EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY

Educational Services Offered

Creative Learning Experiences (CLE) is an educational advocacy/tutorial consulting practice located in Harford County Maryland. CLE specializes in working with children and teens with ADHD, specific learning disabilities (SLD), emotional disabilities, ASD, intellectual disabilities, speech and language impairments, multiple disabilities, other health impairments. CLE also works with any student who is not achieving their potential.

Advocacy Services offered to families include:

  • Direct Advocacy and Representation in IEP Meetings
  • Comprehensive review of educational records- IEP’s, 504 Plans, Evaluations
  • IEP Development
  • 504 Plan Development
  • Educational Planning-RTI, BIP, IEE
  • Individualized Transition Planning (ITP)
  • School Observations
  • Monitoring of Progress and Provision of Services – mediation and complaints
  • Referral to Community Resources including: camps, private schools, college programs for LD students, family support groups, and recreational activities for children with special needs
  • Parent Teacher Conferences
  • E-mail correspondence with teachers and related services staff
  • Drafting a complaint to the district and/or Maryland State Department of Education
  • Referrals to other providers

ADHD

ADHD, specific learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, autism, intellectual disabilities, speech and language impairments, multiple disabilities, other health impairments.

An umbrella term, “other health impairment” (OHI) encompasses a range of conditions. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) names several such disorders in OHI’s official definition: “having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that— (a) is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis [a kidney disorder], rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and (b) adversely affects a child’s educational performance.”

Autism

Autism, as defined by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) refers to “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

A specific learning disability as “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.” This disability category includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia (a type of language disorder).

Emotional Disturbance

Emotional Disturbance: A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:

  1. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
  2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
  3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability is defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as “significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently [at the same time] with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” There are two key components within this definition: a student’s IQ and his or her capability to function independently, usually referred to as adaptive behavior.

Multiple Disabilities

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s (IDEA), multiple disabilities refers to “concomitant [simultaneous] impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.”

Speech & Language Impairments

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) officially defines Speech and Language Impairments as  “a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” Each point within this official definition represents a speech and language subcategory. “A communication disorder such as stuttering” provides an example of a fluency disorder; other fluency issues include unusual word repetition and hesitant speech. “Impaired articulation” indicates impairments in which a child experiences challenges in pronouncing specific sounds. “A language impairment” can entail difficulty comprehending words properly, expressing oneself and listening to others. Finally, “a voice impairment” involves difficulty voicing words; for instance, throat issues may cause an abnormally soft voice.

Specific Learning Disabilities

According to the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (known as NICHCY), specific learning disabilities commonly affect skills in the areas of:

  • Reading (called dyslexia)
  • Writing (called dysgraphia)
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reasoning
  • Math (called dyscalculia)

Signs that a child might have a learning disability tend to appear in elementary school. For example, difficulty learning the alphabet, problems with following directions, trouble transforming thoughts into written words and misreading math problems are all possible indicators of a specific learning disability.

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