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PALS January 2018 - Open Forum ADHD, Bullying, Evaluations, Goals, Timelines

PALS Meeting Minutes

January 31, 2018 9:15 a.m.

Eat'n Park (meeting room)

849 Freeport Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education.

ADHD Across the Lifespan Program

Operated by Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic The following information is shared directly from UPMC.

Our ADHD Across the Lifespan Program is among the few in western PA that offers treatment specifically for children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We offer comprehensive evaluation and short-term, evidence-based, treatment services.

Symptoms of ADHD

Individuals with ADHD may experience:

Recurrent and persistent hyperactivity (difficulty staying seated, fidgety, feeling restless, etc.)


Inattention (poor focus, difficulty staying on task, problems with organization, etc.)

Treatment of ADHD

Treatment includes:

Family Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Parent and adolescent negotiation skills

Time management and organizational skills

Study skills for students of all ages

Medication evaluation and management

ADHD Across the Lifespan Program also offer opportunities to participate in research studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health and Western Psychiatric’s Youth and Family Research Program, as well as training for professionals treating individuals with ADHD.

If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms of ADHD, please call the clinic at 412-246-6090 to request a packet and get started on the road to recovery.​

Visit UPMC for Frequently Asked Questions about ADHD and this program.

Being Well Center with Dr. Liden The following information is shared directly from BWC.

The Being Well Center, an internationally recognized ADD/ADHD treatment center, offers an exclusive service treating the complex problems of ADD across the lifespan. We advocate a long-term, supportive relationship with a dedicated team of experts who listen and care. We support the use of medication as a carefully monitored tool. We give you insight into what’s happening to you, your child, and your family.

Founded and directed by Dr. Craig Liden, a Harvard trained physician and worldwide ADD/ADHD expert, The Being Well Center includes a team of counselors, physicians assistants, nurses, dieticians, speech therapists, and educational experts. If you’re frustrated and know you can’t do this alone, we’re here to help. Join our lengthy roster of satisfied patients who have changed their lives following The Being Well Program’s 5-Step approach.

The Peal Center

We cannot say enough about the quality resource that is PEAL Center. From a toll free support hotline, to 24/7 access to educational videos for a variety of scenarios caretakers may find themselves, to on and off line trainings, PEAL Center has it all.

The following information is shared directly from PEAL Center.

PEAL Center

The PEAL Center is an organization of parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs who educate and guide:

Families of children and youth, ages birth to 26, who have disabilities and/or special health care needs

Professionals and others who work with children and youth who have disabilities and/or special health care needs

Youth and young adults up to age 26 who have disabilities and/or special health care needs

Quest Therapeutic Camps with April Artz

The following information is shared directly from Quest Therapeutic.

Quest is an innovative therapeutic program for children with mild to moderate emotional and social problems. Utilizing individualized behavioral goals within a milieu setting, each camper receives regular feedback and intervention. Daily group therapy is led by April Artz, MS, NCC, LPC. Camp activities provide a fun experience and the opportunity to observe children in their natural setting. Parents participate in evening group meetings every two weeks. Research indicated Quest provides a "strong treatment effect at reducing global impairment at home and school".

Evaluation/Re-Evaluation Timelines and Requirements

Conversations about recent evaluations/re-evaluations and a child's eligibility lead to timelines and requirements. Click on the image for further information:

Special Education Timelines

Medical Assistance

Visit our May 2017 Meeting Minutes for important information and guidance of Medical Assistance.

Concerns Regarding District's Responsibility for Bullying/Cyber Bullying

Related to School Issued Accounts

During a conversation about helping students with disabilities develop their social skills, a parent mentioned recent incidents of cyber bullying involving upgrade students. The concern has multiple layers;

bullying in general

the students' ability to understand when it is happening, how to respond, and what actions a student should take when bullied

how bullying is being addressed when it involves a student receiving special education supports

what measures are in place to give special education students additional support when giving lessons in bullying

the responsibilities of the school district in general and specially when it occurs using district issued electronic devices and emails, during school and after hours

The situation left a parent with serious concerns over incidents of bullying and cyber bullying directly related to district (FCASD) issued iPads, online platforms, and e-mail accounts. This particular incident involves upper grade students at all hours of the day and days of the week, including school hours.

