56 – Six Steps to Connecting the Dots: An Objective Approach for Meaningful Parent Participation in the Education of Children with Disabilities Under the IDEA

You can view Dr. Peterson’s slides here.

These are our introductory comments:

Our presentation today is ‘Six Steps to Connecting the Dots – An Objective Approach for Meaningful Parent Participation in the Education of Children with Disabilities Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”

I have the pleasure to introduce today’s speaker, Professor Richard Peterson, who is Director of the USC Gould Center for Dispute Resolution and Adjunct Professor of Law at the USC Gould School of Law.

Previously at USC he served as a Lecturer in law, teaching the ADR Law and Policy Course, and also served briefly as Senior Director for Experiential Education prior to his current appointment.

Before coming to USC in 2017, Richard was on the faculty of the Pepperdine University School of Law where he served for 15 years, including as a member of the faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. While at Pepperdine, Richard also served as Director of the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, and as Director of Externships. Professor Peterson holds a BSL and a JD from Western State University, as well as an MDR and LLM in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine.

Richard has served as Chair of the Disability Law Section and the Law and Mental Disability Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) as well as a member of the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit corporations including the Regional Center of Orange County, Down Syndrome Association of Orange County and as a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Alliance of Orange County. His scholarly publications include articles on the topic of Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Special Education.

Before beginning his teaching career in 2002, Richard worked as a consultant to inter-city school districts and schools across the nation, teaching dispute resolution and anger management curriculum to K-12 teachers, administrators, and probation officers as part of gang violence prevention programs. He began practicing law in 1979 and has served as a private mediator and arbitrator for more than 35 years. Richard has an AV rating with Martindale Hubbell.

Also joining us today is Professor Richard Erhard, a long time colleague or Prof. Peterson. Professor Erhard is Principal Owner of the consulting firm, Richard Erhard and Associates, LLC.

For those of you just joining us, Welcome, and again our spear is Dr. Joe Anderson and his presentation today is on Evaluating Stem Cell Gene Therapy Approach for Syngap.

It’s now my pleasure to turn things over to Dr. Anderson.

THIS IS A TRANSCRIPT ONLY:

0:06
hello everyone and welcome to today’s webinar my name is olga bothe and i’m a syngap parent and part of the team at SynGAP research fund our presentation today is six steps to connecting the
0:17
dots an objective approach for meaningful parent participation in the education of
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children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as a panelist
0:29
i have the pleasure to introduce today’s speaker dr Richard peterson. Dr peterson is director of
0:35
the usc go center for dispute resolution at an adjunct professor of law at the usc google school
0:41
of law previously at usc he served as a lecturer in law teaching the art the adr law and policy
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course and also served briefly as senior director for experimental education prior to his current
0:55
appointment before coming to usc in 2017 richard was on the faculty of the pepperdine university
1:01
school of law where he served for 15 years including as a member of the faculty of the
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strass institute for dispute resolution while at pepperdine richard also served as director of the
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special education advocacy clinic and as director of externships professor peterson holds a bsl and
1:19
a jd from western state university as well as an mdr and llm and dispute resolution from pepperdine
1:26
richard has served as chair of the disability law section in the long mental disability section of the association of American law schools as well as a member of
1:34
the board of directors of a member of non-profit corporations including the regional center of orange county down syndrome association of orange county and is a member of the professional
1:43
advisory board of the epilepsy alliance of orange county his scholarly publications
1:49
include articles on the topic of therapeutic jurisprudence and special education before
1:54
beginning his teaching career in 2002 Richard has worked as a consultant to inner city schools
2:00
districts and schools across the nation teaching dispute resolution and anger management curriculum
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to k through 12 teachers administrators and probation officers as part of gang violence
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prevention programs he began practicing law in 1979 and has served as a private mediator and
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arbitrator for more than 35 years Richard has a navy rating with martindale hubble
2:25
and also today Richard is joined by his longtime colleague Richard erhart who’s principal and
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owner of consulting firm Richard earhart associates thank you for joining us today
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a recorded version of this webinar will be available on the SRF website under webinars
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on the under the webinars title section by the end of this presentation you’ll have the opportunity
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to get the answer to your questions we’d love to hear from you please write your question in the q a for those of you just joining us welcome again and our speaker is dr richard peterson
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and his presentation today is on the six stop six steps to connecting the dots it’s now my pleasure
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to turn things over to dr peterson thank you very much grateful to be with you and to share some
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information that i’ve accumulated and taught over many years also grateful to have richard earhart
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with me who is teaches our special education law and dispute resolution class at usc i will
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be referring to a number of powerpoint slides this morning and you don’t have to
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worry about feverishly taking notes we will have those posted and made available to you
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after the presentation i would just ask if in using the slides many professors are very very uh
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guarded about their intellectual property rights i’ve developed this information to help parents so
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i’m not so much i just ask that if you do reproduce them that you produce them
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in their completely along with the source information i’m going to pull up my powerpoint
PowerPoint
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and i would i would say you know i’ve been teaching this for over 20 years and
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my presentations are the same whether i’m teaching school districts or parents and i
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think that’s important it’ll become apparent as i go through this material with you
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at the end you’ll have a chance to ask questions and so here we go if i can get this to advance
Parent Advocacy
4:57
first of all and my understanding is that those of you that are joining us today
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you know have questions about special education advocacy most people didn’t sign
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up to parenthood anticipating that they would be in this environment so they find themselves
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we find as parents find ourselves at a distinct disadvantage most of us are not psychologists
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we’re not speech and language therapists we’re not occupational therapists and so
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as we are thrust into this role as advocate for our child there’s a deep sense of responsibility
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and so what i’m going to do today is give you an overview and sources to get you on the right path
5:51
and really solidify some principles and values that are so important so let me start
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with the beginning first of all to be a good advocate for your child you need three things
6:05
knowledge, skills and relationships when i talk about knowledge knowledge of the law
6:12
and people are intimidated by the law but you need not be this is not overly complicated
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and i’m gonna refer to sections in the law there’s really five sections of the ida that
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if you were to master those you would know more i dare to say than most educators Richard I suspect
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that you might agree yeah richard i absolutely agree with this and and one of the other things
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that i would just note with regard to this slide is the importance of relationships not only is it
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a matter of of gaining a knowledge of the law and the skills and i know that you’re going to discuss
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those things a bit more in depth as we go forward but the importance of relationships and your
7:04
relationship with the school district I cannot uh overestimate or overemphasize pardon me the
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importance of that and just as you heard Richard peterson indicate the presentations that he gives
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the same information whether he is presenting in front of parents or school districts and this is the same thing with me i provide the same information uh in my class at usc
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in special education law and dispute resolution that i provide uh to everyone else so it’s
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it’s basically we’re trying to level the playing field here and part of that is by
