Concord/ Concord-Carlisle SEPAC January 2019


  • Co-Presidents Comments
  • Basic Rights in Special Education
  • Online IEP Resources
  • Advocates
  • Upcoming Workshops and Events

Happy 2019!

A new year brings with it the opportunity to look at the future and make a fresh start. For many of us it also brings creating new IEPs and goals for our children. From online resources, networking and support groups, advocates, and more, IEP resources available to you are abundant . This month's newsletter is all about the IEP and connecting you to some of the resources that may help you along the journey.

- Carol Yelle and Shaina Brito SEPAC Co-Presidents

Basic Rights in Special Education

Whether you've had a child on an IEP for a while or you're new to the IEP process, knowing your basic rights is an important element when developing an IEP. All school districts in Massachusetts are required to host a Basic Rights in Special Education workshop every school calendar year. CPS and CCRSD hosted their workshop in December but don't worry if you missed it. You can find a listing of workshops hosted by other school districts that you can attend. We've also posted the handouts from our workshop on our website. Another great way to get this information is through the Federation for Children with Special Needs. They have a webinar available in several languages. Even though we have attended many Basic Rights Workshops in the past, we've found that we learn something new every time we go. We encourage you to attend an upcoming workshop.

Online IEP Resources

While there are many online resources to inform you about creating an IEP, we have our favorites and ones we tend to go to first. Understood.org and Wrights Law are two of them. Understood is a fantastic resource for learning and attention issues and they have a wealth of information on creating a SMART IEP (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented and Time-bound) for you child. They also have a checklist of questions to help you and the other members of your child's team to make sure your child’s goals provide the appropriate support. Wrights Law is a reliable source for special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities. On their website you will find links to books, training, a law library, and a plethora of topics from A-Z.

Looking for some IEP tips? ADDitudemag.com and the National Center for Learning Disabilities provide some great ones like requesting a draft version of the IEP prior to the team meeting for you to review and asking a friend or family member to come with you to act as a second set of ears and to take notes.

What About Special Education Advocates?

A Special Education Advocate can help you when you are looking for guidance, feeling confused, overwhelmed, or when you and your district don't agree. Advocates vary in their experience, training, and areas of expertise. Here are some basic guidelines from AANE for choosing an advocate for your child. AANE also offers Parent Coaching and IEP Review programs. The Federation for Children with Special Needs offers a guide to selecting an advocate. You can also contact them and ask to speak to an Information Specialist who can help you find an advocate in your area. Finally, Special Needs Advocacy Network (SPaN) advocates, educational consultants, and other professionals are available to work with families, schools, and individuals.

Check Out These Upcoming Workshops and Events!
  • Talking with Your Children About Diversity: Building Bridges of Understanding, Appreciation and Respect Monday, January 14, 2019 7:30 pm – 9 pm Concord-Carlisle High School Auditorium. Free and open to parents and all interested adults. RSVP
  • SEPAC Board Meeting January 24, 2019, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Hunt Recreation Center (conference room), 90 Stow Street Concord, MA. Please enter through the glass doors by the basketball courts which are on the left side of the building.
  • Beyond Academics: Using the IEP to Address Social, Emotional, and Behavior Needs January 28, 2019 7 pm - 8:30 pm Stevens Memorial Library, North Andover. Presented by parent support for LD North Andover
  • ADHD & Dyslexia: How They Relate to Each Other When Children Have Both February 7, 2018 10:00 am - 11:30 am Ripley Administration Building Conference Rm 4, 120 Meriam Rd, Concord, MA RSVP

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Concord SEPAC


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