18 Tips for Getting Quality Special Education Services for Your Child

Before the IEP(1) Meeting 1. Request Needed Assessments in Writing or Get Independent Assessments Your child can be assessed in any area of suspected disability and for any services needed for him to benefit from school. For example: assessments may be done of reading or math levels; on the modifications needed to fully include your child; for therapy services (OT, PT, speech, mental health) and to identify assistive technology like a communication device. If you […]

Signs of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The following are considered “red flags” that may indicate a child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months • No babbling by 12 months • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months • No words by 16 months • No […]

How to Obtain an Independent Educational Evaluation at Public Expense

–        Are you dissatisfied with your child’s most recent special education assessment? –        Is the School District denying your child special education eligibility or a necessary service or support based on the recommendations of a poorly-done assessment? –        Have you asked for an independent assessment of your child and been ignored by the School District or just flat out told “No!”? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to know […]

Would your child benefit from Assistive Technology in the classroom?

Assistive Technology in the Classroom by Tara Peifer, DRT Advocate Many children experience difficulties in the school setting, but for those children who have disabilities their obstacles can be more pronounced. In some cases, a student needs an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to provide internal supports within the classroom. One of the supports that may be necessary is Assistive Technology (AT). What is Assistive Technology? Assistive technology (AT) describes various auxiliary aids which help support […]

Addressing the Academic Needs of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Secondary Education

As the number of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in secondary school settings grows, many educators are not prepared to adapt their instruction to meet state standards and the diverse needs of the full spectrum of adolescents with ASD. Yet, academic achievement in high school plays a critical role in students’ future education and career outcomes. In addition, greater demand for a technologically advanced workforce makes academic skills more essential for high school graduates. […]