Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 for 21: Q&A #1

Time to address a couple questions… I’ll try to keep up with these better as we move forward.  I like questions, as they help me know which direction to go blog-wise. Thanks!

Ellen Stumbo: I want to know more about that gathering you have! What is it? What is it called? Where did it happen? Why?

Well, Ellen, plan to be here in town next year Sept 28 and 29!!  This event is a women’s conference our church puts on each year in the fall.  This year we had women from 14 states attend!! It’s a great weekend, Fri evening and Saturday.  It’s called Daybreak Women’s Conference, and here’s a link to this years website.  We were blessed to have Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries as this year’s speaker and Laura Story, known currently for “Blessings,” as the featured leaders for this year.  Next year will bring Vicki Courtney as the main session speaker.

ch: Okay, Queen of all things organized and documented...Pudge's 1st IEP is Monday...feel free to shower me in begged for advice.

Alright, my friend…deluded as you may be to think I’m organized…  #1 rule of IEPs as far as I’m concerned—Go in with goodies in hand.  Baked goods are best, candies or trail mix to munch on can work too.  Something that sets you apart as a parent who thinks that this event of the IEP meeting is to be dealt with both gratefully (because we are blessed to have the access to extra help for our kiddos…sometimes I think we forget that) and somewhat touched with the comfortable.  In other words, often IEP meetings are stressful, though mine have not ever been that way honestly, and starting off by brightening the day of the team you have by thinking of them enough to bring something they weren’t expecting… let’s just say it goes far.  I’ll address this a little more in an upcoming post about Braska’s IEP today.

Otherwise, dearest Cotes-a-licious, you’re all over this, I think.  Be aware of what your kids strengths are, and take a printed page listing them, elaborating however you like, to share with each member of the team.  Many times, if the team has not come to know your kiddo yet, take a pic in a frame, or a collage, so that the face is there with them as the meeting goes on.  More than a name or just list of delays…we want our kids to be kids, cute faces to go with the diagnosis, minutes of therapy, and accommodations.  I have a binder with my IEP stuff in it (though I took the wrong one today) that has a printed digiscrap collage on the cover so she is always there smiling at us. 

Because our kids will always perform better at home or with familiar people than at school, at least in my experience, I like to write out a “present level” from my perspective.  A run-down of the strengths that Braska has right now, the things she is struggling with, the things she loves to do, and the things I want her to be focusing on in this next year.  I print it and have copies for each team member.  It gets placed with her IEP as my contribution to the Present Level section of the document.

There’s lots more stuff about laws and least restrictive environment, etc.  There’s plenty of things to read and know about, and I can share more about those, but I’m very thankful that we’re in a school who is up on these things, ready to do what’s best for Braska at each juncture, and I have been able to truly trust that they’ll always provide the best care and education.  And so far, they have done just that.

More on IEPs soon!

1 comment:

  1. wickedly brilliant, my dear. thanks so much for the tips! i'll let you know how it goes, of course. xoxo


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