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Articles (Special Education) « Education – Special


Articles About Special Education


"It is a lonely existence to be a child with a disability which no-one can see or understand, you exasperate your teachers, you disappoint your parents, and worst of all you know that you are not just stupid." ≈ Susan Hampshire

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  • 10 Basic Steps in Special Education (NICHCY)
    When a child is having trouble in school, it’s important to find out why. The child may have a disability. By law, schools must provide special help to eligible children with disabilities. This help is called special education and related services.
  • Accommodations, Modifications & Interventions
    Special education classroom strategies including accommodations, interventions and modifications. Best practice, accommodations, interventions and modifications for the inclusional classroom.
  • Act Immediately if you Think Your Child May Require Special Education (Special Needs Answers – 1/5/10)
    If your child is having trouble in school but has not yet been diagnosed with a learning disability, or if you think that your child's special needs may require help at school, it is never too early to request an evaluation to determine if the child is eligible for special education services provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Back to School (Memoires From the Waiting Room – 8/12/10)
    Micah will be starting school for the first time at the end of the month and, while he really has no idea what’s coming, he will certainly feel the change when it comes. Micah, like many special needs children, does not do well with new people or extreme changes in routine/schedule. Obviously, I am a bit anxious for him and want to make this transition as easy for him as possible.
  • CEC Adopts New Policy on Physical Restraint and Seclusion
    The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the leading association for special educators, has just released a policy on physical restraint and seclusion in school settings. In its policy, CEC states that while these procedures can be effective when dealing with children with behavioral issues, they should be implemented only as a last resort when a child or others are in immediate danger.
  • Center to Open for Inclusive Education (The Daily Orange – 10/27/09)
    Syracuse University received a $1.1 million gift …The money will go toward the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, in the School of Education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The center will focus on research and training for teachers in inclusive education, said Wendy Harbour, an inclusive learning and teaching professor.
  • Crisis Management – Step by Step (WrightsLaw)
    Quality special education services are intensive, individualized and expensive. Because parents want quality services for their children, parent-school conflict is normal, predictable…and inevitable. In this article, you will learn how to manage a crisis with the school. We describe typical parent-school crises that cause parents to seek outside help. You will learn that a crisis has two sides: danger and opportunity. We will describe how to avoid common pitfalls and provide strategies you can use to weather a crisis.
  • Cyber Safety for Special Needs Students (MangoMom blog – 6/4/10)
    Here you will find a variety of resources you can use in your classroom or pass along to parents to teach and inform about online safety.
  • Differentiated Instruction is Key to Closing Acheivement Gaps ( – 11/27/10)
    In visiting schools that were effectively closing the achievement gap between children with and without disabilities, it became clear that their success required multiple types of interventions in their schools. Perhaps one of the most important pieces, however, was differentiated instruction.
  • Differentiation in Special Education: Differentiating Instruction for Success (
    Differentiation is the way a teacher prepares instruction to meet the needs of all the children in an inclusive classroom, from the most challenged to the most gifted. Differentiating instruction is not only going to help your special education students fully participate, it will also enrich and improve the experience of the general education students.
  • Disabilities Fight Grows as Taxes Pay for Tuition (New York Times – Oct. 27, 2007)
    A case that became a flash point in special education, pitting parents against school systems that say they cannot afford to pay to privately educate disabled children whose parents reject their proposed placements.
  • Empower Special Education Clients Through Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration: Lessons Learned for Current Clients and Future Professionals (Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law)
    When families are confused by, or dissatisfied with, their child’s education, they may seek advice from others they perceive as having greater knowledge about appropriate educational methodologies or their legal rights. A family may approach a special education teacher to explore the methodologies being utilized in their child’s IEP, or they may seek the advice of a legal advocate to ascertain their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and state regulations.
  • FBA – Analyzing Your Information for a Functional Behavior Analysis (
    Your state or school district may have a form for the FBA that includes a chart to display the ABC, or Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence for the behavior.
