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Principles of IDEA

Zero Reject
Protection in Evaluation
Procedural Safeguards
Parental Participation


Zero Reject

Locate, identify, and provide services to all eligible students with disabilities.


Protection in Evaluation

Conduct an assessment to determine if a student has an IDEA related disability and if s/he needs special education services.



Free and Appropriate Public Education
What is appropriate?
Rowley Case defines "Appropriate"



Least Restrictive Environment
Educate students with disabilities with non-disabled students to the maximum extent possible.

Nationwide, more than 50% of exceptional children and youths are now served primarily in gen ed classrooms.


Procedural Safeguards

Comply with the procedural requirements of IDEA.


Parental Participation

Collaborate with parents in the development and delivery of their child's special education program.


Brown v. Board of Education

Set the scene for court cases involving people with special needs and their educational pursuits.



Board of Education vs. Rowley
Asked the question, "What is an appropriate education?"

The courts rewrote the definition of "appropriate" to be more generalized; the student must benefit educationally from instruction. It does not include a guarantee to assist a student reach their full potential.


Mill's Case

7 children brought a suit against the DC public schools after the school system denied services to these individuals based solely on their disability.

The school systems argued that tight budgets would not allow them to provide services to these students.

Extended the PARC case decision to all disabilities.



Pennsylvania had a state law that allowed educators to deny education to 1st graders who have not reached a mental age of 5.

Law was designed to exclude students with ID.

State later agreed to provide a FAPE to individuals with ID up to age 21.


Special Education Process

Eligibility Determination
Individual Education Plan (IEP)
Implement Program
Monitor Progress


IEP Components

Prior Written Notice
Present Level of Performance
Measurable Goals and Objectives
Special and Related Services
Time with Non-disabled Peers
Accommodations and Modifications
Initiation, Intensity, Frequency, Location of Services
Statement of How Progress Will be Measured
Transition Planning for Students >15 years


No Child Left Behind

Focuses on:
a) Increasing the academic achievement of all public school students
b) Improving the performance of low-performing schools
c) Requiring schools to adopt scientifically based instructional practices

Accomplishes this by:
a) Requiring states to measure the progress of students and groups of students, including students with disabilities, every year
b) Reporting the results of these measures to parents
c) Requiring states to set proficiency standards that schools must attain within a set period of time


Focus of IDEA 2004

To increase academic achievement of individuals in special education, by:
a) focusing on writing measurable goals and actually measuring them
b) focus on progress monitoring

Increase accountability results.
Streamline the education process.


Referral Process

It is a written request for an evaluation of a student who is suspected of having a disability.

Before referrals to special education, educators meet to consider the questions that prompted the referral (prereferral).

The educators must prove that the student failed to develop with instructional modifications (response to intervention) prior to a SE referral.



Evaluators can only assess the suspected areas of deficit.


What disability is not listed under IDEA eligibility?



Prior Written Notice

School districts must do everything they can do to get parents involved in SE-related decisions.

Needs to be in the native language of the family and must be timely.


Present Levels of Performance

Objective, measurable statements.
Describes the effect of the disability on participation in gen ed classroom.
Includes strengths and needs.
Needs are reflected in the goals and services.


Measurable Goals and Objectives

Written for services related to student's disability and needs.

Using clear and understanding language.
"Tom will improve in social skills" vs "Given individual instruction in reading, Tom will improve his reading level from 4th to 6th grade, as measured by the ABC reading assessment"

Measurable, Measurable, Measurable.


Disability vs Handicap

Disability is an inability to do something or a diminished capacity to perform in a specific way.

Handicap is a disadvantage imposed on an individual.


Why is it difficult to estimate the number of exceptional learners?

1) Vagueness in definitions
2) Frequent changes in definitions
3) The role of schools in determining exceptionality

School-age children and youths in their early teens make up the bulk of the identified population.


