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2015 Connecticut Special Education Survey Resources

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Every year the State of Connecticut distributes a survey to parents related to their experience with their child’s special education program. It is important to get family feedback so the state and school districts know where they need to put their efforts toward improvement. The Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC) values the time it takes to give this feedback and wanted to offer some information to make your advocacy on behalf of your child easier. CPAC has put together some resources to help you learn more about educating children with disabilities and having high expectations for their success. Please take a look at these choices and feel free to call us if you need information other than what we have shared here. Our Parent Consultants are in and available to take your call if you would like some individualized information based on your family’s needs.

Sharing What You Know About Your Child

Talking with Family About You Child’s Learning Disability
This article helps families to see the value of sharing their child’s struggles with other family members. In addition to the idea that this conversation may result in some additional support from your family, families often find that by doing this it helps them to develop a better understanding of their child’s disability. Sharing with family is an opportunity to practice explaining how he/she learns, what his/her strengths and struggles are in the same way you might share it with a school team. The discussion might help you develop realistic expectations for your child’s success with the people who love him the most.

Working With Your Child’s School

Young Girl at School Holding a Computer Mouse

Steps to Success: Communicating with Your Child’s School
Working with your child’s school team is critical to student success. When parents and school staff have open, ongoing communication there is a greater opportunity for students to make progress. This brochure, developed by the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADRE), offers specific communication skills that may be helpful to parents as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child’s school

What To Do If Your Disagree – IDEA Dispute Resolution Parent Guides
Sometimes disagreements happen and it is important to resolve them in ways that maintain the relationships between team members. These five Parent Guides provide families with an overview of different ways to resolve disagreements with school teams. The Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADRE) designed these guides with help from parent leaders throughout the country. All five are available in English and Spanish. Take a moment and browse the rest of CADRE’s resources related to resolving differences and working together to improve student outcomes.

All About Behavior

The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CIPR)
This website hosts a range of information on behavior in both English and Spanish. Topics include behavior assessments, plans, and supports in both home and school. Explore the various resources for information on prevention strategies, using data to inform planning, disability specific information and more. The CIPR site also hosts resources on a variety of other topics related to students with disabilities.

Family Reading

Literacy for All Ages

Words and Concepts About Reading That You Might Hear in a Meeting with Your Child’s Teacher
Reading has terms and concepts that parents need to understand in order to speak to their child’s teacher and it is important to be able to communicate using shared language. This listing makes it easier for parents to hold meaningful conversations about reading with their child’s teacher.

Target the Problem
Understanding the barrier to a student’s learning is the first step in being able to help them improve. This handout helps parents to understand the ways students can have difficulty with reading and how to target their unique barrier.

Questions Parents Can Ask
Spelling, Writing and Assessments/Testing
Reading Improvement
These two checklists help parents form questions to ask their child’s teacher when they are concerned about their academic progress in Language Arts. This type of communication can help the team focus on specific concerns so there is a higher chance for student success.

What Does Transition Planning Mean in Special Education

Smiling Graduate Holding up Diploma

Transition Planning
It is never too early to start planning for the future or to think about your child’s transition to adulthood. This site provides a brief overview of the planning process and the expectations under the law. Additionally there are many other resources on transition under Hot Topics/Transition to Adulthood.

Ways To Be Connected

Current News and Trends
Sign up for alerts from organizations providing accurate and reliable information
CIPR Newsletter: Buzz from the Hub
CPAC: Monthly E-Newsletter
CSDE: Interactive Bureau Bulletin (Go to the lower right hand corner to subscribe for new posts)

Support and Connection to Other Families
Meet other parents in person or online to learn, share experiences, look for resources and brainstorm together
Support groups in Connecticut
Social Media: Facebook, Google Groups, Yahoo Groups and others are a great place to find other families who are facing the same challenges you are and who are looking to connect for mutual support and learning. Find the search box and use key terms like “Connecticut,” “disability”, “special education” or try the disability itself, for example “Autism” or “Down Syndrome” and see what interesting matches come up.

Disability Specific Groups
Look for organizations related to your child’s disability so you can stay informed on any related issues. If there is no organization at the state level, try searching for one in the region or the country.
Who Can Help: Support for Connecticut Families Who Have Children with Disabilities

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