ability to help their child develop the skills they need and to foster independence. If the team determines that services and support are no longer needed the IFSP may be closed. Usually a few months prior to a child's 3rd birthday, children with developmental delays will be reassessed to determine their eligibility for special education services, which may begin on a child's 3rd birthday if he or she is deemed to be a child with a disability as defined in Part B of IDEA.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How To Go About Educating Your Special Needs Child In A Mainstream School

In this article I am going to tell you how to go about educating your special needs child in a mainstream school. The reason I am going to tell you this is because it is important to make an informed decision about what will work best for your child when it comes to meeting their education needs.
In this article I am going to teach you 
  • How schools and local authorities address educating special needs children
  • How to determine whether your child is ready for integration into mainstream school
  • Whether any additional assessments are needed prior to educating your special needs child in mainstream education
  • What additional resources may be required for your special needs child
  • What you can do to help your child integrate into the mainstream educational system.
When it comes to educating special needs children in mainstream schools; the local authority and school under consideration must first determine whether having your child at the school will cause a disruption to the teaching carried out at the school.
Some children may have emotional problems and can disrupt the teaching time and impact on fellow class mates also.
They will also need to determine whether it is cost effective for your child to attend and this mainly depends on the level of special needs of your child (mild, moderate, severe or profound).
If it would cost too much money to put systems in place specifically for your child, then a more specialised school may be required.
You may want to educate your special needs child in the mainstream school but you need to consider will your child's needs be met which is the most important consideration.
To integrate into the mainstream system, you need to be confident that your child will fit in. How well can they and do they communicate with others? Do they form relationships with their peers?
The last thing you want for your child is to put them into a situation that they will find uncomfortable, intimidating and overwhelming.
When it comes to educating special needs children you need to give the school any reports you have on your child and they will then determine if more specialised assessments are needs prior to them making a decision. They will then be in a position to assess and advise whether they have sufficient special needs resources in place or can access them in time for your child to start school.
If accepted to mainstream school, you can help your special needs child by making them familiar with the school and its layout, ask for a tour from someone working in the special needs section of the school and meet the teacher in advance if possible.
Discuss with your child what a typical day will be like at mainstream school for them. Be open to their questions and if unsure about anything, put these questions to the school.
There will of course be a period of adjustment for your child, but with your help the transition can run smoothly and your precious child can integrate into mainstream school.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How Does a Parent Make a Special Education Referral for Their Child?

As a parent, you may make a special education referral for your child at any age up to sixteen. Many parents believe that only school personnel are allowed to do this and that is incorrect. According to Section 300.300 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), "either a parent of a child or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability." There are different regulations and procedures according to the age of your child that I will outline here.
If your infant, toddler or child is not in school and you suspect that he/she is not developing appropriately and that your child may have a disability it is a good idea to discuss this with your child's pediatrician. They have specialized training in detecting disabilities and will make a referral to early intervention services for you if they concur with your suspicions. It the pediatrician does not concur they will usually provide you with some education and suggestions regarding your concerns. Many parents are unaware that children with disabilities are entitled to certain services from birth. Early intervention is often referred to as the Child Find Process.
If your child is in school and you suspect that he/she may have a disability that impedes his/her learning it is best practice to discuss your concerns with your child's primary teacher. School personnel should be trained to look for clues that a child may be in need of special education services. In fact, the teacher may have already requested support and pre-referral interventions from the school's support team due to their concerns. School personnel are obligated to attempt to remediate the child's academic and/or behavioral concerns with research-based interventions for a time period prior to them being able to make an official referral. Pre-referral interventions are not considered part of the evaluation process for special education services.
The law in Part C of IDEA (for children birth-age 2) indicates that children who are referred to early intervention services requires that a screening, an assessment and the initial meeting need be completed within 45 days of the referral. The law in Part B of IDEA (for children age 3-21) states that the initial referral must be conducted within 60 days of receiving the parental consent to evaluate the child. There are exceptions to these timelines if the parent or child are not available for evaluation, or of the child is moved to another public school district and sufficient progress has not yet been made on the evaluation.
If you do not feel like you are getting the results you want with your child's teacher or pediatrician and you have significant concerns for your child, you may write a letter to your local school district indicating that you would like your child to be evaluated for special education. Early intervention is crucial for children with disabilities, which is why there are federal and state laws mandating evaluation and services from birth through the age of 21 of children with disabilities, when appropriate.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Top Three Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Strategies

