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Special Education Advisor

In this edition of the Special Education Advisor Newsletter we highlight some very important topics including School District's who play chicken with Parents, the Misuse of Paraprofessionals. Pencil Choices for Sensory Kids, Educating Educators about Autism and many more.
I'm expecting to get a lot of feedback on the article related to the Misuse of Paraprofessionals.  This is one of those hot button topics that is worthy of a respectful debate.
Also don't forget, the IEP Success Kit is now available in digital download format for only $14.95.  If you already have a binder or want to create your own binder this is the version of the IEP Success Kit for you.
As you know, In each Newsletter we will also highlight one app review.  This editions app is Write My Name.  To see all of the latest updates please visit the App and Product Review Section.

Probably the most frustrating part of being the parent of a child with a different ability [1] is the response from the very organization you hoped you could trust the most to do right by your child - your school district. After all, teachers and administrators are trained to adapt the teaching environment to help my child, right? (No.) I pay my property taxes, so I should be able to control how the schools work, right? (You should, yes, but in reality you don't.)


So what should I do when the school district won't do what they are supposed to do for my child?  

The answer to this is simple: learn how and why the school district plays a game of chicken with you, the parent, and how to win that game.


Understanding the Importance of IEP Goals and Objectives



The Goals and Objectives section of the IEP is the"meat" of the IEP. Goals and objectives should be directly linked to the child's educational needs. Special educators determine what a child's education needs are through formal and informal assessments, through observations of the child's behaviors and social interactions, through parent feedback, through work products the child creates and through evaluating the child's level of success with different teaching interventions. The goals and objectives are the specific skills the child is going to learn during the course of the IEP, which is usually one year.


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I may upset a few parents with this post, but just know that I what I am about to say is in the best interest of your children. Many, many, many (did I say many?) parents insist that their children with autism have "shadows" when they are included in general education classrooms. Parents tell one another things like, "Whatever you do, make sure the shadow is assigned to your child, not the classroom." In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is to assign a non-certified staff person to a child. In fact, it is not just my opinion. Research has shown that having a shadow assigned to a student can have detrimental effects (Downing, Ryndak, & Clark, 2000); Giangreco & Broer, 2005). Some of the documented negative effects of having shadows assigned to students include:






With Valentine's Day upon us I thought it was important for me to try and explain the love I have for my family. My life changed 18 years ago when I met my wife and again almost 11 year ago when I had my son. These two moments in time are not just mere events in my past but have become a part of me. Since I am not as eloquent as E.E. Cummings the best way to explain this feeling is by reading his poem, I Carry Your Heart With Me:


i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)


i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you



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I love this App! Write My Name by Injini is an addicting app that helps develop a child's writing skills. Since Write My Name was just released Injini is offering this App for the introductory price of $1.99. The price will only be good for a few more days and then will go up to its normal price of $4.99 next week. I highly encourage everyone to go out and buy this app at the introductory price.








Introducing the Special Education Marketplace.   If you have a Special Education product, service, event, or organization the Special Education Marketplace is the perfect place to get the word out.  This is an opportunity to get in front of a very specific target market.  We have four packages available ranging from a basic 7 day free listing to the 30 day gold listing package for $24.95.  





















Created by veteran Special Education Advocates so you can handle your child's IEP like a pro.


Recently awarded an A+ review.  "After reviewing this resource, I am convinced that it is a bargain at the $39.95 price tag, considering all the information you get, the additional resources for ensuring you have all the information you need on hand, and the binder, CD with extra forms, and additional sample letters," Katrina Moody from Kat's Cafe.  To read the entire review click here



In This Issue
Playing (and Winning) the School District's Game of Chicken
Understanding the Importance of IEP Goals and Objectives
Please Step Away from the Child! The Misuse of Paraprofessionals in Inclusive Classrooms
I Carry Your Heart With Me
App Review: Write Your Name
Special Education Marketplace
The IEP Success Kit
What I Really Am, IEP Meme
Pencil Choices for Sensory Kids
Are You My IEP
Educating Educators: Autism in the Classroom

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Handwriting is a complex skill that can be very difficult for children with sensory processing challenges. Consequently, these children tend to avoid writing because it can be quite frustrating for them. There are different types of writing tools that offer sensory solutions for these children to help make writing an easier task. Here are some tools that may be helpful in exploring ways to best suit your child's writing & sensory needs.


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Are You My IEP


In honor of the upcoming Dr. Seuss week I have updated my son's favorite book written by Dr. Seuss's prot�g�, P.D. Eastman. "Are You My Mother."


A mother dropped her child off at a new school. She told the Principal, "My child has an IEP but he wants to learn." So the mother left her child with the school and away she went. The child was told to walk over to his new class but to pick up his IEP on the way out. So the child began to look for his IEP. He looked up and did not see his IEP. He looked down and did not see his IEP. "I will go and look for my IEP," he said. So away he went.



Educating Educators: Autism in the Classroom




There is a lack of training for special education teachers, and more specifically, for those teachers educating children on the autism spectrum.


This is partly due to the fact that only a handful of states have adopted autism competencies for educators.


Why are autism teacher competencies so important?


There is agreement among experts in the field of autism that the sooner a student gets appropriate treatment, the more likely he or she will be able to mainstream into a typical classroom. If teachers have access to evidence-based teaching and behavior methods they will be able to make sure the student is prepared for this transition. 



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