Special Needs vs Disabled? The “new” term to say instead of Special Needs.

Special Needs vs Disabled? The “new” term to say instead of Special Needs.

Special Needs vs. Disability And it’s not even a new term. Hence the air quotes. Several months ago, I did a blog post about People First Language, and why it shouldn’t be mandated. Certainly not by non-disabled people. At the end of that post, I said this: Up next: I’ll be tackling “special needs.” Because that…

When Autism Awareness Materials are Ableist | Why I loathe April.

When Autism Awareness Materials are Ableist | Why I loathe April.

When “Awareness” is Ableist. Last week, I did a post about a video that was going viral. I said then, and still think, that it’s ableist. Not to pat myself on the back (ok, maybe a little), the well-known activist Alice Wong agreed with me and shared my post. Her group even included trigger warnings…

Perfect Attendance Awards | 8 Reasons why they’re Garbage.

Perfect Attendance Awards | 8 Reasons why they’re Garbage.

Perfect Attendance Awards Perfect attendance awards are a terrible idea. I get it–I get why they were developed. To encourage kids with chronic absenteeism to attend school, and it was assumed that increased attendance would lead to increase performance. In fact, today, only 2% of educators and parents surveyed believe that perfect attendance awards are…

14 Tips for Writing an OCR Complaint that gets Noticed | IEP | 504

14 Tips for Writing an OCR Complaint that gets Noticed | IEP | 504

OCR Complaint I know, we complain too much. What can I say, it’s a complaints-based system. One of the remedies that parents have in special education is to file a complaint with your Office of Civil Rights. It’s easy, and it’s not. But, don’t be intimidated. One of the ways you can create change is…

Secretary DeVos Announces New, Proactive Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Compliance Center.

Secretary DeVos Announces New, Proactive Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Compliance Center.

OCR OPEN Center I received this press release and felt it was worth sharing. I’ve often said that one of my main frustrations about disability civil rights law is that they are all complaint-based. That is, they are not proactive. Compliance is dependent upon someone filing a complaint. The OPEN center says it will change…

The Special Education Funding Crisis explained in 5 graphics.

The Special Education Funding Crisis explained in 5 graphics.

Special Education Funding I honestly cannot believe that this blog is almost 10 years old, and it just occurred to me this week to write about Special Education Funding. I was participating in a webinar and it just hit me. So often, parents ask me, “Why? Why does it have to be like this? Why…

I’m tired of talking about my son’s health.

I’m tired of talking about my son’s health.

I know they mean well. People. They ask. But the holiday season just ended and I.am.exhausted. Mentally, not physically. Emotionally. My son has significant health issues. He’s medically complex. I talk about his issues often on the blog and in life. I posted our GoFundMe that we needed help with prior to his brain surgery….

What’s so bad about school choice? Lots, actually.

What’s so bad about school choice? Lots, actually.

Why School Choice is a Bad Idea. My heart sank. I screamed at my computer. I texted other advocate friends. We just couldn’t believe what we were reading. Seriously, a billionaire campaign donor with zero public education experience. That’s who he nominated? A woman whose family has dumped millions of dollars into school choice. This…