Parents Helping Parents Blog

Practical strategies you can use on your journey to raising a child with disabilities

Are You Struggling With Enough Time?

# self care Jan 11, 2022

When somebody asks you how important self-care is, many of you may answer the way I used to.  Are you kidding, I don’t have time to pee, much less think about myself. The way I used to run my life, this statement was very true. Then I got tired of all the chaos and feeling as though so much time was being wasted. It was then I realized the problem was not that I did not have enough time; the problem was the way I used my time.

Value Your Time More Than Anything Else

There is an abundance of research that supports that when you want to change something about yourself, you need to...

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Self-Care is an Act of Heroism!

# self care Jan 04, 2022

Parents having children with special needs no doubt have more stress and strain than parents that do not. An article in the 2010 edition of the  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (volume 40, pages 457–469) found that the part of the brain that releases cortisol was under-active in mothers of adolescents and adults with ASD . This is also seen in other groups experiencing chronic stress, including parents of children with cancer, combat soldiers, Holocaust survivors, and individuals suffering from PTSD. 

Effects of PTSD 


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Three Steps to Break Down a Reading Comprehension Goal

iep information Dec 27, 2021

Last week we looked at a functional annual goal involving dressing skills and how to break it down into smaller objectives and measurable building blocks. You may want to review last week’s blog (12-20-21) for details on the breakdown into objectives, skills and modifications.

Again, you may have different goals, but this step-by-step process is the same for any annual goal.  This week we will look at a reading comprehension goal. For the purposes of this blog we will break down only the first objective and required skills and strategies.

Three Steps to the Process


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Three Steps Toward Meeting Annual Goals

iep information Dec 19, 2021

Last week we discussed IEP objectives as building blocks or “stepping stones” to reach an annual goal. It would be helpful to review last week’s blog (12-4-21) for details on how important the objectives are toward meeting annual goals.

We selected a dressing goal as our example in last week. You may have very different goals for your child but this step-by-step process is the same, no matter what the annual goal is. This week we will take it a step further by breaking down the objectives into basic skill sets your child may need to reach their goals and objectives.


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How to Help Your Child Meet Their Goals

Uncategorized Dec 13, 2021

We began talking last time about the importance of goals, but, how do you write strong, meaningful goals? The goals are like a roof that covers a house. There is a lot more to a house than just the roof! What is holding up that house OR is the roof about to fall in? The best goals are made when people understand the components or building blocks that support the roof.

Start with The Annual Goal
The annual goal is a statement of what your child could be expected to learn over a one-year period of time. What is realistic for that time period? What is most important? You can start by dividing...

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Why are the Goals in the IEP so Important?

Uncategorized Dec 06, 2021

When you look at the 20+ pages of the IEP document, do you cringe? Many of us do and may struggle with where to begin.

To make the whole process a bit easier, one of the first places you should focus on are the goals. They are one of the MOST important parts of the document.  The goals are the test of how appropriate the IEP is, and if it is working for your child.  Without the goals, the IEP would have very little meaning and nobody could be held responsible to ensure progress is made.

Below are three reasons why understanding and monitoring your child’s goals are so...

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Where to Start When Measuring Progress

Uncategorized Nov 29, 2021

Now that your child has an IEP, how do you know if your child is making progress? How do you chart if your child is meeting the goals and objectives in the IEP?  The first place to start when looking for progress is the goals.

Ensure the Goals Are individualized to your Child:

There is a lot of software that has made IEPs easier for school districts to do. Technology can certainly be a blessing but it can also cause school districts to use the same exact format and information in everyone’s IEPs and goals. The result has been that many children have very similar goals and some...

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How Does Progress Fit Into The IEP Process?

Uncategorized Nov 22, 2021

Over the last 40 years I have been involved with children and their families, I am often asked, “What is the most important thing parents should focus on.”  In almost every instance, I immediately reply, “PROGRESS.”  Three of the most important reasons are discussed below.

Progress is Legally Required

The law is written to ensure progress to the maximum extent of the child’s circumstance.  Why does the law place emphasis on progress? Progress gives concrete evidence whether or not the IEP are goals are appropriate AND measure the effectiveness of...

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What Does Progress Mean in an IEP?

Uncategorized Nov 15, 2021

We hear the word “progress” often, but what does it mean?  We’ve all heard these statements: the child must make meaningful progress, there is a lack of progress, where is the evidence of progress… what does progress mean and how to we quantify it?  Progress is one of the most important links to the entire special education process. 

Meaningful Progress

Meaningful progress refers to a measurable improvement in skills, as dictated by the IEP goals.  This requires that very accurate, detailed and verifiable data be taken at school. 

Take a...

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What Matters Most in an IEP

iep information Nov 08, 2021

Are you overwhelmed at the thought of an IEP meeting?  Do you “quiver in your boots” just thinking of reading evaluations that make no sense and do not describe your child as you know them? Are you frustrated from hearing all of the negatives about your child but little progress, year after year? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, read on.  Some of the families I work with have coined the acronym PTSD-IEP.  The trauma of past IEP meetings can trigger stress and discomfort before the meeting even occurs.

How can you get a good IEP? ...

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