My pick for the best website resource for information about special education and public schools is Wrightslaw.com!

Founders of Wrightslaw: Pete and Pam Wright

Pete Wright as a child Pete struggled with his own learning disabilities, which include dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD. Due to his own difficult educational experiences he was determined to help children.

Pete Wright became an attorney and represents children with special educational needs. In October 1993, he successfully represented Shannon Carter before the United States Supreme Court.

Pam Wright is a psychotherapist who has worked with families since the 1970’s. Her training and experience in clinical psychology and clinical social work. Pam has written extensively about raising, educating and advocating for children with disabilities.

The Wrightslaw.com website was started in 1998 and has become an extensive internet resource including articles, legal decisions, and news items on a wide range of education, special education and legal topics.

At Wrightslaw, the mission statement is
to provide parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys with accurate, up-to-date information about special education law and advocacy so they can be effective catalysts.

Just a Few of the Features and services offered at Wrightslaw.com include:

A New addition to the Wrightslaw is a blog: The Wrightslaw Way to Special Education Law and Advocacy

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A Family Experience

Here is another YouTube Video which really is a picture into some of the issues families experience while helping children grow up.

I also found two more segments for the Invisible FASD post I apparently overlooked!

FASD A Family Experience:


U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. ED's 4,200 employees and $68.6 billion budget are dedicated to:

  • Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.

  • Collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research.

  • Focusing national attention on key educational issues.

  • Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

This website is very handy and offers special links for:

This site also includes State Contacts and Information where you can find your state department of education, state contacts and organizations, ED press releases for your state, and other state information.

No Child Left Behind, but don't wait too long!

It's that time of the year again! Where children start school, teachers see little problems, parents wonder about little problems and everyone waits to see how things will go?

If your child has any special needs or learning issues that are concerning at all waiting to see how things go could just mean your child doesn't receive special services until Next Year.

We all want to hope our children can shake off the summer and do well in school. The truth is that without all the Red-Tape, hoops and mandates what could be a simple delay or mild disability today won't matter until the "Paper" with the order to "CARE" is written, witnessed and documented by all parties involved.

School isn't like it was when we were children. Heck, it isn't even like it was when my older children were in grade school during the 1990's. Due to the fact that mandates have been made, funding connected and jobs for administrators created the only way a Teacher can CARE about a students needs is to have a Legal Document.

Without that special paper waiting to see how a child does is like expecting one pig to wait for another. If there is Any Question in your mind right now about a child who may need some special education services then NOW is the time to request the evaluations... In Writing.

It's time to request an evaluation for an Individual Education Plan if your child is at any risk of needing special education services. Stay tuned to the Adoptive Parents Network for new resources and information about Education this week!

Invisible FASD

The Invisible Children and Families of FASD

This is a great series of videos on YouTube

Part 1: Discover, Denial, and Dedication

Part 2: Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder including:

  • Behvaiors

  • Disability

  • Spectrum

  • Facial Features

Part 3: Invisible and misunderstood by:

  • Doctors

  • Schools

  • County Mental Health

  • Social Workers

  • Society

With visible costs to:

  • Society

  • Schools

  • Criminal

  • Mental Health and

  • Justice systems

Foster and Adoptive parents may actually be told, "you should give the child back" but, many of us just don't give up....

Part 4: If Only the Schools would Understand...

Part 5: The System of Services...

Part 6: Getting Help


Trying Differently Rather Than Harder By Diane Malbin, MSW was the piece of information we needed in order to recognize our daughter's true issues and understand that trying harder wasn't going to be what would make the difference.

I originally received a copy of the booklet Trying Differently Rather Than Harder from the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center. I overlooked the nice little booklet for sometime as we faced our daughter's issue believing it was all about Reactive Attachment Disorder -- RAD. When I did open it and read it--everything fell right into place and we started new journey--trying differently rather than harder.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Consultation, Education and Training Services, Inc.-- FASCETS.org

Provides An Alternative Paradigm for Understanding Behaviors

FASCETS offers Services Designed to:

  • Increase understanding

  • build on strengths

  • Expand options for developing effective parenting and professional techniques

  • Enhance existing programs and support the development of new programs.

