How to Use a Parent Input Statement to Benefit Your Child’s Education

Are you the parent of a child with autism or dyslexia, that knows what educational services your child needs, but do not know how to communicate them to special education personnel? A parent input statement, that is written before the IEP meeting, can help you be an effective advocate for your child, and bring up needed educational services that will help your child learn.

A parent input statement is a one page statement, where you can give written input into your child’s education. You can include: things that work for your child, things that don’t work, academic struggles that they have, behavioral difficulties, any educational or related services that you believe they need, extended school year (ESY), assistive technology (AT).

Tips for writing input statement

1. Keep it short, maximum one page.

2. Use facts as much as possible.

3. State what educational and related services you think your child needs, and why.

4. Discuss academic progress or lack of academic progress, and what you think needs to be done about it.

5. Include any adaptations, modifications, educational or related services that are helping your child learn.

6. Discuss any behavioral difficulty your child has, and what the school has done about it. Also state if you feel that they are not handling the behavior/discipline according to IDEA.

Parent Input Statement 9-6-29xx My son Tommy is 9 years old, is in fourth grade, and receives special education services under the category of Learning Disability. I have received the results of his Woodcock Reading Mastery test from his teacher, Mrs. Jones. Tommy’s Word Identif ication at a grade equivalent of 1.7, word attack (decoding)of 2.7, and a basic skills cluster with a grade equivalent of 1.9. This means that my son Tommy’s reading is at least 2 years below his grade appropriate peers. I am very concerned that if Johnny does not receive appropriate instruction in reading, his life will be negatively altered, forever.

IDEA and No Child Left Behind state that curriculum must be “scientifically research based.” What this means is that their is research to show that the program works to teach children to read. The Orton-Gillingham Methodology of simultaneous multi sensory instruction has many years of research to back its effectiveness with teaching children to read. I have information on this methodology that I would like to share with the IEP team.

Tommy, not only needs an Orton-Gillingham reading program, but the person who is teaching him must be trained in this area. My son also needs to receive the program for the recommended length of time, not less. Tommy is currently receiving 30 minutes a day of reading instruction while the Orton-Gillingham program recommends xx amount per day of instruction. Thank you for working with me to help my son Tommy learn to read.

Miss Smith

Mention at the beginning of your meeting that you have a parent input statement to share with the IEP team.Bring up the parent input statement when you think it is an appropriate time.Bring enough copies for everyone at the meeting, and make sure that it is attached to your child’s IEP.

A parent input statement will help you clearly state what educational or related services that your child needs. Remember that for your child to receive an appropriate education the instruction they receive must “give meaningful benefit” to your child.

JoAnn Collins is the parent of two adults with disabilities, has been an educational advocate for over 15 years, an author, as well as a speaker. JoAnn’s recently released book: Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game helps parents develop skills to be an assertive and persistent advocate for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled “The Special Education Spotlight”

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Importance of Professional Translation Services in Public Sector

Do we need translation services in the public sector? When you look at the public sector in different countries, what can prompt them to agitate for translation services?

As we talk about translation services, we mean translating documents from one language to another, might be from English to German or German to English, but not limited to these two languages.

Public places are always bombarded by people who speak different languages seeking for help, so how do they understand each other? Basically, translation and interpretation are the best choices in this place.

What is public sector?

This is part of the economy controlled by the government in any country and plays a role in delivering social services to the communities. We can talk of places like government hospitals, public schools, police, army, local government and etc.

Currently, the United States public sector increased the procurement of translation services to help people who are non-English speakers, these people need government services like health care, education, legal aid, and public protection. To ease communication, translation is proved to work better.

The governments in different countries can procure translation and interpretation services from professional translation agencies with professional translators and interpreters working in their own native languages.

How translation services helpful to the public sector?

Not only the public sector that requires translation services, different business entities, private organizations and individual business dealings all over the world today need translations so as to run their activities smoothly.

Government hospitals as part of the public sector require translation services, why? With medical related issues, it’s all about dealing with the lives and the health of people. This requires clear communication between the doctor and the patient. A medical interpreter will help the patient to explain the problem fully to the doctor as well as making sure that the doctor understands the patient’s problem. As I said earlier that in public places like medical centers, health care units, people of different tribes, different language speakers visit these them looking for medical care, translation services will, therefore, be helpful.

