Updated Wednesday, March 1, 2017 What is an IEP? Individual Education Plans (IEP) identify children’s learning needs, prioritize them and set goals to meet those needs. For example, if social skills are a problem for a child, part of her IEP should include specific goals to improve those skills. If a child has difficulty with handwriting, his IEP should include steps to improve his handwriting and/or to teach him touch-typing. An IEP results from a collaborative effort between teachers, school administrators, medical and psychological professionals, parents, students and others. A school administrator or teacher setting goals for a student without this collaborative effort is not an IEP. Parents’ contributions are […]
Updated Thursday, July 7, 2016 As special needs parents, we have a lot of responsibilities. One of these is advocating for our children with special needs. Although medical providers explain our children’s disabilities at the time of their diagnoses, much of this information is lost as we adjust to this new situation. It is important however, for us parents to become experts on our children’s disabilities and special needs because we are responsible for managing our children’s conditions and helping them reach their potential. Here are three reasons parents should become experts on their children’s condition.
Updated Thursday, February 25, 2016 Getting educational and medical services for your children with special needs is usually a struggle. Lack of money, staff and other resources are reasons given for not providing proper supports. When your child needs services, you present your child’s case to school or medical administrators who receive many other requests for limited resources. So, how do you make your request stand out? Make it personal. When advocating for your special needs child, tell her story! The people making decisions about our children are just people. When you need a service or support for your child, your request should touch the emotions of that administrator. You want the decision maker to form a mental picture […]
Updated Sunday, August 2, 2015 1. Take Care of You Microsoft Even if you think your child has autism, hearing the diagnosis from a medical professional is upsetting. I strongly suspected my child had autism, but was sad and upset when the psychiatrist told me the formal diagnosis. My love for my son didn’t change, but I worried about the struggles he would face. Parents go through a range of thoughts and emotions including: Denial Relief Helplessness Worry Overwhelmed Grief Although it is important to get your child into treatment early, take time to process your own emotions. Being sad or upset does not mean you do not love your […]
Updated Tuesday, November 10, 2015Special needs parents need a good working relationship with their children’s teachers and other school staff. You and your children’s teachers have the same goal, helping your children reach their potential. Even if you do not agree on every issue, it is in your children’s best interests to work as partners. Here are some tips to help you develop that relationship. Do research to get information on the school from other parents and people in your community Do research at the start of this relationship so you understand how things work at the school. Parents should: Find out who the decision makers are. Get copies of policies which […]
Updated Monday, August 3, 2015 Intel Free Press on Flickr As a special needs parent, I try to learn as much as I can about special needs and special education so I can help my son. Yet, like other parents, it is difficult to find time to do this research. I recently rediscovered the world of online education and found some classes that will help parents of children with special needs and disabilities understand their children’s needs and ways to help them. These online courses are great because they are: They are free. You study at your own pace. The course is available when you are You do as much […]