SPED Ahead is an opportunity for school administrators and special education specialists to catalyze discussions about new ideas and promising practices that help exceptional students achieve. With a series of free interactive online events and related multimedia web-based resources, we will explore answers to tough questions and shape effective leadership strategies for addressing special needs students’ challenges for literacy skills, scholastic achievement and peer relationships.

 
 
Changing Minds

Dr. Barry M. Prizant on Family Collaboration: An Essential Element for SPED Success

The need for better collaboration with parents has been recognized for years, yet SPED administrators have had little guidance on how to develop successful family-professional partnerships. Parents often report being more challenged by insensitive professionals and confusing systems of services than by their child’s disability, but the focus of special education has been implementing therapies […]

Julie Weatherly, Esq. on Staying out of Due Process in Special Education

School administrators know: blunders can and do occur in the development and implementation of educational programs for students with disabilities. Process- or content-related mistakes can be the basis for finding a school system has denied FAPE (free appropriate public education). All school personnel should be trained about the development and implementation of IEPs, especially with […]

Dr. Jordan Wright on “Extending Your Reach: Online Counseling for Changing Minds”

Finding help for students with psychological, neurological or emotional issues is a major challenge facing school administrators. There is a shortage of experts to conduct psychological assessments and reach students with appropriate counseling services. Now live video conferencing technology shows great promise for extending our reach to these students wherever they are: doing evaluations and […]

Dr. Barry Prizant on “Preventing Problem Behavior in Schools”

Problem behaviors are symptomatic of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Learning how to better manage disruptive behavior is a top priority for school administrators, educators, therapists and parents. During this webinar, one of SPED’s most sought-after experts on classroom behavior management strategies will present a “Bio-Psycho-Social” perspective on the interaction of physiological, cognitive and social-environmental issues.

Dr. Temple Grandin on “The Autistic Brain”

School administrators are seeking a deeper understanding and new strategies to serve a growing population of students with autism. An overburdened system and the Common Core’s emphasis on language and communications skills has created a sense of urgency to find the best approaches to giving them appropriate access to the curriculum.

Getting Smarter About SPED: 5 Blended Learning Decisions & Implications

Technology and the promise of individualized education are just two of the factors driving the adoption of blended learning, but there are many more reasons for administrators and educators to get excited. Education visionary and blended learning champion Tom Vander Ark discusses the practicalities of implementation and addresses the impact on special education.

Online Speech-Language Therapy: HOT Questions. COOL Answers.

Online speech therapy has been tested successfully for the past few years while the technology for delivering remote services has continued to improve. Still, special education directors have burning questions about online therapy. Until now, answers were based on research and theory. Get answers based on real world experience that you can learn from and apply to your district’s special education strategies.

Rural County Tries A New Approach To Related Services: Online Speech Language Therapy

For Special Education Supervisors in Benton County, a rural community in Western Tennessee, finding certified speech language therapists is often difficult. However, Benton County recently used a state-provided assistive technology grant to train partner counties and implement an effective & affordable solution to this problem: integrating traditional therapy delivery models with online speech therapy services. This webinar explores implementing online therapy from multiple perspectives and discusses how blended learning is transforming related services delivery for rural counties such as Benton.

Blended Models: SPED Leaders Share Their Implementation Formulas for Online Speech Therapy

With increasing demand and costs for SPED services, district leaders are seeking new ways to deploy their teams more efficiently. Now, innovative SPED leaders are deploying a “blended” model for related services delivery, combining both online and school-based speech-language therapists. They’re getting promising results: improved student outcomes, tighter integration of SPED with gen ed, and […]

Online OT-For Real! Real Kids. Real Goals. Real Results.

Demand for OT in school settings is growing due to increases in cases of learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder (SPD) and autism combined with the rigors of the Common Core Standards. SPED administrators are trying—and seeing success with—new service delivery options, including using online therapists.

