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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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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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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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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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Check Your Child's Reading Level

 

There's so much to track in an IEP!

So let's break it down and just tackle one step today.

It's time to know your child's reading level.

Watch the video, take notes and ask questions HERE in our private FB group.

I can't wait to help you feel confident that your child is leaping book to book making progress!

-Catherine

Have questions about your child's IEP, beyond just reading? ASK HERE

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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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