With the short term goals include:

  • Increased effectiveness

  • Reduced frustration

  • And attainment of improved outcomes, including burnout prevention in professionals.

With the long term goal of FASCETS work to contribute to the prevention of FASD.

FASCETS supports the development of a family-centered, community-based, multidisciplinary continuum of care. This collaborative design has been found to be effective in enhancing communication among parents and professionals for their mutual benefit.

Two of my favorite links on the FASCETS.org website are:

FASD Resources added to APN Resource Network Links List

Several of my favorite Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome -- FAS resource and information websites have been added to our Resource Links.

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the lead Federal agency addressing substance abuse and mental health services. SAMHSA's mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness. SAMHSA was established as a services agency in 1992, though its predecessors have existed within the Public Health Service since 1930.

    The SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence was launched in 2001. Congress authorized the Center in Section 519D of the Children's Health Act of 2000, which included six mandates (Section b of 42 USC 290bb-25d or Public Law 106-310). The mandates focus on exploring innovative service delivery strategies, developing comprehensive systems of care for FASD prevention and treatment, training service system staff, families, and individuals with an FASD, and preventing alcohol use among women of childbearing age.

  • FASSTAR.com FASSTAR ENTERPRISES. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Support, Training, Advocacy, and Resources.

    Teresa and her son John offer a unique workshop experience tailored to meet your needs. Training is available on all aspects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, including community awareness, prevention, and intervention. Kellerman has designed presentations for a wide array of audiences, including parents, teachers, counselors, medical professionals, child protective services professionals, early intervention specialists, court system personnel, mental health workers, law enforcement personnel, therapists, and treatment providers. Teresa has a unique workshop designed for teens and adults with FASD and their mentors/caregivers to help maximize success in life.

  • FAS Community Resource Center For a ton of Information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Serving the World Supported by Fasstar Enterprises www.fasstar.com

  • Fasaholics Anonymous! This is a place for those pitiful people who are addicted
    to alcohol affected children and/or FAS mail lists. I just love this site and visit often for comic relief most often and a good cry other times!

If you have any other great resources to add to the APN Resource Network be sure to add them to our List of Links!

Internataional FASD Awareness Day -- September 9

September 9, 2008 marks the 10th annual International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD, Awareness Day established in order to increase the awareness and importance of FASD as a public health issue.

Two primary goals of the International FASD Awareness Day are:

  • To education and remind the public, about how to prevent the birth of children prenatally exposed to alcohol and decrease the incidence of FASD.

  • To improve the quality of life among individuals and families who have been effected by FASD.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day is observed around the world as a global issues as the affects are felt by families and society in many countries around the world.

September 9 at 9:09 a.m. many groups and communities around the world host events at this moment -- The 9th minute of the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month of the year, in order to remind women not to drink during the 9 months of pregnancy.

The Facts about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD:

During the Month of September the focus of the APN Resource Center will be Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD information, websites and links. Please be sure to add your links to our Resource Directory.

APN Amazon Resources

The Adoptive Parents Network Amazon Resources not only features a variety of stores and tools for busy parents but, also includes spcifically selected books and merchansise for adoptive, foster and special needs parents.

Using and Adoptive Parents Network Amazon store is simple for anyone with an Amazon Account to use. At APN visitors can search, order and pay for anything Amazon has to sell!

In this time of hectic family times and high gas prices internet ordering is one way to cut some costs from the family budget. Amazon is a reliable and convenient tool for busy families and offers some amazing sales and incentives.

Look for our Amazon Search box on the pages of the Adoptive Parents Network website and blogs. Anything your might be looking for is as simple as a quick search and accessing or registering for your own Amazon Account.

APN Stores feature several categories of books covering a variety of issues. And, you can look forward to several new Stores which will be added as a part of the Adoptive Parents Network in the future!

The Goal is to make life simple where we can, save money and time. By shopping on the APN Amazon store links you also help support the Adoptive Parents Network website, forums and blogs. If you are planning to purchase anything from Amazon.com be sure to come to the Adoptive Parents Network and go to Amazon from one of our links!

Do you have a store of your own, or a small business? Be sure to let everyone know about it and leave a comment here! The more you connect the better your bottom line may be as well!

Related Links: