Special Education Resources & Definitions


Migdal Consultant is a trusted educational consultant in Frederick MD specializing in dyslexia support, special education intervention, IEP & 504 support, virtual tutoring, and more. We provide special educational consulting services in Frederick MD and tutoring virtually across the country.
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Under section 30 of the US 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a Specific Learning Disability is:

(A) In general.–The term `specific learning disability’ means a disorder in 1 or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.

(B) Disorders included.–Such term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

(C) Disorders not included.–Such term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage

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Students with disabilities have the same right to K-12 public education that students without disabilities have. In order to receive and benefit from that education, students with disabilities may need special education and/or related aids and services.. Section 504 and Title II require public schools to provide appropriate education and modifications, aids and related services free of charge to students with disabilities and their parents or guardians. The “appropriate” component means that this education must be designed to meet the individual educational needs of the student as determined through appropriate evaluation and placement procedures. However, students with disabilities must be educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate. Contact Migdal Consulting today to learn more…


According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.
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A neurologically based specific learning disability, dysgraphia can present as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting, and trouble putting thoughts on paper. It can be a language based and/or non-language based disorder. When it is language based, a student may have difficultly converting the sounds of language into written form, or knowing which alternate spelling to use for each sound. When it is non-language based, a student may have difficulty performing the controlled fine motor skills required to write. Students with dysgraphia may speak more easily and fluently than they write.
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A neurologically based specific learning disability, dyscalculia is characterized by
unusual difficulty solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts. The most common
problem is with “number sense.” This is an intuitive understanding of how numbers work and
how to compare and estimate quantities. Students may know what to do in math class, but not
understand why they are doing it because the logic behind the calculation is missing.

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Bowman Orton Gillingham “Plus”

Bowman Orton Gillingham “Plus” is a structured literacy program based on the original Orton-Gillingham approach. Traditional Orton Gillingham is a multi-sensory approach to reading that helps students connect sounds to letters.Dr Fran Bowman’s program uses aspects of Orton-Gillingham in combination with phonological awareness — the capacity to recognize and apply sounds in spoken language — and fluency training, the aptitude to read quickly and accurately.

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Paragraphology™ is the study of writing through color-coding. Paragraphology™ is a multisensory, comprehensive, scaffolded approach to writing and note-taking that can be easily utilized by children, teens, college students, and adults.

Visualizing and Verbalizing® (V/V®)

Visualizing and Verbalizing® (V/V®) program develops concept imagery—the ability to create an imagined or imaged gestalt from language—as a basis for comprehension and higher order thinking. The development of concept imagery improves reading and listening comprehension, memory, oral vocabulary, critical thinking, and writing.


Your child can receive an IEP once they become eligible for special education services. An IEP stands for Individual Education Program. The IEP is developed by the IEP Team and the case manager will oversee the IEP. Parents are an important part of the IEP Team. The IEP Team should use results from testing to create goals in all areas of need. Multiple testing data points can be provided for this process. Goals should be SMART. This means that the Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result-oriented and Time-bound. The IEP is also fluid and the IEP Team Meeting can be called at anytime to review and update the IEP. The school can use outside evaluations to help craft goals and objectives that are individualized to help your child make meaningful progress. Another important area would be progress monitoring. This is very important and your child will receive progress monitoring reports every term with their report card. Parents need to match the goals with the data to make sure they align.The IEP encompases services by a provider to work on the Goals and the IEP also has Accommodations and Supplementary Aids. In comparison, the 504 does not have Goals to progress monitors. THe 504 and the IEP can both have identifications such as Dyslexia on them.


A 504 is a federal civil rights law. It protects students from disability discrimination by public schools, and by any college, trade school, or private school that gets federal funding.

Students of all ages who have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits a major life activity. That can include reading, learning, and concentrating.

Accommodations are tools that help the child work around barriers to learning. Examples of accommodations can include extra time on tests, a copy of the teachers notes, and priority seating. Assistive technology can assist the student to help them access grade level content. The school can provide calculators, keyboards, and graphic organizers.


Extended school year (ESY) services are special education services provided when school’s not typically in session. This is often during the summer break. For some children it can also be during other extended breaks like winter vacation. How is eligibility for ESY determined? The decision about the need for ESY is individualized, and needs to be discussed each year by the child’s Individualized Education Program team (IEP). What factors must be considered? Critical Life Skills: The IEP team must decide which goals on the IEP are ‘critical life skills.’ Critical life skills are not defined in the law. They’re normally viewed as skills that are critical to the student’s overall educational progress.

Glossary Terms/Definitons

Phonological awareness: an umbrella term that encompasses both basic levels of awareness of speech sounds, such as rhyming, alliteration, the number of words in a sentence, and the syllables within words, as well as more advanced levels of awareness such as onset-rime awareness and full phonemic awareness.

Phonemes: The smallest units of speech sound that can convey a unique meaning. They consist of consonants, long and short vowels, digraphs and other sounds. Each language has its own unique set. In English there are 44 sounds

Speed/Naming Deficit: Slow reading; poor use of sight words. A sight word is a word that is instantly recognized by the reader; is not sounded out, and requires almost no effort to understand.

Fluency: The ability to smoothly articulate sounds for meaningful words and sentences.

Decoding: Interpretation of meaning from symbols, words, and sentences.

Accommodation: Changes in the method or duration of instruction or testing that allow a student to demonstrate what they really know. Accommodations can include extra time, change of location, having questions read or presented in a different media (visual, audio, tactile) and use of technology such as a lap top instead of pen and paper.  Accommodations do not lower the expectations or level of skill being tested.

Assistive Technology: Technology that supports any activity including physical movement, reading, writing, spelling and mathematics.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):  ADHD is a chronic condition relating to both the ability to focus attention and to gross motor activity. It includes a number of behavioural elements including difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity, impulsive and inattentive behavior.

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Migdal Consultant provides trusted special education consulting services in Frederick MD, surrounding areas, and virtually across the country. We specialize in dyslexia intervention, IEP support, tutoring for learning challenges and disabilities, and more. I provide a free half hour consultation to make sure that I am the resource that will help you achieve your goals. Let’s Talk About How We Can Help…

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