Monday, December 27, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson - Brilliant TED Video About Children and Creativity

"We don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it." - Sir Ken Robinson


His book is available on Amazon: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!

How many times have you felt like this?

Think you know your children's books? See how many of these you can identify from, "This is Your Brain on Children's Books."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ten Best Children's Museum Lists - Great For Kids on Holiday Vacation

What's a parent to do with bored kids home for a few weeks from school on winter holiday vacation?

Chances are, the weather isn't great and you probably don't want them tracking in a day's worth of wetness when you're planning for a family dinner soon.

It's tempting to let them hang out on a computer or TV but after a few days they'll soon be a bit restless and their brains and bodies need something more stimulating.

Why not send them off to a museum for a day? There are plenty of them around and although many are free, even the ones with paid admissions aren't too spendy.



Google "The 10 Best Children's Museums" and you'll come up with plenty of suggestions. has their 10 Best Children's Museums list. has a similar list with their 10 Best Children's Museums. takes it even further with their list of the Top 50 Children's Museums.

There are plenty of museums out there for kids and they're not too bad for parents either. Most of them don't allow cameras in sensitive areas but take one along anyway as you'll find plenty of things you can shoot. And when you get home, have the kids put together a slideshow on the computer to show what they did on vacation.

Friday, December 3, 2010

10 Things Your Teenager Won't Tell You

Ah, the teenage years. We were all there once and now we're on the other side - as parents. Most of us, as teenagers, probably thought we'd have a great relationship with our kids when we became parents - we'd be "cool" parents and our kids and their friends would think we were cool too. Guess what, things sure look different once we get here.

Kids and young adults live a carefree "no fear" lifestyle where invincibility rules. That notion disappears the moment the first child is born and we are suddenly transformed into another world where "fear" rules the day and we essentially become "our" parents.

Fear becomes our safety mechanism and we no longer throw caution to the wind, certainly not where are kids are concerned. One of the best ways to keep fear at bay is to talk to your kids, know what the are doing and how they feel, and keep an open relationship with them. It may not always work but keep plugging away.

Still, there will be times when they just won't open up and we need to understand that. Teenage years have always been tough and we need to understand that there are times when teenagers need some space but keep the door open for them when they do want to talk or need some guidance.

There's a good article that sets the groundwork and shines a light on some of the issues that kids don't want to talk about.

It outlines 10 Things Your Teenager Won't Tell You:

1. She needs privacy.

2. Sometimes he just needs you to listen.

3. She may be dating—even if you've explicitly said she can't.

4. He may not be getting great grades on every assignment

5. She doesn't want to talk to you about sex.

6. He hates when you don't hold his siblings accountable.

7. She wishes you'd cut her some slack.

8. He lies to stay out of trouble.

9. She gets frustrated when you use her age to your advantage.

10. He wishes you would trust him.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Spend time with family and friends, eat too much food, watch football games, rinse and repeat.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Special Education IEP Books For Parents

Being a parent of child with a learning disability requires a lot of patience and extra learning. Homework sometimes takes hours instead of twenty minutes - and this can be every night.

Understanding the learning disability is necessary to getting the best services as well as helping your child overcome and compensate for all the little quirks that make them special.

The IEP process can be a learning adventure of its own for parents to navigate. Becoming proficient with the IEP can take some time and effort but it's worth it. If started in the early years of a child's education, there will be at least one IEP every year through the end of high school. Mastering the process is crucial for the benefit the child and the sanity of the parents.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great Special Education IEP Books to guide parents to an easy IEP.

Here is a link to some favorite IEP books for parents:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ten Bullying Myths

Even though October was National Anti-Bullying Month, bullying is a year-round problem that is on the rise.

The Great Schools website describes the following Ten Bullying Myths in detail and what parents can do to help.

