A Call to Advocacy

August is upon us and before you know it school will be back in session.

Is your child ready? Do you know the services they should receive related to their disability? Are you worried about beginning another year of uncertainty, missed goals, and limited progress?

We can help you navigate those murky waters called “Special Ed.”

Call us today if…

  • You feel your child may have a learning disability
  • You don’t understand the ins and outs of the (IEP), Individualized Education Plan
  • You want to know your rights as a parent
  • Need help writing a letter to the school
  • Don’t understand the evaluations process, percentiles, outcomes etc…
  • Feel your child should be making more progress in academics
  • The school seems to be fluffing you off, saying she/he will catch up

Special Needs NJ has been providing families with “special needs” members for over 15 years in the areas of IEP interpretation, letter writing, IDEA law review, evaluation and assessment interpretation, understanding timelines, everything up to and including meeting attendance with your (CST) Child Study Team. Giving you the skills, techniques, and guidance to help you become the “BEST” advocate you can be for your child.

We understand ALL of the classifying categories; ALL of the related services, and most importantly How you can get the best possible program for your child to progress and become successful in their educational experience.

DON’T WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE….

CALL (973) 534-3402 and we will give you a free consultation.

Statistics show that children who get the proper services during the formative years of Kindergarten-3rd grade perform beyond their expected potential. Unfortunately we see most students because they are struggling and by 3rd grade they are 2-3 years behind, by 5th grade they are 3-5 years behind, and by 8th grade they are moving into high school with only a 5th grade reading level!

However, don’t despair if your child is already in this situation… it’s NEVER too late!

call, email, or fill out the service form right here on our page.

Our prices are conservative and very reasonable

Isn’t your child’s future worth it?

 

SNNJ also provides: Tutoring, Life Skills Coaching, Behavior Management

IEP review time!!

This is such a crucial time of year for all of us “Special Needs” families.

It’s time for the dreaded annual IEP (Independent Educational Plan) review.

Please, Please, Please remember the following very IMPORTANT actions you need to take as you prepare.

  • The IEP and CST (Child Study Team) meeting is yours, NOT theirs!                                              This meeting is taking place because of you, your child, and your family
  • Come prepared                                                                                                                                                Make sure you prepare an agenda of what you want to discuss, see happen, plans and interventions “needed,” etc…                                                                                                            Don’t let them dictate the meetings time frame and events. Yes, you may want to discuss those evaluations and test scores, but it is NOT the only reason you are there. Make sure you have ALL re-eval documents a minimum of 10 days prior to the meeting. Understand what they mean and what are your child’s strength and weakness areas yes, but unless you need clarification…going over stats and percentages should not monopolize the time you have to meet.                                                      If your child is already classified and has been, chances are you are aware and agree that he/she has a disability and is entitled to services. So, get down to business after a short (15 minute) review of the evals.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NEVER, deny or refuse triennial re-evaluations!
  • Parental Concerns is IMPERATIVE!!                                                                                                            Every IEP has a “Parental Concerns” section, it’s usually a tiny box only about 1/4″ wide….. This does NOT mean you have to fit all of your concerns here!                              Come with an already prepared, typed statement of your parental concerns (probably what you intend to discuss anyway) and formally REQUEST it be included in the official (LEGAL) document of your child’s IEP. This way it becomes a full part of that IEP and everyone your child works with will have access to your input.
  • Record, Report, Re-state                                                                                                                                 Most schools will send you a confirmation letter stating the time, place, and whom will attend the IEP meeting. It may ask if you intend to bring someone? If you request any other professionals and staff? and whether or not you plan to record the meeting?                                                                                                                                                        YES! You want to record the meeting!                                                                                              No, not to antagonize or catch them….. but to have a record for your own to review or for the review of others that may have been unable to attend (That parent out there earning the paycheck who can’t afford another day off the job).                                    You are emotionally involved. Therefore you may not remember or even understand what is being stated/proposed and you need to review the meeting later when you are in a calmer state.                                                                                                                                 The recording will also serve as a resource you can refer to in order to clarify the items discussed for your follow up summary.
  • Follow up summary                                                                                                                                           YES! ALWAYS follow up EVERY meeting, phone call, discussion, teacher email, notes and ANY contact you have with the professionals that service your child with a follow up summary….   “My understanding of what was discussed, proposed, implemented etc….”
  • Finally, and probably MOST IMPORTANT!!!                                                                                              Send ALL correspondence to no less than 3 people in your district ie. the case manager, head of special services, and the building principal. This will ensure you are heard! As well as provide a time stamped/documented record (always send via email) of your insights and perceptions. It also helps that others on your child’s case are aware that they are accountable to replying and taking actions by others within the system.                                                                                                                                                     A recent statement from a client…..”thank you- I did the “copy 3 people on email thing” the last 2 times- whew boy does that work! THANK YOU! “
  • Get support!                                                                                                                                                         If you feel you need some support or expert advice, contact us here at Special Needs NJ  (973-534-3402) to talk to an Advocate/Special Education Consultant

Gemiini Discrete Video Modeling

SPECIAL NEEDS NJ, LLP

introduces you to

GEMIINI, Video Modeling

One of the most evidence-based treatments for children with special needs

A summary of general research and GemIIni-based research 30+ years of academic research and institutional acceptance Over the past three decades, research has demonstrated that video modeling is an invaluable, evidence based tool for teaching a variety of skills to children with Down syndrome, autism or other language delays. More importantly, scores of studies have shown that once a skill is learned through video modeling, it is maintained over time and generalized across settings. In a rigorous review of autism interventions in the National Standards Report, video modeling was considered an “Established” and “Effective” treatment by the National Autism Center. Video modeling has been proven to effectively teach skills as varied as social, academic, communication, daily living, play, perspective taking and the generalization of information. This presentation will present a sampling of the hundreds of studies on video modeling as the research base GemIIni relies upon for its own research. The findings of researchers in GemIIni-based clinical trials have moved the field forward from this well-established base. Clinical trials showing the power of viewing GemIIni in groups and in the use of sensory-management filming techniques to increases retention of information could be significant breakthroughs.