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developing some positive relationships great so you know in this uh section about knowledge
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skills and relationships let me highlight in addition to what richard has said knowledge
7:56
of the law and i’m going to give you a source of where to go where you can get a small book that’s
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probably 29 or 30 dollars somewhere around around there that will give you what you need for the law
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the student’s disability and being associated with this foundation is an important step i’m
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impressed with this foundation and with your parent group on how uh you work together so
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knowing your students disability is very very important you’re going to encounter
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educators that do not know the unique needs of your child remember you are the only permanent
8:39
member of the child’s IEP team you’ll be there from the beginning to end and there will be many
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educators that will rotate in and out so knowing about your child’s disability and particularly
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how that disability or those disabilities impact your child’s learning also knowledge of dispute
9:03
resolution how to resolve conflict how to manage conflict this is a very emotional environment
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and you will encounter people that you believe are not acting in your child’s best interest
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knowing how to deal with those people with strong emotions is very important
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i kind of cap you know capture that feeling by the old saying you need to know how to
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tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip all right so skills again
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skills with respect to your students disability and with respect to dispute resolution
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relationships as as professor earhart had said with individuals and when i say that
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the most important people that you can have a relationship with is your child’s teacher
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now i’ve written a couple articles on this dynamic and you can research my academic articles
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by going to the faculty page at usc but teachers i have found generally want to do the right thing
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they’re often constrained by administration and one of the articles i wrote and researched
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showed that in the first five years of a special education teacher’s career we lose 50 percent
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of those teachers and i don’t know if that’s still accurate from when i published my research in
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writing back almost 10 years ago but i suspect that it probably is
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so you want to have a relationship and i’m not talking about a relationship where you you’re
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going out to dinner and things i’m talking about having a trusting relationship where
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you can confide in the teacher and most importantly the teacher can confide in you
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if your teacher ever gives you information never throw them under the bus and i will
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tell you having worked with teachers in children’s IEPs i would not it would not
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be uncommon for me to get a phone call from a teacher saying look i really can’t say this but
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and so so value those relationships it’s been said that the single most important factor in
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a quality special education or an education of any kind is geography and i don’t mean by
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state i don’t even mean by county or even school district although that is very very important
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the very school sometimes the very classroom that your child in makes a huge difference
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so let me give you some of the nuts and bolts understanding the very nature of
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a special education law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is important
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and there’s a cycle to this process it begins with assessments and evaluations
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which identify your child’s unique needs for assessments and evaluation i’m going
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to come back to this is just a road map you identify your child’s unique needs you
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develop with the IEP team measurable annual goals that will address those unique needs
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then you provide special education related services supplemental aids and services
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modified curriculum and so forth to allow your child
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to meet those goals to make progress and achieve those goals you monitor progress and then you make adjustments when necessary so that’s kind of
Steps to Connecting the Dots
13:24
a road map in terms of the overall process now here’s the six steps to
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connecting the dots which is going to form the basis of our discussion today
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i i developed this to give parents a sense of object object objective participation
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you know when you don’t know what other folks know in terms of professionals
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it’s easy to default to emotion to demands maybe a focus on services rather than on
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all of the components that go together in fact when i’ve talked to parents on occasion
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they will often say why do we have to why do we have to deal with all the assessment stuff i want
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to know what they’re going to do let’s get to the services and having a discussion about the service
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is going to be a lot more difficult if you don’t engage in an objective discussion and analysis
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of the first step identifying unique unique needs so i’ll come back to this
The Law
14:47
so let’s talk about the law these are the five sections that i would like you to to know and i’m
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going to give you some background with respect to them this is in 20 u.s code section 1400
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now the special education law began really in 1975 with a law called the education for
15:09
all handicapped children’s act it’s the first law that mandated special education or any education
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be provided to children with disabilities prior to those years many children most were not included
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in education they were in institutions and very very neglected there was a series of federal cases
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that came down that held that children with disabilities were entitled to a free and
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appropriate public education these were prior to 1975. so in 1975 congress took the bold move
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of enacting this prior law so that you get some understanding that didn’t sit well with the
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educational community in a couple of respects i’m just gonna touch on it there are provisions in the
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ida that require school district to provide speech and language therapy occupational therapy uh
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physical therapy and educators from the very beginning said that’s not education
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so there was a lot of litigation that followed that tried on the educational
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side to restrict the definition of special education
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and it didn’t work it’s been expanded the law i will say is very good i am i am amazed at how good
16:47
it is implementation on the other hand has been a challenge better in in many areas it’s excellent
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but in many areas it’s still challenging so here’s the five sections findings and purpose
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congress set out what they were going to do why they were going to do it the findings uh and and
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and the purpose that’s really important it’s kind of a mission statement for the law section 1401
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will give you definitions section 14 12 is kind of a catch-all but important because it also includes
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the concept of least restrictive environment section 1414 is perhaps
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for many in the process of developing an educational plan where the nuts and bolts are
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evaluations and re-evaluations and IEPs and then 1415 is your procedural safeguards as a parent
Congressional Findings
17:51
so let me start here with congressional findings sir peterson i have to i have to interrupt you
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please do if i may please can you go back to your previous slide just briefly yes thank you
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one of the things that you’ve heard professor peterson speak about knowledge of the law and and
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a great place to start with this and an area where i see parents and school district staff
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alike really make a mistake in IEP meetings uh those of you that have been in an IEP meeting
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know that at every IEP meeting you are asked the question do you have any questions uh about your
