Extended School Year and the IEP Student: A Guide for Parents

Extended School Year and the IEP Student: A Guide for Parents

In this post, we will explore the eligibility criteria, data collection to support the need for ESY, what to expect during ESY, and how parents can advocate for their child’s right to these essential services.

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From Uncertainty to Confidence: How Science-Based Teaching Transforms Reading Instruction

From Uncertainty to Confidence: How Science-Based Teaching Transforms Reading Instruction

I read this article from Education Week titled "I Literally Cried: Teachers Describe Their Transition to Science-Based Reading Instruction." this week, and it made me wonder, what is the hold up on using this instruction with ALL students.

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Shattering Stigma: Recognizing Dyslexia's Strengths and Triumphing Over Weaknesses

Shattering Stigma: Recognizing Dyslexia's Strengths and Triumphing Over Weaknesses

October is an important month for our dyslexic community as we come together to raise awareness about dyslexia. During this Dyslexia Awareness Month, we have an incredible opportunity to celebrate the unique strengths and abilities of individuals with dyslexia. It is equally important, however, to reflect on the significance of recognizing our strengths and weaknesses and embracing them. In this blog post, we will explore why it is vital for us and our children to acknowledge and appreciate our diverse abilities.

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From Overwhelmed to Confident: How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting

From Overwhelmed to Confident: How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting

As parents of children with special needs, we know that preparing for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting can feel overwhelming. It's a pivotal moment where we advocate for our child's education and ensure they receive the support they need. In this post, I'll guide you through the process of preparing for an IEP meeting, drawing from personal experience, professional expertise, and valuable insights. As a community, let's help each other and navigate this journey together.

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Navigating the Maze: Demystifying IEPs and 504 Plans for Parents

Navigating the Maze: Demystifying IEPs and 504 Plans for Parents

As a parent of a child with special needs, it can often feel overwhelming and confusing to navigate the world of special education. Two commonly used terms that may cause further confusion are Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans. In this blog, we'll focus on breaking down the differences between these two school-based programs, so you can better understand which option may be best for your child.

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The First Step in Advocacy: How to Write a Request for a Special Education Evaluation

The First Step in Advocacy: How to Write a Request for a Special Education Evaluation

In our education system, it is critical that we ensure every child's unique learning needs are met. For students requiring additional support, providing the right services and accommodations is essential. If you believe that your child has a disability and requires such support, writing a letter requesting a full, comprehensive educational evaluation for special education services is the first step toward accessing the resources they need. Let's explore the key elements to include in your letter to help you effectively advocate for your child's educational needs.

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Understanding the Functional Behavioral Assessment: Why Comprehensive Data Collection is Critical

If you're a parent of a child with behavioral issues at school, you may have heard the term "functional behavioral assessment" (FBA) thrown around. But what exactly is an FBA, and why is it important? In this blog post, I'll share the red flags of an FBA that is not done correctly, how to spot if the school had not done due diligence while also discussing the importance of having a qualified person taking data, preferably a BCBA, it should include ABC data and data taken in different times of day, locations, with different people. An FBA is a process that is often used to help identify the underlying causes of a child's challenging behavior. B

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Empowering Parents: Understanding the Procedural Safeguards in Special Education

Empowering Parents: Understanding the Procedural Safeguards in Special Education

Procedural safeguards are legal protections for parents and children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These safeguards ensure that children with disabilities receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and that their rights are protected throughout the special education process.

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The Secret of the PWN

The Secret of the PWN

As a parent of a child with special needs, navigating the special education process can be overwhelming. However, one of the most essential tools for parents is Prior Written Notice (PWN). This legal requirement ensures parents are informed and involved in their child's education. In this blog post, we will discuss what PWN is, why parents need to know about it, and when to request IEP meeting information be added to the PWN.

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Disagreeing with a School Evaluation and Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) for Your Child

Disagreeing with a School Evaluation and Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) for Your Child

As a parent, you always want the best for your child, especially regarding their education. So, when a school evaluation does not accurately reflect your child's needs or abilities, it can be frustrating and worrisome. If you are in this situation, knowing your rights and the steps you can take to ensure your child receives the support they need and is appropriate is essential. One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). In this post, we'll discuss why you disagree with a school evaluation, how to request an IEE, and what new data you might obtain in the process.

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But I have a Diagnosis!!!

But I have a Diagnosis!!!

“My child has been diagnosed, but the school said that doesn’t matter.” This statement is one of the most common frustrations I hear from parents

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What Do These Numbers Mean?

What Do These Numbers Mean?

I know it can seem daunting, but I'm here to help you figure it out. And if you hyperventilate looking at the paperwork, pop me an email. I thrive on charts, graphs, and numbers.

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What to Expect During the Evaluation?

What to Expect During the Evaluation?

Most of my readers are already in the throws of an IEP, so this process is behind them. However, if you are reading this and that describes you, please leave your experience below for others to read and learn from. Two of my three children have been evaluated. My youngest has been through 6 evaluations (2 through the school and four private.) Our experiences have been vastly different, but there are some constants, so I will speak to those. But please know no two experiences are the same.

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