  • Feds Issue Swine Flu Guidelines for Special Education Students
    If schools must close due to swine flu, special education students will stay home just like their peers, but may qualify for extra assistance once school resumes, according to guidelines developed by the Department of Education.
  • Feds Say Chicago's Stimulus Spending Needs More Oversight (Catalyst Chicago – 3/2/10)
    A recent federal audit of stimulus spending in Illinois schools calls for improvement in state oversight, noting that two of the three districts examined by auditors—including Chicago—did not track any spending of so-called State Fiscal Stabilization Funds.
  • Helping your High-functioning Child Transition to Adulthood (Barbara Hughes – Life & Health Library)
    Parents of children with disabilities are involved in their children's education more intensely than many other parents. Yet, once the child turns 18 (or the state's age of majority), the young adult may be flying solo in educational decision-making if the school district relies on the student's decisions without fully involving the parents. In some cases, an education power of attorney may be a helpful tool.
  • How Can I Get the School to Provide an Appropriate Program? (WrightsLaw)
    Unfortunately, school culture often prevents school staff from realizing that sometimes, parents really do know what their children need. Teachers who need training in research based programs often do not get support from their administrators so they do not get the training they need.
  • How IDEA Fails Families Without Means: Causes and Corrections From the Frontlines of Special Education (Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law)
    As a quintessential civil rights issue, the struggle for equal educational opportunity for students with disabilities whose families have few resources is waged daily from the parapets of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a complex entitlement statute.
  • How's Your Special Ed Vocabulary? (WrightsLaw)
    Review terms, take the quiz to check your skills, get answers and complete glossaries of terms.
  • Including Preschoolers (Your Therapy Source – 2/8/12)
    Head Start Body Start presented a webinar on including preschoolers with special needs in active play today. This webinar had lots of great ideas – some therapists would be familiar with and perhaps some are new information. Here are a few tips that I found helpful.
  • Integrating Education Advocacy Into Child Welfare Practice: Working Models (Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law)
    Children in foster care experience a higher rate of education-related disabilities and a lower success rate in school than their age-matched peers. The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being notes that “recurrent physical abuse, emotional abuse, or chronic neglect can lead to difficulties in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health.”  
  • Is the Bar Too Low for Special Education? (1/24/17)
    The Supreme Court is poised to decide the quality of instruction public schools must provide students with disabilities—a question that could get even thornier under the Trump administration.
  • NJ School Districts Accused of Retaliation Against Parents (YouTube – 4/17/12)
    School districts across the state are being accused of retaliating against parents who fight for expensive special education services by reporting the parents for child abuse or neglect, a Kane In Your Cornerinvestigation finds.
  • Office for Civil Rights Posts Agreements From Investigations (Education Week – 3-1-11)
    The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights is posting agreements online that are forged between the office and school districts resulting from compliance reviews or investigations of complaints.
  • Parenting Through Special Education ( – 8/5/09)
    A special needs child adds a whole other layer to the familiar working mother balancing act.
  • Positive Behavior Support: Solution Board (Special Education Strategies – 8/16/10)
    The solution kit is a strategy that teaches young children the options they may try when a conflict or disagreement arises. It helps them to learn how to independently (or with less prompting) solve problems.
  • Racial Perspectives on Eligibility for Special Education for Students of Color Who are Struggling, is Special Education a Potential Evil or a Potential Good? (Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law)
    The thirty-fifth anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is largely cause for celebration.  The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, declared, for thirty-five years, IDEA has guaranteed students with disabilities their civil right to a free, appropriate public education… The law was a major civil rights victory. We must never lose sight of the history here. In 1975, [when the legislation was enacted,] more than one million
    children with disabilities were being turned away from school altogether.
  • Reasonable Accommodations in Testing (My Special Needs Network – 3/10/11)
    I so enjoyed my colleague Ilana Danneman's blog titled, Testing 123 Testing about a mother's perspective on children taking standardized tests. It's certainly stressful for all children, yet what about our students with special needs? There are many simple accommodations that can be made to help special-needs children have a successful testing experience. 
