Education Plan Tips For Your Child http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org Mon, 03 Jan 2011 07:46:25 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.1 Valuable Tips For Funding Your Child’s College Career – From Year To Year! http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/valuable-tips-for-funding-your-childs-college-career-from-year-to-year.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/valuable-tips-for-funding-your-childs-college-career-from-year-to-year.html#comments Mon, 03 Jan 2011 07:45:32 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/?p=102 School is back in session and it is time to start thinking about college fees! In fact, the coming months are some of the most crucial in determining the future of your financial well-being with regard to college costs. Bear this in mind, even though all of your required forms might have been completed, the total work is not done. In fact, it is the activities and decisions of the next few months that will have a profound effect on the education-related bills you’ll be facing over the coming few years.

In order to make our college funding information relevant to a wide spectrum of readers, we have divided this month’s newsletter into two separate segments. First, we will focus on the most time-sensitive population of our readers – parents of graduating high school seniors who plan to attend college in the autumn. For those of you in this group, I have five crucial tips of things you can do this summer to make the most of this time and maximize your benefits down the road! These items will be of interest to our other group, those parents whose children will become seniors this coming school year. In addition, however, you will find three more suggestions for those who have one more year before college tuition and fees will come due.

SEGMENT ONE: Five Tips For Your Graduating Senior

Tip #1: Plan Ahead Now For Future College Years

Gaining a college education is not a one-year proposition, so it is an unfortunate necessity that the college funding process needs to be revisited every year of your student’s academic program. One important fact to bear in mind is that once your child begins college, every single year is going to be considered a “Base Financial Year.” This fact is discussed in more detail in the second section of this newsletter, but for now simply remember that you’ll be completing another Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Financial Aid Profile (PROFILE) every year that your child is in college!

Tip #2: Encourage Your Student To Find A Summer Job

Naturally, people tend to focus more on enjoying the summer weather than finding a job, but there can be very real benefits – both financial and personal – from working at least part time. The money students earn can help toward college expenses in the Fall, and the self-reliance and work ethic they gain will be a boon in school, as well. In addition, however, there is a magic number to keep in mind as you encourage summer employment for your child.

As long as your child does not earn more than $3,249 a year, their funding package won’t be affected. Part time work will usually allow them to earn that much money in a summer, offering a great sense of accomplishment… and also some financial resources that would not exist otherwise!

Tip #3: Plan For Educated And Responsible Spending

Most of us recognize that earning a full $3,249 this summer is great, but it won’t pay for everything! Many families will need some help along the way. Once you have accurately calculated your student’s tuition and living expenses, the next chore is figuring out how you’re going to meet them. For help in planning out how to do this, you can always feel free to visit our website at http://www.myschoolplans.com. We have experience in helping families achieve their educational goals, and will be happy to assist. For example, we have a useful financial strategy helping many parents pay for college on a “tax-favored” basis. It doesn’t work for all families, but in the right situation it allows parents to meet college expenses without being forced to dip into pensions or raid savings accounts. We will be happy to let you know if this plan will work for you.

One other thing to note about college expenses – they include spending money and other costs for your child. Granted, tuition and living costs might be the bulk of college bills, but textbooks, transportation, mobile phone bills, and the all-important social life are nothing to sneeze at! In the right situation, with a responsible student, some parents help their child to meet these expenses with a credit card. In this circumstance, it is crucial that the parents and student set very distinctly understood limits regarding the use of the credit card. For example, some families will use credit only for emergencies and/or travel tickets home. Others are in a situation to allow credit purchases of some meals out at restaurants, concert tickets, and recreational trips. First and foremost, parents must be able to track the spending so that there are no unpleasant financial surprises and/or credit disasters down the road.

Bear in mind that in the case of emergencies, many schools offer money through “bridge loans” or “emergency loans.” These are funds set aside by the school specifically for student emergencies. These loans usually must be repaid within 90 days, and can be a good option instead of an emergency credit card.

Tip #4: Search For “Last Minute” Strategies To Meet Your EFC

If you are still convinced, after reviewing your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) numbers, that the difference between the EFC and the amount you think you can afford to pay is more than you can afford… well, take some comfort in the fact that you’re far from alone! In fact, many parents and students find themselves in exactly the same position. If you’re still not sure how you’re going to pay your EFC, then visit our website for a free video on how to understand the process. There are a number of good options and with careful planning now, you can make the most of the money that you have available.

Tip #5: Nobody’s Perfect… So Learn From Any Mistakes!

Sure, filing that FAFSA every single year may be monotonous… but there is a benefit to the extra work! In the event that you ever make a mistake by missing a deadline, making a calculation error, or anything else, you will only pay the price for one year. In the future, you can remember what you did wrong, and fix the error for all following years.

SEGMENT TWO: Three Tips For The Last Year Of High School

Tip #1: THIS Is Your “Base Financial Year…” Craft It Wisely

This is an almost overwhelming year with regard to the reams of forms and applications you will need to fill out over the coming months. These forms are crucial because colleges will use them to review your income and assets as they determine the makeup of your college financial package. In short… your Base Financial Year starts NOW. If your child will graduate and begin college in 2008, know that your 2007 figures will be the ones that make the difference. This means that there are consequences to all your financial changes this year. Any purchases, such as a new car or home, new business expenses, pay raises, or changes to your asset portfolio will have an effect on the funds that your student can receive as part of their “need-based” aid package.

Obviously, then, families need to thoughtfully consider any financial move this year. However, that knowledge should not paralyze you when it comes to financial matters! We recommend that you arrange your finances so that you minimize out-of-pocket college expenses. If done correctly, the structure of your tax plan, placement your assets, and planning of your savings can all collectively boost your child’s education fund.

Tip #2: Start Your Student Thinking About College Options

For many high school juniors, college is a rather distant concept obscured by the present reality of the upcoming senior year! Still, this is the ideal time for students to start thinking about different colleges. Parents can request school catalogs and applications to introduce juniors to various campuses, and some families use vacations and other trips to visit schools of interest in a particular geographic area. Students who become interested early in a certain school may also find extra motivation to maximize their academic performance during their senior year.