Transforming Special Education in a Challenging Fiscal Environment

How can superintendents get more engaged and lead transformation in this often-confounding area rather than just continuing “business as usual”? This webinar will present practical strategies around staffing, service delivery options and budgeting that can help district leaders lead meaningful change.

Managing Workloads in a Caseload-Driven World

The topic of workload strategies and approach isn’t new, but it is clear that special education leaders play a major role in changing the way we approach service delivery. There is a set of guiding principles that SPED leaders should apply when considering the needs of SLPs and students and when we are ready to move toward workload approach. Workload experts Dr. Barbara Moore and Dr. Judy Rudebusch provide leadership strategies.

Online Occupational Therapy: Really?

Special education leaders recognize a growing need for OT (Occupational Therapy) for K-12 students and the need to use technology to enhance delivery of clinical services. OT practitioners and school districts are now poised to benefit from the delivery of OT services online into educational settings. OT researcher Dr. Rondalyn Whitney and occupational therapist Rosemarie Helton present the whens and hows of online OT — really.

Getting to the Core of the Common Core

Oral language skills (communication competence) are foundational to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). For this reason, SPED leaders expect increased demand for Tier II interventions. How will you address reading and social-skills deficiencies given budget cuts and the need to prepare for CCSS? ASHA leader Dr. Barbara Moore leads the discussion with communications disorder expert Maryellen Moreau to answer this important question and more.

Universal Design for Learning & Assistive Technologies: What Do They Have in Common?

The field of Assistive Technology (AT) addresses important principles that help educators create classrooms that serve the needs of all learners. Kathleen Sadao, EdD, and Nancy Robinson, PhD, leading authors and early childhood specialists are experts in AT and Universal Design for Learning. They share practical strategies and affordable solutions that teachers can implement right away.

Speech Telepractice (Online Speech Therapy): Good, Bad or Ugly?

Although the technology to deliver SLP services at a distance has been available for years, cost and complexity limited its adoption. ASHA leader, Dr. Barbara J. Moore and a panel of special education experts explore how simple, inexpensive technology is enabling a growing number of schools to use telepractice to improve outcomes, address critical personnel shortfalls and fill gaps in speech-language services.

The Five Legal Pitfalls District Leaders Must Avoid This Year

The transition to Common Core Standards, the spread of bullying, reauthorization of IDEA, implementation of RTI, and explosive growth in autism could become legal pitfalls for your district this year. You can avoid legal problems by understanding legislative provisions and by knowing how to avoid common mistakes. Special education legal expert Charles Weatherly takes a look at each of these looming pitfalls and provides timely tips to steer clear.

Online Speech Therapy for Virtual School Students: When, Where and How?

Special education services, including speech-language therapy, must be available to all students, including those who attend online schools. Meeting this need is an ongoing challenge facing SPED directors for virtual schools. Special education researcher Dr. Shari Robertson moderates a panel of experts in helping you understand the “when, where and how” of online speech therapy for virtual school students.

Online Speech Therapy for Charter School Students: When, Where and How?

Charter schools offer diverse learning opportunities and instructional approaches, but as in mainstream schools, all students must have access to special education services, including speech-language therapy. Special education researcher Dr. Shari Robertson moderates a panel of charter school leaders as they share first hand about the effectiveness of online speech language therapy and advice for a smooth implementation.

Understanding and Managing the Growing SLP Shortage

The SLP shortage is a persistent problem and a top concern. Though a wide range of recruitment and retention initiatives have been in place for a decade, the shortage is growing. Why do we have this chronic problem? How will you prepare to meet the need for SLP services as we shift to Common Core State Standards? Dr. Shari Robertson unpacks this issue with an expert on this topic, Karen Roth of Arizona State University.

Shift Happens: New IEP Language for a Common Core World

The transition to the Common Core has kept special education administrators busy helping their staff learn to align IEPs with the new standards. So how does an IEP read in our new Common Core world — especially with respect to speech and language goals? How does your staff need to change their work with students? Dr. Judy Montgomery seeks answers from assistant superintendent Dr. Judy Rudebusch and from Perry Flynn of UNC Greensboro.