On the side of security providers like police and army, translation services will make police play their role smoothly in maintaining the law and order, translation agencies have translators and interpreters in all different fields, police will be provided with police translators and interpreters if required and will expertly do their work by conveying the message to the public in different languages. For those who cannot read police and army published documents in the source language provided, their respective translators and interpreters are available to provide translations interpreting services.

In Marc Jones article in 7th/01/2016, says in 2012 and 2013, the Lincolnshire police spent £373,958 for translation services for more than 30 languages. This comes to my observation that translation is a vital activity everywhere in the world, it, therefore, helps the police to have a clear communication with people.

Legal aid access needs translation services. There are people who may not afford and need legal representation in courts of law, basing on the fact that someone is a non-English speaker a language which is commonly used in various offices, legal aid translation and interpretation is necessary.

Under public education sector, we find that translation services play a vital role in fostering communication between students who are non-English speakers and teachers. Public education will need translators and interpreters to help learners to access education services in a language they understand. It will be discriminating if education services are offered in one language which some people can’t understand and it will show that the government ignores foreign native speakers to attend classes in her country.

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Analyzing Issues of Overidentification in Special Education

Overidentification in special education has two potential meanings. First, it can mean that there are too many students being identified as needing special education in a school or district. Estimates of students in need of special education services have ranged from 3% to 8% of total students. Central office staff typically attempt to stay within the 10% range however, it sometimes reaches highs of 13% or more. Second, it may mean that a certain group of students is over represented in the special education population in comparison to their make up in the general population of students. Ideally, the proportion of the subgroup of students in the special education population should be identical to that of the general population.

Overidentification of students in need of special education services results in a number of negative outcomes for the students, the school district, and to a larger extent society. Students identified as needing special education services often don’t receive the same rigorous curriculum as those not receiving services. Therefore, they are not as prepared for the demands of the next grade level as unidentified students. They frequently have lowered expectations placed upon them, may be socially stigmatized, may display greater behavioral problems requiring disciplinary action, and are more likely to not complete school or they complete school with less skills than other students.

Overidentified students place an unnecessary burden on already limited school resources and take away existing resources from those students who are really in need of them. Staff time is taken up in extra preparation for their daily needs, to go to extra meetings, and to complete evaluations. If discipline becomes an issue, then administrator time gets taken away from other duties.

In regard to potential impacts on society, overidentification’s reduced demands, watered-down curriculum, and potential social stigmatization leaves students unprepared to continue with their education or lacking the skills necessary to take a productive role in the workplace and support themselves. When these students are unable to become productive members of society after school then their educational institution has failed them.

Some of the reasons for overidentification include:

Poverty and income inequality
Inequity in schools funding
Inability to access early interventions
Lack of training in regard to appropriate referrals to and placements in special education
Lack of understanding of diverse populations

Research has found that students from impoverished backgrounds are more likely to be unprepared for the rigors of education and lack the background knowledge and experiences of their more affluent peers. The Head Start Program was developed in 1965 to meet this need, and to provide comprehensive services to low income families during the preschool years. However, while gains have been made, a gap still exists, and many families are unable to access these services for a variety of reasons.

Schools are not always funded appropriately with many schools requiring students to bring in their own work materials, lack resources for paraprofessional support, or lack the funds to have full day kindergarten or hire enough teachers to have smaller classes. When schools are funded appropriately, the district often determines where and when the money is spent, which may not always be on the biggest needs or those that will make the biggest difference in the long-term.

Unfortunately, some schools don’t always make appropriate referrals or placement decisions. Sometimes they wait too long before making a referral and sometimes they make one too soon. The advent of Response to Intervention (RTI) may help in this area as schools should have data about how students respond to interventions before making a referral.

Lack of understanding about different cultures and the way children learn may also lead to students being over identified, especially for behavior concerns. Not every child is able to sit in a chair for six hours a day learning. There are many ways to learn and students need to be exposed to as many of them as possible before being identified with a disability.

Parents and educators need to be aware that over identification of students for special educational services has short and long-term consequences. These consequences affect the student, the school, and, potentially, society. It is the school’s responsibility to keep an open mind, look at individual differences and all possibilities prior to identifying a student as in need of special education services.

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Special Education Services in New York City Schools

Special Education Services (SES) in New York City Schools aim to help struggling students get the help they need in English language arts, mathematics, and reading free of charge in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. However, one of the major problems behind this vitally important tool in a child’s learning is that it isn’t offered to every child. New York City Schools are only offering this free tutoring to those students eligible for free lunch and attend a school that failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards for three or more consecutive years.

