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Are you wondering if Special Education Services are a good fit for your child this next school year? Are you confused about the process? This article is aimed at answering these basic questions:
What is an IEP? Does my child need an IEP? How do I get my child an IEP? What are the differences between an IEP and a 504 plan? What are my rights as a parent? Who can help me with this process?
What is an IEP?
An IEP is an Individualized Education Program. This is a written document that states a child’s current education performance level and an individualized plan focused on meeting the child’s needs within the school environment. This document should include instruction, goals, specific services to be received, a list of staff members who will carry out these services, the standards and timelines for evaluating progress, and the amount and degree to which the child will participate with typically developing peers
in a “mainstream” classroom setting. An IEP is required for all children eligible for special education by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is federal law. An IEP should be developed by the child’s parent and the professionals who evaluated the child and/or will be providing services to the child.
Does my child need an IEP?
If your child is academically behind in his/her classes, has trouble with content comprehension, is easily distracted, acts out in class, learns differently than other students and/or requires classroom accommodations, your child may benefit from special education services.
How do I get my child an IEP?
In order for students to receive special education services they must be found eligible under special education law. Eligibility is determined by an evaluation process. Before the school district can evaluate a child, the district must obtain the parent’s written informed consent. This means that if you want to have your child evaluated for special education services, you must put the request in writing! A school district does not have to act on a verbal request. Once a written request is made, the school district must complete the special education evaluation/testing within 60 days, according to federal IDEA law. Once the evaluation is complete, the school will contact you to set a meeting to go over the results of the evaluation. The school must provide parents with a copy of the evaluation report and a written documentation of eligibility. If your child is eligible for special education services, the next step is the creation of the IEP. It is important for parents to understand the evaluation results before beginning to develop the IEP. Parents should request a copy of the evaluation report summary before the initial IEP meeting and ask to have the results explained to them in plain language by a professional from the school. An IEP should be developed through collaboration between the school and the parent. Beware of school districts that have an IEP drafted before the initial meeting and simply ask the parent to sign the document at the meeting! The parent should be involved in the creation of this document! Once this initial meeting takes place, there should be an annual review staffing for the first two years and a triennial staffing the third year. There may also be additional review meetings as needed. As a parent you have a right to attend all meetings and request additional review meetings if you feel they are needed.
What are the differences between and IEP and a 504 plan?
A 504 Plan comes from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This is a civil rights law rather than a special education law. This act protects the rights of all persons with disabilities from discrimination. The definition of a “handicapping condition” under Section 504 is much broader than the definition of a disability under IDEA. Therefore, a student could qualify for services under Section 504 and not qualify under IDEA. To qualify under Section 504 a person must have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more life activities; have record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment. Under Section 504, a person’s physical or mental impairment must have a substantial limitation on one or more major life activities. These activities include caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working and learning. If a student is found to be eligible under Section 504, a written plan called a Section 504 Accommodation Plan will be developed. This plan must outline the services, accommodations, and modifications required by the school to afford the
student learning opportunities equal to those of students who do not have a disability. Every school has a 504 coordinator and a 504 team that is separate from the special education team.
What are my rights as a parent?
· You have the right to free and appropriate public education for your child in the school setting that allows the most contact with typically developing children while still meeting the unique needs of your child.
· You have the right to be fully informed of your rights by the school.
· You have the right to request an evaluation for special education services if you feel your child needs and could benefit from these services.
· You have the right to have your child tested in his/her primary language.
· You have the right to an independent evaluation if you disagree with the results of the school’s evaluation.
· You have the right to be notified any time the school wishes to evaluate your child or change your child’s placement according to the IEP. You also have a right to be notified any time the school denies your request for an evaluation or change in your child’s placement.
· You have the right to participate in the development of your child’s IEP. You have a right to attend all IEP review meetings. The school must make every effort to notify you of meetings and to schedule these meetings at a time and place that is convenient for you.
