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Negotiating The Special Education Maze
|"This book is a wonderful
resource for families of children with disabilities and others interested in special
education. It is clearly written, easy-to-use, has specific action steps and most
importantly, it focuses on the parent and child. I believe both families and parent
centers will find it extremely useful."
||- Paula Goldberg,
Executive Director, PACER Center
Woodbine House, Publisher
6510 Bells Mill Rd.
Bethesda MD 20817
* 300 Pages
This booklet contains practical advice about how a family can plan services for their child and themselves. It explains early intervention and the Individualized Family Service Plan. Its charts and forms help families keep track of information and important telephone numbers. It gives sources for additional information. It is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Farsi from PEATC for $5.00 plus tax and shipping. For the hard-copy version of this booklet ($5), please contact PEATC at 703-923-0010 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disagreements may occur despite the best intentions of families of young children and professionals as they work together to develop and implement Individualized Family Service Plans. This booklet presents mediation as a positive approach to resolving disagreements and emphasizes strategies to enable families and professionals to avoid disputes. This Virginia-specific publication is available from Virginia Interagency Coordinating Councils and from PEATC for $5.00 (shipping included).
This booklet was written by and for parents of children with special health care needs. It will help readers become organized so that they can manage their children's complex needs, including paperwork, bills, schedules, plans, reports and procedures. It will also help them learn how to make their way through the unfamiliar world of medical diagnoses and terminology. It is available from PEATC for $5.00 plus tax and shipping.
This guide explores the ways in which schools can meet the individual needs and aspirations of each student by structuring learning environments, matching teaching strategies with individual learning styles and furnishing necessary supports and accommodations. It is intended for parents who are seeking a more inclusive placement for their children through the IEP process. Available from PEATC for $5.00 plus tax and shipping.
For a parent of a child with disabilities, finding the way through the special education system can be overwhelming. There is confusion . . . bureaucracy . . . red tape. You want the best for your child, but you don't know where to start. It helps to remember that your goal is to make a better life for your child, and the special education process works best when it's guided by a partnership between educators and parents. Your involvement is not only possible, it is welcome and necessary. It is only through involvement that you can become your child's best advocate.
Understanding Special Education is a 9 minute video that illustrates the special education cycle: referral, evaluation, eligibility, individualized education program, placement, instruction, annual review, and triennial review. In the video parents and teachers talk about the importance of parent involvement in special education and ways it has made a difference in their children's education. The video is available from PEATC for $30.00 plus tax and shipping.
This guide was designed for community-based resource centers to enable their personnel to better serve families with infants and toddlers with disabilities. It contains information about services for children from birth to three. It explains the importance of services that are family-centered instead of child-focused, and suggests ways of facilitating interagency collaboration for the benefit of the family. Areas covered are: early intervention services and the IFSP Process; resources and interagency collaboration; Parent to Parent training; Taking Charge: A Parent's Guide to Health Care for Children with Special Needs. It includes a bibliography. It is available from PEATC for $30.00 plus tax and shipping.
This comprehensive training package was originally designed for West Virginia In-service Training Teams. The materials may be used for formal or informal workshops, discussions, staff meetings and technical assistance on the subject of inclusive education. The eight chapters contain general information on inclusion, effective strategies for school administrators, materials for organizing superior teams including trainers' and participants' manuals, IEP development and integration matrix, successful classroom accommodations, Unlocking the Door: A Parent's Guide to Inclusion, resources including the MAPS process, and a bibliography. It is available from PEATC for $75.00 plus tax and shipping.
This workshop is an awareness training program on the unique challenges that children and youth with traumatic brain injury present due to their injury. It is designed for noninstructional school personnel such as bus drivers, cafeteria aides, classroom aides, librarians and others. The manual includes workshop objectives, flow chart, activity sheets, participant's handouts, resource materials and slide presentation with script. It is available from PEATC for $20 ($50 for slides) plus tax and shipping.
This workshop provides basic information regarding the early intervention service system under Part H of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is intended for parents, Interagency Coordinating Council members and other agency personnel providing services for families with young children with developmental delays.
Topics covered are: Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program; family centered services; service coordination and the Individualized Family Service Plan; procedural safeguards; and interagency collaboration. Materials include trainers' materials, overhead transparencies and participants' materials. It is available from PEATC for $30.00 plus tax and shipping.
This three hour workshop was developed to assist individuals with disabilities, their family members, advocates and caring others to become familiar with the vision and provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). During the workshop, participants learn about the civil rights protections of ADA in areas of employment, government services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. Exercises using case histories bring the law to life. The extensive training package includes objectives, flow chart, activity guides, overhead transparencies, and participants' materials. It is available from PEATC for $35.00 plus tax and shipping.
The Transition Series consists of six workshops which assist families to prepare for a young person's transition from student life in school to adult life in the community. Each workshop training package includes an introduction, a trainer's manual with workshop objectives and schedule, flow chart, activity guides and overhead transparencies, and participants' materials. The entire series is available from PEATC for $150.00 and individual workshops are available for $25.00 each. Slides and video are purchased separately. The six workshops are:
During this workshop, participants review the four critical goals of transition, consider practical activities which promote their achievement, become familiar with pertinent federal legislation and understand the important roles of family members in the transition process. A slide presentation entitled World of Work is used with this workshop.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires transition planning for all students with disabilities. This workshop is designed to show how transition planning can be incorporated into students' ongoing special education plans. Sample transition forms are reviewed and participants develop transition goals. The videotape, Understanding Special Education" is used.
