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Special Education Teachers + Parents are Smarter than the System

 

Podcast Transcript:


Welcome everyone to the special education inner circle podcast. I'm excited to be here with you today. We're going to dig on a hot topic for both special education teachers and parents. Actually for everybody who's at the IEP table. In fact, as I was preparing for this hot topic, I opened up my Facebook and I'm scrolling through it and I see almost within the first three posts, I see a story about a man with autism who couldn't get a job. So he opened up his own coffee shop. That is exactly the type of story that we're going to be talking about today and how teachers and parents in the special education system, you are smarter than the system itself and you have to start working together to make things happen. So here's, here's the scoop. Let's just kind of step back just for a minute and talk about how special education is only 44 years old, which in some ways that is a baby.

(01:01)
That is just a little start to what we can do in special education. In...

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Medical Dx VS Educational Eligibility - It's a big deal

Video Highlights:

2:00 Minute Mark


It's important for you to know that a school does not diagnose a child with a disability. A school only has eligibility criteria when it comes to special education. Eligibility criteria, it's set by the federal law IDEA.

Remember, I'm not a lawyer, but I can teach you where to look in the law.

There are different buckets for eligibility. During an eligibility meeting for special the team goes over data that has been collected,  testing that has been done or information that has been taken in.

Next, they go through checklists and they say... everything seems to fit into this bucket.

Finally, a child gets an educational eligibility to receive special education services.

Now let's go back over here to medical diagnosis. Okay, so medical diagnosis is when you meet a set of criteria and the doctor  has a recommendation that says...  based on this label, your child should have this therapy or take this medicine or do...

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Holiday Tips for Inclusion at School

This season of celebration in school can lead to more children feeling isolated, lonely and left out.

Let's make sure that your child or students don't feel this way!

Ask yourself these questions and then get creative in planning an inclusive experience for everyone... this is the best gift you can give a child. A feeling of belonging, for exactly who they are.

Think...

  • What are your child/student's strengths? Now is not the time to try to improve weaknesses.

  • What will your child/student enjoy? Just because we might want a certain experience for a child, doesn't mean the child wants that experience.

  • Does your idea for creating an inclusive experience require more adult support? Go find it now.

  • Do you need to prep materials for the inclusive experience? Social stories? Make them now.

  • Are you tired of figuring out ideas for inclusion on your own? Join the Special Education Inner Circle here.

I don't have many negative experience as a special needs sibling, but seeing my brother...

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Seclusion Rooms + Special Education = It's Serious

 

I've received dozens of emails from parents, teachers and leaders in special education asking me about seclusion rooms and special education in the state of Illinois. (In case you don't know, Illinois is my home.)

I've tried to put together an answer that makes sense because yes, I've seen seclusion rooms that are inappropriate with my very own eyes. It's a real problem.

Whether it was a school I was working at, a client family I was helping or a school tour I was viewing as a Master IEP Coach... my stomach felt physically ill when I saw the rooms and knew they were being misused.

The reality is that it takes media and big voices to get big changes in special education and that is exactly what is happening right now in IL. 

However, I am not new to the special education system and it would be foolish for me to believe that a ban on these rooms being used inappropriately is going to stop the misuse.

Let's get serious. There's no way that every staff member is going to...

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Master IEP Coaches Answer Your Questions!

 

Need Your Special Education Questions Answered? 

Ask Here

Want to Become a Master IEP Coach? 

Start Here

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Earning Inclusion is Not Ok

 

 

(00:19)
We're going to talk today about three different things that you can do to avoid the trap of having students earn inclusion. We really do not want to approach inclusion from the standpoint of earning inclusion.  If inclusion has to be earned it really starts to give a feeling not just for the student, but for the entire student body, that inclusion is something that you earn to be with the good kids. And if you don't earn inclusion, you go to the special education room, as if that's a bad thing.

(01:26)
Now that's not the intention of the IEP team of the teachers, or the staff, or the team, but it's what the feeling is and that's really what inclusion is... Inclusion is a feeling. Now we've all felt excluded from activities, right? You as a parent, as a teacher, as an adult, you have felt excluded from a party or a community event or maybe a workshop that you're attending. You know what that feels like?

Let's really work on creating inclusive experiences on...

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Missed IEP Minutes - Now What?

 

Missed IEP Minutes is a tough situation for everyone. 

Need more help?

Join Us in the Special Education Inner Circle!

Video Highlights:

We're going to talk about what to do when you have missed IEP minutes. This is a difficult situation no matter what your role is at the IEP table. It becomes uncomfortable for the teachers, the parents, and the therapists, when it comes this hot topic of what to do when minutes are missing.

How you handle this situation is super important because we want to get to a solution as fast as possible. So as soon as you figure out what is happening in your student's or your child's day it's important we get to a solution

(01:01)
Parents, sometimes you don't realize what's not happening until it hasn't been happening for a little while. That's the case a lot of the time when it comes to missed minutes. These missed minutes can be speech therapy, occupational therapy, minutes, resource minutes, direct instruction minutes.

The first thing is that you need...

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Can I Ask for........ in Special Education?

 

Got questions for your IEP team? Whether you are a parent, teacher, therapist or admin, you need to ask!

Highlights from the Video:

  • I get a lot of questions that start with, can I ask for and then fill in the blank. So can I ask for more speech therapy? Can I ask for an inclusion specialist? Can I ask for an aide on the playground? Can I ask for a set of textbooks at home? Can I ask for an assistive technology evaluation? And those questions tell me that somebody feels stuck.

    (00:57)
  • Have you felt stuck in this whole IEP process? Now this happens for parents, but it also happens for teachers. Can I ask foran extra set of tools in my classroom? Can I ask for permission to go to this training? Can I ask for an additional training on assistive technology? 

    (01:49)
  • Yes, yes. You need to be asking. You need to be asking all the time. You don't know what's possible, if you don't ask. You have to open up those doors and start asking. Now, is there a right way to ask and...
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Finding the Right Special Education Classroom is hard!

 

 Struggling to figure out if your child or students are in the right classroom?

Take 3 minutes and find out how to use this key word phrase "Full Continuum of Placements" to take the next steps!

Don't forget to grab your free IEP Checklists at www.iepchecklists.com

Special Needs Parents & Special Education Teams... I know you have heavy decisions to make in special education. Follow your gut. Listen to your heart. You got this!

Video Notes: 

00:01 Hey Special Needs Parents and Special Education Teachers,

We're going to jump into a hot topic when it comes to making decisions in the IEP. There's this big place on the back of the document that states what a child's placement is going to be.

There should be three options listed or more that have been considered for our child and one of those options has been chosen. Now choosing the right classroom or finding the right placement for a child who has an IEP can be super tough.

I know this from being a special...

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FREE IEP CHECKLISTS

If you sit at an IEP table, this checklist is for you! Parents, teachers, therapists and support team members... you can all use this tool for your next IEP meeting!