· The school must re-evaluate your child every three years, but you have the right to request a re-evaluation at any time.
You have the right to review and have a copy of all of your child’s records. You have the right to request that information about your child in his/her school records be changed or information be
added that you feel is important to the education of your child.
Who can help me with this process?
· The Arcs in Colorado: 1-800-333-7690 http://www.thearccofco.org
The Arc provides advocates who will attend IEP meetings with you. The Arc of Colorado has a list of statewide Arcs on their website
· EMPOWER Colorado: 1-800-881-8272 http://www.empowercolorado.com
Support, education and advocacy for parents
· Family Voices: 303-733-3000 http://www.familyvoices.org
Advocacy , parent assistance in navigating health care systems for children with special needs
· Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health: coloradofederation.org
Promotes mental health for all children, youth and families
· Parent to Parent of Colorado: 1-877-472-7201 http://www.p2p-co.org
One to one parent matching. Up-to-date information and referral
· PEAK- Colorado’s Parent Training and Information Center: 1-800-284-0251 http://www.peakparent.org
Parent advisors who provide information about the special education process and parents’ rights
· PEP- Parents Encouraging Parents: 303-866-6846 http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/PEP.asp
Brings together parents and professionals for education on supporting your child in the school and the community
Article by: Gina Shuster, LSW
Facts about At Risk Youth~
GRADUATING FROM THE STREETS TO THE PRISONS
A 1991 federal study of former foster care wards found that one-fourth had been homeless, 40% were on public assistance and half were unemployed. Connecticut officials estimate 75% of youths in the state’s criminal justice system were once in foster care.
According to a survey by the National Association of Social Workers, 20 percent of children living in runaway shelters come directly from foster care. Children placed in out-of-home care, regardless of the reason, are at higher risk of developing alcohol and drug problems. The survey also found that 80 percent of prisoners in Illinois spent time in foster care as children.
Karl Dennis, executive director of the Illinois based Kaleidoscope, the first child welfare agency in the country to provide unconditional care for children, says that in California, 80 percent of the adults in in the correctional facilities “are graduates of the state; the juvenile justice, the child welfare, the mental health and the special education systems.
Animal – Human Bonding Works With At Risk Youth
Call Zuma’s Today Get Involved 303-346-7493
Donate ~ Volunteer ~ Mentor
Americas Recession……. Yes, But There are still many things to
|Let’s celebrate good news happening today, not focus on negativity! Today in-spite of the major news outlets spewing gloom over the housing markets downturn, there is plenty of good news to celebrate a charity benefiting Americas most troubled youth.|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This pairing provides the children in need, safe and unconditional love of a therapy partner to assist in the healing a rocky road of past abuses suffered at the hands of humans,
By limiting the adult human element, Zuma’s kids have a one thousand pound therapy partner that they can lay their trust in and begin the long road to recovery.
That path got a bit easier today with the help of a caring citizen and her son.
Wilma Stevens, a 102 year old Kansas woman contributed some of her limited resources to help Zuma’s mission.Wilma knows first hand how therapeutic animals and life on the farm can be for everyone. Wilma was raised and lived much of her life around animals and knows the powerful healing powers these animals possess.
If you would like to help Zuma’s change lives of troubled kids you can make a one time
donation or, contribute to Zuma’s endowment fund. Please contact Zuma’s executive director, Jodi Messenich at 303-346-7493 for details.
Be part of the good news in America giving people hope for a brighter future!
Let’s demand the media report the good things happening like a 102 year old woman sharing her small nest egg with at risk youth in Colorado.
In today’s turbulent financial landscape let’s celebrate the good things going on in America and give people a chance to celebrate rather than fret.
Zuma’s teaches kids the powerful affect ones mind has over circumstances, life is not what happens rather how we respond to it! Let’s insist our media spread more good news about good people doing great things!
Thank you Wilma Stevens and your son Bob Ryerson!
Zuma’s is blessed and shares the blessings with children in need.
