Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fun at the Zoo

We had a lot of fun over Spring Break!  Especially thanks to Sadie's new attendant, Jessica, she has made life much easier.  And of course, many thanks to Meghan who is a big sister to the girls.

VA Special Education REGS
Virginia Department of Education Special Education REGS:

D. Applicability of least restrictive environment and FAPE provision in state-funded placements.
No state-funding mechanism shall result in placements that deny children with disabilities their
right to be educated with children without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate, or
otherwise result in a failure to provide a child with a disability a free appropriate public
education. (34 CFR 300.114(b))

8VAC20-81-130. Least restrictive environment and placements.
A. General least restrictive environment requirements.
1. Each local educational agency shall ensure: (34 CFR 300.114)
a. That to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, aged two to 21,
inclusive, including those in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated
with children without disabilities; and
b. That special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities
from the 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.
Department of Education
8VAC20-81-130. Least restrictive environment and placements.
2. In providing or arranging for the provision of nonacademic and extracurricular services and
activities, including meals, recess periods, and other nonacademic and extracurricular
services and activities provided for children without disabilities, each local educational agency
shall ensure that each child with a disability participates with children without disabilities in
those services and activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the child with
a disability. The local educational agency shall ensure that each child with a disability has the
supplementary aids and services determined by the child's IEP team to be appropriate and
necessary for the child to participate in nonacademic settings. (See also 8VAC20-81-100
H.) (34 CFR 300.117)
3. For children placed by local school divisions in public or private institutions or other care
facilities, the local educational agency shall, if necessary, make arrangements with public and
private institutions to ensure that requirements for least restrictive environment are met. (See
also 8VAC20-81-150.) (34 CFR 300.114 and 34 CFR 300.118)
B. Continuum of alternative placements. (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.115)
1. Each local educational agency shall ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is
available to meet the needs of children with disabilities, aged two to 21, inclusive, for special
education and related services.
2. The continuum shall:
a. Include the alternative placements listed in the term "special education" at 8VAC20-81-10,
including instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction,
and instruction in hospitals and institutions; and
b. Make provision for supplementary services (e.g., resource room or services or itinerant
instruction) to be provided in conjunction with regular education class placement. The
continuum includes integrated service delivery, which occurs when some or all goals,
including benchmarks and objectives if required, of the student's IEP are met in the general
education setting with age-appropriate peers.
3. No single model for the delivery of services to any specific population or category of
children with disabilities is acceptable for meeting the requirement for a continuum of
alternative placements. All placement decisions shall be based on the individual needs of
each child.
4. Local educational agencies shall document all alternatives considered and the rationale for
choosing the selected placement.
5. Children with disabilities shall be served in a program with age-appropriate peers unless it
can be shown that for a particular child with a disability, the alternative placement is
appropriate as documented by the IEP.
5. Children with disabilities shall be served in a program with age-appropriate peers unless it
can be shown that for a particular child with a disability, the alternative placement is
appropriate as documented by the IEP.
C. Placements. (Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia
(8VAC20-131); 34 CFR 300.116)

Thursday, April 21, 2011


As usual Schuyler's monster blog hits home as we encounter similar issues. IEPs, feeling of reality and hope. Not knowing is so hard. Not knowing what's best and when to fight so damn hard so you don't ever feel like you didn't give it your best. Can't people understand that? I can see how hard it would be for someone to try and imagine being in my shoes. Shoot having a typical child like Shelbi is a piece of cake. Yes I know times will Be different when she's a teenager, but I'm talking these years, now, little worry for her Because she learns everything this first time. How will she feel when she realizes Sadie has a disability? She is an amazing sister, almost a little mother to her. So in times like these, all I can ask is wouldn't any mOther fight for the love and acceptance of her children...YES

Friday, April 15, 2011


A community that excludes even one of its members is no community at all.

--Dan Wilkins, poet and motivational speaker

in September 2006 Possibilities

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Abraham Lincoln said, “If you want to test a man’s character – give him power.”

With power, leadership, control over making the decisions for another person, a person takes on the responsibility to be open minded, challenged to think outside the box, and mostly to be considerate and compassionate to all people. Having the ability to alter a person's path in life is a huge burden to bear, or blessing to witness.

How one chooses to lead the direction of the person that is in question may truly test their character, test their ability to think change and inclusion can be a good thing. For what's one of the most painful emotions...feeling left out.

I challenge every reader of this post to imagine a world where we are given a chance to succeed or fail, before it is presumed we will fail, and are therefore not even given the chance either way.

Education comes in many forms, not restricted to academics. Let me ask you your favorite memory from high school or is academically related or do you remember the people you were with?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

oh the life....

Sadie put on quite a show for our new Service Facilitator this past week.  Her 30day visit was, well,  very interesting.  Unknowing and not having the time to read Sadie's "file," I allowed Sadie to give P a full introduction to her on her own...right down to poking her nipples, throwing ice, giggling while pulling her glasses off.  Sadie was joyous and giggly, happy as always, and did everything to show her that she needs a 1:1 attendant.  Her dad even looked at me at the beginning of the visit to ask if he should step in, ""no way," she needs to document everything Sadie's doing.

P said, "Anything new in the past month?"  Well, I said, yes as a matter of fact, Sadie fell backwards 4 steps off our deck, a few weeks before that she had a sprained ankle, was x-rayed 2 times, and wore a cast for 2 weeks.  We have no clue why she hurt her ankle (she doesn't talk).  She also had the flu for about 7-8 days. And had 2 poopy diapers today...

Oh and happy birthday Sadie with Strep throat today.

Yesterday, I had 3 appointments to interview people and none showed up.  Luckily, 2 actually called to say they couldn't make it (hours before the appointment).

Enough of the complaining, I'm not supposed to do that right? Wonderful husband who allows me to stay home with my girls,and all the while, I'm probably misunderstood because very few people live the life I lead.

On the positive note, Sadie truly is so happy and snuggly, sweet and true in the most raw nature (4 poopy diapers yesterday aside), she is amazing and has taught me patience, love, understanding, and had broadened my world thoughts, feelings, about life sooooo much.  I treasure everything, and try to take nothing for granted.

Happy Birthday Babygirl, I love you.