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Don’t forget to find us on Facebook!  Not only do we share helpful resources, we do live videos of our upcoming events.  

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy 

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

October also shines a light with bringing awareness to Dyslexia.  We wanted to share resources for yourself, for your family, and for your child’s school.  Awareness creates understanding which then empowers those around us to be able to see the struggles our children experience.  We are then better equipped to help and teach them in a way they can be successful.

One terrific resource is the International Dyslexia Association:

https://dyslexiaida.org/dyslexia-basics/

 

Read here to find out common signs and symptoms of Dyslexia starting from preschool-high school:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia#item1

 

Click here to experience how a child is dealing with a learning or attention difficulty:

https://www.understood.org/en/tools/through-your-childs-eyes?gclid=CjwKCAjw3_HOBRBaEiwAvLBbomy-fC21AGAv14y2aQkw1iHZOhcYpbzgRiDfqGZ0TlM5cOekC9fOLxoC3SwQAvD_BwE

 

Of course, we feel that all children benefit from being taught as if they have Dyslexia. If you’re interested in hearing more about Orton-Gillingham or a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading, please contact us at confidentolustions7@gmail.com.  Read below for an interesting article on how all children benefit:

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/why-we-should-teach-all-pupils-if-they-have-dyslexia

 

Some research on how a Dyslexic brain works:

http://www.bu.edu/research/articles/dyslexic-brain/

 

20 Things parents of children with Dyslexia would understand:

http://www.lifehack.org/285680/20-things-only-parents-children-with-dyslexia-would-understand
Dyslexia in the general education classroom:

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/dyslexia-in-general-ed-classroom-kelli-sandman-hurley?utm_content=blog&utm_campaign=dylexia-in-gen-ed-class&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_term=link

 

Different types of Dyslexia:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/different-types-of-dyslexia?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=understoodorg
Dyslexia and the law. Can my child receive an IEP, 504 plan, or accommodations? (Hint: Dyslexia is considered a learning disability, which is recognized in schools) :

http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/community/dyslexia-and-special-education-law/

http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/13/nl.1015.htm

 

An excellent book on Dyslexia:

http://dyslexia.yale.edu/book_Overcoming.html

https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Dyslexia-Complete-Science-Based-Problems/dp/0679781595/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498261380&sr=8-1&keywords=overcoming+dyslexia+by+sally+shaywitz
Frequently asked questions:

https://dyslexiaida.org/frequently-asked-questions-2/

From Learning Disabilitlies Association of America:

https://ldaamerica.org/types-of-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/

Question and answer session on the benefits of having Dyslexia:

https://www.wired.com/2011/09/dyslexic-advantage/

Christina tutors students of all ages with Dyslexia and learning disabilities using Orton-Gillingham.  If interested in more details, please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.
With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy 

 

Dysleic strenght

October is ADHD Awareness Month

October is awareness month for ADHD. We wanted to share some resources for understanding ADHD whether it’s for yourself, for you to share with family members, or with your child’s school.  Having awareness and understanding is the first step in helping a child. 

Read here for understanding symptoms of ADHD:

http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD.aspx
Here it uncovers myths and misunderstandings about ADHD:

http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD/Myths-and-Misunderstandings.aspx
The Science of ADHD:

http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD/The-Science-of-ADHD.aspx

ADHD and Advocacy:

http://www.chadd.org/Advocacy.aspx
Can your child with ADHD receive an IEP or a 504 plan? 

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/add.index.htm
For an excellent magazine on ADD, check out ADDitude:

https://www.additudemag.com
The three types of ADHD:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/add-adhd/the-3-types-of-adhd
A fabulous website for information on learning and attention:

https://www.understood.org/en
A quick one minute video summarizing ADHD:

http://totallyadd.com/adhd-awareness-minute-no-music/

If you have questions about where to start or how to continue on your journey with ADD/ADHD, our door is always open! Please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

Please visit ADDitude’s website for more truths about ADHD. https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-is-not-fake/

Free Parent Class on How to Effectively Communicate With Your Child’s School

Communication between you and your child’s school is a key piece to building a working relationship.  As you strengthen communication, your meetings often run more smoothly.  Please join us on Wednesday, October 4th from 12:00-1:00 as we discuss effective communication techniques. Some of the topics we will discuss are: what to include in your email communication; how to know who to include in your email; how do you clearly state your intent; and how to organize and keep track of your communications.

