Top 5 ways to keep children engaged during the summer...

Often a student will have some regression over the summer months. There are several things that parents/guardians can do to help with this... 

#5 - Active reading

Check out your local library for reading events, activities or summer book clubs. If you cannot find one appropriate for your child, set one up with your own children or a group of your child's friends. 

#4 - Active engagement

Make sure your child is still engaging in appropriate social interactions during the summer. If your child has skill sets they are working on, ask their teacher for some worksheets or suggestions that can be done at home. 

#3 - Active critical thinking

Going away or have a family member or friend not too close? Have you child write letters, stories and/or postcards to this person that requires them to use their writing skills as well as their brains to critically think about what to say and how to say it. 

#2 - Active bodies

Encourage play and time spent outside during the summer instead of electonics. Something as simple as a scavenger hunt or a bingo game based on items found in your child's usual environment can reinforce content they have been taught and/or just show an interest in.

#1 -  Active communities

Reach out to your local schools, recreation departments and children friendly businesses to see if they have summer programs and/or volunteer positions open. 

April is Autism Awareness Month...

 Autism was first described by Leo Kanner in 1943. There is no single known cause for Autism, or autism spectrum disorder. Autism is displayed in many ways depending on the individual. It may appear as challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. Autism comes in many forms, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. According to the Autism Society, about 1% of the world population has autism spectrum disorder.

Goals of Autism treatment should include: fostering development, promoting learning, and reducing rigidity, eliminating maladaptive behaviors and alleviating family distress. Instructional strategies should provide structure; consider the social and sensory demands of each activity and environment; and apply strategies in response to the child’s specific area of need. The law mandates that specific academic goals should relate to the child’s cognitive and functional level, and the program should be provided in the least restrictive environment.

 

Call the firm today to schedule a consultation:

E. M. Curran & Associates LLC
10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, Massachusetts 01810

(781) 933 -1542
 

What does Endrew F. mean for your student...

On March 22nd the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Special Education students in Endrew F. V. Douglas County School District.  School districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, "appropriately ambitious" progress. The case focuses on a student from Colorado with autism and attention deficit disorder (ADD) whose parents removed him from public school in fifth grade. He was placed in a private school where he made substantial progress. His parents argued that the individualized education plan (IEP) offered by the public school was inadequate and that as a result the district did not meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) thereby, denying the student of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).  The parents were suing the school district to have the district pay for the student’s private school tuition. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parents/student.

In delivering the opinion on behalf of the unanimous  Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in relevant part, “when all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing ‘merely more than de minimis’ progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all.” The importance of this case means that schools and their districts need to be held to a higher standard than currently exists. In addition, Roberts stated in the opinion, “a child’s education program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances, just as advancement from grade to grade is appropriately ambitious for most children in the regular classroom… the goals may differ, but every child should have the chance to meet challenging in objectives.”

In light of this decision, parents, guardians and advocates need to evaluate the adequacy of a student’s IEP based on the “unique circumstances of the child for whom it was created.” More should be expected of schools and their districts. Every child, whether they have a disability or not, should be provided a meaningful education so that they may reach their full potential and live lives as independent as possible based on their unique abilities.

Call the firm today to schedule a consultation:

E. M. Curran & Associates LLC
10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, Massachusetts 01810
(781) 933 -1542

How to Choose an Education Attorney

There have been many recent changes in the U.S. Department of Education, most notably the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos’ background does not include any studies or work experience in the field of Education. Ms. Devos’ education experience comes from being a political activist. She has publicly promoted ‘educational choice’ for families in the form of school vouchers. For further information on her interview please review the interview’s transcript.

Additionally, there have been significant changes to the U.S. Department of Education’s website since Ms. Devos’s appointment. The most relevant changes have been to the Laws and Guidance section which has seen the removal and/or replacement of several areas such as the guidance links for the IDEA.

It is important now, more than ever, to have an Education attorney/advocate that you can consult with and turn to when issues arise regarding a student’s right to special education services, gender equality, and a safe and welcoming school environment. You should consider many factors when selecting an attorney, including the following:

  • The attorney’s experience in school law.
  • The attorney’s experience and knowledge of education practices in the classroom.
  • The attorney’s experience and knowledge of working with students with special needs.
  • The attorney’s willingness to play a dual role as a guide you from the sidelines, when needed, and as a zealous and vocal advocate , when more deliberate negotiations are needed.
  • The attorney’s fee structure, whether the fee is the same for any time of day and whether it includes all of the necessary support services.

Call the firm today to schedule a consultation:

E. M. Curran & Associates LLC
10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, Massachusetts 01810
(781) 933 -1542