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SPAN is holding an INCLUSION Mini-Conference for Families
Inclusion Works: Improving Literacy Achievement!

A discussion of the best practices that support the inclusion of students with disabilities within general education programs. Family members, students and educators will share their experiences with inclusive education in language arts and literacy to improve literacy achievement.

Registration is Free - 9:00 - 12:30 pm
Two Locations

Saturday, March 8, 2014, The Robert Wood Johnson Fitness & Wellness Center
3100 Quakerbridge Road, Mercerville, NJ 08619

Saturday, March 29, 2014, Newark Metropolitan Baptist Church
149 Springfield Ave., Newark, NJ 07103

Click on SPAN's website for further details and to register.

Promoting Best Practices in Inclusive Education: Webinar Recording:
Parents as Partners in Promoting Best Practices in Inclusive Education - Hear from leading educators and parents in New Jersey as they share strategies for parents to effectively partner with their schools and districts in promoting best practices in inclusive education.

Here is a link to a great resource for families with a child with any disability "Disability Scoop E-Mail Newsletter"

List of 100 Special Needs Resources on the Web

Our thanks to Amy Ellison, who has complied the following list of 100 informative special needs resources on the web; covering sites dealing with Autism, Down syndrome, Batten Disease and overall special education knowledge. Click Here for link to webpage. Some of the sites simply chronicle an individual's or family's journey with Down syndrome or another condition, and some of the sites offer advice or links to other resources for those doing research about special education or a specific type of special need.

Beginning the School Process FAQ's by Ann Martinelli

Q--Once I sign an IEP do I have to wait until the annual review to make changes to it?

A--No, although an IEP is a legally binding document, changes can be made at any time. While the law requires a review of a child's IEP at least once a year, parents and other members of the Child Study Team (CST) may request an IEP meeting (in writing!) at any time during the year to address concerns.

Q--I do not agree with the evaluation (ex. speech, reading, psychological, etc.) my district completed for my child. What recourse do I have?

A--When parents disagree with a district evaluation, they may request (in writing) an independent evaluation to be provided at the district's expense. While this does not mean the parent will be able to choose the evaluator, it does mean it will be an independent party.

Q--My child will be turning three soon and entering the public school system. I have heard from other parents that my district "gives families a hard time." Should I bring an advocate or attorney to my IEP meeting?

A--My advice is "no". While you may, at some point in the future, need the advice of an advocate or attorney, bringing one to your first IEP meeting may be considered adversarial by other members of the CST. Remember, your relationship with the CST is like any other relationship; it will require listening, questioning, reflection and respect. Respect is crucial and can be undermined by harsh words and demands. Emotions can be hard to control when a parent is discussing their child but when you listen to the other members of the team, you learn. You may vehemently disagree, but reflecting and talking about your challenges with others (family, friends, etc.) after the meeting may put your thoughts into perspective and enable you to come back to the table better prepared. Remember, as long as you live in the same town and your child is receiving special education services, you will have to work with the other members of the CST. This work carries with it the responsibility to be knowledgeable about your child's disability, and their individual strengths and weaknesses.

WORKSHOP: Transition from Early Intervention to Preschool