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Parent-Teacher conferences are often the first chance parents and teachers have to sit down and discuss goals and objectives for the school year. The following tips from CNN’s Schools of Thought blog will help you establish a working relationship with your child’s teacher. 1. Come Prepared Parents and teachers should go into the conference prepared. For teachers, this means having a student’s information on hand, as well as any questions they have for the parent. For parents, this means talking to your child prior to the meeting to see what his or her issues are and bringing a list of questions in order to address these issues. 2. Work Together It may be difficult to bring up issues to teachers, but creating a positive tone up front may make it easier. The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) suggests that parents start off the conversation by complimenting the teacher on things he or she seem to be doing well. Once you discuss the issue, brainstorm ways you and the teacher can solve the issue together to maintain the positive tone. 3. Update Your Teacher Parents often overlook the impact life outside of school can have on their child’s in-school performance. Be…

In a recent poll of 1,000 adults across on the country about their views on education, 57% said “it’s very important” that Congress protects funds for programs serving students with disabilities. In comparison to prekindergarten, college financial aid and programs helping school districts with large numbers of students living in poverty, special education programs surpassed all these other education programs with an astounding amount of public support.  The poll was conducted on behalf of the Committee for Education Funding and the Foundation for Education Investment. This January, the White House estimates that special education programs are estimated to lose more than $1 billion under a plan set in place after lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal last year. For parents, this means there may be a time when you question your child’s school’s ability to provide proper special education services. Now is time for parents to weight out different special education options besides traditional school. These options may not only have more resources to help your child but an option such as live online speech therapy can allow you to be part of your child’s learning experience. Leave us your thoughts below in the comments.  Source: Disability Scoop

The first half of the school year is coming to an end. As a parent of a student with learning disabilities, your first concern may be to check on child’s progress in special education. For example, if your child is in speech therapy, has their been improvement in their articulation? One way for parents to understand if their child is making strides is through quarterly reports mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA). Unfortunately, these progress reports don’t really provide specific details that are enough for a parent to trust their child is making progress or not. So, if you’re a parent of a child with learning disabilities, you’re probably thinking: “What can I do if I don’t think my child is “making expected progress” toward IEP goals?” There are a couple of things: Request The School’s Initial Comprehensive Evaluation of Your Child Right at the moment your child was being considered for special education placement, the school conducted an evaluation. In this evaluation, there were several parts including your child’s work samples, achievement tests and more. Make sure you have a copy of this evaluation and read over this document again. As you look over everything,…

When it comes to raising a child with disabilities, the parenting style that a mom or dad adopts is key, according to a new study. Last month, a new studying on parenting released by Brigham Young University reported that a child with disabilities raised by a positive parent is more likely to be independent and confident than a child under an authoritative parent. Tim Smith, Chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education at Brigham Young University, says, “In households where positive parenting is applied, the symptoms and severity of the child’s disability are more likely to decrease over time.” For new parents especially, the choice of whether a “nurturing mom” or the “strict dad” will be the best parent for your child is a haunting decision. The BYU study recognizes that parents of children with disabilities will be tempted to take an authoritative approach. However, according to Tim Smith, “research has consistently shown that the earlier and more consistently positive parenting is provided, the greater the child’s development.” Source: Disability Scoop For more tips on how parents can help their child learn at home, check out this infographic: “3 Speech Therapy Tips To Make Sure Your Child Gets…

The recent US News & World Report article “Two High School Teachers May Be Better Than One” explores the world of co-teaching in today’s classroom. Susan Fitzell, an education consultant, says the key to success is in the implementation. In order to co-teach effectively, both teachers must interact with students in small groups to ensure that each student is receiving individual instruction. If a group of students needs additional help within a lesson, one teacher can aid them while the other leads the rest of the class, allowing students with different learning speeds to interact within the same classroom. Co-teaching promotes collaboration during the planning process and lets teachers split disciplinary and classroom management responsibilities. With PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy, a remote speech and language pathologist (SLP) can collaborate, or co-teach, with an on-site SLP or paraprofessional. Through this online platform, both educators and parents can be involved with a student’s progress.  How is your school or colleagues using co-teaching in the classroom? Share your stories with us on Facebook or Twitter. Read more: US News & World Report  

