Special Education Resources

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Special Education Resources
Mon, 02-27-2012 - 3:09pm

Here you'll find articles, information and resources to help you navigate the Special Education system. Please feel free to browse, ask questions, or add anything you have found to be helpful!


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004

Testing for a LD, explaining it to your child


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Sun, 12-12-2010 - 12:00am

These are things you can do at home to help improve your childs fine motor skills:

  • tying shoes
  • zipping and unzipping
  • buckling and unbuckling
  • writing legibly and without significant muscle fatigue
  • playing games that require precise hand and finger control
  • drawing, painting, and coloring
  • manipulating buttons and snaps
  • putting small objects together
  • doing puzzles
  • making crafts
  • using scissors
  • manipulating small objects such as coins
  • opening and closing objects
  • picking up and holding onto small objects
  • developing and maintaining an effective and proper pencil grip
  • pinching objects between fingers
  • using locks and keys
  • being able to isolate finger movements (i.e., using one finger at a time, such as in playing the piano or typing)
  • turning things over or turning pages of a book
  • holding and using utensils properly and effectively
  • screwing and unscrewing
  • putting a nut on a bolt and taking it off again using a screwing motion
  • doing ANYTHING that requires small precise hand and finger movements
  • use tongs to transfer objects such as pom poms
  • playing board games such as Battleship which require you to pick up small pieces
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    iVillage Member
    Registered: 10-08-2004
    Thu, 12-16-2010 - 10:28pm

    Have your child read aloud, this slows them down which gives them more time to process what they are reading...

    read more here:



    iVillage Member
    Registered: 10-08-2004
    Wed, 12-29-2010 - 2:43pm

    Children mature at different rates and have different personalities, temperaments, and energy levels. Most children get distracted, act impulsively, and struggle to concentrate at one time or another. Sometimes, these normal factors may be mistaken for ADHD. ADHD symptoms usually appear early in life, often between the ages of 3 and 6, and because symptoms vary from person to person, the disorder can be hard to diagnose. Parents may first notice that their child loses interest in things sooner than other children, or seems constantly "out of control." Often, teachers notice the symptoms first, when a child has trouble following rules, or frequently "spaces out" in the classroom or on the playground.

    No single test can diagnose a child as having ADHD. Instead, a licensed health professional needs to gather information about the child, and his or her behavior and environment. A family may want to first talk with the child's pediatrician. Some pediatricians can assess the child themselves, but many will refer the family to a mental health specialist with experience in childhood mental disorders such as ADHD.

    Between them, the referring pediatrician and specialist will determine if a child:

    - Is experiencing undetected seizures that could be associated with other medical conditions
    - Has a middle ear infection that is causing hearing problems
    - Has any undetected hearing or vision problems
    - Has any medical problems that affect thinking and behavior
    - Has any learning disabilities
    - Has anxiety or depression, or other psychiatric problems that might cause ADHD-like symptoms
    - Has been affected by a significant and sudden change, such as the death of a family member, a divorce, or parent's job loss

    This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Mental Health.

    -Piedmont Hospital



    iVillage Member
    Registered: 10-08-2004
    Sat, 01-08-2011 - 9:20am

    The Best Parent/Teacher Relationship


    iVillage Member
    Registered: 10-08-2004
    Mon, 01-17-2011 - 11:26am

    Homework Stress-How to Deal With It

    The term homework often provokes stress and anxiety both in children and their parents. The main point of homework is that is the child's responsibility and not that of the parents. Basically children will get homework form kindergarten on. They have to get the homework done and it becomes a fact of life that starts early on. The parent's role is to know the homework requirements and make sure they are done on time. It is best to get to know the pattern of homework assignments. Actually, parents have to find the right balance between not doing the homework for their children, and helping only when needed. This is easier said than done. The more a parent is familiar with the child's and teacher's homework patterns, the easier the parent can adapt an approach. Again the main point, is that the homework is the child's responsibility.

    Homework wars, when they occur are quite disruptive of course and should be avoided. By forming good habits from the beginning, homework can be done routinely and smoothly. Also, as children are diffrent, try to find out what works best for your child's speicific needs and situation. What works for another child may not work for yours. Here are some tips and suggestions to help develop and maintain good homework habits:

  • Schedule homework in as any other activity

  • Maintain common interests or activities (cultural or athletic) outside of school

  • Set up a proper study area. This may be the kitchen table or another quiet area.

  • Establish a daily homework time and reinforce it. Parents at work should call to make sure that the homework is done. By doing so it shows children their parents actually care even though they are at work

  • Children should do homework independently, but seek help when needed

  • In the early grades, parents need to know what the child has for homework, so that they can explain to their child what the homework task requires

  • If parents do not understand the homework assignments, having the child call a classmate to clarify may help. This promotes networking which is a necessary life skill anyway!

