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About: As a special needs sibling, certified special education teacher, and special needs parent, Catherine brings you real world strategies everyone at the IEP table can use. As an international speaker and online trainer for special needs parents and special education teams, Catherine knows what it takes to prepare students and families for the future. Get ready to be inspired and learn actionable steps you can take immediately to change your special education experience.
After 20+ years of writing IEPs with parents and teachers, I’ve learned a few things...
1. You’re never going to get every goal a child needs into the IEP.
2. A child will shutdown if you stuff their day with direct instruction hour after hour.
3. A child needs time to “be a kid” in their school day. This is often when their biggest milestones will be met.
Need help? Visit www.masterIEPcoach.com
We're wrapping up 2019 we're jumping into 2020 and for many of this, this us, this feels like a fresh start, right? But really we're right in the middle of the school year, but that doesn't mean that we can't make some really significant changes, if needed inside of a child's IEP. So I posted something on Instagram today and that's kind of taken off, like wildfire here. So I'm going to read to you exactly what I posted. It says, "stop trying to cram the IEP with every goal a child needs. Pick your priorities and leave space in a child's...
IEPs vs 504s is a hot topic in special education. I'm going to go over six points, real quick, just to give you an overview so you know what questions to ask next about supports for your child at school.
The first thing that you need to know, point number one is that there is a difference between which law is governing this document that's going to help a child with their education. So here's my disclaimer. I'm not a lawyer, I'm not practicing the law, but I am telling you where to look. So if you're going to start pursuing an IEP, you're going to be looking at IDEA law. For a 504 plan, you're looking at the section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973.
Each of these documents have accountability systems set up. It's just knowing where you need to look and who you need to talk to about the support documents. 504's get a bad reputation for not being enforceable. It's not that it's not enforceable, it's that it's enforceable in...
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.
That is just a little start to what we can do in special education. In...
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...
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.
I don't have many negative experience as a special needs sibling, but seeing my brother...
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...
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.
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...