Bullying and Students with Disabilities


Young, J., Dr. , Ne’eman, A., & Gelser, S. (2012). Bullying and students with disabilities . National Council on Disability , 1-6. Retrieved July 12, 2017.

This article was written to provide information about the prevalence of bullying specifically of students with disabilities and what can be done to reduce it. It starts by giving some background information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other special education laws that stress the legal obligation to provide inclusive education opportunities to students with disabilities. However, frequent bullying experiences students with disabilities continue to face show that schools are not always welcoming environments. The authors provide a literature review which discusses actual statistics in regards to this topic. Authors explain that there are many ways a student can qualify as a student with a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and/or under IDEA. They go on to explain how districts may be legally responsible to protect students with disabilities from bullying behaviors under IDEA’s free, appropriate public education (FAPE) and least-restrictive environment (LRE) provisions. They provide some policy recommendations to effectively address this problem.

From this article, I learned that an IEP meeting serves as a good opportunity to help students develop self-advocacy skills to use when they feel that they are being bullied or harassed. I did not realize that this was an appropriate place to discuss these things, but now I know that I can utilize the meeting to also plan for how I, as an educator, can help protect students from bullying behaviors. I also learned the importance of notifying parents of incidents of bullying and harassment as soon as possible, whether their child is the perpetrator or the victim. This might be an important tool, especially for students that have communication-related disabilities/ difficulties who might not be able to provide their families with this type of information. This resource contributed to my research because it helped me to see how bullying can contribute to a student’s self-confidence and also how self-advocacy skills can help reduce the effects of bullying for a students. Prior to finding this resource I had been ignorant and had not considered looking into bullying as part of my Content Resource Collection for this topic.




Japanese Culture and the Philosophy of Self-Advocacy


Tsuda, E. (2006). Japanese culture and the philosophy of self-advocacy: the importance of interdependence in community living. British Journal of Learning Disabilities,34(3), 151-156. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3156.2006.00413.x

In 2006 there had been an increasing amount of self-advocacy groups forming in Japan for people with learning disabilities. Although most had been dissolved by this time, institutionalization was still practiced and was proving to be a political issue. The Japanese were starting to learn that self-advocacy groups can help people learn to live in the community so that institutions were no longer necessary. Authors conclude that it is important to think about how self-advocacy ideas mesh with the traditional Japanese collectivistic culture.

One thing I learned about in this article is the existence of Inclusive Japan, which is a parents’ organization that was established in 1952 and was started by three mothers of children with learning disabilities. It has since gone on to become a nationwide association of parents and has contributed greatly to the advancement of the status of people with LDs in Japan. For example, Inclusion Japan contributed to the establishment of a social welfare policy for people with LDs. Inclusion Japan supports the Japanese self-advocacy movement by providing workshops, seminars, and textbooks to self-advocates. Another thing that I learned is that many advocacy groups in Japan focus on recreational programs as main activities rather than politics. Although this resource was produced in 2006, I still found it to be helpful to my research because it has provided me with a perspective on the history and societal view of self-advocacy for people with learning disabilities in an entirely different country.

Stop Trying to Be Normal Already

black_venetian_style_masquerade_party_mask_W-2802B__03987.1466125598.500.750Roggli, L. (2016). Stop Trying to Be Normal Already. ADDitude, 17(1), 30.

This short article comes from a magazine that is produced and distributed with the purpose of empowering individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder and their families. This particular article talks about how many times individuals with ADHD put on “masks” in order to appear more “normal.” The writer discusses the seven most popular masks and goes on to say that when an individual has been “wearing” one of them for a long time, it can be difficult to release it. It is important to let your “Authentic Self” shine, surround yourself with people who love you, and give yourself time to adjust.

One thing I learned from this article was that some people with ADD put on “The Perfectionist” mask and work hard to overcompensate for ADHD by displaying control issues. Another mask I was not aware of was “The Superhero,” and the wearer is constantly trying to win people over by doing favors for people and never asking for any help for himself/ herself. I recognize that not everybody with ADHD will fall under one of the categories listed, and may not even be wearing a “mask” at all. However, this resource helps me to understand some of the possibilities I may be facing as a teacher. It has shed light on some of the perspectives that I need to understand in order to embed confidence building in my teaching.

The IEP Process Explained

Article link: The IEP Process Explained

IEP-SHirtThe Individualized Education Program Process in Special Education. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2017, from http://www.specialeducationguide.com/pre-k-12/individualized-education-programs-iep/the-iep-process-explained


This article summarizes and explains the IEP process. It starts by giving a brief account of how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) came to be and how the purpose of the IEP process is to focus on helping the student reach his or her full potential. The article covers how to determine eligibility for services by listing the 13 categories under which a child can receive services and by explaining how children can be evaluated for eligibility. The second part of the article explains the components of the IEP, such as who attends the meeting and what goes into the document. Explanations of present levels of performance, offer of FAPE, academic and/or behavioral goals, accommodations and modifications, transition plans, signature pages and meeting notes are all provided in this section along with a brief description of what happens at the meeting. Finally, it is stressed that lines of communication between IEP team members should remain open throughout the school year, not exclusively during the IEP meeting.

I am familiar with almost all of the information in this article as I have been learning about IEPs extensively for the past year. However, I was able to refresh my memory about timelines for actions that must be taken in the IEP process, such as “An initial IEP (the first one) must be in place within 30 days of the evaluation meeting determining eligibility.” Through this article, I was also connected with several other resources that can help me advance my knowledge of the IEP process. It is important for me as a Resource Specialist to understand this process, not only because it is my job, but in order to educate my students about IEPs and how they can contribute to their own.

Celebrity Spotlight: How Michael Phelps’ ADHD Helped Him Make Olympic History

Read the article: Celebrity Spotlight: How Michael Phelps’ ADHD Helped Him Make Olympic History

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Team, T. U. (n.d.). Celebrity Spotlight: How Michael Phelps’ ADHD Helped Him Make Olympic History. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/personal-stories/famous-people/celebrity-spotlight-how-michael-phelps-adhd-helped-him-make-olympic-history

This article gives a brief outline of the life of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, and his experience with ADHD. Phelps remembers having a “bumpy” childhood during which he struggled greatly with inattention and loved being the center of attention. Humorous anecdotes were given about some of the antics Phelps would perform in order to get a reaction out of people. Around the age of 7, Phelps started swimming at a club with his sisters. Contrary to what some might assume, Phelps initially loathed swimming. Eventually, however, he found his comfort zone and by age 10, was a nationally ranked swimmer. It wasn’t until 6th grade that he was diagnosed with ADHD. In 2000, Phelps swam in his first Olympics at age 15 and has medaled at every summer Olympic event since.

One thing that I learned from this article is that in some situations and for some individuals, having ADHD can enhance performance. In Phelps’ case, swimming helped his mind “slow down” and made him feel more in control of himself than when he was sitting in a classroom. He had so much energy that he could swim for three hours every day after school, which undoubtedly helped him to quickly become a great swimmer. Another thing I learned is that aside from being the most decorated Olympian of all time, Phelps has started a foundation with the hopes that he can convert the pool into an outlet for other kids with ADHD and learning issues. This resource has provided me with an initial look into the life of a very successful young individual who has used his self-awareness to propel him to greatness.