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Understanding IDEA: Students with Disabilities in Truancy Court


Developmental Delay. Emotional Disturbance. Learning Disabilities. Intellectual Disabilities (Mental Retardation) Language/speech impairments. ... (Run time: 7:30) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding IDEA: Students with Disabilities in Truancy Court

Understanding IDEA Students with Disabilities
in Truancy Court
  • Glenna Billingsley, Ph.D. / Tichelle
    Bruntmyer, M. Ed. / Ellen Duchaine, Ph. D.
  • Texas State University Department of Curriculum
  • San Marcos, TX
  • gb28_at_txstate.edu, tichelle_at_txstate.edu,

Online Module How it works
  • This online module is based on the presentation
    that professors from Texas State University in
    the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    presented for the TJCTC 20 hour programs
    throughout the FY15 academic year.
  • In order to gain the entire two hours needed for
    credit, be sure to watch the videos and visit
    each link and outside source.
  • To open the hyperlink for videos, right click on
    the link and choose Open hyperlink
  • At the end, a certification form is available.
    Please download, fill out, and return to the
    email j_f117_at_txstate.edu
  • Thank you!

Session Objectives
  • Participants will
  • Be introduced to the disability categories under
    IDEA, and general requirements for students with
  • Learn the characteristics of disabilities in
    youth who may appear in your court, and hear how
    those characteristics may affect the youths
  • Gain understanding of why youth with disabilities
    may have truancy problems.
  • Learn strategies that may help youth with
  • Hear why some methods may not work well because
    of a youths disability.

History of IDEA
  • The following link will take you to a video on
    the history of the Individuals with Disabilities
    Act on Youtube from Education Portal. (327 run
  • To open the hyperlink for videos, right click on
    the link and choose Open hyperlink
  • https//www.youtube.com/watch?v3XMndYNEGFA

IDEA Disability Categories and General IDEA
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) Disability Categories
  • Autism
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Deaf-blind
  • Developmental Delay
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Intellectual Disabilities (Mental Retardation)
  • Language/speech impairments
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Other Health Impairment (includes ADHD)
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment

What are the Different Types of Learning
  • The following link will take you to a video from
    The National Center for Learning Disabilities.
    (Run time 730)
  • To open the hyperlink for videos, right click on
    the link and choose Open hyperlink
  • https//youtu.be/yG_xSBsFMPQ

IDEA Requirements
  • Zero reject
  • Schools must educate all students with
  • Schools must consider possibility of disability
    when a student exhibits behavioral or academic
  • Parent and student participation and shared
    decision making
  • Nondiscriminatory identification and evaluation
  • Evaluation conducted in childs native language,
    using multiple measures
  • Free, appropriate public education (FAPE)
  • Special education services must be individualized
    to meet each childs unique needs, at no cost to
  • Applicable until age 22, even for youth who are
    difficult to educate
  • Least restrictive environment
  • Child must be educated with children without
    disabilities to maximum extent appropriate
  • Due process safeguards
  • Educational plans and placements, discipline

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
  • A behavioral assessment, typically done by
    behavior specialists or other special
    education staff
  • Identifies problem behavior
  • Identifies when and where problem behavior is
    likely to occur
  • Leads to hypotheses about why problem behavior
  • To get something (attention, status/esteem,
    access something)
  • To avoid or escape something (certain
    persons/situations, difficult or unpleasant
  • Parents can request an FBA for their child
    struggling behaviorally
  • FBA leads to more effective intervention plans
  • Ask school if anyone has done an FBA to examine
    the function of skipping, or to develop
    interventions for skipping

Discipline Under IDEA
  • The following link will take you to a video from
    the U.S. Department of Education
  • To open the hyperlink for videos, right click on
    the link and choose Open hyperlink
  • http//idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/2Croot2Cdynami

Some youth may have a disability, but not receive
special education services under IDEA
  • No one initiates evaluation for special education
  • https//www.disabilityrightstx.org/files/Education
  • Student may be showing signs of disability and no
    one has related the problem behaviors to a
    possible disability yet
  • Parents refuse services
  • Student does not meet eligibility criteria
  • May not have educational need
  • Learning disability May not meet discrepancy
  • Emotional disturbance May be considered
    socially maladjusted
  • School/district may be using Response to
    Intervention (RtI), and student may not yet have
    completed all RtI processes

