Everyone Wants a Friend

newEveryone wants a friend and we all have different ways of making connections and developing relationships. Some people may believe that friendships happen by chance, however, what we know is that parents play a vital role in developing and building friendships. Many relationships are formed during childhood through parental arranged activities with peers.

Believe it or not supporting the creation of friendships begins in the home. Parents who take an active role in making sure that their children are involved in a variety of social activities enhance their children’s opportunity for friendship. It is healthy for parents to set up play dates and take an active role in monitoring peer interactions. In fact, research shows that those children who are encouraged to be with others from an early age, have more closer and stable relationships later in life. Continue reading

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Are your concerns being heard at IEP meetings?

bad meetingOne of the best ways to share your concerns at an IEP meeting is by communicating openly and honestly.  Write your concerns down on paper and make sure they make sense. Consider sharing your concerns prior to the IEP meeting with the case manager, so the team can begin to proactively think about how to best address them. Continue reading

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Disclaimer:  I am a teacher. I have been one for nearly 20 years.  I have had many different dealings with advocates, and my opinion is skewed as unfortunately, I have not had a positive meeting when an advocate is present.

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IEP: Special Factors page

special factorsThe IEP contains many pages and each page is interrelated. What appears on the Present Levels page is supported on specific pages throughout the IEP. For instance, any area of identified needs is supported with what is written on Special Factors. Once the IEP team completes present levels the next conversation that falls into place is the development of goals to help the student progress academically, socially and physically. If the student is going to be sixteen years of age prior to the next year’s meeting, the Individual Transition Plan is developed next followed by the Special Factors page. Continue reading

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Teenage Brain

brainImagine a bush that needs pruning.  It is growing in all sorts of directions, with branches all different lengths.  The branches have different numbers of leaves on them, and are reaching in a variety of ways.  There seems to be no order to it. Continue reading

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Understanding Your IEP Pages

bad meetingNavigating your IEP may feel taxing because of its size. The document often contains many pages because it needs to describe your student’s strengths, interests, academic areas of needs, social emotional needs, fine and gross motor needs, health, accommodations and modifications for the classroom, state and district testing accommodations and modifications, and depending on the age of your student, his/her long term goals.  Additionally, behavior support plans are written if needed and added to the IEP. Continue reading

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Adding Academics to Your Day

parents_with_children_in_carSummer is busy and it is often difficult to fit extra support for academics into one’s schedule. So it is time to think creatively and turn every family activity into a learning activity. If you are driving your children to and from activities it is easy to incorporate math and reading games. Continue reading

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Sleep Delivers Benefit

child sleepingIn addition, to keeping up with reading and mathematics this summer, it is a good idea to pay attention to your child’s sleeping patterns.  How many hours a night and the type of sleep your  child gets has a direct benefit to how long he/she is able to focus and how well he/she feels everyday while in school.  Getting a good night’s sleep is an easy activity for most that delivers amazing benefit. Some of the benefits of quality sleep are not only include the typical results like quick mind, good attitude, and the ability to sustain concentration but also a good night’s sleep is known to help with weight control, creativity, and flexibility. Continue reading

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Second guessing your IEP meeting is okay!

2 28 IEP Cover (2)Recently, I received a copy of an IEP and psychological report from a concerned parent of a second grade student.  Please note the student’s name has been removed; this scenario could refer to anyone male or female.

The IEP team had gathered for a triennial review and determined based on data that the student no longer qualified for resource services and would only continue to qualify for speech and OT services.  The parents did sign that they were in agreement and after the meeting felt that they might have made a mistake because their student gets into trouble a couple times a week and does have difficulties understanding grade level reading text. Continue reading

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Trains, Planes and Automobiles: A Meditation

trainTrains, planes and automobiles: my version of lions, tigers and bears –oh my! Some of my most challenging experiences with my special needs child were when he was young and I had to cart him along on a two-hour airplane trip or even a 15-minute bus ride. Sitting quietly and watching the landscape go by just wasn’t his cup of tea; he had to move. And when he couldn’t move, he let you and everyone else know it. Our worst trip ever started out nicely enough on a scenic train ride from Williams, Arizona, to the Grand Canyon. Patches of snow, foreign and exotic to my Southern California kid, dotted the terrain. For the first 10 minutes, his breath fogged the window. But soon he had to walk the aisles, and as he did, he swayed along with the vintage car, his smile growing larger with every banshee scream of the wheels. When we reached the canyon, a relative herded us onto a Continue reading

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