1. You'll know when your child is being bullied

2. Bullying always includes physical aggression

3. Fight back and you solve the problem

4. Bullies come from the top of the social pecking order

5. Parental attitudes have no effect on bullying

6. If your child is a victim, call the bully’s parents

7. Boys are more likely to be bullied

8. Cyber-bullying is the gateway to other bullying

9. Parents are always their kids' best defender

10. Schools bear no clear responsibility for bullying

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IEP Transition

An IEP Transition prepares students for the next phase of their life, usually from high school to college or full-time work as an adult, but it might also be a transition from middle school to high school.

Having recently attended a Transition IEP for my oldest daughter, I can safely say I was impressed with the process. We discussed college requirements, financial aid, what to expect with college applications and how the school would help us through everything. It may have been our last IEP but it was probably the best we've ever had.

As soon as I have time to digest all the notes I'll post more info. In the meantime, here is some info regarding IEP Transition Goals and Objectives.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

50 Books Your Child Should Read Before Kindergarten posted a list of 50 Books Your Child Should Read Before Kindergarten. Pretty good list.

My favorites from the list include, Flat Stanley, Curious George, Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss rocks!), and of course, Where the Wild Things Are (read the book and wait a few years for the movie).

Missing from the list is one of my all-time favs for kids, The Giving Tree, now available as a 40th Anniversary Edition Book with CD. It's happy and sad and teaches kids something that will stay with them forever.

See the entire list at and find some good reading ideas for your children. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Imagination vs. Knowledge

"Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

 - Albert Einstein


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dyslexia - Even Famous People Can Have It

Dyslexia and other learning disabilities didn't stop these famous people from achieving greatness.

Find out more about Dyslexia at:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Preparing For The SAT Test

There's no sense in stressing about taking the SAT. The Great Schools website provides 10 easy steps to help prepare.

1. Test Prep - Get the Test

2. Use the Web to Study

3. Set a Test Date

4. Take the PSAT to Prepare

5. Get a Study Guide

6. Consider Classes to Help Prepare

7. Consider Tutors (Carefully)

8. Take a Practice Test

9. Don't Study the Night Before

10. When the Big Day Rrrives, Take it Easy

For details, visit the Great Schools website at:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Learning Disability Video

Here's a good Learning Disability Video produced by the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Two IEPs This Month

It's shaping up to be a busy month. We just got our second IEP appointment for October. Good thing we don't have more kids.

We've already been to back to school night at both schools, met all the teachers, know the homework drills, so it's only appropriate to get past the IEP next and on with the rest of the school year.

After this year we'll only have one IEP to deal with every year. It's hard to believe that we made it all the way from a Preschool IEP to an IEP Transition in a blink.

I'm not exactly sure what happens as we transition but I'll be sure to take good notes. We've already started looking at colleges beginning a whole new chapter. At the college level, from what I know, IEPs move to 504s if necessary.

Best of luck to everyone in the same situation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is Your First IEP Coming Up?

The first IEP is always the hardest. You don't know what to expect, you're worried about your child, and you're entering unfamiliar territory. Don't worry, it gets easier. Maybe easier isn't the right word - it becomes more "familiar."

I'm not sure why so many parents agree to having an IEP in the Spring. Do yourself a favor and schedule it for early in the school year. October is probably the best time because it gives everybody a month to settle in and get to know each other.

It also allows you to begin with fresh IEP Goals and Objectives and an entire year to follow the progress set forth in the IEP. Always remember, you can call for an IEP Meeting at any time. If things aren't going well they may need to be tweaked.

If you're not sure what to expect or why your child even needs an IEP, here are some of my favorite Learning Disability Must-Haves. These will help you understand what it's like to have a learning disability and some strategies to help your child.

To help navigate the IEP process, here are some great Tools for an Easy IEP. Many IEP resources contain roughly the same information so look for something that suits your style and needs.

Most of all - Best of Luck with your IEP!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October is National Anti-Bullying Month

Bullying is a huge problem in schools today. It's always been part of school but today the internet has made it a widespread occurrence that can spread throughout the entire school in a matter of minutes with pictures and videos.

Great Schools has some tips for ways to eliminate bullying.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Parents Are Part of The IEP Team

Funny that so many parents need to be reminded, but yes, parents are part of the IEP Team.