  • Consistently praise your child's effort

  • Use reasonable incentives if necessary especially in children who have difficulties. For example, a child can go out play when homework is completed

  • Parents should be firm if a child refuses to complete their homework, making it clear that they are capable of doing their homework and that their teacher believes they are able too

  • Reviewing homework progress is also a good idea. For example parents can say: "start your homework and show me what you have done in 15 minutes"

    If problems persists despite best efforts, parents should contact the school teacher. Homework conflicts can often be settled by the teacher. By understanding the homework battle situation, the teacher may have some suggestions and can collaborate with parents to help with the difficulties. Most teachers want to be part of a team approach.
  • www.drpaul.com
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    iVillage Member
    Registered: 10-08-2004
    Wed, 02-09-2011 - 8:21pm

    Changing Schools and IEPs

    Print this page

    A special education teacher asks: moving boxes

    "I'm a special ed teacher who is looking for information on timelines for IEPs. My administrator said we have a "90-day" reprieve on an IEP when a new child moves into the district. I have always tried to hold an IEP meeting within the first week of school with students from out of district.

    Can you help me understand where this idea of a "90-day" reprieve comes from?"

    Pam Wright responds:

    On July 1, 2005, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) went into effect.

    On August 3, 2006, the U. S. Department of Education published the IDEA 2004 Regulations.

    The reauthorization of any law brings questions. We now get answers from the IDEA 2004 statutes, IDEA 2004 regulations, and the Commentary to the Regulations that clarifies portions of the statute.

    What the Law Says

    There is no provision in the law or regulations that supports your administrator's position, nor was there any such provision in IDEA 97.

    I'm not sure I understand what your administrator means in saying: "we have 90 days before we need to look at a student's old IEP." In other words, do not flag this student as special education to District officials upon enrollment.

    Your administrator is wrong.

    This statement is completely contrary to what the law says.

    When children with disabilities move to a new different school district - in the same state or a different state - the new school district must provide services that are comparable to the services in the previous IEP.

    There is no provision in the law to wait one day, one week, one month or 90 days to do this.

    Congress added this provision to IDEA 04, apparently because they were fed up with administrators who dragged their feet when kids moved - causing harm to the child who is already dealing with issues related to the move and a new school.

    Here is what IDEA 2004 says, quoted directly from Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, pages 102-103:

    Transfer Within the Same State

    "In the case of a child with a disability who transfers school districts within the same academic year, enrolls in a new school, and who had an IEP that was in effect in the same state, the LEA (school district) shall provide such child with a free appropriate public education, including services comparable to those described in the previously held IEP, in consultation with the parents, until such time as the school district adopts the previous IEP or develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP that is consistent with Federal and State law."

    Transfer Outside State

    "In the case of a child with a disability who transfers school districts within the same academic year, who enrolls in a new school, and who had an IEP that was in effect in another state, the school district shall provide such child with a free appropriate public education, including services comparable to those described in the previous IEP, in consultation with the child's parents until such time as the district conducts an evaluation, if determined to be necessary, and develops a new IEP, if appropriate, that is consistent with Federal and State law."

    The Commentary to Regulation 300.323(f) states that "the Department interprets 'comparable' to have the plain meaning of the word, which is 'similar' or 'equivalent.'"

    Transmittal of Records

    The IDEA also sates that "the new school shall take steps to promptly obtain the child's records, including the IEP and supporting documents and any other records relating to the provision of special education and related services to the child..."



    iVillage Member
    Registered: 10-08-2004
    Wed, 02-09-2011 - 8:24pm
    Retention or Promotion? What’s best for my child? 06/27/08
    by Wrightslaw

    Parent #1:

    My son wants to be “left behind”. I feel that another year in the smaller, familiar middle school would be less intimidating and give him some time to mature. Because of the b’day he really wouldn’t be older than the rest anyway.

    Parent #2:

    I don’t want my child to be retained. Everything I read seems to say that retention is not good for the child. I’m struggling with the school because they say she is the youngest in her class and needs to stay behind so she can “catch-up”. She has struggled with reading and math for 2 years. I think she needs more help - not just being held back.

    We’ve heard questions from parents on both sides of the issue.

    At Wrightslaw, we say: Read the research, educate yourself, get an expert involved.


    Avatar for Cmmelissa
    iVillage Member
    Registered: 11-13-2008
    Thu, 02-10-2011 - 12:30pm

    Great article, Rebekah!

    iVillage Member
    Registered: 10-08-2004
    My sister's neice was held back in the 2nd grade this year, she is currently repeating. It has been a blessing for her. She is really 'getting' it this second time around. She has a Feb. b'day so she was a young 2nd grader last year.