Schools: Institutions or Service Providers?

For the vast majority of children raised in modern Western democracies school attendance up to the age of 16 (or older) is a normal fact of life. Primary (elementary) education and a certain amount of secondary schooling are mandated by legislation. Of course, it wasn’t always like this in countries like the US, the UK, and Australia, and an estimated 16 million children in Africa still do not receive a basic schooling.

However, the heritage of compulsory education in most Western countries over the past 100-150 years has led to the sense that schools are institutions within modern society. By institutions I mean they are embedded into the way we think about society – we would find it hard to contemplate any capacity for progress without relying on primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

Over the last decade or so government and societal attitudes towards education have been changing, a fact that not all schools have recognised. The shift has been from seeing schools as social institutions to seeing them as education service providers. As education service providers they are like businesses selling a product (education) and competing against each other for students and funding.

There are a number of factors that have driven this shift. A major factor is competition. In years gone by, only the wealthy could afford private schooling. The vast majority of students went to either state schools or low cost Catholic schools. Today, however, the education landscape looks much different. There is an enormous range of school options from public and low cost church schools, to elitist private schools, and all the way between. Parents can find a school somewhere to meet their budget – and if they live in a major city, they probably won’t have to look very far.

Increased competition is a reflection of growing wealth in Western countries, and it provides parents and children with choices unavailable to most people in the past. However, for schools, competition ups the ante. It puts pressure on schools to perform, and losing students to a competitor school can start a vicious spiral – loss of students leads to loss of staff; loss of staff leads to loss of subject choices; loss of subject choices leads to further loss of students.

Going hand-in-hand with competition is the perceived quality of the education that schools provide. In many educational jurisdictions, state-wide testing of students allows schools to be compared according to the ‘quality’ of their test results. Parents and children often make choices of schools based on schools’ overall standardised test performance. Increasingly, this information is freely available online, allowing for easy comparison and increased competition for the ‘better’ schools. This ‘marketing’ and self-promotion of schools is further evidence of a competitive, commercial marketplace in the sector.

The commercialisation of the school sector is further driven by the highly specialised and highly selective job market in most Western countries. Increasingly, students select courses based on what they hope to study at university, or on the availability of jobs when they leave school. Schools are not only expected to produce good students, but also good workers who can play their role in paying taxes and sustaining economic growth. As consumers, parents and children covet schools that reliably deliver admissions to the most prestigious university courses or the most sought-after jobs.

The reality of the school sector is that it is increasingly becoming a commodity with a market value. Schools compete for scarce resources – students and funding. Yet many schools seem to be populated by staff with long memories. Many teachers still think they only need to teach their subjects and students just need to learn. They think the responsibility for next year’s enrollments lies with the Principal or the school board. It doesn’t. It lies with everyone.

Mobile Education: The Stumbling Blocks

The mobile revolution that has ushered in this decade is nothing short of a history being created. The fact that it has touched every facet of life makes it universally acceptable. Education is not left behind and several companies are trying to use mobile platform to provide a variety of education services. However, if anything to go by, the success is far-flung and no path breaking way has been found that would make mobile a true education device. This article tries to focus on the limitations that are hindering the success of mobile education.

Screen Size
The largest mobile phone in terms of screen size is Dell Streak that has 5 inch display. However, still an average mobile phone screen is no more than 2.8 inches. Students are used to reading from pages that are larger in size. Hence, reading on 2.8 inches screen is never comfortable. The screen of mobile phone is mainly optimized for small text.

Processing power limitations
Barring a few mobile phones, most of the cellular phones have slow processors. These processors are incapable of running animations or digital content effectively. Desktop computers and laptops do not face any such difficulty and therefore have become a preferred medium for online learning.

Fragmented nature of Mobile OS platforms
Application developers find it extremely difficult to develop applications that can be run on all mobile operating systems. Imagine a class with 30 students and some having Nokia phones, others with Blackberries, and some using Androids. This is a real world issue that most of the education providers are grappling with.

Expensive
Education is always considered as a service which is there for the masses. Hence, in many cases, education is affordable for a large number of students across the different economic strata. There is no doubt that devices such as iPhone can be used for mobile education. Unfortunately, not many can afford to buy an iPhone.