18:34
procedural safeguards have you been provided a copy of your procedural safeguards and what
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i typically see parents do in terms of these meetings is they just kind of nod and go yup fine
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and more than often they really haven’t taken the time to read this document i just did a
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presentation for a group of parents in in San Diego county specifically on the procedural
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safeguards and the San Diego county office of education the document that they’ve produced
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that that basically capture the procedural safeguards is about a seven or eight page document
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if you will take the time to actually read your procedural safeguards and and this is outside of
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the IEP meeting believe me you know some evening some morning just take the time to go through them
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that will give you a such a a much greater understanding of the law without having to
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go through and read the entire statute and so i would just encourage you to take some time
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and do that because it’s a it’s an area where i see over my 30 plus years of experience in special
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education i’ve seen parents give this area short shrift so thank you thank you so the congressional
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very important to understand those i wouldn’t have them take the time and that’s not what richard’s
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saying uh in the iep to read them to you but but yes understanding them so the congressional
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findings this is the mission statement and let me let me also say this about about the law
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when you’re dealing with educators many of them have not had even this depth of training in the
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law and their understanding and perception of the law may come from administrators
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and and other people and it may not be accurate let me just say now i’m going
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to make some statements about educators but let me also make sure and make clear i love our educators
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i approach this with the idea that they’re in education because they want to make a difference
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sometimes the system makes it hard but this is the this is the mission statement disability is a
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natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate
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in or contribute to society improving educational results doesn’t say efforts results for children
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with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of
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opportunity full participation independent living and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with
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disabilities and because of our shortened time i’m going to go through a lot of these very quickly
Mission Statement
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i don’t need to read the law to you i’ll uh i’ll explain the concepts but one of the
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research projects and articles that i wrote deals with low expectations
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congress said as part of their findings the implementation of this act has been impeded by low
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expectations and an insufficient focus on applying replicable research on proven methods of teaching
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and learning for children with disabilities now in 1975 when the law was passed every few years
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they uh reauthorized the law and all along you know the first time they said well five years of
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experience has shown us that implementation of this act has been impeded and 10 years
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and 15 years and 20 years so we still have that problem here’s the six major principles of special
Principle Zero Reject
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education law under the idea zero reject means all children are entitled to uh to special education
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no one is so intensely or severely disabled that they are unqualified or undeserving
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identification assessment and evaluation that’s the very foundation and if you don’t get that
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right it’s like building a house on sand parental involvement is also a major principle and these
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three at the bottom are foundational because parental involvement was really
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counter-intuitive and contrary to educational policy prior to 1975. in fact many times now
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you’ll hear teachers say give me your child and get out of the way i know what we’re doing we’re the professionals the thing i would note there also professor peterson is in california
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right now california statutes actually require that the iep process provides for an opportunity
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for parents to provide meaningful participation in that in that iep meeting and there’s hopefully
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some documentation there that needs to take place and if the california department of education
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sees that parents aren’t being given the opportunity for quote meaningful uh participation
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there’s a there’s a problem and can likely lead to a compliance complaint
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thank you just above that least restrictive environment and that was contrary to
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really what public policy and society thought least restricted and i won’t do a lot of talking
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about that today but i will we’ll talk about it’s an extremely important concept
24:46
appropriate education you know law says every child with disabilities is entitled to a free
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appropriate public education a lot of debate over what it means to have appropriate education i
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think the law is clear but the interpretation by administrative law judges and and other
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people who make decisions with respect to this don’t always track and i’ll talk about that a
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little bit later as well procedural safeguards are your rights as a parent if you disagree if
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there is a conflict let me pass this up what i think about in talking to parents in school
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districts is i want to think about outcomes not just process and i thought this statement
25:46
was important from the president’s accounts commission on the excellence in special education
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the idea is generally providing basic legal safeguards and access for children however
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the current system often places process above results and bureaucratic compliance above student
26:06
achievement excellence and outcomes so it’s like building a house having a foundation with all of
Building a foundation
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those things that i mentioned before that are so important let’s talk about assessments and
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evaluations there are two purposes for assessments and evaluations one is determine eligibility
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with some disabilities like singip it’s obvious that’s not going to be a problem
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but another significant and perhaps the most important is to identify educational needs of the
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student and when i use the term educational i’m not talking about only academics for many children
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education begins with the variability to develop self-help skills like feeding eating those are
27:02
things that school age educational agencies at the state and local level were so unhappy about so
Unique Needs
27:16
what we have assessments is to identify unique needs what does the student need to learn to do
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or do better and what does the student need to learn to stop doing what are the conditions
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that the student needs for learning now let me just kind of put this all together
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when i first started in this there was a lot of resistance from school districts to
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consider and bring in information from outside their their school
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iep team for example you’ll you’ll have private occupational therapists physical therapists
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neurologists neuros neurosurgeons in many cases so many speech and language therapists
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educational psychologists the point i make to school districts and the parents is
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there needs to be collaboration amongst all of those sources i was so gratified
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at the iep for my son david uh who lives in harrison bergen is a professor in the
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uh man school of management there in meeting with their iep team they were absolutely
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uh enthusiastic in and embraced all of the information they got from private uh providers
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and uh the bigger the picture the better in terms of that sometimes you’ll have a child
