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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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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Stop Playing Games in Special Education

iep special education team Apr 17, 2018

I'm sitting with my cup of coffee, on a snowy spring morning and catching up on my emails when I come across some advice that is being given to parents... and it's not sitting with me well.  It's encouraging "game playing" when advocating for your child. That's not going to work... not "these days".

I've been coaching parents, teachers, and IEP teams for over 20 years. I've worked on the "inside" as a teacher and have worn about many different hats on IEP teams from the "outside". I can tell you one thing with certainty... The Special Education "Game" has changed and old school "us vs them" strategies don't work for good long term outcomes.

Leadership is what is truly being craved by our special education teams. This includes EVERYONE on the team, parents, teachers, therapists, admins and yes... the child.

We need LEADERS on our teams who will do these 4 things:

  1. Listen - Really open up our ears and our minds to what the root of the conversations and concerns are about, without...
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