Pressured Parenting, Stressed Out Special Needs Families

 

Special Needs Parenting can be tough!
We get it!
 
Follow the links below to connect with Catherine, Lisa & Courtney:
 
Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed 
 
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DANGEROUS IEP Goals - Well Kind Of

 

Dangerous situations haunt special needs parents, but is there something we can do in the IEP to help?

YES!

Sign up here for the free IEP Goal Writing Webinar and find out how!

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Is This YOUR Special Education Journey?

 

This is it. The LAST week to sign up to be an IEP Coach for the January Mentorship. Before you scroll on by this email and think this isn't you... Wait! You have to see who is already IN the IEP Coach Mentorship... 

"Hi everyone!  I am the mom of 4! My oldest has ADHD, ASD and anxiety. Last fall we went through a horribly traumatic experience with our school district. I felt lucky because I had a family member to walk me through the process and I have a back ground in special education, but what do other parents do? So here I am, becoming an IEP COACH! I’ve been helping other parents for about a year now just based on what I have learned on my own. I’m excited to take it to the next step!"

"HI! I have two of the best kids! My youngest has Down syndrome. I have been fighting the system for most of the 15 years wanting the best education for my daughter. Don’t we all? I was so happy when I came across Catherine’s...

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3 Years of IEP Struggles, then BAM! PROGRESS!

 

Heather's son, Elijah, struggled for 3 years to make progress on his IEP goals. 

She knew something needed to change.

She took the leap and decided to Become an IEP Coach for her family and for her community.

You have to watch this video to see what has happened!

Now it's YOUR TURN to BECOME AN IEP COACH!

Enrollment is CLOSING - Sign Up Here

See you in the mentorship!

-Catherine

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IEPs and special education as we know it, needs to go...

 

There's a common theme happening in Special Education and it's nothing new, but it needs to change. 

Listen to the video and then choose which one is right for you...

  1. Become an IEP Coach Mentorship
  2. Online IEP Help Center for Parents
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5 Ways to Get More (Nicely) in Special Education

Special Education can get sticky for everyone involved. Teachers, parents, therapists, and admins all struggle at some point to navigate and negotiate their way through rules and regulations that don't always make sense.

However, sometimes it's not the system that is stopping us from moving forward with what is better for a child. It's us, getting in our own way because we've been burned before or we think we've tried everything.

The next time you're feeling frustrated (or better yet, before you get to that point)... make sure you've tried these 5 strategies:

  1. Make Eye Contact - Don't just rely on notes and emails to make sure the team is understanding what you are trying to communicate. Whether you're part of the school team or you're a parent, we know everything has to be in writing, but face to face contact is critical for working together as a team.

  2. Know the Rules - Don't assume something can or can't be done. Always look for policies in writing and ask for them when necessary....
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BELIEVE in Special Education

I have to show you what came in the mail this week. It MIGHT have made me tear up just a bit.

The pic above is Matt. He is the son of rockstar, special needs mom, Lisa and he has Autism. 

Both Matt and Lisa work their patooties off every day (just like you) to conquer new skills that are not just "good in the classroom", but have meaning in the real world.

When Lisa started working with me in the IEP Help Center, she was having what I call a "normal special education experience". Some days were good. Some days were not so good. Overall it always seemed like a battle or a struggle. Nobody seemed to "get it" when it came to what Matt really needed.

Then it happened - Lisa, was able to get the vision of what special education really could be and got the tools she needed to get everyone on the same page. 

Special Education for Matt became a true system to support him in skills he needs not only for today, but for tomorrow.

Anybody who is in any of...

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My Child was LEFT OUT of the holiday program at school

 

It's that time of year again! Too many parents are going to be posting on FB how their child was NOT included in the holiday celebrations at school this year.

Many parents will not even post about it. They will keep it to themselves and push down the feelings of being excluded.

Here's the real deal - 99.99999% of the time, this does not happen on purpose.

Teachers and special education teams are working hard just to hold it together through the chaos of December in school and organizing the supports needed for ALL students to participate in holiday celebrations gets forgotten.

This doesn't mean it's right. It's just the reality.

Good thing there's an easy solution!

Start the conversation, TODAY, with your child's team on how your child can be part of the school community through holiday celebrations.

Make sure the team knows you aren't asking for your child to be plopped on the end of the choir riser to pretend to sing jingle bells. Let them know you are open to creative solutions...

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Special Needs Moms - Do They Even Know You?

Uncategorized Dec 09, 2018

Hey Special Needs Moms,

It's Self Care Sunday, again, and we're going to get real about something that happens to ALL of us as moms who have EXTRAORDINARY responsibilities. 

We forget who we are.

We can't remember what we used to like or even more likely, what we used to like doesn't make us smile anymore.

Our priorities have changed.

It feels lonely, like nobody really "gets us" or understands who we are.

The real question is - do we know who we are?

Do you know what makes you smile, laugh, feel JOY?

You know when I'm talking about self care, I'm not talking about spa days and 3 hour coffee dates with your BFF. 

I'm getting real with you about stuff you CAN do, without a struggle. These are things you NEED to do to keep your sanity in your every day struggles.

So this week:

Find something this week that will make you smile. Something different than what is in your daily routine. Buy a new book. Try a new latte. Grab some fancy colored gel pens and a new journal. Make...

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Don't Blink - It goes so fast

 

O.M.Goodness! This video!!! I'm asked all the time how I still have overflowing passion and joy when it comes to special education and IEPs after 20+ years... little Sara saying "Thank you, Catherine" explains it all.

Meet Gracjana... Sara's mom. Her daughter is transitioning from Pre-K to Kindergarten, which we all know means there's a bit more stress involved than just an annual IEP meeting.

Hours of prep work, 4 programs visited, binders full of notes and plans. 

The team expected the meeting to last more than 90 minutes. It didn't. In fact, we were done in one hour. In just 60 minutes we worked with the team to change two proposed IEP goals, get a plan in place for transitioning smoothly to the new school, modifications made to seating in the "bigger" school and even talked about (and agreed upon) how inclusion is going to work.

Gracjana is not only a rockstar special needs mom, but she has also completed the IEP Coach Mentorship. She is diving deep into special education...

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