Early Childhood Special Education

This 6-minute video is a little gem posted online by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. It features parents and educators from a local Wisconsin school district talking about their journey of inclusion for students with IEPs in early childhood educational settings.


Get Ready for College – VCU Center on Transition Innovations

PEATC Youth Empowerment

Center on Transition Innovations

“Get Ready for College: A Resource for Teens with Disabilities” is a free series of online lessons, each focusing on a different aspect in the college preparation, selection, and disability services process. These online lessons contain video presentations and resources that can be used to equip students and others with the knowledge and skills for the transition to post-secondary education. Topics include the differences between high school and college, post-secondary education and training, selecting a college best fit, getting accommodations in college, and what you can do now in high school to prepare for college. If approved by a school division, this online course will satisfy Virginia’s virtual course graduation requirement.

Source: Get Ready for College – VCU Center on Transition Innovations

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Moving Out… Stay Informed as Our Children Move Beyond School

25772161272_5c881e9494_kAs our children prepare for life beyond public school, there are protections under IDEA that focus on the transition.  Below you find both the definition of transition services under IDEA and an article on rental housing rights for disabled tenants, which includes information on the Fair Housing Act.


Sec. 300.43 Transition services

300.43 Transition services.

(a) Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that—
(1) Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;

Let Us All Be Brave in The Attempt – Guest Blogger Rhonda

Rhonda Tabor Parent of an active son who is changing society to meet his needs and not having society change him.

 Let Us All Be Brave in The Attempt – Guest Blogger Rhonda


I first learned about Special Olympics while attending the Prince William County School’s Transition Fair. The fair held annually provides vendors and parents the opportunity to speak and share information. I stopped at the Special Olympics’ table to pick up the handouts when the representative asked me if my son was interested in sports. James is my fourth son and has grown up watching his three older brothers participate in soccer, basketball, lacrosse, swimming and baseball. I always try to give James the same opportunities as his older brothers and answered yes, but with his multiple disabilities is not able to keep up with kids his own age. The representative replied that is not a problem, this is the right place for James. He also explained that the Special Olympics is a free, non-profit organization, solely supported by volunteers and fundraising (Polar Plunge).

James Tabor 2 time Bocce Medalist

I contacted my area coordinator and we attended our first meeting for swimming. While at the meeting, the coordinator asked for volunteers to support Special Olympics throughout Prince William County.  I am not a sideline mom and a firm believer in giving back, no matter how small. So I thought about it a minute and decided I wanted to volunteer and help in any way I could. They were looking for a bocce coach and asked if I knew anything about it. The funny thing about Bocce, I learned to play on the beach in California visiting family.  I told them I know how to play but have never coached bocce.  My first meeting and now I’m going to be a bocce coach!  What was I thinking!  As everything in life, you do your best, give it your all, and have no regrets.

Bocce season was set and I was going to my first practice.  Yes, I was nervous, I wasn’t sure if anyone would show up. Would they understand I’m very new to Special Olympics and coaching bocce?  I drove up and parked my car. I started getting the equipment out, parents and athletes were coming up to me introducing themselves, helping with the equipment, and pitching in where needed. The parents and athletes came together as a team and welcomed me in right away.  The first practice went better than expected and without any problems.  Many parents and athletes volunteered to help set up the courts and to keep score. I remember feeling so blessed to be part of an organization that empowers individuals and we were all having so much fun, it was a great first season with Coach Rhonda.

We attended the Summer Special Olympic Games in Richmond June 2016, this was a first for me! During state games, athletes compete for medals (gold, silver, and bronze). Our Bocce Team, consisting of 5 athletes, won 2 gold and 3 silver medals.  I was so proud of my team, the medals around their necks and was amazed how well they played.

I have finished four seasons of coaching bocce. The Bocce Team just competed at Fall Special Olympics State Games in Virginia Beach. We had seven athletes compete, placing with 6 gold medals and 1 silver. I couldn’t be more proud of the athletes on my team. When I look at their faces while practicing or competing I see so much strength in their abilities as athletes. When the representative said, Special Olympics was the right place for my son, he was correct. I am so thankful I was brave in my attempt to coach. I am proud of my athletes in how brave they are to compete. If not for the volunteers, Special Olympics would not exist. Not only does the Special Olympic oath apply to the athletes, it applies to the coaches as well. James has gained confidence, friends, and two medals since joining Special Olympics. He has also been involved with swimming and bowling sponsored by Special Olympics. Athletes are encouraged to participate in as many sports as they would like.


