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:
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?)
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...
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...
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:
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!