It would seem as if New York City Schools only believe that the underprivileged should be allowed the tools necessary to help their children refine their skills in a subject that they have trouble with. In fact, with the troubles in the economy these days there are more and more families who live in the New York City Schools area who are not eligible for free lunches but still couldn’t afford private tutoring for their children if they struggle in particular subjects. Yes, there is only a certain amount of funding available for SES programs in the district, so it would make sense that they would be selective in bringing only the children with the highest need into the program. Why narrow that down even further to selecting those with the highest need ONLY out of those who are eligible for free lunches, though? There is always the chance that a child who comes from a middle class family, who also can’t afford private tutoring, has a larger need for SES than a child from an underprivileged family. New York City Schools seem to be ignoring this possibility.

How do Special Education Services Affect Students in New York City Schools?

Special Education Services can only help those students enrolled in SES programs in New York City Schools. The programs are often flexible and allows for before school tutors, after school tutors, weekend tutors, and even some online tutors. SES providers are required to provide assistance at the most convenient time for the child enrolled and can provide students with tutoring at several different sites:

– Schools: SES providers in New York City Schools can provide assistance inside the school building before or after school. This can help students focus more because they are inside their learning institution that has little distractions.

– Homes: SES providers can also come to a student’s home for tutoring in order to help the student be in a more relaxed environment where learning can take place under less pressure.

Overall, New York City Schools have the right idea in providing free SES to students in need. They’ve got it wrong though, in assuming that only the underprivileged can’t afford tutoring for their children. Middle class families in the New York City Schools are struggling to make ends meet every day. Their children shouldn’t be forgotten simply because they aren’t eligible for free lunch. All children, regardless of class, should be given the same opportunities for success. New York City Schools would be better off if they would understand this.

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Special Education IEP Cheat Sheet For Parents

Are you the parent of a child with autism, a learning disability or a physical disability? Are you preparing for your child’s annual Individualized Educational Plan meeting? Would you like a short list of important items that need to be discussed at your child’s IEP meeting? This article will discuss 15 issues that need to be brought up at your child’s IEP meeting to ensure that all important issues are brought up.

Issue 1: Present levels of academic achievement and functional performance need to be discussed and put in your child’s IEP. Academic and functional levels should be results of tests given to your child, and not teacher observation.

Issue 2: Educational strengths and weaknesses of your child. All weaknesses should be discussed and needed educational services should be discussed and written in your child’s IEP.

Issue 3: District and State Wide testing that your child will be included in. Standardized testing is critical to keep special education personnel accountable for teaching your child; keep copies for future use.

Issue 4: Extended School Year (ESY) needs to be discussed and written in your child’s IEP. Specific services your child is to receive, as well as amount of minutes per week, and amount of weeks given.

Issue 5: Assistive Technology Services that your child requires in order to benefit from their education.

Issue 6: If your child has negative behavior that interferes with their education ask for a qualified person to conduct a functional behavioral analysis and develop a positive behavioral plan.

Issue 7: Placement must be decided and put in your child’s IEP.

Issue 8: Related Services must be discussed and placed in your child’s IEP. Related Services are: PT, OT, Speech/Language, Transportation, etc.

Issue 9: Make sure all special education services offered are listed in the IEP; check minutes and make sure it states whether the service is direct or consultative and individual or group.

Issue 10: If your child is 16 years or above a transition plan needs to be developed which includes transition services your child needs to get a job or pursue education.

Issue 11: Date of graduation needs to be on the child’s IEP. Make sure that the date that is listed goes until your child’s 22nd birthday as IDEA requires.

Issue 12: Important methodologies need to be included as well as amount of minutes that the methodologies will be given per week.

Issue 13: Any evaluations that were conducted on your child. Below average test scores are often stated as average. Check all test scores; if below age and grade appropriate peers, make sure services are given to remediate the difficulty.

Issue 14: Make sure that the eligibility page for your child states that they are eligible for special education services.

Issue 15: Pre and post testing of your child’s academics next school year. Pre testing given at the beginning of the year, post testing given at the end of the year. This will help you prove if your child has made progress or not during the school year.

Also remember to always read your child’s IEP before you leave the meeting. Ask for changes if you find something that you do not agree with. By discussing these 15 issues you will help your child receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

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