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IEP is an acronym that stands for Individualized Education Program. Some people may refer to it as an Individualized Education Plan. An IEP outlines a documented plan for a child's special education needs as well as the services and accommodations the school district must provide to that child. The process begins with a full evaluation that show a student’s strengths and challenges. The results let families and schools create a program of services and supports tailored to meet the student’s needs. With an IEP, kids get individualized instruction that focuses on improving specific skills. There are other types of help that can also be included in an IEP, like accommodations such as extended time on tests, or related services , like speech-language therapy. Assistive technology (AT) is another type of support that can be part of an IEP. Having an IEP gives students, families, and schools certain legal protections . It lets families be involved in decisions that impact their child’s education.
Appropriate education falls under FAPE, which states that all children have the right to a Free and Appropriate Education. Programs for disabled students may be considered "appropriate" if they meet the student's individual needs to the same extent nondisabled students' needs are met. This may include education in a regular classroom, the use of aides, services, and education in separate classrooms accompanied by related therapy.
Related services are services needed for children with disabilities in order for them to benefit from special education. Related services include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and rehabilitation counseling. Transportation to school is also considered a related service.
The special education evaluation or assessment provides the IEP team with information that is used to determine if your child qualifies for special education and/or related services. The categories defined by IDEA include: autism, developmental delay, emotional disturbance, hearing or visual impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic or other health impairment, speech or language impairment or traumatic brain injury. You can find out more about the special education evaluation process and eligibility through a NY State Parent’s Guide.
Assistive technology or AT are products, equipment, and systems that enhance learning, working, and daily living for persons with disabilities. Assistive technology helps people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other things. Different disabilities require different assistive technologies. Low tech examples could be things like communication boards made of cardboard or fuzzy felt or high tech AT that could be things like specialized computers or electric wheelchairs. education.
Traumatic Brain Injury referred to as TBI is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force, which can be referred to as traumatic impact injuries that can be closed (or non-penetrating) or open (penetrating). A closed traumatic brain injury can result from a fall, car accident, sports injuries or assault such as Shaken Baby Syndrome. PABI which stands for Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) or referred to as a non-traumatic brain injury (NTBI) that causes damage to the brain by internal factors, such as a lack of oxygen or exposure to toxins. Examples of NTBI include stroke, near-drowning, aneurysm, tumor, infectious disease that affects the brain (i.e., meningitis, or lack of oxygen supply (i.e., hypoxia at birth). Brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mediation is a voluntary private meeting where the parent and the school try to reach an agreement, with the help of a neutral third party. The person helping you is called a mediator. The mediator has professional training and isn’t on either side. The mediator may have private one-on-one discussions with you and the school. Federal law requires schools to provide free mediation for disputes about IEPs or special education. Mediation is one of the most common ways parents and schools find a way to deal with special education disputes. Mediation can be a quick, free way to resolve a disagreement and get what your child needs. However, the mediator doesn’t hear the testimony of witnesses and then make a ruling. It’s possible that in mediation, you may give in more than you’d need to. Mediation can also delay your dispute and give the school information you don’t want them to have about your case and arguments. For more information on mediation in NYS Special Education offers some guidance through common questions and answers.
CPSE stands for Committee on Preschool Special Education. In New York State, every school district has a CPSE, a program that provides services to children from 3-5 years of age who have or are at risk of having a developmental disability. If your child received Early Intervention services as an infant or toddler up to age three and may still need special education services. A Service Coordinator will assist you with transition planning and making a referral to the CPSE at your local school district. If your preschool-age child (3-5 years old) did not receive early intervention services, but has some delays or lags in development such as difficulty in talking, moving around, thinking or learning, or is facing physical or behavioral challenges, a parent or guardian may make a referral to the chairperson of your school district’s CPSE who will assist you in completing the referral process.
CSE stands for the Committee for Special Education for students with disabilities from ages 5-21. As a parent, you are a vital member of the CSE team that meets at least annually to review your child's IEP. During the IEP meeting, the different members of the IEP team share their thoughts and suggestions. If this is the first IEP meeting after the child's evaluation, the team may go over the evaluation results, so the child's strengths and needs will be clear. Resources to your local NY CSE can be found here.
The Early Intervention Program helps young children (birth to 3 years) who have developmental delays or not learning, playing, growing, talking or walking like other children their age. The program works with your family to set meaningful goals for your child and create a service plan to help your child and your family meet those goals. The earlier in life a child starts our program, the sooner they can learn the skills they need. Early Intervention is available to all eligible New York City children, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, disability or immigration status and it is provided at no cost to families.
Due process is generally for disputes about your child's educational rights. Each stage of due process—complaint, resolution meeting, hearing, decision and appeal—has a specific time limit. A due process hearing is like a courtroom trial for you and the school. During the hearing, you can call witnesses, give evidence, and make legal arguments. A trained, impartial hearing officer acts as a judge and makes a decision about the case. Due process is complex, and you may want to have a lawyer or advocate represent you. You can appeal a hearing decision within 90 days. For more information about Due Process, the NYS Special Education offers some guidance through common questions and answers.
BIRG understands the financial burden for families and others who have a brain injury or brain-based disorders. This is why we are committed to providing Barrier Free Services designed around a single working mother with two other children. While each case is different, our team will help make certain your child receives the accommodations and special services they need to reach their maximum potential.
The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is a statewide Medicaid program that provides an alternative way of receiving home care services, where the consumer has more control over who provides their care and how it is provided. CDPAP in New York State Medicaid allows consumers to recruit, hire, and direct their own home care workers. One of the highlights of the program is that it allows consumers to hire family members and friends.
A Medicaid waiver is a provision in Medicaid law which allows the federal government to waive rules that usually apply to the Medicaid program. Thanks to these waivers, states can provide services to their residents and children with disabilities that wouldn't usually be covered by Medicaid. NY provides Medicaid Waivers for a to children with disabilities and TBI you can find out more about the program on this factsheet.
A Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waiver is a Medicaid program that in general provides assistance with skill development, respite, transportation, and other services to help support the individual and their caregiver.
OPWDD program that provides for services outside of medicaid and outside of educational services. All individuals with developmental disabilities are eligible. You can find out more information and resources on Self - Direction through OPWDD site.
Transition Programs are designed to teach independent living skills, including vocational skills, to students receiving special education services, ages 18-22. Program activities take place in a variety of community settings; including, work sites, the bank, public transportation and many other locations.
Family members who care for a loved one with a developmental disability can sometimes need a break. Respite services provide temporary relief from the demands of caregiving, which can help reduce overall family stress. This also enables families to better meet the needs of their loved one with a developmental disability. Respite can be provided in the home or out of the home, during the day, evenings or overnight. Talk to your care manager to learn more about respite services.
A special needs trust, also known in some jurisdictions as a supplemental needs trust, is a specialized trust that allows the disabled beneficiary to enjoy the use of property that is held in the trust for his or her benefit, while at the same time allowing the beneficiary to receive essential needs-based government benefits. Special needs trusts are often set up under the guidance of a structured settlement planner in cooperation with a qualified legal and financial team to ensure the trust is set up correctly.
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