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OT, PT & Speech are NOT the same at school

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...

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Face It to Fix It in Special Education!

Why can't Special Education be easier?!?!

I hear it at every one of my workshops from both parents and teachers. 

The truth is that most of the time Special Education struggles become 10x more intense because nobody wants to talk about the tough issues.

I mean, what teacher really wants to tell a parent that their classroom is not the right fit? (Parents... did you know that teachers often feel like their risking their job if they tell you this?)

What parent wants to go to a speech therapist and say "hey, I don't see any progress"? (Therapists, seriously, parents don't like complaining to you, promise.)

No matter what "side of the table" you are sitting on, issues are brewing. Concerns are growing. Tension is rising.

ACTION STEP: Take a moment this week (today!) and open up the conversation inside of your IEP team about ONE issue that has been keeping you up at night.

You don't have to tackle every issue, in every conversation.

Parents - maybe you need to finally...

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Special Needs Moms ONLY

Dear Special Needs Moms,

You've been to the support groups and you've researched for hours upon hours on how to make things better for your family.

You sit in the room, listening to other moms, the expert doctor or the IEP team and you think "there has to be more".

You go home to your family and there's still a little piece of you thinking "nobody gets us".

Until now... WE GET YOU!

You are EXTRAORDINARY!

You refuse to settle for yourself and your family, no matter how many labels or limitations others try to put on you.

You are determined to not live less fully just because you're a special needs family.

You just found your people, here, in the EXTRAORDINARY Moms Mastermind.

You don't have be isolated. You don't have to be broke. You don't have to miss out on building the life you've been dreaming of, but have been almost too afraid to share.

I grew up as a special needs sibling and became a special needs mom. I've broken the boundaries of "average" and built a life that makes...

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Kindness Bingo - FREE Download!

free specialeducation Feb 12, 2019

Chances are either Valentine's day is a huge deal for you and your family or you really don't care. It's ok either way. No judgement here!

No matter what your feeling are about the day, it's always fun to find new ways to connect with your kids (and students)... this week is the perfect chance to play Kindness Bingo! 

I've attached a PDF (Download now)
or you can screen shot this pic and play on your phone. 



Finish all the tasks with your kids and then TREAT YOURSELF to something special to celebrate.

Remember, kindness isn't just about doing for others, it's also about taking care of yourself. You'll see acts of kindness for both yourself and others... YOU are important!

Have fun!

With Love, Hope & Determination Always,

Catherine 

Founder of the Become an IEP Coach MentorshipOnline IEP Help Center & EXTRAORDINARY Moms Mastermind


P.S. If you jumped to the bottom for the good stuff. The EXTRAORDINARY Moms Mastermind is 60% OFF for...

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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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FREE IEP CHECKLISTS

If you sit at an IEP table, this checklist is for you! Parents, teachers, therapists and support team members... you can all use this tool for your next IEP meeting!