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Special Education Terms to Know: Part 3

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 3

Woohoo! We have hit the final installment of the special education terms you need to know (according to my FB group)! This final installment will wrap up this series of posts. I truly hope you all have found these posts helpful and something beyond just the standard definitions that can be found elsewhere.

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 2

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 2

So my post got so long I needed to break things up! Here is another installment of the terms, defined, for your reading pleasure!IEP: Individual Education Plan is developed for children who qualify as a child with a disability under IDEA. If your child is needing...

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 1

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 1

I remember being in college as a Teaching Assistant providing tutoring to mostly freshman students for an Earth Science 101 class. Most of the students who attended my study group were failing or making a "D" in the class. When I asked them WHY were they taking Earth...

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IEP Goals Made Easy

IEP Goals Made Easy

“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.” - Bo Bennett Introduction: Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of Individualized Education Programs (IEP)? Setting up effective IEP goals can be a game-changer in the educational journey...

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FAPE and Endrew F

FAPE and Endrew F

“I've realised that at the top of the mountain, there's another mountain.” - Andrew Garfield FAPE & Endrew: Key Insights for Parents In the world of special education, two important ideas parents and teachers should learn are Free Appropriate Public Education...

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Executive Functioning Checklist

Executive Functioning Checklist

“Deficits in executive functions such as planning, categorization, organization, and attention leave them lost amid a sea of things, unable to figure out what to do next.” - Randy O. Frost Introduction: Imagine watching a child sit before an open textbook, their eyes...

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transitioning from HS

transitioning from HS

Introduction: The transition from high school to college marks a pivotal milestone for young adults, especially those with disabilities. While K-12 education supports these individuals through Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans, entering higher...

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LRE & Non-Academics

LRE & Non-Academics

Navigating Inclusion Beyond the Classroom When we discuss the education of children with disabilities, it's important to know about the "Least Restrictive Environment" (LRE) concept. This idea is really important and it's a big part of a law called the Individuals...

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2 Helpful Hints To Homeschool Children With Special Needs

2 Helpful Hints To Homeschool Children With Special Needs

When I first started homeschooling my surviving quadruplets (3 survivors), who all have autism, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing! Honestly, I did not. We both (the children and I) had to “grow” into our styles of teaching and learning. In this post, I will cover 2 helpful, and important, pieces of advice I have for those new to homeschooling their children with special needs:
– you will need about three years to learn your teaching style and your children’s learning style
– you will want to skip box sets of curriculum

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Braille: Time For A Comeback!

Braille: Time For A Comeback!

September 30, 2018|ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, SPECIAL EDUCATION, VISUAL IMPAIRMENT (VI) My son, Joseph, Brailled this birthday card for me. Though there are several versions of the alphabet for the visually impaired like the Moon Alphabet,  Gall's Traingular...

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New Amsterdam: Schools can force medication?

New Amsterdam: Schools can force medication?

October 4, 2018|PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL TESTING, BEHAVIOR, EMOTIONS, PARENTS, IEP, NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL, MEDICATION, IDEA, PUBLIC SCHOOL, OSEP New Amsterdam, what happened???   Dr. Max Goodwin in New Amsterdam I was enjoying watching episode two and then I was SO...

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Prior Written Notice (PWN): Why it is so Important!

Prior Written Notice (PWN): Why it is so Important!

November 4, 2018|IEP, PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE (PWN), IDEA, PUBLIC SCHOOL, SPECIAL EDUCATION In our Facebook group for parents of public school students, IEP Assistance and Special Needs Parenting Advice, the topic of Prior Written Notice comes up quite often! Prior...

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5 Ways Being a Preemie Impacts Learning

5 Ways Being a Preemie Impacts Learning

November 18, 2018|SPEECH (SLI), EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, BEHAVIOR, FINE MOTOR, SELFREGULATION, ADHD, PREEMIE 5 Ways Being a Preemie Impacts Learning Pregnant with Quads at 26w4d. I would go into labor again 2 days later. November 17th is World Prematurity Day....

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What is Anomia? A Look at Speech Disorders

What is Anomia? A Look at Speech Disorders

Speech or Language Impairments (SLI) is one of the 13 categories for disability recognized by IDEA. There are many reasons why a child may end up with a SLI eligibility for special education including children with autism, aphasia, epilepsy, and many others.

Anomia is a type of aphasia. So what is aphasia? Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others.

