Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Executive Function and Memory Resources


Flexible Thinking and Executive Function Flexible Thinking and Executive Function
The ability to think flexibly and shift approaches is an executive function process that many students struggle with. How can you encourage flexible thinking in your child? Try this list of strategies for success.




Help Your Child Remember Help Your Child Remember
Do you ever get frustrated that your child can’t remember a simple task no matter how much he tries? Find out about a simple memory technique that worked with my son and has promise for children who have narrative and visual strengths.







Major Owens Major Owens, an LD Hero
Major Owens, a champion for students with disabilities and NCLD friend, died last Monday at the age of 77. Major played a key role in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Read about his life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Information about Assessments

Are assessments sometimes anxiety-provoking and exhausting? Yes!
But, an assessment by a skilled evaluator can be enormously helpful in planning your child’s education. 
In our four-part series on Assessment, you'll get an overview of developmental assessments, read about the most common types of assessments, find out how to choose an evaluator, and learn how to understand your child's test scores.
In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, Dr. Aida Khan, clinical psychologist and pediatric neuropsychologist, provides an overview of testing and evaluation.
Please don't hesitate to forward this series to other friends, families, or colleagues.

How Do You Make Wise Decisions About Assessments?
I receive calls from parents who say their child needs a neuropsychological evaluation.  I ask if they know what a neuropsychological evaluation is.  Most don’t.
In part 1 of her series, Assessment 101, Dr. Khan explains how an assessment can help your child (and you) manage challenges in learning, emotional functioning, or behavior. Read her Overview of Testing and Evaluation.

What Should You Expect from an Evaluation?
A good evaluation for a learning disability is not as simple as "having your child tested". First, it requires preparation on your part. So plan ahead!
Marianne S. Meyer, M.A. describes What to Expect from an Evaluation.

Why Parents Should Get a Comprehensive Evaluation!
As a parent, you must make sure that all areas of possible need are assessed as quickly as possible.
Wrightslaw advises: Ask Questions, Seek Information. A comprehensive evaluation of your child will give you a roadmap for the future.

What Does IDEA Say About Evaluations?
Many parents, teachers, and psychologists have questions about tests and evaluations.
I am a high school psychologist. What is the law for students who have already been tested 2 times?
I can tell you where to find the correct answer, says Pete Wright.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Present Levels - Needs - Goals. What's So Important about this Relationship?


Until the Present Levels in your child's IEP are up to date, you will never be able to get the program, placement, or education your child needs.
New Article! In Present Levels: The Foundation of the IEP, Indiana Advocate Pat Howey explains why parent input is so important during the IEP Team's assessment of your child's present levels of performance.

Is Your PLOP a Flop?
If the present levels are accurate, current, comprehensive, and based on objective test data, you will be able to see your child's needs clearly and know what the school should provide.
You will be able to write measurable goals that will address her needs. Make sure your PLOP is not a FLOP.

Present Levels are the Most Critical Part of the IEP
Under IDEA 2004, the IEP must include "a statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance ..."
20 U.S.C. Sect. 1414 (d) (1) (A) (i). Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition p. 99. Learn what the law requires. Order your copy today!

Present Levels & Appropriate Placement
You must have an appropriate IEP before you can get an appropriate placement.
The Present Levels in the IEP guarantee you're on the right track to get the special instruction, related services, modifications, adaptations, accommodations, assistive technology, or other services your child needs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Resources about RtI

Is Your Child Trapped in RTI?
The school would NOT do a multi-factored evaluation for my son who has dyslexia. He is trapped in RTI!
The law is not intended to allow schools to avoid evaluating kids who are suspected of having a disability, or keeping a child in RTI over a long period of time.
Pam Wright explains what to do if you get Stuck in RTI Purgatory.


New Response to Intervention Video by Pete Wright
In a new Wrightslaw video,videoPete Wright explains the law about RTI and answers questions from parents and teachers who are concerned about how schools are implementing RTI.  Click here to see the video...


