January 2014

Crozet Special Education

Late Winter and Spring means more School Based Intervention Team meetings, Individual Education Plans and Eligibility Testing

We just wanted to say thank you to all the classroom teachers for understanding when we are busy working on IEPs, testing, or in meetings. We try to minimize the impact for your classroom as much as possible and appreciate your support and information.

As a reminder, if Sarah or myself are not in your classroom to cover a student for their Special Education minutes we will attempt to send a Teaching Assistant to fulfill the compliance requirement or fulfill those minutes at a later time.

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding! The SpEd Team.

Welcome Baby Mills!

Born: January 24, 2014; (8 pounds)


Annie, Scott, and Keller Herndon

Recess—It’s Indispensable!

(Copy and paste the link to read the article) http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200909/On%20Our%20Minds%20909.pdf

Working on Memory and Vocabulary -- Try Vocabulary Cartoons

This is just and example from vocabularycartoons.com (you could have the students make their own cartoons)

Learning Disabilities Fast Facts: By the NCLD Editorial Team

What Are Learning Disabilities?

· Learning disabilities (LD) are a group of varying disorders that have a negative impact on learning. They may affect one’s ability to speak, listen, think, read, write, spell or compute. The most prevalent LD is in the area of reading, known as dyslexia.

· Currently 2.4 million students are diagnosed with LD and receive special education services in our schools, representing 41% of all students receiving special education.

· They are life long and cannot be cured; however, the effects of an LD may be mitigated to support learning, living and earning, particularly when identified early and dealt with effectively.

· IIIntellectual disability (once referred to as mental retardation), autism, deafness, blindness, behavioral disorders, and ADD or ADHD are not learning disabilities; however, these conditions are frequently confused with LD.

· While students with LD continue to represent the largest group served by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the special education law (41%), the number of school-age students identified with LD has seen a steady decline during the past 10 years.


While some educational outcomes for students with learning disabilities have shown improvements in recent years, overall they remain unacceptably low.

· Close to half of secondary students with LD perform more than three grade levels below their enrolled grade in essential academic skills (45% in reading, 44% in math).

· 67% of students with LD graduate from high school with a regular diploma vs. 74% of students in the general population.

· 20% of students with LD drop out of high school vs. 8% of students in the general population.

· 10% of students with LD are enrolled in a four-year college within two years of leaving school, compared with 28% of the general population.

· Among working-age adults with LD versus those without LD: 55% vs. 76% are employed; 6% vs. 3% of adults are unemployed; and 39% vs. 21% are not in the labor force partly because of lack of education.

Reference: National Center for Learning Disabilities: http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/what-is-ld/learning-disability-fast-facts

Boost the ADHD Child's Executive Functions: Has your ADHD child hit a mid-year slump? Help the second half of the year go smoothly by increasing her capacity for learning. by Margaret Foster, M.A.

Lost, Late or Burnt Out?

Does your child begin the school year excited and determined to do his best, but lose steam by second semester? Do you and teachers complain: “You’ve been at this for six months now, and you still don’t know what you’re doing?”
For the child who has ADHD and (Executive Functioning) EF challenges, this is difficult to hear. Fortunately, new research on EFs clarifies the causes of “spring fever” in children and suggests strategies that bring relief.

What Are EFs, Anyway?

Executive Functioning is “an umbrella term for the mental processes that serve a supervisory role in thinking and behavior. It allows us to create a master plan, initiate it in a timely manner, react to changes and challenges, and keep the goals in mind over time,” according to Joyce Cooper-Kahn, Ph.D., a clinical child psychologist.
Let’s look at some of the reasons children begin to fail as the school year progresses, and see how we can help them.

Challenge #1: The Work Is Tougher

Teachers don’t always admit it to students and parents, but the curriculum does get more complex as the year goes on. There is an assumption that basic skills have been covered and that good study habits have been formed. But for the child with anxiety, attention, or learning disabilities, this may not be the case. He or she might be struggling with gaps in basic skills or experiencing problems with speed of performance.

Fix #1: Fill the Gaps

You need to know what knowledge or skills your child is missing in order to help him acquire them.

The how. Is there a basic process to a task or assignment (research project, book report) that is obvious to most students, but not to the individual with EF challenges?
The what. Perhaps the content is hard, involving abstract ideas and their corresponding details. Your child should revisit concepts until they’re clear.

Challenge #2: He's Bored

The students who need repetition to crystallize new ideas or skills are usually the same ones who crave novelty and change, as most ADHDers do. Boredom lowers the levels of dopamine in the brain and can impair the ability to attend to detail and perform work.

Fix #2: Do Things Differently

If boredom is your child’s problem, change things up. It’s not always possible to find a new teacher or class for your child, but changing the way your child does things can make a difference. Can he or she do homework in a new setting, like the dining room or a library? Or with a partner? Is there a new twist a teacher can add to a repetitive assignment? Is there a new sport the child can try? Learning to change things up is essential for students with ADHD and LD.

Challenge #3: He's Burnt Out

School can wear down students with EF challenges. Imagine having to show up for track practice five days a week, eight hours a day…with a bad ankle. It’s the same feeling for those with learning problems who are in an intense learning situation. To teachers and parents, burnout looks like lethargy, irritability, or work avoidance after a time.

Fix #3: Tune Up the Brain

Research by Stephen Kaplan, Ph.D., and Marc Berman, Ph.D., suggests that even 20 minutes of exposure to nature “resets” our attention and helps us to refocus. Whether we are gazing out a window or walking in a park, nature gives the right level of brain input, or “soft fascination,” to better access EFs and self-regulation. This effect seems to last well beyond the time spent in nature.

Reference: ADDitude Magazine online

Sarah Buckley, Special Education Teacher (Long Term Substitute)

I grew up and currently live in Nelson County. I graduated from Old Dominion University this past December with my degree in Special Education. I am excited to work with all the staff and students at Crozet Elementary School.