NASET Q & A Corner
The NASET Q & A Corner is an e-publication that presents:
(1) some of the most frequently asked questions by members about special education
(2) answers from experts in the field on the questions addressed.
At NASET, we get many questions from our members about certain areas of interest. The NASET Q & A Corner provides all members with the opportunities to have access to these questions, and more importantly, answers to them from professionals in the field.
Latest and Archived Questions
To access the full issue with the associated answers for each question, click on link to the specific issue.
On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The ESSA builds upon the critical work States and local educational agencies (LEAs) have implemented over the last few years. The reauthorized law prioritizes excellence and equity for our students and supports great educators. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Secretary of Education. The Secretary is offering guidance on transitioning from the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) to the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, including actions the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has taken or will take consistent with its authority under section 4(b) of NCLB to the ESSA to support States, LEAs, and schools in this transition. ED has prepared these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to support States and LEAs in understanding expectations during the transition to full implementation of the ESSA.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. In 1980, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III) listed BPD as a diagnosable illness for the first time. Most psychiatrists and other mental health professionals use the DSM to diagnose mental illnesses. Because some people with severe BPD have brief psychotic episodes, experts originally thought of this illness as atypical, or borderline, versions of other mental disorders. While mental health experts now generally agree that the name "borderline personality disorder" is misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from the National Institute of Mental Health. It focuses on the many issues surrounding Borderline personality disorder.
The brain and the eyes work together to produce vision. The eye focuses light on the back part of the eye known as the retina. Cells of the retina then trigger nerve signals that travel along the optic nerves to the brain. Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision of one eye is reduced because it fails to work properly with the brain. The eye itself looks normal, but for various reasons the brain favors the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye. Amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment among children, affecting approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100 children. Unless it is successfully treated in early childhood, amblyopia usually persists into adulthood. It is also the most common cause of monocular (one eye) visual impairment among young and middle-aged adults. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from the National Eye Institute (NEI) and will focus on questions pertaining to amblyopia.
Children from birth up to age 18 may get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. They must have a disability and they must have little or no income and resources. Children can get SSI if they meet Social Security’s definition of disability for children and if they have little or no income and resources. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is from the Social Security Administration and answers some questions parents ask about applying for SSI for children.
Mediation refers to a process conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator to resolve a disagreement between a parent and public agency. The Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives (2005), described mediation as follows: Mediation is defined as an attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement or compromise between parties to a dispute through the objective intervention of a neutral party. Mediation is an opportunity for parents and school officials to sit down with an independent mediator and discuss a problem, issue, concern, or complaint in order to resolve the problem amicably without going to due process. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will focus on mediation in special education.
Federal laws require public schools to meet the communication needs of students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), schools must provide a student with a disability a free appropriate public education (FAPE) designed to provide meaningful educational benefit through an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools must, without charge, ensure that communication with students with disabilities is as effective as communication with students without disabilities, giving primary consideration to students and parents in determining which auxiliary aids and services are necessary to provide such effective communication. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education. It will focus on meeting the communication needs of students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities.
The adrenal glands, located on the top of each kidney, are responsible for releasing different classes of hormones. Adrenal gland disorders occur when the adrenal glands do not work properly. They can be classified into disorders where too much hormone is produced or where too little hormone is produced. These disorders can occur when the adrenal gland itself is affected by a disease process due to genetic mutation, tumors, or infections. Or, sometimes the cause is a problem in another gland, such as the pituitary, which helps to regulate the adrenal gland. In addition, some medications can cause the adrenal gland not to function properly. When the adrenal glands produce too few or too many hormones, or when too many hormones are introduced by an outside source, significant disorders can develop. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be to address issues pertaining to adrenal gland disorders.
Moving to a new location can sure disrupt your life! For any family this can be a time of chaos. There is the adventure of newness but also a maddening confusion. For a family with a child who has special needs, the confusion can be particularly stressful. To avoid some of the less desirable “adventures,” it may be a good idea to map out your strategy before you move. This is especially important regarding school and your child’s special education needs. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner presents some questions you might ask yourself, preferably well in advance of your move. The answers given contain suggestions for helping your family make a smooth change from your child’s present special education placement to the new one. These suggestions are derived from personal experience, contact with families who have met the “challenge,” advice from administrators, and other authorities and research.
Q&A #69 - When the IEP Team Meets
IEP teams are made up of individuals who bring different perspectives and expertise to the table. Pooling their knowledge, team members set out to craft an individualized response to a specific child’s needs, taking into account that same child’s strengths and talents. There’s a lot of information shared at IEP meetings, and a lot of discussion. The end product is the child’s individualized education program. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner describes how the IEP meeting is scheduled, who comes, and the factors team members must consider when writing an IEP.
Q&A #68 - Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking. Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves, so they rely on others for help. Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. However, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. Researchers are developing more effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia. In the years to come, this work may help prevent and better treat the illness. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and will focus on information pertaining to schizophrenia.
Q&A #67 - General Authority of School Personnel
At the beginning of the school year, students often receive guidelines of expected standards of behavior, dress, academic integrity, and attendance, as well as the consequences of violating those standards. IDEA addresses the extent to which schools may take disciplinary action when a child with disabilities violates a local code of student conduct. These codes vary from place to place, so it may be important for you to get a copy of your local school district or State policies with respect to acceptable (and unacceptable) student conduct. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner addresses the general authority of school personnel when students with disabilities violate a code of student conduct.
Q&A #66 - Questions and Answers on Hemophilia
Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly. This can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery. Blood contains many proteins called clotting factors that can help to stop bleeding. People with hemophilia have low levels of either factor VIII (8) or factor IX (9). The severity of hemophilia that a person has is determined by the amount of factor in the blood. The lower the amount of the factor, the more likely it is that bleeding will occur which can lead to serious health problems. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be on hemophilia (special thanks to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, for providing the information for this issue).
Q&A #65 - Questions and Answers on Iron and Iron Deficiency
Young children are at higher risk of iron deficiency because of rapid growth and higher iron needs. Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. For example, iron (as part of the protein hemoglobin) carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Having too little hemoglobin is called anemia. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen. Iron is a part of many enzymes and is used in many cell functions. Enzymes help our bodies digest foods and also help with many other important reactions that occur within our bodies. When our bodies don't have enough iron, many parts of our bodies are affected. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will address frequently asked questions about iron and iron deficiency.
