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Archive for the ‘PIC Outreach Parent Liaison Guest Blogs’ Category

PHP in 2011

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 57 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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First Nine Weeks Are Up. Now what?

Janet Kinstetter- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison- Moorcroft

The start of a new school year for a typical child can be stressful but for the parent of a child with a disability it can be a challenging time and often very stressful. More than likely you have had your annual IEP meeting in May to discuss the next new school year. You have discussed strategies to use to make transition easier for your child. You have prepared all you can for the upcoming school year.

The first nine weeks are now over. How is your child doing? You eagerly await your child’s progress report that you should receive as regularly as parents of children without disabilities.

You receive your child’s report, either through mail or at a P/T meeting. The report says that your child is making progress toward achieving the annual goals contained in the IEP.  This is great news. You visit with the teacher generally about your child. Does the teacher have any questions about how to work with your child? Does the teacher have any concerns? 

If you go in and find your child is not making adequate progress the IEP team may need to meet and reevaluate the appropriateness of one or more of the annual goals. The IEP must be revised to address any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals. There must be an IEP team meeting for any change to be made to the IEP (unless parent and school agree otherwise). The school would send you a notice of the IEP meeting. You would receive a Prior Written Notice of Proposed Action to be taken in regards to the IEP.

If you still have concerns regarding your child’s progress and changes have been made to the IEP give the IEP time to work.  Be in communication with the teachers on how you can help the IEP be successful for your child!

Teaching Children Respect- Just in Time for Back to School

Jennifer Petri- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison- Rock Springs and Green River, WY

Children need to feel respected and to learn to respect other people around them. This is a hard lesson to learn, and some children are more receptive to the message than others. All children are taught the basics of respect at school, but outside of school it’s our responsibility as parents. One thing is for sure: respect is something that can be taught only by example. Our children will not be respectful of other people and other people’s possessions if we do not lead them in the right direction with our own words and actions. 

Teaching respect begins very early in life.  Many children as young as one are old enough to begin to learn not to hit people, and how to softly handle animals.  They can also begin to understand that some things are not for them.  This is not a onetime lesson, but an ongoing way to learn how to live respectfully.  Instead of focusing on our children to teach them respect, we have to focus on our own behavior.  Here are some tips I find useful:

1. Respect your child’s boundaries.  This means that if they don’t want to be touched, keep your hands off.  If they don’t want to play, allow them to mellow out alone.

2. Respect your child’s decisions (within reason).  If your child does not like to play basketball, do not force them to play so you can live vicariously through their play.  Let them choose their own activities based on their personal preferences, once they are old enough.

3. Respect your child’s view of the world.  This means that you might have to slow down and smell the mud pies with them.  This is what childhood is all about.

Learning to be respectful is a lifelong process.  What are some ways you can think of to show your child respect, so they may pass it on?

Sticking to a Schedule

Tammy Wilson- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison, Green River

As a preschool teacher nothing makes me happier then starting another school year. I love routines for myself and the children. They are so important for small children; they do so much better socially and emotionally when kept to a routine. Getting up and going to bed at the same time just makes life for everyone run smoother.

For children that have disabilities such as those with Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD a routine is absolutely essential. It is so important to them to know what is coming next. Swaying from routine is rarely pleasant for small children or those with disabilities.

Sometimes even a visual time line can be helpful for children that crave structure. It can begin with a picture of a child or a picture of the child themselves eating breakfast. The next picture can be the car or the bus to represent going to school. The teacher can then have the time line up somewhere in the room with the picture representing the order in which everything that will take place during the day. The time line should always end with bed time.

There is also the issue of over scheduling children throughout the day and not having enough creative playtime to engage their imagination. I feel routine is important but that does not mean over scheduling children.

Routines and Children

Setting routines and expectations from the beginning leads to success!

This summer all routines went out the window at my house, except two:  nightly reading and going to bed by 9:00 pm.  Now that school is in session, we have to be more disciplined and get our routines in place for a successful year.  Routines are important for keeping kids on track and having structure within a family.  Here are some suggestions for school year daily routines:

  • Set out clothes the night before.  Better yet, younger elementary school children can sleep in their clothes the night before and wake up already dressed.
  • Make a checklist for each child to mark off their own responsibilities before they head out the door.  This eliminates the need to nag.
  • Designate a set time for homework. This guarantees that your child will have an appropriate amount of time to get the work done.
  • Come together as a family daily.  The school year can be hectic, but only as hectic as you make it. Carve out time with the entire family, even if it is just to eat breakfast, so that you can all connect every day

Every family can come up with their own routines that work for them.  What are some routines your families use to keep the day running smoothly?

