Author Archives: talkcounts

About talkcounts

Diana Loiewski has been teaching special needs students for over thirty years. She not only is a classroom high school teacher, she also serves as an administrative designee in IEP meetings, and case work trainer for the military Exceptional Family Member Program. In addition, she presents on special education topics all over the country and is a co author of Individual Education Plan Workbook for Success, and Healthy Relationships a multimedia workbook for special education teens and adults. ___________________________________________________________________ Elizabeth Dominick is the parent of an 18-year-old special needs student. Elizabeth and her husband navigated the special needs odyssey from the time their son was 3 years old to the present. She and her husband have placed their son in both public and private settings and have worked with attorney advocates to get better services. Ultimately, they ended up educating themselves on special education law. Elizabeth is a past reporter and editor and currently writes parent meditations and other articles for iepsurvival.com. __________________________________________________________________ Sharon McCormick is a special education teacher and blogger. She has been in the classroom for over fifteen years. Prior to that time, she worked with emotionally disturbed youth in residential and group home settings. She is clever and creative and enjoys supporting students with special education needs. ___________________________________________________________________________ Renee Tompkins is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Services. She is an amazing and energetic professional with fifteen years of experience working directly with special needs students. She also serves as a board member of the Special Education Foundation and supports fundraising efforts for teachers within the Poway Unified School District. She is currently employed with the Poway Unified School District and she delivers services to both groups and individuals in the transition program working with adults eighteen-years-- twenty-two years of age. Her current responsibilities include organizing and running a healthy relationship program with both men and women with intellectual disabilities.

Common core has spawn conversations regarding IEP goals and alignment. Now that most states have adopted common core, it is time to have the conversation about how IEP teams will move students academically.  The answer lies in accommodations!  The IEP … Continue reading

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Healthy Relationships Workbook

I am so happy with the amount of attention our multimedia workbook called Healthy Relationships is receiving. This workbook was designed for special needs adults. The lessons that are taught in our workbook have to do with developing friendships and … Continue reading

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Special Educators Have More than the Typical Teacher Responsibilities!

Every new school year is stressful; despite the fact that I love and look forward to new beginnings. Stress, if not properly managed, easily causes me to feel incompetent and overwhelmed. There are just so many variables to consider at … Continue reading

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Carol Burris: Poor Teacher Evaluation Systems Will Not Improve Education

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
Carol Burris, principal of south side High School in Rockville Center, New York, writes here about the multiple flaws of test-based teacher evaluations. At an Ed Trust celebration, Duncan told the crowd, “But…

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The Plight of an Instructional Aide

I love working with special needs students.  In fact, I love it so much that I often recognize when a little more work might be needed on a topic/lesson and so I take it upon myself to go that extra … Continue reading

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Fun Apps for Your Special Needs Child!

Are you looking to maintain social communication skills this summer? Social communication skills include interpreting how others are thinking in addition to what they are saying.  Children need to be encouraged to look at facial expressions, body language, and tone … Continue reading

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 Let Summer Begin!

  How many times have you heard yourself or another person say, “I’m ready for summer?” Let the truth be told, my students are ready! Many students have shared their family plans for vacation and they are extremely excited.  Whatever … Continue reading

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There is an I in TEAM!

I was the I. When my son turned three he was entered into the area school district with the diagnosis of Autistic or on the Autism spectrum. Whatever they want to call it, it has changed a few times since: … Continue reading

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April is a Wake-up Call!

How is your student performing in school?  Did your student have a good year both academically and socially?  If not, request in writing an IEP meeting to address your concerns.  So often many parents wait for the fall and prefer … Continue reading

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Five Ways to Make IEP meetings Seamless!

 Build effective communication: Most recently I was assigned testing a student for special education services. Prior to the formal meeting to discuss findings, I invited parents to a pre-meeting to educate parents on specific vocabulary that they would be hearing … Continue reading

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