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Special Education

This section examines several key issues involved in special education services as mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), amended in 2004. For information on recent changes to the law, check our featured section on IDEA 2004. Be sure to also learn about the laws and regulations that govern special education in your state.

There are 94 articles in this section.

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Responsiveness to Intervention and Learning Disabilities

The purpose of this National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) report is to examine the concepts, potential benefits, practical issues, and unanswered questions associated with responsiveness to intervention (RTI) and learning disabilities (LD). A brief overview of the approach is provided, including attributes, characteristics, and promising features, as well as issues, concerns, unanswered questions, and research needs.

Retroactive Policy Decisions Cannot Discriminate Against Students with Disabilities

IDEA Decisions - 2003

School Records and Reports: Journals of the Journey

Schools in Which All Kinds of Minds Can Grow

As we discover more about how students learn and how different minds learn differently, our schools have a golden opportunity to increase the percentage of their students who experience true academic success.

Section 504, the ADA, and Public Schools

Two laws, Section 504 of the Rehabilitaton Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), protect the rights of disabled individuals in public schools. Who is eligible for the services and protections offered by these laws? How is eligibility and extent of disability determined? Due process procedures and required accommodations and modifications in public schools are summarized.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective IEP Teams

Social Skill Autopsies: A Strategy to Promote and Develop Social Competencies

Rick Lavoie teaches the social skill autopsy- a strategy to help your child or student learn from their social errors. Turn those embarrassing incidents into teachable moments- and help the person with a learning disability to correct their mistakes and not repeat them. If you are a person with a learning disability, consider sending this article to a trusted mentor or friend.

Some Common Sense Steps to Resolving Disagreements Between Parents and Schools

Special Education: Evaluation

Statewide Assessment: Policy Issues & Questions

Parents and advocacy groups: What do you say when you talk to your state officials about high stakes tests and statewide education assessments? Read this article for questions you can ask to assess the full and fair inclusion of students with disabilities. Assure that they receive the accommodations they need to show what they know.

Technology: Some Common Questions Answered

The Identification of Students Who are Gifted

This digest discusses the identification of students who are gifted, the difficulties in the identification process, appropriate identification practices, and procedures that can help with identification.

The Importance of Music, Art

Three- to five-year-olds are exuberant little learners, as they make new discoveries and acquire new skills and competencies every day. As discussed in the section "What Are Learning Styles?" children learn best when they experience through all their senses – hearing, seeing, touching, feeling, moving, smelling.

The No Child Left Behind Act Title I: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged - Summary of Final Regulations

The President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education: Implications for the Special Education Practitioner

The Special Education Process: An Overview for Parents

Understanding Assessment Options for IDEA-eligible Students

The No Child Left Behind law requires each school test students in Reading/Language Arts & Math each year in grades 3-8, and at least once more in grades 10-12. In some cases, children eligible for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) services may be able to access testing accommodations or even alternate tests, but parents need to fully understand the implications and potential consequences of participation in the various testing options.

Understanding the Differences Between IDEA and Section 504

Compare and contrast Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504. Topics include identification, eligibility, evaluation, responsibilities for providing a free and appropriate education (FAPE), and due process for disagreements between parents and schools.

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