In order to improve the odds of being accepted to at least one school, we recommend that students apply to six or seven colleges and universities. Receiving acceptance letters not only boosts your child’s confidence, but multiple offers can give the family additional options in negotiating with schools over aid packages! Certainly, the more options you have, the better.

Tip #3: Tell Your Own Future… Predict Your EFC

As mentioned above, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that the federal government expects you to pay for your child’s education. Regardless of where your child attends college, the EFC amount remains the same. Now, there are two ways in which the EFC is calculated; Federal Methodology and Institutional Methodology. Interestingly enough, not all schools utilize the same method for calculating this important number!

The Federal Methodology is used by most state schools, while the Institutional Methodology is usually used by private institutions. The systems are not the same… the Institutional Methodology is based on assets not included in the other system, like the value of your home. However, it also considers expenses that the Federal Methodology will not. Although these two calculation systems can be detailed and somewhat complicated, understanding them can literally mean thousands of dollars toward your child’s education.

Now, please remember that even people with higher incomes can find it a challenge pay their EFC. For many of these families, our “tax-favored” strategies can make a huge difference! If you would like to find out more about these plans, please call my office for more information – or to reserve a seat at an upcoming FREE College Funding Workshop. We also offer an informative FREE report entitled “9 New Ways To Beat The High Cost Of College”. If you’d like to reserve your copy or get a FREE copy of our college funding video, please visit out website at http://www.myschoolplans.com

By Brandon Hansen

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Draft IEP’s For Your Child in Special Education – Tips on Using Them to Help Your Child http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/draft-ieps-for-your-child-in-special-education-tips-on-using-them-to-help-your-child.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/draft-ieps-for-your-child-in-special-education-tips-on-using-them-to-help-your-child.html#comments Mon, 03 Jan 2011 07:44:58 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/?p=100 Are you the parent of a child that has autism, and is receiving
special education services? Are you a parent that would like to
understand Draft individual education plans (IEP), and how you
can use them to benefit your child. This article will help you learn about
Draft IEP’s, what the requirements are, and how to use them to
help your child’s education.

A draft IEP is an individual education plan that is filled out in
advance, of the IEP meeting, for your child. Many parents wonder
if it is legal for special education personnel to do this. The Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is silent on draft IEP’s.

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), which is part of the
Department of Education stated in the Federal Register Vol 71 August
12, 2006 “We do not encourage public agencies to prepare a draft IEP
prior to the IEP team meeting. . .”

So, draft IEP’s are not illegal, but are discouraged by OSEP. The
Federal Register also states “. . .if a public agency develops a draft
IEP prior to the IEP meeting, the agency should make it clear to the
parents at the outset of the meeting, that the services proposed by
the agency are preliminary recommendations for review and discussion
with parents.” Special education personnel rarely state this, at the
beginning of a meeting, so you may have to bring it up. The Federal
Register goes on to say “It is not permissible for an agency to have
the final IEP completed before an IEP Team meeting begins.”

The Federal Register comments from OSEP also state “The public
agency also should provide the parents with a copy of its draft
proposals if the agency has developed them, prior to the IEP
meeting. . .” You should request this in writing, and I would
also quote the comments from the Federal Register. The
request should include timelines; for Example “I will expect
to receive a copy of the Draft IEP at the same time as my
10 day written notice of the IEP meeting.”

The Federal Register also has OSEP stating “so as to give the
parents an opportunity to review the recommendations of the public
agency prior to the IEP team meeting, and be better able to engage in
a full discussion of the proposals for the IEP.”

One way to use Draft IEP’s to help your child, is to develop your own
draft IEP. Go to your state board of education’s Website, go to
special education and then download an IEP form (Most states have an
IEP form available for downloading). Fill out the form, with everything
that you believe your child needs.

Take the form with you to your child’s IEP meeting, and cross out each
section as it is discussed. This will allow you to not only be an
active participant in your child’s IEP, but also to have your input
heard. Also, special education personnel cannot leave out important
parts of the IEP, as they do on occasion. Also by having your own
Draft IEP filled out, you can advocate for your child when special
education personnel want to change or decrease their educational
services.

You can use Draft IEP’s to help your child. By requesting the school’s
Draft IEP in advance, you will be able to be an active participant in
the IEP process. By bringing your own Draft IEP, you can have your
opinions heard. Good luck!

By JoAnn Collins

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Special Education – Tips To Prepare For Your IEP Meeting http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/special-education-tips-to-prepare-for-your-iep-meeting.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/special-education-tips-to-prepare-for-your-iep-meeting.html#comments Fri, 31 Dec 2010 07:44:18 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/?p=98 Before the Team Meeting

Prior to the team meeting, write down a bullet list of all issues and questions you want to make sure get discussed at the meeting. Make a list of your concerns, vision, and child’s strengths. Provide the school with all private evaluation results 10 school days before the meeting. And request copies of any of the evaluation reports that the school has conducted. You should ask in writing to get them 48 hours prior to the meeting.

At the Team Meeting

During the team meeting there will be lots of information provided by the teachers, specialists, and service providers. Try to bring someone with you who can take notes as you ask questions and respond to the information you are given. You may be provided with a draft IEP to review and make changes to. Don’t be afraid to request to change anything you feel is not appropriate on the IEP. Your input is extremely important. No one knows your child like you do. It is supported by the law that you should be included and be an integral part of the process of creating the IEP for your child.

After the Team Meeting

You will receive the final proposed IEP and must respond within 30 days. You have three options when responding. You can accept the proposed IEP in full, reject in full, or reject in part. I would not recommend rejecting in full as this provides nothing to the student. If you reject in part or reject missing or insufficient provisions, then the accepted portions should be implemented immediately. Remember, what is provided to your child is what they need, not what you want or what is best. As parents and advocates, we always strive to get what’s best, but the law supports what is needed. If you don’t feel that your child is getting what they need, request additional special education evaluations and assessments. If you are not satisfied with the school’s assessment, you can request an IEE or Independent Educational Evaluation at no cost to you.

By Lynne M Adams

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Child Development Media Videos And Training Materials http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/child-development-media-videos-and-training-materials.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/child-development-media-videos-and-training-materials.html#comments Wed, 24 Nov 2010 16:33:28 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/child-development-media-videos-and-training-materials/ In 1993, she developed CDMI, the world’s largest single source of commercially available books, videos, and curricula on child development. CDMI’s website is a rich resource for educators and professionals, offering resources tailored to all age groups and selected by experts.

Site Resources

Although the site has many, many resources, it is designed for easy navigation. Choose from broad categories of books, videos, curricula, and conferences to get an overview of the top selling and highly recommended videos, such as “Observing Young Children: Learning to Look, Looking to Learn,” book titles such as Play in Practice, or curriculum guides such as “Respecting How Children Learn Through Play.” Find child development conference, seminar, and workshop information on the home page and under the “Conferences” tab. Concise summaries of the materials help practitioners select the resources they can best use.

The Assessment and Planning section of the website contains numerous titles designed to help practitioners better understand the process of assessing and appropriately planning for the education of children. From ages and stages questionnaires to videos explaining the individualized education plan to resources about the autistic child, the titles available here will provide invaluable resources for educators and administrators.

CDMI’s Curricula section is rich in educator resources, from self-directed teacher’s guides to handouts to videos that detail science, math, and visual arts in the classroom. Divided into infant/toddler, preschool, and parent education and guidance sections, the resources are logically categorized for easy navigation, leaving room for “browsing” as well.

The site’s History, Theory and Research section contains works by Erikson, Piaget, Bowlby, and Dewey and others. Rich in both biographical information as well as theory and research, the books and videos here provide excellent sources for a solid groundwork in child development theory.

Infant massage, raising non-violent children, stimulating sensory and motor development, adoption issues, parent involvement in education, and discipline are but some of the varied topics available in the Parenting section of CDMI’s site. Books and videos geared toward an audience of parents from a variety of educational levels provide practitioners a selection of ways to present important parenting information.

The site’s Play section covers playground safety, Piagetian theory of cognitive development, research on the benefits of play, and design principals for children’s play areas. A wide variety of topics are covered here, but they all center on the promotion of play as an important aspect of childhood development.

Child hearing loss, language development, second language learning, sign language, and speech language delay are the topics covered in CDMI’s Language and Communication section. Here you will find resources for parents and educators designed to promote language and communication skills, to use everyday communication to foster these skills, and a basic primer on sign language, among other titles.

Comprehensive Site with Many Titles

The CDMI site contains many, many more titles; the catalogue, available online and in print, is 200 pages long. Browsing this well organized site will result in finding source material you never knew existed, and choosing what titles to order will be hard.

The company offers a thirty day money-back guarantee and secure ordering and encourages site users to contact them with any questions or new materials. While you’re on the site, visit the CDMI blog for summaries of recent studies regarding child development. Plan on spending a lot of time on your first visit to this page; there is a lot to see!

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Financial for child education http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/financial-for-child-education.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/financial-for-child-education.html#comments Wed, 24 Nov 2010 16:32:21 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/financial-for-child-education/ In a fast moving and growing world where by an eye blink now we are at year 2010. We need to prepare for our child education where in 10 years time the education scheme will definitely going through changes and increase in requirements. One thing for sure, the education fee will definitely will increase. So, what are our plans to better prepare to overcome these changes and challenges?

I will cover our future education scheme in a another topic in a near future. Now, I would like to discuss and share my thought on financial for education. In general, most parents already invested in insurance for their child education. Before we could commit of these insurance, investment and saving, we have to have a plan for our child education. I’ve list down the checklist below:

1. What is your education plan for your child future? an engineer, a doctor, a pilot, an academician and entrepreneur
2. You may want have a plan A and plan B, which worst case scenario, if plan A does work then you could easily switch to plan B almost immediately.
3. Once you chose the education plan then you have to commit on financial commitment which my recommendation, put aside minimum of 10% to 20% of your gross salary for this plan.
4. Diversify your financial commitments into 3 main categories; protection (insurance), investment and saving.
5. Monitor your child education and ability which you may see his/her potential and adjust your financial commitment accordingly.

Lastly, every single cent you spent on our child education will give you a peace at heart and you will never regret.

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Tips for Fathers Involved in Child Custody Cases: Establishing Your Good Parenting Skills http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/tips-for-fathers-involved-in-child-custody-cases-establishing-your-good-parenting-skills.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/tips-for-fathers-involved-in-child-custody-cases-establishing-your-good-parenting-skills.html#comments Fri, 19 Nov 2010 14:39:26 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/tips-for-fathers-involved-in-child-custody-cases-establishing-your-good-parenting-skills/ At the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, our attorneys regularly meet with fathers requesting child custody related legal representation. These fathers want regular, significant involvement with their children. Fathers often believe that their best parenting efforts have been thwarted, through no fault of their own. The Court system may have worked to frustrate the father’s efforts. The Judge in the divorce may have ruled against the father. The opposing party may have pushed an agenda to minimize the father’s role in their children’s lives. Regardless of how it occurred, both father and child suffer when a father’s parenting role is diminished.

In Arizona child custody cases, both parents have their actions, judgments, and statements scrutinized by both the Child Custody Evaluator and the Court. One of the key components in a custody case is the level of each parent’s involvement with the child. When a father seeks significant involvement with his child, he must be committed, fully prepared, and have a plan.

The father in a custody case must convince the Judge or custody evaluator that he should be given equal access to the children for parenting time. If the father seeks primary custody, then it is absolutely essential that he establish the requisite dedication, character, and responsible nature to be there for his child “day-in and day-out.”

With our experience in fathers’ rights, we have learned to recognize some common mistakes that fathers make in their child custody cases. The suggestions below are a vital part of any father’s successful child custody case.

TIP: Be Sure to Document Your Parenting Time.

Child custody cases often involve accusations that the father hasn’t been spending time with the children. Because child custody cases can take months to resolve, and require full and accurate descriptions of parenting time, you should document — on a calendar or in a parenting journal — what occurred during parenting time. Failure to account accurately for parenting time in a child custody case may seriously damage your credibility. Document special activities with the child, such as a trip to the park, a swim at a neighborhood pool, a special events with friends, a child’s softball game, or time spent with extended family.

TIP: Be Involved in Your Child’s Extracurricular Activities.