Q&A #64 - Questions and Answers on Assistive Technology
Assistive technology enables children with disabilities to participate more fully in all aspects of life (home, school, and community) and helps them access their right to a ?free appropriate, public education? in the ?least restrictive environment?. The IEP team must determine whether an individual child needs an assistive technology device or service, and if so, the nature and extent to be provided. It is possible that an assistive technology evaluation will be required to determine if the child would need an assistive technology service and/or assistive technology device. Any needs identified should be reflected in the content of the IEP, including, as appropriate, the instructional program and services provided to the child. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner comes from NICHCY and will address the importance of assistive technology and how assistive technology is determined by IEP Teams.
Q&A #63 - Questions and Answers on Eating Disorders
An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spiraled out of control. Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner was written by the National Institute of Mental Health and covers questions and answers on the topic of eating disorders.
Q&A #62 - Questions and Answers on Special Education Transition Planning
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that guarantees all children with disabilities access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). IDEA tells what schools must do to enable students with disabilities to be successful in academics and make plans for smooth transition from academic life to real life. This is the reason the law mandates schools to write an Individualized Education Programs (IEP) for all students with special needs who attend K-12 schools. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner was written by Anji Reddy Nlamalapu. It focuses on questions and answers related to special education transition planning. At the end of this issue, there are various forms related to the topic at hand.
Q&A #61 - Questions and Answers on Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is a helpful handout for parents and focuses on cyberbullying.
Q&A #60 - Questions and Answers on Bipolar Disorder in Children and Parents: A Handout for Parents
All parents can relate to the many changes their kids go through as they grow up. But sometimes it's hard to tell if a child is just going through a "phase," or perhaps showing signs of something more serious. Recently, doctors have been diagnosing more children with bipolar disorder,1 sometimes called manic-depressive illness. But what does this illness really mean for a child? This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is provided by the National Institute of Mental Health. It is a guide for parents who think their child may have symptoms of bipolar disorder, or parents whose child has been diagnosed with the illness.
Q&A #59 - Questions and Answers on Multiple Disabilities
The term “multiple disabilities” describes a person that has more than one disability. What caused the disabilities? Often, no one knows. With some children, however, the cause is known. For example: Chromosomal abnormalities; Premature birth; Difficulties after birth; Poor development of the brain or spinal cord; Infections; Genetic disorders; Injuries from accidents. Whatever the cause, the result is that the child has multiple disabilities. Fortunately, there’s help available. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner, written by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (www.nichcy.org), focuses on the topic of Multiple Disabilities.
Q&A #58 - Questions and Answers on The Common Core State Standards
Ready for the Common Core? You’ve probably heard a lot about this new initiative in education called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). What’s it all about? How does it relate to you as an educator, administrator, or parent? How does it apply to students, especially those with disabilities? This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner, developed by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, will help you find answers to many of the questions surrounding the common core standards and its impact on administrators, educators and parents, including:
- What are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?
- What’s happening in your state?
- How do the standards apply to students with disabilities?
- Where can I find resources especially for administrators?
- Where can I find resources especially for educators?
- Where can I find resources especially for families?
Q&A #57 - Questions and Answers on Neuropsychological Evaluations
A neuropsychological evaluation is comprehensive battery of tests that provides a detailed picture of a person’s aptitude, achievement, and social and emotional status as compared to others at the same stage of development. Only a trained neuropsychologist administers such assessments. The evaluation involves a clinical history and interview, completion of standardized checklists, completion of paper and pencil tasks, hands-on activities, and computer-based tasks. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner, written by Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., and reprinted with permission by from Doug Goldberg --The Special Education Advisor at www.specialeducationadvisor.com/about-neuropsychological-evaluations/ will address questions associated with neuropsychological evaluations.
Q&A #56 - Questions and Answers on Understanding Visual Impairments in Children
When a child has a visual impairment, it is cause for immediate attention. That’s because so much learning typically occurs visually. When vision loss goes undetected, children are delayed in developing a wide range of skills. While they can do virtually all the activities and tasks that sighted children take for granted, children who are visually impaired often need to learn to do them in a different way or using different tools or materials. Central to their learning will be touching, listening, smelling, tasting, moving, and using whatever vision they have. The assistance of parents, family members, friends, caregivers, and educators can be indispensable in that process. More will be said about this in a moment. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to address visual impairments in children.
Q&A #55 - Questions and Answers on Neuropsychological Evaluations By: Geraldine Markel, Ph.D
Many children and adults do not perform at a level commensurate with their potential and known abilities. A neuropsychological evaluation is a tool educators, psychologists, and physicians recommend when an explanation for a performance gap is not clear from other assessment tools.
A neuropsychological evaluation is comprehensive battery of tests that provides a detailed picture of a person’s aptitude, achievement, and social and emotional status as compared to others at the same stage of development. Only a trained neuropsychologist administers such assessments. The evaluation involves a clinical history and interview, completion of standardized checklists, completion of paper and pencil tasks, hands-on activities, and computer-based tasks. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner was written by Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. and reprinted with permission by Doug Goldberg of the Special Education Advisor website, at http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/about-neuropsychological-evaluations/#more-1688. It focuses on questions and answers about neuropsychological evaluations.
Q&A #54 - Questions and Answers on Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Education
For students with disabilities, a big factor in their successful transition from high school to postsecondary education is accurate knowledge about their civil rights. High school educators often have many questions about students with disabilities as they get ready to move to the postsecondary education environment. Written by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Transition of Students With Disabilities to Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators, this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner highlights the significant differences between the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities in the high school setting and the rights and responsibilities these students will have once they are in the postsecondary education setting.
Q&A #53 - Questions and Answers on The Right of Students with Disabilities Who Need Accessible Instructional Materials to Receive These Materials in a Timely Manner
All students with disabilities who need accessible instructional materials have a right to receive these materials in a timely manner, regardless of whether they qualify to receive materials developed from National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) files through the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC).1 The purpose of this brief is to help families and educators understand the right of all students with disabilities who need accessible instructional materials to receive these materials in a timely manner. This right is based on provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as in the disability civil rights statutes Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Prepared for the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials by Joanne Karger, J.D., Ed.D., this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will address the right of students with disabilities who need accessible instructional materials to receive these materials in a timely manner.
