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 Some schools continue to use outdated curriculum that are not backed by research showing that the curriculum works to teach children with disabilities.5.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!
Are you looking to help those who are unable to go to school due to a physical disability or are you a student who is unable to go to school? You should look into distance education or distance learning.What is distance education though? Distance education is a field of education that uses technology and instructional systems to educate students who are not physically able to receive their education. Instead of the student who is unable to attend a class either buys the video of a teacher teaching a subject or, more popular today, the student watches the teacher over a webcam.Now that you know what distance education is, when did it start?The oldest university to use distance education would have to be the University of South Africa which has been offering distance education since 1946. It has been available since the 1840s in Great Britain though.The early forms of distance education would use a commercial correspondence to deliver the piece of education to the student. Many colleges in America use distance education today, although any student can receive it, not just the disabled. Many students have at least one internet class a semester which is where you stay at your house and watch the teacher teach over a live webcam feed.If you are going to do distance education it is important for you to know the options you have on having it delivered to you. The most obvious choice is for you to do what is called virtual classrooms which is where you watch the lesson on your laptop over a live webcam feed. You can also order DVDs and VHS tapes or just order books or other written print and read them.There is a difference between open learning and distance learning, but what is it? Open learning is when the student is allowed to choose the time and place he/she wants to learn. Distance learning is when the student and teacher are unable to meet at the same time. This is important because not all open learning schools use distance learning and not all schools that use distance education are open learning schools.Distance education is definitely on the rise as many more schools are beginning to use virtual classrooms and provide more options for the disabled and those who are unable to attend classes. If you are thinking about becoming a distance education teacher you should consider it. You will be able to choose the time you want to record a lesson and just send it to your students to watch at the time they want.Distance education is a great thing because it allows many students who were originally unable to attend school to do so and it also allows teachers the chance to teach more students then they would originally be able to teach.
With convergence of information and communication technologies where the mobile phone, the computer, and the internet have become inseparable, more and more doors are being opened in all sectors. In the education sector, the internet has provided a new way where students and lecturers can perform their respective duties without necessarily being physically close. This is what is known as online education where both student and instructor meet online. But is online education important? Here are a few reasons why students should choose online education to advance their careers and get that most desired qualification and certificate.Wide Range of ChoicesIt is only in online education where you can choose from a wide range of schools without being limited by physical distance or boundaries. You are able to choose education programs some of which cannot be available in your area. Some students are forced to take majors in courses that they would not have otherwise liked because their colleges do not offer what they would have liked. In other instances, some students live in rural areas far away from colleges of choice. With online education, you are able to take the major that you want and attend college of your choice without major relocations.Remember that you need not go for expensive programs. This is because you are given an opportunity to choose what suits your budget. Additionally, online programs are generally cheaper when compared to the traditional class-based programs.FlexibilityOnline education offers flexibility that allows both the student and the instructor to meet when time or schedule allows best for them. Whether you are a busy working-cum-schooling individual that does not have time for classes during the day, you are easily accommodated in an online education program. Additionally in the global village, there are differences in time because we are not all in the same time zone. Taking an online education program that suits your schedule is made possible by the differences in time.It is good to realize that students do not necessarily learn at the same pace. Some feel that the instructions are too fast and overwhelming while others feel that some students are dragging them behind. With online education, there is flexibility in pace and time. You can choose an online program that will suit your pace.Online Education Offers Excellent Networking OpportunitiesUnlike what many would want to believe, online education offers some of the best opportunities to meet with people from around the world. Sharing an online class will make you get important contacts and academic references some of which will help you in your future career. In order to understand this better, one only needs to look at how many friends and followers that one has gathered through online platforms. Online schools are no different.Online education does not require commuting; it can be done while still working normal hours and it is very effective.