On November 21, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled unanimously that school districts must pay for independent evaluations when parents disagree with school or public agency’s initial assessment of their child. This regulation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA) the main federal special education law, has been active with various versions since 1977. With the November 21 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals is upholding a longtime U.S. Department of Education regulation requiring school districts, under circumstances, to reimburse parents for independent educational evaluations of their children with disabilities. The next step is for Congress to make sure that this statute is reflected in IDEA. Previously, the scope of IDEA didn’t specifically state that schools must authorize reimbursements for independent evaluations. If you are a parent of a student with special needs or concerned with how your child is performing in school, there is no better time than now to pursue an independent evaluation to make sure your child is getting the education he or she deserves. To learn more about independent evaluations, special education, and developing an individual education plan, check out the post “What You Need…

With “Black Friday” coming up after Thanksgiving, many stores offering discounts on products ranging from 10% to 50% off. For SLPs and parents, this can be a great opportunity to purchase some items to help your child or student get the most out of speech therapy. Here are the top 3 speech therapy tools to buy on “Black Friday”: Headset Recently, a SLP working with us shared the importance of headsets for students in speech therapy. Headsets allow students to hear their articulation errors and are a key communication tool for online speech therapy. Headsets come in different versions from wireless and wired but the important factor is that a headset comes with a microphone appropriate for speech recognition. iPad (2 or Mini) The iPad Mini just came out … so the chances of grabbing one at a discount is slim. However, the iPad 2, the oldest model available, is being sold at stores such as Best Buy and Walmart at a deep discount. Also, if you are a traveling SLP, consider checking out iPad data plans from mobile carriers partaking in “Black Friday” deals. Office & School Supplies From slant boards to ziplock bags, it’s the small things that…

An SLP writes us that they feel that the students she works with have difficulty focusing on auditory information and that headphones really help. During my experience working with students within the schools, I began using headphones for my students with a variety of speech impairments including phonological, oral motor and articulation… Auditory bombardment is not a new concept, as it was something that I used as a student in my college clinic. Once I began using the headsets with my “speech” students, I did find improvements in their ability to discriminate and process sounds more rapidly. This was particularly true with my students who had difficulty attending/processing during traditional methods of service delivery. Every student I worked with preferred and often requested using the headset as they could not only hear me, themselves, and the other students in the group, but they would often self-correct their own errors, as well as the errors of their peers. I did use the headset with some of my students who had autism, for articulation errors, as well as during story comprehension activities, and role playing during social stories, as well as for any student who was struggling with auditory processing. It did…

Recently, members of the PresenceLearning team had the opportunity to attend a discussion of the Fordham Report at the Urban Leadership Collaboration. Discussed was the recent report published by The Fordham Report, “Boosting the Quality and Efficiency of Special Education.” The report’s starting assumption is that something is very much amiss with special education, that we are spending way too much per child and getting way too little for our efforts due a lack of innovation in special education. The culprits? Two things according to the reports’ authors. First, minimal innovation in our schools and how they approach special education. While public education is never very hospitable to innovation, efficiency, and productivity, special education has generally been downright hostile Second, legislation such as IDEA that forces educators to focus more on compliance than outcomes. The report uses a methodology called matched-pair analysis, where it takes school districts that are similiar on a variety of different factors such as socio-economics and compares outcomes based on spending levels, staffing, and the make up of that staffing (professional teachers versus paraprofessional aids). It conclude that – all things being equal – that some school districts are spending more on staffing special education but…

With the Veterans Day this past Sunday, we recognize the armed services protecting our country from harm around the world. There is no question that these Americans are heroes. But what we also must remember is that many of these Americans are parents, aunts, uncles, and grand parents with families praying for their safety every day. For an armed service man or woman to have to serve their duty while leaving a child at home with their spouse or guardian is an unforeseeable challenge many have to face. From the last government audit (GAO) study conducted by the Department of Defense, it was found that over 1.5 million of the military personnel across all branches had at least one child. Another key insight from the data shows that there are at least 100,000 to 125,000 [military] children who have disabilities of some sort. To the parent or guardian left at home with the astounding duty of raising a child with special needs, please know you’re not alone. Here are some ways to help your child cope with a loved deployed: Share your emotions, but don’t overdo it. It’s OK to let your child know you miss your spouse. But it…

© 2019. 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.