Lack of government support
Present day governments have not yet understood that education in 21st century is no longer restricted inside the buildings of schools, colleges, and universities. New modes of imparting education have come up and mobile is one of them. Unless the governments around the world realize this and allocate resources, the mobile education will not succeed.

Even though companies are talking about phones as low as $30, these devices will never be optimized for education. The solutions to the barriers, mentioned above, are hard to find. Even the much touted projects such as OLPC (One laptop per child) have not been able to bring a paradigm shift in the filed of education.  

The time has come to change our approach and focus on the innovative products that are coming into the market. Yes! TABLETS! iPad, Galaxy Tab and many other touch screen tablets that can change the game altogether. The level of interactivity on touch devices is extremely high. Moreover, institutions can develop highly engaging and effective educational content. The fact that they can also run web content makes them all the more appealing.

Special Learning Needs – Effective Educational Services For Students

15 million school age children in the US have learning problems that public and private schools can’t solve. There are 72,000 special education students in LAUSD, alone. Every day these students sit unhappily in class, losing hope of ever realizing their dreams. Students are living in pain and shame. They are not learning to be successful students.

Their parents are frustrated in their attempts to find suitable education for their child. They’ve tried working through the public schools. They have hired tutors. Parents are calling for real solutions.

In order to thrive, these students need special educational methods that address their unique profile of strengths and needs. But even more importantly, these children require a new mindset of success.

Educational therapy offers help and hope to children and adults with learning challenges such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and learning disabilities. Educational therapy is an appropriate and highly successful approach to helping students of all ages achieve their maximum potential.

Educational therapists use state of the art educational programs and methods that have been proven to teach students with learning problems the skills they require to be successful. Educational therapy shows students how to overcome their learning problems and lead successful lives.

All throughout the school years, foundations for future success are laid down. Not only are students learning essential skills such as reading, they are also learning to value education. But most importantly, they are learning to believe that they are successful students!

When students experience repeated frustration and failure, they develop self-doubt along with dislike or distrust of educational experiences. These negative views influence how much students can learn, at every level from elementary school through college!

Special needs students experience three major problems with learning:

Teachers and tutors use the same methods for every child. Children are unique and each learns in his or her own way.

Teachers and tutors usually do not understand how to modify their approach to address different learning styles.

Teachers and tutors only teach subject matter. Students who experience repeated academic failure lack the underlying foundational skills to be successful students. They often don’t know the best study methods, how to manage their time, or what the real secrets are to academic success.

Teachers and tutors do not address the root cause of continued academic failure-learned helplessness. When students experience failure after failure, they develop a mindset that they are “stupid” and “can’t learn.” They give up on ever being a good student! But, when students believe they can succeed, they begin to try. When they believe they can learn, they begin to study. When they believe they can have impressive futures, they make powerful choices. Students have the right to believe in their innate intelligence and skill!

Educational therapists generally begin their professional careers in special education, child development or counseling.

The Association of Educational Therapists is the national professional organization that sets the training standards for educational therapists. There are three levels of membership in the Association of Educational Therapists: Associate Professional (introductory level), Professional (experienced), Board Certified (seasoned).

According to the Association of Educational Therapists: “Regardless of previous background, all Professional members of the Association of Educational Therapists (AET) have met rigorous professional requirements in the academic areas of elementary and/or secondary education, child development, educational assessment, learning theory, learning disabilities, and principles of educational therapy. All members have a B.A. degree and are required to hold a Masters Degree or equivalent in post-BA course work. They have completed at least 1500 supervised direct service hours, and are required to complete 40 clock hours of Continuing Education every two years.

To become a Board Certified Educational Therapist (BCET), a member must meet the following additional requirements: Masters Degree (required); one year membership in AET at the Professional level; 1000 hours of professional practice; formal written Case Study evaluated and passed by the AET Certification Board; a written examination that demonstrates professional expertise in educational therapy.”

To locate an educational therapist near you or obtain more information about educational therapy, visit the Association of Educational Therapists website.

Special Education Due Process and Procedural Violations – 2 Things You Must Know!

Are you the parent of a child with a disability receiving special education services? Are you considering filing for a due process hearing on procedural violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)? This article will explain the changes to IDEA that occurred in 2004 when it was reauthorized, in the area of procedural violations, and explain what you as a parent need to know, about this change.

