Are you worried about your preschooler or kindergartener? Maybe there have been signs that something is just not quite right with her communication skills, or her preschool teacher has mentioned she isn’t reaching typical communication milestones just yet. You’ve maybe even heard that it is “just a phase” or that your child will “catch up” with the other kids her age. While every child is an individual and will make progress at his or her own unique pace, it is also important to listen to those gut feelings and inner voices you have that something might be causing this delay. Continue reading
Every year as summer draws to a close and backpacks are dusted off and filled with new notebooks, there are many anxious students and parents preparing for the new school year. If someone in your home is experiencing back to school anxiety and worries, there are several steps you can take to ease those fears and make the most of the new year. Continue reading
The line between disabilities and differences can be subtle, and if your child is struggling in school you might be wondering on which side of the line your child stands. A new approach to helping parents and teachers make this determination is RTI – or Response to Intervention.
IDEA, IEP, and RTI – What are the Differences? Continue reading
If your child qualifies for free help in the special education program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he will have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This written document spells out the specific services to which he is entitled in school. The IEP team is required to review the IEP annually to determine if it still suits his needs. If it does not, the document will be modified. However, if you believe that your child’s IEP no longer suits his needs prior to the annual meeting, you can request an IEP meeting at any time. It’s a good idea to periodically look over the IEP to refresh your memory and decide if a change is in order. Mark your calendar every few months to remind you to review the IEP. The back-to-school season is one good time to do it.
The back-to-school season is an exciting time for families, whether your child is boarding the school bus for the first time or he is a returning student. Your child’s teachers and the other members of the school staff are responsible for more than just his education and feeding him a healthy lunch while he’s at school. They are also responsible for identifying the possible signs of a speech disorder or other issue, such as autism or Fragile X syndrome. Your child’s teacher or his pediatrician might refer him to the agency that is responsible for special education in your state. This referral means that it is recommended that your child undergo a speech and language evaluation. You do have the right to refuse, but if your child does need extra help, an evaluation is the first step in that direction.
Whether you are eagerly anticipating the sounds of the school bus or are already experiencing premature empty nest syndrome, there’s no denying that the start of another school year signals a transition for your child. Preparing your child to go back to school requires so much more than just buying him school supplies and the latest fashions in celebrity-inspired clothes. If your child has a speech disorder, you’ve probably already spent the summer doing language enrichment activities. Now it’s time to review his Individualized Education Program (IEP) and talk to the school district about changing it, if necessary. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your child’s new teacher and/or new special education teacher.
It’s easy to get lost in the mountains of paperwork and miles of red tape that comes with the special education process. And it seems like there’s always one more hurdle to clear before your child gets access to the services he needs. After you file a due process complaint about your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), you can’t automatically jump right to the due process hearing, for example. First, you’ll need to attend the resolution meeting, which is similar to mediation. The purpose of the resolution meeting is to hammer out an agreement so that both parties can (possibly) avoid the due process hearing. You’ll have lots of prep work to do to get ready for the meeting, so here’s a quick guide to the basics.
It’s easy for parents and educators alike to get lost in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process and the numerous Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations. In an IEP meeting stuffed full of lawyers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, educators, and administrators, where exactly does your child fit in? Sure, the entire meeting is about his speech disorder and particular needs, but in a sea of acronyms (ESY, FAPE, S/LI, and TSS, to name just a few) it can be easy for the IEP team to forget that there is an actual child at the heart of all that jargon. No one knows your child and his speech therapy needs better than you and your partner. You’ve looked after his health from conception onward and made sure he had everything from healthy foods to speech therapy tools. So when it’s time to advocate for him in an IEP meeting and elsewhere at school, make sure that the people who are discussing his education actually know who he is.
When your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), he has a support structure within the school. He likely has speech therapy sessions with the school speech-language pathologist (SLP), he may have a one-on-one aide in the classroom, and he may have other accommodations as well. But what happens when he leaves school? As your child grows into a young adult and nears graduation age, you may start to worry about how he’ll handle the outside world with a speech disorder. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for transition services, which are intended to facilitate independent living and post-secondary education, if applicable.