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Fall 1999 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Written by Don & Maureen Cahill 
Reviewed by Tricia and Calvin Luker

Reprinted with the expressed consent and approval of Exceptional Parent, a monthly magazine for parents and families of children with disabilities and special health care needs. Subscription cost is $36 per year for 12 issues; Call 1-877-372-7368. Offices at 555 Kinderkamack Rd. Oradell, N.J. 07649.

We parents of children with special needs must learn to navigate through many different service systems while raising our children. For most parents, the school system provides the greatest challenge and requires the most effort. Federal and state laws protect the educational rights of children with special needs. However, these laws are enforced through a procedural maze most parents find to be complex and unfriendly.

The Prospector and Goal Mine, by Don and Maureen Cahill, gently but effectively guides parents through the special education maze, empowering them to be strong advocates for their children's needs. Although the authors assume readers are generally familiar with an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), they breathe life and understanding into the core element - goals and objectives - of all IEPs.

The Prospector and Goal Mine come in a single, spiral bound volume written in parent-friendly language. Sample goals and objectives are divided into practical subject areas to make it easy for readers to find suggestions specific to their particular need.

The Prospector concisely describes educational "goals" and "objectives", and clarifies the distinctions between them. The authors walk the reader through how goals and objectives are developed and how they should be used to plan and measure a child's educational course.

In Goal Mine, the authors apply The Prospector's lessons in 26 educational needs areas. Over 5,000 examples show what good goals and objectives look like and give readers specific goals and objectives to use on their child's IEP. Suppose a child diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder has difficulty attending school. Goal Mine offers 51 specific goals/objectives which promote the targeted need of improved attendance.

While the special education system can overwhelm many families, The Prospector and Goal Mine's wealth of accessible information helps ease the confusion. They are a "must carry" item in every parent's or advocate's educational arsenal. We highly recommend this volume.