On this week’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we’re kicking off a brand new season entitled “I Have A Question.” We asked you to send us your biggest questions and we received a ton of great feedback. Today Mike and Kristin begin with “How Do I Help My Child Who Doesn’t Have Services?”
Communicate, communicate, communicate! That’s really what it comes down to when you’re talking about a child you’re caring for who doesn’t need, or have, special services like an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), therapy, special medical services, a behavior plan, or more.
Your job as a parent is to make sure your children receive the best possible services. Whether this is within your school system, your pediatricians office, or your family therapist’s office. You do this because you care. But what do you do when you feel like you can’t adequately communicate the needs of your child?
You’ve probably experienced something like this when speaking to a professional:
“It doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with him?”
“I understand you believe she has a special need, but she is a great student, well-liked, and makes good grades. We are not sure she needs any services.”
Parents, we have almost made it through another year of school! Nightly fights over homework. Almost done. School projects completed, even if thrown together the night before. Or 3 days late. And by you only. Too many lunches packed to count. Admittedly, getting less nutritious as the days click away. We’re hitting the home stretch. But with this excitement of spring comes a small amount of stress, because spring season brings…IEP reviews!
I have 4 kids. 3 IEPs. This is no joke, folks. IEPs are no laughing matter. We were part of the fifth largest school district in the nation with very few resources. We almost went to due process in our last full year. You might say, I’m seasoned. Weathered. Or worn.
With the holiday season in full stride, it won’t be long before our kids will head back to school. Perhaps for you, this school year has been filled with challenges for your children. Have you ever wondered how to adequately express those issues to your child’s teacher or principal? Today, on the show, we explore some strategies.
Mike and Kristin were recently interviewed by our good friend, Jami Kaeb from The Forgotten Initiative Podcast on how to navigate school challenges with children who have experienced significant trauma. In this replay, they offer practical advice to help parents navigate the challenges their children experience at school.
One of the biggest struggles foster and adoptive parents have, is formulating a healthy partnership with their child’s school. Usually this has to do with IEP meetings. In this episode, however, we are looking at a different angle.
In the past we’ve discussed, in-depth, IEP meetings, how to advocate for your child, what to say and not say, do and not do, and which important details you need to disclose to better advocate for your child, and his or her special need. But what about your child who doesn’t have an IEP, or need one? Educationally, they are on track, but they’ve still come from a place of trauma. How do you effectively communicate these details to better equip the school, and ensure the best possible school year for teacher and student alike? Today, we share valuable keys you can utilize as you and your child’s school prepare for the upcoming school year…
In 2004 our lives, and parenting, changed forever when we realized we were parenting a child with special needs. To say it’s been a journey is an understatement. Part of the challenge has come from our encounter with professionals who fail to understand, or know how to handle, the special needs our children have.
Honestly, the list is too long to recount. In 11 years of parenting children with special needs, namely Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), we’ve lost track of the amount of times we’ve sat in an office, a conference room, or our own home and looked into the blank stare of a therapist, police officer or teacher. Nor can we even begin to list the negative, off-handed, demeaning, or accusatory statements we’ve received.
Back in November, we posted a video on YouTube that helped teachers understand the traumatic pasts our children have come from. The video was a hit and was shared with hundreds of schools and teachers around the country. Today, we’re including the audio version in the latest episode of Honestly Speaking…
Between Nicole and her husband, and us, we’ve been in hundreds of IEP meetings with our children’s teachers and principals. We’ve had many that went extremely well, and some that…well…didn’t! What we’ve learned from our experience is that teachers really do want to understand where we’re coming from, and why our children need the special care that they do.
Along with providing content that enriches the lives of adoptive, foster and special needs parents, we want to be proactive about creating resources you can pass on to professionals, like a teacher or coach. So when our friend Michele asked us to make a video explaining trauma to teachers, we jumped at the chance!
We jumped because we’ve been there many times in the past- Sitting in IEP (Individual Education Plans) meetings that looked more like a sinking ship than a proactive plan. It wasn’t that the teacher was unprofessional, or rude (although we’ve experienced that), it was a lack of understanding. Most of the children in their classroom did not come from traumatic pasts. Most were not abused, or removed and placed in foster care. Most were not malnourished or left to fend for themselves before their adoption. Most had a forever home from birth.