Education online is the method of educating people through the means of the Internet. A large number of physical universities, colleges, and schools offer education online. There are also virtual online colleges. Online education enables a person to earn a degree sitting at home. The concept of education online has brought a revolutionary change in the life of many people.Online education is a boon to those people who have a desire to educate themselves but are not able to go to a traditional college because they cannot afford to attend or afford to spare the time to go. Also, traditional courses are more time-consuming and expensive. One can earn an associate, bachelors, master’s, or even doctoral degrees in various disciplines through online education.Education online is free from time and space constraints, as anyone from anywhere in the world at any time can utilize the various programs available online. A wide range of educational tools and resources are available on the internet. These resources can serve as a library and research center for students taking online education. Professors and teachers can be reached through e-mail, which is the main means of correspondence on the internet. Students can take part in online forums with other students studying the same course or subject. A student taking online education can learn at his own pace.In spite of all these advantages, online education has a few disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that the student has to work on his own, and no one will be there to verify the progress. Another major disadvantage is the lack of interaction, such as the question and answer session in a traditional classroom.There are thousands of online programs listed in Internet directories from which one can choose the best and the most appropriate organizations for his requirements. Some universities also offer student support services such as online counseling and registration, and purchasing of textbooks online.
Are you the parent of a young child who thinks that their child may have autism? Do you think your child’s reading difficulty may be related to a learning disability? Have you tried to have your child tested for special education eligibility and your school district said no? This article will discuss lies that are related to special education eligibility and 6 ways to overcome the lies for the good of your child.Lies associated with special education eligibility:1. We will test your child but we get to pick the tests, and the areas to be tested. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that parents must give informed consent for testing (and to give informed consent the parent must know areas to be tested and what tests are going to be performed), and that the child is to be tested in all areas of suspected disability.2. You must sign this medical release form so that we can get your child’s medical records before we do the testing. Medical records are private under HIPPA and school districts do not have a right to them.3. Your child is on the waiting list for testing, be patient. IDEA does not allow waiting lists for testing or special education services. Testing must be complete within 60 days after the consent form is signed.4. Your child has a disability but it does not affect their education. To be eligible for special education a child must have two things: A. A disability, and B. Educational needs; that is it, nothing else.5. Your child does not have autism but has an emotional/behavior disorder. Many school districts state that a child does not have a particular disability; without even testing them.6. We do not do those type of tests for initial eligibility. Remember that IDEA requires a child to be tested in all areas of suspected disability.7. We met and decided that your child does not meet the criteria for special education. Parents must be included in all meetings and receive a 10 day written notice for all meetings for their child. Also, parents are equal members in the team that make any decision about their child, including eligibility for special education.6 Things that you can do to overcome these lies:1. Go to wrightslaw.com and educate yourself about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Then you will know when you are being lied to.2. Anytime special education personnel tell you that they can do something under the law; ask them for written proof of state or federal special education law that says that they can do it. Do this in writing, so that they cannot ignore you.3. Try and find an advocate or another parent that is familiar with special education to help you navigate the system.4. Put in writing all areas that you believe need to be tested, and the reason why. Recommend specific tests, if you are familiar with them. For example: If you think your child has Sensory Integration Processing Disorder (SIPT) ask for an Occupational Therapist that is SIPT qualified to test them.5. Ask for copies of all of the written reports (includes testing and interpretation of testing), 10 days before the eligibility meeting, and ask an advocate or another parent to help you interpret the test results. That way you will understand what the test results say before the meeting.6. If you are concerned that your child may have autism, ask for a Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). When you request the Cars, tell the school that you will expect them to send you the parent survey for the CARS.By using these 6 tips you will be prepared for any lies told by special education personnel. Stand up to them because your child is depending on you!
