August 2013 | News You Can Use

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backtoschoolBack to school!



I cannot have chaos erupting around me until I am prepared for it.  - Derek Landy, ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’

It’s August, and reminders of Back to School are all around. While we can’t help you figure out which backpack is the coolest this year, we can offer the kinds of information needed to start the school year off right.

This month, you’ll find disability resources to share with your team, links to articles in multiple languages, Common Core resources, professional learning modules, data tools, useful apps, and more. Check them out, bookmark them for later use, and share them with peers.

As always, we welcome your feedback in all forms. Please feel free to contact us at

Our best to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities


Multiple Disability Fact Sheet (and more).
Check out our latest fact sheet on Multiple Disabilities! Find information about the disabilities that may be involved, where to find help, tips for families, tips for teachers, and more. Each NICHCY fact sheet defines the disability, describes its characteristics, offers tips for parents and teachers, and connects you with related information and organizations with special expertise in that disability.

All about the IEP.
Explore this rich section of our website to find answers to your IEP questions. Who’s on the IEP team? What’s in an IEP? What happens at IEP meetings? Can a member of the team be excused from attending an IEP meeting?

Need to train others on the IEP?
Check out the 3 training modules on the IEP that NICHCY produced for the Office of Special Education Programs. Each includes a slideshow presentation in English and in Spanish, a trainer’s guide, and handouts for participants in English and in Spanish. Download any or all of these three modules: The IEP Team, Contents of the IEP, and When of the IEP Team Meets.

Effective Practices in the Classroom and School.
A critical part of improving educational results for children with disabilities is using effective practices in the classroom and across the school.

NICHCY Tips for Teachers Blogs Pinterest Board.
A Pinterest board of helpful blogs from NICHCY and other helpful organizations. Examples of entries include ‘Getting Clear on RTI’ and “Teaching Students with Emotional Disturbances: 8 Tips for Teachers”.

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Logo of the IDEA Partnership.

Get the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) dialogue going with the IDEA Partnership’s collection.
Need to engage multiple stakeholders in discussions of how to implement the CCSS and how to assess mastery toward them? Use the IDEA Partnership’s dialogue guides, which are especially designed to help you engage deeply in the conversation and the work.



Multilingual behavior articles for families.
Lots of info for families here on behavior-each of the tip sheets available provides the same content in English, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish. Titles include: Five Facts About Behavior; Offering Choices; Transitions; Respond Calmly; Catch Your Child Being Good; and Replacing Challenging Behavior–Teaching Replacement Skills.

Understanding auditory processing disorders in children.
This article from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) sets out to clarify existing confusion about what auditory processing disorders are, so that readers are better able to navigate the jungle of information available on the subject in professional and popular literature today.

Helping your child with AD/HD succeed at school.
School creates multiple challenges for kids with ADD/ADHD, but with patience and an effective plan, your child can thrive in the classroom. As a parent, you can work with your child and his or her teacher to implement practical strategies for learning both inside and out of the classroom. With consistent support, these strategies can help your child meet learning challenges-and be successful at school.

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How to…The “Challenging Behavior” series.
The Challenging Behaviors Series has been developed to assist teachers and parents in providing the best possible educational opportunities to children with autism spectrum disorders in their home and classroom. Right now, there are 10 fact sheets in the series, including Functional Behavioral Assessment of Young Children and Communicative Alternatives to Challenging Behavior. At the link below, you’ll see the series listed on the right.

Self-guided module: Responsive teaching.
The Self-Guided Learning Module for Responsive Teaching is designed to be used as a self-study in which you can learn at your own pace. This module focuses on specific responsive techniques an adult will use in order to promote a child’s exploration of early literacy.

TACSEI Backpack Connection Series.
The Backpack Connection Series was created by Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) to provide a way for teachers and parents/caregivers to work together to help young children develop social-emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. Each Backpack Connection handout provides information that helps parents stay informed about what their child is learning at school and specific ideas on how to use the strategy or skill at home.

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New and improved IRIS Center website!
IRIS produces evidence-based instructional and intervention practices for use in college instruction, professional development activities, and independent learning opportunities for practicing educators. Their Resource Locator offers a wealth of online modules, case studies, and activities. The site itself is gorgeous, and easy to navigate.

10 brain-based learning laws that trump traditional education.
The fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience study how the brain takes in, stores, retrieves, and applies information. This article is a fascinating read about “trump cards” in learning — distilling what science has learned about better and more influential ways of learning.

35 digital tools that work with Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Integrating technology in the classroom and engaging students in higher order thinking creates the ultimate learning experience for students. Bloom’s Taxonomy and digital tools create an innovative learning environment where students are engaged in their assignments.

27 Tips For Effective Classroom Management

The 200 best special education apps.
If you’re a special education teacher or are simply looking for an innovative way to reach a student… this is for you. Many apps out there are useful in the classroom, but they’re not always easy to find in the clogged-up app store.

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School-based programs to reduce bullying and victimization.
This report presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of programs designed to reduce school bullying. The review follows 26 years of intervention research (from 1983 to the end of May 2009) and makes solid inferences about what works in preventing bullying, for whom, and under what circumstances.

District Initiative Inventory.
This planning tool can be used to guide the district team’s review of past and current programs to get a clear picture of successful strategies, and challenges, along with existing mandates and resource commitments.

IDEA Data Explorer Analytic Tool.
This tool provides users with the most recent publicly available state-level IDEA data. The tool may be used to view data trends, generate data reports, copy data into spreadsheets, generate graphics as appropriate to the data selected, and run cross-tabulations using variables collected as part of that data set.

Strategies for successful professional development to support technology integration.
What are some of the key requirements for successfully integrating technology into the classroom? Not surprisingly, one requirement is adequate and effective professional development. Read more about research-based ideas for professional development efforts in this article:

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N110002 between FHI 360 and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.


Comments on our newsletter? Too long? Too short? Off-target? Right on? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to