Writing by Hand Improves Cognitive Development

Are you old enough to remember when “penmanship” used to be taught in public schools? We are. We can recall specific classes that focused on teaching the skills of handwriting: both manuscript (printed) letters and cursive. Entire classes were devoted to this skill, with gold stickers on certificates presented to those who produced legible and Continue Reading »

Demystifying Speech and Language Services

Speech and language services were always a mystery for us when our son was in school. Even as he struggled with written composition, our school’s Speech and Language Pathologist would end her evaluations with the statement that “services are not recommended at this time.” We assumed that since he did not have an audible problem Continue Reading »

Understanding Accommodations and Modifications

Of all the terms in special education, two of the most confusing for parents are “accommodation” and “modification.” We always saw these terms on our son’s IEP and, like most parents, never fully understood what they meant. This is unfortunate, because knowing the difference can have a significant impact on a child’s education. Both accommodations Continue Reading »

The Yin and Yang of Inclusion

Inclusion is a special education term that parents hear a lot, and one that they need to understand. As we look back over the 41 years of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), we have come to realize that the word inclusion has had many meanings and interpretations over the decades. These interpretations have Continue Reading »

Thoughts on the 40th Anniversary of IDEA

Last month the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) reached an anniversary milestone of 40 years. We have been reflecting on this law, the enormous impact it has had on education, and the daunting task of fulfilling its promise for all students with disabilities. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s inspired parents and Continue Reading »

The Role of a Special Education Advocate

When we entered special education many years ago, we had never heard of a special education advocate. And if we had, we probably wouldn’t have hired one because we felt comfortable with our son’s Team members. Later, however, we realized that we had missed important opportunities by not having an experienced professional explain our son’s Continue Reading »

Three-Year Reevaluation Strategies

Team meetings are a major part of the special education experience, none more important than the three-year reevaluation. The evaluation reports and subsequent Team meeting to discuss them set the course of your child’s next three years in special education. During the meeting, the Team can modify your child’s services to make them more appropriate, Continue Reading »

Special Education Advocacy and the Quality of Life

There comes a moment when you realize that what you’re advocating for is more than just accommodations. You’re really advocating for someone’s quality of life. That’s the moment you realize you won’t give up. We recently read this quote on Facebook from the Dyslexia Training Institute and immediately recognized how true it is. We experienced Continue Reading »

A Parent Journal

As a parent, you have an important tool right at your fingertips to help you in your special education experience. This simple tool, developed over time, can be one of your greatest assets in advocating for your child. It is your parent journal in which you record your impressions and descriptions of your child’s behaviors, Continue Reading »

Why We Wrote Our Book

With September marking the start of the school year, we would like to repost the following article for parents who may be just beginning their experience with special education or who may have just discovered our website. We also encourage all our readers to take a look at our earlier articles for more information that Continue Reading »