What Are Special Education Dragons, and 4 Tips to Deal With Them to Benefit Your Child’s Education!

Are you a parent with a child with autism or learning disabilities that receive special education services? Have you been trying to advocate that your child receive needed services to no avail? Then you may be dealing with a special education dragon!When my first book came out in 2007, I included a section about why some educators lied to parents.These reasons are:1. Some lie or provide misinformation because they do not know the law (or pretend they do not know the law).
2. Some lie because they want parents to believe that the law gives them more power than it actually does.
3. Some lie because they believe the parent may be vulnerable in some way (divorce, single parent, etc.)
4. Some lie about a child’s progress (overstating such progress) so that they can deny intensive services.
5. Some lie, and state that they do not pay for certain services so that they do not set a precedent of paying for those services (Applied Behavioral Analysis, private tutoring, etc.).An educator that would lie to a parent for any reason is a special education dragon, in my opinion.A few more characteristics are:1. They blame the child and/or the parent for the child’s disabilities and lack of educational progress (rather than blaming themselves for the child not learning).
2. They act as a gatekeeper to prevent children from receiving vital needed educational services (even when proven by an independent educational evaluation-IEE).
3. They intimidate, scream, manipulate the school team (and the parent) so that the parent gives up and goes away (I have seen this activity many times for my children and in my advocacy).
4. They retaliate against the child and the parent when the parent is advocating for their child (which is a protected activity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act).If you are dealing with a special education dragon, here are a few tips to deal with them:1. Dragons can be overcome by assertive and persistent advocacy for as long as it takes for your child to receive an appropriate education!
2. Knowledge of federal and state special education and disability laws (IDEA 2004, ADAAA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act—and your states laws), and use of those laws in your advocacy, will go a long way in overcoming dragons.
3. Using a well-trained advocate to attend IEP meetings, can also help overcome these school personnel’s tactics.
4. Become familiar and willing to use the dispute resolution processes that are available to you (State complaints, Mediation, Due Process, OCR complaints).I have been dealing with special education dragons for a long time, and am amazed at their insistence that they are right, even when they are proven wrong. One time at a meeting I was frustrated with a school person who kept stating something over and over. I picked up my IDEA 2004 regulations, opened it up and read the section about the issue we were discussing and then preceded to say “There it is read-em-and-weep!” I would not suggest getting upset but they seemed to get it! Good luck—never give up fighting these dragons for the good of your child’s education!

Five Ways to Motivate Students in Physical Education Class

There is no shortcut to becoming a master physical education teacher. In order to keep yourself motivated as a teacher you need to motive your students by constantly challenging them and encouraging them to reach their physical goals. A physical education teacher must perform their own professional development to stay current with the times and learn new techniques to motive their students. The five tips below are simple, yet many physical education teachers do not stress on a daily basis.1. Be Willing to Gain More Knowledge: As a physical education teacher you to be interested in learning about new activities and games, plus incorporates them into their lesson plans. A teacher that is never satisfied with gaining knowledge is a good teacher. As a physical education teacher you should never be satisfied with teaching the same skills over and over again, year after year. You should research and find new games to bring into your class. By bringing in new games it will not only broaden students knowledge of new skills, but they will also have fun learning new and different skills.2. Be Encouraging: This enables students to help increase confidence and decrease doubt and failure. This is important because as a teacher you should want to build up your students confidence. When you encourage your student and tell them that they did a great job in performing a certain skill, it will motivate the child and help build their confidence and improve their overall self-esteem. The opposite is criticizing a student. By doing this you are destroying a students confidence. If you tell a child they did a horrible job performing a skill, not only will destroy the students self-esteem but you will also decrease their willingness to participate in your gym class. And that should not be the goal of any physical education teacher.3. Be Passionate About Teaching: It is important to be passionate about what you teach. If you are not passionate and giving it your all, the students will pick up on that. It is important that your students can see how passionate you are about physical education, and in return they can become passionate as well and want to live a active and healthy life.4. Stay Organized: Being organized is an extremely important skill for a teacher to have. If you are going to teach a lesson on the volleyball set, it is important to have an organized introduction, fitness activity, and at least three setting activities thought out and planned out ahead of time so that the class runs smoothly and effectively.5. Keep an Emphasis on Safety: The safety of your students is one of, if not the most important thing you can emphasize. A physical education teacher always needs to be focused on injury control [http://www.physical-education-lessons.com/category/physical-education-first-aid/]. You want your students to have fun, but you also want them to have fun in a safe and orderly environment. It is important that you establish safety guidelines to your students, and they are aware of the consequences if they do not follow those rules.