Chapter 1Why Is Another Book on Report Writing Needed?

Jeanne Anne’s husband is a teacher. Early in their relationship, as she was spending her Saturday afternoon writing psychoeducational reports, he flippantly asked, “Why are you spending so much time on those? Nobody reads them anyway.” At the time, her frustration hindered her ability to engage in a meaningful conversation about his opinion, probably because at some level she knew he was correct. She truly had become a gatekeeper on the way to Special Education services and her report was simply a step to be completed. It had no purpose other than to sit in a file. A seed was planted, and what would become a professional journey to improve the usefulness of her reports began. Along the way she met Michael, whose journey probably began on a much less dramatic note. He was spending a lot of time and effort on his assessments, had important to things to say, and wanted people to read his reports and consider his recommendations.

This book is the result of our efforts both as practitioners to write better reports and as educators to teach others to do so as well. Our goal for our students and ourselves is to write reports that represent children and their needs in a way that is useful to the stakeholders involved with those children, especially parents and teachers. Recognizing that special education has become increasingly litigious, we also want those reports to reflect the ethical and legal demands and constraints put upon ...

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