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Why Do Parents Need To Know All of This Anyway?

In IEP, Learning Differences, Parent Voices by Nicole DeZarn0 Comments

Before becoming the mother of three children with very different disabilities, I was a special educator. In many ways, my experience informed my decision making and parenting. Occasionally, however, I admit that it makes me wince. One of these wince-worthy areas is in parent communication. In my defense, I had close relationships with my students’ parents, and many of them …

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Helping Children Understand Person First Language

In Equity, Learning Differences by Nicole DeZarn0 Comments

Person first language is an important ethical matter often discussed in the field of special education and disability advocacy. The idea that the important descriptor for a person is not their disability but that the disability is something that the person has is fundamental in framing the mindset that having a disability doesn’t mean that a person is less or …

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Going Gradeless and Special Education

In Grading, IEP by Lee Ann Jung0 Comments

Grading and reporting have been a hot topic in education in recent years, spawning a move to grading practices that are grounded in standards, competencies, or proficiency, depending on the language of the state. The idea has been if we ensure that our grades are based on clear standards, then the meaning of the grade is more accurate and clear. …

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From Hostility to Community

In Equity, Learning Differences by Aaron Blackwelder0 Comments

In our dream we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or …

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Unintended Barriers to Inclusion

In Learning Differences, Parent Voices by Nicole DeZarn3 Comments

There’s a very real and very serious barrier to the inclusion of people with significant physical and/or cognitive disabilities that no one talks about. We’ll march for political barriers, adapt physical barriers, advocate for social barriers but this barrier is more difficult because we don’t always recognize it. This barrier doesn’t come from rusty old tradition or callous hearts; in …

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Can we do better than the title, “Case Manager?”

In IEP, Learning Differences, Parent Voices by Lee Ann Jung1 Comment

Usually, when I submit a post to the blog, I’m primarily wearing my hat as a special education scholar. I see my place as to translate recommended practices and research into doable steps and effective professional learning experiences and courses for educators and leaders. But today, I’m writing as a parent, and as a person with a background in early …

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On Metaphors and Proprietary Blends

In General by Lee Ann Jung2 Comments

I recently read a compelling blog post by Peter DeWitt and Thomas Guskey (2017) on the misuse of educational language. They boldly took on the topic of creating what I would call “proprietary blends” of educational concepts and accepting credit for the original concept. Wait! I used “proprietary blend” as a metaphor… Is this okay? Is it alright that I use the …

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How can Goal Attainment Scaling help schools respond to Endrew v. Douglas County?

In Equity, Learning Differences by Lee Ann Jung0 Comments

Districts and special education departments all over the country are talking about Endrew F. versus Douglas County School District, the US Supreme Court case, decided on March 22. Drew’s family withdrew him from public school and enrolled him in a private school for students with disabilities because they did not feel the school was using sufficient evidence-based practices to ensure …

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How Do We All Fit? Deciding Who Is On the Early Intervention Team

In Learning Differences by Lee Ann Jung0 Comments

Once a child qualifies for services, deciding who is on the early intervention team can be a difficult question for teams. Each potential team member has valuable expertise and knowledge. With best intentions, it is possible that in our efforts to help, we can actually be intrusive and even harmful to families. Research has indicated that when more people are …