Category Archives: Practical Tips

Ending My Relationship with the IEP.

I don’t know about you, but I have an IEP coming up. And it’s a big one. I want to be ready. Panic was starting to set in. FearfulThen I came across this article.

10 Ways To Have More Fun At Your IEP Meeting

1. Wear costumes. On the meeting invitation, say, “Festive Dress Required.”
2. As an equalizer, require all attendees to wear Groucho glasses.
3. Require all attendees to bring a musical instrument.
4. Provide refreshments: Jalapeno Cheetos and red Kool-Aid.
5. Invite Hillary Rodham Clinton. List her name on the cover sheet.
6. Try this introductory exercise: If you were a color, what color would you
be and why?
7. Play background music — anything by Frank Zappa.
8. Give everyone a set of five flash cards to be used as the mood strikes:

  • Who invited him?
  • I love your hair! Where did you get it done?
  • I’m sure we can trust that this will get worked out.
  • Does the law have any bearing on this?
  • Excuse me for 10 minutes while I can call my lawyer.

9. Have the TV in the room tuned to the Court Channel.
10. Keep score. Give a really nice door prize to the IEP team member
(parents excluded) who makes the most positive comments about your child.
Award grand prize to the IEP team member who makes the most negative
comments about your child — the winner gets to provide 36 hours of respite
care, in their home, to your child.

Thanks to Cynthia and Aaron Bissell  of Aaron’s Tracheostomy Page for sharing the IEP humor. It was exactly what I needed to “take the edge off.”

I’m trying to remember our very first IEP meeting, but I’m struggling. It’s been many years. And countless meetings. Often, we were fortunate to have knowledgeable, understanding administrators and school personnel who were mainly concerned with our child’s best interest. Sometimes we needed to wrangle them in if they veered astray.

IEP-end

Now, as we ready ourselves for our big finale, the last IEP meeting of our lives, I want to leave you parents with a few handy tips. Insights I wish I had over the past 10 or 12 years.

Always remember that an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is an opportunity to customize your child’s education. Use it to your advantage! It ends when the student graduates–upon receipt of a diploma or certificate.

4dIEP TIPS: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

  1. Always enter each IEP meeting with a typed page of your Parent Concerns. If any of the listed items can become part of the formal IEP, that’s excellent. For those that cannot, at least you’ve made them part of the official record that is filed.
  2. positive, supportive attitude goes a long way. Let teachers know you want to partner collaboratively with them to help your child be the best he can be.
  3. Make sure that every person making decisions about your child knows your child. If the person has never spent time with your child, ask that he or she do so first.
  4. Strategically plan for your child’s triennial IEP to coincide with senior year. That way, the student exits high school with current assessments and evaluations.
Fortunately, you’ll have some new tools available after attending our IEP workshop on April 28 with Danielle Wiltchik, M.A., Special Ed. Click here to REGISTER NOW!

Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?

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Friendship is a topic many parents with kids on the autism spectrum deal with on a daily basis. And, in most cases, we know it’s not too many friends or even the “wrong” friends. More often than not it’s simply “my kids don’t have friends.” Or “they can’t keep friends.” If the definition of a friend is someone who calls or texts our kids, hangs out with our kids, wants to spend their free time with our kids … well, honestly, how many true friends do our kids have?

Yes, friendship is a sore topic.

I had a best friend when I was growing up. I could count on her to be there for me. Always. We did everything together. We rode bikes. We went to the store. We walked to and from school and ate lunch together. You know the routine. And we even fought with each other. But we always made nice again. In 10th grade she let me borrow her Elton John “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album which I listened to non-stop. She even loaned me her navy pinwale corduroy Levis which I absolutely loved [and my mom wouldn’t buy for me].

Selfishly, I wish my kid could experience that same bonding. But I have to be mindful of the fact that just because it made me happy to have that friendship, my son might not necessarily have that same need. But still …

Fortunately, parents can learn how to help their kids make and keep friends from an expert at the upcoming ARM Parenting & Sharing Workshop on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Click here to register.

The Next Heart-to-Heart with Mom | Feb. 12

TwoHearts

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Thursday, Feb. 12 is the next Heart-to-Heart with Mom…

Featuring our interactive HEART SEAT! We spend a few minutes doing an actual case study with a willing participant.
Sign up here:

https://eventbrite.com/event/15563641270/

Try A Positive Approach!

For the latest in ARM’s ADVICE FROM MOM campaign, click here.

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TIP

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A CHILD ID KIT?

Safety is a major concern for all parents. That concern grows more complex when your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Create your own child ID kit with the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They provide easy-to-follow directions here.

The key is to keep the info up-to-date and easily accessible.

national_center_for_missing_and_exploited_children1

A New Year and A Fresh Start | 2015 ROUNDTABLE SCHEDULE!

freshstart

IT’S A NEW YEAR. AND IT’S TIME FOR A FRESH, NEW START.

Toss out the strategies that haven’t worked for the past few years. And I mean toss them. If you’ve seen no improvements or even changes, you obviously need some new techniques.

Be flexible enough to try something new. We always ask our kids to be flexible. Now I’m asking you to try the same.  rubber-band

Something else to help jump-start your new year is to connect, or simply re-connect with others. Our HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM roundtable discussions provide the perfect opportunity for this!

TwoHearts

2015 Heart-to-Heart Schedule:

All Thursday discussions are held at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana from 7-8:30 pm.

  • THURSDAY, JAN. 8

  • THURSDAY, FEB. 12

  • THURSDAY, MAR. 12

  • THURSDAY, APR. 9

  • THURSDAY, MAY 14

  • THURSDAY, JUNE 11

  • THURSDAY, JULY 9

  • THURSDAY, AUG. 13

  • THURSDAY, SEPT. 10

  • THURSDAY, OCT. 8

  • THURSDAY, NOV. 12

  • THURSDAY, DEC. 10

RSVP to debora@autismresourcemom.com

Here’s to a New Year filled with exciting possibilities! Cheers!

LAST CALL!

4098_ARM_Heart2HeartHeader5A few seats remain for tomorrow evening’s A HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM. If you’d like a place at the table, RSVP now.
Thursday, Dec. 11 from 7-8:30pm
Temple Beth Sholom, 2625 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
RSVP to debora@autismresourcemom.com

ARM’s New Page

We’re cataloging the Advice from Mom series we email twice a month. Hopefully you’re on that distribution list! If not, let us know and we’ll add you.

Click here to go to the page.

ADVICE FROM MOM | Protect and Defend

Click here to see the latest in the “Advice from Mom” series from ARM.

Outlets for Anger and Anxiety

October 8, 2013

If your child tends to tantrum, explode or go ballistic, teach him ways to relax.boiling-point-thumbnail-298x300 And help him learn how to implement them before he reaches his boiling point.

Maybe it’s a certain kind of music, a yoga pose, going outside for a walk, throwing/bouncing a basketball or jumping on a trampoline.

trampoline

As a teen, I would go to the piano and pound out Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor when I was angry. [I found that was more acceptable to my parents than slamming doors!]

Keep a menu handy, listing four or five calming options for your child. And encourage him to use the info before he explodes.