click here for video: About Gemiini DVM: Accelerate Language and Reading Therapy

Better Outcomes with Lower Costs While the need for robust, personalized therapy sessions is unquestioned, researchers have known for years that video modeling can be more effective than live one-to-one therapy for modeling. Many of the following studies explicitly point to the cost savings, efficiency and better outcomes that are all a result of the use of video modeling in schools, clinics or homes. From a practical viewpoint, it goes without saying that a the use of video for teaching some skills would be both a more efficient and a more cost effective use of time, so that “live” therapy sessions can be focused on generalization and socialization of learned concepts instead of rote teaching with flashcards or other techniques. In one such example, a seven year study performed in a school district with over 70,000 students, researchers found that video modeling achieved significant improvements in many academic skills for children with special needs, while improving parent teacher cooperation (Biedernan & Freeman 2007). GemIIni Harnessed the Power of Video Modeling for Easy Use & Improved Results GemIIni is a tool that puts video modeling’s highly researched and evidence-based approach at the fingertips of clinicians across the globe, enabling them to make customized video modeling sessions in a matter of minutes. Research showing the effectiveness of GemIIni over standard video modeling is included in the following pages.

more videos……..

Go to gemiini.org to learn all about the Gemiini DVM program. It has been shown to increase language in children with special needs by a factor of 10 to 30x. It is easy, effective and affordable.…
00:07:06                   Added on 5/14/14            58,284 views

Contact us here at Special Needs NJ for your Gemiini Video Modeling training

We can set you up with a free one month code to get you started.

Special Needs NJ, LLP

 Call:      (973) 940-6923 or

Email: specialneedsnj@hotmail.com

What’s happening this weekend?

Saturday Feb. 22 at Montville Township Schools

Fun for the whole family

Purchase Your Harlem Wizard Tickets Today!

Come see the Harlem Wizards take on the Montville Superstars on February 22, 2014!
The Wizards will be playing the Montville Superstars which is a team made up of teachers and parents from Montville Township Schools. The Wizards are professional basketball players that demonstrate superb skill, comedy, and entertainment on the court. Also if you are in 4th grade or above and a student in Montville Township schools, get registered for the free throw championship that will take place at 6:15pm before the game. Download the flyer below. Come join the us for a fun filled night! See details below:

About the Wizard Game:


1) When: Saturday – February 22, 2014
2) Time: 7:00pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)
3) Where: Montville Township High School Gym
100 Horseneck Rd., Montville , NJ
4) Tickets: Advance Tickets – $15.00 and at the door $20.00
5) Tickets on Sale at the following locations:
a) Barry’s Montville Pharmacy – 185 Changebridge Rd., Montville
b) Montville Recreation – 195 Changebridge Rd., Montville
c) Online Tickets click below

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets will be on sale at the above places listed and via our website online until 12:00pm Saturday – February 22, 2014. Thereafter, you will have to purchase them at the door.

IEP Tips: How to prepare for the IEP meeting

The following are IEP tips and strategies designed to help you prepare for the meeting while developing a collaborative relationship  with your school  district. As a parent, hearing the words “IEP Meeting” might cause you feel nervous, overwhelmed or even experience a feeling of dread. We know from life, that if we are prepared, our anxiety levels go down.

IEP TIPS for a SUCCESSFUL MEETING:

1. Respond to the meeting notification and let them know you will be attending.   If you plan on bringing an outside friend, specialist or advocate, let the district know ahead of time. If you cannot attend, ask to reschedule.  Let the school know the meeting is important to you.

2. Bring all important documents to the meeting.  If you received a negative report card, progress report or if your child is having behavioral problems, bring these documents.   If you’ve recently seen a medical doctor or psychologist, you might ask the doctor to write some type of summary report that can be shared at the meeting.

3. You have a right to receive a copy of the assessment results ahead of time so you can preview them before the meeting.   You may also request a copy of the proposed IEP and the actual goals in advance so you can preview them and jot down questions you have.

 

4. Write down your questions, concerns and suggestions.  IEP meetings tend to be slightly rushed so the more prepared and organized you are the better chance that all your concerns and questions will be addressed.

5. You may visit possible program options prior to the meeting.  Ask for a visit to be arranged before the IEP meeting takes place.

6. You may tape record the meeting. Notify the case manager or special education teacher at least 24 hours in advance if you plan on doing this.

7. Be an equal partner in the IEP process:  Don’t silently sit there.   Ask questions, offer suggestions and bring ideas to the table. Remember, you are the voice of your child.

8. Ask for a copy of your rights n advance so you feel comfortable signing them when asked.

9.  If you are uncomfortable with the IEP plan or do not feel you’ve had enough time, don’t be afraid to ask for a continuation meeting. You do not have to sign the IEP!

You can say something like, “I really like many of the things we discussed today. I don’t feel ready to sign this yet, but I’m sure if we can continue this meeting we will be able to work through the remaining issues.”

10. Remember, you can agree to parts of the plan without agreeing to the entire IEP. The parts you’ve agreed on will be implemented while you continue to work on the remaining issues.

11.  IDEA states that you can ask to take the IEP home for further review before you sign it. Some parents find it overwhelming or feel too rushed during the actual meeting to make a final decision.