rcsn Resources for Children with Special Needs

New issue of their newsletter through subscription at their web site.

Excerpts below….
Fact or Rumor? Special Education Reform=
Change for Students with Disabilities

Have you heard rumors about children being moved to inclusion from special education classes, or the elimination of special education classes altogether? Are you trying to figure out how closely your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) must be followed?

Many parents are already aware that the NYC Department of Education is gearing up to roll out citywide reform in September. Here is an overview of the reform effort, which is designed to support children with special needs more flexibly and in more inclusive classrooms. However the “what” is more easily described than the “how.” Many parents are concerned that as the reform is implemented, their children will be assigned to general education settings without needed supports—or that their children will not continue to receive their existing services.

RCSN will be offering a new workshop on Special Education Reform in the coming weeks, so you can get the facts and make your plan. The workshop will include extra Q&A time. Stay tuned for more information!
RCSN Co-Founder Helene Craner Retires

Helene co-founded Resources for Children with Special Needs in 1983 with Tondra Lynford and Karen Schlesinger. Since that time, RCSN has helped over 300,000 people navigate the education and services systems throughout all five boroughs of New York City.

Helene Craner, LMSW, has served as Associate Director/Transition Specialist at RCSN. She is a graduate of Connecticut College, and received her Master’s degree with honors from the Columbia University School of Social Work. The parent of a son with disabilities, she has more than 25 years of educational advocacy and training experience for parents of children and youth with disabilities in New York City.

At RCSN, she provided individual information, referral and case management services, conducted training on the transition from school to adult life, and participated
in coalitions and networking activities. She represented RCSN on the Manhattan
Developmental Disabilities Council, the Board of Directors of the InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Agencies (IAC), the IEP Diploma Workgroup, and Parents for Inclusive Education (P.I.E.), among other coalitions.

Any parent knows that there are moments when the right word, the right service, or the right support can change the course of a child’s life. For literally thousands of people in and from our great city, Helene Craner has been the one to speak that word.

She will be missed by us and by many others who know her well, but we will continue to rely on her knowledge, her wisdom, and her inspiration for years to come.

Helene, from all of us at RCSN, and behalf of NYC parents: thank you.

RCSN Staffer Jean Mizutani
toasts Helene

Board Chair Ellen Miller-Wachtel reads
a letter from Mayor Bloomberg
to the guest of honor

From the Office of the Mayor

Help Create a Bully-Free World: See the Film “Bully”
in NYC This Weekend!

“Every year, 13 million children in America wake up in fear of being bullied at school…Research shows that children with learning disabilities and other special needs are more than twice as likely to be bullied as other kids.”

The Bully Project is an initiative by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Ability Path, PACER’s National Bullying Center, and Autism Speaks.  The group has partnered with the filmmakers of the documentary The Bully Project to raise awareness about how bullying affects children with special needs. Even the preview of this film is incredible. See it here.

The film opens this weekend in LA and NYC. Show your support by going out to see it this weekend, so that the message can be spread to other regions. Click here for NYC Showtimes.

Find out more about what you can do to stop bullying here. And, you can use this letter to spread the word to friends, teachers, and educators!

Let’s stop the bullying!

It’s Time to Apply to Pre-K!

The deadline for Pre-K applications in NYC is Thursday April 5. Parents of children turning 4 (born 2008)—including children with preschool IEPs—are now eligible to register.

Parents can apply to programs operated directly by the NYC Department of Education as well as programs contracted with the NYC DOE that are operated by community-based organizations, such as Head Start, and also childcare agencies.

If you have any questions or need any help, call us! 212-677-4650. We are here to help!

For more information, please click here.

New RCSN Workshop Menu Released

Our new menu offers 26 workshops in four categories: Educating Your Child with a Disability, Navigating the Years from 0-26, Parenting Solutions, and For Professionals.

In addition to What Special Ed Reform Means for You and Your Child (see above), new offerings include:

Get Organized! You are the keeper of your child’s educational history. Learn the RCSN Binder system and be ready for every meeting!

Can Technology Help Your Child? Does your child has difficulty connecting with their surroundings/environment? Learn how assistive technology can help support their education.

Your Top 5 Rights in Special Education You made it through the IEP process. Now what? If you’re wondering what’s next, the first step is to learn your rights and responsibilities—your top 5 rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


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