Aug 142014

Do you need Free IEP Training?

If you have a child on an IEP and feel like you’re a lost fish swimming in an ocean of special education jargon, I’ve been there! Going through this IEP Training will reduce your confusion and feeling of being overwhelmed. It might even help you feel like a true member of your child’s IEP team!

Let me welcome to Learning Abled Kids’ IEP Training. Since IEPs can determine what your child is taught, how your child is taught, who teaches the content, as well as when and where your child’s education is provided, the IEP is a critical document.

The IEP is the document that holds the school accountable for teaching your child. If you are a teacher, an IEP is your guide to teaching a particular child. The IEP lets you know what to teach the child and how to reach the child best.

To get the most out of this IEP Training, be sure to click on exploration links provided throughout the course, answer the knowledge questions for fun and learning. If you want to look up the actual code, you can visit the Government’s IDEA website and search for regulations of interest.

Resource books you may find helpful, both before and after completing this training, are:

How to Develop Legally Correct and Educationally Useful ProgramsIEP Training

Idea 2004: Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act: a Parent Handbook for School Age Children With Learning Disabilities

Wrightslaw: IDEA

These books let you know yours, and your child’s, specific rights as provided by U.S. federal laws. It is often essential that you know your rights in order to know what schools must do for children with disabilities. If you are a religious person, you may also find the “Interfaith Education Prayer” helpful in improving your IEP meeting outcomes.

Also, if you are battling with your public school, or find you are doing so in the future, I’d like to suggest you consider the feasibility of homeschooling your child for better educational outcomes!  First, if you doubt your ability or tolerance for homeschooling your child, please read two resources before deciding homeschooling is an impossibility:

1) Our public school to homeschool to college story, and

2) The book “Overcome Your Fear HomeschoolingIEP Training,”

If you are at any time considering homeschooling your learning abled child, please sign up for the Learning Abled Kids’ support group by clicking here. The group provides support to you whether you educate your child at home. It will help you find specialty curriculum, tutoring/therapy services, homeschool co-op classes, or independent homeschooling programs.

You will find the members are welcoming. Many have given up on the public school battle for an appropriate education.  Having been there, we all understand many of the issues and feelings you have about providing your child’s education at home.  It can be a scary thought!

Truly, homeschooling is actually a GREAT way to meet your child’s needs. Why? Because YOU are in control of your child’s education. You can provide whatever you know your child needs without IEP meeting schedules that drag out over months or years. You won’t be wasting your child’s precious learning time.  So, if you are at all inclined towards homeschooling, please join us!

In the meantime, if you’re still trying to make public education work, please make use of this IEP Training. It is great to arm yourself with the knowledge of IEPs, requirements, and to set your expectations at the level you suspect your child can achieve.  I’m cheering for you and your child no matter which route you take!

WELCOME to IEP Training!  Please press the “Forward” button on each page to go to the next section of this IEP training.

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Aug 032013

Sandy Cook developed this course as a labor of love in trying to help other parents understand and navigate the special education world, particularly IEP meetings.  She remembers how clueless she felt at her first several IEP meetings, the fact that she did not know her child’s rights, and later found out her child’s IEP was inadequate with vague or unmeasurable goals.

When Sandy’s oldest son began elementary school, it was clear that he was struggling with language-based learning issues and was eventually identified as having dyslexia. Through attempts to gain appropriate educational services from the local school system, Sandy learned how difficult acquiring appropriate instruction can be. When school administrators refused to provide appropriate reading services to the Cooks’ son, Sandy and her husband filed a due process lawsuit to gain Orton-Gillingham-based reading services. The outcome was favorable when the school system settled the matter two days before the court date.

In retrospect, Sandy believes many of the clashes between parents and public schools stem from lack of training for both parents and school personnel, and the child becomes a victim of ignorance.  Direct training in schools and universities must be implemented to insure teachers and administrators understand children with disabilities and to be sure schools honor parental and child rights. Parents need training to understand their child’s needs and rights.

Sandy is a graduate of the Georgia Advocacy Office’s Parent Support Leadership Project, a training program which teaches parents to be special education advocates.  She has attended her own son’s IEP meetings as well as IEP meetings with other individuals, thus she is familiar with the variety of ways IEP meetings can play out. Sandy teaches parents how to advocate for appropriate educational services.

After spending many years battling with the public school systems in her area, it became evident to Sandy that the most efficient way to meet a child’s educational needs is for parents to take matters into their own hands.   Sandy began homeschooling her own boys and had great success doing so.  You can read the Cooks’ story at Overcoming Learning Disabilities through Homeschooling. Sandy now consults with families who are homeschooling or wish to school at home to design learning programs that will adequately meet the educational needs of the child.

As her primary interest, Sandy shows parents how to provide an appropriate education through homeschooling to children with learning disabilities. Sandy graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emporia State University with a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology, where she focused on Universal Design for Learning and Learning Styles.  With Sandy’s boys having unique learning needs, as well as running the Learning Abled Kids’ Support Group with more than 1500 homeschooling parents, she has a wide variety of knowledge about how to effectively help kids learn.

Visit the Georgia Advocacy Office’s Website to learn more about protection and advocacy efforts taking place on behalf of disabled and mentally ill individuals. You might find the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights site interesting as they are charged with protecting students with disabilities against discrimination too.


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