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that will do certain things at school but being able to generalize skills to other contexts and
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environments is difficult so it’s important for the iep team to know what’s going on
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not only at school but at home with other therapists and and otherwise in the community
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and professor peterson i i would add here as well in terms of the whole issue of present
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level of performance with regard to a student with disabilities the parent input there is
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as valuable as any assessment or evaluation that you might see in many cases all of the
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experts have brought in their information the questions are still unanswered and it isn’t
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until the parent brings forward something that is taking place at home that unlocks the key
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in terms of what is actually taking place with this with this student with this child and that by
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by opening up that lock uh it enables the team to move forward and develop a more appropriate iep
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iep for that child i can’t overemphasize the the importance of parents active involvement in this
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absolutely you know there are so many nuances in what children do and won’t do and often children
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with a profile of sin gap or epilepsy or autism many of those windows open and close for learning
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and a child that has a lot of seizures is not going to always be optimally ready to learn
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so if they’re in group activities where the whole class is just doing the same thing
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that may not meet their unique needs and so being able to
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expand the resources and by expand i mean as a parent and this goes apart to knowledge and skills
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i like parents to know what the therapists are doing so that they can model and work and
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reinforce what’s being done at school and with private therapists at home very very important
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but if you don’t correctly identify a child’s unique needs everything built on top of that
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will be problematic then once we do that well here’s another kind of visual for unique needs
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the school is required to assess the child in all areas of suspected disability
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and every person has a developmental profile some will need more have more unique needs in
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some areas than others so as you go around this what we would do in our clinic is when
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we would look at the reports and assessments we would highlight the background of these
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in red if there was a unique need or green if there wasn’t a unique need and then
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we would take each of these domains and then make sure that we tease out from the assessments
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what the unique needs are an assessment should specify what those unique needs are and what a
32:31
child needs often you will run into educators they rarely at least my experience has been
32:39
make specific recommendations as to services in their reports
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so you may need to tease that out so that you have a full understanding of what is being recommended
Strengths
32:58
so in developing the iep what must the iep team consider the strengths of the child
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so many times parents say i went to an iep i was so depressed i only i heard for two or three hours
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everything that was wrong with my child everything they couldn’t do should be an emphasis also
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on the strengths of the child the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child
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now in my sense situation it couldn’t have done better i mean they worked hard
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i’m working with a a on another matter where it was exactly the opposite and you’ll find
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that approach anywhere along a continuum where some will go with their agenda and then say oh
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any parent concerns and they’ll take down a few notes or whatever and just move on so the
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concerns of the parents is something that’s very important the results of the initial evaluation
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or most recent evaluation of the child that should be reviewed as well as let me say any other
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assessments or evaluations of the child so if you have private assessments
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i recommend using those unless you have a reason not to if you have some psychiatric records or
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personal records that you feel are not appropriate otherwise make sure that they’re in the record
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that you utilize those and try to encourage the iep team to consider those now they’re obligated
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by law to consider them they’re not obligated to follow them
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and some consideration is better than others i mean some consideration is okay we looked at it
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and then it goes into a pile so that’s important the academic developmental and functional needs
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of the child i highlight that because in many in in many educational agencies view
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education is what goes on at school a lot of times tied to academics even functional academics
35:31
but the academic developmental and functional needs of the child are important this highlights
35:38
it’s not just academic it’s these other things that well as well professor by the way special
35:44
education is a service not a place and i’ll talk about that in a minute yeah professor peterson if
Goals
35:50
i could speak to the yes the issue of strengths uh the child’s strengths uh as you mentioned and and
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the reason for that and and it is it is it can be given short shrift by iep teams that aren’t really
36:08
doing a comprehensive job but if the iep team will actually look at the strengths of the child in the
36:15
development of the goals and objectives for the child in terms of addressing the deficit areas
36:25
all childs have some areas of strength and if you can if you can utilize those areas of strength
36:32
to help assist addressing the deficit areas that’s another key to a successful and meaningful IEP for
36:43
a child thank you thank you okay let me cover something that is extremely important in my work
36:52
i found that and i’m not exaggerating over 90 maybe it was 95 at first of the
37:00
goals uh that were written for children were not measurable we’re not appropriate and uh many uh
37:09
educational agencies have gold banks where they will go to this you know uh menu and just drop
37:17
things down instead of them being created so let me let me i’m going to talk about goals because
37:25
that if you don’t get the goals right and if you don’t have them measurable you’re going to be
37:33
fighting with a ghost trying to to figure out what the heck’s going on
37:42
goals must be measurable so we’re talking about present levels of performance
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those should be specifically related to the goals many ieps have a separate section present levels
37:55
of performance and a set a separate section for goals and present levels of performance might be
38:03
well mary comes to school and uh you know it is happy loves to loves to play in the playground
38:16
my favorites are smells so nice and looks so happy and all of these things uh on and on and
38:23
on and on and then when it gets to the goals there isn’t a baseline you can’t measure progress if
38:29
you don’t know where you’re starting so baseline should be included with and specifically related
38:37
to every goal for example if a child is going to learn and i’m just going to use this as an
38:42
example because the math is simple if a child is going to learn 50 sight words
38:51
i want to know how many sight words does a child know now because if the goal is
38:57
to know a total of 50 and they already know 48 in a year learning two is not very good
39:04
so you need to have that it should be stated with clarity it should not require reference
39:11
to additional information to comprehend it should provide for accountability
39:17
allow for objective measurement of progress and include academic achievement and functional
39:23
performance so goals should include all of these things the baseline the goal should
39:32
be able to be interpreted in and of itself stated with clarity not require reference to additional information so if you have a goal that says you know mary will be
39:45
uh will improve her social interaction with peers or uh johnny will be happier at school
39:56
or and and you know over a number of years i’ve seen this mary will be happier in uh
40:08
70 percent of the time in eight out of eight trials it seemed like if you put a percentage
40:14
in number of trials you could make anything measurable that’s not the case you should be able
40:23
and what i’ve always said the simple way to think about this i should be able to visualize the child
40:30
doing what is called for in the goal i should be able to see them doing it
40:39
and goals should be realistic you know some of them say well it’s 70 or 60 percent because we
40:47
want to be realistic well i don’t want to see a goal that says johnny will cross the street
40:53
safely 6 out of 10 times there are some that require absolute correctness
41:01
behaviors you know are are one so these things are all important putting this together let me
Present Levels
41:09
