Schools and Education

What is a Special Needs School?

Paving a successful educational road for your child can be challenging and difficult. Depending on where your child is at on his or her educational journey, you may have heard or researched a lot about individual education plans (IEP) and special education programs within schools. Another important education factor to consider for your special needs child is a special needs school.

Great Expectations

Great Expectations of Special Education Professionals 

Call me naïve or whatever you will, but I am the kind of person who likes to believe people will do the right thing -- especially people who work in the special education field.  But being a special needs parent and dealing with the New York Board of Education has jaded me a bit.

Why I Filed a Child Abuse Report

Original article posted on Redwood City Patch

Why I Filed a Child Abuse Report Against a Special Ed Aide

By Dorie Johnson, as told to Redwood City Patch Editor Stacie Chan

Budget Cuts Hurt Special Needs Programs

In the current economic climate, it is easy to assume that schools are sacrificing everything but the kitchen sink, and the lives of special needs students are no exception.

According to CBC news, a Winnipeg School Division cut $900,000 from the special needs budget.  The money was to be spent on educational assistants for the classroom.

Weighing Up the Options

The Road to Homeschooling

I could feel like a failure as a mom. For 6 years I raised a child with special needs without realizing it.

I knew he was a bit different; challenging and special, but even having a friend with a child with autism, I didn’t add up the sums for a long time.

A Day in the Life of a Special Ed Teacher

A typical day for a special education teacher is hard to define because the job description varies widely, unlike that of a classroom teacher. What all special education teachers do have in common, though, include a case load of students who have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) based on some diagnosed disability, the responsibility of preparing lesson plans, recording data on student’s progress towards individual goals and participating in IEP meetings.

When Homeschooling Chooses You

I never thought I would be a homeschooling parent.  My husband and I bought a house in a neighborhood that gave us access to the area’s best public elementary school.  When my twin boys were babies, I would cruise by the school, fantasizing about dropping and picking up my kids.  It was before the word "autism" became part of our vocabulary.

Homeschooling and the Autism Spectrum Child

I began homeschooling my son soon after he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome,  at 6 years old and in his second year of schooling. I quickly realized that his school knew even less than I did about Asperger’s, and while I soon educated myself through free courses available to me and through the internet, I also knew the school had no strategies in place regarding my son’s needs, and I did not have enough knowledge at the time, or the personal skill to negotiate that pioneering road with the school. And so I looked at alternatives.

Integrated Lesson Planning for Special Needs

A few weeks ago, as I was sitting in a professional development meeting with a team of educators at New York City Public School PS79, located in Harlem, I was overcome with unexpected emotion. For several years, I have been a vendor to New York’s District 75, which supports 23,000 children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs). On this particular day, I was doing what I like most about my work: spending time with teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and therapists, all of us putting our heads together to improve learning and outcomes for children with disabilities.

Quality Instruction for Someone with Dyslexia

I am an elementary school reading specialist in a large public school system, so I have the opportunity to work with a large range of reading needs on a daily basis. For me, dyslexia is one of the most intriguing reading deficiencies I have studied. The children I serve with dyslexia range from first grade to fourth grade and are always some of my brightest students. They listen and learn all of our reading strategies with their peers and then have to process in their brain what that will look like for them when they read.