School Security: Preventing School Violence

school violence

school violence

It’s an unfortunate and troubling fact that many children have more to be concerned with at school these days than simply whether or not they’ll pass their latest test. While the last thing they should have to worry about is their own safety at school, violence on school grounds is an all-too-common occurrence that can happen in many forms. Most recently as seen in the tragic shooting in Omaha, Nebraska just a few weeks ago.

Consider, for example, the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics taken from a sample of high school students in 2009:

11.1% reported being in a physical fight on school property in the past 12 months
5% did not go to school at least once in the previous 30 days because they felt unsafe either at school or on their way to or from school
5.6% reported carrying a weapon on school property on one or more days in the previous 30 days
7.7% reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property at least once in the previous 12 months

How to Motivate Kids With Learning Disorders

learning disorders

learning disorders

Motivating kids with learning disorders can be a tough job – as if it wasn’t hard enough to motivate your kids to study for school and their exams!

It can be hard to inspire kids who have learning difficulties – I know because my daughter has dyslexia and my son has severe reading difficulties. Sometimes I get so frustrated I feel like I’m ready to burst! And then again it can be sad, because it hurts seeing my children self esteem sink because they’re comparing themselves to others.

Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can motivate kids with learning disorders to continue learning – and keep yourself in check. Here I have summarized 4 key points that have helped me, and my kids, to put the fun back into it.

Your Study Tip Guide When Preparing For Final Exams

final exam

final exam

Why does test time cause students so much stress? Some students may suffer from test anxiety causing stress, others may not not have prepared properly causing stress while others have a fear of failure. Managing your stress level is a huge factor in determining your success not only on tests and exams but also in life. This article will provide a seven step layout you need to know when preparing for final exams. Decreasing stress levels becomes easier when you are well prepared for tests and exams.

The first step is to start studying well in advance of the test or exam date, the best method is to start at least a week or two in advance. The second step is to find a quiet place free of distractions and study at that same exact spot every time you study. Studying in a quiet spot will increase your focus and increase test performance. The next step is to review your notes everyday immediately after class. If you take an hour out of your day everyday and just review the notes written in class imagine how much time you will save when the review time comes around.

Picking the Best Award Plaques

There is always a time when we have to engage in a certain competition kind of situation; a situation in which we have to deal with champions. And, when we talk about champions, award plaques might sometimes include.

The thing about award plaque should involve our consideration regarding the type of achievement made and the one receiving the award. There are at least three questions you should ask to yourself before making your award plaques purchase.

Firstly, you need to ask yourself about the price. It is important to have a clear vision of how much budget you will spend on the plague if you have an issue regarding the cost. But if you have no issue in providing cash for the plaques, then this one should be in the last consideration of your award plaques decision.

A little hint to help your spending may involve certain types of materials include. Go for either acrylic or brass plaques if you have smaller cost. Go for even more modest by engraving your award on some sort of wood materials. But if you want something fancy and you have ability to purchase it, then, you can go for either chrome or crystal plaques.

Secondly, consider the size of your plaques. It may include your concern to the length of the things you are going to say in the plaques. For a shorter amount of text or longer amount of the text you should consider the size that could accommodate the engraving text.

Thirdly, pay attention to the place where the plaques will be placed or stored. It may include consideration on whether the recipient going to place the award on the desktop, wall, or a shelf. It will determine whether or not you can go for freestanding models or the traditional wall plaques.

Special Education – The Law is on Your Side

Help is available– and the law is on your side. Its promise is simple: Every child counts. Every child is entitled to an education. Every eligible child with a disability is entitled to a “special” education – one that confers “meaningful benefits.” That is what Congress has said. That is what the United States Supreme Court has said.

The law protects every child. The law protects you as your child’s parent.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – Every special-education student must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed by a team that includes parents, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals. An IEP establishes educational goals and describes the special services that will be provided to the student.

Due Process – Special-Education law provides many due-process hearing and appeal procedures.
“Section 504″Classroom accommodations are available to many students (K-12 and college) who have disabilities.