A procedural violation means that the school district did not follow the specific procedures that are required in IDEA. For example: IDEA requires that parents are equal participants in the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meetings for their child. If special education personnel refuse to allow the parent to give input, this would be a procedural violation. Or if timelines are not followed for testing this would also be a procedural violation.

Before IDEA was reauthorized in 2004 when a parent filed for a due process hearing, the hearing officer could find that a child was denied a Free Appropriate Public Education if procedural violations occurred. Things you must know about the change:

1. IDEA now states that any procedural violations must be substantive or in other words substantial. The procedural violation must rise to the level of preventing the child from receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

2. There are 2 ways that a school districts procedural violation rises to the level of denying the child FAPE. They are:

A. The violation significantly impeded the parents opportunity to participate in the decision making process regarding the provision of FAPE to the student or

B. The violation caused a deprivation of educational benefit.

I would like to discuss each of these:

1. Many school districts have tried to convince courts that parents have participated in the IEP process if they just simply attended the IEP meeting. But a few courts have stated that it is not enough for the parent to just attend the IEP meeting, they must have “meaningful participation!” One court was extremely clear that if a district rejects a specific recommendation for placement or services need by the parent, regardless of evidence that the placement and services are appropriate for the child, and will meet the child’s educational needs, this may result in a procedural violation that denies the child FAPE.

In a well known special education case the school district refused to provide a child with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), even though there was a lot of evidence that the child required it. Special education personnel were ecstatic with the child’s progress with the private ABA program, but they refused to pay for it. The court in that particular case stated that the school district was not going to agree with the parents request for ABA, no matter what. Therefore the parents were prevented from having meaningful participation in the development of their child’s IEP, and this denied their child FAPE; which made the school district liable for paying for the program.

2. Denial of educational benefit is a little harder to prove, but I think it is doable. If the school district refused to listen to parents about a related service that their child needed, and it prevented FAPE, then this would be a deprivation of educational benefit.

Another example would be if a parent had an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) that stated that their child needed a Multi sensory reading program for 1 hour 5 days a week with a trained teacher, and the school district refused to listen to them. This would deny the child educational benefit and could be a denial of FAPE.

While this change has made it a little more difficult to prove denial of a free appropriate public education at due process, it makes it a little more clear for parents as they are preparing their case. Good luck and remember your child is depending on you!

10 Steps to Finally Get Your Child Appropriate Special Education Services!

Are you the parent of a child with autism or a learning disability? Have you been fighting for years to get your child an appropriate special education? Then this article is for you. This article will be addressing 10 steps that every parent needs to take to finally get their child appropriate special and related services!

Children with disabilities have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that prepares them for post school learning, employment, independent living and financial self sufficiency, according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Below are the 10 steps:

1. Be assertively persistent and persevere for as long as it takes, for the benefit of your child.

2. Document everything on a consistent basis, which means writing lots of letters. Remember that if it is not written down it never happened. Documentation develops a paper trail, if you ever have a dispute with your school district. Especially write letters to follow up when the school district makes promises, or says something that appears untrue!

3. Have high educational expectations for your child. Schools often have low expectations, and as a parent you must fight this for the good of your child.

4. Make sure that your child is being taught with research based curriculums which No Child Left Behind requires (NCLB). Some schools continue to use outdated curriculum that are not backed by research showing that the curriculum works to teach children with disabilities.

5. Always make sure that your child is included in all district and state assessments (unless they have a cognitive disability), so that special education personnel are held accountable for your child’s learning.

6. Make sure that your child is being held to the same educational standards as children without disabilities, for accountability purposes. Each state has their own standards though national standards are being developed.

7. Your child should have their educational progress monitored at least every 3 months (academic and functional). Many educational programs have progress monitoring built in, so check with your child’s teacher.

8. Consider getting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) with a child friendly evaluator that is willing to assess your child and write a comprehensive report, to include your child’s disabilities, and recommendations for needed related and special education services. Ask other parents if they know of any really good evaluators that you can take your child to. It will be worth it!

9. Look into giving your school district 10 day formal written notice that you will be privately providing your child the related and special education services that they need (backed up by an IEE) and you will be asking for reimbursement. There are very specific things that must be done to ensure reimbursement, so check in IDEA to make sure that all procedures are followed. Also check http://www.wrightslaw.com for cases on reimbursement to help you with your advocacy.

