Special Needs

Parent groups are vitally important partners in the education of our students with special needs.  Use this page to find out more resources, contacts and information for parents of special needs students.
For any questions please contact Lior Bakshitz



The Parent Education program - "Unlock Your Child's Potential by Understanding their Learning Differences" has hosted a second parent education session. The Audubon PTSA sponsored a successful parent event last week, "Sensory Strategies for Classroom and Homework Success" presented by Jessica McMurdie, Occupational Therapist at Stepping Stones Therapy Network. 

More than 90 parents and teachers from Audubon and nearby schools attended. The event opened with meet-and-greet and a wide display of recommended books, related to the subject, for children and adults. During the meet-and-greet, attendees enjoyed coffee and homemade cakes. Participants met other families who are going through the fascinating journey of raising children with learning disabilities. They learned from experience of others and shared their own experiences. Lior Bakshitz, opened the event by presenting the program and its goals of raising awareness for the difference needs among parents and teachers.  Desiree Woodruff, spoke on behalf of the school and his care for the children with special needs.

We invited Jessica McMurdie to give us a second lecture due to high demand after the the first session. Last time, Jessica gave an hour-long lecture about Sensory Processing Disorder. This time, the lecture was more in-depth and focused on the brain functioning. The lecture was fascinating and very educational. In addition, the speaker shared some practical tips for Healthy Homework Habits.  Check out the link below to get the full Tip Sheet




Thanks to everyone who participated. We will be happy to hear from you about what topics you would like to have covered in future lectures. If you have a good health-provider which is interested to come to our school, please give him my contact details.

For more questions: Lior Bakshitz - lior.sobol@gmail.com


October is Disability Awareness Month

October is Disability Awareness Month. It is a great opportunity to educate ourselves about people we may meet with disability both at school and in the community. Each week, during October we will introduce two people with great achievement that coped with some form of disability. In addition, we attached a book list with books recommended for each class.

When we talk about the struggle of people who did not give up despite difficulties, it can motivate our children to deal with their own challenges.

Book recommendation: All Dogs Have ADHD

All Dogs Have ADHD takes an inspiring and affectionate look at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), using images and ideas from the canine world to explore a variety of traits that will be instantly recognizable to those who are familiar with ADHD.

Wrightslaw Newsletter, the special ed advocate newsletter - Click here to Subscribe
Do you have unresolved issues with your school district?  
The Arc of King County is offering a limited number of legal consultations for families with children with developmental disabilities, who have unresolved special education issues. Christy Ibrahim, Attorney and Stacy Gillett, Special Education Legal Advocate, have generously offered to provide consultation to families over the next few months. 
Because we have limited appointments, our priority will go to:
  • Children with developmental disabilities living in King County who are clients of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. 
  • Families for whom some advocacy has already been attempted yet the issue(s) remain unresolved.
  • Non-priority groups could receive an appointment if openings are available. 
If you know of families with an interest in receiving an appointment, please email or mail Cathy Murahashi  or Cathy Lacefield
Please include a brief summary about the child and family, name of school district, and as many specifics about the special education issue that you know (i.e. placement, inclusion, eligibility, services such as O.T, P.T, SLP, ESY, discipline, transition, behavior support, eligibility, evaluation). Include information about any remedies that already may have been attempted.  Tell us the child's disability or diagnosis, and any specifics about the family's situation.  This summary might include whether an interpreter may be needed, whether this is a single parent family, and if the family's resources are limited in any other way (low income, parent with disability, difficulty obtaining other needed services or resources, etc). Let us know which of the times below might work for the family. 

Resources & Links:
The ARC of King County serves children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Developmental Disabilities, including Down Syndrome, Autism, Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and other similar conditions, occur prior to the age of 18 and are expected to last for life. Find out more about the resources that are available by visiting: www.arcofkingcounty.org
 LWSD Special Needs Parent Groups


Research project: Children with Cerebral Palsy
We want to know how the physical activity of children with walking problems or cerebral palsy relates to what they do in their day to day lives.


We are looking for children who:

  • Have walking problems that started before age 2
  • Have any type of cerebral palsy or primary problem that is a developmental movement disorder
  • May have hemiplegia, diplegia, walking quadriplegia, ataxia, spastic, mixed tone, athetoid, or dyskinetic
  • Ages 2 years to less than 10 years
  • Able to do some functional walking with or without help (walkers, gait trainers)
  • Project requires a one time visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital of about 2 hours.
  • Children and/or parents will complete surveys.
  • The child will be tested for their gross motor and walking skills like a physical therapy visit.
  • The child will be given an ankle monitor to wear for 7-10 days.
  • They will return the monitor by mail with a questionnaire about what they did the last week.
  • Families will receive a print out of their child’s walking activity
  • The family will receive $40 for their time and effort
  • Families will also receive mileage for the visit to SCH.

Kristie Bjornson, PhD, PT
Ph: 206-884-2066,
Pediatrics, Developmental Medicine
Seattle Children’s Research Institute



Research Study Opportunity
The Sandbox Learning Company is looking for children with developmental disabilities ages 7-15 to participate in a study titled, Daily Living and Community Skills Video Game for Children with Developmental Disabilities. The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSSRS) National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
The purpose of the study is to create and evaluate a video game for children with developmental disabilities to learn daily living and community skills. Your child will play the video game in your home. The Principal Investigator (P.I.) will evaluate skill acquisition in the home and the community.
Requirements for inclusion:
  1. Age 7-15.
  2. An IQ in the moderate to severe range based on school records or a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from an outside physician or psychologist using DSM-IV criteria. Diagnosis of ASD also verified by the Childhood Autism Rating Scales (CARS) as administered by the P.I. or Research Consultant.
  3. Receptive understanding of 95% or greater of the vocabulary in the script based on parent report checklist. This checklist will contain all of the game content words (i.e. nouns and verbs). Parents will check off all words their child comprehends in daily routines
  4. Functional goals such as purchasing, dressing, or preparing food included in their individualized education plan (IEP).
  5. Receptively identify numbers and words included in the game for their key skills.
  6. Possess fine motor skills to complete motor movements required for the skills.
  7. Independently complete 50% or less of the task analysis steps required to complete 18 of the skills in the game based on the P.I.’s evaluation of these skills with your child.
  8. Competently uses the mouse, Touch Window, or other device to move the curser.
  9. Standard scores below 70 on the Vineland Adaptive Scales Parent or Teacher Interview Version Daily Living Section. The parent or teacher survey version will be administered.
  10. Lives in the Seattle/Tacoma area.
Child participants will receive gift certificates totaling $100 to a store of their choice, and they will have the opportunity to learn daily living and community skills. You will receive $200 per month for ensuring they play the game, contacting the P.I. to evaluate their progress, and providing feedback about the system at the end of the study.
You will be responsible for making sure your child plays the game each weekday. The study will take approximately 10 minutes per weekday for 16 weeks. The timeframe is dependent on skill acquisition so the number of weeks could vary slightly.
For more information please contact Amy Maguire, Principal Investigator (800) 704-7815 ext. 5.