There are only five modes of communication that can lead to a disability they are auditory, visual, verbal, nonverbal and tactical communication.

If your child’s disability is affecting their education, they may be eligible to receive services under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973. The IDEA requires public schools to locate and identify children with disabilities who may need specialized education. These children must “have available” to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs” 20 U.S.C. sec. 140(d). Children with disabilities must “to the maximum extent appropriate [be] educated with children who are not disabled” 20 U.S. C. 1412 (e)(5).

Many parents find themselves in a situation where their child is either struggling academically or having discipline problems in school. Often times, there maybe an unidentified disability causing these problem. If they do have a disability that is negatively affecting their education, they would likely benefit from special education services.

Special Education services may include:
Occupational therapy
Speech and language therapy
Resource specialist programs
Modification of the regular education programs
Special day classes
Non-public schools
Residential treatment, and many more.

If you believe your child will benefit from special education services call a professional. Your child only goes through their education process once, so give your child the best chance for the future by making sure they have the type of education that helps them learn and succeed. Nothing is more important to their future.

Special Education Advocates Role in Advocating For Children With Disabilities

Are you the parent of a child with autism or other disability? Would you like to know what an advocate does in the special education process? Do you wonder if a special education advocate could help you in fighting for needed services, for your child? This article will explain what the role of a special education advocate is, and whether they could help you advocate for a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for your child.

There is currently no certification for special education advocates! This is the reason why it is sometimes difficult to find one that is knowledgeable, and has expertise in special education.

The role of a special education advocate is to:

1. Have a working knowledge of state and federal laws that cover special education, and know how to use them to advocate for children. Federal law is Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Each state is required to have a law that must comply with IDEA.

2. Understand different types of disabilities and have experience advocating for children of different disabilities

3. Take time to know the child, and work with the parent to determine what services and placement a child needs, and advocate for them! This may require the parent getting an independent educational evaluation with a qualified evaluator.

4. Educate parents as to research based practices, as well as best practices. IDEA requires, that curriculum and programs be scientifically research based, which parents need to understand.

5. Have knowledge of different school districts and also how to advocate with different personalities of special education personnel. People are all different and the advocate must understand the best way to deal with the different personalities.

6. Act in a professional manner, whenever possible, to help parents get needed special education services and placements for their child. A good advocate is firm and refuses to back down when intimidated by special education personnel.

7. Teach parents advocacy skills so that they may learn how to advocate for their child!

A special education advocate can be extremely helpful in advocating for your child. If you think an advocate could help you check out your local disability organizations, and see if they have an advocate on staff. Check organizations such as a Center of Independent Living, Parent Training and Advocacy Centers (available in all states). If you hire a private advocate make sure you check their credentials, and make sure that they have experience with children with your child’s type of disability. This will ensure that the advocate understands what your child needs, and will be able to advocate for them.

Categories For Special Education – Which One Fits My Child?

Special Education

Special Education

Have special education personnel stated that your child was ineligible for special education, because they do not fit into one of the 13 eligible categories? Does your child have Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but you were told by school personnel that this does not fit into the 13 eligible categories? Has your child been diagnosed as emotionally disturbed and you believe the child has autism? This article will discuss how you can determine what category of classification that your child can receive special education services under. By knowing these categories you can advocate for the one that meets your child’s needs.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that every child with a disability must receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Also special education services to meet their unique needs. Labels or classifications do not determine, if a particular child is eligible for a particular special education service, though sometimes special education personnel act like it does.


1. Autism: If you suspect that your child has autism ask special education personnel to give him or her, a childhood autism rating scale (CARS). The scale is done by the parent answering 13 questions about their child, and a knowledgeable person giving a score to the scale. The higher the number the more chance that the child has autism. If the scale is positive take your child to a specialized Pediatrician that specializes in autism.

Pervasive developmental disorder is on the Autism spectrum. Autism is one of the eligible categories for special education services. So a child with PDD is eligible for special education services under the category of autism.

