The Endless Fight for Help: Yesterday and Today

by Maxine Rosaler When I was looking for schools for my son twenty years ago, private special education schools were the only schools equipped to give autistic children anywhere near the kind of help they needed. The competition for these schools was very stiff: it was not usual to find out that there were fifty applicants for every spot. And if a parent was lucky enough to have her child accepted at one of these […]

4 Ways Tech is Improving Special Needs Education

Special needs children represent a significant portion of the public school population. As of 2013-14, there were 6.5 million children and young adults ages 3-21 who were receiving these services in the United States. Although they have to overcome challenges their peers don’t, these kids can and do thrive, especially as educational technology has improved. In the past, special needs kids typically didn’t have a chance at a level playing field when it came to […]

Forgetting Milestones and Learning to Measure Progress…a New Way of Thinking! – Fighting for Inclusion and Acceptance

By Mary Ellen Bogucki  As July came to a close, I witnessed the launch of the “Inclusion Revolution” with the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. I wondered that with the celebration behind us, would the momentum continue and would society step up to the challenge? The challenge is defined in the “Inclusion Revolution” pledge. The pledge states: I pledge to look for the lonely, the isolated, the left out, the challenged and the bullied. I […]

Helping Your Child Transition into a New School Year

by Oran Tkatchov As our children put the past school year behind them during summer break, there might be many changes on the horizon that can be a source of anxiety for them.  A new teacher? New building? New classmates? New routines? These changes can be overwhelming for all kids, but especially for those who need additional guidance in establishing routines and developing new relationships.  Below are five suggestions that can help to minimize the […]

My First Depression

by Carey Handley I remember the day we were told our daughter would never drive, would never live alone, would never reach many of the milestones most children will. And then there was the day she stood beside us in court as the judge declared her permanently disabled and granted us Guardianship. I listened as the judge asked her questions, some of which had to be rephrased so she could understand them. On each of […]

The Shoebox Phenomenon: What Not to Do with the Results of Your Child’s Annual Statewide Achievement Tests

   By William Blackwell, Ed.D. & Nancy Stockall, Ph.D. According to the U.S. Department of Education, almost 3.5 million children with disabilities participate in statewide achievement tests each year. Parents typically receive their child’s results in a paper report sent home through the school. Yet, parents often struggle to accurately interpret the reports, which contain complex testing jargon and vague descriptions of their child’s performance. This can lead to what one parent described as “the […]

Meeting the Challenge of Teaching SPED Students to Type

By Jan Smith A tech integrator shares the games that she uses to prepare special education students for life after school. In the world today, typing is a necessary skill. Most jobs require some degree of computer work, and knowing how to type quickly and efficiently may be an advantage over someone who “finger pecks” at the keyboard. High school graduates need to know how to type, use email, use reference tools on the internet, […]

Elizabeth Hamblet’s book, From High School to College: Steps to Success for Students with Disabilities

Elizabeth Hamblet has written the definitive book on the transition from high school to college – not only for students with learning differences, but for students in general. College is a different world from high school. The laws, expectations, and culture around disability services and accommodations are very different. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), www.cec.sped.org, is pleased to present Elizabeth Hamblet’s book, From High School to College: Steps to Success for Students with Disabilities. […]

Special Education: Increasing Job Opportunities for Students through Engagement in Career Technical Education

By: Dr. Christine Powell INTRODUCTION: The job market is changing and students receiving special education services, as well as special education stakeholders, need to be a part of the new educational movement. Many public school districts across the nation are realigning education curriculums in support of college and career readiness objectives for public school graduates, which include many students with Individual Education Plans (IEP). There are good reasons for linking academics with career pathways, but […]

Making Sense of School Evaluations Without Losing Sight of Your Child

by Vaughn Lauer An interesting title, isn’t it? But the truths are these: Data (aka behavioral and measurable information, including test scores) are necessary for making good educational decisions. and Test scores do not define our child; they simply help to understand our child’s strengths and needs, so that we can make informed decisions. I think we can all agree on the first statement, that is: Information (data) in behavioral and measurable terms is essential to […]