Be part of the good news in America giving people hope for a brighter future! Let’s demand the media report the good things happening like a 102 year old woman sharing her small nest egg with at risk youth in Colorado. In today’s turbulent financial landscape let’s celebrate the good things going on in America and give people a chance to celebrate rather than fret. Zuma’s teaches kids the powerful effect ones mind has over circumstances, life is not what happens rather how we respond to it! Let’s insist our media spread more good news about good people doing great things!
Thank you Wilma Stevens and your son Bob Ryerson! Zuma’s is blessed and shares the blessings with children in need.
Unique services provided for the welfare of foster children. We save horses from slaughter and pair them with children in need of alternative healing therapies providing Equine Assisted Experiential learning and Therapy, job training, and much needed love. Join a winner be part of the positive change for today’s at risk children.
Therapeutic Value of Equine-Human Bonding in Recovery from Trauma. Yorke, Jan; Adams, Cindy; Coady, Nick. Anthrozoös, 2008 Mar; 21(1): 17-30. Correspondence to Yorke, Georgian College, 825 Memorial Drive, Box 2316, Orillia, ON Canada L3V 6S2; email@example.com
Although most human-animal bond research has focused on relationships between humans and pets, animals have been used for therapeutic purposes in a variety of settings. Therapeutic riding programs have demonstrated a positive impact on quality of life for people with disabilities. Equine-facilitated psychotherapy is a promising approach to address self-esteem, depression and other emotional or psychological problems. Restoration of the trauma victim’s capacity for recovery hinges on provision of safety and development of trust, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. Thus, recovery from trauma represents an ideal context for exploring the therapeutic impact of equ8ine- human relationships. The six participants in this study recognized that their pre- ex8isting relationships with horses were therapeutic during recovering from trauma, defined as sufficient to have caused significant change in the participant’s life. Semi- structured interviews and video-tapes of horse-rider interaction were used to describe the nature of the equine-human bonds described by participants have parallels both with important elements of therapeutic alliances between professionals and clients and with the positive impact of relationship factors on client outcome.
Zuma’s Provides Animal Assisted Learning, Experiential Learning, Equine Therapy, At Risk Youth Programs, Family Experiential Learning, Corporate Learning, Corporate Team Building, All programs are designed on a case by case basis no cookie cutter programing here.
Zuma’s is a 501C3 non-profit charity and operates with volunteers. To get involved call 303-346-7493.
So often in our society children become labeled with misguided diagnosis to fit them into a sociatle norm. A perfect example of this would be when a child is removed from a parents supervision by social services, that child is then sent for a psych evaluation and there at that moment the childs’ life becomes damaged irreparably. That child is given a label and that label become part of who that child becomes. When we tell children that they are a certain way, or that they have a certain problem, those children have an uncanny ability to live up to the label be it just or not.
Labels are designed by the insurance companies, the insurance company must fit us all into a box of labels in order to provide benefits we pay for. I say we hire the insurance company, therefore they work for us and we should have a say in what is provided by the medical professionals not by the pencil pushers scampering for labels to put in boxes and on forms to only to ultimately deny us services. We need to take back our civil liberty to be label free Americans.
At Zuma’s we strip the children that come to us of those labels and give them a clean slate, give them the opportunity to be label free. We are a label free zone for kids once though to be: bi-polar, manic-depressive, depressed, autistic, you name it. At Zuma’s while we are aware of the diagnosis, we treat the child with no expectations, we give them the opportunity to show us who they are through guided activities. We do not have preconceived notions based on the label give them by insurance companies needing everything to be neat and in the box.
Zuma’s Experiential Learning Center is run by certified behavior analyst trained to manage how children deal with the world they live in. We design programs not to change children but to mold how they cope with the world. After all it is coping with their environments that children need, not labels to live up to.
Outdoors, Horses, Experiential Treatments……..Out of the Box approach to age old problems. ZUMA’S
Zuma’s Experiential Learning Kids ~ Straight from the mouth of a child.
