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Special Education Issues Concerning School Counselors. Terrance Smith Holy Family Spring 2006 http://www.angelfire.com/blog/terrancesmith. Introduction.

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special education issues concerning school counselors

Special Education Issues Concerning School Counselors

Terrance Smith

Holy Family Spring 2006


  • There are many issues facing school counselors that deal with the special education population at their schools. These issues include but are not limited to:
  • Testing
  • Paperwork
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Parental Rights
  • Behavior Plans

In my research, and for this presentation, I decided to highlight and discuss some of the issues that are common among elementary, middle, and high schools. With a better understanding of special education, counselors, as well as teachers, and administrators can utilize their time more effectively when dealing with special education concerns.

special education students and testing
Special Education students and TESTING!
  • We all know that testing the special education population is time consuming and requires a lot of documentation. Here are some points that make the whole process smoother!!!
  • Reliable School Psychologist
  • Reliable testing tools and instruments.
  • Knowledge of the testing day by student and parent.
  • Trying to get the parents involved with the child’s education process
  • The amount of paperwork that is involved with the special education process can be overwhelming. I have included some helpful suggestions to manage the situation.
  • Stay on top of the due dates for the IEP. When teachers know when an IEP is due, they are more likely to complete it on time
  • In the Philadelphia School District, there is Easy IEP. This is a system where the paperwork is now on line. Knowledge of how to work the program greatly reduces stress of the paperwork.
more paperwork
More Paperwork!!
  • Regular education teachers need to be made aware of what forms they have to sign when dealing with their special education students.
  • Having an open dialogue and communication with other team members working on a student’s IEP is beneficial.
  • Save any additional paperwork that might be beneficial to a student. There is a process now where all documents can be saved on line through Easy IEP.
rules and regulations
Rules and Regulations
  • Special education has many rules and regulation when concerning students. Some of the key elements of these rules are as follows:
  • Special Education Mission
  • To set high standards for all exceptional students in the Commonwealth receiving special education services and programs.


special education roles
Special Education Roles
  • To provide effective and efficient administration and management of the Commonwealth's resources dedicated to enabling school districts to maintain high standards in their delivery of a Free and Appropriate Education to exceptional students.
special education function
Special Education Function
  • To provide effective and efficient planning, administration, monitoring, and training activities which result in an appropriate education aimed at increasing standards for all exceptional students.
early intervention services
Early Intervention Services
  • What? --Early intervention services include specialized instruction and activities modified for preschool children and related services as needed, including but not limited to:  transportation, speech/language services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hearing support, vision support, audio logy services, social work and case management services, psychological services, orientation and mobility training, and parent counseling and training
more rules
More Rules
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. It also applies to the United States Congress.
  • To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.
individuals with disabilities education act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs.
  • IDEA requires public school systems to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s) for each child. The specific special education and related services outlined in each IEP reflect the individualized needs of each student.
  • IDEA also mandates that particular procedures be followed in the development of the IEP.
where can i get copies of regulations of special education
Where can I get copies of regulations of special education?
  • A copy of the Special Education Regulations and Standards may be obtained by writing the Bureau of Special Education
parental rights
Parental Rights

Prior Notice to Parents: The school district must provide you with prior written notice each time it proposes, refuses to initiate, or changes the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child or the provision of a free appropriate public education to your child.

