Navigate Special Ed

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Navigating Special Education

So frustrating… your child enters the world and you are not aware of the hand that you will be dealt with.  You have a child – a wonderful child whom you love so much – but they have a different style of functioning. They may respond to the world differently. They may need accommodations in school so that they have an untimed exam. They may need related services such as Speech Therapy and/or a paraprofessional to provide support in the “least restrictive environment least restrictive environment

LRE continuum pyramid levels

Photo credit: https://adayinourshoes.com/iep-lre-least-restrictive-environment/?utm_source=copy&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=SocialSnap

Your child is evaluated to determine what needs they may or may not have.  You go to your local school district office to discuss the plan based on these reports and an Individual Education Plan is developed.  The law states that you have rights as a parent to both participate and agree or disagree to an outlined plan for your child.  I am not a special education advocate, but I work with children of different ages. Part of my work involves assisting parents with written reports to present at IEP meetings/CPSE meetings and speaking with professionals in terms of suggesting supports from which those whose skills I have evaluated may benefit.

You may be scheduling a meeting with educational attornies and trying to answer the question of “what’s next?” An attorney may advise you that your child is entitled to free appropriate education.  What is that? http://www.nyedlaw.com/blog/2018/02/what-constitutes-free-appropriate-public-education.html

Over the years, I have seen children fall through the cracks and not get the services that they need.  It’s in the best interests of your child to advocate on behalf of your own.

In the NYC area there are organizations such as

The Parents League   

IncludeNYC

available to help guide you as well.  Similar programs are offered in other areas so check with parents organizations supporting the needs of children such as your own.

Additional Resource https://magazine.parentingspecialneeds.org/publication/?i=646946&ver=html5&p=24

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Technology

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New and profound diagnostic terms are emerging that diagnose actual addiction in this area. It’s called “Internet Addiction Disorder” according to the diagnostic manual used by physicians and other healthcare professionals.  If you want the codes here they are: https://www.aihc-assn.org/Blog/tabid/1676/ArticleID/379/Internet-Addiction-A-Digital-Problem-in-the-Real-World.aspx

IAD will display distinct habits. According to the journal Current Psychiatry ReviewsTrusted Source, someone with an IAD will:

  • have mood changes
  • focus on the internet and digital media
  • be unable to control how much time they spend
  • need more time or a new game to be happy
  • show withdrawal symptoms when not using the internet or technology
  • continue using the internet or technology even when it affects their relationships
  • neglect their social, work, or school life

How it is diagnosed is complex. Here is a link  https://www.psycom.net/iadcriteria.html for you so consider your own habits and that of the medical community https://www.aihc-assn.org/Blog/tabid/1676/ArticleID/379/Internet-Addiction-A-Digital-Problem-in-the-Real-World.aspx. Can you list 25 things that you do each day that does not involve technology?  I asked a group of graduate students studying to become speech-language pathologists and they had trouble.  How about you?

There are good and unfortunate impacts that technology has had to date based on a variety of sources.  Think about the last time that you tried to talk to someone to find that they could not answerer you. They had earbuds in their ears, were not looking up at you – just at a machine and appeared to be in an entirely non-face-to face world.  The effect on communication in this century is both astounding and profoundly changing us.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/04/health/screen-time-lower-brain-development-preschoolers-wellness/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbCNN&utm_content=2019-11-04T22%3A00%3A09&utm_term=link&fbclid=IwAR2kl7JF5e1BDeY6-j-BGQiGqpT1t5BA4dVM4yVIpZsbSpNZ7pZRuopXkQ0

https://www.today.com/video/screen-time-may-be-reshaping-preschoolers-brains-new-study-says-72848453586?fbclid=IwAR0rorh-QKQcF0r8KFkYOmmSK9DGoQbP2CkRXT-1RhYg0qywY8lGoQDwrxo

https://www-nytimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/well/family/screen-use-tied-to-childrens-brain-development.amp.html

https://blog.asha.org/2020/01/17/asha-president-is-parents-smartphone-use-the-new-secondhand-smoke/

GOOD NEWS!

The good news is that there are positive things that we can use computers for, as noted in an example of a few resources below. There are others if you search by grade level which yields similar listings so look at those as well.

https://download.cnet.com/news/best-apps-to-educate-and-entertain-preschool-and-kindergarten-age-kids/

28 of the Best Apps for Kids in the First Grade

American Academy of Pediatrics advises families is that used in moderation can be helpful.  https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx    History is repeating itself. The transition from oral to written language posed challenges for those living through that period.  We all need to embrace the change and recognize that things are not all bad with this new change in communication.

Tips for Parents Who Want Their Children to Develop Speech and Language Skills/ Lessons in Advocacy

A new year of school has just begun and I somehow thought that this article provided some  really good information to educate parent of children who have difficulties communicating.  I hope it helps!

https://robinslp.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/language-building-tips-for-parents-of-young-children

 

meet the teacher visual

Homework for Parents …

While you practice the tips (which i think are so nicely outlined) in the link above, do yourself a favor as the year begins.  Something that is extremely helpful is to become very good friends with the special education supervisor in the school that your child attends.  If you have not met them at an open house or even if you have, now is the time to make yourself not only heard by email but seen in person.  That form of communication seems to go by  the wayside a lot.  It does make a difference…

a.   Call the main office and obtain the name of the special education supervisor. If it is unavailable, walk into the school office and try to schedule an appointment in person.

b.  Introduce yourself – “my … is in —class and I wanted to take a few minutes to meet with you.

c. BRING YOUR CHILD’S IEP TO SCHOOL!!!    This may seem facetious to some; but recognize the fact that the school in which your child is enrolled may not have a copy of this yet.  In fact – it may take awhile for it to be uploaded and sent on to the person assigned to working with your child.

d.  Confirm the name of the speech therapist who is going to be working with your child.  If possible – I would suggest that you try and reach out to them as well.  It may take a few weeks until services get into place

 

**if things are going a bit slowly, feel free to reach out..