10. If you have been fighting for years with little to show for your fight I hope that you will consider filing for a due process hearing! A due process hearing is a way for parents to settle disputes with special education personnel. It is much more formal than an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meeting, but with proper documentation, and testimony from a good Independent Evaluator, you could possibly win.

After a parent files they must attend a resolution meeting to see if the dispute can be settled. The school district cannot bring an attorney to the resolution meeting unless the parent brings one; so definitely consider bringing an advocate. Also bring with you a short list of things that you would be willing to settle for. Due process does not require an attorney in my opinion, unless the case is extremely complicated. What have you to lose, but much can be gained!

By using these tips you will well be on your way to finally helping your child succeed in special education-and be ready for adult life!

Special Education Services in New York City Schools

Special Education Services (SES) in New York City Schools aim to help struggling students get the help they need in English language arts, mathematics, and reading free of charge in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. However, one of the major problems behind this vitally important tool in a child’s learning is that it isn’t offered to every child. New York City Schools are only offering this free tutoring to those students eligible for free lunch and attend a school that failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards for three or more consecutive years.

It would seem as if New York City Schools only believe that the underprivileged should be allowed the tools necessary to help their children refine their skills in a subject that they have trouble with. In fact, with the troubles in the economy these days there are more and more families who live in the New York City Schools area who are not eligible for free lunches but still couldn’t afford private tutoring for their children if they struggle in particular subjects. Yes, there is only a certain amount of funding available for SES programs in the district, so it would make sense that they would be selective in bringing only the children with the highest need into the program. Why narrow that down even further to selecting those with the highest need ONLY out of those who are eligible for free lunches, though? There is always the chance that a child who comes from a middle class family, who also can’t afford private tutoring, has a larger need for SES than a child from an underprivileged family. New York City Schools seem to be ignoring this possibility.

How do Special Education Services Affect Students in New York City Schools?

Special Education Services can only help those students enrolled in SES programs in New York City Schools. The programs are often flexible and allows for before school tutors, after school tutors, weekend tutors, and even some online tutors. SES providers are required to provide assistance at the most convenient time for the child enrolled and can provide students with tutoring at several different sites:

– Schools: SES providers in New York City Schools can provide assistance inside the school building before or after school. This can help students focus more because they are inside their learning institution that has little distractions.

– Homes: SES providers can also come to a student’s home for tutoring in order to help the student be in a more relaxed environment where learning can take place under less pressure.

Overall, New York City Schools have the right idea in providing free SES to students in need. They’ve got it wrong though, in assuming that only the underprivileged can’t afford tutoring for their children. Middle class families in the New York City Schools are struggling to make ends meet every day. Their children shouldn’t be forgotten simply because they aren’t eligible for free lunch. All children, regardless of class, should be given the same opportunities for success. New York City Schools would be better off if they would understand this.

How to Use Prior Written Notice to Help Get Needed Services for Your Child In Special Education

Are you the parent of a child with learning disabilities or autism?
Have you been fighting for an educational service that your child
needs, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), or a Orton-
Gillingham based reading program? This article will discuss how to use
prior written notice (PWN), to help your child get needed educational
services.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that PWN
contain 6 things:
1. Description of the action proposed or refused by
the agency.
2. An explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to
take action. Also a description of what tests or reports the agency
is using as a basis for the proposed or refused action.
3. Copies of
procedural safeguards given to parents.
4. Sources where parents can
get help understanding PWN.
5. A description of other options
discussed and rejected and reasons for the rejection. 6. A description
of the factors, that are important to the agency’s proposal or
refusal.

Below are ways that you can use PWN to get an educational service that
your child needs:

a. There are a couple of ways to use 1. to your benefit. Since the
notice must be in writing, you will have documentation, that you
believe your child needs a certain service. Documentation is critical,
for you to win a dispute with special education personnel.

For example: You are at an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting
asking for ABA for your 3 ½ year old son with autism. School
personnel refuse to even discuss it. Ask for PWN, to be sent to you
within 7-10 days, and this will document your request.

