You are previewing The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education.
O'Reilly logo
The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education

Book Description

Be your child's best advocate!

Children with special needs who succeed in school have one thing in common--their parents are passionate and effective advocates. It's not an easy job, but with The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education, you will learn how to evaluate, prepare, organize, and get quality services, no matter what your child's disability.

This valuable handbook gives you the tools you need to navigate the complex world of special education and services, with information on:

  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Educational needs for different disabilities, including multiple disabilities
  • Current law, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Working within the school system to create an IEP
  • The importance of keeping detailed records
  • Dealing with parent-school conflict
With worksheets, forms, and sample documents and letters, you can be assured that you'll have all you need to help your child thrive--in school and in life!

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents
  4. Introduction
  5. Chapter 1: The Basics of Special Education
    1. What Special Education Is
    2. An Overview of Special Education Services
    3. Who Receives Special Education Services?
    4. Related Services
    5. Why Special Education Is Needed
    6. The Parents’ View of Special Education
  6. Chapter 2: Special Education Terms Translated
    1. What All Those Letters Mean
    2. Common Special Education Terms Defined
  7. Chapter 3: A Quick Look at Special Education Law
    1. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADA)
    2. ADA’s Connection to Special Education
    3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    4. Section 504’s Connection to Special Education
    5. IDEA 2004
    6. A Side-by-Side Comparison of the Laws
  8. Chapter 4: A Look at Early Intervention Services
    1. Do All States Provide Early Intervention Services?
    2. Identifying Children Who Need Early Intervention
    3. The Assessment Process
    4. Writing an Individual Family Service Plan
    5. Transitioning to School-Based Services
  9. Chapter 5: The Thirteen Categories of Disability
    1. What to Know about “Disabling Conditions” and “Adverse Effect”
    2. Autism
    3. Deaf-Blindness
    4. Deafness
    5. Emotional Disturbance
    6. Hearing Impairment
    7. Intellectual Disability
    8. Multiple Disabilities
    9. Orthopedic Impairment
    10. Other Health Impairment
    11. Specific Learning Disability
    12. Speech or Language Impairment
    13. Traumatic Brain Injury
    14. Visual Impairment
  10. Chapter 6: Do You Think Your Child Has a Learning Disability?
    1. What Is a Learning Disability?
    2. Collecting Information about Your Concerns
    3. Bringing Your Concerns to the Teacher
    4. Signs Your Child Might Have a Learning Disability
    5. Types of Learning Disabilities
    6. ADHD Is Not a Learning Disability
    7. How to Get Special Education Services for Your Child with ADHD
  11. Chapter 7: More about Section 504
    1. Why Bother with a 504 Plan?
    2. Getting Services under Section 504
    3. The Benefits of a 504 Plan
    4. What a 504 Plan Includes
    5. How a 504 Plan Is Different from an IEP
    6. Some Conditions That Qualify for a 504 Plan
  12. Chapter 8: Trying Something Else First: Response to Intervention
    1. What Is RTI?
    2. The Basics of How RTI Works
    3. The Three Tiers of RTI
    4. The Benefits of RTI
    5. Being an Advocate in Your Child’s RTI Experience
    6. Ten RTI Resources for Parents
  13. Chapter 9: Keeping Involved in Your Child’s Education
    1. Getting to Know the School
    2. Getting to Know Your Child’s Teacher
    3. Starting a Records Binder
    4. Requesting Your Child’s Records
    5. How to Write a Request for Records Letter
    6. Keeping a Communication Log
    7. Getting the Special Education Process Started
  14. Chapter 10: After a Referral Has Been Made
    1. What Happens Now?
    2. The Difference Between an Evaluation and an Assessment
    3. A Parent’s Rights and Role in the Process
    4. Preparing Your Child for Assessment
  15. Chapter 11: The Evaluation and Assessment Process
    1. The Basic Components of an Evaluation
    2. What’s an Evaluation Plan?
    3. What to Do If You Don’t Agree with the Plan
    4. Talking to the Evaluator
    5. The Evaluation Report
    6. Reviewing the Report
  16. Chapter 12: What You Need to Know about Testing
    1. What Is an IQ?
    2. IQ Ranges
    3. Tests Used to Measure Intelligence
    4. What Other Things Can Be Assessed?
    5. Advocating for a Truly Comprehensive Evaluation
  17. Chapter 13: Is Your Child Eligible for Special Education?
    1. Tips to Prepare for an Eligibility Meeting
    2. What to Expect at an Eligibility Meeting
    3. What Happens Next?
  18. Chapter 14: Being Your Child’s Advocate Before the IEP Meeting
    1. Creating an Ideal IEP
    2. Supporting Your Ideal IEP
    3. Keeping Track of How Your Child Is Doing
    4. Finding Out about Your Child’s Educational Program Options
    5. Evaluating Your District’s Programs
  19. Chapter 15: All about IEPs (Individualized Education Program)
    1. What Is an IEP?
    2. Who Are the Members of the IEP Team?
    3. Know Your IEP Rights
    4. The Right to an Independent Evaluation
    5. An In-Depth Look at an IEP
    6. The Standards-Based IEP
  20. Chapter 16: It’s All about the Goals
    1. What Is a Goal, Anyway?
    2. The Basics of an Effective Goal
    3. Why You Should Draft Goals Before a Meeting
    4. Creating a Goal Chart
  21. Chapter 17: Preparing for the IEP Meeting (Part I)
    1. Rules about Scheduling and Attendance
    2. Who Should and Can Be There
    3. Alternatives to Traditional Meetings
    4. When It’s Okay to Forgo an Annual Meeting
    5. Questions to Ask about the Meeting
    6. Giving the School the Benefit of the Doubt
  22. Chapter 18: Preparing for the IEP Meeting (Part II)
    1. Know Your Stuff, Know Your Position
    2. Organize, Organize, and Organize!
    3. Practice Your Rebuttal Skills
    4. Having Your Own Advocate
    5. Do You Need an Attorney?
  23. Chapter 19: Attending and Participating in an IEP Meeting
    1. Arriving at the Meeting
    2. Parents Are Team Members, Too
    3. Eight IEP Dos and Don’ts
    4. Choosing Battles and Words Wisely
    5. Asking Questions and Challenging Assertions
    6. Moving a Meeting Along
    7. Coming to a Consensus
    8. What’s Best for Your Child?
  24. Chapter 20: When Problems Arise at School
    1. What to Do When the IEP Isn’t Being Followed
    2. Dealing with Disputes
    3. What Are Due Process Rights?
    4. Filing a State Complaint
    5. Mediation
    6. Filing Due Process
    7. The Due Process Hearing
    8. Your Child’s Unique Needs
  25. APPENDIX A: An Online Sample IEP
  26. APPENDIX B: Sample Letters
  27. APPENDIX C: Sample Forms
  28. APPENDIX D: Support and Advocacy Resources
  29. Acknowledgments
  30. Copyright