Resource Round Up – ESY

smallWe can see summer in the near distance. Many families are scheduling their annual IEP meetings and taking a look at what progress has been made over the school year.  Maybe you are wondering about the break and services or maybe the IEP team members have concerns about regression over the summer.  Understanding what Extended School Year is and if it is a need for your student is key to discussions.

Below is a printable fact sheet on ESY, Extended School Year that can help.

Picture1    Picture2


Using AT for Self Advocacy

What exactly do we mean when we say “Using AT for Self-advocacy”??  Well, let’s break it down.
  1. the action of representing oneself or one’s views or interests.

Assistive technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them.

I am getting ready to host a demonstration table on this very thing in Richmond tomorrow.  What I thought I would do is share some of the AT resources with our readers and give my conference visitors a place to find the links to the programs and applications that I am going to be showcasing.

Below is a set of  links to a variety of platforms and apps that students can use to create wonderful pieces for self-advocacy!  Children of all ages can use their imaginations to express themselves and share with educators, families, and service providers just who they are and what their needs are in the classroom.

Animoto – – Video maker

Voki – – Interactive avatar

Glogster – – Interactive collages

Replay – – Video maker mobile app

I’m Determined – – Resources on self-advocacy and transition

Click below to check out what one student created with Animoto!

animoto pic


20160331_142734 k
Kristin Kane Info Specialist PEATC



Empowering Parents to find Solutions

Guest blog post author, Jane Hersey, National Director Feingold Association of the US

Jane Hersey joined us on March 8th for a live webinar. It has been archived here:

Empowering Parents to find Solutions

smallWhat is generally referred to as ADHD may be triggered by things as diverse as heavy metal exposure, allergies, a stressful environment, deficiencies in one or more nutrients, vision or sensory dysfunction, synthetic food additives, celiac disease, and lack of sleep, among others.


Although this list may appear to be daunting, identifying triggers is not as difficult as it may appear.  An observant parent is often the best judge of what might be at the root of a child’s behavior, learning or health problems, and our volunteer organization provides a systematic approach to help them zero in on the most likely culprits.


This begins with the steps that are both the simplest and most likely to bring improvement; what’s more, they are things a parent can do on her own at a low cost.  If the child’s symptoms diminish then it will become increasingly clear what deficits remain, what additional steps to take, or which professionals might be best able to help the child reach a new level.


An easy first step is to make some changes in your grocery list, buying foods that do not contain things like synthetic dyes or artificial flavors.  Supermarkets have a huge array of products, both with and without these additives, and sometimes both the “good” ones and the “bad” ones are made by the same company!


Many of the food additives that have been shown to trigger learning and behavior problems are the same chemicals a growing number of health-conscious consumers are avoiding.  There has recently been a great deal of media attention on the connection between food dyes and ADHD, as well as the harmful effects the additives can have on everyone.   Synthetic dyes are derived from petroleum and are legally permitted to be contaminated with carcinogens like 4-aminoazobenzene, 4-aminobiphenyl, aniline, azobenzene, benzidine, and 1, 3, diphenyltriazene, as well as the more familiar arsenic, lead and mercury.


Natural food dyes can be created from plants and minerals and do not carry the same risk of behavior, learning or health problems.  They are now widely used in Europe so the child who eats a bag of Skittles in England is not being exposed to the harmful petro-chemicals that are being consumed by the child in the US who eats them.


Why would companies like Kraft, Mars, General Mills, Kellogg and McDonald’s offer natural versions in Europe and still use synthetic ingredients in the US?  Because they are cheaper than natural additives, enabling the mega-companies to increase their profits.  But, unlike the U.S. authorities, the governments in Europe know these chemicals have harmful effects, especially on children, and have passed legislation restricting their use.


Happily, the consumer has the last word, and as a growing number of parents refuse to buy inferior products and Big Food sees their sales decline, they are finally removing some of the most offensive chemicals.  The non-profit Feingold Association researches brand name foods to identify those that are free of the worst of the additives, so the consumer does not have to try to decipher ingredient labels or figure out where the company has hidden undesirable additives.  See for information.


