From Emotions to Advocacy
The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam & Pete Wright
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Year in Review Series
obstacle in advocating for a child with a disability is finding the time to do
research. We spent many hours collecting information so you can spend your time
learning, not searching.
Autism and Child Mental Health
National Research Council, Educating Children with Autism (2001. Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
This 276 page publication from National Science Academy is being used as evidence in due process hearings on behalf of children with autism. Includes research about effective educational programs for children with autism; early intervention; recommends one-on-one therapy or direct instruction a minimum of 25 hours a week, 12 months a year; more.
You can download free from National Academy Press (one page at a time) or purchase from the NAP.
of the Surgeon General, Report
on the Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health - A National Action
Report from the Surgeon General describes a crisis in mental health for children
and adolescents. 1 in 10 children and adolescents suffer from mental illness that
is severe enough to cause impairment; fewer than 1 in 5 children receive needed
treatment. This report includes goals and objectives, and focuses on the need
to use science-based prevention and treatment services.News
According to the landmark "Global Burden of Disease" study, 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability for people 5 years of age and older are mental disorders. Children and Mental Health describes normal child development; risk factors and prevention; describes mental disorders in children, including ADHD, depression, anxiety disorders, autism, disruptive disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders and effective treatments for these disorders. Download Full text of Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General
Discipline & Behavior Problems (see also Zero Tolerance)
Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, An IEP Team's Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans (1998).
If your child has behavior problems, this publication about Functional Behavioral Assessments and IEP teams will help. Describes need to identify the underlying causes of child's behavior (what the child "gets" or "avoids" through the behavior) and the IEP team's job of developing proactive instructional strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, to address those behaviors that interfere with learning.
National Association of School Psychologists, Interim Alternative Educational Settings for Children with Disabilities.
free 54-page publication includes useful information about discipline and interim
alternative educational settings. Download
U. S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and National Association of Attorneys General, Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools (1999).
Many children experience sexual, racial and ethnic harassment at school. This Guide provides guidance about protecting students from harassment and violence based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disability. Download
To order bound copies, call the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights at 1-800- 421-3481
U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, The Use of Tests as Part of High-Stakes Decision-Making for Students: A Resource Guide for Educators and Policy-Makers (2000).
Describes standards for tests that are used to make decisions with important consequences for students: tests used for diagnostic and intervention purposes, assessment of academic educational achievement, and alternate assessments for students with disabilities who cannot participate in district-wide academic achievement tests. Download
Disability Rights Advocates, Do No Harm - High Stakes Testing and Students with Learning Disabilities (2001).
Describes accommodations, alternate assessments, appeals, procedures, and other safeguards that should be implemented for statewide assessment systems to comply with the law and guarantee educationally sound opportunities to students with learning disabilities. Download
To order bound copies, contact Disability Rights Advocates, 449 15th Street, Suite 303. Oakland, CA 94612-2821. Phone: 510-451-8644
IDEA and Special Education
"No Child Left Behind: What Will it Take?", visit the Fordham Foundation
Chester E., Andrew J. Rotherdam, Charles R. Hokanson, Jr. Rethinking
Special Education for a New Century (2001).
copies of Rethinking Special Education for a New Century are available
through the Fordham
Foundation website for $10 each. To order go to: http://www.edexcellence.net/fordham/foreports.html#ancherOrder
Education Association, The New IDEA
Survival Guide (2000).
National Association of Elementary School Principals, Implementing IDEA: A Guide for Principals (2001).
Published by U. S. Department of Education and the Council of Exceptional Children; principals are responsible for educating all students in their schools. Download (in pdf)
National Research Council, Minority
Students in Special and Gifted Education, published by National Academy Press
You can download a free copy of Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education one page at a time from http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10128.html?onpi_newsdoc01162002 or purchase a bound copy from the NAP.
National Council on Disability, Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind (2000).
The National Council on Disability found that all states were out of compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act law and that " . . . efforts to enforce the law over several Administrations have been inconsistent, ineffective, and lacking any real teeth." Download
order bound copies, contact the National Council on Disability, 1331 F. Street,
NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20004-1107. Phone: 202-272-2004
Informative report from a carefully structured survey of more than 500 parents
of special needs children. About two-thirds gave their children's schools good
marks for providing help; 43% said they had to fight to get services for their
children; 16% have considered or threated to sue; one-third ranked their children's
schools as 'fair' or 'poor' in providing help; nearly half of the parents did
not think special education programs are preparing their children for the 'real
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (2000).
how to write IEPs that improve teaching, learning, and educational results. Includes:
contents of the IEP; IEP team members; writing the IEP; placement decisions; after
the IEP is written; implementing the IEP; revising and revising the IEP; resolving
disagreements about the IEP; a sample IEP form, information and resources, the
federal regulations for IEPs, and guidance about IEPs. Download
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Designing Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Plans (2000).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to prepare students with disabilities for employment and independent living. Transition planning that involves students and their families leads to post-school success and independence. Article describes how to design quality IEP transition plans. Download
order bound copies, contact The Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 N. Glebe
Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5704. Phone: 1-800-328-0272
G. Reid, Jack Fletcher, Sally E. Shaywitz, Bennett A. Shaywitz, Joseph K. Torgesen,
Frank B. Wood, Ann Schulte, Richard Olson, Rethinking
Learning Disabilities (2001).
