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A Guide to Special Education

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Amanda Skierkiewicz

on 30 October 2015

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Transcript of A Guide to Special Education

A Guide to
Special Education

Identification for Evaluation
Determining if an evaluation is necessary is a multi-step process.
Use referral question to guide assessment battery.
Also use testing to look at alternatives
Special education overview
Referral process
Evaluation process
Determining services
How EF issues affect learning
LD Evaluation
What to expect....
The team will discuss present levels of performance and what "domain" areas will be evaluated
Discuss concerns that led to referral
Related to disability categories for eligibility
Required to assess student in all areas related to suspected disability
Determine "Referral Question"
Psychological Evaluation
ABC's of Special Ed
Answer questions and clear up confusion related to special education, the process and how services are determined
Goal: Communication!
Child Find:
By law, schools are obligated to identify, locate, and evaluate all students with disabilities who need special education and related services
First Step in the Evaluation Process!

A "domain" meeting is scheduled before
any testing or evaluation can take place

Domain Meeting
Role of the General Education Teacher
Active member of the team!
Bring notes/work samples of strength and concerns
Generally first person to speak
Present strengths first, then concerns
If not at meeting, meet with me first to go over concerns

Invited Team Members:
Parent, Student, Principal, School Psychologist, Guidance Counselor, Transition Coordinator, General Education Teacher,
Special Education Teacher

As needed:
Social Worker, Nurse,
Speech Pathologist,
Occupational Therapist,
Physical Therapist
Domain Areas
Academic Performance
Functional Performance
Cognitive Functioning
Motor Abilities
Consent to Evaluate
Typically, during the domain meeting the parent signs consent for the district to perform the evaluation
Evaluation timeline begins!
Then schedule meeting to go over evaluation results
Testing is Necessary!!
Used to answer "Referral Question"
determined at meeting
The Evaluation
Psychological Evaluation
Design test battery based on areas of concern
Typically includes classroom observation and survey of student's teachers.
New area - "Executive Functioning"
includes planning, organization, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details and managing space and time.
Use tests and observations
Various RST members will do a comprehensive evaluation based on referral question
Results will be used to determine eligibility
60 SCHOOL days to complete
Cognitive Product

Cognitive Processes

Neurodevelopmental Model
Look at cognitive ability, memory, and EF issues. Academic ability may be average!
Underlying processes in the brain that affect academic performance that are unrelated to skill set.
Make plans
Keep track of time and finish work on time
Meaningfully include past knowledge in discussions
Evaluate ideas and reflect on work
"Cognitive Flexibility" - Change mind and make mid-course corrections while thinking, reading and writing. May perseverate on one idea.
Ask for help or seek more information when we need it.
Engage in group dynamics
Wait to speak until called on (impulse control)
What is a learning disability?
They affect the brain's ability to receive, process, store, respond to and communicate information.
Umbrella term for a set of disabilities.
People with LD are of average or above-average intelligence but still struggle to acquire skills that impact their performance in school.
Often have variations in brain development
Types: Reading (dyslexia), Math (dyscalculia), Writing (dysgraphia)
No longer use Discrepancy Model
State now requires using intervention data to determine if students are making progress.
Look at strengths and weaknesses
Test underlying cognitive processes in the brain that may affect academic performance and the cause of underachievement.
i.e. phonological awareness for reading disability
Eligibility for Services
Eligibility Categories
After a child is found eligible for services the IEP (Individualized Education Program).
Then discuss student's needs and services.
Determine goals aimed at identified area of need.
Determine appropriate accommodations and modifications.
Parent must sign consent for services to begin.
Services must be carried out with all services listed in the IEP.
It is a legal document.
Case Managers
Handle individual student cases.
Concerns should be brought to this person.
Measure progress.
Keep teachers updated about changes.
AU – Autism
D-B – Deaf-Blindness
D – Deafness
DD – Developmental Delay
ED – Emotional Disability
HI – Hearing Impairment
ID – Intellectual Disability
MD – Multiple Disabilities
OHI – Other Health Impairment
PI – Orthopedic Impairment
SLD – Specific Learning Disability
SLI – Speech/Language Impairment
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury
VI – Visual Impairment

Meeting date and time is set at domain meeting.
Gen Ed: Discuss updates to student's progress since last meeting.
Go over evaluation results from testing.
Decide as a team if student is eligible for services.
Sometimes reports and findings are discussed with team prior to meeting.
No predetermination!
What happens next...
IEP is then implemented with all services listed.
Case Manager will provide accommodation sheet and update alerts in Power School.
IEP is reviewed annually
Annual Review Season
aka "March Madness"
Eligibility is reviewed triennially
Re-eval: additional testing is not always completed.
Determine if child is still eligible for services.
The Meetings
3 Types
Can tell type of meeting based on boxes checked on invite.
If you are unsure, just ask.
Sometimes do a 3-in-1 or 2-in-1.
What are accommodations?
Alterations in the way tasks are presented that allow children with learning disabilities to complete the same assignments as other students
Do NOT alter the content of assignments, give students an unfair advantage or in the case of assessments, change what a test measures
They DO make it possible for students with LD to show what they know without being impeded by their disability

Identified areas of disability drive the accommodations and modifications.
Common Categories:
Timing: For example, giving a student extended time to complete a task or a test item.
Flexible scheduling: For example, giving a student two days instead of one day to complete a project.
Accommodated presentation of the material, meaning material is presented to the student in a fashion that’s different from a more traditional fashion.
Setting: which includes things like completing the task or test in a quiet room or in a small group with other students.
Response accommodation: which means having the student respond perhaps orally or through a scribe.
What are modifications?
Modifications are instructional or test adaptations that allow the student to demonstrate what he knows or can do, but they also reduce the target skill in some way.
So if a child is provided with a modification, generally it will lower the performance expectations, and a modification may do that by reducing the number of items required or the complexity of the items or the task required.
In essence, a student does not demonstrate what he knows or can do in that target skill or that content because the modification changes it to such a degree that the student’s product no longer represents what we think it does.
How do we decide what a student needs?
Driven by evaluation data and classroom report.
e.g. a student with distractability may require alternate site or preferential seating.
e.g. a student with memory concerns may need skeleton notes.
Use input from student and teachers regarding what has been helpful/unhelpful.
What Next?
At high school level we continually tweak services based on student's level of need and post-secondary plans.
For college-bound students we try to "wean" them off of services or to those only available at the college level.
Goal for the year to work more closely with gen ed.
Want to have a more unified relationship.
Feel open to talk to and/or ask questions of special ed staff.

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004

IEP – Individualized Education Program

IEP Team – Individualized Education Program Team

IEE – Independent Educational Evaluation

BIP – Behavior Intervention Plan

FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education
FBA – Functional Behavioral Assessment

LRE – Least Restrictive Environment

ESY – Extended School Year

CBM – Curriculum Based Measurement

RTI – Response to Intervention

PLAAFP – Present Level of Academic Achievement
and Functional Performance (also known as “PLOP”
Who can request or refer a child for an evaluation?
School staff or the student's parent
The process of recognizing and differentiating between
“struggle,” “delay,” and “disorder” is not easy

There many ways child is “at risk” for having
LD at different ages and stages
Students can be referred at any age - even high school
Deal more with emotional disability as initial referral
Typically write a report compiling findings.
Finding are presented at meeting.
Provide better understanding to parent and team.
Goal: all staff to understand findings.
Access to current and past reports
Full transcript