Hickman & Lowder Weblog

Ohio Special Ed Programming “Needs Assistance” Per US Department of Education…2nd Year in a Row

Monday, 15 August 2016 09:11

report card

Each year, the US Department of Education conducts a review of the special education programs in each state, as required by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) laws.  This year, less than half of the states “passed” the review; all others were found to need assistance. In the past, the Department considered only whether districts followed procedural requirements of IDEA (filling out paperwork appropriately, providing writing notices, etc.).  But over the last three years, there has been a change in the scope of the evaluation.  Now they also look at a student’s progress, performance, and outcomes.

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School Refuses to Allow Service Dog: US Supreme Court Takes the Case

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 08:28

goldendoodleThe US Supreme Court has decided to hear a case about a school that refused to allow a service dog to accompany a 12-year-old girl with cerebral palsy to school.  Wonder, a goldendoodle, found a home with Ehlena Fry when the girl was just five years old and is trained to help Ehlena by picking things up for her when she drops them, turning on lights, opening and closing doors, and other helpful tasks. To the family’s dismay, the Michigan school district would not allow Wonder into the building at all, initially.  When it did allow a “trial” basis, Wonder was forced to stay on the other side of the classroom and the district would not let Wonder stay with Ehlena for recess or lunch. 

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Julie Billiart - Alternative Placement

Friday, 10 June 2016 14:33

classroomSo many of my clients ask for suggestions on alternative schooling options for their child with special needs. It can be very time consuming and often not very productive for parents to do Internet searches to find out what’s out there. So, as I have the opportunity to check some of these places out, I’ll send out little blurbs to give you my take on the look and feel of some alternate placements, as well as Internet links so you can dig a little deeper and get more information for your specific situation.

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The Importance of Intensive Therapy and the Research Behind It

Friday, 13 May 2016 09:54

UCP-Cleveland-D1-68Twenty years ago, strength training in children with cerebral palsy was discouraged, as it was assumed that it would increase spasticity (tight/stiff muscles and the inability to control them). However, this was not supported by the results of earlier studies, which showed that strength training can actually improve lower-limb muscle strength in children with CP, without increasing spasticity.  Current research supports that intermittent bursts of intensive therapy during development is beneficial to children for them to learn and re-learn movements.

Research shows that time and duration of these bursts can vary and be effective from as little as 45 minutes per session up to three hours per session, and can range from two weeks to 16 weeks. Shorter sessions do not allow for body preparation prior to active functional strength and neuromuscular re-education type activities. While typical, traditional therapies ranging from 45-60 minutes, one to two days per week address these issues, an intensive program has shown to build on current skills and takes clients to another level of function toward independence.

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