Tools to Self-Advocacy

Tools to Self-Advocacy

As kids get older and enter middle school and high school the information in their IEP are no longer left to just one or two adults. They may have 6, 8 ,15 adults at school that SHOULD know the ins and outs of their IEP but probably do not. So here are a few tips to help with self advocacy.

Continue reading
CELEBRATE Discomfort

CELEBRATE Discomfort

Embracing a growth mindset through discomfort can be challenging, but it is an important part of your child's personal development.

Continue reading
New Year, New Look at the IEP

New Year, New Look at the IEP

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal document that outlines the specific educational and related services that a student with a disability receives. It is individualized to meet the child's specific and unique needs so they can make meaningful progress in school. It should also be greeted with the future in mind; what will they do after high school? What will their living situation be? Will they be employable.? Will they be able to live independently?

Continue reading
Tips for including the general education teacher in the IEP discussion

Tips for including the general education teacher in the IEP discussion

When the IEP came, and I was blown away. This mother was a genius. She had been data collecting, quote gathering, and priming me for what was to come. She had made me a member of HER team without my realizing it.

Continue reading
Best Gift for a Dyslexic

Best Gift for a Dyslexic

Okay, this might sound cheesy, but the best "gift" I ever gave my dyslexic child was access to Learning Ally. No, I do not get a kickback from Learning Ally, but I believe in what they offer and what they are doing for children with reading disabilities. Here are some of the bonuses I have seen regarding access to audiobooks. My child can build background knowledge on topics being learned in content classes using material that are above his reading level. For example, my child's history class was learning about the Jamestown settlement this year. I knew this would bore Eli unless he could connect to the content. He listened to the book Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone to create a connection to the history. When it came time to do a project on the Jamestown settlement, Eli had a fantastic knowledge of the events that occurred there and created an impressive journal entry from a child's perspective in Jamestown.  Access to audiobooks allows my child to "ear read" (a phrase coined by Ben Foss in The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan) books his classmates are reading. Eli loves to read books about video games, Pokémon, and mysteries. But he often cannot access the books by "eye reading." But, being able to "ear read" books allows him to participate in conversations with his peers.  Vocabulay A boatload of data suggests that listening to books exposes children to the same amount of vocabulary growth as reading does. Listening to books is just a different way to access and grow knowledge.  Love of reading We all want our children to love reading. But when reading is EXHAUSTING, it is hard to develop that love. As a dyslexic, I do not love to read. However, I do LOVE to learn. You will always find an educational podcast or historical fiction audiobook queued up on my phone. We can instill a love for knowledge and reading through access to audiobooks. The best part of this gift is it, or something like it, can be free through your child's IEP. My son has access to L

Continue reading
But I have a Diagnosis!!!

But I have a Diagnosis!!!

“My child has been diagnosed, but the school said that doesn’t matter.” This statement is one of the most common frustrations I hear from parents

Continue reading
Winter Party Mania

Winter Party Mania

Most students love a good class party, but that excitement can aggravate the students with sensory needs. As a teacher, I tried hard to accommodate sensory sensitive students, even in non-party times. Although I do not love a noisy classroom, I know that that noise often means they are LEARNING. But, some students simply don't do well in that collaborative commotion. So, I paired with another nearby teacher to have a desk in the back of her room so when a child needed a break, there was a safe place to go, and I did the same for her.

Continue reading
My Kid Can't Go to the School Dance ... Can He?

My Kid Can't Go to the School Dance ... Can He?

"In providing or arranging for the provision of nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, including meals, recess periods, and the services and activities set forth in § 300.107, each public agency1 must ensure that each child with a disability participates with nondisabled children in those extracurricular services and activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the need of that child. The public agency must ensure that each child with a disability has the supplementary aids and services2 determined by the child's IEP Team to be appropriate and necessary for the child to participate in nonacademic settings." 34 C.F.R. § 300.117.

Continue reading
The 5 Year Vision

The 5 Year Vision

Creating a vision for your child will help determine the direction of the IEP and educatinal path.

Continue reading