Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Petition | Create a law that protects children from bullying by teachers | Change.org

Petition | Create a law that protects children from bullying by teachers | Change.org


I've started the petition "Government Body: Create a law that protects children from bullying by teachers" and need your help to get it off the ground.

Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:


Here's why it's important:

It is essential that I children are safe from every kind of bullying and school remains a place to learn and not a place to fear.

You can sign my petition by clicking here.

Sherri Tucker

Family says educators used broomstick to scare autistic teen | www.wsbtv.com

Family says educators used broomstick to scare autistic teen | www.wsbtv.com

Two DeKalb County educators are facing possible criminal charges after allegations of child abuse inside a special-needs classroom.

The family of Wesley Malone, a 14-year-old autistic student, said they questioned his teachers after noticing behavioral changes, including aggressiveness, as well as scratches and bumps on his face and head.

The family said the school brought in a specialist to observe Wesley’s classroom who witnessed the use of a thick broomstick handle to scare and discipline the teen.

“It hurts me. It tears me apart,” father John Malone said.

The family’s lawyer gave the report of the incident to Channel 2’s Tony Thomas. In it, the specialist outlines seeing Wesley, who cannot talk, disobey in class, and then the classroom paraprofessional lashing out.

“The parapro charges at Wesley and say to (the teacher), ‘Give me my broomstick,’” the report said.

“She’s slapping the broomstick on the table, she’s slapping it on the floor, she’s slapping it at him, she’s poking it at him,” attorney Chris Vance said.

According to the report, Wesley yelped and covered his head. According to the specialist’s report, the paraprofessional said, “This is what we have to do. We have to instill fear in him.”

“If they had the audacity to use a broom handle in front of a third party, what are they doing when someone isn’t there?” Malone said.

A DeKalb County Schools spokesperson said the paraprofessional involved resigned last week and the district is firing the teacher.

The District Attorney’s Office confirmed it was sent the case on Thursday.

Malone said he wishes his son could have told him earlier.

The Malone family and their lawyer are questioning why it took nearly a month for the district to act. They also do not believe school leaders reported the issue to state authorities properly.

“We take this issue very seriously. We care deeply for the safety and well-being of our children, and any action that might compromise them will absolutely not be tolerated,” a school district spokesperson said.

