PROUD Special Needs Sibling Moment - My Brother Rocks!

 

Every now and then my brother knocks my socks off by showing me a skill I never thought he would master!

Motivation for finding his favorite football game on TV was a big enough kick in the pants for him to learn how to speak clearly to say "N-F-L" into the voice activated remote.

Anybody who knows anything about Down syndrome, knows that understanding speech patterns in persons with Down syndrome can be difficult. 

Voice activated controls are usually not an option, but HE DID IT!

Moms & Dads - Keep going. Keep pushing through, especially when others say "no way".  Your gut knows what is possible and as a special needs sibling, I can say with confidence that your other children will LOVE you even more for pushing their siblings to always go farther than others expect. 

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3 IEP Prep Steps - Before Your Next IEP Meeting

Believe it or not... Parents & Teachers & Therapists all struggle with IEP meetings. 

I know, Parents, you are thinking that you are the one that has 12 people around the table who all "know what they are doing", but I'm going to let you in on a little secret... not all teachers & teams feel confident at the IEP meeting. 

In fact, after working with both parents and teams for over 20+ years, and having been a teacher myself AND having a brother with Down syndrome... I can confidently say that nobody feels 100% sure at the IEP table. I mean the stakes are HIGH, we all have to work together to build an awesome education for an exceptional student.

The pressure is ON at these meetings and everyone knows it. So you lose sleep, get hyped up on caffeine and then fuel yourself with determination to do what's needed for an extraordinary child to LEARN. 

So what should we do?

Prioritize and Prepare - the best we can. 

So before your next IEP meeting - Do...

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Please Delete this IEP Goal

"I knew in my gut that my child shouldn't be working on coins, but I didn't know how to tell the teacher. That goal needed to be DELETED. We needed to move on to skills my child REALLY needed for his future." -Tracey, Special Needs Mom

Tracey's story of how she began to flip her child's IEP for the future started when she began to ask herself the tough questions about IEP goals. 

She started to ask herself - Does my child really need this skill to live their best life? 

And then she continued by asking - Do I even use this skill as an adult? 

Hint: If you're ever reading an IEP goal for your child (or student) and think "I don't even know why my kid is learning this, I don't use this skill to get through my day"... It's time for the goal to go away.

Tracey emailed the teacher and had an honest conversation about what her child's IEP needed to look like if it was going to work. She had a ton of talking points to work WITH the teacher, not...

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Give Yourself Permission to Give Up Perfection

Special Needs Parents & Special Education Team, 

It's time to let go of perfection and take the stress off of yourself for creating perfect days with perfect outcomes. Watch this video to find out what you can do instead of crushing yourself with pressure every day. 


Next Steps:

1. Become an IEP Coach! Learn more about how to learn to be the IEP Coach your community NEEDS! 

2. Online IEP Help for Parents - Start Here

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[Video] Ask an IEP Coach!

 
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IEP Coach Life... I love it!

advocacy coach May 11, 2018

Mentoring IEP Coaches is EXCITING! Knowing that IEPs across the country are going to be changed by people (like you) who want to dig in and work with IEP teams, while keeping the child first makes my heart full.

One of the first questions I get when someone is considering Becoming and IEP Coach is... what will I do all day?

Let me share that you will never lack for things to do. It will be up to you how busy you want to be. How many families you want to help. How many IEP coffee talks you want to host... its YOUR practice. You design your days for what works for you.

Here's a little of what works for me...

  1. I start my day with coffee... I actually didn't begin my coffee habit until my 30's, but my warm mug, my planner, and starting my day with intention is a MUST for me now!

  2. IEP Reviews - going over IEP documents parents have sent to me along with the parent telling me their top 3 concerns for their child's education. I'm reading and taking notes on how we can use their child's IEP...
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What's the Schedule?

advocacy communication iep Apr 22, 2018

Parents, Teachers and IEP Teams, It's time to ask...

What is the child's schedule?

It wasn’t until I worked on the inside of the school system, as a special education teacher, that I realized what a balancing act it was to coordinate everyone’s schedule. I had a classroom of 5 students that were my responsibility all day and each of those students had at minimum 3 different therapies each. Then add in inclusion time, recess, bathroom breaks, and the individual needs of each student and it turned into organized chaos. Every child received their minutes of services from me and their therapists, but was it done in the most effective way? Honestly, I don’t know. I hope so. I made the best effort to make sure the schedule was working, every day, but in reality… nobody ever questioned me.

A child’s schedule was barely touched on between teachers, admins & parents, in my district. However, it was an everyday concern between me and my support staff in the...

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