Topic: Special Education

What Makes an Education “Appropriate”? Building It on Relationships

Every IEP team should assure that a child has the chance to develop emotional regulation through trusting relationships. Without that opportunity, meaningful learning is impossible.

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A Nurturing Alternative to Calm-Down and Time-Out Rooms

Rose’s parents and teachers were concerned about how to help her find success in kindergarten. Sometimes she went with the flow but at other times Rose fussed so much that she disrupted the whole class. Then her teachers devised a plan that everyone thought would help. They designated a small, separate section of the classroom […]

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Self-Reg: Busting the Myth of Self-Control

A new book, Self-Reg, explodes the myth that if only children tried harder or had enough willpower, they could control all of their challenging behaviors. The reality is much more complicated than that.

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Relationships in Special Education: We Must Do Better

Far too often, children with special educational needs experience disruptions in relationships, including frequent changes in aides, teachers and school placements, causing stress.

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Being “Nonverbal” Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Think

When professionals automatically equate “nonspeaking” with “low functioning,” they underestimate student’s intellectual capacities, often removing children from inclusive programs to place them in separate special education classes that may not be appropriate or academically sufficient.

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Three Ways to Help your Special Needs Child Feel Safe and Loved

Recently, while waiting in a school office for a meeting to begin, I noticed a little boy at an empty desk, staring out a window.  A secretary was busy working as staff came and went, and as I waited, I wondered why this little boy was there.  On my way out he was still there, […]

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Presuming Competence in Your Child: Four Tips for Parents to Share with Providers

When I met three-year-old “Tim”, he had such difficulty with spoken language and controlling his body that it was difficult to tell how much he could comprehend of the world around him. He couldn’t show his understanding with words—or even with movements. A decade later, he has learned to type on an iPad and uses […]

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Let’s do away with the term “Non-verbal”

The second annual Profectum conference was again a huge hit with parents and professionals alike.  A touching moment happened when a parent came up after my talk and asked me to repeat something I had said about the inaccuracy of the phrase “non-verbal”.  As Liz Torres, neuropsychological researcher, told us, what we can see (or […]

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