Understanding the Special Education Process


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Whether you choose private or public education you need to be assured that your child is receiving maximum support in school. Often procedures and programs are overwhelming. In order to make informed decisions, it is important to understand the special education process and to know your rights. Although schools differ slightly when identifying children who qualify for special education services the process is fairly consistent between states. If your child is experiencing difficulties in any area of learning, your involvement benefits your child in many ways. The better informed you are as a parent the more effective the interventions become. The types of concerns addressed may include academics, behavior, social/emotional, and health issues. You may be the first to express a concern, or the school might notify you. Before your child can be identified as having special education needs, however, schools must follow certain guidelines. Pre-referral is an important part of the special education process.

Pre-referral helps to make certain that your child is provided with appropriate modifications and accommodations before being referred for special education testing. These strategies may include, but are not limited to, physical placement in the classroom, presentation and modification of materials, as well as individualized behavior plans. Often the modifications and strategies that are recommended provide your child with enough support that academic performance is improved and special education services are not required.

Different states refer to the child study team by different names. In some states the team is a function of general education, in others, the team is a part of the special education program. In any case, it is a school site committee whose primary function is to ensure that each child receives the most appropriate classroom support. The meetings are usually held in your child’s classroom or in an office at the school site, before or after school, allowing your child’s teacher to participate. By providing early identification and intervention for students who are experiencing difficulty in school, the child study team serves as a problem solving forum. The team works together in order to determine your child’s strengths and areas of difficulty. Your participation is very important. This is your opportunity to ask questions and provide critical information about your child. Members of the team will brainstorm in order to develop strategies and an action plan. Later the members will monitor, assess, and discuss the effectiveness of the implementation of the plan that was developed by the team. You have the right to ask questions and call additional meetings, if necessary. Team meeting notes will be taken and copies should be distributed to all members of the team. This documentation demonstrates that the school is providing your child with the legally required general education interventions. Team members vary depending on numerous factors. Often the general education teacher will be involved, as will a counselor, school psychologist, and/or an administrator. Teams may also include special education and related service providers. As the parent, you are an integral part of the team. While the school has the responsibility to invite you at a convenient time it is not absolutely required that you attend. It is however highly recommended as you have a wealth of information regarding your child’s preferred learning styles, health and educational history, behavior, personality traits, areas of difficulty, and strengths.

Typically a meeting is scheduled when there is a concern regarding behavior or academic performance. Anyone who works with a child may make this referral, frequently in written form. Often it is the classroom teacher who requests the meeting. As a parent you also have the right to request a meeting by contacting your child’s teacher or the school principal. Each team member may provide information and make suggestions. The team begins by discussing your child’s strengths and interests, information is shared, and specific concerns will be addressed. The team will review interventions that have already been implemented and how successful they have been. The team will then brainstorm possible additional interventions and will determine which strategies will be put into action. Team members will then be assigned tasks that they will help implement or research. A time-line will be determined by the team. There will be a follow up meeting in order to assess the successfulness of the strategies. The team may determine that sufficient progress has been noted and that testing for special education is not needed at this time. It may be determined that the team will reconvene in order to implement new strategies and monitor progress. If insufficient progress has been noted, a referral for special education assessment may be recommended in order to evaluate whether or not your child may have some type of learning disability.

The pre-referral process is one step in the special education process. It provides an excellent opportunity for you to collaborate with a team in order to insure that your child receive the most effective instruction designed to meet his or her unique needs. The process is most successful when it identifies and utilizes all available resources in order to appropriately support your child.

The administrator or designee supports the team by presenting the agenda, directing the meeting, answering questions, providing information, and offering support to you and other team members. The general education teacher provides up to date information regarding your child. They will listen to information, help to clarify concerns, and participate in the development of behavioral and academic interventions.

As the parent, you are a vital member of the team. Your presence at the meeting is invaluable as you will be asked to provide information pertaining to your child. These areas may include academic history, health and development, family matters, and social/emotional concerns. The information that you provide is confidential.

Having your child attend depends on the appropriateness and relevance to the meeting. Your child may share his/her own perspective regarding areas of difficulty and specific needs.

Special Education (SPED) support staff members may participate in both pre-referral and IEP meetings. During the pre-referral meetings, SPED and support staff members often participate due to their training and experience. Team members may include a school counselor, psychologist, nurse, speech pathologist, occupational and/or physical therapist, adapted physical education teacher, behavior specialists, and members from outside agencies. The team members may differ depending on the school but are available to provide information, answer questions, and gather resources that are designed to support your child. The gathering of information may include obtaining and reviewing records, consultations with you or staff members who work with your child, other teachers, and outside agencies. They may also observe your child in the classroom or outside on the playground. School support staff members make recommendations regarding strategies for designing and implementing interventions and modifications. SPED team members may also share information about eligibility, referrals, and documentation.