let me stop you there again professor peterson if i may this articulation between the present levels
41:16
of performance and goals and objectives is is huge and it’s something that that i discuss
41:23
with school districts and trainings that i provide for them also you know in my course at usc
41:30
present levels of performance are basically based from the assessment information that you’ve heard
41:38
professor peterson uh discuss and also from the input from parents as you’re developing
41:45
the present levels of performance present levels of performance are negotiable that’s a discussion that is held at the iep meeting they are negotiable and once you reach agreement
41:57
on the present levels of performance only then can you go forward to develop meaningful goals
42:04
and objectives if if the iep team does not have agreement on the present levels of performance i.e
42:10
what the child knows and understands what what he or she can do right now if that isn’t agreed upon
42:18
you can’t even write a meaningful goal and so the process here is present levels
42:25
goals and objectives and then placement and i know that professor peterson’s going to get there later on in the presentation but i just i have to bring out and emphasize the importance of
42:38
reaching agreement on present levels not going to goals and objectives until you have that agreement
42:44
and once you have that agreement on present levels you can then develop appropriate goals and objectives and that’s what professor peterson is talking about in when he speaks to
42:52
baseline your baseline is that are those present levels what is it that the child knows and
42:58
understands uh what he or she can do right now thank you for that’s such an important point
43:06
don’t just blindly accept what this school says to what the child can do or not do
43:14
many times the school will say well i have one right now where uh the reports of teachers in a
43:22
situation where they’re trying to remove a child from a regular classroom the uh present levels say
43:29
that the student does not interact or socialize with typical peers and feels uncomfortable
43:36
and that’s just flat out not true uh and when i look at the assessments i always look for
43:44
areas of bias and in this particular situation it was clear all the academic teachers appeared to
43:54
get together and have a party line that was their party line they forgot to include the coaches
44:00
and people who readily said that this child was loved by everybody and socialized and so forth
44:10
quick bit of advice and this is powerful if your child can do things the school district saying
44:16
that your child cannot do video it doesn’t have to be fabulous it doesn’t have to be professional
44:24
take your iphone or your smartphone device and video your child doing that
44:34
and and show it to them now sometimes it’s a problem of a child not generalizing these
44:41
skills to other environments but sometimes sometimes it’s just totally inaccurate
Annual Goals
44:48
okay so annual goals and i’m going to try to go through this the last uh slides quickly
44:54
so we have plenty of time for a question and answer study these slides address the
45:01
unique needs measurable and measured report progress revisit and revise that’s the process
Study
45:09
here in these slides will tell you what goals should have and that’s emphasizing what i said
45:16
before it’s an observable learner performance like i said i want to be able to if you can’t envision
Learner Performance
45:27
in your mind what your child would be doing to achieve that goal then it’s not appropriately
45:34
written learner performance that’s a verb conditions under what conditions is this going uh
45:45
uh to be done if a child is going to be learning to do something is it uh in a group setting is it
45:55
in the classroom is is it a structured i a phrase i like is a structured classroom activity
46:03
which will identify uh identify that and the criteria what does the child have to do
46:12
to achieve that goal and just saying with anything some percentage of of mastery over so many trials
46:22
is not in and of itself appropriate here’s a tool that i developed for our clinic
Ladder
46:28
it’s like a ladder i want to know present level of performance if a child is going to do something what can they do now many times it’s a new skill the baseline will be zero
46:40
i also like to have benchmarks in many school districts i tend to push back on that but i
46:46
don’t want to wait to the end of the year to know that the child has not met their goal
46:54
we want to make adjustments during the year so i really push to have short-term benchmarks now
47:02
some schools as a matter of policy won’t do that if they won’t do it formally in the iep
47:10
do it informally and check with them now in some cases i you have to choose the battles in my sun
47:18
school district they don’t generally do that but the teacher is more than willing the team is more
47:23
than willing to do that so i want to know if the school district’s proposing that there be you know
47:31
speech and language for 20 minutes three times a week and there’s a certain goal that that child
47:38
is supposed to achieve in a year i don’t want to wait for a whole year to find out that that wasn’t
47:44
enough or the right kind of intervention so check periodically and then you can measure
47:53
now in my form in my clinic i would use fill in a green background as the child made progress
48:02
many school districts want to set their goals so they’re easily achievable one of the reasons
48:10
why is because they fear being hit with a legal sledgehammer if the child doesn’t meet the goal
48:15
i say like anything else if you’re seeing up to 90 95 percent or don’t try to hit them over the
48:22
head with a legal sledgehammer because they didn’t hit it on the button that’s important
Related Services
48:28
here are some things that the iep must include and and and these things are important to know
48:37
so that you can look to check to see that your iep for your child professor peterson
48:44
i know that you’re trying to move move on so we can answer some questions but a brief word on related services please and and you had mentioned it earlier in terms of speech language mythology
48:53
occupational therapy and you’re one of your first slides with regards to the law and some pushback
48:59
uh uh educational agencies initially in terms of the inclusion of these what we call related
49:09
services occupational therapy speech language pathology these services these related services
49:14
are services that that are re that may be required to address the unique needs of the
49:23
child with disability for in order for that child to quote benefit from his or her special education
49:32
so the issue of related services it’s not just some uh service that is out there that’s not tied
49:39
to everything else it’s articulated to the child’s unique needs and to the the district’s uh duty to
49:48
address those unique needs and and in that in that sense these related services are are services that
49:56
must be implemented in order for this child to benefit receive benefit from his or her
50:06
special education so i just had to throw that in and it’s i believe it’s hugely important to
50:11
understand yes and especially for the population of sin gap where children need some pretty intense
50:19
occupational physical speech and language therapy behavioral interventions all of these things and
50:27
schools a lot of time in concern for their budgets will kind of have a standard okay the child will
50:34
get you know with this kind of disability we’ll get this much of that so related services you
50:41
may get pushback and it’s the the ones that are listed occupational therapy physical therapy
50:47
speech and language are examples it’s not an exhaustive list and so that’s very very important
50:57
um specially designed instruction understand this it’s content methodology and delivery of service
51:05
all three whether or not the content is modified or a different curriculum how it’s going to be
51:13
delivered um and then uh whether or not it’s going to be one-to-one or in group b
51:22
very vigilant in knowing what is being uh done in terms of these three characteristics um
Barbara Bateman
51:34
a source that i love is barbara bateman i’m not going to read all of her stuff but this a book that i have at the end of the slides um about writing measurable goals she
51:45
says a common practice on ieps is to write special education in one box and 10 hours a
51:51
week in an adjoining box speech therapy and so forth arguably that practice does not fulfill
51:58
the intent of the requirement for the statement regardless of its legal sufficiency unfortunately
52:04
it’s very often interpreted to be sufficient the practice is not educationally helpful nor does it
52:11
communicate well to the parents so here’s my six steps in in in just a understandable format and
The Six Steps
52:21
the reason i do this is because you don’t want to have an emotional struggle with your school
52:27
you want to have an objective measurement so you start from the left what what are the unique needs
52:35
the measurable goals when will this goal be addressed in the child’s educational setting
52:44
sometimes schools will say oh our program is is rich in in content and delivery that
52:52
goal will be addressed throughout the child’s school day that doesn’t cut it
52:59
i want to know when take your child’s schedule during the day what is the child doing between
53:04
8 30 and 9 9 30 and 10 and plug in when that goal is going to be worked in what methodology
53:14
is going to be used who’s going to provide the service and you may get pushback on methodology
53:21
um i don’t use it so again i use the term legal sledgehammer i want to know what they’re doing
53:29
so that the parent can reinforce what’s being done so that’s very important you also want to know if
53:36
it’s scientifically proven method very important under the idea who’s going to provide the service
53:43
you had a school district one time say oh our preschool has a one to three ratio of staff ver
53:51
to student well i went over to look at it they had one teacher and they had uh 15 what i would call
54:00
in and out burger what some of you might call mcdonald’s bird whatever you want and i’m not
54:05
i’m not putting down uh people that work in those environments or the fact that they might be aids
54:13
but those were the people working with the child with one teacher looking around and they said one
54:21
to three well quite frankly that was deceptive they had one teacher for about 35 kids preschool
54:31
aged kids and a lot of uh aids now i aids are very important i have no problem with aids but
54:41
we need to know and distinguish what they’re doing versus what the teacher’s doing versus what the
54:49
therapist is doing for example if you’re not careful speech and language
54:55
might be stated in the iep to be provided in the classroom by the special education teacher
55:02
so if you’re thinking well i’m getting this uh occupational therapy or speech and language
55:09
therapy know who’s doing it and then again importantly how will the child’s progress
55:15
be evaluated and how are the parents going to be notified of that very important data