To order Rethinking Learning Disabilities visit the Fordham Foundation website: http://www.edexcellence.net/fordham/foreports.html#ancherOrder
American Federation of Teachers, Teaching Reading is Rocket Science: What Expert Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do by Louisa Moats (1999). (36 pages, pdf)
"Reading is the fundamental skill upon which all formal instruction depends. Research shows that a child who doesn't learn the reading basics early is unlikely to learn them at all. Any child who doesn't learn to read early and well will not easily master other skills and knowledge and is unlikely to ever flourish in school or in life."
Moats, Louisa, Whole Language Lives On: The Illusion of "Balanced" Reading Instruction (2000).
things are clear about early reading: First, it isnt being handled well
in American schools. Four in ten of our fourth-graders lack basic reading skills.
Millions of children are needlessly classified as disabled when, in
fact, their main problem is that nobody taught them to read when they were five
and six years old."
National Institutes of Health. Report of the National Reading Panel, Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction (2000). To order NIH Publication Number 00-4769, contact NICHD Clearinghouse at 1-800-370-2943
Retention and Social Promotion
National Association of School Psychologists, Retention and Promotion: A Handout for Parents (1998).
Finds that "research does not support the notion that retention helps children to 'catch up' and that 'social promotion' - sending children on to the next grade regardless of performance -pushes children through the school system without requiring mastery of basic skills." Download
National Association of School Psychologists, Position Statement on Student Grade Retention and Social Promotion (1998).
"The National Association of School Psychologists promotes the use of interventions that are effective and research-based and discourages the use of practices which, though popular or widely accepted, are neither not beneficial or are harmful to the welfare and educational attainment of America's children and youth. Through many years of research, the practice of retaining children in grade has been shown to be ineffective in meeting the needs of children who are academically delayed." Download
Zero Tolerance and Discipline
Harvard Civil Rights Project, Opportunities Suspended: The Devastating Consequences of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline Policies (2000).
Zero Tolerance Policies, children from kindergarten through 12th grade receive
harsh punishments, often for minor infractions that pose no threat to safety.
Compelling research indicates that these "get-tough" disciplinary measures
fail to meet sound educational principles. In many cases, their application defies
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Learn about the Law and Legal Research
Findlaw is an encyclopedic law site that publishes newsletters on dozens of different topics:
Learn more about Findlaw newsletters.
Opinions from Findlaw
Depending on your federal court site, you may be able to receive court opinions soon after they are issued.
To learn if you can get decisions from your federal court, go to the Findlaw Federal Resources, Judicial page. Subscribers receive opinions within 1-2 days of the date they are issued.
Learn about Special Education Law & Advocacy
The Beacon: The Journal of Special Education Law and Practice
The Beacon is an electronic journal published quarterly by Harbor House Law Press. The Beacon publishes articles and essays for attorneys and advocates who represent children with disabilities and others who are interested in special education law and practice.
Each issue of The Beacon focuses on a theme and includes practical and theoretical articles. Future issues will focus on class action litigation, document and exhibit preparation, and damages.
To subscribe, go to the Harbor House site and type your email address into the subscribe box on the left side of the page.
Learn more about The Beacon.
The Special Ed Advocate
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources.
SpecialEdLaw.net, a joint venture of Stinson Law Associates, & Center for Education Rights, sends out announcements about about new special education decisions and information about training and seminars.
To subscribe, go to http://www.specialedlaw.net/ and check the Sign Up box on the left side of the page.
Learn about the Disabilities
FEAT Online from Families for Early Autism Treatment
Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) publishes FEAT Daily Newsletter, a free newsletter about neurobiological disorders.
If you are interested in autism, special education, advocacy, IDEA, genetic research, stem cell research, medical imaging, ADD/ADHD, or learning disabilities, you will want to subscribe to FEAT Daily Newsletter.
LD Online Report is a free monthly newsletter from LD OnLine; offers news about learning disabilities, articles, and events.
Subscribe to LD News, published by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and get news about dyslexia, learning disabilities, and ADD/ADHD.
To subscribe, go to http://www.ld.org and type your e-mail address in the subscribe box.
Get breaking news about federal legislation that may affect your child; learn what you can do to get involved.
To subscribe, go to http://www.capwiz.com/ld/home/ and click ACTION E-LIST
SchwabLearning.org website and weekly newsletter are focused on providing information for parents of children with learning differences whether or not they have been diagnosed with learning disabilities.
To subscribe go to, http://www.schwablearning.org/registration.asp
HearingExchange online is a community for people with hearing loss, parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and professionals who work with them. HearingExchange also publishes a twice-monthly newsletter, HearingExchange News that offers the latest news, articles, resources and much more on hearing loss.
To subscribe go to, http://www.hearingexchange.com/newsletters.htm
World of Dyslexia Newsletter
of Dyslexia Newsletter is an email newsletter each month to keep you up
To subscribe: http://www.dyslexia-teacher.com/t23.html
to newsletter archives: http://www.dyslexia-teacher.com/newsletter.html
Learn about Education / Special Education
Week on the Web
Reports (by Topic)
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Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition - The Special Education Survival Guide (ISBN 1-892320-08-8) by Pamela Wright and Peter Wright is published by Harbor House Law Press.
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition has hundreds of tips, strategies, references, warnings and Internet resources. This practical, user-friendly book includes:
In this comprehensive, easy-to-read book, you learn to:
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