Summer Will Be Back

 

Janet Kinstetter- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison- Moorcroft

The world is awakened. Sounds of children playing fill the air. Trips are taken. Fireworks light up the night sky. Summer is here! Summer is here for now. At some point it will fade away. It is effortless in going but thankfully easy coming as well. Summer will be back.

Published by Jolie Wicklund

Summer can be a time of “recharging” one’s batteries and doing something completely different than we do at other times of the year. Did you make a “bucket list of things to do after school was out for the summer?  If so, how many things did you do?

Some of my “bucket list” of things to do this summer was:

  • Going swimming
  • Spending time at the library
  • Spending more time with my family
  • Taking everyone on a picnic
  • Going camping with the entire family
  • Volunteering at my local church
  • Keeping in touch with family and friends who live away from me by writing letters instead of sending emails.
  • Going through family pictures and putting them in albums
  • Learning Spanish
  • Going to the movies and eating buttered popcorn!
  • Being thankful and truly appreciative of all the good things in my life
  • Going on vacation, go someplace new that you have always wanted to go.
  • Keep a journal of your summer to look back on and remember all the good times you had with family and friends.
  • Learn to water ski

Did I get everything completed on my bucket list?  No, but there’s always next summer! What were some of the things you wanted to do this summer? What were you able to get completed this summer and what are you putting on your list for next summer?  I hope you all have a great rest of the summer!

Summer Fun!

Amy Skalicky- F2F Outreach in Cheyenne

It’s August, and it seems like school just ended for the summer last week.  Where did the summer go? Perhaps the late winter-like weather delayed that summer-fun feeling. Playing outside later, flip-flops, sunscreen, Saturday night racing, mosquito bites, painted toenails, hiking, fishing, swimming, camping—soon to be replaced by school supplies, teacher meetings, assemblies, earlier bedtimes, earlier rise-and-shine times, check-ups, vaccinations, new clothes, schedules, IEP’s and homework.  

Don’t get me wrong.  My daughter enjoys school and I enjoy that part of the journey with her.  But there is a joyful freedom that comes with summertime, a freedom to enjoy the outdoors more, freedom to play more, and freedom to be who they really are.  I learn the most about Peanut when I am playing badminton with her, picking out the stars and planets on GoogleSky, or just sitting on the front steps watching her fly by with her friends on their scooters.    I am amazed, as I always am, at how much she has changed in the few short months since school ended–taller, more self-sufficient, and more aware.  Summer fun brings summer growth.

Summer is also a good time to regroup and recharge for a fresh start in August.  Many children, my daughter included, develop a before-school anxiety, and this is a good time to reassure them and plan for the successful start of the next grade.  Teachers are busy with their own preparations for school, but a quick meet-the-teacher before that first day could alleviate some apprehension and allow any special needs to be discussed before the first-day rush.  EpiPens, medications, diabetes supplies and what-you-need-to-know-about-my-child information for the school should be ready before school starts.   Starting now on a little earlier bedtime and earlier waking time can make the first day a bit easier as well.   In addition, it is a good time to set up the homework area, making sure it is stocked with needed items—pencils, crayons, laptop, paper, books, glue, and favorite snack food. 

The bathing suits, camping supplies and sandbox toys are on clearance, making way for the crayons, notebooks and locker accessories that have already invaded store shelves.  School registration information, supply lists and open house schedules once again adorn my refrigerator, and my daughter giggles that this year she and I both have homework, so we should do it together. I am then informed that I cannot go outside to play until it’s done.  Thanks, Peanut.  Glad you’ve been listening.

But I am not letting go of summer just yet.  There is plenty yet to do and time left to do it.  Perhaps it’s time for a new end-of-summer ritual.   This year my daughter has some things she wants to put into a summer scrapbook.   As for me, I am going cling to the warm sunshine, sidewalk chalk, giggling kids in my yard and muddy prints tiptoeing through my kitchen.

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