If you would like to contact Special Olympics in your area, just click here! I encourage you to be BRAVE!

Information on ED

What is ED, Emotional Disturbance?
Emotional disturbance as defined by IDEA:

(i) Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:

(A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
(B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
(C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
(D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
(E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
For more information the Parent Center Hub has put together a collection of resources and they are available in Spanish!

Recent Press Release from US Department of Education

DECEMBER 7, 2017

Washington — The U.S. Department of Education today released a question-and-answer document supporting the unanimous March 2017 U.S. Supreme Court opinion on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)-related case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District clarifying the scope of a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

“The Supreme Court sent a strong and unanimous message: all children must be given an opportunity to make real progress in their learning environment—they cannot simply be passed along from year to year without meaningful improvement,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “For too long, too many students offered IEPs were denied that chance. I firmly believe all children, especially those with disabilities, must be provided the support needed to empower them to grow and achieve ambitious goals.”

The Department issued the Q&A document to provide parents, educators and other stakeholders information on the issues addressed in Endrew F. and the impact of the Court’s decision.

The Q&A explains the case and provides a summary of the Court’s final decision and prior case law addressing the FAPE standard. The document also explains how FAPE is currently defined, clarifies the standard for determining FAPE and addresses how this ruling can support children with disabilities.

You can view the Q&A document here: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/qa-endrewcase-12-07-2017.pdf

Feature Matching of Apps for Students with Disabilities

Resource from Center on Technology and DisabilityCTD

In this webinar, Dr. Therese Willkomm discusses and demonstrates various tools, resources, and strategies to select the most appropriate app based upon desired outcomes, the environment, and the student’s abilities. Participants will learn how to perform an app analysis that analyzes apps based measurable student goals and the physical, sensory, cognitive, environmental, and social abilities required to affectively use the app for the intended goal.

The Center for Disease Control, CDC offers free Milestone Tracker Mobile App

Milestones matter! Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing.

From birth to age 5, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun!


  • Add a Child – enter personalized information about your child or multiple children
  • Milestone Tracker – track your child’s developmental progress by looking for important milestones using an interactive, illustrated checklist
  • Milestone Photos and Videos – know what each milestone looks like so that you can better identify them in your own child
  • Tips and Activities – support your child’s development at every age
  • When to Act Early – know when it’s time to “act early” and talk with your child’s doctor about developmental concerns
  • Appointments – keep track of your child’s doctors’ appointments and get reminders about recommended developmental screenings
  • Milestone Summary – get a summary of your child’s milestones to view, and share with or email to your child’s doctor and other important care providers

The use of this app is not a substitute for the use of validated, standardized developmental screening tools as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

CDC does not collect or share any personal information that can be used to identify you or your child.

Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents

Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents

Article found on the FDA Website.

Even though it’s not an official holiday, Halloween is much beloved by children and adults alike. What could be more fun than trick-or-treating, apple bobbing, or costume parties?

To make sure treats are safe for children, follow these simple steps:Halloween Pumpkin with candy

  • Snacking: Children shouldn’t snack on treats from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach. Urge them to wait until they get home and let you inspect their loot before they eat any of it.
  • Safe treats: Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies: If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Do not allow the child to eat any home-baked goods he or she may have received.
  • Choking hazards: If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

Bobbing for apples is an all-time favorite Halloween game. Here are a couple of ways to say “boo” to bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

  • Reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables by thoroughly rinsing them under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
  • Try this new spin on apple bobbing from FightBAC.org: Cut out lots of apples from red construction paper. On each apple, write activities for kids, such as “do 5 jumping jacks.” Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string. Let the children take turns “bobbing” with their magnet and doing the activity written on their apple. Give children a fresh apple for participating.

If your idea of Halloween fun is a party at home, don’t forget these tips:

  • Beware of spooky cider! Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. To stay safe, always serve pasteurized products at your parties.
  • No matter how tempting, don’t taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contain uncooked eggs.
  • “Scare” bacteria away by keeping all perishable foods chilled until serving time. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry, or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings.
  • Bacteria will creep up on you if you let foods sit out too long. Don’t leave perishable goodies out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).

Allergies and Halloween.

Information on FARE and their TEAL Pumpkin Project