Why I like horses:
“They are really big animals. They are amazing. In my heart they are sacred. Like the sacred dog.” (reference to the book, “The Gift of the Sacred Dog” that we both love)
What I do at Zuma’s:
“I’m learning how hard it is to be devoted to something. I have commited to this. And it is painful. It is painful to cough up $4. But I did it. It is painful to scoop poop, but I did it. It is painful to get itchy eyes.”
What do you get from Zuma’s:
“In the evening I get to talk to my mentor in the warm room. I like talking to people – 1 on 1, not in big groups – and I don’t get that a lot.
My goal is to ride. My hope is I volunteer enough here that they’ll see I’m truly committed. I’m not just here to make a quick buck. It may not happen until I’m 19 and I’m finally on my own. But maybe one day I’ll have a job and I’ll be able to have my own horse. Or sponsor one. There are tons of possibilities with this place.”
This is why what we do at Zuma’s works! Support our mission, Donate Today
How our son, age 8, experiences life:
Every day,filled with numerous happenings that he is not expecting.
Not knowing what is going to happen next puts him in a hypervigilant state.
Things that trigger him are : someone coming to the door, a loud noise
(truck driving by, lawnmower, fire-truck). When he gets scared he goes into
flight or fight (usually fight) mode and reacts by hitting, running or
swearing. This makes it hard to be around other people that don’t know him
well because he is usually labeled as a bad kid. They don’t realize these
everyday occurences trigger him.
How this impacts our life:
He doesn’t have any friends that come over to play at our house. He
can’t participate in extra curricular activities like sports or art
classes. His whole world revolves around his brother, sister and parents.
We don’t go out to eat as a family or have many people over at our house
because of the stress it causes on our son.
Why he likes Zuma Rescue Ranch:
The horses are big and alive! They can be grumpy or happy just like our
son. It gives our son a way to take care of a living animal and at the same
time follow some detailed instructions. It is great occupational therapy!
He gets to know his horse and develop a good relationship since he is paired
with the same horse every week. Maura makes him feel comfortable since she
is clear on her expectations. She also has an amazing talent for
understanding what he struggles with in life. We have not come across
people like her very often! From day one she could separate the bad
behaviors from his personality. Knowing he is being treated fairly and with
compassion takes a lot of stress out of our lives.
This of course only describes how Zuma impacts our life. The other half of
the story is how the horses benefit.
Zuma’s Recuse Ranch, Denver University’s Phil Tedschi and Felecia Trembly from the Experiential Learning Center at Zuma’s will be guests on the Colorado and Company Show March 4th from 10:00-11:00 am Please Tune in.
The show’s host, Denise Plant will interview the trio about the exciting new things happening with Zuma’s Rescue Ranch.
Big Thanks to Sue Bury-Oldham for opening the door for Zuma’s to get a spot on the show!
self-control is the power~
Power to assert oneself in a positive way. It involves the capacities to regulate oneself. Giving children the opportunity to learn self-responsibility and self-control is driven by parental response.This procedure helps children learn they are responsible for their own choices and behaviors and the outcomes associated with them.
Effective Disciple with Choice
Dr. Garry Landreth, founder of the Center for Play Therapy, developed the A • C • T method to setting limits and choice giving that provides children with an opportunity to learn self-control, the knowledge that they have choices, what making choices feels like, and how responsibility feels.† This approach to giving children choices helps children become invested, self-motivated individuals.
Parents can teach their children self-control and self- discipline by guiding them in ways that support their growth and development. Discipline is ongoing and changes, as children grow older.The limits and choices one has for young children are not, and should not be, the same as the limits and choices set for teenagers.The following discipline technique can help children develop self-responsibility and control. Giving them the tools they will need to make healthy choices through out life.
A • C • T Limit Setting Steps
After going through the A • C • T Limit Setting Steps, DON’T discuss anything with your child, simply say
“I can tell you’d like to discuss this some more, but I’ve already answered you.”