This class is created from questions that we receive on a daily basis. It will provide you with useful tools that you can incorporate throughout the school year.

Please e-mail us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com to let us know you’re coming!

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy


We Would Love to Hear From You

We are deciding which post to write next and we would love to hear your opinion! Which one would you like to read next?

  1. What You Should Never Hear at an EC Meeting
  2. Common Accommodations for Classrooms
  3. A post about Executive Functioning Skills

 

Please write your choice either in the comment section below, the comment section on Facebook, or send us an e-mail at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.  We’ll see which one gets the most responses and will write that blog next.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

Sign Up for Social Skills Groups

 

 

Please Don’t Say “It Will Be Okay”

We’re both special educators.  We’ve both worked in a variety of environments and in different roles with children with various disabilities.  We have collaborated and continue to collaborate with other professionals.  We get it.  We understand the paperwork, the state requirements, the long days.  However, we also are both moms to children with disabilities.  We continuously sit on both sides of the table.  We have sat and heard information about our children that hurts our heart.  We see where they’ve been excluded in a game or a social activity at school because of their differences. To their teachers, we promise to try to support you.  As moms with a background of knowledge, we do have times where we  feel frustration with the system, frustration of missed deadlines or IEPs not completely being followed.

With all of this being said, we would like to go back to one point in particular. As a teacher, please don’t say “it will be okay.” Those words stir up my insides. When I come to you to tell you about my child with a disability, please don’t tell me you’ve worked with “kids like him before”. You may have worked with a child with ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, or another disability like my child’s, but you have not yet worked with MY child. He is unique and his triggers are different from the last child with whom you worked.   As parents, we often collaborate with other professionals to help our family and our children.  When we offer to share that information with you, it’s inviting you into our inner circle.  Please take our extended hand instead of saying you already know about this diagnosis and “it will be okay.”  We are asking for you to join us in collaborating for the highest benefit of our child. As parents, we will do our best to speak respectfully to you and help understand your views and perspective.  We ask for the same courtesy back. Parents know their children best.  We can share what our child’s fears are, what his/her dreams are, and what makes him/her happy and sad. Those things are unique to each child and go beyond a diagnosis.

We agree there are some generalizations we can make based on a specific diagnosis. Our children, however, are still unique. It is so important in our children’s lives that the adults   get to know them, just like you do with other children.  Taking the time to make those individual connections with our children will help with understanding what they need to be taught.  Often times, our children need to be taught skills that other children pick up naturally in their development.  Getting to know them personally and collaborating with parents and other professionals helps you stretch and grow as an educator and in return will help our children do the same.

Yes, we too believe that it can “be okay”. We also recognize that for this to even be a possibility, we ALL need to work together and do our best to hear the words that each of us has to offer. This is the reason why we created this company. Let us help by being the bridge that spans the gap. The only way that it can actually “be okay” is if we all learn how to work together for a common interest: the success of our children.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

unique

 

 

 

 

IEP Snapshot

iep-snapshot-cs

 

We have created an IEP Snapshot for you to download and share with general education teachers. Please click on the blue link just above this paragraph. Whether you’re a special educator or a parent, it’s an easy tool that allows you to write the quick IEP essentials for the general education teacher.  Typically, we liked to fill in the details, slide them in a page protector,  and give them to the general education teachers (including the specials or connect teachers).  This way, they have a quick reference to remember those accommodations, modification, and goals that your team decided upon.  We hope you find it useful!

hummingbird-zentangle

We would like to thank Maria Hartemann for the use of her beautiful hummingbird zentangle for the IEP Snapshot.  If you would like to see more of her work, check out her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/joyfulmamadesigns

 

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

Know Your Forms-IEPs

This is the last post in the “Know Your Forms” series.  It is a lengthy one, however, we feel it is important to understand all pieces of your child’s IEP (whether it’s your child’s first one or the annual review).  Your team should discuss each piece of the IEP during your meeting.

You’ve been through the process and you are FINALLY at the point where your child is eligible for an IEP. IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. The IEP meeting can be held at the same time as the eligibility meeting or it can be held up to 10 days after the eligibility meeting, but still within the 90 day deadline (Know Your Forms-Eligibility and  Know Your Forms-Referral For Help). After your initial IEP meeting, you will have this meeting annually to review your child’s progress and update his/her goals.

You should receive an invitation to the IEP meeting. You always have the right to ask for a different day or time. Your child’s team should be present for all special education meetings.  (Who Is On Your Child’s Team?).

