I'm was in the store looking at how this situation was about to unfold, a mother yelling at her two little ones, of which one had special needs. I looked around assessing the situation on how she was going to manage their next level of development. The people in the store became anxious with concern of advice on the best way to handle her children. Rather than assuming that she is a bad mother....We can choose to assume she is a mother at her wits end, stressed out mentally and financially and that her actions in the store are not representative of her overall disposition--not functioning on the default settings means giving strangers even those that you find irritating in the moment, the benefit of the doubt. See I once was that mother at wits end who had an uncontrollable runner and parenting advice in the heat of that moment was not always appreciated when my parenting shoes was truly different from theirs. Change your assumption....
The time is now to put our nose to the grinding stone to refresh ourselves or better understand the IEP (Individualized Education Program) for our student in school.
First, what is an IEP- as it refer to our son/daughter with abilities that may be referred to as different, special or disable in the eyes of our world. The IEP is an extremely important document in the educational lives of our children who receive or wish to receive special education under IDEA ( Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
The IEP document has 2 general purposes: 1) To set reasonable learning goals for your child. 2) To state the services that the school district will provide for your child.
As parents we want the best educational environment for learning for children. In order for us to get optimal learning we are required to do our homework on the special education process and get involved. You can write a referral to the school to address your concerns.
After the team determines eligibility for special education services, through an evaluation, class participation, class work, and social interaction. If eligibility has been determined for special education services an IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days from the eligibility determination date. NOTE: Not the referral date but the actual eligibility determination date.
The IEP must be developed at the IEP meeting, through it is acceptable for the school system to come to the meeting with an IEP ("DRAFT") Your participation is vital in the development of the final IEP to insure all your child needs are meet.
Now, "GET ORGANIZE"for your "learning" environment. Purchase an accordion file folder from an office supply store for all the school information. This is your "learning" time too!!! Get your TOOLS ready
You have been entrusted to raise special people. So, this year plan is to be organize, empowered and productive at all meetings concerning your child.
Until next time-
Family Alliance Network (FAN)
As the summer season is winding down we must set our sight on our children going back to school. We as parents with children with special needs must gear ourselves with IEP-(Individual Education Plan) process, review last year's plan and try to remember what in the world all those acronyms mean again. Not to fear, now that my son has graduated and moving on to his post-secondary education. I feel I have gain knowledge for my PhD in IEP learning ;-). I'll dust the cobwebs off to share tips of information to start the school year off.
Let's get start with acronyms and words to know:
FAPE- Free Appropriate Public Education
IEP- Individualized Education "Program"-some people do refer to it also as a "PLAN" -don't get confuse it still means to set reasonable learning goals for your child. And to state the services that the school district will provide for your child.
IDEA-Individuals with Disabilities Education
ISD- Intermediate School District
LEA- Local Educational Agency
MARSE- Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education
MCL- Michigan Compiled Law
The MCL mandates that special education services are provided from birth through age 25. Federal funding for special education is only for children and youth ages 3 through 21. Therefore, programs and services paid for by IDEA Part B funds only serve children and youth ages 3 through 21. Also, data used for federal reporting only concerns children and youth ages 3 through 21. The state and districts must use state and local funds to provide special education programs and services to eligible children from birth through age 2 and youth ages 22 through 25, as mandated by the MCL
MDE- Michigan Department of Education
MET- Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team
OSE-EIS - Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services
REED- Review of Existing Evaluation Data
SEA- State Educational Agency
SEAC -Special Education Advisory Committee
A request that a child, suspected to have a disability, be evaluated to determine:
1) if a child is a child with a disability
2) if a child is eligible for special education programs and or services
Mediation is a collaborative means of resolving disputes. When parents, educators or service providers disagree over a special education or early intervention matter, they can try to find a solution together with help from a neutral third party.
Fortunately, I never had to go through this process......
This is part one of "Get Ready Here come an "IEP"- Involved Empowered Parent"
Knowledge is powerful and our children need us to be a well running machine to deal with the ups and downs of their education journey.
My parents told me about Mr. Common Sense early in my life and told me I would do well to call on him when making decisions. It seems he was always around in my early years but less and less as time passed by. Today I read his obituary. Please join me in a moment of silence in remembrance, for Common Sense had served us all so well for so many generations.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Aspirin, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm a Victim..
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
Today, on Father's Day, I want to honor dads who too often get overlooked for their daily efforts regarding their challenged children.
As a single parent of a young man with challenges I especially appreciate all the engaged dads who take quality time to embrace their assignment. The job of parenting is not effortless, to say the least, but dads who go that extra mile I say bravo to you. This is what it comes down to for these special dads. Sacrifice. Commitment. Selflessness. Love. Attention. Affection.
Any guy can be a father. Any father can be a dad if he truly wants to be. But it takes extraordinary efforts to be a dad for a child who may forever be a child. What better day than today to honor these men.
If you know a dad who also fits this unique profile, give them a call, send them a text, knock on their door and let them know. Yeah, they might first get embarrassed, but at the end of the day – every day – they need to know they are valued, appreciated and, today, publicly recognized.
It may just be their favorite Father's Day gift in a long time.
Enjoy your day dads
Words of thanks from your unspoken children:
Some days you probably wonder if what you're doing even matters. Your work is never done...you're always exhausted... and there's no big financial reward. Mom, we live in the age where we diminish service and exalt glitz..sometimes it's hard to value your investment in me with all the things you do. In my eyes you have always face our tomorrows with a smile. Many mothers have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all.
Mom your role isn't defined by a paycheck or a promotion, you're vitally important to me.
Nobody can take your place in my heart. You are appreciated on this Mother's day and everyday.
Love your child
This is a day that the world acknowledge and value mothers with great accolades. A time to rejoice in the recognition of all mothers for their 7 days a week 24 hours a day commitment to their children.
I salute mothers who raised, nurtured and stayed on their knees for their children with special needs. As you encourage the world to walk in your shoes with respect and esteem. You have suffered with sorrow, laughed with joy and glowed with many triumphs.
You have mastered your child's diagnoses from networking with others who have traveled similar paths and researched to equip yourself with tools of understanding. You have gone days without combing your hair or taking a shower to only sit once again in the hospital after another emergency raised its ugly head.
You learned a new language from the IEP (Individual Education Plan) process. You have fought with the school system to provide services. You sat quietly in meeting as teachers and therapist shared your child's abilities - strength and weakness. You internalize what was shared, weakness - you see abilities, potential and promise.
You cried behind closed doors, laughed at the smallest victory, gave strength to your son/daughter's weakness and encouragement in their despair. You are loyal when others fail to accept your journey, a friend when other friends are gone. I salute your warrior spirit, dignity and admiration.
At the city gates you are "HONORED" -
HAPPY MOTHER 'S DAY
Family Alliance Network