Do Special Education Success Stories Exist – And How Do I Obtain This for My Child?

As a parent and advocate for over 25 years, I often become frustrated by how long it takes to successfully advocate for one child (even my own children)! Sometimes it seems like I am banging my head against a wall (giving myself a concussion), with little to no outcome. I was recently reminded that advocacy is difficult by its very nature, but even when it seems like I have not done much or the parent has not done much—the child can really benefit!

1. I was helping parents in another state with their high school son’s education. Things had gotten very bad at school for the young man, and the school wanted to send him to an alternative school. I immediately began working with the mother and educating her on IDEA 2004 and discipline laws. I read letters, helped her write letters, worked on a settlement with the school, and encouraged her to keep fighting despite how bad things were. The situation worsened, and the young man left school-which was frustrating for his parents and me! Imagine my surprise when a few months later I received an E-mail from his mother with a picture of his high school diploma! I am so excited for the young man, and I realized that if his parents and I had not fought for him, he probably never would have graduated! Great outcome!

2. I advocated for a child with autism for over a year. The young man could not read, was delayed in all academic areas, and had developed school phobia. In my advocacy, I had to do a lot of educating of the school staff about dyslexia; research based instruction, as well as extended school year services. Another issue is that the school district insisted on bringing their attorney to all IEP meetings; even after giving them a copy of the OSEP policy letter to Clinton discouraging this practice. After a year, we had made some inroads, and the parents (and I) decided they would try on their own (with me helping them by phone etc.). After I stopped coming to meetings the school district stopped having their attorney attend IEP meetings—and the treatment of the parents is somewhat better. The young man is learning academically and no longer has school phobia-awesome!

There are success stories in special education advocacy; and here is what you can do to increase the chance of success for your child:

1. Assertive and persistent advocacy for as long as it takes. Sometimes advocacy is like a long journey, rather than a short one! Hang in there and you will be glad you did!

2. If your child is having difficulty with reading it is critical that you find accurate information on dyslexia, to use in your advocacy, and research based ways to deal with the disability. Try this link to the International Dyslexia Association ( http://www.interdys.org/ ).

3. Learn about best practices in special education for your child’s disability, and advocate for them. For example: ABA is still considered best practice for children with autism.

4. Call your states PTIC and ask about free or low cost advocacy trainings. You will not only learn lots, but you will be able to connect with other parents!

5. Consider the use of a qualified experienced advocate-this can often go a long way in advocacy success! Make sure that the advocate has experience with your states dispute resolution processes.

6. If the school continues to deny and/or delay needed services consider using the dispute resolution processes (due process, mediation, and state complaints).

Advocacy success stories to exist and this article has given you a few examples. You have also learned some dragon slaying tips to work toward your own child’s success story! Good luck!

Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance

The Orange County Schools ‘ Special Education Alliance was created by the 28 districts in Orange County in 2003. The primary goal of the Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance is to meet the need for a countywide system that can focus on special education. This includes offering staff development and training to school employees, creating leadership in advocating for legislative and administrative change, overseeing the decisions and rulings rendered by administrative agencies, offering a way to fund the litigation and appeals of administrative and judicial decisions and rulings especially when the outcome has a countywide significance or precedent setting in its implications for all students.

The Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance was created with the intention of addressing all the concerns of all students regardless of if the student has any manner disability. Any student that is not receiving the full services they need changed because of lack of funding to support mandates created under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The main problem that Orange County Schools faces with meeting this federal mandate is drawing funds from the regular education program. Funds are often taken from the regular education program to support the needs of special education students. Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance aims to provide the services all students need to be successful in meeting academic standards.

Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance plans to accomplish this goal by providing staff development to its practitioners, use the legislative process to seek adequate funding to provide these high quality services, and when necessary, support litigation to achieve these goals. Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance also encourages staff members, parents, advocates and organizations to get involved by using their voices and contact the local officials and hold them accountable for promises and mandates for which regular education and special needs children are entitled.

Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance is lead by an Executive Committee that is composed of Superintendents from different school districts across Orange County. The actual carrying out of the goals is the responsibility of the Review Committee. The Review Committee is comprised of five Superintendents regionally nominated, Orange County Schools’ legal counsel, two private attorneys representing school districts in special education matters, two SELPA directors, and one business administrator. The Review Committee has been working hard for the past two years in order to try and meet the goals of the Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance. Even though the focus of the Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance is in the areas of legal and funding, it tries hard to work closely with teachers and staff members so that its members are informed about the needs of the schools at root levels.

Since the Orange County Schools’ Special Education Alliance was created it has accomplish a great deal to meet the needs of the school districts across Orange County.

New Teachers – Lecture Tips That Will Keep Students Interested

You’ve all seen the Charlie Brown episode where the teacher is lecturing and all the students hear is “wa wa wa wa wa wa.” We remember watching that as kids. Unfortunately, seeing this as kids taught us that this was what school was like. Now, as we are adult teachers, we are constantly afraid of becoming the teacher from Charlie Brown. Well, what if we could avoid this? What if we could use this knowledge to create inspiring and organized lectures using Best Practices? I have developed 6 tips for you to help you in creating fun and memorable lectures that will leave your students with long lasting knowledge.