Q&A #52 - Questions and Answers on Accommodations for Diverse Learners
Teachers can accommodate diverse learner needs in the classroom by making adjustments in the materials or methods used. Although many instructional accommodations can be transferred into classroom tests, some should NOT be transferred into the testing situation. For example, during reading instruction, an appropriate accommodation might be to read along with the student, or perhaps have the student follow along as someone reads to him or her. When the student is taking a reading test that is designed to assess decoding skills, then the read-along accommodation is not appropriate. Making decisions about what accommodations confuse the construct that is being tested requires a good understanding of what knowledge and skills the test is intending to measure. Each state has written guidelines to indicate which accommodations are "allowed" and the states vary considerably on the specific accommodations that they allow. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be to address various questions and answers pertaining to accommodations for diverse learners
Q&A #51 - Questions and Answers on Preparing for Postsecondary Education
Research has established that there is a strong relationship between postsecondary education and successful employment outcomes. People with a postsecondary education are more likely to get a job and have a higher salary than people without a postsecondary education. This relationship is even stronger for people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities have a much higher chance of achieving valued employment outcomes if they have a postsecondary education. In addition, the information and technology age has changed the job market so that more and more vocations require postsecondary education. A postsecondary education is meant to prepare students to think critically, access and develop knowledge, and acquire the skills necessary for a successful career. Postsecondary school is also a good place to develop social skills, independence, and work-related experience. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is excerpted from NCSET E-News, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at http://www.ncset.org/enews. NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”
Q&A #50 - Latest Updates on Food Allergies
Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food, triggered by the body’s immune system. There are several types of immune responses to food. The information on this Web site focuses on one type of adverse reaction to food, in which the body produces a specific type of antibody, called immunoglobulin E (IgE). The binding of IgE antibodies to specific molecules in a food triggers the immune response. Read about what happens during an allergic response to food. The response may be mild, or in rare cases it can be associated with the severe and life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.If you have a food allergy, it is extremely important for you to work with your healthcare professional to learn what foods cause your allergic reaction. Learn about how healthcare professionals diagnose food allergy. Sometimes, a reaction to food is not an allergy at all but another type of reaction called food intolerance. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner addresses the important topic of food allergies.
Q&A #49 - Latest Updates on Secondary Transition
The IDEA and its implementing regulations continue to address transition services for children with disabilities. Transition services may be special education, if provided as specially designed instruction, or a related service, if required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. See 34 CFR §300.43(b). The term “transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that: (a) is designed to be within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, and community participation; (b) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and (c) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner addresses the latest updates from the U.S. Department of Education on Secondary Transition
Q&A #48 - Charter Schools
Charter schools are fairly new in public education, and they’ve generated a lot of interest and inquiry. For many families and educators, charter schools offer more options for how students will be educated. For others, charter schools are confusing — Why, for example, are some charter schools not open for enrollment to students who live nearby? And what about students with disabilities? May they go to charter schools? If so, is special education available in charter schools? This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner answers commonly asked questions that families and educators of students with disabilities have about charter schools. It also offers links to state-specific resources that can help you better understand how charter schools work in your individual state.
Q&A #47 - Emotional Disturbance
The mental health of our children is a natural and important concern for us all. The fact is, many mental disorders have their beginnings in childhood or adolescence, yet may go undiagnosed and untreated for years. We refer to mental disorders using different “umbrella” terms such as emotional disturbance, behavioral disorders, or mental illness. Beneath these umbrella terms, there is actually a wide range of specific conditions that differ from one another in their characteristics and treatment. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to find out what different emotional disturbances have in common, how they are defined in federal law, and where to find more detailed information on specific disorders.
Q&A #46 -Parental Consent
One of parents’ most important rights is the right to give (or not give) their consent for certain actions of the school system with respect to their child with a disability. When the term consent is used in IDEA, or the term parental consent, it has the same meaning as the term informed written consent. It means that the parent has been fully informed regarding the action of the school system for which parental consent is being requested. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be to address basic questions asked regarding consent.
Q&A #45 - Intellectual Disability
Intellectual disability is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of him or herself, and social skills. These limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child. Children with intellectual disabilities (sometimes called cognitive disabilities or mental retardation) may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating. They are likely to have trouble learning in school. They will learn, but it will take them longer. There may be some things they cannot learn. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be to address frequently asked questions about intellectual disabilities
Q&A #44 - Mediation
Mediation is a voluntary process that may be used to resolve disputes between school systems and the parents of a child with a disability. Mediation is a dispute-resolution and collaborative problem solving process in which a trained impartial party facilitates a negotiation process between parties who have reached an impasse. The role of the mediator is to facilitate discussion, encourage open exchange of information, assist the involved parties in understanding each other’s viewpoints and help the parties reach mutually agreeable solutions. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to address the issue of mediation and its role in special education.
Q&A #43 - Questions and Answers on Independent Educational Evaluations
Under certain circumstances, the local education agency (LEA) is required to provide at public expense an independent educational evaluation (IEE). An IEE is defined as an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the agency responsible for the child’s education [34 C.F.R. 300.502 (a)(3)(i)]. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to address questions related to independent educational evaluations (IEE).
Q&A #42 - Questions and Answers on Facilitated IEP Meetings
IEP meeting facilitation is quickly becoming the most recognized strategy for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of IEP meetings. The purpose of the facilitation process is to develop and sustain collaborative relationships between team members and to preserve and maintain a productive relationship between families and schools (Conflict Resolution Program, 2011). A facilitated IEP meeting is an IEP meeting that includes an impartial facilitator who promotes effective communication and assists an IEP team in developing an acceptable IEP. The facilitator keeps the team focused on the proper development of the IEP while addressing conflicts that arise. This issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be to address Facilitated IEP Meetings
Q&A #41 - Questions and Answers on Related Third Party Payments and Special Education Services
School districts work with public assistance programs, such as Medicaid, to pay for some IEP service costs. In addition, IDEIA outlines how schools can bill the parents’ private health insurance if they consent. Payments for IEP services received by the school system from these sources are third party payments. Examples of third party payors include Medicaid and the parents’ private insurance company.
