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

SUMMER TUTORING

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SPECIAL NEEDS NJ

Is booking now for summer tutoring

Academics, Social Skills, Behavior Management, Executive Functioning SkillsABA etc….

Call (973) 534-3402 or email to specialneedsnj@hotmail.com

for intake interview

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

PATHWAYS for EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN

 
pathways
Empowering Children of ALL Abilities
Project Win Win Employment Training
Pathways began an innovative employment training program for children ages 12 and above in May 2008. Since then, the program has grown tremendously. It is housed in our studio facility in Boonton, NJ. 
Richard Constable, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs visited the program in November 2014 and was amazed at the array of programs and how the children trained alongside their peers for workforce placement. The program does three things a) Trains children for careers they are passionate about, b) Works to place children in job settings, and c) Teaches about the possibility of starting an entrepreneurship. Today the world is filled with opportuntity and the work force is changing constantly in a way that helps those with disabilities. Learn how you can begin to train early to get the skills needed to be successful in a dynamic workforce!
The Harlem Wizards Are Back!
Join us for a great afternoon of fun, basketball hoops, and entertainment. The Wizards are coming Sunday – February 15, 2015 at 2:00pm at the Montville Township High School large gym. The Montville SuperStars made up of parents, teachers and Pathways’ basketball players are taking on the Harlem Wizards. All of our $30.00 Courtside tickets are sold out. We still have the $15.00 general admission tickets. Last year we completely sold out of tickets so get yours soon!  Click the Wizard logo to the right to order tickets online. You can also pick up tickets at Montville Pharmacy – 185 Changebridge Rd. or Montville Recreation – 195 Changebridge Rd in Montville. You can also order tickets on line by going to our website at www.PathwaysKids.org
Our Video Crew Does it Again!
Pathways’ video crew has joined once again with Taisha’s Table to film her cooking show. If you did not get a chance to see this, you have take a look. This recipe will no doubt capture the heart of chocolate lovers everywhere! We tried this New Years Eve and could not stop eating it, the fondue was heavenly!

IEP HELP

IEP meeting
It’s IEP time! Where did I put those report cards? FAPE IDEA What was that teacher’s name? LRE Should we keep him in speech? IEE Don’t get caught in a rush, wondering what to discuss, not understanding a single word they say! Call: specialneedsheader.jpg Special Needs NJ…. NOW! 973-534-3402 Our experts can help you interpret those test sores, percentages, rankings etc… But more importantly; we know the law! If you’ve ever been afraid, intimidated, feel unsure, bullied, unheard, talked down to and think your child needs a better written, more individualized IEP? Don’t wait for the last-minute. This is your child’s education! Let’s get together, so this year you feel confident, prepared, educated, and not intimidated. Our advocates are ready and waiting to serve you and your child. Not only will we meet you and your child in the comfort of your own home, but we will accompany you to the meeting at your school. We want to help educate you about the education your child has a right to receive within your home community. Negotiate and work with school professionals to ensure your child gets the best possible education that will address his/her disability “needs.” And not simply pigeon-holed into a one size fits all model of what the school thinks is representative of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Call NOW! 973-534-3402 for your FREE consult

FREE Parents Seminar

SPECIAL NEEDS NJ, LLP

      Services for families with “Special” needs

          Presents their inaugural Seminar for parents:

                 

 The “ABC’s” of Special Education

 

About:  This seminar is an overview for parents that have a child struggling in school that may need services and those parents that already have a classified student. Learn how to advocate for your child,  what you need to know to get the best IEP, Individual Education Plan, for your child, and “What do all these letter’s mean?” Learn the definitions/descriptions of NJ’s classifications for Special Education students. Hear from a neuropsychologist, Special Educator, Advocate, and parents that have been through the process.

When:    Friday November 1, 2013      7:00-9:00 p.m.

Where: 93A Spring St. Newton NJ, 0786 (next to the Red Cross, under the clock) additional parking in back lot off of Trinity St.

Registration required: FREE        Call:  (973)534-3402 to register

Email: specialneedsnj@hotmail.com

Please register by Oct. 30, 2013

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Advocating for the Special Needs Child

Advocating For The Autistic Child
By Carly Fierro on November 27, 2012

Parents of autistic children must become advocates to ensure their children receive appropriate education and special needs services. A successful advocate researches her child’s legal rights, meets regularly with school staff, and documents all events related to her child’s education.

There is a fine line, however, between standing up for your child and his or her rights, and coming across rude and vicious. Unfortunately there will be times throughout your child’s life where he or she will be discriminated against. It’s not fair, but it happens and the best thing that you can do as a parent is represent your child in the best manner possible.

Know the Law

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) makes sure all kids with disabilities have access to the right public education — for free — that can meet their unique needs by emphasizing special education.