The growth and development of a nation depends significantly on the quality of the human resource of that nation. Education definitely plays a vital role in improving the quality of human capital. Education is can be one powerful tool that can help a person carve a niche for himself in today’s world of cutthroat competition.There are many people in UK who are intellectually gifted and can secure a bright future by pursuing higher education from the top-notch universities. However, they are compelled to forego their dream of availing higher education due to lack of sufficient funds. The cost of higher education is skyrocketing day by day. It is nearly impossible for the common man to afford the expenses associated with higher education solely with his monthly income.There is no need to sacrifice your academic aspirations just because you cannot manage to save enough money from living expenditures. The UK loan market offers education loans that serve as an aid for meeting your educational expenses. Education loans are structured based on the specific requirements of a prospective student. The student needs to start repaying the loan only after completing a particular course successfully.Education loans are available in various sizes and at different interest rates and terms. So, it is essential to compare the different education loan schemes available in the market and then select the scheme that is most viable, depending on your personal and financial requirements. Busy schedule and hectic lifestyle make it difficult to visit the different lenders personally. Online search for an education loan will save you time and energy, and will help you find a good loan deal with just a few clicks on the mouse. Compare the pros and cons of each education loan scheme before taking the final decision. Pay special attention to read the fine print before signing the contract agreement.So, enlighten yourself with the education you dream to pursue and pave way for a bright and successful life ahead.
Opportunities in education today would have been impossible even a few decades back. With the popularity of the Internet, easy accessibility to computers and the World Wide Web, higher education has been transformed into a new dynamic entity. With technology progressing at a rapid pace and demands changing almost daily, our lives are only becoming busier. The world around us is left with no option but to change and move along with the times to accommodate to our new schedules and requirements. This is more than apparent in the field of education. As times change, fewer and fewer students rely on the traditional method of attending classes at a college campus. The ‘brick and mortar’ type of education still exists but now side by side with the option of graduating from an online degree program as well.As the number of people who look for ways to complete their education or improve their skills becomes too large, it is inevitable that a large number of colleges and universities take the necessary steps towards filling that need. But jobs, childcare and other family obligations limit the amount of time people can devote to their education, and thus, alternative arrangements are created. Online education has started gaining popularity and has now completely changed the way we approach education today.Online degrees are now widely accepted and recognized as authentic educational qualifications. As long as the institution offering the degree is accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, there should be no problem in the degree being accepted and acknowledged anywhere. Fully accredited online degree programs are now available in nearly every field. From management to medicine, law to accounting, there is a wide variety of choices on offer. Even obscure subjects and fields of study have found their place on the Internet. With degrees such as healthcare, students are even given the option of combining the practical aspect of their training at local hospitals or clinics along with virtual classes and studying online.The flexibility of online education has opened up the doors of education to people from all walks of life. Stay at home moms and dads can now study from their own houses and employees can complete their assignments around their work schedules. There is 24 hour accessibility to the study material allowing for all night study sessions as well as the possibility of returning to subject matter again and again if necessary. And as universities continue to expand their options, the flexibility of online education will only increase. Students will be offered more options with the possibility of a custom created curriculum that suits their individual requirements and interests.Distance learning also allows people hundreds of miles away to graduate with degrees from the college of their choice. Without spending a penny on gas or transport, students can make the most of a world class education with resources and faculty from all over the world. Through pre-recorded lectures, worksheets, assignments, e-classes, online forums, and tests, students can view, interact, and study from the comfort of their own space.With a more flexible attendance policy, students can choose to tackle their workload as quickly or as slowly as they need to (all within a larger pre-determined schedule, of program). While this freedom may prove to be a little daunting to a new student, after completing a few programs, it becomes easier to get used to this new way of studying. To be successful in an online program, a large amount of self discipline and motivation is imperative. Without which it is all too easy to take advantage of the flexibility of the program and not achieve much. And while online education is definitely less expensive than a traditional degree program, to spend time, money and effort on something that is not taken seriously will not accomplish anything in the long run.Online education in short offers every individual the right information in the right format at the right time for the best chances of success. Once upon a time online schools were considered the next wave of education and that future is finally here – ready to change the way we look at education way beyond the boundaries of any classroom.