Father’s need to be involved in their children’s extracurricular activities. Whenever possible, adjust your schedule so you can be there, personally, to witness your child’s participation in these activities. If your child has a particular interest, such as math and science, then investigate the kinds of classes and activities that will help your child develop that interest. Think about activities that you would like to participate in, too. Your personal interest will show in your genuine enthusiasm. Look to activities that draw on interests your child has talked about.

Once you’ve identified an activity, investigate implementation. Learn where your child can pursue the activity, and be prepared to show proximity to your home. Also, try to show how any actual or planned activities, such as swimming lessons or softball, will work into a proposed parenting schedule.

Make sure that you know who your child’s coaches are, and with any team sport, know who the child’s teammates are. Be knowledgeable not only about the position your child plays, but about the team’s overall performance record. Make sure that you are up to date on the team’s practice and game schedule.

TIP: Don’t Be a Victim of Circumstance.

Issues over a father’s uninvolvement in the child’s extracurricular activities may be the result of being “left out of the loop,” so to speak. If the activity was initiated by the mother, and she failed to consult with you, then be proactive and discuss the activity with her. Make sure that you save copies of emails and text messages on the topic. Maybe the mother doesn’t notify you of dates, times, and locations for games and practices. Don’t be victim to the whims of the other parent, and don’t leave yourself vulnerable to accusations of poor parenting. Do your homework, investigate and get your child’s schedule from a team-player’s parent, from the league representative, or from the organization’s activity website. Get your name on the email distribution list for newsletters, game times and locations, and practice locations and schedule changes. In that way, you will not be reliant on the other parent’s good will, and you’ll stay apprised of your child’s schedule.

The more involved you can demonstrate you are with your child’s activities, the stronger your child custody case will be. Don’t let yourself be characterized as an uninterested father with no time for the child because you’re a chronic no-show at the child’s activities. Get involved early on, arrange to get every schedule, show up at the child’s activities, and always stay connected.

TIP: Be Knowledgeable of Your Child’s Educational Progress.

To fully understand how your child’s education is progressing, there is perhaps no simpler method than to actively participate in the process. Help your child work through homework assignments and special event projects, such as the school’s annual science fair. A little guidance from an interested, supportive father goes a long way toward helping your child achieve, accomplish, and gain confidence.

Be knowledgeable about your child’s education. Be cognizant of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Be aware of any problems at school and after school. Get to know all of your child’s teachers. The teachers will, in turn, get to know you because you’re a father who makes himself available and is fully engaged in the student’s homework and projects. These are all significant, persuasive factors that demonstrate how you have been consistently involved, focused, and engaged in your child’s education.

TIP: Be Present at Educational Special Events.

Of all the educational special events involving your child, probably the most influential is the parent-teacher conference. Attend the conference fully prepared to discuss all aspects of your child’s educational progress and society at the school. Be knowledgeable and apprised of every element of your child’s educational development. If you, as a father, desire equal parenting time with the child’s mother, or desire to be the child’s primary custodial parent, then it is absolutely critical that you show your parenting commitment and attend parent-teacher conferences as scheduled.

TIP: Have a Well Developed Child Care Plan.

If you desire significant parenting involvement, then your commitment, preparation, and planning could not be better illustrated than with a well developed child daycare plan. Many fathers are unsuccessful in custody cases because their child care plan was inadequate or nonexistent.

You must be prepared to demonstrate:

1) How you will properly care for their child while you’re at work.

2) How you will make adjustments to your work schedule.

3) How you will be flexible with needed care for the child.

4) How you will transport the child to activities and events.

5) How you will be as involved in your child’s life as you claim you want to be.

TIP: Be Knowledgeable About Daycare Providers.

When it comes to daycare you should be very knowledgeable about, and very familiar with, the people who will care for your child. Know the name of the person in charge of the daycare facility. Know whether there are records about your child’s activities and behavior and, if there are, obtain copies for your custody case. Determine whether you’ll drop the child off or pick the child up (or both) at daycare, and get any records documenting your having done so. Be very involved in the selection of daycare providers for your child, including the interview process of potential providers. Make sure you investigate any problems that the facility has presently or has had in the past.

TIP: Document Your Communications with Child Care Providers.

To be fully prepared for your child custody case, when you speak with the child’s school, a daycare provider, or a medical provider, take the time to document who you spoke with. List the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email contacts of the people you communicated with and summarize what you discussed with them.

Lastly, establish your ability to care for your child with supporting documents. For each and every aspect of raising the child — education, medical decisions, religious decisions, extracurricular activities, and the like — find something to document your involvement. Include formal and informal records, brochures, letters, emails, handwritten notes, and any writing that can be submitted in the child custody case on your behalf. Never miss an opportunity to collect evidence supporting your ability to parent your child.

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Education Improvement http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/education-improvement.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/education-improvement.html#comments Sat, 13 Nov 2010 12:25:29 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/education-improvement/ Education improvement Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from ages birth to 26[1] in cases that involve 13 specified categories of disability.

The IDEA is “spending clause” legislation, meaning that it only applies to those States and their local educational agencies that accept federal funding under the IDEA. While States declining such funding are not subject to the IDEA, all States have accepted funding under this statute and are subject to it.

The IDEA and its predecessor statute, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, arose from federal case law holding the deprivation of free public education to disabled children constitutes a deprivation of due process. It has grown in scope and form since over the years. IDEA has been reauthorized and amended a number of times, most recently in December of 2004, which contained several significant amendments. Its terms are further defined by regulations of the United States Department of Education, which are found in Parts 300 and 301 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

In defining the purpose of special education, IDEA 2004 clarifies Congress’ intended outcome for each child with a disability: students must be provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that prepares them for further education, employment and independent living.[2]

Under IDEA 2004:

Special education and related services should be designed to meet the unique learning needs of eligible children with disabilities, preschool through age 21.
Students with disabilities should be prepared for further education, employment and independent living.
Contents [hide]
1 Background
2 Provisions of IDEA
2.1 Eligibility for services
2.2 Individualized Education Program
2.3 Related services
2.3.1 Free Appropriate Public Education
2.3.2 Least Restrictive Environment
2.3.3 Discipline of a child with a disability
2.3.4 Child Find
2.3.5 Procedural safeguards
3 Early intervention
4 Department of Education Regulations
5 Alignment with No Child Left Behind
6 Criticisms of IDEA
6.1 Criticisms from schools
6.2 Criticisms from students and parents
6.3 Criticisms from taxpayers
7 Legislative History
8 Judicial interpretations
8.1 U.S. Supreme Court decisions
8.1.1 Schaffer v. Weast
8.1.2 Arlington v. Murphy
8.1.3 Winkelman v. Parma City School District
9 References
10 See also
11 External links

