Bullying is an issue that has plagued schools for years. With recent movements to stop bullying receiving media attention in storyline son hit shows like “Glee” and viral videos featuring young Hollywood, it would be easy to conclude that the problem is being addressed. However, in a recent study by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, findings show that this is not the case. In the report released Monday, researchers found that roughly half of adolescents with autism, intellectual disability, speech impairments and learning disabilities have been subject to a bullying episode at school, a rate that is significantly higher than students not receiving special education services. How do we make bullying go away? Researchers believe that it is up to schools to do more to “promote an accepting environment.” Schools have responded by implementing anti-bullying programs. We applaud this effort. But many school systems simply don’t have the funds to put in place a formal anti-bullying program. What’s the alternative? We propose that schools and parents start reducing bullying with this three-part approach: 1. Start with the Students Who Are the Most Likely to Be Bullied First, because the highest incidence of bullying is among special needs population, recognize that…

How to get the most from your investment in speech therapy – an infographic provided by PresenceLearning. (Click the infographic to get a better view) Embed This Graphic On Your Site! Infographic by PresenceLearning, The Leader in Online Speech Therapy

For any parent, dealing with the IEP (Individual Education Plan) is a sensitive and intimidating task. The biggest challenge that parents face is making sure they are building an IEP that fits with their child – in terms of comfort level, abilities, and age. To make sure you are well prepared, start asking yourself these questions: What’s an IEP (Individual Education Plan)? Though it may sound simple, understanding what an IEP is and why your child needs it is a vital first step. An IEP is a plan developed by parents, educators, and other team members (discussed later) that set outs educational goals set for a child with special needs during the school year, as well as any special support your child is expected to require to achieve them. Has My Child Been Assessed? After parents decide that their child may need special education, the next step is to get assessed by the school district to confirm the student is qualified and where they should be placed. Once the assessment is completed a parent can meet with the person who administered the assessment to provide a copy of the comprehensive evaluation report (CER) and discuss their child’s goals days before…

High school is a completely different ball game compared to elementary and middle school. At this point in their lives, children are becoming teenagers and want independence and control over their time, especially time spent outside of school. If your child has special needs, the challenges may be different.  Help your teenager focus on first making a good transition into high school and – with that as a basis – expect their focus to shift to time spent outside of school. Here are 15 ways to make sure your child transitions with ease into high school: Plan a pre-transition meeting with your child’s middle school IEP team and high school special education to determine if the high school special education program will be able to provide your child with the learning environment that they need to be a successful student Attend planning meetings for choosing high school courses with your child. Ask your child about her goals for high school and after high school. Listen. Help your child set high and realistic goals. Tell your child about your hopes for his future. Ask the school for information and a school handbook prior to the beginning of the year. This should be…

Did your household follow the Olympics or Paralympics this summer?  At this year’s events — one got the sense that athletes with special needs had a choice.  They could train and compete in the regular Olympics like Oscar Pistorius or train and compete in the Paralympics like Tommy Des Brisay.  And London – this year’s host city – graciously gave athletes with special needs star billing regardless of which sport they chose. For schools with students with special needs, to have these types of choices is empowering.  We wish all after school activities were set up similarly. The reality is that it many special needs children aren’t given the option to participate in mainstream sports programs for a variety of reasons.  Here’s three things we’d like to see coming out of this year’s Olympics and Paralympic Games. More options for special needs students to participate in sports.  School administrators and parents know that some children with special needs are not ready to participate in mainstream after school sports as they need the extra attention.  Use the example of the Olympics and Paralympics positively and consider creating separate after school activities for students with special needs.  The important thing is that…

With a new school year approaching, it has been reported that more students with special needs are choosing to stay in public schools.  This increases the financial burden on school districts to meet demand and provide services to kids with special needs. With federal funding only able to cover a fraction of costs of special education, school officials and teachers fear that they’re not fully equipped to serve students with special needs. For parents with children with special needs in public schools, this is undoubtedly alarming. The choice of sending your child to public school may have been to make sure he or she develops in as “normal” circumstances as possible. Whatever the criteria for education may be, it is important that parents are fully aware of the options available.   Charter Schools – More and more charter schools have been investing in more resources dedicated exclusively to serving children with special needs and especially cost effective speech therapy solutions. Similar to public schools, most are free to attend and choose incoming pupils via lottery. However unlike public schools and other options, charter schools can allow students to attend school on a unique schedule and may have technology centers focused on…

Last November, PresenceLearning was adopted by charter school organizations such as Thomas Edison and Ballington Academy to deliver speech-language therapy services to their special needs students. Since then, public schools have opted to continue to handle the disproportionate costs of educating children with special needs while many charter schools have realized that there many benefits of online speech therapy beyond preserving financial resources. In a special report on virtual education and special populations published last August, Education Week discovered that students with special needs were unable to concentrate in a classic classroom environment. From the anxiety associated with answering questions from teachers to socializing with other classmates, many students with special needs were often overwhelmed. The go-to alternative for parents was to send their child to charter schools to participate in speech therapy online as well as other live online speech therapy services. For students, to be able to learn from the comfort of your home and communicate directly with your teachers has been an overall positive experience. Source: Education Week

© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | PresenceLearning makes live, online special education related services available to K-12 students around the country — and world. As the leader in the delivery of clinical services via the web, PresenceLearning has provided over one million sessions of speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral interventions and mental health services, assessments, and early childhood services.