The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to address questions related third party payments and special education services
Q&A #40 - Questions and Answers on Confidentiality of Information for Students with Disabilities
IDEA 2004 and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) contain provisions that protect the confidentiality of student records. These laws also provide parents the right to review and inspect records. The district will assume that each parent has the right to inspect and review their child’s educational records unless the district has received legal documents limiting parent access to those records.
The focus of this month's issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be to address issues surrounding confidentiality of information for students with disabilities
Q&A #39 - Questions and Answers on Parent Rights to Confidentiality and Access to Student Records
IDEA and other federal laws protect the confidentiality of a child’s education records. These safeguards address the following three aspects:
- the use of personally identifiable information
- who may have access to a child’s records
- the rights of parents to inspect their child’s education records and request that these be amended to correct information that is misleading or inaccurate, or that violates the child’s privacy or other rights.
The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner will be to address confidentiality and access to student records for parents
Issue # 38 - Questions and Answers on Least Restrictive Environment
Least restrictive environment, or LRE as it is more commonly called, is one of several vital components in the development of a child’s IEP and plays a critical role, influencing where a child spends his or her time at school, how services are provided, and the relationships the child develops within the school and community. Indeed, LRE is a foundational element in building an appropriate IEP that can improve outcomes for a child—in school and in life. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to address issues pertaining to LRE.
Issue # 37 - Questions and Answers on Epilepsy
According to the Epilepsy Foundation of America, epilepsy is a physical condition that occurs when there is a sudden, brief change in how the brain works. About two million Americans have epilepsy; of the 125,000 new cases that develop each year, up to 50% are in children and adolescents. Students with epilepsy or seizure disorders are eligible for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Epilepsy is classified as "other health impaired" and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) would be developed to specify appropriate services. Some students may have additional conditions such as learning disabilities along with the seizure disorders. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner addresses epilepsy.
Issue # 36 - Questions and Answers on Response to Intervention (RTI) Funding
The National Center on Response to Intervention receives questions from the field on a regular basis about how to fund Response to Intervention (RTI). This issue of NASET’s Q &A Corner comes from the National Center on Response to Intervention. It provides written responses from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) on the use of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds for the implementation of RTI and answers eight commonly asked questions on funding RTI. On July 28, 2010, a State department of education submitted questions to OSEP about funding RTI. The State requested this information for the purpose of providing the division heads within the State with a shared understanding on how to help implement and fund Response to Intervention (RTI) for State Educational Agency (SEA) staff. In its correspondence, the State explained that when it used “IDEA funds” in its questions, it meant “not CEIS funds.” The responses to the questions in this document are specific to a particular State. If your State has questions related to this or other IDEA funding matters, please communicate with your OSEP contact.
Issue # 35 - Questions and Answers on Legal Requirements for Being a “Parent” Under Federal Law
Perhaps the most important element afforded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) is the right to parental participation at almost all stages of the special education process. To increase the odds that each child has a parent in the special education process, IDEIA does define the term “parent” but does so in a broad way. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is on defining who is a parent and the guidelines mandated under the federal law, IDEIA.
Issue # 34 - Questions and Answers on No Child Left Behind and Accountability
Reports on individual schools are part of the annual district report cards, also known as local report cards. Each school district must prepare and disseminate annual local report cards that include information on how students in the district and in each school performed on state assessments. The report cards must state student performance in terms of three levels: basic, proficient and advanced. Achievement data must be disaggregated, or broken out, by student subgroups according to: race, ethnicity, gender, English language proficiency, migrant status, disability status and low-income status. The report cards must also tell which schools have been identified as needing improvement, corrective action or restructuring. Obviously, these report cards are now very important for administrators, educators and parents. The focus of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner is on accountability issues under No Child Left Behind.
Issue # 33 - Questions and Answers on Educational Placement
Once the IEP team has decided what services a child needs, a decision must be made about where services will be provided. Where the child’s IEP is carried out is called placement. Parents have the right to be part of the group that decides the child’s placement. In deciding the child’s placement, the group must make sure that the child has the maximum opportunity appropriate to learn with children who do not have disabilities—in academic, nonacademic, and extracurricular activities. This part of IDEA is called Least Restrictive Environment or LRE. IDEA's LRE provisions are primarily found at §§300.114 through 300.117.
Least Restrictive Environment is explained in IDEA as follows:
. . . To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities . . . are educated with children who are nondisabled; and . . . special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. [§300.114(a)(2)(i)]
IDEA also says:
- The child’s placement is determined at least annually; is based on the child’s IEP; and is as close as possible to the child’s home. [§300.116(b)]
- Unless the IEP requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if nondisabled. [§300.116(c)]
- When looking at placement options, consideration must be given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs. [§300.116(d)]
- A child with a disability may not be removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms just because he or she needs modifications to the general curriculum. [§300.116(e)]
The focus of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner is to address educational placements for students with disabilities
Issue # 32 - Questions and Answers on Early Intervention for Parents
Broadly speaking, early intervention services are specialized health, educational, and therapeutic services designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers, from birth through age two, who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families. At the discretion of each State, services can also be provided to children who are considered to be at-risk of developing substantial delays if services are not provided. Sometimes it is known from the moment a child is born that early intervention services will be essential in helping the child grow and develop. Often this is so for children who are diagnosed at birth with a specific condition or who experience significant prematurity, very low birth weight, illness, or surgery soon after being born. Even before heading home from the hospital, this child’s parents may be given a referral to their local early intervention office. Some children have a relatively routine entry into the world, but may develop more slowly than others, experience set backs, or develop in ways that seem very different from other children. For these children, a visit with a developmental pediatrician and a thorough evaluation may lead to an early intervention referral, as well. However a child comes to be referred, assessed, and determined eligible—early intervention services provide vital support so that children with developmental needs can thrive and grow. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to provide educators with a handout for parents on early intervention.