[edit] Background
Before the EHA statute was enacted in 1975, U.S. public schools educated only 1 out of 5 children with disabilities [3]. Until that time, many states had laws that explicitly excluded children with certain types of disabilities from attending public school, including children who were blind, deaf, and children labeled “emotionally disturbed” or “mentally retarded.” [4] At the time the EHA was enacted, more than 1 million children in the U.S. had no access to the public school system.[5] Many of these children lived at state institutions where they received limited or no educational or rehabilitation services.[6] Another 3.5 million children attended school but were “warehoused” in segregated facilities and received little or no effective instruction.[7]

As of 2006, more than 6 million children in the U.S. receive special education services through IDEA.[8]

[edit] Provisions of IDEA

[edit] Eligibility for services
Having a disability does not automatically qualify a student for special education services under the IDEA. IDEA defines a “child with a disability” as a child . . . with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance . . ., orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; AND, who . . . [because of the condition] needs special education and related services.”[9] Children with disabilities who qualify for special education are also automatically protected by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, all modifications that can be provided under Section 504 or the ADA can be provided under the IDEA if included in the student’s IEP.

Students with disabilities who do not qualify for special education services under the IDEA may qualify for accommodations or modifications under Section 504 and under the ADA. Their rights are protected by due process procedure requirements.[citation needed]

[edit] Individualized Education Program
For more details on this topic, see Individualized Education Program.
The act requires that public schools create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student who is found to be eligible under the both the federal and state eligibility/disability standards. The IEP is the cornerstone of a student’s educational program. It specifies the services to be provided and how often, describes the student’s present levels of performance and how the student’s disabilities affect academic performance, and specifies accommodations and modifications to be provided for the student.[10]

An IEP must be designed to meet the unique educational needs of that one child in the Least Restrictive Environment appropriate to the needs of that child. That is, the least restrictive environment in which the child learns. When a child qualifies for services, an IEP team is convened to design an education plan. In addition to the child’s parents, the IEP team must include at least one of the child’s regular education teachers, a special education teacher, someone who can interpret the educational implications of the child’s evaluation, such as a school psychologist, and an administrator who has knowledge of the availability of services in the district and the authority to commit those services on behalf of the child. Parents are considered to be equal members of the IEP team along with the school staff. And of course, parents have fundamental rights as parents. Based on the full educational evaluation results, this team collaborates to write an IEP for the individual child, one that will provide a free, appropriate public education. The required content of an IEP is described in Individualized Education Program. Alternatively, parents may prepare an IEP if the school’s IEP is not fair to the child.

[edit] Related services
The definition of related services in the IDEA includes, but is not limited to: transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and *mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. The term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.[11]

[edit] Free Appropriate Public Education
For more details on this topic, see Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
Guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), FAPE is defined as an educational program that is individualized to a specific child, designed to meet that child’s unique needs, and from which the child receives educational benefit. To provide FAPE, schools must provide students with an “… education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.”[12]

Some of the criteria specified in various sections of the IDEA statute includes requirements that schools provide each disabled student an education that:

Is designed to meet the unique needs of that one student
Provides “ …access to the general curriculum to meet the challenging expectations established for all children” (that is, it meets the approximate grade-level standards of the state educational agency)
Is provided in accordance with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as defined in 1414(d)(3).[13]
Results in educational benefit to the child.[13]

[edit] Least Restrictive Environment
For more details on this topic, see Least Restrictive Environment.
The U.S. Dept. Education, 2005a regulations implementing IDEA states: “…to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities including children in public or private institutions or care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”

Simply put, the LRE is the environment most like that of typical children in which the child with a disability can succeed academically (as measured by the specific goals in the student’s IEP). This refers to the two questions decided upon in Daniel R. R. v. State Board of Education, 874 F.2D 1036 (5TH CIR. 1989).

This court, relying on Roncker, also developed a two- part test for determining if the LRE requirement is met. The test poses two questions:

Can an appropriate education in the general education classroom with the use of supplementary aids and services be achieved satisfactorily?
If a student is placed in a more restrictive setting, is the student “integrated” to the “maximum extent appropriate”? (Standard in AL, DE, GA, FL, LA, MS, NJ, PA, TX).[14]

[edit] Discipline of a child with a disability
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2007)

Pursuant to IDEA, discipline of a child with a disability must take that disability into account. For example, if a child with Asperger syndrome is sensitive to loud noises, and if the child runs out of a room filled with loud noises, any discipline of that child for running out of the room must take into account the sensitivity and whether appropriate accommodations were in place. According to the United States Department of Education, for children with disabilities who have been suspended for 10 days total for each school year, including partial days, the local education agency (LEA) must hold a manifestation determination hearing within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct following either the Stay Put law which states that the child shall not be moved from his or her current placement or interim services in an alternative placement if the infraction was deemed to cause danger to other students. The LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the individualized education program (IEP) team (as determined by the parent and LEA) shall review all relevant information in the student’s file, including the child’s IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if the conduct in question was:

Caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; or
The direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the IEP.
If the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP team make the determination that the conduct was a manifestation of the child’s disability, the IEP team shall:

Conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such child, provided that the LEA had not conducted such assessment prior to such determination before the behavior that resulted in a change in placement described in Section 615(k)(1)(C) or (G);
In the situation where a behavioral intervention plan has been developed, review the behavioral intervention plan if the child already has such a behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and
Except as provided in Section 615(k)(1)(G), return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the LEA agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavior intervention plan.

[edit] Child Find
Public school districts are responsible for identifying all students with disabilities within their districts, regardless of whether they are attending public schools, since private institutions may not be funded for providing accommodations under IDEA.

[edit] Procedural safeguards
This section requires expansion.