Definition of Special Education

Specifically designed instruction that meets the unusual needs of an exceptional student and that might require special materials, teaching techniques, or equipment and/or facilities.


Early history of SE

Most of the originators were European physicians.

They emphasized:
1) Individualized instruction
2) A carefully sequenced series of educational tasks
3) Emphasis on stimulation and awakening of the child's senses
4) Meticulous arrangement of the child's environment
5) Immediate reward for correct performance
6) Tutoring in functional skills
7) Belief that every child should be educated to the greatest extent possible



Curriculum Based Measures

Involves students' responses to their usual instructional materials; it entails direct and frequent samples of performance from the students' curriculum.

Commonly used to determine students' responses to RTI.



Include changes in instruction that don't significantly change the content or conceptual difficulty level of the curriculum.


What are examples of culturally-biased elements of diagnosing disabilities?

a) Patterns of eye contact
b) Physical contact
c) Use of language
d) Ways of responding to people of authority


Definition of Assessment

Testing, interviewing, and observing students.

Often called biased, resulting in misrepresentation of the abilities and disabilities of ethnic minorities and exceptional students, which then results in classification and overrepresentation in special education rather than improved educational programming.


Definition of Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Intellectual connotes limitations in thinking.
Developmental connotes that the limitations interfere with normal development of functions.


Adaptive Behavior

The social or practical intelligence an individual uses in everyday life.

Has led to some individuals with ID as being identified as having LD instead.


Social Intelligence

Involves understanding and interpreting people and social interactions, such as being able to "read" when someone is angry and not being gullible or easily tricked or manipulated.


Practical Intelligence

Involves the ability to solve everyday problems, such as preparing meals, using transportation systems, making change, using the Internet, and solving problems that are associated with particular job situations.


American Psychological Association's Measure of IQ

Mild = 50-70
Moderate = 35-50
Severe = 20-35
Profound = below 20


Chromosomal Disorders

Down Syndrome
Fagile X Syndrome
Prader-Willi Syndrome
Williams Syndrome


Prenatal Causes

Chromosomal Disorders
Inborn Errors of Metabolism
Developmental Disorders Affecting Brain Formation
Environmental Influences


Inborn Errors of Metabolism

Phenylketonuria (PKU)--requires a special diet for life


Environmental Influences

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Perinatal Causes

Anoxia--complete oxygen deprivation
Low Birthweight (LBW)--approximately less than 5.5 pounds
Syphilis/Herpes Simplex


Postnatal Causes

Biological or Psychosocial

Biological--infections, malnutrition, and toxins (meningitis, encephalitis)

Psychosocial--raised in poor environmental circumstances



A person's awareness of what strategies are needed to perform a task, the ability to plan how to use the strategies, and the evaluation of how well the strategies are working.


Arguments for Inclusion

1) Labeling people is harmful
2) SE pull-out programs have been ineffective
3) People with disabilities should be viewed as a minority group
4) Ethics are more important than empirical evidence


Arguments for Continuum of Placement

1) Parents are satisfied with placement
2) Gen educators are not willing/able to teach SE students
3) Ethics argument is flawed
4) Disregarding empirical evidence is flawed


Continuum of Alternative Placements

Gen Ed Classroom > Special Classes > Special Schools > Institutions/Homes


A child may not be determined to be eligible for IDEA if the determinant factor is....

1) Lack of instruction in reading or math
2) Limited English proficiency


Common Errors in Test Selection

1) Using an instrument solely because they're stipulated by admins.
2) Regularly using instruments for purposes other than those for which they've been validated.
3) Taking the recommended use at face value.
4) Using the quickest route.


The more unlike the norm group the child is...

The less valuable the results of the tests.


Bias in IQ Testing

1) Inappropriate content
2) Inappropriate standardization samples
3) Examiner language bias
4) Measurement of different constructs
5) Differential predictive validity


3 Dimensions of ID

1) Significantly below average IQ
2) Adaptive behavior
3) Developmental Period