One reads a great deal concerning education reform nowadays. It might almost seem as if this were some new trend in education. Indeed, it is not. I have been an educator for over thirty years. My field of expertise is reading. After teaching in a regular elementary classroom for a couple of years, I completed a master’s degree in reading and learning disabilities. Except for a five year break to attend seminary and serve as a full time minister, I have been a teacher of elementary reading. In 1995, I completed a doctorate in reading/educational psychology. At that point, I began teaching reading methods in a college setting.Over my thirty years of involvement in education, I have seen many, many reforms. Some have come from the right, others from the left. In the field of reading, when I began my teaching, basal reading programs were in, and we attempted to teach every skill known to humanity. Next, whole language gained quite a following. Next, an oldie, but a popular one, reappeared: phonics. Now we are emphasizing a balanced approached-I think that is likely a step in the right direction.We can easily extend this discussion beyond the boundaries of reading. When I started attending elementary school in 1960, math was a “drill and kill” activity. The expectation was learning of the basic math facts and procedures whether you understood them or not. It is rather easy to see if you learned under this method. Just attempt to explain “conceptually” why 1/2 divided by 4 is 1/8, and why to arrive at that one must “invert and multiply.” I am surprised at how many cannot explain the multiplication and division of fractions at the conceptual level.When I was about half way through my elementary school education, the so-called “new math” hit the educational world. I remember well spending most of my fourth-grade year (when it started in Kansas City) marking that 5 + 2 > 1 + 3. I liked this math. I was not too good at the old stuff, and I found this a breeze.People become very opinionated about educational reform. I have seen many a battle over the issue of whole language vs. phonics. It seems like everyone gets involves. Classroom teachers form strong opinions. Politicians form strong opinions and include reform as part their political platform. They know education is a hot button issue with voters. One group that I watch with great diligence is the religious right. It seems as if they have turned such aspects of educational reform as phonics-based reading instruction and support for the No Child Left Behind Act into something resembling religious dogma. It seems to make little sense, turning reading methods into a religious or quasi-religions crusade, but that is what the leaders of the religious right seem committed to support (James Dobson, for example).I reiterate: educational reform is not new. With that notion disposed of, I would like to suggest three principles of any lasting and useful educational reform. These are characteristics of reform supported over the long haul by much research and dictated by commonsense. I have arrived at these through observation of reform cycles that I have seen throughout my years of work as an educator.First, education reform cannot be test-driven. Currently, the watchword is accountability. From this perspective, teachers are cagey, lazy actors who need to have their feet held to the fire to make them perform. I have observed thousands of teachers over the years, worked with thousands of pre-service teachers, and supervised well over a hundred student teachers. I must admit, one does rarely encounter a lazy, careless teacher, but it is unusual. The attempt to control teachers and student achievement by means of standardized tests is a misguided approach.A recent study by the Educational Testing Service, makers of the SAT and nationally used teacher certification exams, revealed that there is much in student performance that cannot be controlled by schools. In fact, ETS discovered four variables: absenteeism, the percent of children living in single parent families, the amount of television kids watch, and how much preschoolers are read to daily by caregivers (especially parents) were very accurate predictors of reading test results used for No Child Left Behind reporting in eighth-grade. It seems that learning involves many variables (the four factors accounted for over two-thirds of the differences in aggregated state testing results). Home factors are things that schools and teachers cannot control.Instead of testing and testing yet more, a better use of funding would be the improvement of conditions for parents and families. Funding Head Start results in a measurable increase in IQ scores for disadvantaged children. Why not continue to fund enriched environments for Head Start children when they leave the program and help retain ground already gained? Why not fund more “parents as first teachers” programs to go into the homes and teach parents how to help get their preschoolers ready for school? Why not spend more money eradicating poverty-especially since that seems to be the real issue?Second, an effective reform program would insist on scope and sequence. By scope, I refer to the content taught, by sequence, I refer to when content is to be mastered. This was one of the downfalls of the whole language movement. It taught reading without any real coordination of materials, curriculum, or expectations for mastery in terms of when expected benchmarks should be met. Much more coordination of teaching needs to take place