IDEA includes a set of procedural safeguards designed to protect the rights of children with disabilities and their families, and to ensure that children with disabilities receive a FAPE. The procedural safeguards include the opportunity for parents to review their child’s full educational records; full parent participation in identification and IEP team meetings; parent involvement in placement decisions; Prior Written Notice; the right of parents to request independent educational evaluations at public expense;; Notice of Procedural Safeguards;; Resolution Process; and objective mediation funded by the state education agency and impartial Due Process Hearings.[15] IDEA guarantees the following rights to parents:

Right to be informed in writing of the Procedural Safeguards (There is a booklet)
Right to review all educational records
To be equal partners on the IEP team, along with the school staff
To participate in all aspects of planning their child’s education
To file complaints with the state education agency
Request mediation, or a due process hearing
At this time, parents may present an alternative IEP and their witnesses (experts and others), to support their case.
These hearings are Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) hearings and can be appealed. This is not a trial.

[edit] Early intervention
This section requires expansion.

Part C of the IDEA requires that infants and toddlers with disabilities receive early intervention services from birth through age 3. These services are provided according to an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP. In contrast, Part B of the IDEA requires that children with disabilities, from age 3 to 21, are provided a free appropriate public education.

[edit] Department of Education Regulations
This section requires expansion.

In addition to the Federal law, the U.S. Department of Education publishes regulations that clarifies what the law means. States may add more provisions to further regulate how schools provide services, but they cannot reverse any provision specifically included in the federal statute.

[edit] Alignment with No Child Left Behind
This section requires expansion.

The reauthorization of IDEA in 2004 revised the statute to align with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). NCLB allows financial incentives to states who improve their special education services and services for all students. States who do not improve must refund these incentives to the federal government, allow parents choice of schools for their children, and abide by other provisions. Some states are still reluctant to educate special education students and seek remedies through the courts. However, IDEA and NCLB are still the laws of the land to date.

[edit] Criticisms of IDEA

[edit] Criticisms from schools
[citation needed]

Excessive procedures and paperwork requires teacher time that would be better spent teaching
School staff often state beliefs that IDEA protects children and parents but not districts, schools and teachers
Providing mandated educational and related services is expensive and reduces schools’ ability to educate regular education students[16]
Unfunded mandate. When originally passed in 1975, congress established a maximum funding level for the program of 40 percent of the average per pupil expenditure of American students. This was a rough proxy for the estimated additional cost of educating a student with disabilities. Some have construed this as promise that the federal government would fund that amount spending. To date, despite massive increases in Part B funding, Congress has never provided more than 30 percent.

[edit] Criticisms from students and parents
Parents criticize schools for not following laws in designing and implementing education plans. Enforcement is scarce and ineffective.
Impartial Due Process hearing officers are not impartial
Districts spend thousands of dollars fighting against parents who want services for their children rather than providing the services, which are often much less expensive than the attorney’s fees
Schools and districts may retaliate against families who advocate for their children, sometimes retaliating against the children themselves. {Fact|date=February 2008}} Such retaliation may include reporting the special needs child and family to the local state Child Protective Services, sometimes in an attempt to blame the “home environment” as being abusive or neglectful in order to shift blame away from the school for the child’s failure to progress or regression at school. The school may claim that there was “evidence” of abuse and neglect, including dirty clothing, holes in clothing, poorly nutritious lunches given to child by parents, child’s nosebleeds or a child’s self-injurious behavior seen at school. Sometimes schools will report on a special needs child but not his/her non-disabled sibling. These actions often appear to be for retaliation and harassment purposes rather than based in fact..
Schools label children as “learning disabled” and place them in special education even if the child does not have a learning disability, because the schools have failed to teach the children basic skills.[17]
Minorities are overidentified as having learning disabilities, emotional disturbaces, and mental retardation.
Parents do not know how to prepare an IEP to counter inadequate IEPs prepared by schools.
Some students do not obtain effective transition skills and information necessary for when they exit special education, and out into the real world. They are essentially dumped without necessarily any idea of the available community resources, infrastructure, and/or policies.

[edit] Criticisms from taxpayers
There are no exceptions to IDEA: no child is so severely disabled as to not qualify for educational services under IDEA.[18] Even children who are in a permanent vegetative state or suffering from similarly severe brain damage[19] still qualify for a Free Appropriate Public Education. This means that schools can be required to provide “educational” services to children who have no capacity for voluntary movement, no ability to communicate, and no indication that they recognize their own names or their parents’ faces.[20]
Under the “related services” clause, schools are specifically required to pay for many kinds of medical treatments, including speech therapy, audiology, physical therapy, and nursing, if the medical treatment is expected to help the student’s education.[21] There is no requirement that private health insurance be used when available. (A subsequent statutory exception relieved schools of the duty to pay for certain kinds of surgery, such as cochlear implants.)

[edit] Legislative History
1975 — The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) became LAW. It was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990.

1990— IDEA first came into being on October 30, 1990 when the “Education of All Handicapped Children Act” (itself having been introduced in 1975) was renamed “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.” (Pub. L. No. 101-476, 104 Stat. 1142). IDEA received minor amendments in October 1991 (Pub. L. No. 102-119, 105 Stat. 587).

1997— IDEA received significant amendments. The definition of disabled children expanded to include developmentally delayed children between three and nine years of age. It also required parents to attempt to resolve disputes with schools and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) through mediation, and provided a process for doing so. The amendments authorized additional grants for technology, disabled infants and toddlers, parent training, and professional development. (Pub. L. No. 105-17, 111 Stat. 37).

2004— On December 3, 2004, IDEA was amended by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, now known as IDEIA. Several provisions aligned IDEA with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It authorized fifteen states to implement 3-year IEPs on a trial basis when parents continually agree. Drawing on the report of the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education,[22] the law revised the requirements for evaluating children with learning disabilities. More concrete provisions relating to discipline of special education students was also added. (Pub. L. No. 108-446, 118 Stat. 2647).

2009— Following a campaign promise for “funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act”,[23] President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) on February 17, 2009, including $12.2 billion in additional funds.[24]

[edit] Judicial interpretations

[edit] U.S. Supreme Court decisions

[edit] Schaffer v. Weast
On November 14, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Schaffer v. Weast, 126 S.Ct. 528, that moving parties in a placement challenge hold the burden of persuasion. While this is an accord with the usual legal thinking, the moving party is almost always the parents of a child.