If you tell them that they need to give you PWN, then they will be
unable to ignore you, which happens, sometimes. If school personnel
drag their feet on PWN, type one up, and send it to the school
yourself. This is creating more documentation of your request, and
their refusal to provide the needed service, or even discuss it.

b. 2. States that PWN must contain why special education personnel are
refusing a service. This is important, because school personnel will
have to come up with a believable excuse, and put it in writing. This
may also lock them into why, they are refusing the service, and can be
used as evidence, at a due process hearing.

2. Also states, that disability educators must list what evaluations,
assessments or reports, that they are basing there decision on. This
requirement will prevent special education personnel, from making
unilateral decisions, without a basis for the decision. Even if they
do make the unilateral decision, they may have to defend this decision
at a due process hearing, if you decide to pursue it.

c. 5. States that school personnel must list what options they
considered and why they were rejected. Special education personnel
often make unilateral decisions based on nothing, and give no options.
You can use this, to make sure that they put in writing, what options
they discussed, and why they were rejected.

By understanding PWN and how to use it to help your child, you will be
able to be an effective advocate, for your child.

How To Start Your Own Virtual Supplemental Education Services (SES): After School Tutoring Program

The type of company that offers federally funded supplement education service (SES) tutoring has changed in some cases drastically from years past. In the beginning, fairly well-known companies and not for profit agencies that already offered private tutoring services offered SES tutoring services to school districts. Many parents, already familiar with the names and services these companies provided, were happy to receive free tutoring for their children. School districts were glad to get help for the children experiencing the most challenges and were excited at the prospect of increasing school achievement.

In some school districts enrollment was paltry because the districts simply did not have the personnel, experience, time or money to implement the mandated tutoring requirement in the way the federal government envisioned. The federal government then stepped in to make it clear that school districts were obligated to advertise to parents that their children were eligible for free tutoring to increase enrollment. After that time, SES exploded. The number of enrolled children increased along with the number of providers, particularly small independent providers. During the first 2 years of SES, principals, teachers and other educators watched the program in action and in some cases, eventually hired by the well-known companies to implement their programs. Those individuals began to understand that they would be very effective in conceiving and running programs because they were intimately familiar with their students and the challenges they faced with achievement.

The number of provider applications in some states has doubled every year and because of the way the No Child Left Behind Act has set up their criteria for eligibility, the number of children participating continues to rise as well. The economy also played a contributing, yet unforeseen, part in this phenomenon. With the rise in unemployment, the number of children eligible for free and reduced lunch increased thereby increasing the number of eligible children. This coupled with increased teacher layoffs, all worked to create the current state of SES. There are now hundreds of SES tutoring companies who are providing SES tutorial services to millions of children across the United States. But of the many, a few have taken some bold steps in venturing into the virtual realm. As education changes, more and more of it will be done remotely. If you’re considering starting an online/virtual supplement education service tutoring company, there are a few things you should consider prior to launching your business.

Every SES tutoring company should strive to be as effective and cost effective as possible and strategic use of technology is an excellent way to cut on marketing costs as well as operational costs. Still other SES companies have chosen to run a Virtual SES tutoring program using laptops, Webcams, Skype, Portable Headsets, Go to My PC, MiFi Hot Spots ($20 – $80) – Verizon with or with-out a contract, Virgin Mobile, and/or Clearwire (In select areas) – no contract ($35 – $60).

There are various online programs that will either support existing learning books and curriculum or are stand-alone programs, and others that use technological tools to present the material to the students. The stand-alone programs are fairly simple, you pay a license fee per child (usually $5 to $10 per child per month or $99 a year is going to be typical) for the child to have unlimited access to their program. Many programs are interactive and are tailored specifically to each child’s learning ability. Learning CD’s will typically cost you a one time fee but you would be able to use the same CD for multiple children.

This is a necessary component of any curriculum that re-quires the student to have internet access. You cannot rely on the school system to provide computers though you can certainly ask if they would allow you to use their computer lab. There are a couple of things to note here particularly when it comes to costs and the students actually being able to use a laptop. Do not buy any equipment that is incapable of handling at least your basic windows. Windows CE for example is the same type of software that you will find on mobile devices and many programs, particularly your interactive programs will re-quire more capability. Netbooks are not a good idea, they are not meant to handle most interactive online curriculum and unless you get a warranty against any damage, you are bound to run into problems with broken equipment.

It may take some time to really do your research to find cost effective laptops and those laptops may likely have to be found overseas but your time is well spent looking for Laptops rather than Netbooks.

