How to Build a REALLY STRONG IEP for Your Child

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You know that dreaded part of the IEP process where the team tells you all the things your child can't do and then tells you how they are going to work on all of their weaknesses.  They focus on telling you how they are going to take these awful skill deficits and make them mediocre for your child.  That is exactly the WRONG way to build a strong IEP! Building a really strong IEP for your child requires much more than just knowing how to write measurable IEP goals or negotiate more services for your child. A REALLY STRONG IEP for your child means that you have to learn your child's strengths and be able to communicate their strengths so the team fully understands your child's needs. The bottom line is that we cannot build success for your child based on weaknesses. Your child has good skills that can be made great.  This approach is much easier than trying to take extreme weaknesses and making them just fair skills.  It's a shame that teaching usually puts all the energy and focus into improving the worst skills versus building greatness. Let's use the example of retelling a story.  Your child can retell a story that they just read by using their voice and telling you what happened with about 80% accuracy.  However, if you ask your child to write you a summary of what happened in the story, they only get about 20% of the details correct. In school, this usually means that your child's goal will focus on being able to retell a story, on paper, with at least 50% accuracy.  WHY?!?!  If your child can read and repeat details with 80% accuracy, why not strengthen their verbal skills to 90-100% accuracy!  With the way technology works today, your child can succeed at life without every having to maser writing down details of a story they just read.  Dictation apps are improving by the day! Oh, and tell me, when was the last time you had to read a story and write down all of the details.  Yes, you, as an adult, is this a skill you use often?  Most likely you do use the skill of reading something (Hello, articles on Facebook!) and then you summarize the article to your friend or spouse next time you are having a conversation.  If you really wanted them to know the details, you will send them the link to the article! Make a stand and set your child up for success... build on their strengths!  Yes, there are some weaknesses that need to be improved, but when you start to improve your child's IEP to fit their innate abilities, your child will shine. Ready for more IEP help? Join me today in the Special Needs Education Help Center! With Hope & Determination, Catherine how to Build your Child's IEP for Success

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