Issue # 31 - Questions and Answers on Categories of Disabilities
There are 14 specific primary terms included in IDEA under the lead definition of "child with a disability." These federal terms and definitions guide how States define disability and who is eligible for a free appropriate public education under special education law. The definitions of these specific terms from the IDEA regulations are shown beneath each term listed below. Note, in order to fully meet the definition (and eligibility for special education and related services) as a "child with a disability," a child's educational performance must be adversely affected due to the disability. The focus of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner is to review the 14 categories of disability under the federal law.
Issue # 30 - Questions and Answers on WAGR Syndrome
WAGR syndrome is a rare genetic condition that can affect both boys and girls. Babies born with WAGR syndrome often have eye problems, and are at high risk for developing certain types of cancer, and mental retardation. The term "WAGR" stands for the first letters of the physical and mental problems associated with the condition.
Issue # 29 - Questions and Answers on Updates from the U.S. Department of Education on IEP Team Membership and IEP Meetings
IDEARegulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2006, and became effective on Oct. 13, 2006. In addition, supplemental Part B regulations were published on Dec. 1, 2008, and became effective on Dec. 31, 2008. Since publication of the regulations, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education (Department) has received requests for clarification of some of these regulations. This issue of NASET's Q & A Corner addresses some of the most important issues raised by requests for clarification on IEP Team Membership and IEP Meetings.
Issue # 28 - Questions and Answers on Secondary Transition
IDEA and its implementing regulations continue to address transition services for children with disabilities. Transition services may be special education, if provided as specially designed instruction, or a related service, if required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. The term “transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that: (a) is designed to be within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, and community participation; (b) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and (c) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is taken from the U.S. Department of Education and addresses questions on secondary transition for children with disabilities
Issue # 27 - Questions and Answers About IEP Team Members Roles and Responsibilities
The individualized education program (IEP) is the heart of IDEA 2004. It is a written statement that is developed, reviewed, and revised in an IEP meeting and serves as a communication vehicle between a parent and the District.
The IEP meeting serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, and enables them, as equal participants, to jointly decide what the child’s needs are, what services will be provided to meet those needs, and what the anticipated outcomes may be.
The IEP requirements under IDEA emphasize the importance of working cooperatively as a team. The law expects school districts to bring together parents, students, general educators, related service providers, and special educators to make important educational decisions for students with disabilities. With the combined knowledge and resources of these individuals, students will be assured greater support and subsequent success.
During an IEP Meeting, team members share information and discuss the needs of the student. All members should listen carefully and share information that brings about a better understanding of the student. The discussion should connect one IEP element to the next and ensure internal consistency within the produced document.
This issue of the NASET Q & A Corner will address the roles and responsibilities of each member of the IEP Team.
Issue # 26 -Answers for Questions Frequently Asked by Parents About Early Intervention
Broadly speaking, early intervention services are specialized health, educational, and therapeutic services designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers, from birth through age two, who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families. At the discretion of each State, services can also be provided to children who are considered to be at-risk of developing substantial delays if services are not provided.
Sometimes it is known from the moment a child is born that early intervention services will be essential in helping the child grow and develop. Often this is so for children who are diagnosed at birth with a specific condition or who experience significant prematurity, very low birth weight, illness, or surgery soon after being born. Even before heading home from the hospital, this child’s parents may be given a referral to their local early intervention office.
Some children have a relatively routine entry into the world, but may develop more slowly than others, experience setbacks, or develop in ways that seem very different from other children. For these children, a visit with a developmental pediatrician and a thorough evaluation may lead to an early intervention referral, as well. However a child comes to be referred, assessed, and determined eligible—early intervention services provide vital support so that children with developmental needs can thrive and grow.
The focus of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner will be to address frequently asked questions by parents regarding early intervention.
Issue # 25 - Questions and Answers About American Sign Language (ASL) and Cochlear Implants
This edition of the NASET Q & A Corner will focus on two areas. The first will address questions pertaining to American Sign Language. American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body. The second part of this edition will focus on cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
Issue # 24 - Questions and Answers About Seizures and Epilepsy
Few experiences match the drama of a convulsive seizure. A person having a severe seizure may cry out, fall to the floor unconscious, twitch or move uncontrollably, drool, or even lose bladder control. Within minutes, the attack is over, and the person regains consciousness but is exhausted and dazed. This is the image most people have when they hear the word epilepsy. However, this type of seizure -- a generalized tonic-clonic seizure -- is only one kind of epilepsy. There are many other kinds, each with a different set of symptoms. Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. Many people with epilepsy lead productive and outwardly normal lives. Medical and research advances in the past two decades have led to a better understanding of epilepsy and seizures than ever before. Advanced brain scans and other techniques allow greater accuracy in diagnosing epilepsy and determining when a patient may be helped by surgery. More than 20 different medications and a variety of surgical techniques are now available and provide good control of seizures for most people with epilepsy. Research on the underlying causes of epilepsy, including identification of genes for some forms of epilepsy and febrile seizures, has led to a greatly improved understanding of epilepsy that may lead to more effective treatments or even new ways of preventing epilepsy in the future. Using research from from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the focus of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner will be to address seizures and epilepsy.
Issue # 23 - Questions and Answers About Spina Bifida
The human nervous system develops from a small, specialized plate of cells along the back of an embryo. Early in development, the edges of this plate begin to curl up toward each other, creating the neural tube—a narrow sheath that closes to form the brain and spinal cord of the embryo. As development progresses, the top of the tube becomes the brain and the remainder becomes the spinal cord. This process is usually complete by the 28th day of pregnancy. But if problems occur during this process, the result can be brain disorders called neural tube defects, including spina bifida. The focus of this NASET Q & A Corner will be to address frequently asked questions about spina bifida.
Issue # 22 - Questions and Answers About Serving Children with Disabilities Eligible for Transportation
The IDEA and its implementing regulations continue to address the transportation needs of children with disabilities. Transportation is a related service as defined by 34 CFR §300.34(c)(16) of the IDEA regulations and can include travel to and from school and between schools; travel in and around school buildings; and specialized equipment such as special or adapted buses, lifts, and ramps. A child’s individualized education program (IEP) Team is responsible for determining both if transportation is required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education and related services, and how the transportation services should be implemented. The IDEA and the implementing regulations also include travel training in the definition of special education. Travel training is instruction that enables children with disabilities to develop an awareness of the environment in which they live, and to learn the skills necessary to move effectively and safely from place to place within that environment. Both transportation and travel training are important services IEP Teams should continue to consider when they plan for a child’s postsecondary transition needs. This edition of NASET’s Q & A Corner (from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services) focuses on the latest federal regulations for serving children with disabilities eligible for transportation.