Assessment and Testing

Assessment and Testing

Learning Disabilities Assessment and Testing

Learn about the assessment and testing process used to diagnose learning disabilities. Learn how tests and assessments are used in schools to identify learning disabilities and develop programs. Assessment and testing to diagnose learning disabilities is a complex process. Learn what you need to know about assessment and testing for learning disabilities and special education programs.
Learning Enrichment for Elementary Aged Children
Resources for enriching your elementary child's education. Elementary school tips and tools for parents.
Educational Testing - Prepare Now for End of Year Tests
Annual educational testing is an important measure of your child's progress in both regular education and special education programs. It is never too early to begin preparing your child for annual educational testing. Learn about the important actions you can take now that will help your child get ready for annual educational testing.
Multiple Choice Testing
Did you know you can improve your test taking skills in more ways than studying alone? Learn easy strategies you can use to improved your performance on multiple choice testing.
Assessing Learning Disabilities - Learning Disability Assessment
Assessment of Learning Disabilities - Do you suspect your child has a learning disability? If so, diagnosis of the learning disability will require a full learning disability assessment. Learn about the assessment process in the diagnosis of learning disabilities in public schools.
Testing Accommodations – What are Testing Accommodations?
Learn about testing accommodations in special education programs or section 504 plans. Learn what test accommodations are, and understand various types of accommodations.
Focus on the Person First is Good Etiquette
The first step to building positive attitudes toward your child and his disability is using person first language. Learn about person first language, what it is, and how it can be used to promote focus on kids and not their disabilities.
Understanding Test Scores - Learn to Understand Test Scores
Understanding test scores is important for your child's success. Learn about the most common types of test scores used in special education programs and what they mean.
Refer Your Child for Assessment - Making Referral for Special Education Testing
If you suspect your child has a learning disability, learn how to begin the referral process and what it involves. Find out how to make a referral for your child.
What to Expect at the IEP Team Meeting - Understanding IEP Team Meetings
IEP Team meetings are an important part of your child's special education program. Learn what to expect during IEP team meetings and how you can actively participate in this important decision making process to strengthen your child's special education program.
Special Education Assessment
Testing helps the teacher and other IEP team members determine potential strengths and weaknesses, current performance levels, therefore provides insight for appropriate programming. Learn about the many types of assessments used in schools today.
Neuropsychological Assessment
Learn about neurological assessment as a tool for evaluating how their brain functioning may impact a child's learning.
Best Practices for Testing English Language Learners
Learn best practices for learning disabilities in students who are English language learners (ELL) or have English as a Second Language (ESL). Explore ways to determine appropriate testing methods and practices.
Ensuring an Appropriate Diagnosis - Tips for Accurate Assessment in Minorities
Disproportionate placement of minority children in special education programs is a growing concern in education. If you are the parent or teacher of a minority child who is being referred for special education, learn what you need to know to ensure that if a disability is diagnosed, it is appropriate for your child.
Assessment of Student Progress
Assessing students with learning disabilities can be a challenge. However, we must remember that assessing is providing the child with an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, skill and understanding. For most learning disabled students, last on the list should be a 'pencil/paper' task. Below are a list of strategies that support and enhance assessment of learning disabled students.
Testing for English Language Learners and ESL Students
Find advice on general test taking strategies, information on specific exercises found on most standard English tests, and learn specific strategies for doing well on these types of exercises.
Standardized Tests - How to Help Your Child Prepare for Standardized Testing
Whether your child is in K-12 school or facing college entrance exams, standardized testing will play an important role in his educational future. For schools, standardized testing is an important part of accountability and effectiveness measures. Learn more about standardized testing and how you can help your child prepare.
Facts on Giftedness and LD - Characteristics and Assessment Issues
Students who are gifted and also have learning disabilities have complex educational needs. Learn more about these dually diagnosed students and common characteristics of the gifted and learning disabled.
Free Learning Styles Tests
Learn about yourself! Check out these learning style tests and self-assessment questionnaires, available free online.
Testing in the Homeschool Program
Explore thoughts on assessment in your homeschooling program.
Early Assessment of Seniors
Yale University researchers have developed a new assessment tool for health care practitioners that may help in their care of the elderly. The guided care protocol provides a standard approach for evaluating 13 clinical issues that have been shown to be common problems among the elderly, but that often go undiagnosed and untreated.
Test Taking Tips
Learn practical tips to help students be their best for their test day.
Testing Accommodations: What Does Your Child Need?
Learn what to consider when determining what types of testing accommodations your child may need.
Helping Your Child Prepare for Tests
Find strategies to help your child prepare for annual testing in school.
Learning Disability Test for Adults - Get a Learning Disability Test for Adults
Need a learning disability test for adults? Learn where to find a learning disability test for adults.
Learning Disability Tests – Tests Used to Diagnose a Learning Disability
Learn about the tests commonly used in diagnosing learning disabilities.

I Need The Help of Missouri Families

Jeff Grisamore Not: I Need The Help of Missouri Families

Missouri Families: I am preparing a petition for a bill similar to that in Kansas. I want Missouri children to be protected from bullying by their teachers. It happens far too often and it needs to stop. I need help from Missouri families. I need to get as many signatures as possible. We can't let this opportunity slip by. Missouri children deserve to be protected, too. "Studies show that bullying perpetrated by an adult, such as a teacher, can be even more harmful than bullying by a peer, quadrupling the child’s odds of suicidal thinking."

HR.1893 | Keeping All Students Safe Act | Votetocracy

Jeff Grisamore Not: HR.1893 | Keeping All Students Safe Act | Votetocracy

HR.1893 | Keeping All Students Safe Act | Votetocracy
HR.1893 | Keeping All Students Safe Act | Votetocracy

Sponsored by
Rep. George Miller (CA Democrat)

Co-Sponsored by
Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ Democrat)
Rep. Michael Honda (CA Democrat)
Rep. James Langevin (RI Democrat)
Rep. Sander Levin (MI Democrat)
Rep. Betty Mccollum (MN Democrat)
Rep. Michael Michaud (ME Democrat)
Rep. James Moran (VA Democrat)
Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY Democrat)
Rep. Gwen Moore (WI Democrat)
Rep. Carol Shea-porter (NH Democrat)
Rep. Gregg Harper (MS Republican)
Rep. James Himes (CT Democrat)
Rep. Gary Peters (MI Democrat)
Rep. Jared Polis (CO Democrat)
Rep. Gregorio Sablan (MP Independent)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL Democrat)
Rep. David Cicilline (RI Democrat

Why aren't more Republicans sponsoring something like this?

