Special Education Advocacy with Ashley Barlow
By Ashley Barlow
Special Education Advocacy with Ashley Barlow Sep 22, 2020
Introduction to Special Education Evaluations
Evaluations are a fact of life in special education. They are the gateway to the IEP. School districts are required to identify, locate, and evaluate children that are suspected as having a disability. That requirement is often called the “Child Find” requirement. As a result of Child Find, once a district or a parent identifies a child as possibly qualifying for special education services, the district must conduct an evaluation. The evaluation will result in an eligibility determination. That is, once the child is evaluated, the IEP team will consider whether the child qualifies for special education services; and then, of course, if the child qualifies, then, the child receives the desired IEP. In this episode, we’ll walk through the evaluation process, how to read the report, and then what to do with them once you have them.
Common Topics in Special Education During COVID-19
In this episode I address the most commonly asked questions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past six months I’ve helped my own clients and have spoken with parents and staff at many disability organizations about decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. Things have twisted and turned, but we always land on the same themes. I have compiled a list of the questions that I’ve been asked most, and I’ve answered them.
We’ll talk about how to address regression, what compensatory education is, when to schedule a meeting and what kind of meeting to schedule, how to prepare for an IEP or informal meeting, how to advocate for more adult support (like an aide, teacher’s assistant, instructional assistant), how to decide on the right learning platform for your child (even if you’re divorced), and how to know if it’s time to make a change.
This episode if super content-rich, so I recommend that you grab your favorite pen and a pad of paper!
Starting the School Year on the Right Foot
Sara Platenberg has a Masters Degree in Education with a focus in Gifted and Talented and Twice Exceptional Populations. She served the public school system in Virginia as a Gifted and Talented Specialist where she focused on Twice Exceptionality and meeting the needs of 2E students while utilizing researched based inclusion strategies. Her years as an educator and experience implementing strategies to meet the needs of students with learning differences, helped support Sara as she began navigating the public school special education system on a personal level.
Her 12 plus years of experience include: Gifted and Talented Educator in Fairfax County; Private tutor in written expression/language and SAT prep, and Educational Advocate. Sara is a member of the Council of Parents, Attorneys, and Advocates, the National Association for Gifted Children, and is a listed provider in the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids.
The 6Ws of the IEP Team Meeting
IEP Meetings can be intimidating. This episode takes the stress out by bringing basic, easily laid out information on what the meetings are, who attends them, why they occur, when they occur, where they are, and how they are scheduled. Sometimes the meeting is the most intimidating part of advocating for a child with a special education plan. My husband , Brandon, joins me in this episode as we reflect back on our journey as parents in special education thus far. He provides information as a parent that’s been at the table.
5 Basic Advocacy Tips
Episode 02 delivers five basic advocacy skills that are aimed to help parents but will be applicable to anyone supporting a child in special education. They’re skills I’ve used in advocating for my own child and in coaching clients as their special education attorney. They’re tried, true, and easy to implement. If you remember one tip, it is to Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Keeping lines of communication open between home, school, and other professionals is so important.
Welcome to Special Education Advocacy with Ashley Barlow
In today’s episode, you’ll get to know me a little more. You’ll understand how I see things as a parent, a teacher, and a self-advocate. You’ll understand my “why” and be the first to know about the roadmap for the first course series at Ashley Barlow Co.
I’m so glad you found us! Grab a glass of lemonade, get cozy, and settle in to listen!