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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Santa Cruz Special Education Law for Parents Blog

What is a 504 plan? What should they include?

Every child learns differently. Children have different strengths and challenges; they thrive and struggle under different conditions; they have different approaches to learning. As such, while traditional educational styles and settings can work for some students, they may not work for children with a learning disability.

If your child is one of millions of students who have a learning or attention issue, then you may want to explore the options for a formal educational plan to help them succeed. For many kids, this means having a 504 plan.

Filling the gaps for special education students

Every parent wants their child to succeed when it comes to education. We want them to feel excited, passionate and supported when they go to school. However, countless students don't feel this way because they don't get the things they need in class.

This disparity can stem from lacking resources and assistance on a school or district's end. In these situations, it can be up to parents to fill in the gaps that stand between students and success. This is especially true for parents of children with special needs.

Tips for minimizing summer learning losses

Parents and children often see summer as a much-needed break from the stress and structure of the school year. However, while summer break can certainly be beneficial for students all across Santa Cruz, studies show there could be a troubling loss of knowledge during the summer. 

This is especially problematic for students who already struggle to keep up with other students due to special needs and educational disabilities, as well as students who do not have the resources or ability to participate in summer programs like camps. 

Apps to help parents, educators improve IEPs

Parents typically know what is best for their children, especially when they are young. However, there are occasions when parents need the help of others to address complicated issues.

Special education is one area where parents can benefit from the help and guidance of educational and legal professionals who are familiar with the process as well as the capabilities of tools like Individualized Education Programs. 

Confronting the issue of bullying and children with special needs

Bullying is a pervasive problem in schools across the country, and sadly students with disabilities or special needs are not immune to the issue. In fact, studies suggest that students with disabilities are at an increased risk of being bullied, while some are bullies themselves.

As a parent, it can be very difficult to know what to do when your child is not just dealing with disabilities but also bullying. But there are steps you can take to help.

Study: Minority students not accurately diagnosed with autism

Minority students with autism are widely underrepresented in U.S. special education classes, according to a new study from the University of Kansas. The study, which analyzed data from 2014, shows that students with autism are not being accurately diagnosed, resulting in many not receiving crucial educational services.

For many years, researchers have suspected that black and Hispanic children have been diagnosed at a lower rate of autism compared with white children. A couple of reasons for this may be that minority families may not have access to the educational experts who can identify their child’s condition and work with them; and school officials aren’t identifying minority students with autism because of concerns about placing too many minority children in special education.

Prioritizing safe transportation for students with special needs

Individualized Education Programs are crucial to ensuring students with special needs receive the accommodations and support they need in the academic environment. In most cases, an IEP focuses on the protections for students inside the classroom. However, they can also address a student's needs while going to and from school.

If you have a child with special needs who rides the bus or other school-provided vehicle, making sure his or her IEP discusses any requirements or accommodations your child needs to travel safely will be important.

Important details to know about school suspensions in California

The threat of school disciplinary measures affects every student differently. Some are willing to do whatever they can do avoid penalties like suspension while others may not see such actions as that problematic. However, it is crucial for parents and other adults to ensure that whatever discipline occurs at a school is both lawful and fair. 

For instance, did you know that there are strict rules for if and when public schools can discipline students in California with suspension?

3 educational strategies and trends parents might see in schools

Approaches to education are constantly changing, whether the changes stem from political shifts, financial strain or the availability of new research. And it seems that every school year, there are new things for parents to understand about their child's education.

As noted in this Washington Post article, numerous trends are emerging in schools across the country today that attempt to change the way students are taught and succeed. Below, we look at a few of the strategies that could be particularly interesting to parents of children with special educational needs. 

The traits of an effective special education teacher

A challenging and rewarding career can await a special education teacher. But let’s be realistic: It’s no picnic as the demands can by trying. They must juggle the different personalities of their classroom students, the parents and school administrators. The workload can be heavy, too, in adapting teaching plans for children who may have an assortment of physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

An effective special education teacher requires a number of additional skills compared with a traditional teacher, too. But at their core, special education teachers are attentive, considerate, helpful and cooperative. A person with such traits just may have the foundation to become a good special education teacher.

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