2. OHI: For a child to be eligible under this category usually requires some type of documentation from the child’s physician. Many children with ADD and ADHD receive special education services under this category.

3. Mental Retardation: Determined by IQ score a child’s IQ score under 75 is considered to be in the mental retardation range. Be careful if your child’s IQ is normal and decreases as they grow older, this is indicative of an inappropriate education, not necessarily mental retardation.

4. Emotional Disturbance (ED): Many children with autism are being given an ED label-Why? Because in my opinion special education personnel are reluctant to give a child an autism label due to cost of special education services. For a child to truly be ED, they must have no other disability!

5. Deafness: This is a total loss of hearing and usually requires physician documentation.

6. Hearing Impairment: Not a total loss of hearing as above!

7. Visual Impairment: Severe impairment not fixed by glasses or contacts.

8. Deaf-Blindness: Total loss of hearing and total loss of sight.

9. Specific Learning Disability (LD): Children with reading difficulty despite appropriate instruction, math difficulty despite appropriate instruction, dyslexia, visual processing disorder, sensory integration disorder (SID), auditory processing disorder, all qualify under LD.

10. Multiple Disabilities. Must include another disability and also mental retardation.

11. Orthopedic Impairment: A child with Cerebral Palsy would qualify under this category.

12. Speech or Language Impairment. Includes delayed speech, communication disorder, language disorder such as dyslexia, receptive and expressive language disorder etc.

13. Traumatic Brain Injury: Any injury to the brain either at birth or when the child was older.

By understanding the 13 categories and what is required for each one, you will be able to be an informed advocate for your child. Children who need special education services and do not get them may have their lives ruined forever!

6 Ways to Improve Special Education For All Children With Special Needs!

Are you the parent of a child with autism or another disability that is frustrated by the special education system? More than 6 million students with disabilities receive special education services in federally funded special education programs. This is about 9% of the country’s school age population. This is a lot of children who depend on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to help them get the services that they need to live a fulfilled life. As any parent of a child with a disability knows much improvement needs to be made to the special education system. This article will discuss 6 ways to improve the special education system.

Needed to improve the special education system:

1. More available parent training and more resources to pay for the training! Parent trainings are available but in most cases do cost, which prevents some parents from attending. Parents must understand their rights under IDEA in order to be effective advocates for their child.

2. More effective enforcement of IDEA, to include the withholding of funds from states and school districts, who are continually non compliant! The enforcement of IDEA basically does not exist. It is the federal governments responsibility to enforce IDEA to the states, and it is the states responsibility to enforce IDEA of local school districts. Neither one does very much in this area. Enforcement without withholding of funds will not work. In my experience it will not take many states losing their IDEA funding, before major positive changes will occur.

3. Improved diagnosis of disabilities and an easier eligibility process! Many children with disabilities throughout the US are told that they do not have a disability, therefore are not eligible for special education services. This reality hurts children with disabilities and may forever ruin their lives! Parents often do not even know that they can disagree with the schools opinion! The eligibility process needs to be made more child friendly!

4. Special education personnel must set realistic high expectations for all children with disabilities! Congress has said from the beginning that school districts expectations of children with disabilities are too low. School personnel and parents must believe that children can be successful in their education and lives, if given an appropriate education, and keep expectations high.

5. Focus on outcomes of special education so that all children will be ready for post school learning and independent living! For the year 2005-2006 55% of children with disabilities graduated from high school, in comparison to a little over 70% of children without disabilities graduated from high school. This will limit the children’s ability to go to college or get a job, which will affect the rest of their lives!

6. Improve the federal funding of IDEA! The current estimates are that the federal government only pays about 17% of per pupil costs for special education. The federal government needs to put their money where there mouth is, and fund IDEA fully!

All parents can be involved in advocating for systemic special education improvements. Notify your state and federal representatives and see how they are willing to get involved, in this process. Children with disabilities deserve to receive an appropriate education and live their lives to the fullest!