Issue # 21 - Questions and Answers About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). Parents and teachers can miss the fact that children with symptoms of inattention have the disorder because they are often quiet and less likely to act out. They may sit quietly, seeming to work, but they are often not paying attention to what they are doing. They may get along well with other children, compared with those with the other subtypes, who tend to have social problems. But children with the inattentive kind of ADHD are not the only ones whose disorders can be missed. Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role. Like many other illnesses, ADHD probably results from a combination of factors. In addition to genetics, researchers are looking at possible environmental factors, and are studying how brain injuries, nutrition, and the social environment might contribute to ADHD. The focus of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner will be on questions and answers related to ADHD.
Issue # 20 - Questions and Answers About Initial Referrals
Once the Child Study Team has determined that a student has a suspected disability, the team will make a referral for a comprehensive assessment. This assessment will be used along with other information to help determine the nature and type of disability of the student if one exists. This issue of the NASET Q & A Corner will address questions relating to initial referrals for special education services.
Issue # 19 - Questions and Answers About Secondary Transition
IDEA and its implementing regulations continue to address transition services for children with disabilities. Transition services may be special education, if provided as specially designed instruction, or a related service, if required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. The term “transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that: (a) is designed to be within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, and community participation; (b) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and (c) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. The focus of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner is to address secondary transition services
Issue # 18 - Questions and Answers About The 10 Basic Steps in Special Education
The 10 Basic Steps in Special Education - A Handout for Parents
Children can have all sorts of difficulties growing up. Sometimes problems are obvious right from the start; and sometimes they don't appear until a child is in school. Some children have trouble learning to read or write. Others have a hard time remembering new information. Still others may have trouble with their behavior. For some children, growing up can be very hard to do! When a child is having trouble in school, it's important to find out why. The child may have a disability. By law, schools must provide special help to eligible children with disabilities. This help is called special education and related services. There's a lot to know about the process by which children are identified as having a disability and in need of special education and related services. This NASET Q & A Corner from NICHCY is written for parents to help them learn about that process.
Issue #17 Questions and Answers About Basic Special Education Jargon
Questions answered include:
- What is Special Education?
- In the Definition of Special Education, What Does “Specially Designed Instruction” Mean?
- In the Definition of Special Education, What Does “At No Cost to Parent/guardians” Mean?
- In the Definition of Special Education, What Does a “Student with a Disability” Mean?
- Where is Special Education Instruction Provided?
- What Federal Laws Protect Students with Disabilities?
- What is the Purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?
- What is a Free Appropriate Public Education?
- Who is Considered a Parent/guardian under IDEA?
- What Disabilities are Covered Under IDEA?
Issue #16 Questions and Answers About Vocational Assessments
Crossing the threshold from the world of school to the world of work brings a significant change in everyone's life. School is an entitlement, meaning that it is an environment that our system of government supplies for all of our citizens. The workplace is the opposite; no one is entitled to a job. One of the most important aspects of transition planning is the preparation of students for the world of work. Up to now, the focus has been on helping students fulfill the educational requirements for graduation from a secondary school. Now comes a very real and practical issue that can create many concerns. With the proper information and resources, this next phase of the transition process can also be very rewarding. Parents and educators must fully understand vocational options in order to help children make the best decisions for his or their future.
The purpose of this issue of the NASET Q & A Corner is to give you a strong working knowledge of vocational assessments.
Issue #15 Questions and Answers About Section 504
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . ."
The Section 504 regulation requires a school district to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student's individual needs.
This NASET Q and Corner clarifies pertinent requirements of Section 504 and responds to specific questions raised by parents and school districts.
Issue #14 Questions and Answers On the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (NIMAS)
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about On the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (NIMAS):
- What is the definition of NIMAS?
- Will foreign language textbooks be available in NIMAS and through the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)? Is this issue addressed in the law or regulations?
- May a file for an eligible student also be used for other students who may benefit from its use?
- Can programs that serve 3 to 5 year olds under Part B, section 619 use NIMAS files sets and the NIMAC repository?
- Will the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) still provide texts to APH-eligible students? How will APH textbooks interface with the NIMAC?
- Is there a standard style guide for NIMAS? If so, where is it available?
- What are the costs to an SEA when coordinating with the NIMAC?
- Will States be allowed to access the graphic parts of texts? Are they required to obtain permission from publishers, the artist, or the photographer?
- Are IEP Teams authorized to determine if a student requires accessible instructional materials? Are LEAs required to pay for additional medical certification to verify that a student’s print disabilities are organic in nature?
- Are outlying entities eligible to coordinate with the NIMAC?
- The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) is required to comply with the IDEA. Is it eligible to access the NIMAC database to use NIMAS file sets?
- What is the turnaround time from the NIMAC to the students receiving accessible materials?
- Is there an estimated cost to implement these provisions?
- How does NIMAS relate to curricula that are delivered in an on-line platform?
- If an SEA does not convert NIMAS file sets in-house and uses APH, Recording for Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), Bookshare, or some other AMP for conversion purposes, will there be additional costs to the SEA or will licensing/contract agreements and fees be sufficient?
- What does it mean to coordinate with NIMAC?
Issue #13 Questions and Answers On Highly Qualified Teachers Serving Children with Disabilities
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about On Highly Qualified Teachers Serving Children with Disabilities:
- What are the qualifications for a teacher to become highly qualified if the teacher is a “new teacher” of special education teaching children who will be learning to alternate achievement standards and taking alternate assessments?
- Is a veteran regular education teacher who continues to be employed by a district and is re-assigned as a special education teacher after obtaining special education certification considered to be “hired” as a special education teacher upon reassignment, and therefore eligible to demonstrate competence in the core academic subjects he or she is teaching as a “new” special education teacher?
- If a teacher has taught special education in one State and begins teaching in a different State, would the teacher be considered a “new” special education teacher under IDEA?
