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.
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!
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?
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.
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:
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?
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:
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!
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.
For me, the past year has given me many different definitions to the answer,
“What is an advocate.” What I found to be most important is that the answer changes depending on who or what you are advocating for. However, the underlying question always remains true, that is, what is the unmet need and how can I help facilitate the solution?
Sometimes advocating for families and children involves an emotional reaction; anger, frustration, discontent, fatigue. I have found disconnecting myself from the emotion the hardest part of being an effective advocate. The counselor in me wants to do just that, counsel, however that is not our role.
I have made a list of what I believe to be the most important skills in being an advocate:
What we are really doing as advocates is demonstrating to our clients the skills they will need to be more effective the next time the encounter a problem. Remembering this is essential! When teaching by example, we are not rescuing or giving the solution.
The best teacher I every had-
That’s an easy one- the best teacher I ever had was my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Ellis. Somehow she knew that I needed a little extra nurturing that year. She invited me to spend a lot of time with her after school, we would clean off the desks, organize the bookshelves, talk about life and friends, movies and books. I had a sick sister, came from a single parent home and really needed the extra attention that Mrs. Ellis gave me.
I’m sure she was a great teacher in many other ways too. Because of the huge Wyoming quilt our class made, I canstill remember all the Wyoming counties and their county seats However, the subjects she taught and how she taught them are not what stayed with me. What stands out the most, is how she made me feel; safe, special and most of all, worthy of her time. I’m sure this experience is what led me want to be a teacher myself. Mrs. Ellis’s influence was one of the greatest gifts. I learned that every child may need a little extra scoop of attention from time to time and that sometimes the smallest kind gesture can make a world of difference.