1. Create an objective. We have heard this before from our administrators. Often times we hear this when the administrators come to observe us in the classroom. Write your objective on the board! Say it at the beginning of class! Say it at the end of class! Well, they’re right! By telling the students what they are to be learning and why they are learning, they are more apt to pay attention and way more apt to remember what you’re talking about. It will also help them when coming up with what they should actually be writing down.

2. Have your students do something productive. Your students should not be just sitting there. If you are engaged in best practices, your students should be doing something active with their learning while they are listening to your lecture. More often than not, this means that they will need to be taking notes. But give them structure. Maybe this meaning Cornell notes or maybe it’s powernotes. It’s your call!

3. Break it up. Break your lecture up into different segments. I would say no more than 4 or 5. This way, those who have difficulties processing long bits of information will be able to compartmentalize what you are telling them easier.

4. Separate the sections with different activities. Throughout your lecture, break up your talking by having the students do different activities. For example, have students turn to a near by partner and repeat the top 5 parts of the lecture they have heard so far. Doing this will help them to remember because they are actively participating.

5. Have them repeat through questioning. As you lecture, don’t just talk. Question your students. Question them on different background knowledge that they will know information about. Tapping into this will help them to succeed in acquiring new knowledge.

6. Wrap it up effectively. At the end of your lecture have your students do something with the information. Perhaps its a quick little quiz on the board. Perhaps they will write a paragraph summary.

Whatever you lecture about, make sure to follow these 6 tips to have your students remain actively engaged. This will increase their knowledge and participation. No Charlie Brown Effect here!

Preparation Tips for NISM Mutual Fund Distributors Certification Exam

NISM-Series-V A: Mutual Fund Distributors Certification Examination is one of the important exams, conducted by NISM (National Institute of Securities Market). It’s very helpful module for the peoples, those are willing to work in the field of mutual funds. The aim of this certification is to enhance the quality of sales, distribution and related support services in the mutual fund industry.

To clear NISM Series V A: M. F. D. Certification Exam, candidate should have knowledge of following things:

  1. Concept and role : Before attempting NISM V-A Certification Exam, you should have a clear picture of MF in your mind. In other words, we can say that how it works. So just try to know the concept and role model of a mutual fund. In this section, you have to learn lot of things like Advantages and limitations of a mutual fund, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), Investment objectives, Fund running expenses and some of the others.
  2. Fund Structure and Constituents: In this, you need to learn the things about the Structure of MF in India and related regulations, Role of the sponsor and Role of other fund constituents and related regulations.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Environment: Know the Role and functions of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) in regulating MF and take a look on investment restrictions and related regulations.

There are some other important sections in this module as: Offer Document, Fund Distribution and Sales Practices, Accounting, Valuation and Taxation, Investor Services, Risk, Return and Performance of Funds, Scheme Selection, Selecting the Right Investment products for Investors, Helping Investors with Financial Planning and Recommending Model Portfolios and Financial Plans.

Before attempting NISM Series V A Certification exam, you should have knowledge of above listed things. Now collect relevant information from your books or try to find out the things online. In modern age, it’s very easy to find out any of the informations online easily and quickly. You may also collect some information from the site of NISM.

So learning all of the above listed things will help you in clearing NISM-Series-V A: M. F. D. Certification Examination easily with high marks.

Other thing, you can find out the model paper of NISM series-V-A online for preparation. Take a mock test or practice test online for the module of NISM Series V A: Mutual Fund Distributors Certification Exam. Now you can also test yourself by giving NISM series V A mock test online.

Top 3 Proven Speech Therapy Tips When Your Child’s Speech Is Unclear

Do you have problem understanding what your child is saying?

Does she say “yion” instead of “lion” or makes mistakes with other sounds?

Is your child getting left out in school or at the playground because other children cannot understand him?

It is frustrating for both you and your child when you cannot understand her, and have to ask multiple questions just to clarify. Here are the main reasons we frequently explain to our speech therapy clients why your child has unclear speech:

Muscle weakness.

Various muscles are involved when producing speech, and sometimes the inability to move these muscles may cause speech to be unclear. For example, your child may not be able to lift up the tip of his tongue in order to produce the ‘l’ sound.

Control and Coordination.

The problem may not be muscle weakness, but rather your child has difficulties coordinating the movements. This is similar to people who are not able to dance. There is nothing actually wrong with their legs, but they dance ‘with two left feet’. So, your child may be able to say ‘l’ in ‘lion’ but unable to say ‘l’ in “caterpillar”. Or she might say ‘lion’ one minute and ‘yion’ the next, and ‘wion’ the next.

Phonological difficulties.