- What are the consequences for an SEA or an LEA for not meeting HQT under IDEA and how will the HQT requirements be enforced under IDEA?
- May a parent file a due process request with violations other than the school’s failure to provide a HQT and then include the violation of failure to provide a HQT as a part of the due process? Or is the failure to provide a HQT never allowed to be included in a due process hearing?
- What are the highly qualified teacher requirements for a teacher in a charter school?
- What are the HQT requirements for preschool teachers?
- The Department released guidance asking States to phase out the HOUSSE procedures. What is the Department’s current guidance on HOUSSE, especially as it relates to special education teachers?
- How does HOUSSE work for multi-subject teachers of special education students?
- Does a resource special education teacher need to pass core academic subject tests to consult with regular education teachers?
- My State does not have a special education teacher exam. How will I become highly qualified in special education?
- If a qualified special education teacher provides direct student “supplemental” instruction in one or more core academic subjects in support of the general education teacher’s instruction in the core academic subject(s), does the special education teacher need to be highly qualified in the core subjects?
- Do private school special education teachers who are providing special education to children with disabilities have to have a bachelor’s degree and be fully certified?
- If a local educational agency sends a special education teacher (employed by the LEA) to a private school to fulfill a student’s IEP, does that teacher have to be highly qualified?
- If an SEA or an LEA places a child with a disability in a private school, does the private school teacher have to be highly qualified?
- Are there any certification or licensure requirements for private school teachers when the SEA or LEA is placing students with disabilities in private schools?
- What are the requirements regarding paraprofessional qualifications needed to provide services to children with disabilities?
- What are the core academic subjects?
Issue #12 Questions and Answers about DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about Individual Evaluation Process for Special Education:
- Did IDEA 2004 add a new authority for school personnel to consider unique circumstances?
- Did IDEA 2004 expand removal authority for special circumstances related to serious bodily injury?
- Did IDEA 2004 retain previous authority for immediate short-term removals?
- Did IDEA 2004 retain authority for long-term removals for behavior that is not a manifestation of the disability?
- Did IDEA 2004 clarify when services are required during disciplinary removals, the provision of such services and who makes the determination regarding services and interim alternative educational settings?
- Did IDEA 2004 specify when the LEA must give notice?
- Did IDEA 2004 establish a new standard for manifestation determinations?
- Did IDEA 2004 add a new provision when there is a determination that the behavior was a manifestation of the disability?
- Did IDEA 2004 retain a definition of change of placement and clarify that the public agency makes a case-by-case determination of whether a specific pattern of removals meets the definition?
- Did IDEA 2004 retain and revise the standard for a public agency’s basis of knowledge for children not determined eligible for special education and related services?
- Did IDEA 2004 establish exceptions to the public agency’s basis of knowledge for ineligibility, or refusal of consent to evaluation or services?
- Did IDEA 2004 retain hearing rights related to disciplinary removals?
- Did IDEA 2004 establish the authority of the hearing officer?
- Did IDEA 2004 establish procedures for an expedited hearing?
- Did IDEA 2004 address the child’s placement pending a disciplinary hearing decision?
Issue #11 Questions and Answers about The Individual Evaluation Process for Special Education
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about Individual Evaluation Process for Special Education:
- What is an Evaluation for Special Education?
- What are the Components of a Comprehensive Evaluation?
- How Should Parent/guardians go about Obtaining School Records on his or her Student?
- What Should a Parent/guardian Expect and Provide for the Parent/guardian Intake or Interview?
Issue #10 Questions and Answers about No Child Left Behind: Accountability and Testing
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about Individualized Education Programs:
- How are school report cards put together and what kind of information do they provide?
- How can parents see these local report cards, which include school-by-school data?
- What information is provided on state report cards?
- What is "adequate yearly progress"? How does measuring it help to improve schools?
- What if a school does not improve?
- How are teachers or schools that do well rewarded?
- What can parents do to help their child's school succeed and meet the accountability requirements? How does the law help parents become involved?
- What impact does testing have on children?
- Will student results be made available to parents?
- Will the results of a child's tests be private?
- On what subjects are students tested and when?
- How is testing handled for children with disabilities? How is it handled for those with limited English proficiency?
- Some say that testing causes teachers to teach to the test. Is that true?
- Nevertheless, state assessments sound like they could take a lot of time and effort. What will be gained?
- Do tests measure the progress of schools?
- How does testing help teachers?
- How does testing help principals?
- How can parents find out if their child's school uses information gathered from testing to improve teaching and learning?
- What about the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)?
Issue #9 Questions and Answers about Individualized Education Programs
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about Individualized Education Programs:
- What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
- What is the Purpose of an IEP?
- Who Develops the IEP?
- What Content Must Be Included in a Student’s IEP?
- What are Related Services?
- How is a Student's Placement Determined?
- What Happens after the IEP is Written?
- How Does the IEP Get Implemented?
- How Often Will a Student's IEP be Reviewed and Revised?
- What are Some Guiding Principles for IEP Development?
In addition to the questions answered in this issue, there is also a summary of the steps to developing and implementing an IEP.
Issue #8 Questions and Answers about Eligibility for Special Education and Procedural Safeguards Under IDEA
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about technology and universal design:
- What is an Eligibility Committee?
- What are the responsibilities of the Eligibility Committee?
- Who are the Members of the Eligibility Committee?
- What is the Role of the Parent/guardian Member on the Eligibility Committee?
- What is a Recommendation to the Eligibility Committee?
- What are the Procedures for Determining Eligibility?
- What are Procedural Safeguards?
- What are Parent/Guardians' Rights Regarding Notice?
- What are Parent/Guardians' Rights Regarding Consent?
- What are Parent/Guardians' Rights for Evaluation, Reevaluation and Independent Educational Evaluation?
- Do Parent/Guardians Need to Inform the School District if They Intend to Seek an Independent Educational Evaluation?
Issue #7 Questions and Answers about Technology and Universal Design
This NASET Q & A Corner will provide you with the answers to the following questions about technology and universal design:
- What does “technology” mean?
- What is “access?”
- What is “assistive technology?”
- What is “universal design?”
- What are the principles of Universal Design?
- How did Universal Design get started?
- How can Universal Design help students with disabilities gain access to the general curriculum?
