Molly Hovorka – PresenceLearning

This fall, California will begin a statewide reform initiative to integrate special education with mainstream education. This reform will also change California teacher preparation programs in order to better align special and general education certificate programs. Students with special needs make up 13 percent of public school students; there are 6.5 million nationwide. Dr. Corinne Hyde is an associate professor of clinical education at University Southern California Rossier. She said the increasing inclusion of special education students in the general education classroom will require a shift in how programs accommodate their students. “In the past, students with special needs were often sequestered in separate classrooms,” she is quoted saying in this blog post. “Many teachers were also not adequately prepared to meet the needs of special needs students in their classrooms.” The varying needs accommodated by special education include 10 types of disabilities. Specific learning disabilities make up the largest group at 35 percent. The second largest group is speech/language impairment, at 21 percent; other health impairments make up 12 percent. Other disabilities account for less than 10 percent each: autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, developmental delay, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, orthopedic impairment, and multiple disabilities. For students, the decision…

The Born This Way Foundation was founded by Lady Gaga in 2012 to assist young people in achieving mental and emotional well-being. However, a study commissioned by the foundation found that although young people value their mental health, many feel they do not have access to the resources that can increase their ability to deal with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. The study, “Kind Communities – A Bridge to Youth Mental Wellness,” analyzed the results of a survey administered to 3,015 young people between the ages of 15 and 24, as well as 1,004 parents. The survey included questions about how students view their own mental health, how peers and parents help and hinder mental health efforts, and what schools can do to…

By Dara Rogoff, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL PresenceLearning provides speech and language services via an onsite/online service service delivery model. Together, as a team, onsite speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with selected students while online SLPs work with others. Determining how to split the workload depends on a number of factors that may include caseloads, existing resources, travel time, and the need for specialists. Some districts prefer to move their older students to online services to free up time for onsite SLPs to work with early childhood students, whereas others may tap online clinicians for their elementary students. In some districts, we work with charter school students and homebound students. Other districts may need online help for bilingual students or edge cases. In all of these scenarios,…

The team at PresenceLearning will be in Washington, Ohio, Idaho, and Michigan in August. Stop by and say hello! WASA/OSPI Special Education Workshop  August 1 – 2 Tacoma, WA Summer Leadership Symposium  August 2 – 3 Aurora, OH IASA Summer Leadership Conference  August 2 Boise, ID MAASE Summer Institute  August 6 – 9 Acme, MI Would you like to schedule a private demo during one of these conferences? Email schools@presencelearning.com and let us know where you will be attending.

Our special summer webinar “Come and Get It! A Legal Update on Discipline and Mental Health Issues for Special Ed Leaders”  was with special education expert Julie Weatherly, Esq. During this webinar, Julie discussed discussed recent case law, including Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, as well as important factors need to be clear on regarding discipline and mental health as they relate to special education. After the webinar, moderator Stephanie Taylor, Ed.S, NCSP, fielded viewer questions to Julie. Below is a summary of this informative Q&A. Stephanie: What is the impact of the Endrew F. decision on your understanding of a district’s obligation to provide FAPE for students with behavioral/emotional/mental health needs? Julie: I’m not surprised at all that people wanted me to reference Endrew F. As I was talking, I was trying to figure…

The team at PresenceLearning will be in Louisiana, Texas, New York, New Mexico, and New Hampshire in July. Stop by and say hello! ASHA Connect  July 7 – 9 New Orleans, LA TCASE Interactive  July 11-13 Austin, TX NYCASE Summer Institute  July 17 – 19 Saratoga Springs, NY  NMCEL Conference July 19 – 21 Albuquerque, NM NHASEA Summer Academy  July 30 – August 2 Meredith, NH Would you like to schedule a private demo during one of these conferences? Email schools@presencelearning.com and let us know where you will be attending.

Many student behavior management strategies focus on consequence and reward; however, more and more research shows this approach can be detrimental to the child. MotherJones.com wrote an article about the drawbacks of traditional management strategies. According to the article, “consequences have consequences,” as they “sacrifice long-term goals (student behavior improving for good) for short-term gain—momentary peace in the classroom.” As for rewards, Stanford University developmental and social psychologist Carol Dweck says rewards can “erode children’s motivation and performance by shifting the focus to what the teacher thinks, rather than the intrinsic rewards of learning.” So how should teachers manage student behavior, especially those students with behavioral challenges? Instead of trying to control student behavior, the teacher should be helping the student learn to control themselves.…

We’ll Make a Clinician Available in 30 Days or Your First Month of Service is Free! Special education directors, is your related services team fully staffed for 2017-2018? PresenceLearning has a special offer to help you avoid the staffing scramble: our 30-Day Guarantee! The details are simple: we will make available to you a qualified speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist within 30 calendar days of execution of your contract or your first full month of services are free (up to $5,000 credit). This guarantee does not apply to the date of the start of services, which depends in part on your readiness for services and scheduling with the clinician. Based on scheduling considerations, the initially-assigned clinician may be replaced with another qualified clinician to provide the contracted…

June brings a sigh of relief to school districts as the final flurry of activity comes to an end. Last month, we checked in with on-the-ground SLPs, OTs, and mental health professionals to see what some of the biggest challenges are at this time of year. Completing evaluations was ranked highly among related services staff and special education directors alike. Job burnout, however, was the biggest stressor for clinicians. We’ll look at some of the reasons for burnout next month, but in the meantime PresenceLearning offers a number of resources for clinicians who may be thinking about a way to reignite their careers: Live the Possible Dream: Three industry veterans give you an insider’s look at the pros and cons of teletherapy in this on-demand…

The 2016-17 school year is barely ending, but many special education directors are already looking ahead to next year while managing the annual frenzy of tests and activities that take place in May and June. Last month we asked about these year-end challenges. Top stressors were staffing for next year, completing evaluations, and ensuring all IEP services have been delivered. Among write-in responses, paperwork continues to be a plague. So, how can we help? PresenceLearning offers a number of resources and services to address some of these challenges: Budget planning: Peter Bittel, co-founder and CEO of the Futures HealthCore, and Dr. Nicholas Young, Superintendent of South Hadley Public Schools, share their advice in our white paper “Transforming Special Education in a Challenging Fiscal Environment.“ Staffing: Live,…

© 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.