From Emotions to Advocacy

The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam & Pete Wright

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Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition (FETA-2)

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Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide, 2nd Edition by Pam Wright and Pete  Wright - $19.95. (ISBN: 1-892320-09-6, 338 pages, perfect bound)

Question: How is Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition (FETA-2) different from the first edition? Answer.

"If I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy skills, this is it!" - Suppport for Families of Children with Disabilities

"A superb reference, From Emotions To Advocacy is highly recommended reading for parents of children in need of adapted or special education services ... Filled with tips, tricks, techniques and an immense wealth of resources, from Internet sites to forms, worksheets, and sample letters…" Midwest Book Review

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How the Book is Organized

Section One: Getting Started 

In "Getting Started," you will learn:
• Basic advocacy skills
• Supplies you need to get started
• How to develop a master plan for your child’s education
• How to act as your child’s special education project manager

Section Two: Advocacy 101
In "Advocacy 101," you will learn about:

• Schools as bureaucracies and the rules of the game
• Obstacles to success – school culture, myths, gatekeepers, and emotions
• Common causes of conflict
• Steps you can take to prevent or resolve problems
• Events that trigger parent-school crises

Section Three: The Parent as Expert
In "The Parent as Expert," you will learn:

• Why you must become an expert about your child’s disability and educational needs
• How to organize your child’s file, step by step
• How to use information from evaluations to understand your child’s disability
• How to use test scores to monitor and measure your child’s progress
• How to write SMART IEP goals and objectives

Section Four: Special Education Law
In "Special Education Law," you will learn about:

• The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
• Findings and purposes of the IDEA
• Definitions in the IDEA
• Extended school year (ESY), child find, least restrictive environment (LRE), private placements, statewide assessments
• Requirements for identifying children with specific learning disabilities - Discrepancy Formulas and Response to Intervention (RTI)
Evaluations, eligibility, IEPs, and placement
• Prior written notice, procedural safeguards, mediation, due process hearings, appeals, discipline, and age of majority
• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
• The No Child Left Behind Act and implications for children with disabilities

Section Five: Tactics and Strategies
In "Tactics and Strategies," you will learn about:

• “The Rules of Adverse Assumptions” importance of first impressions, image and presentation
• How to use logs, calendars, and journals to create paper trails
• How to write effective letters (includes sample letters)
• How to write a persuasive “Letter to the Stranger” (includes sample letters)
• How to use IEP worksheets, parent agendas, visual aids & graphs of progress or lack of progress
• Roles of experts; how to use an expert to help develop an appropriate educational program
• Pros and cons of recording meetings

Table of Contents


Index (pdf)

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Question: How is Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition (FETA-2) different from the first edition?

Answer: The second edition was completely revised to include changes in IDEA 2004 and NCLB. The chapters about tests and evaluations were expanded to include information about academic and achievement tests used to evaluate children. The chapter about SMART IEPs was completely revised in light of changes in IDEA 2004 and includes sample measurable academic and functional IEP goals. FETA-2 is also easier on your budget. (Price is reduced from $29.95 to $19.95)

Here are some of the key changes in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition (FETA-2):

IDEA 2004
The eight chapters about the Individuals with Disabilities Act were completely revised to reflect changes in IDEA 2004. These changes include:

* New requirements about using present levels of academic achievement and functional performance and requirements for writing measurable academic and functional IEP goals
* New requirements for IEPs - content of IEPs, IEP team attendance, reviewing and revising IEPs, transition
* New requirements about participating in state and district assessments, accommodations, alternate assessments
* New requirements for evaluations, reevaluations, parental consent
* New ways to identify children with specific learning disabilities (discrepancy formulae v. response to intervention (RTI))
* New requirements for highly qualified special ed teachers

No Child Left Behind
FETA-2 includes a new chapter about No Child Left Behind that includes information about:

* Annual proficiency testing, accommodations, alternate assessments
* Essential components of reading instruction
* Legal definitions of reading, scientifically based reading research
* Highly qualified teachers
* Parent's right to know the qualifications of their child's teachers
* How to use NCLB in developing your child's IEP
* Sample letter to request the qualifications of child's teachers

Tests and Evaluations
We worked with Dr. Melissa Farrall, an independent evaluator and founding director of The Reading Foundation, to revise the chapters about Tests and Measurements. These chapters now include current information about tests used to assess children and the strengths and weaknesses of these tests, including:

Reading Tests: What different reading tests measure and do not measure
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV): Index and Subtest  Scores; key differences between the WISC-III and WISC-IV
Other Measures of Intellectual Functioning: Differential Ability Scales, Stanford-Binet, Woodcock Johnson, etc
Comprehensive Educational Achievement Tests: Kaufmann, WIAT, Peabody, Woodcock Johnson-III,
Single Subject Achievement Tests: Gray Oral Reading Test, Woodcock Johnson III Diagnostic Reading Battery, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, Test of Written Language, KeyMath, more
Personality Tests and Behavior Rating Scales
Speech and Language tests; Vocabulary Tests
Neuropsychological Tests

We revised the chapter about SMART IEPs to include new requirements for IEPs in IDEA 2004. We included examples of SMART IEP goals - goals that are specific, measurable, use action words, are realistic, and time-limited. The chapter explains:

* How to use 's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance as baseline data in IEPs
* How to write measurable academic and functional goals, as required by IDEA 2004

Wrightslaw Books: IDEA 2004 & No Child Left Behind

Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 includes the full text of Parts A and B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) with commentary, analysis, and discussion of the key changes from IDEA 97. The format, layout, and statutory explanations are similar to Wrightslaw: Special Education Law.

Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 1-892320-12-6) by Peter W. D. Wright, Pamela Darr Wright and Suzanne Whitney Heath is published by Harbor House Law Press; includes the No Child Left Behind CD-ROM.

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