IDEA is important for two reasons. First, your child has a legal right to “free appropriate public education.” Second, IDEA requires schools and Departments of Education to treat every special needs child as an individual and unique case, so services offered to one child may not be available to another.

Take the time to read IDEA, or at least a well-written summary, so you know what rights and services you can expect for your child. Check local and state laws governing special needs children as well. Some states offer services over and above those required by IDEA, while others provide the bare minimum.

The Importance of the IEP

Once a year, expect to meet with your child’s teachers, special needs providers, and school administration to review and modify your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), which covers all services and accommodations the child receives for that school year. Services not included in the IEP won’t necessarily be available.

Think of the IEP as a preemptive mosquito trap, where you catch problems before they occur. Listen carefully during the meeting, ask questions and make suggestions. Only remove services from the IEP if you’re certain your child no longer needs them.

Be proactive during IEP meetings. The school may not volunteer services unless you ask for them. Ask about issues such as classroom aides, summer sessions, speech therapy, and similar services.

Forge Alliances with Teachers

The IEP is an excellent time to meet and develop working relationships with your child’s teachers. Let them know that, as a parent of an autistic child, you understand the challenges that arise when teaching a special needs kid, and you appreciate their efforts. A little praise often goes a long way.

Offer to communicate regularly with teachers about classroom issues, either by phone or through email. Teachers usually appreciate parent involvement.

Get Everything in Writing

Follow an old lawyer’s creed: if it isn’t in writing, it never happened. Keep documentation of everything involving your child’s education, including copies of her IEP, specialist visits and education assessments.

Send a written request for any meetings or changes to services, and follow up all meetings with a polite letter. Your goal is to have a clear paper trail in case you need to prove or dispute issues.

Solutions Trump Blame

It’s all too easy to have an antagonistic attitude towards school officials if they seem unwilling to help your child. Accusations and heated words, while tempting, do nothing to help your child. Seek equitable solutions for both yourself and school staff whenever possible, and remain polite no matter what.

Occasionally you will run into a few adults who are not willing to help you or your child. Instead of getting angry, remember to keep your composure and hold your head up high. The last thing you want to do is set a bad example for your child. Take the high road and your child will learn to do the same.

 

 

CONTACT Special Needs NJ, LLP today for professional help in interpreting, planning, and advocating for your child’s IEP

 

 

Encourage Positive Behavior

Encourage Positive Behavior
Children crave attention, positive or negative. Sometimes a child may be misbehaving just to get
attention. Here are some ways to encourage positive behavior:

  • Give more attention for positive behaviors than for negative behaviors (at home & at school)
  • Provide choices between two acceptable options
  • Provide reassuring routines and tell the child in advance if the routine will change
  • Involve the child in setting limits
  • Model the desired behavior

Listen and Give Your Child Your Full Attention

Help your child to identify her feelings
Keep it simple

Praise
Children will respond better to praise than to criticism. Praise teaches children to seek positive attention.
Praise the positive behavior
Use specific praise for genuine accomplishments
Praise small steps towards the desired behavior
Give praise immediately and frequently
Mix praise with unconditional love
Teachers can send a note home to tell parents about positive behaviors

For Professional Help contact Specialneedsnj@hotmail.com or call (973)534-3402

Special Education Advocacy

 

Newly Classified-Need Help Understanding IEP

What’s a parent to do?

Has your child recently been classified as having special needs at school and you don’t know what to do next?

Stick with me and I will get you through!

Welcome to my page!

I am a Special Educator that provides services to parents, students, basically families of all those of us that just don’t live within the box of mainstream society.

So, add this page to your favorites and stay tuned for invaluable information, resources, events, and yes even advice of how to get through that IEP meeting, diagnostic testing, or Child Study team phone call.

You’re not alone!

We can get through this together.

I’m so glad you’re here and look forward to helping you through the challenges of advocating for a special family member

Call Special Needs NJ today 973-534-3402 to start services for you and your child.

Related articles
•Top IEP Tips for Parents (pattidudek.typepad.com)
•Advocacy: Special Education (specialneedsnj.wordpress.com)

Stand up!

Stand Up!

This is a video made by a couple of young brothers to combat the bullying and attacks made against their family because their two young sisters are down syndrome. It’s a must see and share!

Loving Brothers Stand Up for Bullied Sisters With Down Syndrome:

One day a family woke up to a horrific sight outside their house…someone had
spray painted awful things about their 2 daughters with down syndrome. Meet the
Hollis Boys, age 6 and 7 that wouldn’t let hateful people treat their sisters or
anyone like that. Here is what they have to say. Watch, share, join
http://www.godtube.com/untilweflyaway/and http://www.facebook.com/everyonematters – to create a
world where EVERYONE is free to be EXACTLY who they are, without shame, apology
– or attack.

down syndrome

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0902FFNU