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A Special Month for Awareness

The month of October commemorates important issues for students with special needs. Included among those issues are dyslexia and ADHD. For parents and educators alike, it is critical to highlight these topics to ensure that children receive appropriate educational programming, and that such programs are properly implemented.

Both state and federal law were created to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities. Prior to the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, there were over four million children with disabilities who were denied appropriate access to public education. Some children were denied entry into public school altogether. Others were placed in segregated classrooms by their school districts, or were not provided adequate supports and services in order to make appropriate educational progress. This is their right under the law.

For students with dyslexia or a reading disorder in New Jersey, state literacy laws require a screening in kindergarten to assess for dyslexia and reading disabilities. For kindergarten through third-grade reading teachers and special educators, the law requires school districts to provide professional development. For current teachers and teacher candidates, the law requires instruction in dyslexia awareness and intervention. These laws were enacted with the help and advocacy of parents like you. Make sure that your student does not get left behind.

For children who have an attention-deficit disorder like ADD or ADHD, the symptoms of their diagnosis alone will often qualify them for an IEP. An IEP for a student with an attention-deficit disorder is usually provided under the category designated as Other Health Impaired. Those students with ADD or ADHD who do not qualify for an IEP usually meet the requirements for a 504 plan.

Do you have questions or concerns about your child or their educational program? Don’t hesitate; a phone call may lead you to new discoveries about your child’s educational entitlements. Call today to find out: 609-409-3500.