How will you know if youth has a disability and
is receiving special education or Section 504
  • Youth will have an IEP
  • Youth and/or parents or guardians will receive
    notifications/invitations to ARD meetings
    (Admission, Review, Dismissal)
  • Youth will mention services or supports such as
  • Focus / Darts / Inclusion
  • Resource / Content Mastery
  • Case Manager / Folder Teacher
  • Parents may give clues, such as she has a 504
    plan or he gets special help for math

How will you know if youth has a disability and
is receiving special education or Section 504
  • Ask parents, guardians, or youth
  • Has the school ever asked you to attend and ARD
    or 504 meeting or an RTI staffing?
  • Has the school ever asked you for permission to
    conduct a special education evaluation for your
  • Do you have a case manager at school?
  • Do you go to a room for special help with your

Why Youth With Disabilities May Have Truancy
Why do youth with disabilities have truancy
  • They leave school to avoid one or more specific
    classes, or peers and adults in those
  • They miss school because of general academic
  • They miss school because of fear of bullying from
    other students
  • They miss school because of family problems
  • They perceive that the teachers do not like them,
    that they are not there to help them, that no
    matter what they do, it wont get any better, so
    why even come to school?
  • They may be avoiding social situations that they
    do not have the skills to handle (crowded
    hallways, cafeterias, etc.)
  • They miss school because of transportation issues
    or medical issues

Truancy and Learning Disabilities
  • The following link will take you to an
    infographic on Disabilities and Missed School
    Days from the Chicago Tribune.
  • To open the hyperlink, right click on the link
    and choose Open hyperlink
  • http//media.apps.chicagotribune.com/truancy/disab

Bullying and Learning Disabilities-Affects
  • The following link will take you to an article
    from GreatSchools
  • To open the hyperlink, right click on the link
    and choose Open hyperlink
  • http//www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/understand

Characteristics Of Disabilities in Youth Who May
Appear in Your Court, And How Those
Characteristics May Affect the Youths Behavior
Which disabilities might you see?
  • Autism
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Intellectual Disability (usually IQ less than 70
    functional deficits)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Other Health Impaired (ADHD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

General social/emotional/behavioral
characteristics of persons with disabilities
  • Obvious
  • Behavior that is inappropriate for the
  • Poor decision-making
  • Poor judgment
  • Repeatedly making similar mistakes
  • Poor social skills
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Ill-kempt appearance
  • Weak language skills (vocabulary, short
    sentences, fillers)
  • Subtle
  • Impaired language (expressive and receptive)
  • Concrete, literal thinking
  • Emotional immaturity
  • Emotional libility
  • Poor self-control

  • You probably wouldnt see youth with classic
    (low-functioning) autism
  • You may see youth with Aspergers Syndrome
    (high-functioning autism)
  • Characteristics
  • Atypical voice pitch, tone, or volume
  • Poor social skills
  • Obsessive, narrow interests
  • Difficulty with interpersonal interactions (eye
    contact, physical touching)
  • Concrete, literal thinking
  • Poor emotional control
  • In dealing with these youth, understand that
  • This is a life-long disability affecting all
    aspects of life
  • Refusal to comply may not be defiance

Learning Disability
  • Difficult to detect through casual interaction
  • Characteristics
  • Variation in academic performance across classes
  • Language Difficulties, both receptive and
  • Behavioral Issues, caused by academic
  • In dealing with these youth, understand that
  • Behavioral problems may be a result of repeated
    failure and school frustration
  • Behavioral problems may be a result of not fully
    understanding expectations due to language
    processing issues

Emotional Disturbance
  • Characteristics
  • Tend to be immature
  • Poor self-control
  • Academic failure, significant academic skill
  • May have chaotic family/home situation (or not!)
  • Weak language skills that may not be immediately
  • Most have average IQ, but may have low IQ, severe
    learning disabilities, or gaps in learning due to
    ongoing behavior issues
  • In dealing with these youth, understand that
  • Need definitive plan of court expectations
  • Unlikely to possess a repertoire of acceptable
  • All adults need to maintain consistency in

