Evaluating a Child for Disability: The Wrong Way and the Right Way

Teacher - Legal Evaluations

Determining whether a child is eligible for special education is the first critical stage in the process.  Unfortunately, many parents don’t understand the evaluation process or their child’s rights under the laws.  This often creates confusion, especially when the school presents an inaccurate scenario for assessing your child. A Special-Ism reader presented the following (not […]

The Power of the Parent-Teacher Conference


During my years in education, parents would often call me, angry about their child’s grades, frustrated with a teacher’s unfair policies, or simply wondering why they didn’t know their child wasn’t doing well in school. When parents don’t hear anything from a teacher, they often assume that their child is doing great and that there […]

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5 Tips For a Successful IEP When Inclusion is the Target


As IEP season is upon us, it is always good to remember these helpful hints to ensure that your child’s IEP goes in your favor when requesting that he/she be included into a general education placement with typically developing peers. 1. Educate Yourself Become educated about special education law, specifically, the Individuals With Disabilities Act […]

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NJ Gov. Chris Christie is Dyslexics’ Hero?


As of August 2013, the State of New Jersey has taken two giant steps forward in special education law thanks to its legislature and Governor Chris Christie. New Jersey’s special education regulations now officially define “Dyslexia” as a disability (Assembly Bill 3608) and school districts must now provide professional development opportunities for dyslexia and reading […]

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Tips to Decrease Back-to-School Stress


It’s that time of year again where you are stressing about whether or not you and your child are ready to go back to school, or maybe they are starting kindergarten! How exciting. You have shopped for the school supplies, new clothes, a lunch box and more more, and now it’s time to work on […]

Full-Inclusion in Typical Classrooms Create Wonderful Learning Environments

Classroom Strengths

It is possible to fully include students with disabilities into typical classrooms when the correct services and supports are in place. I have had the pleasure of including students of all functioning levels in classrooms with their typical peers. When supporting students with autism and other developmental disabilities in typical (general education) classrooms, it is first […]

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Learn to Implement Music to Address Areas of Deficit

music and special needs

I was the kid who knew every song on the radio.  My astute father, my songwriting mentor, once firmly stated, “Now imagine if those lyrics meant something.  Imagine if they could be useful.” In my adult life I found myself staring at the beautiful face of a child with autism–my son–who had a lot of […]

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Learning Disabilities and Qualifying for Special Ed Services

learning disabilities and IEP

For many of us, summer vacation is a welcome break from the craziness of the school year.  No homework battles, rigid schedules or projects covering the dining room table.  However, it can also be a great time to reflect on how your child is progressing in school and to ask yourself some important questions about […]

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Accommodations Are Stepping-Stones to Success for Children Experiencing Anxiety

special needs accommodations

Accommodations in the classroom for children struggling with anxiety come in many shapes and sizes. As each child is different, so too should each accommodation and/or modification. Each of us has the capacity to cope and more so thrive – we just need to learn what those little stepping-stones to success look like. In other […]

What Your Child’s Pediatrician May Be Missing!

developmental delays

Early detection of a developmental delay is an art. Small children don’t always respond on command.  Pediatricians do the best job they can in the limited time they have with patients, but getting a detailed assessment from a parent’s memory about their child’s progress is tricky (Committee on Children With Disabilities).  It is not wise for a parent […]

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