"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ah, Summer ...

There's nothing like the thought of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, is there? Unless, of course, you've been unable to locate appropriate activities and respite care for your child. In which case, you have my deepest sympathies.

But before you throw all those used binders in the corner and toss carefully place this year's scrunched up copy of the IPP in a folder until September, I make one more humble offering to you.

If you're not familiar with Wrightslaw [or The Wrighslaw Way (their blog) or The Special Ed Advocate (their free e-newsletter], you really should be.

Pete and Pam Wright are Adjunct Professors of Law at the William and Mary Law School where they teach a course about special education law and advocacy and assist with the Law School's Special Education Law Clinic. Pete also happens to have dyslexia. They know of what they speak.

And in the most recent edition of The Special Ed Advocate, I came across some links I thought I should share. Even though it's the end of June.

So, at the very least, bookmark them and write yourself a note to look them up come September.

  1. Can an IEP Meeting be Postponed?
  2. Do Parents Have to Excuse Members of the IEP Team?
  3. Do Nursing Services Belong in the IEP?
  4. Who Can Override an IEP?

The first thing you might notice is the reference to IEPs as opposed to IPPs. It's an American thing, don't sweat it. After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, right? [Tongue planted firmly in cheek.]

And although it's true there are definite differences between the Individuals with Disabilities Act [IDEA], (the American legislation relevant to special education) and our own, there are a lot of similarities, too.

The Nova Scotia policy is, in many ways, built upon a lot of the language in IDEA, witness the right in this Province to an "appropriate" education. The biggest difference, in my mind at least, between the two regimes is that the American legislation has teeth. Ours, unfortunately, not so much.

So although that means that Nova Scotia's Special Education Policy Manual will always take precedence (and is where you should always be checking for the final word), it's still worth your time to keep up (in at least a cursory way) with what's happening to the south of us by way of Wrightlaw.

And, with that, I am so done with school. At least until September.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Two Cents

Many thanks for the various suggested blawg topics.

First up will be a post (or more likely a series of posts) concerning options for parents who don't have anyone to succeed them in caring for their child with a disability. Options, both financial and otherwise.

Much of which I believe I have at least touched upon before but this will (hopefully) put it all in one place.

Now all I have to do is get my act together and start writing.

So stay tuned.

By the by, yes, I have updated the blawg's look. And given the variety of different backgrounds now offered by Blogger, I might well keep shaking things up a bit before I decide to settle down again.

Just remember - new look, same content.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Thanks to PLAN and the Investment Education Fund, there is now a new Step by Step Guide (to becoming eligible, opening and managing your Registered Disability Savings Plan) available now for free download.

The Guide has been written and designed in plain language for people with disabilities and their families and will walk you through all the steps necessary for becoming eligible, opening and managing an RDSP.

All ten steps, in case you were wondering. Although to be fair, there's only six steps involved in actually opening the RDSP. The remaining four steps cover issues like investing your money, updating your Will, protecting yourself and planning the road ahead - all good ideas.

So use it. And pass it on to others who might use it. Pretty please.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Yes, it's been a mite bit quiet around here lately.

And, no, I have neither forgotten nor lost track of the Legal Guardianship Kit.

It is, in fact, dare I say it ... complete.

But. I both want another lawyer to review it and to submit a copyright application before I let the not-so-little critter venture out on its own into the big wide world. So, for that, I'm afraid, you will have to wait just a little bit longer.

But I was wondering whether this might be a good time (since I seem to be a little less than inspired when it comes to ideas for blawg posts at the moment) to solicit ideas from the readership.

So here we go again.

If there is any topic in particular you would care to know more about, either in general or with a particular question ... speak now or forever hold your peace. Or, at least, until the next time my Blogging Muse goes AWOL and I solicit suggestions.

Just joking - feel free to suggest topics or ask questions any time. I was just trying to ... motivate you.

You can use the comment feature at the bottom of this post or drop me an email by following the profile link on the top sidebar.

And if not, I will just keep busy with other things. Until inspiration strikes again.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

'Special Needs as a Second Language'

Not exactly legal (although sadly there hasn't been much of that around here lately anyway) but I thought this was too good not to share.

Check out "Special Needs as a Second Language by Lori Miller Fox" where she shares with the rest of the world a glossary of special needs terms and their definitions.

Here's just a sampling:

  • Go check on him, he’s too quiet – means go in and make sure he’s still breathing.
  • We’re deciding where to go on vacation – means we’re researching the cities that have the best children’s hospitals.
  • You’ve really grown, we need to get you something new to wear – means we need to make a trip to the orthotist.
  • I’m good thanks – means I got more than three hours of sleep last night.
  • I’m an animal lover – means I can no longer stand the sight of people.
  • Yes, we are looking forward to graduation – means I’m going to be at home with my grown child and eat pizza every day for the rest of my life until one day they’ll find me buried under a mountain of stale pepperoni and greasy, tomato-stained cardboard boxes.
    He had a good day – means he stayed awake in school and didn’t hit anybody.
Now go check out the rest.

By the way, my two personal favourites:
  • I have a school meeting – means don’t call me, or email me, or ring my bell for at least three days while I climb into my very deep hole and comfort myself with chocolate.

  • You must be a new Medical Resident – means his name’s not Buddy, and I’m not your Mom and he’s not your Dad ***hole.
Update: The promised Legal Gaurdianship Kit nears completion. Just looking at polishing it up and filing for copyright. And then it will be all yours.