As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child’s disability to affect his or her ability to succeed in the classroom. Along with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensures that schools receiving or benefiting from federal funding support the educational needs of a student who may have a disability that affects one or more major life activities, including, but not limited to: learning, speaking and listening, concentration, reading and writing, personal care.

The “Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance,” or PLAAFP, is the first written statement in the IEP plan should document of a child's ability and current achievement at the time the IEP is written.

The use of seclusion and restraint in schools for disciplinary and safety reasons is a difficult issue, especially in regards to severely disabled children. Part of the problem is that there is very little statutory or regulatory authority regarding what is permissible and what tools are available to educators in emergency situations. In fact, neither federal law nor the law of New Jersey contains guidance on this important issue.

The concept of “least restrictive environment” is a core element of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvements Act (IDEIA), and was a fairly revolutionary concept when embraced in its predecessor, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Stated simply, it is the idea that a child with a disability should receive as much of his or her education as possible in a typical classroom and should only be educated separately to the extent that his or her disabilities make it absolutely necessary.

Monday, 21 April 2014 00:00

Knowing When to Get Your Child the Help He or She Needs

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There is a wide range of severity among different childhood disabilities. Many conditions may not be readily apparent and may take years to identify and diagnose. But that does not make those disabilities any less challenging for the children and parents who live with them every day. Furthermore, it does not diminish the benefits a child living with a disability can receive from a free and appropriate public education.

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