Special Education Resources

During our years in special education we searched for resources that could help us with parenting, school, and a greater understanding of disabilities and special education law. The following is a partial list of worthwhile books and online resources that cover the subjects discussed in our book and why we think they may be helpful to you.

Printed

From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition. Pam Wright and Pete Wright (2006) Hartfield, VA: Harbor House Law Press.

If you purchase only one other book on special education, this should be the one. Pam and Pete Wright are in the forefront of helping parents understand and deal effectively with special education. The Wrightslaw web site (see online listings) is likewise one of the best Internet resources for parents.

Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives. Barbara D. Bateman and Cynthia M. Herr (2006) Verona, WI: Attainment Company.

This is a clear and concise guide to one of the most important parts of the IEP. It contains useful examples that you can follow.

The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child, 7th edition.
Lawrence M. Siegel (2011) Berkeley, CA: Nolo

This is a comprehensive guide to special education and IEPs from a legal point of view. The completeness is both a strength and a weakness, as there is so much information it can be overwhelming if you try to read it from the beginning, so it is best used as a reference. There are few books that cover the whole area of special education better. Note that Nolo publishes multiple versions of this book with slightly different titles and slightly altered text. One version appears to be as good as another.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd edition. Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright (2007) Hartfield, VA: Harbor House Law Press.

A complete, annotated text of IDEA and supporting special education laws and regulations, including descriptions of and commentaries on important cases pertaining to special education. You may not initially think you need a book with this amount of detail, but you’ll be amazed at how often you start to refer to it.

Straight Talk about Psychological Testing for Kids. Ellen Braaten and Gretchen Felopulos (2004) New York: Guilford Press.

The authors provide very clear explanations of how psychological testing works and how testing can identify specific learning disabilities. They discuss the issues of interpreted scores, deciphering jargon-filled reports, and making sure that a report contains useful recommendations, as well as how to choose the right professional to conduct tests.

How to Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child. Gary Mayerson (2004) New York: DRL Books.

An engaging and candid text, written by a special education lawyer who is also the parent of a child with special needs. Full of first-hand accounts of dealing with school districts. Many of these accounts read like verbatim descriptions of interactions we have had with our school district, illustrating how problems in special education are widespread.

The 50 Best Books on Special Education by Sarah Ambrose

An annotated list of books on special education and related topics appearing on the website www.Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com. The list includes a wide variety of books that will interest parents with children in special education, all of them carefully chosen and given thoughtful reviews. Chances are good that you will discover new and valuable resources on this list.

Online

WrightsLaw (www.wrightslaw.com)

Home page of the “go to” website for parents in special education. Many of the articles that appear on this site are excerpts from Pete and Pamela Wright’s books. In addition, there are articles by guest columnists, links to resources, directories of information, and updates as the laws change. You can also sign up for an informative email newsletter.

Parent Technical Assistance Center Network (www.parentcenternetwork.org)

This is the home page of the Parent Technical Assistance Center Network website. The Parent Centers, located in all parts of the country, provide training, information, and free advocacy help. The website contains links that will help you locate a group in your area.

Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities (www.yellowpagesforkids.com)

Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities, sponsored by Wrightslaw, is a locator for special education resources in all areas of the country. Just click on your state on the map and you get an A to Z listing of advocates, therapists, tutoring services, and just about any other resource you might need.

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates – COPAA (www.copaa.org)

The COPAA website enables you to locate attorneys, advocates, and other professionals who belong to the organization and advocate on behalf of children with disabilities. It contains guides on how to select an appropriate professional for your needs.

Federal Register (www.federalregister.gov/articles/search?conditions[term]=IDEA&commit=Go)

A website maintained by the US Department of Education that explains the federal special education laws.