About Restraint & Seclusion | Stop Hurting Kids

About Restraint & Seclusion | Stop Hurting Kids

About Restraint & Seclusion

Students deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and those with challenging behavior, which can include children with disabilities, should be treated with the same respect and dignity that everyone is entitled to. Yet students across the U.S. remain at risk of being subjected to traumatic, dangerous and dehumanizing procedures, referred collectively as restraint and seclusion, as a means of managing challenging behavior in school.
We encourage you to visit the resources section of this website for a deeper understanding of restraint and seclusion, and the wealth of information available on this subject. On this page we’ll provide an overview of restraint and seclusion, and why these practices should be eliminated from use in our schools.

Defining Restraint and Seclusion

Restraint and seclusion are often unfamiliar terms unless you or a loved one have experienced or witnessed their use. In plain terms, they are techniques used to control or modify challenging behavior by force or isolation. Although we use the phrase “restraint and seclusion” to refer collectively to a set of abusive practices, the following offers more specific definitions and examples.
Physical Restraint is a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move his or her torso, arms, legs or head freely.
What this includes: face down or prone restraint, immobilizing a student by pinning arms and legs onto the ground, restricting breathing through restraint, holding a student in one’s lap with arms immobilized, pinning a student against the wall.
What it doesn’t include: physical restraint does not include a physical escort, such as touching or holding the hand or arm for the purpose of guiding a student to a safe location.
Mechanical Restraint is the use of a devise or equipment to restrict a student’s freedom of movement.
What this includes: taping a students arms and legs to a chair, strapping the student into a Rifton chair and specially constructed tables or desks from which the student cannot leave.
What it doesn’t include: mechanical restraint does not include orthopedically prescribed devices or mechanical supports that assist in balance or movement and are used for their original therapeutic intent, nor does it include vehicle safety straps or medical immobilization.
Seclusion is the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.
What this includes: placement in a dark isolated box, prolonged isolation without contact or bathroom breaks, locking a student in a closet or other tight space.
What it doesn’t include: seclusion is not a timeout, or an in-school suspension.

Why These Practices Should Be Stopped

Restraint and seclusion practices outside of an emergency context are widely recognized to be dangerous and dehumanizing for all involved. Numerous reports have shown that these practices can result in emotional and physical trauma, serious injury and even death.
There is no evidence of the therapeutic or educational value of restraint and seclusion. They are practices that are neither ethical nor beneficial, and often cause a spiraling effect in which additional unwanted behaviors may arise. Further, there is an existing and growing body of evidence in support of positive alternatives in addressing challenging behaviors

ADHD School Accommodations – Documentation Tips

ADHD School Accommodations – Documentation Tips

Keep a journal. Document all informal communication with your school system about accommodations for your ADHD child, including detailed notes of IEP meetings and phone calls.
Make copies. Use separate binders to store copies of daily notes written to and sent from any teacher, as well as for all classwork, homework, and tests that are sent home, especially anything you had to sign and return. Make weekly copies of your child's daily planner or communication notebook.
Follow up in writing. Requests for ADHD school accommodations should be sent in formal, signed letters or e-mails. Follow up every phone call and meeting with a written narrative. Document exactly what was said, by whom, and when regarding your child's IEP and/or 504 Plan.
Be professional. Be courteous and businesslike when writing to a professional at school. Think through what you want to say.
Stick to the facts. Keep your letter and e-mails short and to the point. When speaking with teachers, use index cards or notes to maintain focus.
Be fair. When writing to a teacher or school administrator, praise any positive aspects of your child's educational experience to lend validity to your concerns about the negative aspects.
Get formal confirmation receipts. Send every letter, document, and request three ways (return receipt post, e-mail, and fax). Staple the confirmation receipts to your copy of the original.
Claim your free digital copy of Creating An IEP for Your ADHD Child:
11 action steps and 40 great accommodations for children with attention deficit. DOWNLOAD your free copy and receive e-mail updates with school success strategies for children with ADHD.

Overcoming Discrimination

Here's an article about overcoming discrimination of those who are different.

Hope this is helpful.


