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The Special Educator's Survival Guide, 2nd Edition

The Special Educator's Survival Guide, 2nd Edition

Roger Pierangelo Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-1-118-42905-1 June 2012 Jossey-Bass 332 Pages




Written for educators who work with special children and teens, this second edition of a best-selling classic offers a practical guide to every facet of the special education teacher’s job, from teaching in a self-contained classroom or resource room to serving on a multidisciplinary team. This easy-to-follow format, takes you step by step through the various stages required to understand the referral process, parent intakes and conferences, evaluation, interpretation, diagnosis, remediation, placement, individual education plans, classroom management, medication, educational law, and more.
About the Author.


Purpose of the Book.

Part One: Introduction: Roles and Responsibilities.

Chapter 1: What Do Special Education Teachers Do?

Chapter 2: Disability Classifications.

Chapter 3: The Special Educator’s Responsibilities.

Chapter 4: Roles in Special Education.

Part Two: The Special Education Process.

Chapter 5: Overview of the Special Education Process.

Chapter 6: Identification of a Suspected Disability.

Chapter 7: Assessment, Diagnosis, Classification, and Placement of a Child with a Suspected Disability.

Sources of Referral.

The Multidisciplinary Team (MDT).

The Written Referral.

Obtaining Consent for Evaluation.

The Assessment.

Academic Evaluation.

Language Evaluation.

Psychological Evaluation.

Perceptual Evaluation.

Occupational Therapy Evaluation.

Nonstandardized Forms of Assessment.

Other Areas of Assessment.

Understanding a Child’s Behavior During Assessment.

The Educational Report.

Second Child Study Team Meeting: Development of the Eligibility Presentation Packet.

What You Need to Know If Asked to Be the Case Manager for a Presentation at the Eligibility Committee.

Part Three: The Special Educator’s Role in the Special Education Process.

Chapter 8: Reporting Formal Assessment Results to Parents.

Chapter 9: Participating in the Eligibility Committee.

Chapter 10: Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Chapter 11: Alternate Testing Modifications.

Chapter 12: The Special Educator’s Role in the Annual Review Process.

Chapter 13: The Special Educator’s Role in the Triennial Evaluation.

Chapter 14: The Special Educator’s Role in Transition Services.

What Are Transition Services?

The Individualized Transitional Education Plan (ITEP).

Transition Checklist.

Vocational Assessments.

Training and Work Options.

Travel Training.

Medical and Financial Options.



Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Food Stamps.

Chapter 15: Assistive Technology and the Special Educator.

Part Four: Working as a Special Education Teacher.

Chapter 16: Getting Ready for School.

Chapter 17: Curriculum Considerations for Special Educators.

Chapter 18: Classroom Management Techniques for Children with Disabilities.

Part Five: What Special Educators Need to Know and Do About . . . .

Chapter 19: Common Disorders Seen by Special Educators.

Developmental Disorders.

Mental Retardation.


Developmental Arithmetic Disorder.

Developmental Expressive Writing Disorder.

Developmental Reading Disorder.

Developmental Expressive Language Disorder.

Behavior Disorders.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

Conduct Disorder.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence.

Anorexia Nervosa.

Bulimia Nervosa.

Selective Mutism.

Tourette’s Syndrome.

Functional Encopresis.

Functional Enuresis.

Anxiety and Mood Disorders.

Separation Anxiety Disorder.

Avoidant Disorder of Childhood and Adolescence.

Overanxious Disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).


Childhood Depression.

Chapter 20: What Special Educators Need to Know About Medication.

Part Six: Dealing with Parents of Children with Disabilities.

Chapter 21: Helping Parents Help Their Children with Homework.

Chapter 22: Helping Parents Use Effective Discipline at Home.

Chapter 23: Helping Parents Communicate Better with Their Children.

Chapter 24: Helping Parents Improve Their Children’s Self-Esteem.

Chapter 25: What Parents Need to Know About Retention.

Chapter 26: Helping Parents Improve Their Children’s Study Skills.

Part Seven: A Law Primer for Special Educators.

Chapter 27: Basic Educational Law.

Chapter 28: Understanding Eligibility Committees.

Chapter 29: The Concept of Procedural Due Process.

Chapter 30: The Concept of Least Restrictive Environment.

Chapter 31: Parents’ Rights in the Special Education Process.

Chapter 32: Mandated Reporting of Abuse and Neglect.

Part Eight: Appendixes.

Appendix A: Sample Psychoeducational Reports.

Appendix B: Acronyms Used in Special Education.

Appendix C: Basic Legal Terminology.

Appendix D: Educational Terminology Associated with Special Education.

Appendix E: Psychological Terminology Associated with Special Education.

Appendix F: Medical Terminology Associated with Special Education.

Appendix G: Occupational Therapy Terminology.

Appendix H: Organizations Associated with Special Education.

Appendix I: Organizations on Transition and Vocational Skills.

Appendix J: Special Education Web Sites.

Appendix K: Sample IEP.

Appendix L: References and Suggested Reading.