This is more about having a cognitive concept of sounds, as opposed to the physical aspect of producing speech. For example, if your child grew up speaking or hearing Mandarin Chinese, he may be say ‘hou-‘ instead of ‘house’ or ‘cat-‘ instead of ‘catch’.

It is not that he is unable to produce the ‘-se’ or the ‘-ch’ sound; it is simply because there are no such ending sounds in Mandarin and thus makes it more difficult for him to understand the concept that there are ending sounds in English.

Why Speech Therapy is Important

A speech therapist is a professional who is specifically trained to diagnose and treat speech problems in children (and adults). Speech therapy is important because it:

1. Makes your life easier

2. Eliminates the vicious cycle: unclear speech causes less interaction and therefore less speech input and worse speech and language.

When your child has unclear speech, this may result in less interaction with other children, which would result in even worse speech and language because of the lack of practice. Even adults attend speech therapy classes for this reason alone.

3. Affects how your child learns to read.

Instead of learning that the letter ‘s’ has the sound in ‘sock’, for example, if he says ‘tock’ instead, he may end up thinking that the letter ‘s’ has a ‘t’ sound.

The 4 Guiding Principles for Speech Therapy

Teaching a child with unclear speech may be different from how you teach other children in your family. You may need to repeat more often and emphasize the sounds more. Here are a few things we use regularly in speech therapy when tackling your child’s unclear speech:

Be aware that clear speech sounds comes down to the oral motor movements of the tongue or lips or other speech muscles. (It’s not ‘All about that bass’ it’s ‘All about the place’!) The placement of the tongue, that is.

We produce different speech sounds in tongue twisters (“She sells sea-shells on the sea shore.”) and in everyday speech because we are able to move our tongue to different positions within the mouth, and also by producing sounds in different ways. Some sounds are ‘quiet blowing sounds’ such as ‘f’, ‘s’, ‘sh’; some other sounds are ‘noisy sounds’ such as ‘z’, or ‘r’.

Be aware that some sounds develop earlier, some sounds develop later.

The general developmental order of speech is ‘from the outside in’. This means that it is easier for your child to use their lips and jaw than their tongue. Hence, it is important to note that some sounds don’t come as easily as the others.

Be aware that not all words that begin with the same letter or sound will be equally easy or difficult.

A child who is having difficulty saying “k” sounds will find it easier to say the sound in a word such as “kite” where the mouth is more open and there is more space for the tongue at the back of the mouth compared to saying it correctly in “key” where the mouth is more closed.

Be aware that getting from where he is right now to the target sound may take a few intermediate steps.

For instance, if your child cannot say “the” and says “ge” instead, she may need to learn to progress from ‘g’ to ‘d’ and then ‘th’. Anything that moves her in the right direction is progress.

Now that we’ve gone through the ‘why’, it’s time for the ‘how’:

Here are the top 3 speech therapy tips:

1. Slow Down, emphasize the sound and do everything you can to show your child the necessary tongue and lip movements.

If your child says ‘totate’ instead of “chocolate”, rather than just telling your child ‘No, say chocolate’, at your usual conversational speed, try to slow down, and emphasize the sound: ‘ch-ocolate‘. Exaggerate what you do with your mouth. Look in a mirror together with your child while you are teaching so that he can see what you are both doing.

If your child cannot say the entire word, at least try to get a small part of the word right, for example, just being able to say the sound on its own “ch-ch-ch” or even just the sound partly right, such as just being able to blow out the air, or just rounding the lips.

2. Help your child to hear what it’s not and what it is.

Help your child to avoid mistakes and say sounds correctly by showing them what it is not and what it is. For example, “I don’t have any coyour pencils, these are all colour pencils. What would you like?” Your child will be more likely to say “colour pencil” correctly.

It is also important for you to give them very clear feedback. This includes mimicking what your child is doing, or describe the sound in a language your child can understand. For example, you could say: “If you say ‘-op’ your friend may not understand you. It’s a quiet sound ‘h-op’.”

3. One Game Changer Tip: Teach it aloud, then say it silently, then say it aloud again.

One great speech therapy tip I found with my experience is to focus the on the movement of the mouth. Ask your child to say the word, for example, ‘strawberry’ with you. On the second attempt, just mouth the word without saying it aloud.

Encourage your child to move his mouth in the same way. This allows your child to focus more on the movements of the mouth. Using a mirror can help your child see exactly how they are moving their mouths.

Please understand that correcting unclear speech through speech therapy exercises is a process. Being able to do it slowly is better than not being able to do it at all. Speech therapy for learning the necessary lip and tongue movements is more like learning to dance or how to play the piano rather than learning a new language.

Just knowing the word is not the same as being able to move the tongue quickly enough to say the word. It takes practice and the more you practice, the better you get. So you want to try to get your child to say the word more than just once. One time is NOT practice.

Remember: your child is where he is right now because of how he learns so far. If your child learns speech differently, he needs to be taught differently. Seek help from a professional and consult a speech therapist.

Working along with a speech therapist will save you and your child a lot of time and frustration. More often than not, your child will also enjoy the speech therapy sessions too!