How To Overcome Special Education Personnel’s Money Complaints

Are you the parent of a child with autism that has been denied needed educational services, for your child? Have you been told by school district personnel, that your child cannot receive a certain service, because the price is too high? This article will discuss ways that you can overcome these tactics used by some school personnel, for the benefit of your child.

The purpose of special education taken out of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.”

IDEA does not allow, school districts to use the “money” card, to get out of providing needed educational services to children with disabilities. The reality is, that many school districts try this tactic many times a day. And the sad thing is, that many parents believe them. Do not fall for this tactic! Stand up for your child, as you are the only advocate that they will ever have.

For Example:

**School administrator: “Mrs. Jones we would love to give Mary 90 minutes of speech therapy a week, but our district is small, and we cannot afford it.”

**Bad reply from the parent: “Oh I totally understand, I didn’t mean to ask for so much.”

**School administrator: “Oh I am sure that you didn’t. But you have to understand that we have a lot of children in our district, and we want to help them all. How about 30 minutes a week?”

**Parent: “30 minutes will be fine.”

The problem with this conversation is, that the parent should have discussed evidence she had of her child’s need. The parent also did not clarify, that the amount of time offered was for direct service. Many times special education personnel will write down consultative services, rather than direct services; without the parent being aware of it.

Same Example:

**School Administrator: “Mrs. Jones we would love to give Mary 90 minutes of speech therapy a week, but our district is small, and we cannot afford it.”

**Good Example from the parent: “Mr. Parker, my daughter Mary needs 90 minutes of direct speech language therapy per week, to make progress in her education. As you will see from the Independent Educational Evaluation that I have here, the registered Speech/Language Pathologist recommends 90 minutes of direct service per week. I am not concerned with the school districts budget, but what I am concerned about is Mary’s right to receive a free appropriate public education.”

**School Administrator: “Why would you go and get an independent evaluation, don’t you trust our speech /language pathologist to recommend the best for Mary.”

**Parent: “The Speech/Language Pathologist that works for this district, is only recommending 30 minutes direct service per week, despite Mary’s low test scores in areas of receptive and expressive language. Mary needs 90 minutes of Speech Language therapy per week, if you refuse to give it to her, I will consider filing for a due process hearing.

**School Administrator: “Oh, you don’t have to get nasty.”

**Parent: “I was not getting nasty. Due process is my right, if I disagree with your decision, which I do.”

School administrator: “We will consult with out speech language pathologist, and consider giving Mary the 90 per week of direct speech therapy.”

**Parent: “Thank You.”

By standing up to tactics used by some special education personnel, you can ensure that your child receives a free appropriate public education.

Help Your Toddler Talk by Creating a Positive Speech Environment

Most parents would agree that a child’s learning environment plays an important role on his or her ability to learn. A student who studies in front of a television, eating a pile of junk food will retain less than a student who studies in a quiet room with healthy eating habits. A child with delayed speech is also affected by environment.

Although we can’t force a child to talk, we can provide an environment that is rich in speech. There are so many factors that influence a child’s environment. Today I’m going to focus on four ways to create a positive speech environment.

The 1st step to helping your toddler talk by creating a positive speech environment is to show a need for communication. As a parent, I know my need for survival or convenience can often blur my long term vision for my children. In the moment, no matter what is going on, it’s tempting to do what’s easy in that moment, rather than what’s best. If your child has limited speech, what is best is that your child communicates his or her needs and desires. One way to show a need for communication is to avoid anticipating your child’s needs to quickly. Wait for your child to gesture or speak before getting what  (s)he wants. After your child makes an attempt to communicate, respond with praise and model correct speech. For example, if your child is whining or crying for a drink, the easy way to eliminate the crying in the moment, is to quickly give your child the drink. However, the best way is to withhold a bit and say, “Do you want a drink?” or “say, ‘milk.’ ” Once the child attempts to communicate say, “Great asking!” If your child is using sign language to help communicate, be consistent. Require your child to sign before getting what (s)he or wants.

