Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Extra-Curricular and nonacademic activities

Children with disabilities have the right to participate in extra-curricular and nonacademic activities just as children without disabilities do. Along with academic activities, schools usually offer extracurricular and nonacademic activities, which typically involve students of the same age and may be organized and supervised by school personnel. Examples of these activities include the school yearbook and newspaper, school sports and recreational activities, school clubs and special interest groups, lunch, recess, pep rallies, assemblies, field trips, and school-sponsored after-school programs.

For children with disabilities who qualify for special education, the child’s Individualized
Education Program (IEP) team, which includes the parents, will determine the appropriate education for the child, as well as the appropriate extracurricular and nonacademic activities.

Which school extracurricular activities does your child participate in? Are there other activities you would like your child to participate in?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nonverbal Communication

 Communication isn’t just the words we say and hear. Most of us learn the meanings of gestures, body posture, voice tone, facial expressions, and the like. This is often called nonverbal communication. Sometimes children with disabilities have a difficult time learning to understand the meanings of nonverbal communication.
How have you helped your child learn these skills? How has the school helped? What has been effective?

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Everyone wants to have friends and feel that he or she belongs.  Belonging is essential to health and quality of life. Yet students with disabilities sometimes struggle to develop and maintain friendships.

What have you done to help your child in this area? What has the school done? What has your child done? What has been effective?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Transition to Kindergarten

Recently PACER Center did a survey of parents of children with disabilities about their top issues. PACER posted a list of parents’ top ten issues in Minnesota.  Resources to address them can be found at One of the top ten issues is the transition to kindergarten.

What insight and experience do you have to share about your child’s transition to kindergarten? What helped the transition? What was difficult?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Special Education Sucess

 In spite of recent news coverage focusing on problems with special education, we know that many of our children have benefited greatly from the services they have received in school. It’s important for Minnesota’s decision-makers and the media to know how special education leads to success for so many children with disabilities, and we would love to hear your success stories to provide a more balanced view.

In a paragraph or two, what has worked well for your child in special education?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Enrollement options

    Minnesota has an “enrollment options” program. Students may attend a school or program in a school district where the student does not live, subject to certain limitations (MN Statute 124D.03). This is often called open enrollment.

If your child with a disability has open enrolled in another school district, what tips might you share with other parents? Why did you open enroll? What advantages or disadvantages have you seen for your child?