Tuesday, September 6, 2011

As school begins: resources for families with children with disabilities from Parent to Parent

Helpful information from Ellen McHugh of Parent to Parent NY State:
As school begins ………New lunch boxes, new clothes, back packs, bus schedules and drivers and new classrooms. These are all part of the start of a school year. For families who have a child with disabilities or special health care needs, fears and concerns seem to multiply as the `first day' comes closer.

Below are some resources provided by Parent to Parent of NYS that may be a help to families as they prepare for another year of special education services and school bus transportation.

As of July 1, 2009, NYS School Bus transporters are mandated under PJ's Law to train staff in disability awareness. The State Education Dept has provided the training curriculum for School Bus Driver Instructors (SBDIs). The need for the law comes after the horrific abuse of then 7 year-old PJ, a student who exhibited some behaviors on his bus that both the driver and monitor 'enjoyed' and encouraged. The law is intended to prevent abuse. A link to the PJ's Law training slides with notes.  
Special Education Law

Families should be acquainted with the Regulations related to Special Education Law in NY State.  Also: Special Education in Plain Language created and provided by the Special Education Task Force of NYS.

What Am I Looking For? Observing a Child, Looking At a School

Observing a Child: Some Questions To Ask Yourself :  As parents we can see/observe many things about our children that can help us when professionals ask us questions about a child's development. Here are some questions you might ask yourself about your child's growth and development.

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