Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Patricia S. Lemer, M.S.Bus., NCC, Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers, fills us in on special needs summer camps. Parents frequently ask me to make recommendations about summer programming for their children with special needs. They are torn between using the season for intensifying therapy programs or giving the child a break from routine. Any child who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is eligible for an Extended School Year (ESY) program. ­ First, “critical life skills” are identified in the IEP. Next, a committee determines if the child’s critical life skills, without ESY services: Will regress and not be recovered in a reasonable amount of time Are emerging and at a breakthrough point Are impeded by stereotypic, ritualistic or self-injurious behaviors If an interruption in programming is likely to prevent a student from receiving some benefit from the educational program during the regular school year, the school system must provide ESY services. IEP goals for ESY are carried over…

Goodness-of-Fit of a Multidisciplinary Team for Special Needs Children

by Susan Snell, MA., MS., Educational Consultant, St. Columba’s Nursery School, Washington, DC, and Family Therapist, Fairfax, VA For many parents, finding the “right” service providers for their child is a challenge.  Most parents initially experience this process as they choose a pediatrician.  There must be a “goodness-of-fit” in your multidisciplinary team for special needs children. For some, this is as simple as following the recommendation of a neighbor or going to the first practice listed in the managed care provider booklet.  For others, this process includes careful investigation, interviews, and even a trial run before feeling comfortable with their choice. The process is similar when parents seek other pediatric specialists. Many children see a speech/language pathologist or an occupational therapist on a weekly basis. Others go for vision therapy or nutritional consultation; some work with social workers or play therapists.  The success of any treatment relies partly on “goodness-of-fit” between the therapist, the child’s receptivity and capabilities, and the…

Developing An Appropriate Individualized Education Plan

by Linda DeFrancesco, B.S. Sp. Educ. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is an extremely valuable tool for describing the components of a child’s special education program and for keeping track of progress. A carefully designed IEP is a team effort between the school’s  resources and the family that focuses on and clarifies what should take place in the classroom. A poorly written IEP can lead to vagueness in programming and a lack of accountability.  The parents’ role in the design and implementation of the IEP is extremely important. Educate yourself about the law in your state Special education is federally mandated by a law entitled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Each state interprets the law differently.  Information about rights and responsibilities is available from your state department of education. Prepare for the IEP Meeting IEP meetings must be held on an annual basis, but can be called by either the parents or the school at any time. Preparation…