Children who learn self-advocacy skills are best prepared to live satisfying adult lives in the community. This workshop is designed to assist family members to identify strategies for respecting a young person's choices while offering continued love and guidance.
During this workshop, a panel of adult community service representatives provides information and answer questions regarding local employment, education and independent living opportunities.
This workshop assists families to understand the role of vocational education in special education plans. Guest speakers discuss specific examples of community based vocational education opportunities, entry criteria, assessment and placement procedures. Participants learn how job coaches and supports in the workplace assist a student in learning, enjoying and keeping a job.
During this workshop, parents review strategies for shaping secure futures for their children. Through case studies and guest speakers, participants learn about financial planning, adult health care, formal and informal supports. Parents can begin to write a "letter of intent," which provides future care givers with guidance in understanding the needs and desires of the person with disabilities and his family.
The Partnership Series consists of ten workshops for educators and administrators which develop parent-professional partnerships in the education of children with special needs. A true partnership comes about when all parties in the relationship--teachers, administrators, school support personnel and parents--meet expectations for meaningful communication, equal power, mutual trust and respect. These workshops are presented as in-service training by a team comprised of a parent and one or more professionals. Each training package includes an introduction, trainer's manual with objectives, flow chart, activity guides, overhead transparencies and a participants' manual. Several include videotapes and slides. The entire series is available from PEATC for $500.00 or individual workshops for $65 each plus tax and shipping. The workshops are:
The purpose of this workshop is to develop strategies to involve parents in their children's education. Eight activities lead participants through an identification and analysis process. The reasons parents are not participating in their children's education are studied in light of diverse family configurations and cultural backgrounds. Through case studies and resource materials, participants develop strategies for working closely with parents of children in their classes.
This workshop is designed to assist regular educators in developing a more thorough understanding of special education. Participants will clarify the role of the regular educator as well as the parent in the special education process. They learn methods of building an active and more effective special education team approach within their schools.
This workshop, designed for school principals and administrators, provides an open forum for the analysis of effective partnerships between professionals and parents. Participants identify the benefits that accrue to parents, to schools, and to children with special needs when parents and professionals cooperate. Using a step-by-step planning process, participants analyze factors that help and hinder the development of successful working relationships and develop goals and strategies for strengthening parent/professional partnerships in their community schools.
Together parents, educators and students can develop effective IEP's and Transition Plans. During this workshop educators learn practical strategies for tapping the expertise and resources of family members and school personnel to prepare a student for life as a worker in the community. Participants identify strategies for increasing students' informal connections to the world of work. Representatives from local adult service agencies present information about employment programs and services.
This workshop is designed for educators who work with secondary special education students. It emphasizes the important role educators play in preparing students to exit the school setting and enter the complex world of adult life. Practical strategies for promoting students' abilities to make decisions and participate in community life are identified. Participants become familiar with Social Security work incentives. The video, "Supported Employment: A Formula for Success" may be purchased from another source.
This workshop explores the social challenges presented by mainstreaming children with disabilities. Teachers will learn practical strategies for insuring that all children in their classes feel accepted and cared for by their classmates. The workshop features a videotape in which two children with different disabilities, their teachers, and their parents share their feelings and experiences as they work together to make placement in a regular education class a successful social experience. Video: "Thriving in the Mainstream."
Successful mainstreaming experiences depend upon effective communication among teachers, parents and students. In this workshop regular educators discuss the benefits and challenges of mainstreaming to teachers, students and parents. The focus is on communication strategies. Video: "Equality in Education."
Moving on from Preschool is a guided discussion within a small group of parents, preschool teachers, paraprofessionals, and primary level teachers. Participants explore questions and concerns regarding changes for children as they move from preschool to primary level programs. The session includes a presentation by a school representative. Slide presentation included.
Integrating students with disabilities into regular education classes challenges teachers, parents and students to find new ways of celebrating differences and building friendships. This three-part workshop is designed to start the process of meeting these challenges on a community or school level. The "circle of friends" concept and other ideas for facilitating social integration in schools are presented.
This workshop addresses communication skills and understanding between teachers and parents. The principles of family dynamics are reviewed and strategies for enhancing parent-teacher relationships are developed. By understanding one another's day-to-day feelings and experiences, parents and teachers gain insights into each other's lives and learn new ways to work together. Workshop participants practice effective communication skills and analyze the elements of an effective partnership relationship. Video: "What About Tomorrow?"
As more insurance companies and states move toward managed health care, children with special health care needs and their families will be dramatically affected. Barriers to providing managed care services that are responsive to traditionally underserved families include professionals lack of knowledge in meeting the needs important to families from diverse cultural backgrounds and parents lack of knowledge in negotiating services for their children. The video and study guides address these issues and suggest solutions. Available for $50 for professionals/ $30 for parents.
Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.
PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Celebrating 30 Years of Building Better Futures for Virginia's Children
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