The next two ways to create a positive speech environment go hand in hand. You want to reduce frustration and encourage your child. You want your child to succeed, so encourage your child. Show that you and your child are in this together. Give your child your full attention when (s)he is talking to you. Pay attention to your own facial expressions and body language and be sure to look interested by showing enthusiasm. Be patient with your child when (s)he is trying to communicate. Do not interrupt your child or try to finish his or her sentence. As you try to reduce frustration, be sure that you give your child time to respond, without showing frustration. Remember that your child may also be feeling frustration, so you want to relieve as much pressure as possible.  Always remember to praise your child when (s)he says a sound (word or phase) correctly or even if (s)he attempts a specific sound.

The fourth way to create a positive speech environment is to lead by example. TALK! When you talk, pay attention to the way you talk. Speak one step ahead of your child’s communication level. So if your child is not yet using words to communicate, start by labeling objects. When your child begins to label, start using two-word phrases. Talk about what you’re doing, what you hear, or what you see. Also talk about what your child is doing, hearing, and seeing.

Lastly if you want to provide a positive speech environment, involve more than just yourself.  Involve your entire family, educators, and friends as you are working to improve your child’s speech. Share with them how you and your child are working to improve his or her speech. Educate them on how they can be part of your child’s speech development.

Again the 4 ways to create a positive speech environment are:
1. Show a need for communication by not anticipating all your child’s needs,
2. Reduce frustration by not showing frustration,
3. Praise your child for all of their small successes and
4. Lead by example by talking and labeling everything.

One additional speech development tip – Have FUN! You will reduce the stress in your child and enjoy yourself if you have a blast. If your toddler’s speech delay is causing frustration in your family, there are many more ways that you could help your toddler talk. For useful tips and advice please visit my website at http://www.speechcalendar.com

College Level Speech Class is Life Preparation For People With Stage Fright Or Speaking Apprehension

Get Your College Education:

When I first started college classes I have to admit that it was not on my top list of importance. Even now I still admit that it is not all that important to me. The real importance is life itself and what my part in life is. College is a tool to prepare you for what life holds.

When I say that college prepares you for what life holds I do not mean that it prepares you for your career. I hear that constantly! “If you ever plan to succeed in life, you need to finish your education.” “If you ever plan to make a decent income, you need an education.” “If you want a good job, you need to get a college degree.” I could go on and on about how deceptive those statements are but the first one is still the closest to the truth.

Preparation for what life holds:

When someone says, “If you ever plan to succeed in life, you need to finish your education.” they are most often referring to financial success and finishing a college education. The statement is true but success is not based on money and education is not a college degree. Let me re-emphasize that. Success is NOT based on money and education is NOT a college degree.

When it comes to finances, I am one of the least successful people there are. I have lived in homeless shelters and in the homes of friends. I have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that belonged to other people and have been unable to pay them back. I often feel like my life is a failure. Even now I am unable to find employment and I have no income. I live off the gracefulness of others, but not intentionally, I really do try sincerely to do what is righteous.

Real Success

When I look at my children who are 3 and 4 years old, I realize that my success will be decided by how well I communicate my love to them. They do not want my money but they want my acceptance. When I look at my wife I feel completely wretched when I am unable to provide for her financial needs. My success will be found in how faithful I am to communicate my love to her.

Speech Class:

Public speech class was a fear of mine and I was given a government grant to earn an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, which I completed without a speech class by successfully manipulating my degree completion plans to evade it. I came to a point of realization however. After seeing that my education did nothing to help me find work, I realized that my true success was dependent upon my ability to face stage fright, and communicate freely. That is why I went back to school and voluntarily forced myself to take speech class where I would be required to stand up in front of other people and speak to them as a group. It was difficult but worth it. If you are in line to take a public speech class I encourage you to not drop out but work toward your life success by conquering your fear of being rejected by others.