and curriculum guides and agreed upon content are essential.At the same time, I am not implying that methodology needs to be completely standardized. There needs to be some general guidelines on how to go about doing things. Still, teaching is as much art as science. To address methodology too much turns teaching into a mechanical act, and we know that the relationship, or blending, of teacher and learner are all important concepts. What we need are standards and benchmarks without denying teachers the authority to make hundreds and thousands of critical decisions each day. What we need are flexible standards and flexible benchmarks.Lastly, we need a new way of doing things. After all of the years of reform, after all the years of researching what works, an amazing trend is notable. Educational critic and researcher, John Goodlad, notes that the most common activity one observes in today’s elementary schools is seatwork (i.e. worksheets, quiet work from textbooks, etc). The most common activity noted in high schools is lectures. Both of these approaches are notoriously ineffective. Just consider lectures, for example, how often do you “zone out” during sermons? And, if you do attend, what keeps you “plugged in?”We have lost the wisdom shared with us by John Dewey so many years ago and supported by study after study. Children learn best by doing. Kids need to make a classroom democracy, not just study government in their civics textbook. They need to come up with ways they can recycle and begin a neighborhood recycling program, not just read about pollution. Education needs to become real. The real is better than the contrived. As psychologist Jerome Bruner has pointed out, doing is better than seeing, and seeing is better than just reading or hearing about something. Probably the best approach combines all three methods.Reforms come and go. However, on these three principles, we can arrive at a reform that will stand the test of time. All of us want our schools to improve. Isn’t it time to skip the political rhetoric of the right (including the religious right) and the left and do what is best for kids? Isn’t it about time?
The need for child-care professionals and educators has never been greater than it is today. While teachers continue to retire, school enrollment is always on the increase creating a perpetual need for top-quality educators. Parents too are recognizing that a solid foundation in early childhood learning is connected to their children’s future success and educational growth. The need of the hour is for trained educators to provide high-quality education to the younger generation. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there is a favorable growth expected in the field of early childhood education over the next decade.Before you embark on a career in early childhood education, a healthy dose of soul searching is recommended. A career in early childhood education is not to be taken lightly. It may involve a whole lot of play and fun, but there is a serious responsibility attached to the molding of minds and shaping the lives of little children. If you are thinking of an early childhood education degree, you need to ask yourself if you truly love children and have an aptitude to continually impart patient loving care. There can be no middle ground here. You will be spending the better part of your day with them so you will need a great deal of patience and love to truly succeed. In addition to this, you need to be creative with excellent communication skills. It will open up multiple opportunities for you.Early childhood educators deal with children from infancy to eight years of age. As a teacher to these youngsters, you will be training and developing their physical, emotional and intellectual skills in a variety of challenging ways. There will be a whole lot of creative expression and hands-on activities involved such as games, artwork, story time, music, role-playing in order to nurture the child’s imagination and learning.An Associate degree in Early Childhood Education is an effective stepping-stone leading to a wider scope in the field of education. Normally, this is an extensive program that will lead to a broad range of career options and advancement after graduation. Approximately, two years are required to complete an AOS degree in Early Childhood Education. This degree provides all the necessary training you would require for teaching young children. It includes functional knowledge and understanding of early childhood education through the completion of courses covering curriculum, child development, child center administration, health and safety, and related fields. A general knowledge of science, social science and language arts is generally part of the curriculum as well.There are a number of career options available to graduates with an Early Childhood Education degree. You can be an elementary school teacher, pre-school teacher, a school counselor or administrator. This will also prepare you to work in areas such as education policy or advocacy. As an educator you can find employment in nursery or elementary schools, as specialists for children with disabilities or learning disorders, as program supervisors and directors in schools and as family childcare home providers.Equipped with a childhood education degree, you will be ready to invest your life in the future generation. You’ll find educating children, molding and shaping their lives, challenging them for the life ahead, an extremely rewarding experience!