What is the “least restrictive environment”

posted by: chau, time: 2 September 2014, 2:58 am

It is important as a parent to be aware of what “the least restrictive environment” is. The least restrictive environment (LRE) is often referred to when placing students who have IEPs into a SPED (Special Education) program. Least restrictive refers to the environment that will allow the student to have the most access to general education to be successful academically. This could mean one or two classes in the general education setting or all classes in the general education setting with some support from a special education teacher who acts as the student’s case manager to consult with the general education teacher to make sure accommodations and students needs are shared.
As a parent, it’s important to be aware of your child’s academic needs so that they can be placed appropriately and receive the support they need. Prior to an IEP meeting, think about what kind of classes you think that your child will benefit from most; for example should they be in a general education math class or be placed in a resource/sped (special education) math class or a math class that is taught by a general education teacher and special education teacher. These are just some of the configurations that currently are being used within the public school system.
As a special education teacher, I’ve tried to create classroom schedules that benefit the students on my caseload so that they can be exposed to the general education curriculum and setting as much as possible while at the same time receiving the support they need.

Tags: IEP, least restrictive environment, Special Education

5 Essential Tips to Prep Your Child for Back to School

posted by: chau, time: 25 August 2014, 6:37 am


Some families dread to hear the words “back to school” again. Television ads about back to school remind you constantly that it is time to prepare your kids for school again.

What will you do to prep your children for school? Feeling stressed out? Are your kids anxious to return?

Help your child ease into the new school year by using some of these tips suggested.

Here are 5 tips that will help parents launch their kids into the new school year.

1. Routines. Return to a routine by at least one week ahead before school starts by having your child wake-up the same time you normally follow during the school year. This way when the first day of school starts, you and your child will be ready.

2. Prepare emotionally. Even the most social child may have some anxiety about the beginning of a new school year. The first week can be especially with new teachers, routines, and surroundings. Help your child handle his anxieties and yours by having a good talk about the beginning of the school year. Make sure your child knows that it usually takes a couple of weeks to adjust to everything. Talking through this can lessen uneasiness and will help calm everybody’s nerves.

3. Meditation. A great way to help your child focus and relieve stress is by meditating. A book just released in July called “The Connected Kids Book.” This book helps adults teach meditation to children who have special needs, but this book can be used for all children as well. It is only available in E-format. Website – http://www.teachchildrenmeditation.com.

4. Organization. Make sure your child has all the school supplies necessary for all their academic classes. Dedicate an area for homework that is comfortable, tidy, noise-free, and distraction-free. Kids who have AD/HD can benefit from having timers to help them focus on completing homework assignments.
Hang a calendar and lunch menus on the refrigerator and special hooks for backpacks near a door.
There are several organization apps now available for kids to use to help with their organizational skills. To name a few, iStudiez Pro, Picture Planner, Planner Plus and Next Thing.

5. Meet Teachers. Get involved in your child’s classroom. Don’t wait too long to speak with your child’s teacher if something seems to be going wrong at school. Make an appointment to see the teacher and be persistent if you don’t hear from the teacher. Teachers are usually very good about contacting parents to set up a time to meet with you. Adjustments in school homework or seating arrangements can make a big difference for your child to be more successful in school. Sometimes parents need to request a different teacher for their child than the teacher who was originally assigned.
If you need to request for an IEP meeting, don’t wait, it can take weeks for a meeting to be set up.

In the end, the most important thing is to know your own child and if something is not going well in school, don’t wait for them to begin to say they don’t like school.

Tags: AD/HD, Apps, kids, Meditation, Organization, special needs, tips

Understanding Your Child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan).

posted by: chau, time: 4 March 2014, 5:16 am

As a parent it’s important to be educated about your child’s rights under his/her IEP (Individual Education Plan). To fully understand the IEP which is often written in such a way that is complex, seek guidance from a professional if needed. Read through the draft of the IEP prior to attending the meeting and ask for as much time as needed to review the material prior to agreeing to any services.

Additionally, make sure your child has the needed accommodations or modifications written into your child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan). These changes should fit the student’s individual needs. It’s important to include the student, if appropriate, when discussing needed accommodations or modifications.

What is an accommodation? An accommodation allows a student to complete the same assignment or test as other students, but with a change in the timing, formatting, setting, scheduling, response and/or presentation. This accommodation does not alter in any significant way what the test or assignment measures. Examples of accommodations include a student who is blind taking a Braille version of a test or a student taking a test alone in a quiet room.

A modification is an adjustment to an assignment or a test that changes the standard or what the test or assignment is supposed to measure. Examples of possible modifications include a student completing work on part of a standard or a student completing an alternate assignment that is more easily achievable than the standard assignment.

By knowing your rights and understanding your child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) completely, your child will have a better chance in succeeding in school and will also increase his/her self-esteem.


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