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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book discusses how IDEIA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act) can be applied and the issues with which special education teachers and administrators have to contend. IDEIA 2004 followed on the heels of the "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2001, in the spirit that children with disabilities have the right to a free, public education in the least restrictive environment (LRE) with appropriate assistive services.
Purpose: It is described as the first interdisciplinary collection "to comprehensively review IDEIA 2004 and distill the changes professionals working with learning disabled students face. The book takes an overarching perspective, first discussing the IDEIA in its historical, political, and legal context, then covering practical issues professionals address on a daily basis.
Audience: The audience includes school psychologists, neuropsychologists, speech-language therapists, administrators, policy makers, and legal professionals "who navigate special education and learning disability issues on a daily basis." The editor, who holds doctorates in general psychology and in developmental psychology and genetics, has published extensively and actively conducts cross-cultural research. The contributors are from academic medical centers.
Features: The book covers the history and political issues of educating individuals with disabilities; provides an understanding of the concepts of IDEIA 2004 and practical application; and details research findings and future directions. IDEIA 2004 is based on four tenets: the need for highly qualified teachers, addressing the minority achievement gap, reporting adequate yearly progress, and the rights of students in private schools. This book discusses these tenets in length, especially response to intervention (RTI). It takes an extensive look at this law, covering both assessment and instruction, and includes helpful figures and tables. Chapter 14, on individualized education programs, is a wonderful look at the most basic foundation of these programs. The strength of this book lies in the way it walks readers through the process of understanding and applying the law, an important endeavor given that there were almost 7 million children being served under IDEIA in 2005. The only shortcoming of the book is the lack of case examples.
Assessment: This book is unusual because it discusses just this law and its implications but does it very well. It is important to identify and educate learning disabled students, not only from a legal perspective, but from an ethical/moral one as well. This will help educators and administrators do just that.