Other Health Impaired (ADHD)
  • Characteristics
  • Can be easily distracted, impulsive, or both
  • Often accompanied by other disorders (ED, LD)
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Trouble planning and executing tasks
  • In dealing with these youth, understand that
  • May have difficulty attending to and/or
    remembering directions and expectations
  • May be necessary to provide organizational

Intellectual Disability
  • Characteristics
  • Below average IQ
  • Difficulty with working memory
  • Often learn at a slower rate
  • Attention deficits that impact ability to
    acquire, remember, and generalize new knowledge
  • May have difficulty with functional life skills
    (e.g., dressing, hygiene)
  • Social skill deficits
  • In dealing with these youth, understand that
  • Apparent lack of motivation could be due to
    repeated failure in the past
  • Awkward interactions/inability to communicate
    appropriately could be due to social skill
  • Cognitive deficits will significantly impair a
    youths ability to fully comprehend how their
    interactions with you will affect outcomes

Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Characteristics
  • May experience physical and sensory changes
    (uncoordinated, muscle spasms)
  • May experience cognitive impairments (short
    long-term memory deficits, language problems,
    difficulty attending)
  • May experience social. emotional, and behavioral
    changes (mood swings, self-centeredness, lack of
  • In dealing with these youth, understand that
  • Recovery from TBI is long and unpredictable
  • Many youth with TBI require comprehensive
    academic, psychological, and family counseling
  • Behavior problems can be a result of cognitive
    impairments related to the TBI
  • Youth with TBI will benefit from simple, clear
    instructions visual aides might be helpful

Approaches Not Effective For Youth With
Significant Learning/Behavioral Disabilities
These strategies may not change the youths
  • Standard package for all truant youth
  • No missed school
  • Pass all classes
  • Large fines for child/family
  • Ordering youth in special education to withdraw
    from school and enroll in GED program without
  • FAPE until age 22
  • Whether student with disability can pass the GED
  • Punitive strategies that actually reinforce
    avoidant behavior
  • Detention for multiple days because student
    skipped class
  • Sending student to DAEP or JJAEP

Ineffective strategies, continued
  • Use of law enforcement in response to a student
    with disabilitys behavioral problem
  • Encouraging school personnel to contact the court
    (or PO) anytime the student has a bad day at
  • May encourage schools to cease using behavior
    strategies and begin to rely on allowing the
    courts to take care of school problems

Strategies To Improve Outcomes For Youth With
Explain terminology, procedures, implications of
court actions
  • Explain terminology
  • Plea bargain
  • Guilty plea
  • Deferred adjudication
  • Explain childs rights in concrete terms
  • Use language appropriate for young child
  • Simple words
  • Short sentences
  • Concrete explanations and examples
  • Check for understanding from child and/or parents
  • Ask open-ended questions What will happen
    if. Tell me what this means

Refer to County Community Resource Coordination
Group (CRCG)
  • Interagency support planning
  • Can provide comprehensive services to youth and
  • Every Texas county is represented

(No Transcript)
Educate parents about requesting special
education or Section 504 evaluation
  • https//www.disabilityrightstx.org/files/Education

Suggest parents ask school personnel to
implement an accommodation for communicating
excused absences
  • WHY?
  • Students with disabilities often fail to turn in
    notes for valid, excused absences
  • Attendance clerks dont know which students may
    have disabilities
  • Allow parent / guardian to email the excused
  • Allow parent / guardian call in the excused
  • Accept excused absences after the deadline (i.e.,
    24 hours)

  • Disabilities may be present, but not obvious
  • School personnel sometimes dont know effective
    strategies for youth with highly challenging
    behaviors (tough kids)
  • These youth typically respond well to
  • high levels of structure and support
  • clear expectations
  • positive feedback about what they are doing
  • consistency
  • But individualization is important
  • YOU may be the last hope for a child!

Thank you for completing the IDEA Understanding
Child Disabilities Module
  • Please visit the webpage www.tjctc.org/idea and
    complete the certification form.
  • You may either email the form to
    j_f117_at_txstate.edu or mail it to
  • Texas Justice Court Training Center
  • 1701 Directors Blvd. Suite 530
  • Austin, TX 78744
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