55:24
data not teacher observation not just teacher observation data they don’t have to take data
55:35
every day but you want to know the child’s progress by virtue of something objective
55:43
not just what someone’s opinion is of that so very important also
55:50
how often you will know about the child’s progress now sometimes schools will say
55:59
well you get it with like every other child with the report card
56:07
that doesn’t work um so try to work something out uh where where your your have an understanding
56:15
of this progress more often if i could uh just make another comment in terms of that
Operationalize
56:22
those six steps right there a one one one word term that i use for this and i would ask the
56:28
parents to take this word and make it your own and it is operationalize what i tell the iep teams do
56:35
to do is operationalize for these parents what’s going to take place and and i use virtually the
56:42
same language that you have in that previous slide operationalize who what when where how much yes
56:51
if the staff can can can tell you that and it’s not difficult who what when where how much you
56:58
have operationalized what’s taking place for that child and it will give the parents a clear picture of what is actually taking place thank you yeah and don’t and and don’t do it as if you’re
57:09
challenging them hello most educational agencies um will be happy to do that sometimes it comes
57:18
across like they’re being set up and i explain to them why we’re doing that one last comment here
57:25
organize your educational records when almost all parents when i deal with them they’ve got
57:32
so many things going on that you don’t have time to organize your educational records i’m going to give you a simple way to do it that i’ve taken from a colleague pete wright
57:44
and uh and that is do it chronologically no matter what the record is go by date
57:52
whether it’s an assessment whether or not it’s a a progress report whether or not it’s ip meeting
58:04
notes start chronologically and put every record in chronological order with a table of contents
58:13
get uh tabs start your thing from the very beginning and we have tabs that go
58:21
to several hundred you know i’ve had some over many years where we have five or six notebooks
58:28
it’s going to be much easier to locate documents if you organize your records and do it because
58:34
otherwise you’ll be very very frustrated when you’re trying to figure this out especially when
58:39
you get several years down the line here’s some sources not again i’m not selling anything but
Sources
58:46
i’ll tell you sources that i’ve used for many many years the law there are many books out there that
58:54
talk about special education law pete wright’s special education law book is concise it includes
59:03
the statute the idea itself regulations some cases um the best source i know i used it in my teaching
59:13
i know professor erhard does as well over here on the left writing measurable iep goals and
59:19
objectives by barbara bateman barbara bateman has been in special education going back when i was
59:26
in grade school um she is a pioneer and expert she’s it comes from an educational background
59:33
and she tells it like it is um you should have these two books you should have these two books
59:42
the one on the left is is uh is it’s just a newer version you can get them used on amazon
59:51
uh and they’re everybody as well i think i saw some for three or four dollars here’s
59:57
an organization copa of parent attorney advocates this is a parent organization um
1:00:06
very very important let me uh and this is the last thing i’m going to say rightslaw.com go there
1:00:14
every kind of source that you can imagine is there go there so with that um sorry i took more time than i expected
1:00:26
we’ll stop there for questions
1:00:32
yes jackie hi thank you so much for doing this presentation because um we do get a
1:00:41
lot of questions in the groove regarding educational rights and some problems that
1:00:48
parents are having in the singap community and so so much of this information is already relevant
1:00:56
to some of the questions we’ve already had in the group and some of the things that you talked about
1:01:03
i i really just want to retouch because they’re so important and i’m really glad you went over them
1:01:10
of course one would be relationships and being able to form those i too find that to be
1:01:15
most important and it’s best just to start with the very first friendly staff member you find
1:01:21
and then that kind of builds um the second part is you know yes a lot of times we do get those people
1:01:30
in the iep meetings who do not have your child’s best interest but i find that it’s always best to
1:01:35
kind of go into it with the assumption first that like you said they just have a lack of knowledge
1:01:41
um they have a lot that they learn they learn how to draft an iep how to collect data
1:01:47
and all of these different things so their information is often more broad in special
1:01:53
education law than the parents who end up coming in more informed with time as they learn this so
1:01:59
um just to go into it with that and then you can provide that my i you also talked about um knowing
1:02:08
the law one thing that i find very helpful is to print it out highlight the important things that
1:02:14
are going to be discussed in that meeting that are going to be relevant for you and take copies of it and just pass it around because you may get some comments like we’ve never done this before this is
1:02:26
just the way we do it and they come at you with an assumption that they know it better than you and
1:02:32
what’s written in the law often kind of calms that whole argument a lot of times and um i love that
1:02:41
you talk about having appropriate trained staff that’s really big it’s something that i myself
1:02:46
have had to advocate for my daughter over the years and that this includes especially for singap
1:02:54
students who you know behaviors and severe behaviors often times become a real issue
1:03:00
for our kids that that includes that they have a right to have staff that are trained in uh
1:03:07
proven science-based de-escalate de-escalation methods and that that’s something that you
1:03:14
can request and talk with the school about because your children have a right to safety um so let me just go over just a couple of the things that i know specifically are going on
1:03:27
in with some parents that have reached out to me in the syngap community if you could just touch a little bit extra on that um one is that you know um
1:03:41
what can you talk a little bit about the rare occurrence where an iep plus a 504 might be needed
1:03:49
such as you know really intense medical support type things that might not be included in the iep
1:03:57
additionally that aba is considered a related service if there are these behavior issues that
1:04:05
could be just in the same kind of categories otp and speech which schools are much more familiar
1:04:12
with but parents do get a lot of kickback on ada so how do they approach that when a
1:04:18
um school is pushing back on that um first of all let me just take that because my my short-term
1:04:26
memory isn’t very good um on the aba that’s an incredibly important service and uh and that is a
1:04:36
related service and the the ipa says that special education you know is something that is provided
1:04:46
in the home in the community at schools and so it’s a service not a place and the fact that this
1:04:54
child may not have problems at school in a certain area and that’s what i hear sometimes is well
1:05:02
we that service isn’t necessary because we don’t see it at school i’ve i had a child with autism that was fine constrained in a self-contained
1:05:13
classroom but every time the mother or father took the child out into a mall
1:05:20
uh for example started screaming uh to get into an elevator or to do this or that
1:05:28
go to a park you know and and have meltdowns well we don’t see that at school
1:05:34
that’s not an appropriate reason not to provide a related service let me add to this as well
1:05:42
schools are somewhat limited in what they can do and um you get
1:05:50
you got to pick your your battles because schools sometimes even if they wanted to
1:05:57
couldn’t do what is needed you need to kind of look at that to the extent you can
1:06:06
use insurance and those other resources to get outside help to supplement what’s
1:06:12
going on in school if you’ve got great health insurance a lot of these you can get privately
1:06:20
um which to supplement not take the place of but to supplement what’s going on at school
1:06:29
make sure that there’s that uh that there’s that exchange let me talk about
1:06:35
um rights versus reality the cards are stacked against parents
1:06:43
i i’ve had parents that are you know fighting over something i went to speak at a conference one time
1:06:50
and a parent had spent a quarter of a million dollars was up to the u.s circuit court of appeal
1:06:58
i never want to have a parent you know go through that i’ve litigated i’ve litigated all the way up
1:07:03
to the circuit court of appeal short of the supreme court i litigate when it’s necessary
1:07:10
but it’s very expensive and there is no such thing as educational malpractice
1:07:18
no such thing now there is compensatory education if the school district’s not providing something
1:07:25
something to fill in that gap to provide what the child would have otherwise received so be be use
1:07:35
wisdom and and pick your battles the best thing to do is to try to establish a relationship i’ve
1:07:42
spoken at conferences where you know advocates or attorneys pound their fists don’t you let them you
1:07:48
know do this or that and i think to myself that’s great advice you know it’s like the the person
1:07:56
that’s going to face the big bully at school don’t let that bully push you around you go and then the
1:08:02
kid comes home knocked out you know you uh choose your battles carefully be careful about expenses
1:08:12
that you might spend again litigating sometimes is necessary know your procedural safeguards
1:08:22
that service um that you you referenced is important and your child is entitled to it
1:08:31
um that’s all i can say related services is not a fixed definition of things that fall within that
1:08:39
category if your child needs something to make progress in meeting their goals to receive an
1:08:48
educational benefit that’s why your goals are so important make sure that if your child has a need
1:08:57
for that intervention that there’s a goal that addresses that behaviors is a big one a lot of
1:09:06
schools do not have trained behaviorists i encountered one situation where i had a
1:09:12
child with autism that was 12 years old came from another country had never received any
1:09:21
any services child had a behavior problem of clocking the kid in front of him with his
1:09:29
shoes their behavioral intervention was to ask the mother to wear slippers so it wouldn’t hurt so bad
1:09:37
you know so behavioral intervention is important and i’ll highlight this one procedural safeguard
1:09:44