[edit] Arlington v. Murphy
On June 26, 2006 the Supreme Court held in Arlington v. Murphy, 126 S.Ct. 2455, that prevailing parents may not recover expert witness fees as part of the costs under 20 U.S.C.§ 1415(i)(3)(B).

[edit] Winkelman v. Parma City School District
On May 21, 2007 the Supreme Court held in Winkelman v. Parma City School District, 127 S.Ct. 1994, that parents have independent enforceable rights under the IDEA and may appear pro se on behalf of their children.

Forest Grove School District v. T.A.

The case of Forest Grove School District v. T.A., argued before the Supreme Court on April 28, 2009, addresses the issue of whether the parents of a student who has never received special education services from a public school district are potentially eligible for reimbursement of private school tuition for that student under the IDEA.[25] On June 22, 2009 the Supreme Court held that parents of disabled children can seek reimbursement for private education expenses regardless whether their child had previously received special-education services from a public school. By a vote of six to three, the Court held that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes reimbursement whenever a public school fails to make a free appropriate public education (FAPE) available to a disabled child.

[edit] References
^ 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(21)(B)(i)
^ 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.
^ United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. History: Twenty-Five Years of Progress in Educating Children With Disabilities Through IDEA. Date of Publication Unknown. http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/leg/idea/history.pdf
^ Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind,” a report published by the National Council on Disability on January 25, 2000.
^ Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind,” a report published by the National Council on Disability on January 25, 2000.
^ Schiller, Ellen, Fran O’Reilly, Tom Fiore, Marking the Progress of IDEA Implementation, published by the Office of Special Education Programs. URL: http://nclid.unco.edu/Resources/IDEA_Progress.pdf , Retrieved June 26, 2007.
^ Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind,” a report published by the National Council on Disability on January 25, 2000.
^ IDEA Parent Guide, National Center for Learning Disabilities, April 2006. URL: http://www.ncld.org/images/stories/downloads/parent_center/idea2004parentguide.pdf, Retrieved June 16, 2007.
^ 20 U.S.C. § 1401(3)(A)
^ http://www.nhedlaw.com/special education and standards.doc |Johnson, Scott F. Esq. Special Education & Educational Standards. NHEdLaw, LLC. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
^ 20 U.S.C. § 1401(26)(A)
^ 20 U.S.C. §1400(c)(5)(A)(i)
^ a b 20 U.S.C. §1401(9)
^ The Least Restrictive Environment Mandate: How Has It Been Defined by the Courts? ERIC Digest
^ IDEA 2004 Regulations: Subpart E – Procedural Safeguards, http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/idea.regs.subparte.pdf, retrieved June 23, 2007
^ A bad IDEA.(Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), Washington Monthly, May 1996. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-18285109.html Retrieved June 26, 2007.
^ Snell, Lisa. Special education confidential: how schools use the “learning disability” label to cover up their failures, Reason, December 1, 2002. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-94775375.html. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
^ “A Guide to Disability Rights Laws”. http://www.justice.gov/crt/ada/cguide.htm#anchor65310. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
^ “2001 Conference Proceedings”. http://www.csun.edu/cod/conf/2001/proceedings/0277eachus.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
^ “The “Ashley Treatment”: The Ashley Treatment”. http://ashleytreatment.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!E25811FD0AF7C45C!1837.entry. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
^ “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act”. http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/svc/alpha/c/special-needs/resources/education/idea.htm#related. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
^ http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whspecialeducation/reports/index.html
^ See s:http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The Change.gov Agenda#Disabilities.
^ “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: IDEA Recovery Funds for Services to Children and Youths with Disabilities”. US Department of Education. 2009-04-01. http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/factsheet/idea.html.
^ Argument Preview: Forest Grove School District v. TA, Scotusblog.com, April 27, 2009

[edit] See also
Education for All Handicapped Children Act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Hawaii
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Individualized Education Program
Learning disability

[edit] External links
Official IDEA website at the US Department of Education, including links to the law and regulations
IDEA—the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act NICHCY
IDEA 2004 Close Up: Evaluation and Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities
Information and commentary
National Education Association’s Position on IDEA/Special Education
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

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How Sound Is Your Retirement Planning? http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/how-sound-is-your-retirement-planning.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/how-sound-is-your-retirement-planning.html#comments Thu, 11 Nov 2010 08:14:44 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/how-sound-is-your-retirement-planning/ It is never too early to start planning for retirement. Retirement planning means taking care of two aspects – your personal fulfilment and financial security.

What you need is to have a retirement corpus which will provide you financial independence when you decide to hang your boots. To do that, start today by keeping in mind the following:

Start now to let the fundament of compound interest work it’s magic. Albert Einstein called it the eighth wonder of the world for a good reason.

With an early start you can invest aggressively by having a higher proportion of equity in your investment portfolio leading to a bigger corpus.

Calculate your current cost of living and add the cost of inflation on that.

Remember to include any expenses that are being borne by your company today but which you may need to undertake in future on your own. For example medical costs.

Future needs like higher child education and marriage.

Keep room for extravagance, nurturing hobbies, gifts and vacations.

After reaching a careful estimate, calculate the amount that needs to be saved and diverted into building a corpus and select a good plan.

Creating wealth through long term financial investment planning can be done in two ways – aggressively or conservatively. The common ways of channelizing funds are direct investments stock markets, mutual funds, fixed deposits, bonds, government securities and buying life insurance.

Retirement planning through an insurance policy can provide double benefits of security with wealth generation. You can either opt for simple Pension and Annuity plans or ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plan) pension plans.

In a pension plan or an annuity a lump sum or series of payments are made in return for a specific amount which will be paid out periodically, starting at a stipulated time, either for life or for a fixed number of years. Different plans like Life Annuity, Joint life Annuity, Deferred Annuity offer various choices.

In ULIP pension plans a part of the money is invested in the markets which over a period of time give high returns. While considering the equity – debt allocation it is advisable to take only as much risk as required and that you can bear comfortably. Top ups can further enhance the returns as premium allocation charge on them is usually 1-3% only. However, do look at the overall charges of the policy.

