PRESENTED BY EDLY: FOR THE LOVE OF ABILITY

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1 HOW TO BE YOUR CHILD S BEST IEP ADVOCATE PRESENTED BY EDLY: FOR THE LOVE OF ABILITY 888-EDLYOWL ( )

2 Nothing presented either orally or written in this seminar should be construed as medical or legal advice. You should consult with an attorney or physician for medical and legal advice. This information is accurate as of the date of this presentation and is for informational purposes.

3 EDLY: FOR THE LOVE OF ABILITY Edly was founded by Georgia special education advocate Debbie Dobbs and special education attorney Christy Calbos. Edly s motto is For the Love of Ability. The Edly Market is a growing online store with downloadable e-books, charts, templates, and trainings. The Edly Clubs are monthly education clubs (hosted online!) for parents (and soon for IEP coaches and advocates). Soon Edly Advocacy, Coaching & Consulting will open an agency to train and match IEP advocates, coaches, and consultants with families and help them navigate IEP and 504 meetings. Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

4 PRESENTERS Debbie Dobbs Education Consultant & Advocate Christy Calbos Special Education Attorney

5 TODAY S AGENDA Understanding the Process Meeting Preparation Parts of the IEP document and importance of Present Levels of Performance and recent testing Meeting and mindset strategies for persuasive advocacy

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7 PRIOR TO THE MEETING Get outside evaluations and expertise Ask for a DRAFT copy of their documents 7 days in advance of the meeting. IEP Testing or evaluation reports (at least the scores) Observation reports Compare what is missing or changed from previous year s documents (either IEP or testing). If proposed placements have been mentioned, make arrangements to schedule an observation.

8 PRIOR TO THE MEETING Never go to a meeting alone. Take a friend, an advocate, or a member of your child s provider team. Try to discuss and work out issues in advance of the meeting. Understand that the annual meeting is a serious meeting and you should be fully prepared.

9 PRIOR TO THE MEETING Write up your parental concerns What is working What needs to be improved What is your vision What are your child s strengths & weaknesses Write your own proposed goals and objectives based on your child s needs and deficits. Ask for the District s Expert to attend if needed.

10 PRIOR TO THE MEETING Become the Expert Wrightslaw Join Listservs & Facebook Groups Disability Specific Advocacy Related Speak to your private therapists and doctors Go to the State Department of Education Website and review grade level standards.

11 PRIOR TO THE MEETING Observe your child & typically developing children Research the various progress monitoring methods used in your district You need to understand what the test scores mean National Center on Student Progress Monitoring Research Institute on Progress Monitoring

12 PRIOR TO THE MEETING Request copies of your child s education records including the raw data on their IEP goals & objectives. Review the meeting notice for purpose, attendees, and amount of time (an annual meeting should be at least 3 hours). Review your child s grades Organize and analyze the information

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14 PRESENT LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE The IEP must include... a statement of the child s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance including how the child s disability affects the child s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum; 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(A) The term performance describes what your child can do. The present levels of academic achievement and functional performance in the IEP describe what your child knows and is able to do. Present levels describe your child s unique needs that result from his disability. They include your child s strengths and the areas that are challenging.

15 COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION Standardized Tests such as IQ and Achievement Tests MEASURES PERFORMANCE AT A POINT IN TIME Curriculum-based Assessments - MEASURES PROGRESS OVER TIME Current Classroom-Based Measurement Work Samples Interviews Observational Data Review of Records Rating Scales If you disagree Request IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation)

16 PRESENT LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE Functional Skills Behavior Communication Social Academic (i.e. writing, reading, math, science, social studies) Study Skills Attention Fine Motor Sensory

17 SPECIFIC PRESENT LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE Jonathan can read words, both in isolation and in context, containing short vowels and silent e. However he is only able to read vowel teams (i.e. ei, ey, ee, uy, and eu) and dipthongs (i.e. ou, oy, oo, au) in isolation with 30% accuracy. Goal would then be written to address the specific needs. The present levels should provide baseline information in % s or trials on each skill.

18 PRESENT LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE DATA, DATA, DATA Get copies of raw data collection Various methods of progress monitoring

19 PRIOR TO THE MEETING Prepare graphs and visuals to explain your points using Excel

20 PRESENT LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE Components of Reading: Phonemic Awareness The knowledge and manipulation of sounds in spoken words Phonics The relationship between written and spoken letters and sounds Reading Fluency, including oral reading skills The ability to read with appropriate accuracy, rate, expression, and phrasing. Vocabulary Development The knowledge of words, their definitions, and content Reading Comprehension both literal and inferential

21 SCIENTIFICALLY BASED INSTRUCTION (THAT MEETS THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF YOUR CHILD) Florida Center for Reading Research What Works Clearinghouse The Access Center Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the Department of Education Big Ideas in Reading Intervention Central

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23 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Should be based on the testing and the needs section of the IEP. Every need must have a goal or accommodation. If the goal wasn t mastered last year, understand why and make decisions on what needs to be done moving forward.