that you do have if you ever disagree with an evaluation and an assessment by the school
1:09:53
in terms of identifying your child’s unique needs you have a right to demand a
1:09:59
independent educational evaluation like another opinion by a provider of your choice
1:10:09
um and if you do the the district has two choices and only two choices one they can
1:10:19
say yes the other is not saying no they can say yes or they have to file for due process they have
1:10:29
to initiate litigation against you some of them will do that some of my most litigated cases were
1:10:35
those where district sued parents to bully them you know oh you want an ie we’re gonna sue you
1:10:43
um so i wish i had more time to go into that these procedural safeguards let me add this too
1:10:50
audio record every iep don’t do it like i’m gonna audio record i i’m going to get you you know say
1:10:59
look this is a lot of information i have a hard time taking in it all at once so i hope you don’t
1:11:05
feel uncomfortable i’m i want to audio record the iep so that i can listen to it and really
1:11:12
really take in everything that is said and in california you need to give notice of that
1:11:18
before the iep i think it’s 24-hour notice check to see what’s required in your state
1:11:25
audio record and keep that because that’ll be important and look at your iep notes and if
1:11:34
many times the people that are taking notes for ieps are going to frame them consistent
1:11:42
with their version of what happened read those carefully and add a parent’s addendum to clarify
1:11:53
they may say i’m not going to attach this if you say i want this attached to the iep it is
1:12:01
okay whether they want to or not so um so do that i’m sorry again there’s so many things i wish that
1:12:09
i could uh talk to you about hopefully we’ll be able to do this again in fact i’ve talked uh
1:12:15
to syngap about uh doing a series of these so yeah if that was something that’d be helpful make sure and uh let that be known absolutely um and i
1:12:27
just have just a couple more things and one last question um i love that i loved everything you
1:12:34
just said because that does answer a lot of those questions um when you just talked about knowing the expenses um it is or being mindful of the expenses i think that a lot of parents don’t know
1:12:45
those expenses and um so it is really important to know that source and for example does your
1:12:53
school have a local match and how expensive is this going to be for them can they afford it and you can find that information with your state department of education and from organizations
1:13:03
like council on developmental disabilities um also with um the progress data i can share later with
1:13:11
with you guys in the group i get mine daily so if that’s something that you need you can get it as
1:13:18
much as that and i have the forums that i can send you guys and if you disagree on present level um
1:13:25
if you could mention or talk a little bit about finding out if the evaluation in and of itself
1:13:31
is appropriate for example when jaden was five they were giving her an iq test that was actually
1:13:36
for eight and uh and so that kind of thing often happens um and my question lastly is regarding lre
1:13:47
um i’ve sat in a lot of iep meetings over this particular issue for example
1:13:52
schools often don’t know that lre applies to transportation you do not have to use
1:13:59
a special education busing you they might need to put a one-to-one aid or something but
1:14:05
if it would be appropriate your student has you know a right to the least restrictive environment
1:14:12
which might be riding with their residential peers if that’s possible with a reasonable accommodation
1:14:19
and specials you know music and art often times can have that inclusion
1:14:24
or extracurricular activities they have a right to join clubs and things but what i find i get a lot of kickback from schools a lot of times is them not understanding
1:14:36
in a particular instance when one-to-ones might actually be the least restrictive
1:14:42
environment because a lot of schools just are kind of given this idea that one-to-ones are always the
1:14:48
most restrictive environment so can you talk to parents about what to do when they’re encountering
1:14:56
that kind of pushback when a one-to-one is cons actually lre but they’re being told it’s not
1:15:03
well i i get really frustrated when schools use the lre argument to not provide services um and
1:15:13
and quite frankly you know i get that all the time that’s just baloney you know a
1:15:20
one-to-one aide is not most restrictive that terminology is used to try to turn it back
1:15:28
on on a parent but if you have a one-to-one aid that allows a child to interact with typical peers
1:15:36
don’t tell me that that’s more restrictive than a self-contained classroom
1:15:41
um and unfortunately i get this all the time uh the question is uh where can the child best
1:15:57
meet all of their needs including social and emotional needs i’ve worked a lot with the
1:16:08
down syndrome community those kids learn best with typical peers sometimes i see kids that are their
1:16:20
whole life is around typical peers and then they get to school and they’re told to go there and uh
1:16:32
special education law is civil rights a child doesn’t have to achieve a certain cognitive level
1:16:41
to be able to participate with others now i want to say that there is a place for self-contained
1:16:48
classrooms sometimes kids with very significant cognitive disabilities and so forth need intensive
1:16:57
instruction and so forth but there tends to be a default to that and that’s old school going all the way back to the 70s and and and really i think
1:17:11
unfortunate children have a right to participate in extracurricular activities
1:17:18
that is a civil right united school principal high school principal say hey um you know our football
1:17:25
games you know are you know not during the school day i don’t have to provide bus or any of that to
1:17:33
children with our kids with disabilities do i well do you provide them for for typical students
1:17:39
yes well then hey yes you do and you shouldn’t be saying it like that i don’t have to do this
1:17:50
you know it’s just uh to me it’s it’s very upsetting and i hate to digress but i went
1:17:56
into a school one time and they had plaques up on the wall to recognize kids in general ed that
1:18:04
had been working with kids with disabilities and they were real proud to point that out to
1:18:09
me and i said well were the plaques for the kids with disabilities what were they where
1:18:17
are the plaques of kids with disabilities that these other kids got to associate with
1:18:24
that is just you know one of the things that we deal with we want to change hearts and minds
1:18:31
okay hitting them over the head with a legal sledgehammer is very often not helpful
1:18:38
so we need to guide them and help them um to discern that now i’ve found that
1:18:46
teachers that are coming through more recent teacher educational programs are more inclined to
1:18:54
do that people my age that have been in this for that long not so much now i hate the stereotype
1:19:04
because that’s not always always the case but pick your battles pick your battles
1:19:12
and and be careful not to get sucked in attorneys i and i don’t want to put down attorneys they’re
1:19:18
happy to take your money they’ll fight the battles for you there’s no guarantee
1:19:24
that you’ll win it’s true that a procedural safeguard is that if you prevail the id
1:19:31
requires the school to pay your attorney’s fees that’s a lot of pressure to have to win
1:19:37
in order to recover all these costs that you’re spending so i hope i answered that question
1:19:45
i’d like to jump in here for a second if i may professor peterson um one of the reoccurring
1:19:51
terms that you’ve discussed since the beginning of this presentation is the term unique needs and
1:20:00
the questions that’s just been asked in terms of aba therapy and and related services and that all
1:20:10
goes back to unique needs and school districts are required to provide an educational program
1:20:19
for students with disabilities that addresses a child’s unique needs sometimes it’s difficult
1:20:26
to discern exactly what those needs are and rather than enter into um and i forget the
1:20:36
term that you are using but a term that we used to call legal battleship rather than then go and and
1:20:42
play legal battleship with the with the district that’s a that’s a losing proposition i will just
1:20:48
tell you that right from the get-go it’s losing proposition in terms of human cost and fiscal cost
1:20:56
uh you may prevail if you go into due process but you probably will not prevail on all issues
1:21:04
most of the decisions that i see are split in that sense the district will prevail on some
1:21:09
areas on some issues parents will prevail on some others you may recoup your attorney’s fees for in
1:21:17
the areas where where you prevailed um the statute of limitations only goes back two years there’s a
1:21:24
lot of of things that are that are stacked there that make this difficult at usc
1:21:34
the course that i teach is special education law and dispute resolution in in uh professor
1:21:41
peterson’s first slide i believe her second slide under skills successful iep advocacy skills
1:21:49
dispute resolution this is a skill that i would ask you to start looking at rather
1:21:56
and it’s in it’s in light of your advocacy for your child what i tell individuals in terms of
1:22:03
disputes is try to develop a mediator mindset when you’re going into this iep
1:22:11
look to the other party’s position on this um basically in dispute resolution
1:22:18
what we’re looking at you can you can take a position and you can be wed to your position
1:22:24
and um and you may or may not provide prevail but if you look at interests and common interests that
1:22:32
you have in common uh with the with the uh with the school district you’re more likely to develop
1:22:39
an iep and more likely to to come to a resolution of any dispute that you have
1:22:46
that will be considered durable you want a durable resolution to any dispute that you
1:22:53
have with the school district the seaho the special education hearing office
1:22:59
in california which basically provided due process and mediation services prior to the office of
1:23:06
administrative hearings who has that contract with california department of education now in the uh uh 90s did a a a conducted a survey and what they found out was that virtually every
1:23:23
case that went to due process where there was a decision rendered within a year the parties
1:23:30
were back in due process as opposed to parties that entered into a dispute resolution process
1:23:38
such as mediation early dispute resolution mediation or the resolution meeting those
1:23:47
those those cases tended to not come back um um at all
1:23:54
uh because the the resolution to those those those cases was developed by the parties
1:24:01
developed by the parties when you go into litigation you lose your power you give your power
1:24:09
away to a judge to a hearing officer that judge or hearing officer is required to render a decision
1:24:16