Nonfiction reading comprehension strategies vary substantially from the strategies used with fictional books. Children with special needs usually need explicit instruction in how to understand the material presented in nonfiction books. Children need to be taught about the structure of nonfiction text and how items such as bolded print and graphs can help them better understand the text. They also need to learn to check for a vocabulary list while they are skimming, prior to actually reading the text. Finally, they need to learn the importance of having a way to record questions, connections and/or comments. Once I have taught my students the procedures they tend to have significantly higher comprehension of nonfiction text.
The function of nonfiction text is usually to teach something or explain something to the reader. Children need to be taught to look for special structural items often found in nonfiction text. These items are bold text, titles or headlines, pictures with captions, maps, graphs and questions at the end of the chapter. Before a child starts reading, they should look through the text to see how the text is structured and take note of these items within the text. They should also be taught not to skip over looking at them and referring to them while reading, as they tend to be very helpful in gaining a better understanding of the concepts being presented.
The next strategy goes hand-in-hand with previewing the structure of the text. Before reading the text, the child should skim over the text and look for a vocabulary list. Many times important vocabulary words are in bold text. If there are words that the child does not know the child should take the time, before reading, to look them up in the index, online or in a dictionary. Understanding the key concepts that will be discussed is critical to better comprehension.
The final strategy is utilized during the actual reading of the text. The child should have a way to write down questions, connections, confusing information and interesting information as he/she reads. I have found the best way for kids to do this that does not ruin the text by marking it up with highlighting, is by using small sticky notes. Also, most kids and teens like to use sticky notes. I teach the children to use the following four codes. When a child has a question about a particular item, they should put the question word and the topic, such as "what bass", "who Columbus" or "where Japan" on a sticky note and place in directly on the associated text. When a child has a connection to something, they should put a plus mark on the sticky note. When a child is confused about something they should put a question mark on the sticky note. When they find something interesting, they should put a check mark on the sticky note. When they have finished reading a chapter or a section, they can then ask the teacher or a parent about the items they put on their sticky notes.
Many children do not want to take the time to do the first two steps prior to reading and if you can get your child to do this regularly, they will experience a much higher level of success. Creating a format with a code for discussing the text can be fun and can engage the child more, especially when you allow them to choose the code. Nonfiction is best comprehended in chunks so this also helps the child take a break to process all of the new information.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Adventure With Mark, An Asperger's Tale

When I first met Mark he seemed like a normal child with an intellectual disability. He was playing video games in the living room. His Mother had just got done telling me their story. She had expressed how they were basically held hostage by their son. Every day was a constant battle. They had to fight with him to take a bath, to go to sleep, to get up in the morning, to go out to eat. She stated they had not been able to go on a family vacation in years. She appeared to be, simply exhausted. I was working for an agency that was there to help with just such situations. So I went into the living room and sat down with Mark while he played. He was playing Predator vs. Alien. I knew the basic concept so I engaged in conversation. We talked about the game for the entire first session. I thought I was in the clear, great rapport built, we would be off and running with no problems. Boy was I wrong.
The next visit we came back with the standard charts and picture schedules to help Mom out. She said she would try them, but she didn't think they would work. She stated that Mark usually just got violent when demands were placed upon him that he did not like. Mark was very into video games so we tried to use that as a reward. If he didn't get them he would just go ballistic, until he got what he wanted. I could now see the hell the family had been going through. The typical charts and pictures did nothing for Mark. He simply manipulated his way around the system put in place. He found every loophole. Typical Asperger's.
We decided a more advanced strategy was needed. We began a week long intensive intervention. I was there when Mark woke up and when he went to sleep. We would sit by his bed in the morning making sure he woke up on time. This required taking his pillow away after two warnings, then his blanket. We then went to the task of getting him to brush his teeth. I think I stood in the bathroom with him for an hour the first two days just verbally and nonverbally redirecting him to brush his teeth. All the while he screamed and yelled. We had removed every distraction from the bathroom, but his tooth brush. When he would protest I would simply point to the tooth brush or simply say "the next thing you are going to do is brush your teeth". We used this strategy for every step of the getting ready process. Then we repeated this with the nightly routine. After about three day the time for him to complete the tasks began to shrink,and the violent outbursts were less and less.
By the end of the week I was the one who was exhausted. I could not imagine how the family had done this for so long with no training. They were finally free though. Mark was now listening, showering, and following his schedule. They even went on a family vacation shortly there after. Due to our efforts my team and I won team of the year from the Autism Society of Cincinnati. I learned a lot from Mark and carry a lot of that knowledge with me today. From what I hear he is still doing well today.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Parental Rights in Special Education

