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Blog List with Right Sidebar

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Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler > Blog List with Right Sidebar (Page 6)

The courage of grandparents of special needs children

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Grandparents of children with special needs are often unsung heroes in their family’s lives. They are often tremendous advocates for these children. They provide incredible support to both their grandchildren and their parents who often face many challenges outside the home. When a special needs child comes into a family, grandparents, like parents, need time to go through the stages of blame, sadness, anger, and acceptance as they adjust to how their expected roles may have changed. Once grandparents are ready to embrace the gift of special needs grandchildren and roll up their sleeves, there...

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How to prepare for a substitute teacher when a child has special needs

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler “Today We Had a Substitute….” Having a substitute teacher can be welcome news for some students. For those students, it can be a chance to try to break the rules and hopefully do less work. For other students—especially children with special needs—having a substitute teacher can be a source of uncertainly, anxiety, frustration, and fear. In addition, when having a substitute means that special needs kids miss out on receiving needed supports or accommodations, a substitute can mean a difficult day, missed opportunities for learning, and even getting in trouble. It’s not easy to be a substitute...

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Confusion Surrounds “Twice Exceptional Children”

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Children who are “twice exceptional” have been around for a long time. Once called “gifted handicapped,” this group of school children has two defining characteristics: 1) they are gifted in one or more areas, and 2) they have learning differences or other disabilities that interfere with their functioning. Twice exceptional children are, in fact, a large population—one estimate placed the number at 70,000 in the K-12 years. So why do “twice exceptional” children (sometimes referred to as “2e” children) often fall through the cracks? The clear answer is confusion: confusion exists about the definition of twice...

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What caregivers need to know about Extended School Year (ESY)

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler What is ESY? If your child has a disability and receives special education and related services, you'll want to know. The New Jersey Department of Education defines "extended school year" or "ESY" as educational programming beyond the traditional 180-day school year for eligible students with disabilities as outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As part of each annual review of a child's individualized educational plan (IEP), the school is required to consider the need for ESY. ESY most commonly takes the form of a four week to eight week school program offered during...

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When should I ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation?

The school district tells you that your child no longer needs occupational therapy but you disagree. The child study team has evaluated your child and did not identify a problem which you believe affects his or her school performance. Your child’s IEP fails to address an area of need which you believe is a manifestation of his or her disability. The school has administered one test to your child, but you think it was the wrong test for getting at the issue with which your child struggles. These are all reasons to consider asking your student's child study team for an independent educational evaluation. The right...

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How does the school decide if my child has a specific learning disability?

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Many parents know that a child with a specific learning disability may qualify to receive special education and related services. But what is a specific learning disability, and how does a school district determine if a child has one? Some parents wonder why their child who already has a diagnosed learning disability is not receiving services from their school. Federal and state law provide guidance as to what constitutes a specific learning disability for purposes of a child receiving his or her free, appropriate education, and when such a disability requires the school to classify...

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Before you walk into your next IEP meeting

Written by Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler It’s anxiety-provoking for many parents: the thought of sitting down with your child’s case manager, principal, teachers, therapists--and people you may not even recognize--to talk about what your child’s school program will look like for the coming year. It's not that you haven't prepared. You have spoken with your child’s teachers throughout the year about your child's progress. You have organized your three-ring binder in chronological order with your child’s schoolwork, report cards, progress reports, standardized tests and evaluations (school or private) that relate to your child's disability. You will use these documents to make...

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A neuropsychologist’s insights about concussion care/an interview with concussion specialist Dr. Jill Brooks

A concussion can happen to any child. Neuropsychologist and concussion specialist Dr. Jill Brooks wants every parent to be prepared with facts about concussion prevention and care. She works closely with patients, their parents, and schools to help concussion patients feel better and return to being productive and active. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury but it does not necessarily happen on the sports field. Many children suffer concussions as an indirect injury, due to whiplash from a car accident or fall, or from a blow to the chest or another part of the body. Many concussions do not involve...

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President Obama’s 2016 budget plan for the educating children with special needs

Written by Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler On February 2, 2015, President Obama released his budget proposal for the government’s 2016 fiscal year which begins in October.  As part of that $4 trillion budget, the President has proposed funding increases for programs aimed at children with special needs. The President proposed total funding of $175 million for special education services for school-age children with disabilities and $115 million for programs for young children served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The President’s proposal has met with both approval and criticism. Some praise the budget as support of public education. Others argue...

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Why you need an incapacity plan that works when it’s needed

Estate planning is not only about having a plan in place to deal with what happens after you or your loved one’s death; it’s also about having a plan in place to deal with what happens if you become mentally incapacitated. Mental incapacity can be caused by an accident, injury, or illness that results in you or your loved one not being able to make informed decisions about your finances and well-being. If you don’t have the essential documents for managing finances during incapacity, a judge can appoint someone to take control of your assets and make all personal and medical decisions...

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