Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Favorite Things

It's time to take another look at books, websites, and programs that families whose children struggle in school may find helpful. 

A Guide to Special Education Advocacy, by Matthew Cohen, an attorney and disability rights expert, "describes a complicated and sometimes adversarial process as clearly as is humanly possible," according to a reviewer. We think this is a terrific guide for families seeking to navigate the special education process and like its information about the "alphabet soup" language parents will encounter and its "how to" advice with practical examples.

Advocates for Children of New York, which we have mentioned a number of times for the important  work they do to "promote access to the best education New York can provide for all students, especially students of color and students from low-income backgrounds," is offering a series of free programs at their Manhattan offices this fall on topics such as Attention, Transitioning From High School, and How to Develop and Read an IEP. Space is limited.

We like to check out the website LD Online for articles for parents, educators, and students on all sorts of issues relating to education and learning differences. We are never quite sure what we will find, but it is a worthwhile visit. Educators may find the extensive list of resources on learning differences on the website of The Center for Learning Differences to be helpful. This same website contains lots of information for parents on the basic steps in the special education process.

Parents interested in a specific topic relating to advocacy or working with their school may find the website helpful. We love their information, including the full text of important court cases and solid explanations of important laws and principles, but wish this site were easier to navigate and search. Still, it remains an important resource for those with the patience to sort through the clutter.

For families of high school or college students, the website of the Heath Center at George Washington University lives up to its description as a clearinghouse of information for post secondary education for individuals with disabilities. Not all of its information will be relevant for students with learning differences, since they deal with all sorts of disability issues, but they have so many resources to recommend, that it is a worthwhile starting point for your college search.

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