If you’re undecided and open to persuasion:
I don’t know…Let’s sit down and discuss it.
If you’re not prepared to answer the question (e.g. you want to talk it over with someone, you want to get more information, or you want to think about it), say something like this:
“I can’t answer that question now…[because]. I’ll let you know [specific time].”
If your child asks the same question again, calmly say:
“I’ve already answered that question” “The answer I gave you a few minutes ago when you asked the same question is still the same.”
[Child answerers] “I don’t remember.” [Your response] “It is your responsibility to remember.” “You’re hoping I will change my mind. I haven’t.
If you think your child doesn’t understand, calmly say:
“I’ve already answered that question, you must have some questions about the answer.
How to Effectively Give Your Child Choices
Use choice giving only after limit setting has been crossed THREE TIMES. Always clearly state choice.The consequence of the choice should be natural or logical — not punishment
• Give young children small choices • Give older/mature children bigger choices • Choices must be acceptable to you, relevant and
enforceable • Choices need to be phrased positively
Clearly state chosen consequence. Follow though with conse- quence without fail and without anger.Toy removal conse- quences is for today only. For young children each day should be a chance for a fresh start. Reflect the child’s choice. Make a facilitative observation of self-control or any movement toward self-control. Reflect feelings of the child (e.g. proud, angry, etc.)
Choices need to be phrased positively
“If you choose to keep putting your shoes on the couch, then you choose to take them off.
“If you choose to stop putting your shoes on the couch, then you choose to keep them on.”
“If you choose to play with markers, then you choose to play on the drop cloth
“If you choose to put the markers down, then you choose to play anywhere in here.”
I see you are very angry, but the toy is not for kicking, [point] the shoe box is.”
Child kicks the toy fourth time
If you choose to kick the toy, then you choose not to play with it any more today.
If you choose to stop kicking the toy, then you choose to keep playing with it.
Child kicks the shoe box instead
You chose to kick the shoe box.That shows self control, espe- cially when you feel so angry!
I see you are very angry, but the toy is not for kicking, [point] the shoe box is.
Child kicks the toy again
You chose to stop playing with the toy today. You may play with it tomorrow.
I see you are very angry, but the toy is not for kicking, [point] the shoe box is.
Child instead of kicking toy again, the child nudges toy toward you with toe reluctantly.
You stopped yourself from kicking it. Pushing it instead of kicking it shows self-control.
Fellow Zuma’s Volunteers, Spring is in the air and there is a lot happening at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch to share with you all.
In January we commenced our first Experiential Learning Program. The program involves engaging children in thought provoking activities designed to bring out potential negative behaviors allowing these behaviors to be guided by the trained staff and mentors. Out Next ELP session begins March 1st from 5:00pm-7:30 pm and we need mentors for this session and our Saturday session from 10:00am-12:30pm. If you are interested in mentoring for six we eks, please contact Maura at Maura2010@zumasrescueranch.com. There is no experience necessary to become a mentor and we provide the necessary training on Saturday February 27th at 1:00 pm.
We have a booth at the upcoming Rock Mountain Horse Show at the National Western Complex in Denver on March 12th-14th and we are looking for volunteers to help. We will have Zuma’s goods to sell (coffee, hats, notepads etc.) and flyers to hand out regarding our Experiential Learning program, volunteering at Zuma’s and upcoming events. If you are able to assist at the show please email Amanda Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org with the date and times available to assist. Last but not least, we are updating our records for 2010 and capturing some new information about our volunteers and have created a new volunteer application form. We would greatly appreciate your help with completing the attached form and either mailing or faxing it to the ranch. 7745 N. Moore Rd., Littleton, CO 80125 or fax: 303.389.7331
Thank you so much for your support! We couldn’t do all these things to help the horses and children without our wonderful dedicated volunteers. Amanda LaneVolunteer Coordinator303.949.8240