It's also funny when you see a classroom full of parents at back to school night but that's another story.

As a parent, make sure you show up at he IEP. Always. Make sure it is scheduled when you can be there and if the meeting is scheduled at a time or day that you can't make it, have the school re-schedule it for a time and day that you can attend.

You know your child better than anybody and it's important that your input and concerns are written into the IEP. If you don't understand something, ask. This is especially important for items such as IEP Goals and Objectives, and Accommodations and Modifications, as well as often overlooked items such as Social Skills.

It isn't easy being the parent of a child with a learning disability but the extra effort required is worth it.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Was Einstein Learning Disabled?

“Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I can assure you that mine are still greater.” - Albert Einstein

Did Einstein Have a Learning Disability? It's been suggested by many people over the years but we will never know for certain.

It doesn't really matter though because the message is clear, even very smart and successful people have overcome learning disabilities.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

School Lunch Funding Before Congress

I found this article about the National School Lunch Program enlightening (with video -image from CNN) about how schools struggle to feed kids healthy food. The issue is before currently before Congress and we can only hope they do the right thing.

(CNN) — Dana Woldow issues a challenge to every member of Congress: "Try school cafeteria food in your district. Then see if you continue to make the same decisions about how you fund the program."

Read the article and view the video here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

McDonalds Nutrition - Good News?

McDonalds Nutrition. Seriously? Well, maybe. The healthy menu options are better than the regular menu items and there are actually some pretty decent choices. The Apple Dippers and Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait have been around for a while and they continually add new salad offerings.
Years ago when most parents today were still kids, none of the fast food restos had over-sized fries and drinks - it was just a burger, small fries and a small drink. Today, the over-sized menu items translate into over-sized Americans - kids and adults alike.
A little moderation goes a long way, and that holds true for diet AND exercise. We can all use it, but it's especially true for kids with learning disabilities.
A child that struggles in school has a brain that works overtime just to keep up with listening or taking notes. Doing both at the same time can be overwhelming and exhausts the brain, which is why these kids are so tired when they get home from school.
So it's important for these kids to get good nutrition to fuel the brain and a healthy dose of exercise to maintain the brain. McDonalds healthy menu options combined with a McDonalds PlayPlace just may be a winning combination. Find out more at the Easy IEP Help website...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Learning Disability Acronyms

It's IEP season and if you're new to the IEP Process you're probably new to all the Learning Disability Acronyms. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it.

Before long, you'll be able to tell the difference between APD (Auditory Processing Disorder) and SLP (Speech Language Pathologist). You're off to a good start if you know that IEP stands for Individualized Education Program (or Plan). Good luck!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fast ForWord Reading Intervention

This summer my daughter was enrolled in the Fast ForWord ® summer program to help with reading comprehension and learning proficiency.

The program was 5 days a week for 6 weeks for just less than two hours a day. The entire time was spent on a computer, essentially playing games, which is great for a 6th grader.

Based on 30 years of research, more than a million kids have used Fast ForWord to increase reading and language skills by improving brain processing efficiency.

The benefits of Fast ForWord include:

  • Increased Cognitive Skills
  • Improved Listening Skills
  • Heightened Engagement
  • Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence in Learning

Our final assessment at the end of the program showed an increase of 4 grades in reading improvement.

It's still early in the school year but so far so good.

Scientific Learning
888 358-0212 Toll Free

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autism & Asperger Social Skills Training Videos

It's no secret that children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome have difficulty with social skills and interactions with other children and adults. This makes it especially hard to teach them the necessary skills.

Recent studies have shown that "video modeling" can be an effective way to help them develop the social skills necessary to succeed. Watching videos that show proper social behavior has shown promise that may help these children get on the right track.

Fortunately, Model Me Kids has created an entire series of Autism and Asperger Social Skills Videos. These videos are available for children 2 to 17 years of age and are highly targeted for specific social situations.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

California Releases 2010 Academic Performance Index (API)

The results of the 2010 California Academic Performance Index (API) have been released by the state.

The API rating system compares year-over-year test scores and is used as a way of measuring improvement.

The Great Schools website has scores available for any city or school district.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Waiting For Superman Documentary

The documentary Waiting For Superman, directed by Davis Guggenheim, opens in New York and Los Angeles on September 24, 2010 and nationwide in October.

The film explores public education in America and First Book and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have already pledged to donate 250,000 new books to schools so far.

The website offers users a chance to pledge to see the film with other donation options.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are You Considering Kindergarten a Year Later?

It's been a popular trend for more than a decade now. It's called Redshirting Kindergarten and it's gaining in popularity.

You may have heard talk about it around your school, or it may have been suggested to you - either way, think long and hard before holding your child back a year before beginning school.

There are pros and cons to having your child start school in Kindergarten a year after they meet the age requirements. If it's not necessary, don't sweat it. But if you have any reservations, here's some points to ponder in this article:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Earobics Can Help With Reading

Earobics can help with reading if your child is struggling in school and is in Grade 3 or below.

With so many reading intervention and cognitive tools available today, Earobics is one of the first programs to begin with but to take advantage of this program you must begin early. Fortunately, many schools offer it and most of the time you can get a licensed copy from your school. Be sure to ask about it at your IEP.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

School Bus

Sometimes even the school bus has to wait in line to pick kids up from school.

And I thought the line was long. Things moved quickly after the bus filed up.

Make sure you have an easy iep - take food - teachers get hungry too!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Definition of Learning Disability

It's probably more important to gain an understanding of what Learning Disabilities are than hearing the formal definition.

Children with learning disabilities have challenges with one or more of the following:

  • reading
  • writing
  • listening
  • speaking
  • reasoning
  • math

If you suspect your child may have a learning disability, document everything and discuss it with their teacher(s). There’s no shame in having a learning disability, it does not mean your child is dumb, and it does not mean they are lazy, even if they do have a messy room. :-)  It means they need help learning and you should do everything you can to help them.

But...some people still need more, so to Define Learning Disability, I usually let the Department of Education handle that.

Here is how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines specific learning disability:

"...a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia."

However, learning disabilities do not include, "...learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage." 34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.7(c)(10)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Special Education IEP (Individualized Education Program)

School has just begun and already concerned parents are asking the question, "What is a Special Education IEP (Individualized Education Program)?"

Parents that haven't been to an IEP have probably heard horror stories or think that there's no way they want their child to have an IEP. But if the child needs it they should have it.

In it's simplest form, an IEP is a roadmap to be followed for helping the child with a learning disability succeed in school. It also allows for accommodations and modifications, such as shortened assignments or extra time to do schoolwork.


If a specialist like a Speech and Language or Occupational Therapist is needed, the student will have access to them on a weekly basis.

It truly is an individualized education program.

Sure, it is a legal document and must follow rules, but it is in the best interest of the child that struggles in school to have an IEP so that they get the necessary help that can't be found from tutoring or "trying harder." Kids with learning disabilities actually have brains that try harder than kids without learning disabilities. It just doesn't look that way to the untrained eye.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Least Restrictive Environment

What is Least Restrictive Environment and how does it pertain to kids with learning disabilities?

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all schools are required to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment that is appropriate to the individual student’s needs.

The U.S. Department of Education regulations state that each public agency or school must ensure that:

1) To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are non-disabled.

2) Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

This is good news for parents that are worried that if their child has an IEP they will only be in special classes. Most of the time, they could be in regular classes with their peers and will only be pulled out for special instruction by an Occupational or Speech Therapist.

Friday, August 27, 2010

IEP Goals and Objectives

I read an interesting question from a parent regarding IEP Goals and Objectives. Apparently the school told the parent that they would no longer discuss her child's present levels of academic performance (PLP) at the IEP Meeting and she was to review them beforehand. The school said the IEP Meetings were too long and they only wanted to discuss Goals at the meeting.

Here's my question to the school: How can you set IEP Goals if you don't discuss current levels of academic performance? Aren't IEP Goals based on current levels of performance? After all, you need to have a baseline benchmark before setting a goal or an objective to be met.