Currently, all pension plans are investments allowed under section 80C of the Income Tax Act where maximum investment up to Rs. 100,000 p.a. is exempted from tax. Make sure that your corpus itself is tax free even though the annuity payouts are taxable.

Look for schemes with a high lock in period so you are not tempted to withdraw money too early which will deprive you of the benefit of compounding! Make sure that the corpus will be available for annuity at the time of your retirement.

A sound retirement planning done early in life will ensure that you ride into the sunset prosperous and worry- free.

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Using Life Insurance to Plan Your Child’s Future http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/using-life-insurance-to-plan-your-childs-future.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/using-life-insurance-to-plan-your-childs-future.html#comments Tue, 09 Nov 2010 20:25:54 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/using-life-insurance-to-plan-your-childs-future/ As a parent it is your dream to see your child happy in life. You may already be nurturing plans of seeing your daughter or son in wedding attire, or seeing them reaching great heights in their respective careers. For these dreams to come true you would not want finances to become a road-block. That is where the child insurance plans come in handy. With children insurance plans you can start investing in a regular manner so that surplus corpus is available for them just when you actually need it.

Insurance plans offer lots of flexibility to the parents. Parents can get these plans customized to their needs. Generally children insurance plans are of two types: Traditional and ULIP.

Traditional -There are two categories under this – endowment insurance policy and money-back insurance policy.

Endowment policy: In this type of policy you pay till the tenure of policy is over and in the end you receive a lump sum amount which comprises of a promised fixed return (sum assured) and the bonus earned though the years. But there is less flexibly and less return on investment in this type of policy.

Money back policy: Money back policy provides much greater freedom to parents while planning for investment. In this policy also you have to pay annual premiums. But the benefit of this kind of policy is that you can foresee the situations when you would require these funds across various stages of your child’s life. Like, you may need some money for his graduation, post graduation and then his marriage. With this kind of policy you can withdraw a part of the final payout for each of these events in his life. So instead of making 3 separate investments, you can plan for various milestones within the same policy. In case of death of insured parent during the tenure of the policy, his nominee will receive the full sum assured at the start of policy. That is if the policy was of Rs 20 lakh for 20 years, full Rs 20 lakh plus bonus will be paid to the nominee in case of parent’s death.

Since these traditional insurance plans invest primarily in corporate bond and government securities return on investments is less.

ULIPs: ULIP provides greater flexibly to parents than money back insurance policies. In ULIP a parent can decide when and how much money he can withdraw across various stages of his child’s life. Since ULIPs are market-linked there is no guarantee on return on investments. The return depends on how well you manage the risk-return portfolio. This is because ULIP invests in a mixture of equity and debt funds. Here also parents have a say about what percentage they want to put in equity funds and how much in a debt fund. If during the tenure of the policy they want to change this percentage that can be easily done through switching between investment styles.

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Educational Evaluation of Student With Autism http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/educational-evaluation-of-student-with-autism.html http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/educational-evaluation-of-student-with-autism.html#comments Sun, 07 Nov 2010 10:26:32 +0000 admin http://www.auroraplannedparenthood.org/educational-evaluation-of-student-with-autism/ The student in this case study has autism. His name is Adam. Adam is seven years old. He is in a Special Day Class for Severely Handicapped students. Adam’s 3-year evaluation needed to be completed to determine eligibility for his special education services. Adam has an advocate and parents who are intensely involved with his education. When the assessment plan was presented to the parents, they requested additional assessments including a functional analysis, occupational therapy and an assistive technology assessment. A copy of the signed assessment plan was given to the appropriate specialists: psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, speech therapist, nurse and special education teacher.

The school psychologist observed Adam on several occasions before administering the psycho-educational profile revised (PEP-R). The PEP-R covers a variety of developmental areas. The test items are presented with simple, concrete instructions and most of the expected responses are nonverbal. The PEP-R provides information on developmental functioning in imitation, perception, fine motor, gross motor, eye-hand integration, cognitive performance and cognitive verbal areas. The PEP-R consists of a set of toys and learning materials that were presented to Adam within structured play activities. The psychologist recorded Adam’s responses to the test. His scores were then distributed among seven developmental and four behavioral areas. The resulting profile revealed Adam’s strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of development and behavior.

Adam’s portfolio was used as an assessment tool. Included in his portfolio were work samples, progress reports, behavior reports, notes from parents and daily reports. The teacher sent home daily reports that included performance, compliance and prompt levels on Adam’s tasks and goals/benchmarks. His parents signed and returned the daily reports and became part of his portfolio. The daily reports were used to assist in the assessment of Adam.

The school psychologist also conducted the functional analysis to determine why Adam was exhibiting disruptive behaviors. Questionnaires were sent home for the parents to complete. Screaming and biting were behaviors his parents and teacher were concerned about. The classroom teacher was responsible for collecting data on the behaviors. The psychologist and the teacher created a data collection form. The teacher recorded the occurrence of the undesired behaviors. The information from the parents, psychologist observations and teacher were compiled by the psychologist and the report was written.

The occupational therapist observed Adam, assessed him and wrote a report. The school nurse tested Adam with a special device. She was able to determine that his hearing appeared to be normal. Adam’s parents reported no problems with his vision and hearing. The speech therapist, who worked with him over the past year, also assessed him.

Other tests that can be used to diagnose and assess students with autism are the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC), Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and Pre-Linguistic Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (PL-ADOS). These tests are individual autism assessment instruments that have been specifically designed to assess children with autism. Furthermore, these tests rely on either historical information about the child’s behavior (usually provided by a parent), direct observation of the child by a professional or a combination of these methods.

Adam’s assessment for his 3-year evaluation was extensive and comprehensive. This assessment gave the team information on Adam’s development, behavior, communication, health, coordination and cognitive levels. With this information, the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team determined that his placement was appropriate. Occupational Therapy (OT) services were recommended. The occupational therapist wrote several goals and will provide services for Adam. The functional analysis concluded that Adam’s undesired behaviors occurred during transitions. The assistive technology assessment revealed that Adam excelled in this area. No recommendations were needed. Although Adam’s assessment was extensive and required hard work for the IEP team, valuable information was provided that assisted the team in making recommendations for Adam’s education. The assessment also revealed that Adam was making great progress in his special day class setting.

Author, Theresa McFarland, M.A.

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