Our Full IEP Agenda

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....

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Master IEP Coach - Private Community is Open

 
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Two F's in Special Education that Need to GO

 

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!

  1. Become a Master IEP Coach - Parents, Teachers, Therapists, Admins... you are ALL welcome here. Learn More

  2. Parents - Focus on your own child's education and get everything you need to build the best IEP from the comfort of your home. You'll get your own special education video library and 24/7 access to our private community. JOIN NOW

I can't wait to work with you!

-Catherine

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10 Ways to Emotionally Prep for an IEP Meeting

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!

  1. Get all your IEP papers in one place. Physical papers in one place. All emails organized into folders inside of your email account. You don't have to go through all of it right now, just get it together.

  2. Write your parent input statement. (Teachers, help your parents build this statement.) It builds desired outcomes BEFORE the meeting. Not sure what I'm talking about? Parents, I teach you exactly how to do this, here. Teachers, you can get the tools,...
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Mamma Bears & IEPs

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: 

  • Write down the end result that you are looking for, such as, "more inclusion time".
  • Write down 3 ways that more inclusion could be...
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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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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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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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