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Food Coloring and ADHD: What You Need to Know

Food Coloring and ADHD: What You Need to Know

Synthetic food coloring has been added to processed foods since the late 1800s.  The FDA has insisted that food coloring is not harmful to children and does not cause children to have behavior issues. If you read carefully what is written on the FDA’s site it says, “The totality of scientific evidence indicates that most children have no adverse effects when consuming foods containing color additives, but some evidence suggests that certain children may be sensitive to them.” Notice it says MOST children have no adverse effects.  This means some children do.  So what does science have to say on the matter?

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Special Needs Parenting: A Man’s Perspective

Special Needs Parenting: A Man’s Perspective

November 28, 2018|PARENTS, FAMILY It’s been the mantra since the dawn of mankind. God said to Adam, “Did you eat from the tree of knowledge?” Adam said, “Yes, but it was because Eve told me to.” Of course, this is a loose translation, but the sentiment has been shared...

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Executive Functioning and Assistive Technology

Executive Functioning and Assistive Technology

Executive functioning (EF) deficits, common in ADHD/ADD individuals, can cause havoc! Here is a variety of Assistive Technology (AT) to help manage EF disorder. These can be used in both the traditional school and homeschool environment. There are numerous apps to...

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Top 10 Signs of a Gifted Child

Top 10 Signs of a Gifted Child

November 17, 2018|SPEECH (SLI), EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, BEHAVIOR, EMOTIONS, PARENTS, NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL, PUBLIC SCHOOL, HOMESCHOOL, SENSORY, GIFTED The National Association for Gifted Children says giftedness is: when the child's ability is significantly above the norm...

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Special Education Terms to Know: Part 3

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 3

Woohoo! We have hit the final installment of the special education terms you need to know (according to my FB group)! This final installment will wrap up this series of posts. I truly hope you all have found these posts helpful and something beyond just the standard definitions that can be found elsewhere.

read more
Special Education Terms to Know: Part 2

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 2

So my post got so long I needed to break things up! Here is another installment of the terms, defined, for your reading pleasure!IEP: Individual Education Plan is developed for children who qualify as a child with a disability under IDEA. If your child is needing...

read more
Special Education Terms to Know: Part 1

Special Education Terms to Know: Part 1

I remember being in college as a Teaching Assistant providing tutoring to mostly freshman students for an Earth Science 101 class. Most of the students who attended my study group were failing or making a "D" in the class. When I asked them WHY were they taking Earth...

read more
Medical Versus Educational

Medical Versus Educational

One of the most frequent topics that I discuss with parents is to clarify the difference between a medical diagnosis and an educational eligibility under IDEA. The distinction can be quite small; however, that does not mean it may not be relevant! Read more to find out the differences between these two.

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Adaptive Skills

Adaptive Skills

Adaptive skills are essential for a child to master in order to be a successful adult. Adaptive skills are defined as practical, everyday skills needed to function and meet the demands of one’s environment, including the skills necessary to effectively and independently take care of oneself and to interact with other people.

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Halloween and Autism

Halloween and Autism

October 12, 2018|BEHAVIOR, EMOTIONS, PARENTS, AUTISM, HOLIDAY, HOMESCHOOL Autism Autism is a neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorder that impedes social interactions and is often accompanied by sensory issues that cause heightened anxiety and tantrum-like...

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Extended School Year

Extended School Year

ESY: ESY stands for Extended School Year Often I hear parents say their child was turned down for more schooling during the summer Extended School Year (ESY) because their child did not have significant enough regression-recruitment to qualify for the summer...

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25+ Android Apps for Children with Special Needs

25+ Android Apps for Children with Special Needs

Assistive technology helps to provide people with disabilities enhanced learning, working, and daily living skills. The Apple store is loaded with an amazing selection of apps but what about other platforms? Android devices are rarely mentioned yet there are several apps out there that can be very helpful! Apps for an Android tablet can be hard to find for children beyond the preschool/Kindergarten level so this post focuses on apps that are used for children at the elementary school level (K to 5). The following apps can be helpful for children with disabilities who own an Android device.

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Delivering Transition Services While Homeschooling

Delivering Transition Services While Homeschooling

Transition services are intended to prepare children to move from the world of school into the world of adulthood. Transition planning begins during high school at the latest. Some of the most important work we can do home-educating our children with exceptional needs is teach them how to transition into their post-high-school life and how to be successful with independent living! In this blog post we will cover some important aspects of transition services commonly offered in public schools and how you can deliver a similar program at home. You don’t want to miss the skills needed for independent living, skills needed for employment, and even skills needed for being an entrepreneur.