24 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES IEP Goals and Objectives Bank (Redmond, Oregon) %20Secondary/IEP%20Considerations/IEP%20Goal%20Bank%20Redmon d,%20oregon.pdf The Goal Bank IEP Goal Bank Speaking of Speech Autism Educators Monarch Center for Autism Goal Bank

25 YOUR IEP GOAL CHECKLIST S SPECIFIC what is being taught? How many prompts or is this independent? M MEASURABLE...what is the starting point right now and what is the end goal? A ASSIGNING who is being assigned the job of teaching this skill? R REALISTIC/RELEVANT is it realistic to expect my child to learn in one year s time and is it relevant to my child s needs? T TIME how long are we giving my child to learn this? (usually one year) Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

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27 SUPPLEMENTAL AIDS AND SERVICES IDEA s definition of this term (at ) reads: Supplementary aids and services means aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate These can be provided directly to your child, to the teacher, or to the other children in the class to help support your child s successful inclusion in the class. Can be training and professional development to your child s teacher, aide/paraprofessional, related service provider, etc. Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

28 EXAMPLES OF SUPPLEMENTAL AIDS & SERVICES adapted equipment such as a special seat or an adapted spoon for eating; assistive technology such as a lap top, computer software, or a communication system; training for staff, student, and/or parents; Communication: Hands-on instruction and communication tools (PECS, signs, AAC Devices) to help me better communicate with my child; Occupational therapy: Demonstration and instruction of specific techniques so I can help my child with fine motor activities at home to increase their independence; Physical therapy: Activities I can do with my child at home to increase their balance/strength/ coordination; Positive behavior supports: Strategies and positive interventions taught so school and home can use the same plan/language so there is consistency and carry-over of skills. Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

29 EXAMPLES OF SUPPLEMENTAL AIDS & SERVICES peer helpers; a one-on-one paraprofessional; adapted materials audio books, large print text, or highlighted paper; and collaboration/consultation among staff, parents, and/or other professionals. social skills assistance (e.g., provide social skills group) Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

30 IEP STUDENT SUPPORTS & ACCOMMODATIONS Accommodations level the playing field. An accommodation doesn t change the requirement, just the way we approach it. What Accommodations Are For To allow your child to show what he knows, even with his disability. It does NOT give your child an advantage over other children. It accommodates his disability by placing him at the same starting point as a non-disabled classmate. Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

31 IEP STUDENT SUPPORTS & ACCOMMODATIONS Types of Accommodations Presentation: A change in the way instructions and materials are given by the teacher. Example: Audio books vs reading texts. Response: A change in the way a child shows what she knows. Example: Speaking instead of writing. Setting: A change in the place/location/size where a child works. Example: pull out for testing or small group reading instruction. Timing and scheduling: Increase time to work and add breaks. Example: 1 ½ time on tests, assignments, homework, frequent breaks. Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

32 IEP STUDENT SUPPORTS & ACCOMMODATIONS *Insider Tips Make sure accommodations are applied in all settings. Include Assistive Technology Include Homework Make sure each teacher s wording of what is a test is defined (i.e. formative, summative, quiz) When you are asking for copies of notes and study guides, ask for a COMPLETED copy of notes/guide/answer key. Specify timelines (i.e. one extra day for homework, time and a half for tests, one week in advance completed study guides). Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

33 EXAMPLES OF RELATED SERVICES speech-language pathology audiology services and interpreting services psychological services physical and occupational therapy recreation including therapeutic recreation counseling services including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

34 EXAMPLES OF RELATED SERVICES medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes school health services and school nurse services social work services in schools parent counseling and training on your child s disability & IEP music therapy transportation tutoring Copyright Bright Path Enterprises, LLC 2017

35 DURING THE MEETING Bring a way to record (digital only) *Tip stop the recording every 45 to 60 minutes and voice record the section you just finished and the section you are moving into for ease of reference for the future. ( Moving into Goals ) Bring your records Bring pictures or videos of your child which highlight needs and strengths in various settings.

36 DURING THE MEETING Remember this is a COLLABORATIVE process and you are an EQUAL member of the IEP team. Be professional. Be courteous. Don t interrupt. Listen. Ask lots of questions Who, what, where, why, when Don t be adversarial.

37 WHAT CAN YOU ASK FOR? Free, Appropriate, Public, Education Appropriate is not the CADILLAC nor the BEST Parent training (OT, PT, Behavioral Supports, Communication) Assistive Technology Books Social Emotional Goals and Objectives (social skills groups, counselor, facilitated instruction) Transportation

38 WHAT CAN YOU ASK FOR? Meaningful daily parent communication Privacy - you don t have to agree to let your private providers to speak to the school but - consult with an advocate on the pros and cons FREE You should not be charged for anything related to providing your child FAPE (exception: records) Document your concerns in the body of the IEP document *Insider Tip- prepare concerns in advance on a flash drive and take multiple printed copies to the meeting Read back the meeting minutes for accuracy

39 YOUR DOCUMENTATION If it didn t happen in writing, it didn t happen at all. Follow up with all phone calls in writing to create a paper trail. Hand deliver or use certified mail for important documents. Keep a journal/calendar noting phone calls, delivery of documents, etc. Understand your child s un-addressed needs (through private evaluation) and document it

40 YOUR DOCUMENTATION Make sure the team has all relevant documentation (in advance) on your child. Get the credentials of people working with your child: i.e. teacher, individuals doing testing, etc. and ask IEP team attendees if they ve ever actually worked with your child! Get and stay organized & prepared. It reduces anxiety. Go Digital!!!!!!! Scanners are a special education parent s best friend (document feeder scanners are GOLD).

41 YOUR DOCUMENTATION Never write on the original copy. Use sticky notes. Make sure your records are kept up to date. TIP: once a year, make a FERPA request ( records request ) to update your IEP notebook. You can ask to review testing protocols.

42 THANK YOU! Reality check: - Meeting preparation requires time, mental and emotional energy. - Raising children is a difficult job. - There is a learning curve when advocating for your child. - Work with experts when indicated. - Take care of yourself!!!

43 EDLY: FOR THE LOVE OF ABILITY 888-EDLYOWL ( )

Laura A. Riffel

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