Parental rights in special education in the United States are called procedural safeguards. The federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) lays the foundation for parental rights. Each state adopts their own procedural safeguards based on the guidelines laid out in IDEA. I am asked quite often about three parental rights. One of your parental rights is the right to ask for an independent educational evaluation if you disagree with an evaluation that the school district conducts. Another parental right afforded to you is your right to review your child's educational records. Another parental right is the right to file a due process claim and have an independent hearing if you disagree with the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or the IEP process.
When your child is initially referred to special education and you give permission to the school district to evaluate your child, several formal and informal assessments are conducted to determine if your child meets the criteria for receiving special education services. Re-evaluations to determine if your child remains eligible for special education services are also conducted every three years or more often if the parent requests it or the school district feels it is necessary. If you disagree with an assessment completed by the school district, you have the right to request that an independent evaluation be completed at no expense to you. You must have a valid reason for your disagreement with the evaluation and you need to follow the district's process spelled out in your procedural safeguards handout to receive the independent evaluation.
You also have the right to inspect and review your child's educational records. There are often many records kept on your child other than the formal reports you receive such as the IEP progress reports and the report card. You may put in a formal request to view all of your child records. This could include observations of your child, classroom data regarding behavior and academic progress, informal assessments, discipline records, parent contact records and staff records. If you wish to review your child's records, you usually need to submit your request in writing per the procedural safeguards protocol.
Another procedural safeguard is that you (or the school district) have the right to file a due process claim and receive a hearing by an unbiased hearing officer if you disagree with something in the IEP or during the IEP process. If you have a disagreement with the school district about the IEP or the IEP process, it is best to attempt to work it out with the district. If you do not believe that your disagreement was adequately addressed and you still believe that part of the IEP is inappropriate or inadequate, that the IEP is not being followed, that the IEP process was not conducted according to the law and/or that you or your child were denied something that is your right follow the district's procedure for filing a due process claim.
An IEP is a legal agreement between you and the school district for the provision of special education services to your child. The intent of the procedural safeguards is to protect all parties involved in the IEP process-your child, you as guardians and the school district. You should receive a copy of the school district procedural safeguards based on your state's laws at least once a year. You may also request a copy from your child's case manager or the district's special education department at any time.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

IEP Summary Letter Can Help You Win a Special Education Dispute With Your School District!

