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February 23, 2022 Meeting Minutes - Back Logs, Learning Styles, Charter Schools, and Behavior

Updated: Jun 29

PALS Meeting Minutes

February 23, 2022 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom


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.


Service Provider Back Logs

Some may think the back logs for service providers are due to the COVID pandemic, however this really isn't anything new. A quick search will show that the service provider crisis has been on going for years and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Just know, you are not alone.


Service Providers may included, but are not limited to:

Behavior Support Services

Occupational Therapy

Orientation and Mobility

Physical Therapy

Speech Therapy

Therapeutic Support Services

Wraparound Services


Here are a few resources that may lead to Service Providers in your area of Pennsylvania that you may not have been aware of:


Home and Community Services Information System

The HCSIS Services and Supports Directory is a tool for individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism (ID/A), their families, and circle of support to locate services and service providers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The directory can help you locate particular service providers or search for services and supports provided in an individual's community. This directory does not include information on all providers but only of those that have chosen to be listed in it. This directory also provides information about specific services funded by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) under the home and community-based waiver programs.


Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

To find a licensed human service program, you can select any of the below search criteria. Selecting multiple fields will narrow your search results. You must enter at least four characters in order to search for a facility name or legal entity name. The Human Services Provider Directory website is refreshed daily.


UPMC Disability Resource Center

There are many programs and resources to help people with disabilities live independently and be active within the community.

Due to the volume of resources, we can't list them all. Below are just a few.

If you're looking for a certain resource or you have questions, please contact the UPMC Disabilities Resource Center.


Helpful Resources and Websites for Parents of Children with Special Needs


Articles related to the backlog/lack of service providers:

Thousands Of Families In Special Education Limbo


Seeking needed services, Kansans with developmental disabilities left waiting years through backlog


Accommodating Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles

Do a search of multiple intelligences or learning styles and you will probably come up with all sorts of information, including studies that debunk the theories. From Fleming to Gardner to Kolb, whether it's three, seven, nine, or twelve learning styles there are plenty of theories out there now and there will be plenty more in the future. The question is how can a parent, caregiver, or student help a teacher understand what learning style their child (or they) fall under in an effort to teach in the most impactful way for that student. Identifying what works for your child and the sharing of strategies is key.


If you've never heard of Multiple Intelligences visit these articles and of course do your own search as well:

Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences Theory: Widely Used, Yet Misunderstood


If you've never heard of Learning Styles visit these articles and again, do your own search as well:

How to Identify Your Child's Learning Style

How to determine your child’s learning style — and why it matters

How to Identify Your Child’s Learning Style & Encourage Better Learning

How to Identify Your Child’s Learning Style, and Why it’s Important


Articles related to learning styles and accommodations/modifications:

Aligning IEP Goals with a Child's Learning Style

How Well are Public Schools Adapting to Your Child’s Learning Style?

Concept to Classroom: Tapping into Multiple Intelligences


Facing the Root Cause of Challenging Behavior

Challenging behavior can be, well, challenging at any age. If you are received repeated phone calls home about your child's behavior and you believe it is impacting their education, it may be time to ask for a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). Remember, you want to ask in writing and you want to give supporting details to why you are making the request. In addition, your child's school must be conducted and behavioral interventions implemented when:

  • The Individualized Education Program (IEP) team (1) determines that a student’s behavior is interfering with his/her learning or the learning of others, and (2) requires additional information to provide appropriate educational programming.

  • A behavior violates a code of student conduct resulting in removals that constitute a change of placement (removal of more than 10 consecutive or more than 15 cumulative school days) and the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability.

  • The school refers the student to law enforcement. An FBA must be conducted, as appropriate, when a behavior violates a code of student conduct resulting in removals that constitute a change of placement (removal of more than 10 consecutive or 15 cumulative school days) and the behavior is determined not to be related to his/her disability.

The ultimate goal of the FBA is to get to the root of the problem so that a Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP) can be developed and included in your child's Individual Education Plan (IEP). "For a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the positive behavior support plan is integrated within the IEP document. However, while focusing on behavioral interventions, the team may find it helpful to develop all components of the plan at one time. For this reason, the annotated positive behavior support plan includes relevant components of Section VI of the IEP document: program modifications and specifically designed instruction, related services, and supports for school personnel provided for the child. These may serve as reminders for the IEP team to consider in designing the positive behavior support plan. (Specially-designed instruction may be listed with each goal/objective and/or listed in Section VI). All applicable sections should be completed by the IEP team, even though these sections may be located in other parts of the IEP form." PaTTAN. The PBSP will be monitored and modified as needed.


Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) offers the following pamphlet on FBA and this Annotated Positive Behavior Support Plan.


Articles of interest:

Why Do Children Misbehave? Finding the Root Causes of Classroom Misbehavior

THE 5 ROOT CAUSES OF CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR

Common Causes of Behavior Problems in Kids

Common Behavioral Issues in School-Age Children and How Alternative Schools Can Help

Stress and short tempers: Schools struggle with behavior as students return


 

Next Meeting: March 30, 2022 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum.

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SPECIAL NOTE

All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.


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