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50+ Educational Podcasts for Kids

50+ Educational Podcasts for Kids

Podcasts have been around for years and now there are more choices than ever! There are many podcasts that are highly educational along with being entertaining allowing parents to sneak in some education on the go (ie, in the car, while waiting at appointments, or while exercising/moving), audio stories help children learn to enjoy reading, and maybe you will learn some fun bit of information yourself!

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Back to School Time with Complex Medical Needs

Back to School Time with Complex Medical Needs

As a parent of a child with complex health needs, I am left here yet again feeling very sorry for myself–and my child–at this time of year. This is the second year in a row that my four-year-old child with multiple disabilities does not have a school to attend. And I will explain why.

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FERPA Template Letter

FERPA Template Letter

Often there are three main reasons a parents may want to do a FERPA request: they want the educational records of their child to review them for information, they are looking for staff emails concerning their child, or are looking for evaluation information used with their child. We will cover these topics in this blog post and give you a template letter for a FERPA request.

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“No Consent” Letter and why you may want to write one

“No Consent” Letter and why you may want to write one

Updated November 24, 2021 Written January 14, 2019 BEHAVIOR, SELF-REGULATION, SPECIAL EDUCATION   Have you been following the news?  It seems like every week I see a news story discussing the possible improper restraint of a child in a public school....

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ADHD: Impacts on Learning

ADHD: Impacts on Learning

      504, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, BEHAVIOR, IEP, ADHD, ACCOMMODATIONS, SPECIAL EDUCATION, EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION Updated: November 24, 2021      Practically every day in my IEP/504 Assistance Facebook group, I speak to the impacts of executive...

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Please Wash Your Hands: Life with the Medically Fragile

Please Wash Your Hands: Life with the Medically Fragile

October 3, 2018|HEALTH, PREEMIE, MEDICALLY FRAGILE Life with the Medically Fragile So many exceptional children suffer from medical complications that make catching a "simple" cold anything but simple!  Yet, when parents ask family and other care...

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Halloween Craft Ideas

Halloween Craft Ideas

October 2, 2018|OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (OT), ARTS & CRAFTS, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, FINE MOTOR I love holiday crafts! Arts and crafts are a great way to have your child work on fine motor skills while giving you a chance to break out of your typical, boring occupational...

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October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

October 15, 2018|PARENTS, LOSS, PREEMIE There are many woman who mourn for a child they lost in pregnancy or infancy.  I lost my daughter, Martha, the day after she was born as part of a set of quadruplets.  Her brothers and sister remember her and Margaret celebrates...

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Interoception, Autism, and Food

Interoception, Autism, and Food

December 6, 2018|OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (OT), HEALTH, BEHAVIOR, AUTISM, SENSORY I am sure you are asking yourself what the heck is interoception?  I had not heard of it either until recently.  Interoception, as we will be discussing today, did not really come about...

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Homeschooling Children with Special Needs Around Appointments

Homeschooling Children with Special Needs Around Appointments

Did I ever mention I am a scientist by trade? I love to experiment. I like to try things out, several different ways, and see which way I like best. This also includes how I am homeschooling my children and how I am homeschooling around appointments. I tried homeschooling only at home. I tried homeschooling on-the-go including using teachable moments and I tried to limit myself to online-only homeschooling. Out of all these options, I find homeschooling on the go to be the best option for my family and here is how I do it…

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Autism in the Educational Setting

Autism in the Educational Setting

Medical versus Educational This is a big post for me to tackle, and I hope you will find it answers many of the questions you have concerning Autism in the educational setting. Many parents, including myself in the beginning of my journey, did not understand there is...

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Hyperlexia: The precocious reader

Hyperlexia: The precocious reader

December 17, 2018|READING, ADHD, AUTISM, GIFTED I find the topic of hyperlexia quite interesting!  James, Baby B out of my surviving quadruplets, is a precocious reader. I kid you not, when he was 18 months old, I was out driving around...

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Dysgraphia: SLD in Written Expression

Dysgraphia: SLD in Written Expression

September 16, 2018|SPEECH (SLI), 504, ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL TESTING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, MODIFICATIONS, IEP, FINE MOTOR, NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL, SLD, ADHD, IDEA, PUBLIC SCHOOL, ACCOMMODATIONS, SPECIAL EDUCATION,...

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Dyscalculia: SLD in Math

Dyscalculia: SLD in Math

September 18, 2018|504, PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL TESTING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, MODIFICATIONS, IEP, NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL, SLD, ADHD, IDEA, PUBLIC SCHOOL, ACCOMMODATIONS, SPECIAL EDUCATION, HOMESCHOOL, MATHEMATICS, TESTING Dyscalculia is defined as difficulty acquiring basic...