  • Recess Skills for Children with Special Needs (Bella Online)
    Many children on the playground do not know even how to get into a game, whether they have special needs or not. There is a certain etiquette that is often based on local or regional ways of doing things or may be unique to a certain age group or gender, whether it is waiting in line, 'do-overs' or 'start-overs' or what is considered good sportsmanship.
  • Special-Ed Funds Redirected (Wall Street Journal – 1/6/10)
    School districts shift millions of dollars to general needs after getting stimulas cash.
  • Special Education Law 101 – (Special Education Law Blog)
    A series of five articles on the basics of special ed law: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart V
  • Teaching Handwriting to Children (Bella Online)
    Children with special needs may struggle with learning handwriting because they have physical or neurological challenges, developmental delays or associated learning disabilities, lack of opportunities to learn or practice, or inadequate support, modifications and accommodations. Also see: Printing, Cursive Handwriting and Special Needs.
  • Teaching Math Skills (Bella Online)
    There are many types of teaching strategies for math as for other subjects – often children who have difficulty understanding math concepts at school are quite adept at understanding what they need to know at home and in the community.
  • The Day After Graduation (Special Ed Justice)
    At one moment, a child is learning to walk or talk. In the next moment, the child is about to graduate from high school. Because time flies so quickly, graduation occurs much sooner than parents expect. Unfortunately, many children with disabilities, particularly those with neurological and cognitive impairments, are not ready to graduate this year because they have not mastered basic life skills. Doubly unfortunate is the fact that hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of mentally impaired children have graduated from school without having mastered basic life skills.
  • The Gestalt of the School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Duality of Overrepresentation of Minorities in Special Education and Racial Disparity in School Discipline on Minorities (Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law)
    A United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights survey reveals that since the 1970s there has been persistent overrepresentation of minorities in certain special education eligibility categories. The greatest overrepresentation occurs for black students.
  • The Learning Disability Mess (Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law)
    When Congress adopted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act1 (EAHCA) in 1975 and mandated the education of all children with disabilities, a key supporter of the bill noted that “[n]o one really knows what a learning disability is.” Because of this lack of understanding of the term “learning disability,” Congress used a provisional definition of the term and instructed the Commissioner of Education to further study the term and devise a more refined definition as well as a diagnosis. Thirtyfive years later, that definition remains in federal special education law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA—the modern version of the EAHCA.
  • Two Cities: Are Charters Opting Out of Special Ed? (NPR – 5/20/10)
    A look at what lessons Detroit Public Schools may be able to learn from New Orleans' schools. The majority of schools in New Orleans are charters, and a big criticism of charter schools is that they don't adequately serve special education students.
  • Using Learning Styles to Increase Effectiveness of AT (No Limits 2 Learning – 2/17-11)
    How do your students learn? Have you taken the time to analyze whether a student you are evaluating for AT is kinesthetic, auditory, tactile, visual, etc?
  • What Are Advocates and How Can They Help Me?
    Question: I’ve been told that I need an advocate at a meeting I have with my daughter’s school. I don’t really know what advocates do or how it would help to have an advocate at the meeting. Answer: The term “advocate” has many meanings and individual interpretations. Advocates can fill a spectrum of needs from providing appropriate self-advocacy information to zealously representing an individual client’s wishes in legal and quasi-legal processes.
  • Who’s the Boss?: The Need for Thoughtful Identification of the Client(s) in Special Education Cases (Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law)
    The Article recommends that attorneys, in partnership with their potential clients, thoughtfully identify the client or clients in a special education matter, clearly communicate the chosen model to all family members, and remain aware of any potential or existing conflicts among clients where joint representation is used. Finally, the Article emphasizes the importance of clear communication about the role of each person and ultimate loyalty to the identified client, but also advocates for the involvement and empowerment of both parent and child in the representation, wherever possible.