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Workshops to guide parents through creating education plans for children with special needs

By KBell
Feb. 29, 2012 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 28, 2012 at 8:29 p.m.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: TEAM Project's workshops on the ARD process and contents of the IEP

WHEN: March 6: 10 to 11:30 a.m., ARD Process training; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., one-on-one clinic for parents with specific questions; 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Contents of the IEP training

WHERE: Region III Education Service Center, 1905 Leary Lane, Victoria

COST: Free

CONTACT: Brenda Nelson, regional coordinator 979-616-0393; TEAM project headquarters (for Spanish speakers) 713-524-2147

OTHER WORKSHOPS:

March 8: Meadow Lane Resource Center, 2620 Meadow Lane, El Campo

March 20: Wharton County Library, 1920 N. Fulton St., Wharton

March 21: Goliad Special Education Coop, 314 E. Pearl St., Goliad

March 23: Weimar City Hall Meeting Room, 106 E. Main St., Weimar

March 28: Matagorda County Educational Services, 2801 15th St., Bay City

Parents of students with special needs are invited to a free workshop that will walk them through the process of creating an education plan for their child.

The TEAM project of the Partners Resource Network is hosting the sessions across the Crossroads. The Victoria workshop is March 6.

"When you think about a child with a disability, they all have unique difference, needs, They're special. So we're going to design an education specifically for that child," said Brenda Nelson, the TEAM project coordinator of the region.

Nelson, who has a 12-year-old son with Asperger Syndrome, said the training session will give parents a glimpse into the Admission Review and Dismissal meeting that's held each year for a child who takes advantage of special education services.

At the ARD meeting, a group of people, which can include a regular education teacher, special education teacher, a diagnostician, principal and other specialists, meet to create an Individualized Education Program for each child.

The IEP is based on evaluations and assessments and includes measurable goals set out for the child - like learning how to conduct a conversation or how to count to a certain number by a certain date.

Nelson said parents should play an integral part in creating the plan their children will follow.

"We take the curriculum everybody's learning, look at deficits for specific child and put plans in place to help them learn what everybody else is taking," Nelson said.

The TEAM project is a statewide network of parent training and information centers that aims to empower parents to be effective advocates for their children.

Assistance in English and Spanish is available to parents of kids ages birth to 26.

Nelson encouraged anyone who thinks their child may benefit from special education services to contact the TEAM project.

"Even if they think child is struggling, and if they're not in special education, they can come too and learn about process," she said.

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