The first section of the IEP reviews your child’s strengths, any progress he/she has made, and how your child performed on any assessments. This will be a summary of all the data that you have already discussed at the initial referral and eligibility meetings.   If it’s the annual review of your child’s IEP, it will be a summary of data on his/her goals, testing data, and progress from the year.

After this, you will be asked for any concerns you have for enhancing your child’s education and what your vision is for your child’s future.  Take your time here! Really think about your concerns regarding your child’s education. When considering your vision for your child’s future, you can consider the future to be tomorrow, the end of the school year, or even after your child has finished school.  This is something that you can prepare ahead of time and bring with you to your child’s IEP meeting.

Next, the special education teacher will ask if there are any upcoming transitions for your child as well as document any special factors ( such as deaf, blind, special communication needs, specially designed physical education, or limited English proficiency).

The next area is known as “PLOP”–Present Level of performance and written goals.  You will have a separate page for each area of your child’s needs.  For example, you could have a present level summary and goals for  math and another one for reading.  Measurable annual goals will be written to match your child’s present level of performance summary.  You may also have short term objectives or benchmarks written. This is required if your child is on extended standards. Some districts do not require objectives or benchmarks for annual goals if your child is following the standard course of study.  Each annual goal will align to the common core/ NC standard course of study for your child’s current grade level. At the bottom of  each present level and goals page, your special education teacher will document how he or she will gather data to track your child’s goals.  For example, it could be through anecdotal notes and student work samples.  It is ok to speak up here too. Make recommendations or express concerns. Don’t worry if you don’t know the verbage or how to fully express what you want. The team should help with this. During this time, the team will also decide if any related service your child qualified for should be integrated into this goal or if any assistive technology is needed.  What that means is, if your child is also going to receive speech language services or occupational therapy services, will those therapists also work on the same goal as the special education teacher?   Typically,  you will receive a progress report on your child’s IEP goals with each report card.

Accommodations and modifications, North Carolina testing, and least restrictive environment will be discussed next. Accommodations are a way the general education teacher (i.e.. classroom teacher) can help your child be more successful in his/her school day. For example, an accommodation may be that your child uses a slant board and a modified pencil during writing assignments. A modification is typically done by a special education teacher and related service providers but can be used in the regular education classroom. Modifications are specific strategies and tools that will help your child achieve their IEP goals. For the North Carolina testing program, your team will decide what accommodations or modifications are necessary for your child.  For example, your team may decide that your child needs extended time on tests or needs to be tested in a smaller group in a separate room. Any accommodations for any state test must be implemented throughout the year for classroom tests. Please remember that you can always make suggestions for accommodations that you have seen your child use successfully. You are a part of your child’s team.  Least restrictive environment (LRE) will be discussed and decided upon next. This will determine where your child will receive their special support within the general education classroom or the resource classroom. If the team decides that your child will be more successful within the resource classroom, a statement will be written justifying why the decision was made to pull them from the general education classroom.

Please note that this section of your child’s IEP could be “visually overwhelming”. It breaks down your child’s school day (including lunch, core academic subjects, and specials/connect classes) into sections where each accommodation is listed in detail. 

The team will then consider how much time is needed for specially designed instruction. Services will be broken down into how many times per week, month, or reporting period and for how many minutes per session. This includes times spent with the special education teacher as well as times with any related service providers.

Continuum of Placement should be considered next. This is the percentage of minutes your child spends away from their general education classroom. If your child attends a special education preschool or is served in a different setting (home, separate school, etc.) there is a box to be checked.

The last few boxes let you know how you will receive progress reports (typically sent with report cards). Extended School Year can be considered during this meeting, but typically is a separate meeting if your child is a candidate. Finally, everyone will sign the IEP. If this is your child’s first IEP, you will also sign a form called a DEC6. This simply is a form granting the school permission to serve your child in special education.  As always, you will also sign and receive the DEC 5 The Importance of a DEC5

A note for High School students: once your child is 14 years of age, he/she will be invited to attend the IEP meeting.

This meeting can be LONG. If you need a break, don’t hesitate to ask for one. This document is very important, but it’s also fluid. You or any other team member can call a meeting to reconsider any part of the IEP at any time.

Our intent with this post was to give you a general idea of what to expect during your child’s IEP meeting, understanding the IEP (which is also called a DEC 4),  and how to be prepared. This document is very detailed and lengthy. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email .

 

With appreciation,

Wendy and Christina