DMS students are using their school issued iPads to play the game Discord. From Discord, students are using their school issued email addresses to send derogatory and threatening emails. FCAHS students are using their personal and sometimes school issued/based computers to access Discord. These students are also accessing their school issued emails accounts to send derogatory and threatening emails.

This concern has been brought to the attention of the district. At this time the district has not provided a plan to resolve the situation.

Writing Goals

There was a question about how to get a Writing Goal into an IEP. PaTTAN offers a variety of handouts from trainings regarding goals. Click the image below for a handout on Writing Goals:

Writing Goals

Determining Qualifications for IEP or 504 Plan

The following information was shared directly from PaTTAN.

An IEP is a written plan for the provision of services for the education of students who are disabled or gifted. The district has a responsibility under Child Find for children "thought-to-be" eligible for special education services and/or accommodations. This responsibility includes locating, identifying, and evaluating all students with suspected disabilities, including but not limited to evaluating students for whom a request for an evaluation has been made.

Two criteria exist for an IEP, both of which must be met:

The student must meet one of the 13 disability categories defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004 (IDEA).

The student must need special education; that is, the child requires specifically designed instruction to receive educational benefits.

Disability Categories

According to 34 CFR § 300.8 (related to a Child w/ a disability), the 13 categories are:

Mental Retardation (pending language change to " Intellectual Disability")

Hearing Impairment

Speech or Language Impairment

Visual Impairment (including blindness)

Emotional Disturbance

Orthopedic Impairment


Traumatic Brain Injury

Other Health Impairment

Specific Learning Disability

Deafness Deaf-Blindness

Multiple Disabilities

*Emotional Disturbance is defined at 34 CFR § 300.8(c)(4) as:

An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

*Autism is defined at 34 CFR § 300.8(c)(1) as:

Autism means 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.

If a child is identified by a school district as "thought-to-be" disabled and in possible need of specially designed instruction under IDEA and Chapter 14, the district should move forward with a special education evaluation under IDEA and 22 PA Code Chapter 14.

A student that does not qualify for special education services under IDEA (an educational law) still may qualify for services under Section 504 (a civil rights law) if the disability is shown to substantially limit his or her educational performance.

A child with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities, such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. Accommodations often refer to building accessibility, classroom adjustments and curriculum modifications and may be updated or revised as the need changes.

34 CFR § 104.3 (j) defines a handicapped person with rights under the Rehabilitation Act as any person who:

Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities,

Has a record of such an impairment, or

Is regarded as having such an impairment.

Examples of disabilities under Section 504 include:

Student breaks their arm in 5 places and cannot write; the district provides someone to take notes or write the homework

Student is deaf and plays sports. The district provides an interpreter for the classroom and any school sports activities they are involved in

Student has cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, migraines, allergies or asthma; the student is allowed to obtain treatment or medication, as needed

Student uses a wheelchair; student is permitted to leave classes early to avoid hall traffic

Student is under a doctor's care for depression or anxiety, frequent behavioral problems, ADHD; the student is given additional time for completing assignments and allowed to sit in the front of the classroom

Both federal and state conditions exist for a 504 plan:

Federal legislation: Rehabilitation Act

State regulation: 22 PA Code Chapter 15

Types of Special Education Supports

Autistic Support

Gifted Support

Multiple Disabilities Support

Blind or Visually Impaired Support

Learning Support

Physical Support

Deaf or Hearing Impaired Support

Life Skills Support

Speech and Language Support

Emotional Support

Next Meeting: February 28, 2018, 9:15 a.m. Roots of Faith 800 Main Street Pittsburgh, PA 15215

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