What RTI is...and is Not!
If parents are not educated on the RTI process and what IDEA requires, our schools may fail to identify some children who do have specific learning disabilities.
You don't want this to happen to your child!
Read more about what RTI can mean for our kids in A Parent's Guide to Response to Intervention by Susan Bruce.  Click here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Parent Advocacy: Putting Social Skills in the IEP

By Ann McCarthy

My advocacy clients who have children with ADHD often express concern about their child’s social skills. Yet their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) focuses solely on academic performance.
They are right to be concerned. Challenges with social skills can and do impact learning (e.g., following directions, class participation, group work, etc.), as well as life outside the classroom including personal relationships and workplace interactions.

Although parents are often intimidated by the IEP process, you need not hold back when it comes to addressing social-skill deficits with your child’s team. You know that social skills are vital for success in life. Teachers know this too. That is the common ground on which to begin the discussion.
The IDEA is a good place to start the conversation, as it provides the justification for including social skills in the IEP. The law notes that the purpose of special education is to prepare students with disabilities for “further education, employment, and independent living,” all of which require social competency.

Including Social Skills in the IEP




If you have questions about how to get the school to include social skills goals in your child's IEP, please contact Family Matters at (866)436-7842.   We can help you understand your child's educational rights.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Me, Myself and I - Decoding Pronoun Reversal

originally posted on Snagglebox.com




You've probably heard that pronoun reversal is a common feature of language development in autism... but did you know that it's a common feature of language development for everybody?





That’s right, most kids mix up their pronouns at some point. But like a bunch of other stuff, autistic kids often do it later and for longer.

So what is a pronoun and why do they get reversed?


What's a pronoun?

A pronoun is a word that can be used as a label in place of a noun - 'she' instead of Deborah or 'it' instead of the cat. So if you replaced the nouns in the sentence ‘Deborah sat on the cat’ with pronouns, you’d get ‘She sat on it’.

Here, let Tarzan show you...

To read more, click here....

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

When Does Different Become Dysfunctional?

originally posted at snagglebox.com



The behaviours that define autism are all atypical in some way, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re dysfunctional.

So what’s the difference, how do you spot it and why should we care?




What does it all mean?

Let's do a quick rundown of the words that we use to describe behaviour...

Normal or typical
These are behaviours that are common, either for an individual or amongst a group of people. There’s no standard set of normal behaviours, because it’s a relative term which varies according to the person and context. Behaviours that are considered to be normal in one population may not be common at all in another (e.g. swearing), and those that are typical amongst a whole group of people may be uncommon for any one individual within that group (e.g. crime).

Abnormal or atypical
These are behaviours that are uncommon and not representative of either a population or a person’s usual state of being. By definition they’re not necessarily wrong or problematic, just different.

Nonfunctional
This literally means behaviour without a function... but since all behaviour has a function, in practicality it probably means ‘behaviour that has an unknown function’. It doesn’t include any reference to how common the behaviour is or whether it’s a problem.

Dysfunctional
These behaviours involve an impaired ability to function which causes a problem for somebody (either for the person themselves or those around them). Dysfunctional behaviours can be either typical or atypical for a person or population.


Want some examples? It’s handy dandy graphic time!



The behaviours that define autism are all atypical in some way, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re dysfunctional.

So what’s the difference, how do you spot it and why should we care?




What does it all mean?

Let's do a quick rundown of the words that we use to describe behaviour...

Normal or typical
These are behaviours that are common, either for an individual or amongst a group of people. There’s no standard set of normal behaviours, because it’s a relative term which varies according to the person and context. Behaviours that are considered to be normal in one population may not be common at all in another (e.g. swearing), and those that are typical amongst a whole group of people may be uncommon for any one individual within that group (e.g. crime).

Abnormal or atypical
These are behaviours that are uncommon and not representative of either a population or a person’s usual state of being. By definition they’re not necessarily wrong or problematic, just different.

Nonfunctional
This literally means behaviour without a function... but since all behaviour has a function, in practicality it probably means ‘behaviour that has an unknown function’. It doesn’t include any reference to how common the behaviour is or whether it’s a problem.

Dysfunctional
These behaviours involve an impaired ability to function which causes a problem for somebody (either for the person themselves or those around them). Dysfunctional behaviours can be either typical or atypical for a person or population.


Want some examples? It’s handy dandy graphic time!

To keep reading, click here...