As a parent and special educational advocate for over 20 years I get frustrated by the treatment of parents by school personnel. This frustration becomes acute at individual educational plan (IEP) meetings when I experience the intimidation and retaliation that many parents also experience. I was recently advocating in a southern Illinois town for a young man with Autism when my frustration began to bubble over. After I calmed myself down after the meeting, I began writing a letter to the special education personnel in the school district where I attended the IEP meeting, for the parents. I documented things that were said, the nasty attitudes of the special education personnel, and the federal special education laws that I found were not complied with. I was pleasantly surprised when the next meeting seemed to be less contentious and more productive.
I realized that IEP summary letters could be used by all parents to document things that happen at meetings. You could document comments made by a special education person, you could document denials for needed services, or violations of IDEA 2004. Documentation is critical to win any dispute between yourself and special education personnel. This type of letter can be used at a due process hearing or a complaint to win a dispute with your school district.
Below are 9 things to include in your summary letter:
1. Name and address of your school districts special education director.
2. Date of the letter.
3. Begin your letter with "This letter is to clarify and discuss what happened at the IEP meeting of ___________(Date).
4. Use quotes as much as possible; "Mr. R. stated that ESY can only be given to a child that has regressed after a break or summer vacation." This is not consistent with IDEA 2004, and the summary letter allows you to document what was said and the noncompliance with federal special education law.
5. Any important discussions that were not included in the IEP notes; such as your child's behavior or specific related or special education services that you believe your child needs. Readdress your position on services that your child needs that the school refuses to provide.
6. Discuss what services and placement that you agreed upon, and also any services or placement that you did not agree upon.
7. Ask for PWN (prior written notice) on any service or placement that the school wants to give your child that you disagree with, or any service or placement that you believe your child needs and the school refuses to give them.
8. As much as possible quote IDEA 2004 or State Special Education Law to document any violations that the school personnel committed during the IEP meeting.
9. Type your name and address and below this place your child's name, birth date, grade and school of attendance. Include this statement: Please keep a copy of this letter in my child's educational record per FERPA (FERPA is the federal educational records law).
At the beginning of the meeting set a blank piece of paper next to you. Use this paper to put anything that is said or done, that you would like to put in your letter. Add an IEP summary letter to your other advocacy skills, and you may begin to see positive changes in your child's IEP meetings. I have said for many years that schools get away with the horrible treatment of parents because of lack of accountability; this letter could force accountability on your school district, and change all that for you! Good Luck.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Manifestation Determination Meeting: Your Rights When a Child With an IEP Breaks The Code of Conduct

Manifestation determination meetings are required to be held for any child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) any time a child commits a significant rule violation(s), which has led to 10 days of suspension-either consecutively or over the course of the current school year. The meeting must be held within 10 days to determine if the rule violation(s) are a result of the child's disability or not. If the child has not had a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) that was used to create a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP), one must be completed prior to the meeting.
The IEP team, which includes the parent(s), must review the child's school records that may include the child's IEP, attendance records, discipline records, grades and progress reports, teacher observations or other relevant material. If there is a current BIP, it must be reviewed and amended as needed to provide the child a higher level of support needed to be successful at school. If the child does not have a current BIP, an FBA must be completed to analyze the child's behavior to determine what types of supports are needed for the child to be successful in school.
The IEP team must determine if the rule violation(s) that occurred were as a result of the child's disability or for other reasons. If it is determined that the misconduct occurred as a result of the school district not following the IEP that must be ratified immediately. If the rule violation is determined NOT to be a result of the child's disability, he/she may receive disciplinary action in the same manner a child without a disability would. However, any child with a disability who is removed from school for more than 10 days has a right to the provision of special education services to continue progress on their IEP goals and objectives and have access to the general education curriculum.
If the team determines through careful review of the records that the misconduct was a result of the child's disability the team must decide whether the child can remain in the current setting with additional supports and/or with a change of services or a change of program or if the child needs to be referred to an alternative placement. If the team determines and the parent agrees that the child needs an alternative placement the school district must continue to provide special education services until the alternative placement is secured and the child begins receiving services at that placement.
A child with an IEP may not be moved to an alternative placement without holding a manifestation determination review except under the following circumstances of extreme violations of the code of conduct. Those circumstances include the following violations committed on school property or doing a school sponsored activity: possession of a weapon, illegal drug possession or use, the solicitation to sell or the sale of illegal drugs or the infliction of serious bodily harm.
Keep in mind that your child with an IEP may not be removed from school for more than 10 days without receiving special education services to provide them access to the general education curriculum and asssist them in reaching their goals and objectives. As the parent(s) you are part of the team who determines whether your child's behavior is a manifestation of their disability. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Children With Autism and Anxiety: Glove Meet Hand

