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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

Another Country Heard From

It is true that nowadays, all you hear is “data, data, data.” You have to keep data on the goals and objectives. Parents want to see the data. You sometimes feel like you are spending your waking hours recording and compiling data and making sure you make the 5-day deadline for sending out the data prior to the IEP team meeting. Yet there are times the IEP team neglects to emphasize how the student is actually doing in the classroom. When the IEP team meeting starts, encourage the general education teachers to talk about the good things that are happening for the student in school. This can include highlighting good grades, having friends, and generally appropriate behaviors. Then talk about data. If a parent gets upset because her elementary age child with social-emotional-behavioral objectives just pinched a classmate and had to talk to the teacher about it, stress how one pinch does not mean that child’s behavior is out of control or that the Behavior Intervention Plan is not working. C’mon now. The general educator or Principal can stress how these things happen in elementary school and guess what–this is the only misbehavior that occurred in the last month. The general educators can be your best friends in the IEP team meetings. Encourage them to speak.

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire
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