if you don’t like that decision your only option is to appeal it and in some cases these k in in
1:24:22
some circumstances these cases as as you probably know move all the way up to the supreme court of
1:24:28
the united states sometimes it takes that yeah and hopefully we’ll have a a whole section on these
1:24:36
um dispute resolution aspects let me add this a very practical approach when you disagree with
1:24:44
the school district over something like ABA any service the way to to level the playing
1:24:51
field is to request an independent education evaluation look at the law with respect to
1:24:58
that now some school districts might initiate litigation because they don’t they think that
1:25:05
you’re just going to go find someone to say what you want them to say what i always do with school
1:25:11
districts is work with them to find someone that is truly independent but someone they
1:25:17
respect because if you get an ie an independent education evaluation for ABA and you get it from
1:25:25
someone that will just say anybody needs it in fact i had a special ed uh a director tell me
1:25:31
i don’t like that person they’ll say the doorknob needs therapy you know um so work with them
1:25:41
now sometimes school districts and if you ask for an ie they’ll say oh we’ll give it to you here’s a list of people to choose from the trap there is that the people on that list are generally people
1:25:53
that they quite frankly control or have a lot of influence over their people that they use
1:26:00
not always not all of them are but but it’s not usually not really independent
1:26:09
i always find someone that the school district
1:26:14
has respect for because you get an ie that says my child needs aba if they don’t have respect for the
1:26:23
person they’re required to consider it not accept it and that that is one of the most potent ways
1:26:33
to level the playing field without full out litigation um to get your rights
1:26:40
to get a opinion a neutral third party opinion i know we’re way out of time i have plenty of time
1:26:50
but i i know this was scheduled for an hour and i want to be respectful of people’s time
1:26:55
i’m willing to answer questions or uh do whatever is appropriate but i know we’re way past time so
1:27:07
there are other questions i think robin just might have a question robin i um don’t know how
1:27:16
i don’t know if i can let her in um sorry robin robin does anyone know mike’s not here anymore
1:27:27
or uh she can type it maybe robin if you want she has a question in the q a lauren is that
1:27:35
the one you’re looking at well she’s got her hand raised oh okay but i don’t know sorry sorry guys
1:27:44
but her q a i think she’s just heaven i think okay i see it um okay my child my six-year-old
1:27:52
is in a mobility chair i want him out of it i have voiced this but he still goes into it you
1:27:59
know these kinds of things a lot of times school districts are acting to protect against liability
1:28:06
um if you have a difference of opinion and i got this a lot of times where
1:28:12
children would be strapped with some kind of harness or whatever um even found one where the
1:28:19
if the child wasn’t cooperating and walking the they just picked it picked the child up around
1:28:26
the belly by the harness and drag them off it’s very dehumanizing so my recommendation would be
1:28:35
to to have one of the doctors or someone do a a letter don’t write it for them because schools
1:28:46
you know you don’t tell the doctor what to say but if you have some authoritative
1:28:52
statement that says this is not appropriate and this is why um that will be helpful i’ve run into
1:29:01
that a number of times before and again if if a child is strapped into a wheelchair or some other
1:29:07
when we talk about mobility chair um i’m not there are a lot of definitions for that but
1:29:18
that often is not least restrictive environment it’s insulting dehumanizing and so the school
1:29:28
will just say well that’s the way it is in our professional opinion well i would say the teacher’s opinion on that or some administrator who isn’t a specialist in that both again
1:29:44
special education includes social emotional needs too the right the right um
1:29:52
for for least restrictive environment so yeah that one to me is very upsetting
1:29:59
it could even arise to the violation of a discriminatory action i’d have to go into it more
1:30:09
uh but liability is a big thing hey you know we’re not as concerned about the child we’re concerned
1:30:15
about getting sued well you do want the child to be safe but there are many ways that can be done
1:30:22
that can be done sometimes with a one-to-one aid that might be a little more expensive for
1:30:28
them than just putting a kid strapped down in some mobility chair professor peterson if i was
1:30:35
um in that particular situation and i would go back to your previous comment with regard
1:30:41
to an independent educational evaluation um and that’s where i would start in terms of this and it
1:30:48
goes back to the child’s unique needs and and in that sense that that that ieee should be able to
1:30:57
indicate whether that whether the child actually needs to be in a mobility chair and here’s the
1:31:04
other aspect of this operationalize when the child is going to be in the mobility
1:31:10
chair if that is in fact necessary who when what why you know who when what why how much
1:31:18
um there may be um a time when this is necessary but it may be completely unnecessary but um
1:31:28
assessment uh i placed tremendous value on assessment in terms of then starting that
1:31:34
conversation in what do we actually need to do to address a child’s unique needs i’ll also go
1:31:41
a step further on in terms of this there is no uh price limitation uh cost in terms of this is is is
1:31:49
not a factor and in in theoretically well but i’m just saying you know yes i know the law doesn’t
1:31:56
provide any exception for it costs too much and there’s case law on that as well exactly exactly
1:32:04
there’s a there’s another important question here uh what’s the best way to provide or prove your
1:32:10
child needs a one-to-one aid now i will tell you you know school districts many of them don’t like
1:32:18
to provide one-to-one aides if your child’s in a fully contained special education classroom let
1:32:24
me give you an example schools like to do one size fits all even in special education classes
1:32:31
let me give you an example went into one where all the children in this special day class this
1:32:38
class for kids with significant disabilities they were doing singing the song wheels on the bus
1:32:45
everybody’s sung that i’ve even sung it as an adult but as i looked around the class there were some kids that were singing and they were very engaged
1:32:57
many of our kids that have epilepsy or seizure disorders or other cognitive
1:33:02
disabilities are off looking the other way totally not engaged okay
1:33:10
that’s not special education it’s also not special education just because the kids not a behavior
1:33:16
problem reason they’re not a behavior problem is they’re sleeping under the desk for three
1:33:22
quarters of the day that’s not special education okay so if you’re going to face this situation
1:33:31
ultimately if you’ve got a school district that’s you know putting you know sticking to their guns
1:33:38
not wanting to provide an aide an ieee you get you get a a a professional
1:33:49
um and and it’s probably educational psychologist um that uh can look at the child’s learning
1:34:00
and give objective reasons as to why the child needs an aid and many times it’s to be prompted
1:34:10
to engage children with seizure disorders and i’ve worked with hundreds of families if
1:34:20
not a thousand they’re not engaged now what i often find and i and i did this in a video
1:34:30
on one matter for an aide is the child with the child sitting back and a teacher talking there
1:34:38
was nothing no attention with that child if i got up close let’s say this was a
1:34:46
this pen was colorful and i got up and i said serena what color is this
1:34:57
i would get her attention but if i was back where a teacher was standing i wouldn’t
1:35:04
that’s not education just to exist in a classroom is not an educational benefit
1:35:13
but rather than argue you will never win an argument because you will get the refrain well
1:35:20
we’re the professionals we know you want what’s best for your child but we make a recommendation
1:35:26
based on our professional judgment we’re the professionals we know best in other words back off
1:35:36
this is the way it’s going to be and i i had that problem on a school that
1:35:42
was charging a student with a very severe form of epilepsy with being late to school
1:35:49
all the time and somehow there had been this conflict between the school psychologist and
1:35:54
the parent and the school psychologist got her dug in her heels and said we’ve had have
1:36:00
other kids with epilepsy they get to school on time why there’s no reason they actually started
1:36:06
an action against the parents the solution was the neurologist wrote a letter and said
1:36:14
dear whoever this child has the worst episodes of seizures that i’ve ever seen
1:36:24
this child’s on the maximum dose of medications my primary concern is saving this child’s life
1:36:33
what this child has seizures every day this child will not be able to be on to school
1:36:41
every day on time now that trumped everything no more discussion if you say it as a parent
1:36:53
uh and again i’m giving you worst case scenarios i’m not going to say every teacher every you know
1:36:59
this is the way to respond to those problem areas you need to level the playing field
1:37:05
and if you have private insurance and and so forth i think every parent ought to have private evaluations if they have insurance to do it
1:37:18
that will help you sleep at night but if you disagree and if you have insurance take
1:37:24
advantage of it and do it if for nothing else just to check and make sure that you’re in sync
1:37:31
um otherwise independent education evaluation i have a whole presentation on that i could spend
1:37:38
a lot of time about how to do it correctly so you don’t end up in litigation thank you perfect thank
1:37:47
you guys so much for doing this today we would love to hear more from you thank you oh certainly
1:37:54
you may have yeah okay we’ll do it again i’m gonna let it um hang up if olga wants to finish
1:38:03
thanksgiving um professor peterson professor thank you very much you’ve been very helpful very
1:38:09
informative yes there’s a whole lot of topics and i definitely think aba is going to be key for us
1:38:14
for the syngap community so absolutely thinking about that one because that’s i’m fighting that battle myself right now right there’s no question no question the children are entitled to it
1:38:25
you may also have a state department in california we have regional centers yes
1:38:31
there’s often a conflict between uh schools say well the regional center should provide that
1:38:38
uh yeah it should be provided awesome well i’m
1:38:45
we have people from all over and this has been so very very helpful we appreciate you both very much thank you thank you
1:38:59
you