written notice
Written Notice
  • The written notice must include:
  • a full explanation of all of the procedural safeguards available to you;
  • a description of the action proposed or refused by the district, an explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action, and a description of any options the district considered and the reasons why those options were rejected;
  • a description of each evaluation procedure, test, record, or report the district uses as a basis for the proposal or refusal; andproposal or refusal.
parent consent
Parent Consent
  • Your district must obtain your consent before conducting an initial pre placement evaluation and before an initial placement of your child in a program providing special education and related services. (Except for pre placement evaluation and initial placement, consent may not be required as a condition of any benefit to you or your child.)
parental consent cont
Parental consent cont.
  • Your district may require parental consent for other services and activities, if it establishes and implements effective procedures to ensure that a parent's refusal to consent does not result in a failure to provide the child with a free appropriate public education.
The State Says….
  • Where State law requires parental consent before a child with disabilities is evaluated or initially provided special education and related services, State procedures govern your district in overriding your refusal to consent.
Where there is no State law requiring consent before a child is evaluated or initially provided special education and related services, then your district may use the Federal procedures for due process hearings to determine whether your child may be evaluated or initially provided special education and related services without your consent.
parents and mediation
Parents and Mediation
  • Mediation is a voluntary process in which the parents and agencies involved in an early intervention or special education dispute, regardless of whether an impartial due-process hearing has been requested, agree to obtain the assistance of an impartial mediator in attempting to reach a mutually agreeable settlement of issues in dispute
During a mediation conference the mediator shall meet with the parties together in a joint session and individually in private sessions.
  • Discussions occurring during the mediation session shall be confidential, and no part of the mediation conference shall be recorded.
  • The mediator may not be called as a witness in future proceedings.
  • The written mediation agreement is not a confidential document and shall be incorporated into the student's IEP and is binding on the parties.
  • The mediation agreement shall be enforceable by the Department of Education
civil action
Civil Action
  • Any party aggrieved by the findings and decision made in an administrative review has the right to bring a civil action in State or Federal Court.
record of access
Record of Access
  • The district must keep a record of parties obtaining access to education records collected, maintained, or used under this part (except access by parents and authorized employees of the participating agency), including the name of the party, the date access was given, and the purpose for which the party is authorized to use the records.
parents of mentally retarded and emotional disturbed kids
Parents of Mentally Retarded and Emotional Disturbed Kids
  • If the student has a disability which is mental retardation or emotional disturbance, he/she is entitled, under the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966 and the Pennsylvania Mental Procedures Act of 1976, to the services of a local MH/MR center for an independent medical, psychological, and educational evaluation to be performed by a state-certified professional at no cost to the parent per agreement by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) in the 1972 Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) Consent Agreement.
contact resources for parents of special education children
Contact Resources for Parents of Special Education children
  • Pennsylvania Bar AssociationEducation Law Center of PA Legal Services for Exceptional Children 801 Arch Street, Suite 610 Box 186 Philadelphia PA 19107 Harrisburg PA 17108 215-238-6970 800-932-4637
best practices for behavior disorders in the classroom
Best Practices for Behavior Disorders in the Classroom
  • Students with Emotional or Behavior Disorders have many characteristics that hinder academic growth. Characteristics of a behavior disorder are usually evident and persistent in different settings and environment and usually with little respect or regards for social or cultural norms.
academic implications
Academic Implications
  • Disruptive to classroom activity.
  • Impulsive.
  • Inattentive, distractible.
  • Appears pre-occupied.
  • Disregards all classroom rules.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Unable to work in groups.
best practices and accommodations
Best Practices and Accommodations
  • Develop consistent behavior expectations.
  • Involve the student in setting academic and personal goals.
  • Engage in role playing situations.
  • Communicate with parents so that strategies are consistent at home and school.
  • Set limits and boundaries
functional behavioral assessment
Functional Behavioral Assessment
  • What is a "Functional Behavioral Assessment" (FBA)?
  • The term "Functional Behavioral Assessment" comes from what is called a "Functional Assessment" or "Functional Analysis" in the field of applied behavior analysis. This is the process of determining the cause (or "function") of behavior before developing an intervention. The intervention must be based on the hypothesized cause (function) of behavior.
School districts are now required to conduct functional behavioral analyses of problem behaviors, under certain circumstances.
  • Here are some examples of the questions you would want answers to from a FBA:
  • What are the problematic/inappropriate behaviors that Student is exhibiting?
  • What behaviors has school staff defined/targeted?
  • How do these behaviors present themselves?
  • What data has been gathered: teacher observations?
what s in the behavior plan
What’s in the Behavior Plan?
  • A behavior plan should always addresses three issues, called the ABC's of behavior.
  • Antecedent (what was going on just before the behavior),
  • Behavior itself, and
  • Consequence (what happens as a result of the behavior).
iep goals for behavior plans
IEP Goals for Behavior Plans
  • If you are writing a plan to ensure that your behavior student will be successful, you will want to make sure that your goals are based on the student's past performance and that they are stated positively. Behavior goals must be relevant to the student's needs.
more goals
  • Start slowly, choosing only a couple of behaviors at a time to change. Be sure to involve the student, this enables him to take responsibility and be accountable for his/her own behavior modifications. Be sure to provide some time of form to enable the student to track and or graph his/her successes.
sample statements
Sample Statements
  • will be accountable for inappropriate actions.
  • will complete tasks in the allotted time.
  • will be on time for each class.
  • will use acceptable problem solving skills.
This stands for Special Education Resources on the Internet. I decided to give the website, if someone would like additional information:
  • www.seriweb.com
Additional resources for counselors, teachers and administrators. The website is www.iser.com
special education for thought
Special Education for Thought
  • While special education remains an hot topic among counselors, and teachers; advances in certain systems have made the whole process a little more manageable. I have tried to show some hints on getting ahead on paperwork, and testing. I also wanted to document parents rights, and the behavior aspect of special education
one voice
One Voice
  • While working with the teachers as school guidance counselors, it would be beneficial for everyone to be on the same page, and that the ultimate goal is for the benefit of the child.
research paper
  • My research paper has more information on special education:
  • F:\~WRL0807.tmp.doc