I can understand that schools need to cut down on the time spent in IEPs but not at the expense of the child's best interests. And it also makes sense to give parents a clear reason to read and understand the meeting ideas before beginning the meeting. A little better communication would probably solve many issues regarding IEPs.

Parents should understand that they are part of the IEP Team and they have as much say as any other member of the team.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Go Green For Lunch

I just finished registering for school, paid all the fees and signed up for lunch tickets. Lunch prices are great but every once in a while you need to take lunch to school.

And while our district is proud of its green efforts, sometimes it's difficult to go completely green with some food items. Today, Great Schools featured a segment on going green for lunch with some good recommendations.

Shown above is just one item, the Kids Konserve Waste-Free Lunch Kit. There are ten pages of similar items that are worth a look. Sit through the short animation and the page will appear here:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Taj Mahal

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) built what is being billed as a “Taj Mahal” school to the tune of $578 million.

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin for the Los Angeles Times

Sure, it's a hefty price tag but after all, it's a school. And a park, and a public memorial. Hopefully it will be a trend that follows across the country. I sure wish I had one of these when I was still in school.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Used Elementary Textbooks Lighten the Load of Backpacks

Buying Used Elementary Textbooks at the beginning of the school year is a great way to lighten the load in your child's backpack.

I learned this a few years ago when I watched my youngest daughter struggle to ride her bike to school with a backpack full of books. I thought if we had a second set of books at home she wouldn't need to shuffle books between school and home.

So one night I copied all of the ISBN numbers from her books into and found ALL of them for $4 - $8 used.

Now every year at the beginning of school I buy used textbooks from Amazon for both of my kids so they have their regular set supplied by the school in their locker and another spare set at home for doing homework.

Another great part about having a second set of books at home is you never hear, "I left my books at school so I can't do homework tonight."

As parents we're not always so smart, but every once in a while a bit of brilliance shines through.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Learning Disability Simulation

One of my favorite exercises - the Learning Disability Simulation.

Do you have a learning disability? If you've ever forgotten where you put your keys, you may have ADD. Kidding. We ALL lose our keys at some time or another. It's when you lose your car that you have to start worrying.

Seriously, if you've ever wondered what it's like for kids in school with learning disabilities, take this simple Learning Disability Simulation. Look at the picture below. It's actually a hybrid image created by Dr. Aude Oliva of MIT.

Do you see Albert Einstein? If not, you're either a genius or...


To finish the test you'll need to follow this Learning Disability Simulation link.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fast Forword Completed This Summer

The big accomplishment this summer was completing Fast Forword. Five days a week for six weeks but we gained 4 grades in reading. Success!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How the World Looks to Kids With Learning Disabilities

The world seen through the eyes of children with learning disabilities can look very different than it does for others without learning struggles.

Of course we'll never know exactly what it's like but we can try to understand through simulations and exercises. Probably the most famous of these is, “How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities,” by Richard Lavoie.

The video has adults do exercises that simulate being "learning disabled." Just like children with learning difficulties, the people in the exercise are smart and can read and understand what's going on but they are put in situations that mimic what a child goes through in school. It's truly amazing and heartwarming to watch, while humorous at times.

To get a taste of what it's like, here's a learning disability simulation that accomplishes the same thing. It only takes a second and can be done at your computer. Print out the image and show it to a teacher. It may help them see the light.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday ADA

On July 26, 2010, millions of Americans will celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Since 1990, the ADA has been helping deserving Americans with disabilities get help and fight discrimination.

More information can be found on their website at:

Happy Birthday ADA!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

IEP Goals and Objectives

What are IEP Goals and Objectives? There is always some confusion with parents, especially those who are new to the IEP process, about what exactly are IEP Goals.

Basically, IEP Goals are the part of the IEP that states what the child will do and by what date they will do it. The components of the IEP Goals are usually prepared as "smart" goals:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timely

So what is the difference between IEP Goals and Objectives?

