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COVID-19 ALERT

COVID-19 ALERTCOVID-19 ALERTCOVID-19 ALERT

Special Education Services may be significantly impacted due to "distance learning". Prepare now for school re-opening!

IDEA, 504 Plans & CoVID-19

Be Prepared

When school buildings re-open for education, they will be overwhelmed with parent questions, concerns and loss of student progress. For students with an IEP or 504 Plan, schools may be "put off" those plans and meetings once schools return to some normalcy. The current projection is that IEP and 504 Plan meetings could be delayed for upwards of 45 school days. Attorneys and Advocates are working to stop this delay but with the unusual circumstances, it is hard to predict what the state and federal governments will do yet. But remember that 45 school days is essentially an entire grading period. Many of the students with IEPs will have minimal progress through the distance learning model since specialized instruction and related services such as speech/language, occupational therapy, and behavior plans are difficult to deliver virtually. And there will be large numbers of students that regress and those of of skills could be significant. Extended School Year will be virtually delivered this school year so the distance learning model will be in place until school buildings re-open in August (hopefully). 


There are steps as a parent can take now to prepare for the re-opening of school:


  • As best as possible, document where your child is now with his/her education in reading, writing, math and executive functioning (ie - are you having to sit down with your child and walk them step though step through virtual lessons). This can be through work samples you keep, videoing with your cell phone or keeping a short journal. 
  • As behaviors or issues arise, document them and, if possible, video them. A video of your child staring at the computer and not being able to focus or your child yelling in frustration is worth more than any written description.
  • Try to keep your scheduled IEP meetings on the schedule during this time. Districts are trying to delay IEP meetings until September when they can be "face-to-face" but remember, if the State Special Education Departments get their request, IEP meetings may not even start again until the end of October. Even if you can only get an hour virtual IEP meeting, take it! 
  • If you manage to keep/schedule an IEP meeting, make sure you get EVERYTHING the school wants to review at that meeting in advance. Virtual Meetings may not be able to share the documents online plus, time in the meeting will be better spent if you have reviewed the document and have your questions and concerns ready. I request documents at least 24 hours in advance under the current situation and I make all requests in writing and email it to the staffing specialist and primary teacher.
  • If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to call me and I will try to provide some guidance. As a mom of a son with significant special needs, I understand that this time is stressful from a health, educational and emotional perspective. 

What will schools and special education look like in the future?

What will schools and special education look like in the future?

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Let's get your child what they need from school!

All children are entitled to an education! When a child has a disability, there are additional steps that schools need to take to provide that child a free appropriate public education. I can help guide parents through the Special Education Process.

About Me

My Background

I am a mom of 3 boys and have been advocating for them and many friend's children for over 20 years. My middle son has an extensive IEP due to significant disabilities including Down syndrome, Autism, and Bipolar Tendencies to name a few. My oldest and youngest sons both had 504 Plans and I have experience dealing with RTI/MTSS and how to best address concerns that arise from a student who is continually receiving RTI without further evaluation into possible learning disorders. 


I am a member of the Council of Parents, Attorneys & Advocates (COPAA) and more than half way through COPAA's intensive Special Education Advocacy Training course (SEAT 2.0). This course is a comprehensive year long training program that covers all aspects of Special Education and successful advocacy. In addition, I have attended the Wrightslaw BootCamp and a couple of local Central Florida Special Education Advocacy training programs. 



Services

Intro Consultation

I offer a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation to discuss your concerns and goals as they pertain to your child's education.

Hourly Consultations

I am available to provide support and consultation at reasonable hourly rate. I will review records, draft correspondence with the school, meet to prepare for IEP meetings and any additional Special Education Support needed  

Complete Placement Service

I will attend IEP meetings for a reasonable flat fee with parents to help provide guidance, collaboration and support. I recommend never attending an IEP meeting alone because there is so much information and many schools want to get the IEP reviewed and signed as quickly as possible. As parents, we need to take time to understand the IEP, ask questions and make sure the school understands our concerns and goals. 

Contact Me

Get in Touch

How can I help?

I understand that each student's situation and needs are unique to them. Let me know what is going on with your child's education and I will give you some suggestions.

Student Education Advocacy

Orlando, Florida

(407) 595-5964 advocate@dean321.com