Children with autism and anxiety go together hand in in hand, or hand in glove like my title suggests. If your child is dealing with autism then one of their symptoms is anxiety, plain and simple. They have problems communicating with and understanding the world around them, and this creates anxiety. Children with autism will often act out (sometimes aggressively) over what seem like fun events. This stems from the anxiety they feel from the event invading their life.
Changes in routine can be a HUGE source of anxiety in children with autism. What seems like a fun outing to a birthday party could end up in a major meltdown if not done properly. Lets say for instance you know that your child with autism will be attending a birthday party over the weekend. Early in the week you may want to start showing them pictures of parties, cakes, kids playing games. If you have pictures of the people that will be attending, show them those too. This will help them prepare for what they are going to be doing, thus relieving some of their anxiety, and setting them up for success.
If you need to make what will be perceived to be a negative change to your child with autism's daily routine, here is a way you can go about it. Start of just introducing them to the idea of change. Tell them "tonight instead of homework you can play video games instead, but just for tonight". This will show them that change does not always have to be bad, sometimes it can be good. Next try a change that is really of no consequence. Maybe have them do their homework at six instead of seven, before dinner instead of after dinner. A change that is just that, a change. Lastly move into the "negative" change. Change one of their designated free or play times into a chore time. This gradually eases them into the idea of change, reducing anxiety along the way.
For overall long term anxiety unfortunately medication is sometimes required. The doctor will most likely prescribe children with autism a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI). These are drugs like Proozac or Zoloft.
Every child with autism is as different as every other child so there is no one size fits all answer. YOU know your child best. If you do go the medication route be sure to monitor your child closely for side effects. There are many natural methods you can try prior to actually using medication.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Why Do Kids Misbehave? You Might Be Surprised!

Why do kids misbehave? Even though we often feel like behavior tends to appear out of nowhere that is not the case. All behavior, good or bad, occurs for a reason. There are four primary reasons that just about every behavior you can think of will fall int- to gain something, to escape or avoid something, for sensory reasons and for medical or physiological reasons. A certain behavior such as screaming could fall into anyone of these categories. Understanding the child's reason for exhibiting the behavior leads us to the most effective interventions.
When some children act out, they are trying to gain something. They may be trying to gain attention from a parent, a peer, a teacher or a sibling. They may be trying to gain a sense of power and control over a person or a situation. They may be trying to gain access to a toy, a game, a desired item, a person or a location. They may be trying to gain acceptance or affiliation from a person or group of people.
Some children act out to escape or avoid something or someone. They may be trying to avoid following directions to do something they are asked to do by a parent or a teacher. They may be trying to escape from being the center of attention. They may be trying to escape an unhealthy or unproductive environment. They may be trying to avoid getting caught and consequenced. They may be trying to avoid doing work or accepting responsibility for their behavior. They may be trying to avoid leaving a desirable item or location.
Some children also act out for sensory reasons. Some environments are too chaotic or too quiet. Some children need calm and stable environments; others thrive on high energy and interactive environments. Many children with special needs have either heightened or lessened sensory needs. Some children get overloaded easily. Some children need increased sensory input and others need lessened sensory input.
Other children act out for medical or physiological reasons that we often cannot see or determine ourselves. Children may act out because they have an infection, a fever, a stomachache or a headache. They may also act out because they have an undiagnosed medical condition such as Diabetes, PICA, ADHD or Bipolar Disorder. Children who are acting out for medical and/or physiological reason are often the hardest to deal with because it takes a doctor to diagnose them and treat them medically through medication, therapy, diet and/or other clinical interventions.
Some children act out for one of the four primary reasons listed above. Others act out for different reasons in different situations or with different people. Remember that understanding your child's reason for acting out is the most critical step in determining how to handle the inappropriate behavior. Without understanding the "why's" of behavior we are shooting in the dark with interventions. The way one would address a child who is screaming to gain attention and a child who is screaming because of sensory overload are completely different.