Goals are written for the entire year and should be completed by the end of the IEP year or session.

Objectives, on the other hand, are subsets of the Goals and are presented on a timeline between the time the IEP is written and the end of the school year or annual IEP. If the IEP is written in October, there may be two Objectives between that time and the end of the year.

If the Goal by June of 2010 is to learn 80 sight words on a 3rd grade level, Objective #1 may be to learn 30 sight words by December 15, 2009 and Objective #2 would be to learn another 30 sight words by March 15, 2010. By the end of the year in June 2010, all 80 sight words will have been learned and the Goal will have been met.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Plans for Children With Learning Disabilities

It's summer and the kids are out of school. If your child has a learning disability it's time for a much deserved break for their over-worked brain.

But don't let them slack too much. Most schools have a summer reading program with one or two books the kids are required to read over the break at home. Make sure your son or daughter reads a few pages every day so they aren't rushing to complete them the last week before school starts.

Reading will keep their brain "lubricated" and in shape throughout the summer. But what else can you do?

Exercise is great for the brain. Don't let them spend all day on the computer or playing video games. Make it mandatory that they get some form of exercise every day.

Find a learning disability center in your area and see if they offer a summer program. Many have programs that are for an hour or two each day. With the extra free time, this is a great time to work on the learning disability using a program that isn't offered at school.

Get a digital camera (still or video) and have them document their summer. It will exercise the brain but it won't seem like work. Kids pick these things up easily and it's great for creativity. At the end of the summer they can put it all together in a digital scrapbook or an edited video.

Most of all, enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Understanding Learning Disabilities

To be successful with an IEP, it is extremely important to understand the nature of the learning disability in question to put in place appropriate accommodations and modifications as well as a focused plan.

Many disabilities are genetic so one of the parents may have an understanding of the difficulties their child is facing in school. But most of the time, one or both of the parents have no idea what it's like for their child to live with a learning disability. And for that matter, many of the teachers don't have a grasp either.

In 1989, Richard D. Lavoie held the F.A.T. City Workshop and produced a ground-breaking video, "How Difficult Can This Be," that simulates for parents, teachers, and specialists what it is like to live with a learning disability.

Every parent or teacher should be familiar with this video that takes Understanding Learning Disabilities to a level we can all appreciate.

More information about the video can be found here:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities are Always Searching for Easy IEP Help

Walking into your first IEP can be intimidating. The simple fact that your son or daughter is having difficulties with school is enough to make any parent lose sleep. But discovering that your child will need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be very stressful.

Parents frequently have mixed emotions when they get the news that their child has a learning disorder.

Moms are usually upset and wonder what they can do to help. Dads on the other hand can sometimes be in denial and don’t believe their child has a problem. It’s not that dads don’t care about their children but they usually aren’t as close to their schoolwork or daily care to notice everything.

It’s important to realize that the if the child has some kind of learning challenge, any help that can be provided by the school is crucial.

Individualized Education Plans are often challenging for all parties involved and for countless reasons. So, how do you find a way to have an Easy IEP?

It’s important to prepare for the IEP. Parents should keep an open mind, offer as much information about the child as possible, and be willing to learn as much as possible about the learning disability.

Make sure you attend the meeting. There are plenty events at school that parents can't attend like sports, plays and other events because of time constraints, work, or conflicting schedules with siblings. An Individualized Education Program is usually a once a year occurrence that you MUST attend.

Be prepared to participate. It is important that the child's parents get involved in the IEP, both before and after the meeting. Continue to monitor the child's progress and follow up after the meeting to ensure goals are being met.

Be flexible. Even though your child will probably be in the regular classroom, some of the curriculum will be modified. This means that portions of the materials could be toned down from what the rest of the children will be working on or that part of the school day will be learning from resource teachers such as an Occupational Therapist.

Easy IEP Help is an effort to provide some suggestions and tools for parents involved in the IEP process.

After years of attending IEPs, the process gets easier. Sometimes they go well and other times not so well. Parents have sent so many emails with questions that it was easier to begin to blog about it. Which is what this is all about.