Share your Story – Resource Round Up

We encourage our families to share their story. Check out these great tips and learn more about why it is an important part of advocating for your child.  We hope you enjoy this father’s story about his journey with his son, Chris.  It was just too good not to share with our PEATC families.

If you are interested in sharing your story with us, please let us know in the comments.

Your Voice Counts Printable Fact Sheet

your story fact sheet


Hard Work Always Pays Off (PYE Board Member Highlight)

Check out our latest post from our very own PEATC Youth Board Member, Calvin R!

The peatc youth Project

My name is Calvin and I decided to spend my senior year at Northern Virginia Community College instead of high school. I am currently taking English as dual enrollment to cover my high school credit and first year of college credit for English. As someone with dyslexia, writing does not come easily and it seemed like a good idea to not take a writing class twice. Math and science are my favorite subjects and I will be attending Virginia Tech next year in the engineering program.

My year at NVCC has helped me earn credits so my college transition will be a little bit easier. It also gave me experience talking to professors about the accommodations. I must give every professor a college accommodation sheet each new semester. I believe this has included nine professors. It really helps to explain what I need and get to know my professor.


View original post 85 more words

First Quarter Connection

2016 is here! Can you believe it?

If your resolution for the new year included connecting with other in the community, then PEATC can help.  Join us monthly for parent networking calls.  Check out our upcoming call topics and join us.

RSVP here:

January Call Registration:

February Call Registration:

March Call Registration:

1st qtr flyer networking calls-page-001

Resource Roundup!

Resource Roundup!

Today we are featuring: AccommodationsDownload Girl with headphones Free Photo

School Accommodations and Modifications

Some students with disabilities need accommodations or modifications to their educational program in order to participate in the general curriculum and to be successful in school. While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its regulations do not define accommodations or modifications, there is some agreement as to what they mean. An accommodation as used in this document allows a student to complete the same assignment or test as other students, but with a change in the timing, formatting, setting, scheduling, response and/or presentation. This accommodation does not alter in any significant way what the test or assignment measures. Examples of accommodations include a student who is blind taking a Braille version of a test or a student taking a test alone in a quiet room.

A modification as used in this document is an adjustment to an assignment or a test that changes the standard or what the test or assignment is supposed to measure. Examples of possible modifications include a student completing work on part of a standard or a student completing an alternate assignment that is more easily achievable than the standard assignment.

Needed modifications and accommodations should be written into a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. These changes should be chosen to fit the student’s individual needs. It’s important to include the student, if appropriate, when discussing needed accommodations and modifications. Asking the student what would be helpful is a good first step.

Here are some ideas for changes in textbooks and curriculum, the classroom environment, instruction and assignments, and possible behavior expectations that may be helpful when educating students with disabilities. When reviewing these ideas, keep in mind that any accommodations or modifications an IEP team chooses must be based on the individual needs of students, and the changes must be provided if included in the child’s IEP.

Printable List of Accommodations:

33 - School Accommodations and Modifications-page-001

33 - School Accommodations and Modifications-page-002

33 - School Accommodations and Modifications-page-003



ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act



There is lots of talk about Congress and the reauthorization of ESEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  We want to gather a few resources in one place so that families can get up to date on this federal education law.  Below you will find a few links to the history of the law, a few questions and answers about the law, what the process of the reauthorization entails and a copy of the most recent draft of the bill.

History of ESEA

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who believed that “full educational opportunity” should be “our first national goal.”

Question and Answer on ESEA

Education Post gathers up the most frequently asked questions about this law and gives us the basics.

ESEA Reauthorization

Education Weekly steps up and gives readers a “cheat sheet” on all that Congress has been discussing as important issues in relation to this law.

ESEA, now ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act

With reauthorization comes new bill language and a new name.  For those who love the law, here is the bill language that was released earlier this week.