NOTE TO EDITORS: (We're distributing this article at no charge for use in your websites, newsletters, magazines, and other communications except books -- provided you run the article unedited and unchanged, including the About the Author and copyright information.  Books require separate permission.  If you have any questions, please contact Dan Coulter at dan@coultervideo.com or 336-608-4224.)



by Dan Coulter

    I got an arresting perspective about discrimination at my high school reunion last week. A classmate and I were sitting at a table away from the crowd, catching up on the years since graduation. He talked about raising a niece with a physical disability and said, “I thought being black was tough, but that doesn't come close to the discrimination I see against people with disabilities. Sometimes they aren't even treated like people.”

     That meant a lot coming from an African American man who is old enough to remember the day Martin Luther King was assassinated.

     We went to school at Central High, the oldest of the four high schools operating in Springfield, Missouri at the time. Most of the black kids in town lived in neighborhoods in our district. I heard about rumors from other high schools that Central was a rough school and we routinely had fights in the halls. When the city redrew the school district boundaries around population shifts, some parents moved rather that have their kids transfer to Central.

     Which was a shame. Their kids missed out on a great experience. The rumors were nonsense, and having black and white kids attending school together was the absolute best way to combat discrimination. We got to see that people are people. I had an outstanding senior class. My classmates with all different shades of skin went on to do extraordinary things in Springfield and across the country. We have business executives, educators, doctors, lawyers, scientists, musicians, military commanders, and more. Many of my black classmates had to overcome racial discrimination to succeed.

     It struck me when my classmate, who has an inspiring story of his own, made such a strong point about discrimination faced by people with disabilities.

     During my life, one of the main factors I've seen in reducing racial discrimination has been proximity. Just like the parents who didn't want their kids going to Central, it's easy to make false assumptions when you don't have first hand experience. Proximity can change that. In my first jobs after college, I saw employees who were initially suspicious of black people hired into their groups gradually change their minds as they worked side by side as equals. They saw “different” people weren't that different. The real cross-over point came when blacks and whites became friends and started socializing off the job.

     Proximity can be an important tool in dealing with prejudice against individuals with Asperger Syndrome and autism. Many people have the same kind of misconceptions about those on the autism spectrum that they've traditionally held against people of other races, or people who speak a different language, or people who have a physical disability. They can't understand a job well enough to do it. They won't get along with co-workers. They won't be dependable.

     Maybe it's rooted in basic fears of people who are different.

     But that just means we have to opportunity to help people see past those differences and false assumptions. To help them understand that getting to know people who are different can reveal their talents and abilities. To realize they can be valued friends and dependable, productive workers. I've interviewed supervisors who assessed their employees on the autism spectrum as being more dependable and productive than their typical coworkers. Some have special talents and succeed in highly skilled positions.

     We need more education in schools to help students understand and accept classmates who are different. We need opportunities for all students to show their talents and abilities. We need positive, supervised ways for students with physical and mental challenges to interact with general student populations. Every time I hear a story about a student body actively supporting a student with a disability, I think: there are opportunities for those stories in every school in the country.

     I was encouraged recently to see the software company SAP announce it would actively recruit people with autism to be employees. I hope we can all seek out stories about people with challenges who are succeeding and share them with news media outlets. These stories encourage more employers to hire people who don't fit typical stereotypes. And they can inspire people who are different to overcome rejection and keep applying.

     I got an early lesson in dealing with discrimination when my grandfather was visiting my home. My father's father was a prejudiced old guy, and used a variation of the “N” word, calling black people, “Nuggins.” My sweet, gentle, accommodating mother heard him make that reference in front of me and my brother. She gently admonished, “We don't use that kind of language in this house, Grandpa.” Grandpa took offense, and left in a huff.

     But my mother didn't back down. She knew what was right.

     My high school classmate and his niece know what's right.

     When we look past our differences to see what what really matters, we all do.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Dan Coulter is the producer of the Intricate Minds series of DVDs that help students understand classmates with Asperger Syndrome, autism, and other differences. You can find more articles and information on his website: coultervideo.com.