- How can Universal Design be applied to curriculum?
- How can assessments be universally designed?
- Why is it worth using universally designed assessments?
Issue #6 Questions and Answers about Understanding Basic Statistics and Scoring Terminology Used in Assessment
- What is an Age Equivalent?
- What is Alternate Forms Reliability?
- What is Concurrent Validity?
- What is Construct Validity?
- What is Content Validity?
- What is a Correlation?
- What is Criterion Related Validity?
- What is a Grade Equivalent?
- What is Interrater Reliability?
- What is a Mean Score?
- What is a Median Score?
- What is a Mode?
- What is the Range?
- What is a Percentile Rank?
- What is Predictive Validity?
- What are Raw Scores?
- What is Reliability?
- What is a Reliability Coefficient?
- What are Scaled Scores?
- What is Split-Half Reliability or Internal Consistency?
- What is the Standard Deviation?
- What is the Standard Error of Measurement?
- What are Standard Scores?
- What is a Stanine?
- What is Test–Retest Reliability?
- What is a T Score?
- What is Validity?
- What is a z Score?
Issue #5 Questions and Answers about Transition Services from School Age to Adult Life
- What are Transition Services?
- Who is Entitled to Transition Services?
- What areas are Included under Transitional Services?
- What is the District’s Role in Transition Services?
- What is an Individualized Transition Education Program (ITEP)?
- What is a Vocational Assessment?
- What Concerns should the Parent/guardians be Aware of if Their Student will be Entering a Work Situation After Aging Out?
- What are the Different Types of Work Situations Available to Students with Disabilities?
- What Should a Parent/guardian or Student with a Disability Consider with Post-Secondary Education?
Issue #4 Questions and Answers about the Annual Review
- What is the Annual Review?
- When Does the Annual Review Occur?
- How is a Parent/guardian Notified of an Annual Review Meeting?
- What Takes Place at an Annual Review Meeting?
- What Rights are Afforded to the Parent/guardian under Due Process During the Annual Review?
- Who Participates in the Annual Review?
- Is a New IEP Developed at the Annual Review?
- What Might the Parent/guardians be Asked at the Annual Review?
- What Happens if the Parent/guardian Disagrees with the Recommendations Made at the Annual Review?
- What Record Keeping Ideas Should be Suggested to the Parent/guardian(s) During the Annual Review?
Issue #3 Questions and Answers about Procedural Safeguards and Due Process
- What are Procedural Safeguards?
- What are Parent/guardians' Rights Regarding Notice?
- What are Parent/guardians' Rights Regarding Consent?
- What are Parent/guardians' Rights for Evaluation, Reevaluation and Independent Educational Evaluation?
- Do Parent/guardians Need to Inform the School District if They Intend to Seek an Independent Educational Evaluation?
- Is the School Required to Accept the Results of an Independent Education Evaluation?
- How Do Parent/guardians Find a Professional or Clinic to Conduct an Independent Educational Evaluation?
- Are a Student's Records Confidential?
- What are Parent/guardian's Rights Regarding Their Student's Records?
- Can Parent/guardians See Their Student’s Educational Records?
- Can Anyone Else See a Student’s School Records Without Parent/guardian Consent?
- Can Parent/guardians Review Their Student’s School Records?
- How Can Parent/guardians Obtain a Copy of Their Student’s School Records?
- Do Parent/guardians Have a Right to Review Their Student’s Record When He or She Becomes an Adult Student?
- What Can Parent/guardians Do When They Disagree with their School District’s Decisions?
- What Options are Available to Parent/guardians When They Disagree with the School District’s Decisions?
- What is Mediation?
- What is Due Process?
- What is a Due Process Hearing?
- What Options are Available to Parent/guardians if They Want to Put Their Student in a Private School?
- What Can the Public Agency Do if Parent/guardians Don't Consent to Their Student's Initial Evaluation, Reevaluation, or Initial Provision of Special Education and Related Services?
Issue # 2 Questions:
- If a district has determined that a student will take a Locally Developed Alternate Assessment (LDAA) for science, why does a new Individualized Education Program (IEP) have to be written? Why can't the current IEP be used since it contains the entire ARD information about that individual student, including all modifications currently being used by the regular ed. teacher?
- I was recently hired to teach at a special education preschool and one of my students has been diagnosed with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Can you provide me with some information about this disorder?
- Is DIR (Floor-time) an effective approach to teaching children with autism spectrum disorder?
- In our school, administrators want us to evaluate our students using norm referenced tests and criterion referenced tests. What's the difference?
- What has the research told us about food additives and sugar for students with ADHD?
- Can anyone represent parents at an IEP meeting?
- If a student with a disability is in a substantially separate program or does not have a general education teacher, must a general education teacher attend the student’s IEP team meeting?
- What has been the fastest growing category of special education in the past 30 years?
- Does a School District’s Child Find Obligations Change within RTI Systems?
Issue # 1 - NASET Q & A Corner
- I was talking to a parent about her son’s recent referral for an evaluation for a suspected learning disability. She said she gave consent to do it. Is consent just a parental signature or is there more to it? What does it really take to give “consent”?
- I was recently speaking to a parent of an 18 month old boy. She is knowledgeable about signs of autism when children are 2 or 3 years of age but wanted to know what the most common early indicators of autism were. Are there any “early indicators” of autism?
- Recently at an IEP meeting for a child, the child’s foster parent attended. Is this person consider the “parent” under IDEA 2004?
- I’m looking at an educational report of a child and it reports stanines. What is that?
- There is a child in our school that we feel needs to be evaluated for a possible disability. The parents refuse to give consent. Do we need their consent?
- I keep hearing about all the kids with ADHD. Bottom line, how many kids are actually diagnosed with ADHD? Is it really so many more boys than girls?
- What classification of disability has the largest disparity between boys and girls in special education?
- Is it true that African American males are overrepresented in the special education classification of Emotional Disturbance?
- Administrators in our school have been talking about “high risk” students. Yet, there is no such term as a special education category? What does it mean to be a “high risk” student?
- We use the word “hyper” all the time to describe an active child. Yet, I know that a child with ADHD will often have “hyperactivity.” How is “hyperactivity” different from just boys being boys or kids with just more energy than others?