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Working Memory: The RAM of the brain

Working Memory: The RAM of the brain

December 13, 2018|WORKING MEMORY, PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL TESTING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, BEHAVIOR, IEP, NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL, SELFREGULATION, ADHD, ACCOMMODATIONS, SPECIAL EDUCATION, AUTISM, PREEMIE, EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION, DYSLEXIA So what the heck is working memory?  I...

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Kindle: A Cheap But Useful Educational Tool

Kindle: A Cheap But Useful Educational Tool

September 26, 2018|ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY Oh Apple! How I LOVE your wonderful product and the AMAZING array of educational apps; HOWEVER the cost is astronomical! By the time you get a new iPad mini 4 plus protection (because, let's be serious, your...

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Visual Impairment Covers Convergence Insufficiency Too!

Visual Impairment Covers Convergence Insufficiency Too!

September 28, 2018|ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, IEP, ELIGIBILITY, IDEA, VISUAL IMPAIRMENT (VI), EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION In our sister group, IEP/504 Assistance, parents of children with convergency insufficiency or other visual impairments are being denied eligibility for...

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Why Good Visual Processing (all 8 kinds) Is Important!

Why Good Visual Processing (all 8 kinds) Is Important!

Did you know 65% of the population are visual learners? Now, what do you do when you have a child that has vision loss in one eye, reduced peripheral vision in the other eye, BUT is STILL a visual learner? Think about that for a minute. Yes, Joseph, my son with only one “good” eye, is a visual learner. Joseph has problems with visual-spatial reasoning among other visual processing issues. As it turns out, all my children have visual-spatial problems. They all score in the 5 to 18 percentile in visual-spatial reasoning. So how does an issue with visual-spatial reasoning impact learning? I hadn’t a clue so I wrote this post to understand! Hopefully you, will find it helpful too!

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Fluid Reasoning: What Does it Mean?

Fluid Reasoning: What Does it Mean?

December 2, 2018|504, FLUID REASONING, WORKING MEMORY, BEHAVIOR, PROCESSING SPEED, ADHD, ACCOMMODATIONS, MATHEMATICS Fluid reasoning.  I often see this listed on neuropsychological and psycho-educational testing but what does it mean and how does it impact...

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Halloween and Sensory Issues: Sensory Processing Disorder

Halloween and Sensory Issues: Sensory Processing Disorder

October 28, 2018|HOLIDAY, SENSORY Halloween is right around the corner! Most kids can't wait to put on their costumes and make their way through the neighborhood, but for children with sensory sensitivities (often associated with ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, and Sensory...

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Lack of Effort or Slow Processing Speed?

Lack of Effort or Slow Processing Speed?

Slow Processing Speed. What the heck is that and what does it mean for my child???  Processing speed is the rate at which a person can take in information and process that information for understanding. Two of my children, Margaret and Joseph, tested as having...

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Parental Observations in the Public School Classroom

Parental Observations in the Public School Classroom

Does a parent have an automatic right to observe his/her child in the classroom, and do schools have to secure written consent from the parents of other students in the classroom before the parent can observe his/her child in the classroom? IDEA does not say anything on the matter. Odd, isn’t it?

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Letter Requesting Initial Educational Testing per IDEA

Letter Requesting Initial Educational Testing per IDEA

Okay, I know I homeschool but I still engage in educational advocacy for others.  Why?  Because I feel like I have a lot to offer others in the way of service, and to be honest, I HATE seeing how public schools abuse/misuse special needs students!  So my help for...

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Don’t Take Away Recess!

Don’t Take Away Recess!

I recently posted an article from the The Telegraph about how children have greater energy levels greater than endurance athletes. Immediately parents in my IEP/504 Assistance group on Facebook started complaining that their child has/had lost recess due to having a behavioral issue in school. Often I find out these children have been diagnosed with ADHD and/or Autism. Why, oh why, do schools do this? As a friend said, it is like cutting your nose off to spite your face! In this post we are going to look at the science behind recess, why school determine this is an effective form of punishment, and what you can do about it.

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5 Tips for Helping Your Child with Special NeedsTie Their Shoes!

5 Tips for Helping Your Child with Special NeedsTie Their Shoes!

Adaptive skills are essential for a child to master in order to be a successful adult. Adaptive skills are defined as practical, everyday skills needed to function and meet the demands of one’s environment, including the skills necessary to effectively and independently take care of oneself and to interact with other people. When I understood all my children’s disability issues it made sense that the first of my surviving quadruplets did not tie her shoes until she was seven (7) years old!

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