You should know if you are running an online program that some states and/or districts do not allow online SES tutoring programs – i.e. Connecticut. Before deciding which states to target, you may want to contact the state’s education agency and consult the state website to verify that online/virtual tutoring is acceptable for supplemental education services.

5 Reasons Not to Give Consent For Special Education Personnel to Bill Your Private Insurance

Are you the parent of a child with autism or dyslexia? Is your child receiving special education related services? Have you been asked to give written consent, so that your school district can bill your private insurance company? This article will give you 5 reasons not to consent to having your private insurance billed for related services and evaluations.

Related services are special education services that your child needs to benefit from their education. They can be: transportation, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), speech/language therapy. Private insurance can also be billed for psychological testing (though many will not pay for this), testing for OT, PT, and Speech/language.

Below are 5 reasons why every parent in the US should refuse to have their private insurance billed for special education services:

Reason 1: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act states that all children with disabilities have the right to special education and related services to meet their educational needs. Most parents have to fight so that their child can receive appropriate services in the correct amounts to meet their needs; but special education is an entitlement!

Reason 2: School districts receive state and federal funding for related services. While federal funding does not pay all of the costs, states also chip in.

Also, every state in the USA has returned money to the federal government, for IDEA funds that have gone unused. Between 2000-2002 state board of educations sent back 1.7 billion dollars of unused IDEA funds! Find out how much your school district sent back by contacting your state board of education!

There is money, it is just that many special education personnel have other priorities, rather than giving related services to needed children.

Reason 3: The children in the district receiving Medicaid, often have their parents give consent for school districts to seek reimbursement for related services. This is another funding stream that school districts receive, that they rarely discuss. This could amount to millions of dollars in some school districts, so do not worry about your schools pocketbook!

Reason 4: Many insurance companies have caps on benefits. If you allow your insurance to be billed, your child may reach their cap, which means they would have no insurance. Also this may prevent your child from getting insurance in the future, if they have major bills for related services and evaluations.

Reason 5: If you allow your insurance company to be billed for psychological testing or other testing, special education personnel may ask for testing that your child does not need. Reimbursement should not be the reason for testing your child; educational needs and services needed should be the reason.

Form: The form that you may be asked to sign would probably state: Parent consent for reimbursement of health related services. Read this form very carefully. It should state that this permission is voluntary. Also on the form should be 2 boxes: 1. I give consent for billing of my private insurance company for related services and evaluations or 2. I do not give consent for billing of my private insurance company for services and evaluation.

By understanding these 5 reasons, you will know why it is in your child’s best interest to not give consent for your private insurance to be billed, for related services and evaluations.

Special Education – The Law is on Your Side

Help is available– and the law is on your side. Its promise is simple: Every child counts. Every child is entitled to an education. Every eligible child with a disability is entitled to a “special” education – one that confers “meaningful benefits.” That is what Congress has said. That is what the United States Supreme Court has said.

The law protects every child. The law protects you as your child’s parent.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – Every special-education student must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed by a team that includes parents, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals. An IEP establishes educational goals and describes the special services that will be provided to the student.

Due Process – Special-Education law provides many due-process hearing and appeal procedures.
“Section 504″Classroom accommodations are available to many students (K-12 and college) who have disabilities.

There are only five modes of communication that can lead to a disability; they are auditory, visual, verbal, nonverbal and tactical communication.

If your child’s disability is affecting their education, they may be eligible to receive services under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973. The IDEA requires public schools to locate and identify children with disabilities who may need specialized education. These children must “have available” to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs” 20 U.S.C. sec. 140(d). Children with disabilities must “to the maximum extent appropriate [be] educated with children who are not disabled” 20 U.S. C. 1412 (e)(5).

Many parents find themselves in a situation where their child is either struggling academically or having discipline problems in school. Often times, there maybe an unidentified disability causing these problem. If they do have a disability that is negatively affecting their education, they would likely benefit from special education services.

Special Education services may include:
Occupational therapy
Speech and language therapy
Resource specialist programs
Modification of the regular education programs
Special day classes
Non-public schools
Residential treatment, and many more.

If you believe your child will benefit from special education services call a professional. Your child only goes through their education process once, so give your child the best chance for the future by making sure they have the type of education that helps them learn and succeed. Nothing is more important to their future.