Should students be involved in the IEP process?

One of the families that I work with wants to know if their son, Tom should participate in the IEP process?

This question has many layers to it:  the age of the student; the topics to be discussed; the qualifying disability of the student; as well as the dynamics of the team members.  Therefore the question cannot have a simple one size fits all answer. However, the regulations require that if an Individual Transition Plan is being developed the student must be present for that part of the IEP. Continue reading

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I have a friend, Tayna, who has a six year old autistic child who is developmentally delayed and struggles with socialization and appropriate school-like behaviors.  We know that her daughter is incredibly smart but her challenges often mask her abilities.  As a friend, it is easy to see Tayna beat herself up on a regular basis because she knows what society expects of children and she wants her daughter to have a bright future and to be a contributor in one way or another. Continue reading

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Testing for Dyslexia

Are you noticing that your child is having difficulties with reading? Is your child having a difficult time sequencing numbers and letters? Is your child transposing letters and numbers? If so, you may want to consider testing for dyslexia.

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Can this IEP be saved?

Can this IEP be saved?

Mr.and Mrs. John’s daughter, Sarah, a fourth grader, is autistic with good language and academic skills.   While out in general education classes in second-grade, Sarah would often break down and cry when she felt anxious or was overwhelmed. If the classroom was too busy or noisy, Sarah would be challenged to get any of her work completed.  More often Sarah’s work was incomplete and she was unable to keep up with the pace of her class. Continue reading

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New Teacher? How’s That Going for Ya?

“Luck is the residue of design.”

September marks the end of summer and the beginning of many a new school year in districts across the country. A new teacher can make or break the school year for a special needs child. For our children, teachers are everything. They can encourage or inspire, on the one hand, or they can give off a distinctively negative vibe—often unconsciously Continue reading

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Parent Meditations: Canvas Painting

Today, is differentfrom yesterday.  The sun is out and the day is a blank canvas waiting to be filled.  We can paint the day with a picture that represents our mood and chose to change the picture any way we want.  After all, it is just paint. Right?  Don’t get stuck in any one mood today, instead use the entire canvas to paint and explore all of your moods.  Be sure to keep a balanced canvas as you navigate among the picture so that your mood remains open to change. Be flexible to enjoy your day!


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Can this IEP be Saved

IEP meetings can be stressful unto themselves.  However, there is a difference between stress where everyone is working together for the good of the student and broken stress where the team is on one side and the parents and parent advocate are on the other side separated both mentally and physically by the table. This type of meeting is never fun!
The typical root cause of broken meetings

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IEP notes are an asset!

IEP Notes: Be Sure the Team Records the Details

The American novelist Flannery O’Connor once quipped that many a best-selling novel could have been prevented by a good writing class. We certainly don’t wish for IEP notes to be prevented; however, we do hope the people writing IEP notes will make a deliberate effort to record accurate and pertinent details concerning a child’s progress—no vague writing allowed! Continue reading

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IDEA IEP Goals are Important!

As I continue to attend IEP meetings throughout this summer, I grow very concerned with case managers that are unwilling to change goals or add even new goals to the IEP in an area of identified need. Continue reading

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