Monthly Archives: August 2013

Easy! Free! Inclusive!

Parents! There’s a wonderful online calendar [] that lists a wide variety of events going on, across the nation. From webinars to fun activities and lots in between! Be sure to check it out!


Me & Temple!

Enjoyed Dr. Temple Grandin’s keynote remarks and her breakout session at the 8th Annual Back-to-School Autism/Asperger’s Conference in Pasadena today. I was on the Panel of Moms this afternoon. 


ARM’s Debora L. Smith with Dr. Temple Grandin.

Location, shmocation. This is about consistency, consistency, consistency.



You can help your child to be the best individual he can be by providing five (5) things on a consistent basis.  

  1. Structured environment – do things the same time each day
  2. Visual supports – schedules, charts, checklists
  3. Communication – with child, school and all care providers/coaches, etc. should be ongoing
  4. Understanding – of the diagnosis
  5. Nutrition/exercise/sleep – yoga is great. PE right before the most challenging class in middle and high school. Balanced diet.  

    Yoga is a terrific relaxation tool.

What To Do About IEP No-Shows


August 1, 2013

What To Do About IEP No-Shows 


All members of your IEP team must attend the meeting.

You do have recourse if some members do not show up at your IEP meeting. Use this sample letter to help prevent it from happening again:   

Your return address


RE:  [name IEP, date]

Dear [IEP team leader or supervisor who has power to resolve the problem]:

At my child’s IEP meeting on [date], some team members were not present. [See attachments.*] I received a Meeting Notice on [date] that included the names of team members who would attend our IEP meeting, and I was surprised and disappointed when these members did not attend. With these members absent, the team did not have their information or advice.

It is my understanding that if a team member’s area would be discussed, that person was required to attend or submit a written report to the team and the parent ahead of time. And further, before a team member can be excused, the school must agree and the parent must give written consent. Am I correct in my understanding?

Since we discussed [topic], I believe that Mr./Mrs. ___________’s absence unfortunately prevented the team from developing an IEP that meets my child’s needs. So at this time I am requesting another team meeting and I would like all IEP team members to attend.

Thank you for your kind consideration of my concern.



Enc.     IEP Meeting Notice, IEP Signature Page

*  Include a copy of Meeting Notice that lists names of attendees and the signature page from the meeting as proof.