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Life Skills or Academic Skills?

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What's the connection between waiting at the dentist and IEPs? Find out on this episode of the Special Education Inner Circle Podcast.

So there I was, stuck in the dentist's waiting room, trying to distract myself from whatever news I was going to get about a troublesome tooth and my mind started looking for the IEP lesson in this situation. So here we go... It is 100% possible to integrate life skills into an IEP without sacrificing academics.

Life is all about integration! Very rarely are we ever tackling only one task at a time. That's exactly why we need to combine our academic skills with our life skills. And if a child can't wait comfortably (like in a dentist's office), we need to address that, TOGETHER. The purpose of an IEP is to prepare your child for the future, and that means teaching them real-life skills. Like waiting. Waiting is a crucial life skill. Learning to wait comfortably is a skill at a whole new level.

Waiting isn't easy, but it's a skill we can teach. We don't have to sacrifice academics to do it, either. 

Special Education Parents and Teachers, Want to learn how to help your child or students wait comfortably? Listen to the full episode using the links above. And stay tuned to the end to hear about my epic bike fail! (Yes, my ego is still bruised.)


Episode Notes:  

  • (02:00) Waiting is a part of life, and we all need to learn how to handle it. But it's not always easy! That's why it's important to integrate waiting skills into the IEP process. And the best part? You don't have to sacrifice academics to do it! In fact, some teachers even purposely sabotage their schedules to give students practice waiting.

  • (03:53) Life doesn't go as planned, even in the classroom. Before everything gets chaotic and emotions are high, it's important to work on our ability to adapt and handle the unexpected. One way to practice this is to purposely sabotage the schedule on certain days so that we can be prepared to handle it. By integrating life skills into everyday routines, we can balance both academics and important life skills, making sure everyone is ready for whatever life throws at them!

  • (05:46) Let's get serious about technology and special education because it's time to embrace the new era! We need to integrate technology into our daily routines and academic skills, which is a great way to teach life skills. Learning new technology is a valuable skill that we need for the rest of our lives, and it can be frustrating but also fun!

  • (08:22) As technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives, it's crucial for special education to not fall behind and embrace new tools to improve accessibility and efficiency. Even if learning new technology can be frustrating at times, it's a necessary skill that will benefit both students and adults for years to come. My newest tech? I'm learning to ride an electric bike and let's just say I have some bumps and bruises to prove it!

  • (10:18) Let's stop separating life skills and academics - they go together like peanut butter and jelly! Learning how to wait comfortably, use technology, and navigate frustrations are all essential to academic success. As a parent or teacher, open up conversations about these skills to help students make progress. And hey, if you're ready to help others through the IEP process, check out becoming a Master IEP Coach® at www.masteriepcoach.com. See you next time on the Special Education Inner Circle podcast.


Links Mentioned In This Episode:


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