Ask Catherine Your IEP Question Here

Recommended Minutes of Instruction for Learning at Home for Illinois

Parents and Teachers... look at these minutes recommended by the Illinois State Board of Ed.

Give yourself grace. Kids aren’t supposed to work for 6 hours at home. Your goal is NOT to replicate school at home.

Your goal is to care for a child as a whole person first and then facilitate additional learning.

Read the whole guide here

Need Help with Special Education & Distance Learning? START HERE

Continue Reading...

Paraprofessionals & Distance Learning - Let them help!

Paraprofessionals are hungry to help! It's time to break the rules of what they are allowed to do and not to do... in other words... let them talk to parents & students directly without using the teacher as a messenger.
Office hours to keep classroom relationships are critical.
Getting snail mail in the mailbox is exciting.
Social stories to navigate chaos are necessary.
Help managing self-regulation at home is vital.
Connecting regular ed & special ed expertise is crucial.
We're all in this together. Old rules should not be holding us back. Get creative. We got this!
#specialeducation #specialneeds #weteachsped #downsyndrome #autismfamily #iep #iepmeeting #speechtherapy #occupationaltherapy #socialstory #distancelearni
Continue Reading...

Paraprofessionals are Being Underutilized in Shut Down Crisis

Schools are shut down and IEP teams are in a panic of how to help students with IEPs.

After weeks of trying to use every resource at their fingertips, it's becoming clear that there is a HUGE resource that is being underutilized.  Paraprofessionals!

Every person on the IEP team from teachers to parents to therapists can confirm that aides in the classroom are the glue that hold everything together.

Paraprofessionals take care of everything from bathroom breaks to massive meltdowns. They know how to get through the toughest days and we need them more than ever, right now.

Most of all, students need their support system and often their number one support person is their aide. 

There are dozens of ways that we can help our support team stay connected with students... here are two to get started:

1. Connect the paraprofessional to what the parent needs at home. They are already masters at making visual schedules, positive reinforcement schedules and getting creative on the...

Continue Reading...

Podcast: Change Your Definition of Appropriate IEPs

What was appropriate before may never be appropriate again in your child/student's IEP. Listen in and then join me to become a Master IEP Coach® at

Continue Reading...

Appropriate IEPs when schools are closed?

special education Mar 25, 2020

What was appropriate in an IEP yesterday is not appropriate today.

What was appropriate in a child's IEP yesterday may NEVER be appropriate again. 

Want to learn how to change special education together, FOREVER? 

Join me in the Master IEP Coach® Mentorship this summer!
Learn how to become a Master IEP Coach® here.

Continue Reading...

Special Education & School Closings, Now What?

Uncategorized Mar 25, 2020

Parents, Teachers, & Districts are all struggling to figure out what to do next for special education services & IEPs, in these uncertain times.

Join Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed for this online talk to ask your questions, get answers and see the HOPE + POSSIBILITIES of the GOOD that can happen next for your children/students.

Hot Topics Will Include - What about missed services? What about IEP meetings? What about evaluating progress?

Catherine will be LIVE at 11am on Friday, March 27th, helping you figure out what you can do now and what needs to happen next for every child to receive an appropriate education.  JOIN the FREE FB EVENT HERE.

At anytime, grab your free IEP Checklist at

Copyright, Catherine Whitcher, LLC
Media, please contact [email protected]

Continue Reading...

Podcast: BCBA Help with Behavior Expectations at Home During Crisis


BCBA Helps with Behavior Expectations at Home During COVID 19 Crisis

Special Needs Parents & Special Education Teachers, Get more help at: and

Continue Reading...

PODCAST: School is Closed: Stress Lowering Strategies for Special Needs Parents


Schools are closing left and right due to COVID 19 and the stress level of special needs parents is higher than ever.

Allison Sweatman shares 3 easy strategies you can do today to feel more in control and less chaotic as we tackle this uncertain time.

Continue Reading...

Burnout is REAL for Special Needs Parents and Teachers


People ask me all the time how after two decades of working on IEPs I can still be excited, joyful and full of hope.

It's because I refused to get burnt out by all the fighting words and actions in Special Education.

Parents & Teachers, I get why Special Education struggles are real, but if you take these 4 steps... you'll be able to work through those exhausting days knowing that there is a bright future ahead for all of our children and students.

Resources: and

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Spotify

Continue Reading...

Special Education Podcast: Measure What Matters!


Too many IEP goals can lead to chaos inside of a child's school day. Learn steps to Measure What Matters inside (and outside) of a child's school day and see more progress than ever before!

Need more help?

Book Referenced: Measure What Matters by John Doerr

Click Here, Subscribe on iTunes & Never Miss an Episode! 

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

FREE! Virtual IEP Prep Webinar

Special Needs Parents & Teachers, Get the replay sent right to your inbox so you can watch anytime!