While the special education process differs from state to state, the procedures are designed to help you and your child receive the maximum benefit from the educational system. Please check with your school and district to find out more about the specific procedures followed in your state and remember that you are your child’s best advocate.

Note: There is a great deal of information available regarding special education resources and special needs education on the internet and in local bookstores.

The Value of Physical Education to Keep Healthy

Physical education (PE) is the parts of awareness that will eventually compel our achievement. PE creates a consciousness to become physical fit in our life. It refers to this condition where a person has developed great strength, speed, strength, etc. Physical fitness is essential to lead a happy, energetic and abundance life. The mind, body and strength, are all related and studying how they work together and how to concern for them can keep us from avoidable suffering. It is the all growth of the behavior of a person or wholesome progress of human individuality and it leads physical, mental, social, emotional and moral aspects to make a person a good civilian who makes role in development of the nation. In shortly, It indicates making a person physically fit, mentally alert, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, morally and spiritually right up.

Physical education is essential during childhood for good growth and development. Children who are enrolled in physical education typically receive education on health, including nutrition. Children then start to know that when they eat healthy they have better quantity of energy to expend in games and sports. Children begin to learn that eating healthy is a lifestyle and can have a positive impact on the growth of skeletal and muscular system. They learn to be proud of their impact on growth through their food choices, and can lead to become adults with healthy habits. Today, children spend many hours in school and extracurricular activities that fill a large majority of their time. It is essential to have a good PE that needs our children to be active.

Physical education provides to adulthood to keep their good health and fitness. To prevent and treat various diseases and disorders in our old age, PE can be a vital part in our life. It teaches various physical activities that can be practiced today such as motor skills in games and sports of volleyball, tennis, swimming, teaches us the value of ethical behavior in sport situations. The PE is also important for the average drop of energy, emotion, excitement or frustration, and some people leave their extra steam by participating in various sports and games which are part of the physical education. PE is a good adaptation to group living. It offers many opportunities to develop characteristics such as cooperation, respect for others, loyalty, sportsmanship, self confidence etc. All these qualities help a person make him a good citizen. It develops an understanding and appreciation of the local and worldwide environment. By participating in various activities such as dance, sports and games, quite a person understands the history, culture, tradition, religious practices, etc.

Physical education is an important inspiration to participate in many activities such as sports and social work will make a better person and be healthy. There are many programs and institutions that actually give us all kinds of training, courses and projects, where we can learn many important things about physical education. We should take adequate step to learn proper physical education in our life.

Which is the Easiest Way For Me to Get Physical Therapy Referrals?

As a physical therapist, you may have often wondered about the easiest way to get physical therapy referrals. Here are some tips that will help you reach the stage when you won’t need to sweat it out in order to get physical therapy referrals.

Start by doing your groundwork well. Referring doctors can be a great source for referrals so do some research to find out what exactly they are expecting from your office.

Send out questionnaires to all referring doctors’ offices asking for feedback on what they expect from your office and whether you are meeting those expectations. You can send this out through mail, fax, or e-mail.

You could also try getting more detailed feedback by sending your representatives to meet referring doctors and conduct a one on one interview. This gives you more high quality feedback but you need more time to plan this out and get results.

Next, you should coach your staff so that they are able to provide the services and communications that the referring offices want from you. Use tools like customer satisfaction surveys and referral trackers to monitor the services offered by your office. Take note of the feedback received through the customer satisfaction surveys and incorporate the comments into improving your services. Implement referral trackers to track every new patient and find out how they came to know about your office. Data from referral trackers should be reported monthly so you know who your referrers are and you also know if a referrer stops sending you referrals.

One sure-shot way to get physical therapy referrals is to maintain constant communication with your referrers. Get proactive and keep in touch with referring doctors. Either assign someone from your staff to call the referring doctors or hire marketing personnel to do this work for you.

You need to convince the referring doctors that you are good enough for them to refer you. Educate them about the latest physical therapy techniques through demonstrations.

Newsletters are another effective form of communication. Send out a regular news letter to your referrers updating them about the latest in physical therapy, any new services that you are offering. Keep the newsletter brief and simple so that it doesn’t take up too much time to produce.

Remember to thank each and every referrer each time they send you a patient.