Copyright 2013 Dan Coulter       Used by Permission   All Rights Reserved

If you'd like to comment on this article, link to it, or like it on Facebook, you can find it at: http://coultervideo.com/content/overcoming-discrimination

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Monday, July 1, 2013

States fight bullying with new legislation - Houston Top News | Examiner.com

States fight bullying with new legislation - Houston Top News | Examiner.com

On Friday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed an anti-bullying bill into law, reports Fox News. The new legislation is being named after Shawnee student Loren Wendelburg. In 2008, Wendelburg – who suffers from autism – was a 5th grader who was verbally and physically abused by a teacher at Rising Star Elementary School.
The new law strengthens Kansas’ anti-bullying statue by protecting students from being bullied by school personnel.
Earlier this year, Wendelburg testified before the Kansas state legislature saying, “I had nightmares because I worried about going back to school and the teacher harming me.” According to his parents, the teacher continued to work at the elementary school without any disciplinary action by administrators.
Wendelburg, now 15 years old, was on hand in Topeka as Gov. Brownback signed the anti-bullying bill into law.
Prevention Tools
Parents who are concerned about their kid’s safety online should urge social sites to use live moderators. Los Angeles-based WebPurify offers professional content moderation services, including video and image filtering tools that block out vulgarity on the web.
In March, a pornographic video involving an infant was posted on Facebook. The content was shared tens of thousands of times and “liked” by 4,000 users.
“It’s tragic enough that videos like this exist, but exposing users to traumatic content and destroying a company’s brand is completely avoidable,” said Joshua Buxbaum, a co-founder of WebPurify. “There is no way around this; real live human beings, not software, need to be reviewing every video before it goes live.”
“Not having the proper safeguards in place . . . is extremely irresponsible. [Our] team . . . moderates content . . . [and] implemented systems to immediately alert our clients when that content contains potentially illegal or dangerous material” said Jonathan Freger, who is also one of the company’s co-founders.
Oklahoma Law
On Friday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed the School Safety and Bullying Prevention Act into law. The anti-bullying bill was introduced by legislators after a series of bullying incidents at schools throughout the state that were reported by local media.
The new legislation gives schools a roadmap for how to handle, report, investigate and punish bullying related incidents.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why special needs families stay in fight mode. | Support for Special Needs

Why special needs families stay in fight mode. | Support for Special Needs

In a recent story, a private club with a swimming pool will not allow a child with autism to use a floatation vest causing, obviously, the family not to join the club. Officials at the club say they don’t allow anyone to use floatation devices of any kind, and “if an exception was made for one, an exception would have to be made for all, and that was not possible.” Why is it hard for the pool board to say yes to this family and no to others who many complain?
Every. Single. Day. There is a reminder of how families with a child (or more) with differences has to fight and sometimes for the simplest of things, like the right to attend events and the right to live in the community and productive.
During the time that my kids were at their local public school they were really sick. My son was on hemodialysis (at the hospital three days a week) and they both had kidney transplants at age eight. They were out for recoveries from multiple surgeries, procedures and illnesses connected to their health condition. Many times I had to run in and get the kids right before the end of the day. Technically I should have picked them up 45 minutes before dismissal. But because they also wanted the kids to be able to be in school as much as possible given their delays (and I wanted to be at work as much as possible), they let me pick them up right before dismissal, sometimes by just a few minutes. Seeing me approach the door, the staff in the front office often called for the kids before I opened the office door. They made an exception. Because it was best for the kids and for the family. I’m nothing special, they would have done it for any family in our situation.
Exceptions sometimes need to be made. We’re a world of different people and different situations and some people need exceptions.
We need extra time to arrive and leave and sometimes we need extra space. We need patience and understanding by people in front of us, behind us, next to us. We need a little bit of a break with things that make life easier like a better parking space, a fast lane at the E.R., a frequent flyer program at our pharmacy. We sometimes enjoy the perks of an attraction open just for us (free!) to help with the crowds making it the only way we could/would attend. We need people to help clean up the aisle in the store and not give us “the look” when our day falls apart (sometimes a lot of days in a row). We need the exception of floaties and harnesses without judgement, we need to help our kids by keeping them in strollers past the “acceptable” age. We appreciate the financial breaks we get and it makes it possible for us to do other things like donate to causes or to buy equipment our kids need to function at school and home. We need people to accept our kids and work with us to help build friendships and social skills.
We need exceptions all the time.
I think people wonder why special needs parents stay in fighting mode. It’s because if we let our guard down even for a day, we miss something. Sometimes it’s something big. Or something as simple as our family getting to swim together in a community pool with our son safer by use of a floating vest. Our “fighting” isn’t fighting as much as it is just doing what we do. Or doing what we have to do.
To me, this kind of “fighting” doesn’t even feel like fighting at all. It feels normal.