Back to School IEP tips for Parents and Teachers to help make this the best school year ever!
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If I asked you to tell me 3 things you don't like in Special Education, I bet you could tell me immediately what's been on your mind. Especially with back to school season right around the corner (ok, it's actually here for some). You're probably even losing sleep over school schedules, support services, safety, IEP goals and so much more.
Whether you're a parent, teacher, therapist or admin, the negative in special education is super easy to find.
So let's flip things, for just a minute. Can you tell me ONE thing you love about Special Education. Yep. Just one. C'mon, you can do it. I'm serious, you can send me an email right here and I'm going to read it and smile and know that you are the exception to the rule.
You are the person who knows the solution for special education being all that we need it to be for kids isn't hiding inside of a negative Facebook group. You know that the strategies we need to create aren't built over a venting session on a group chat. And you...
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After whirlwind weekend with Master IEP Coaches flying into Chicago for our FIRST EVER LIVE Mastermind... I had to give you the chance to get in on the fun and awesomeness of working together to change special education!
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Did you receive your full IEP agenda before your last meeting?
Parents, Teachers & Therapists... did you know what to expect when you walked into your last IEP meeting?
I've sat in on over a thousand IEP meetings in the past decade and one thing I can tell you for certain, there is no "standard" IEP format for meetings.
Every school, every district, every state will run their meetings just a little bit different.
This can be intimidating or confusing to ANYONE at the IEP table!
It's time to eliminate UNNECESSARY stress at your next IEP meeting.
Ask for an IEP meeting agenda.
No matter what your role is on the IEP team, you should know what is being talked about and in what order, when you show up to the IEP table.
We can't serve children well if we aren't all aware of what is happening BEFORE we sit down at the table.
IEP Truth: There's no law that says there needs to be an agenda. There's no rule that says everyone needs to know what is happening before the meeting....
There are two F's that happen all the time in Special Education... watch the video and hear them loud and clear. (Sorry, I got a little fired up with everyone who was watching on FB when I was teaching. You might need to turn your volume down.)
Are you ready to take the two F's out of YOUR special education experience?
Say yes to one of these next steps and make it happen!
I can't wait to work with you!
Special Needs Parents & Teachers, It's time to stop drowning in IEP stress. Take these steps and FEEL better in your next IEP meeting!
We all know there are hundreds of things that seem to need to be done before the meeting. Even just thinking about it can cause sleepless nights, high anxiety at home and overwhelm that just keeps building until meeting day.
Here's how I lower stress when prepping for IEP meeting after IEP meeting after IEP meeting... some of these might seem like they are "feely", but they work!
Right after this pic, I dropped my vanilla lavender latte and just stood there looking at it splashed all over my shoes and the sidewalk.
My first thought was “ugh, I can’t believe I wasted my money”. (I’ve always been frugal.)
My second thought was “The barista told me to have an awesome Monday. Well, that’s not happening”.
My third thought was “I’m not going to let this ruin my day and start my week off wrong. I’m going back inside and I’m ordering another one.” (Pssst... this should’ve been my first thought, not third.)
I returned to the coffee shop and the barista had already seen what happened. He had my second drink almost ready by the time he asked me “did you have a little spill”.
His kindness of helping me through a little bump in my Monday turned my entire day around. Kindness is a superpower.
I thanked him several times, probably too many times. (Awkward!) I bet he still has know...
I love this pic of Berny & her mamma bear mug! She recently finished the IEP Coach mentorship and is helping special needs parents in her community. Find out how, here.
Raise your hand if you've ever felt your "mamma bear" instincts when you've been sitting at an IEP meeting!
A little secret... I know teachers and therapists feel that way too. They take the responsibility of their students seriously and often get protective during IEP discussions.
I know because I was a teacher and I am a mom. It happens in both situations. I see it everyday when I'm helping parents and schools.
When a district or a parent brings me into an IEP "situation", it's usually because many of the team members are in "mamma bear" mode.
If you find yourself stuck in an IEP conversation that seems to be going nowhere, try this:
I wish you could've heard the conversation I had last night with an Occupational Therapist who works in both the school system and a private therapy clinic.
I mean it's one thing for me to share with you my experiences as a former special education teacher and decades of special education consulting and it's a whole other level when you hear the experience from someone who is still in the trenches everyday.
First, let me just disclose... she loves her job in both locations, but she had to accept that they serve VERY different purposes.
At school, she's limited to how many minutes she provide, how she can advocate for a child, what tools she can use and what tasks she can tackle.
In her clinic she has opportunities to get creative and serve the child and family in whatever manner is needed to get results.
Now, you'd think this would make her dislike her job at the school, but it doesn't. It's just different. She told me over and over how she wished parents knew the difference of...