4 Proactive Dragon Slaying Tips for IEP Meetings, to Empower Your Advocacy!

Are you the parent of a child with Autism, or another disability who receives special education services? Do you become overwhelmed during the IEP process, and would like to learn a few tips to help you? Are you tired of the lies and deceptions being told to you by special educators? Then this is the article for you—4 proactive advocacy tips (dragon slaying tips) to empower you in IEP meetings and afterward!

1. Try and see if you can have a friend or relative attend the meeting with you (bring someone who knows how to write fast and take good notes). This is for a couple of reasons: a. the person can take in-depth notes about what is being said and who is saying it, and b. the person can be a witness in the future, if a dispute develops between yourself and special education professionals.

2. Tape record the meeting so that you can listen to the tape after the meeting, and fill in your notes (in case you missed something). Also, CD’s of IEP meetings may be used in due process hearings (if allowed by your state).

3. Bring a written list of issues that need to be discussed (do not forget to add items from an independent educational evaluation (IEE). By the issue write yes or no and leave a little bit of space. This way you can document if the school agrees to provide the service or not, and jot down specific things that they say during the meeting (don’t forget to add who said it).

4. Write an IEP summary letter after the meeting (do not forget to date the letter and sign it also), documenting what happened during the meeting. You should include discussions not in the notes, special education professional’s attitudes, and specific comments made by staff (to include their names). I have begun doing this recently in my advocacy and find it very helpful because I can include things not in the IEP document that should be—-but now the letter is in the child’s educational record!

Recently at the end of a meeting one of the school staff said something that would help the parents in their quest for their son to receive scientifically research based reading instruction. I immediately grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down what was said and who said it (the mother gave me funny looks because she did not know what was said or that I was writing it down). In the IEP summary letter I put this information and I believe that it was helpful in my advocacy! When the school answered the letter, they never mentioned what was said, or denied that the educator said it, so I was home free! Always document when special education professionals say something that can support your advocacy!

Good luck—remember your child is depending on you!

Tips on Building Wealth – Education Is the Key

I attended a free financial education class conducted by one of the independent associates of the International Marketing Group here in Cebu. It was indeed very enriching. I felt all fired up with the mission to eradicate the problem of poverty in this country that I decided to write this article.

I actually learned a lot from the seminar but I can’t put it all in just one article. So, let me just share with you ideas that appealed to me the most. I hope you will also get fired up and join me in this crusade against poverty.

Based on statistical research, it has been predicted that a large number of Filipinos will face an increasing challenge with the future of their financial lives. Wanna know why? Well, let me tell you.

Four (4) Major Challenges of the Average Filipino

  • There is an uncertainty in the labor market. With the advancement of technology, more and more companies prefer to spend on automating their business operations.
  • Most Filipinos are living in high debts but their savings are low or none at all.
  • There is an extremely high cost of education. According to studies, college tuition fees in the Philippines double every six (6) years.
  • As the country is developing, the cost of living in the Philippines is also increasing. Prices of commodities go up more rapidly than a person’s regular wage.

Build Your Wealth Like You are Building A House

The Filipino is indeed facing a weary situation about his financial life in the future. Although some have already learned the value of saving for the rainy days but they have not yet mastered the art of building wealth. Many people are making this mistake. They become so excited about getting rich quick that they go right on to making an investment while neglecting the one thing necessary – a solid foundation.

Building wealth is just like building a house (or any architectural structure). You need to build a solid foundation in order for the house to stand strong. The taller the structure that you want to build, the deeper you need to dig for its foundation.

It is also the same with your wealth. If you want to secure your future, then you need to build a solid foundation for your wealth building. The International Marketing Group has a team of financial advisers who can teach you strategies on how to build this solid foundation for your wealth.

Education is the Key to Success

In everything that we do, there is always a learning curve. We do not get to be masters right away. We still need to study and learn how to do the work. Carpenters were not born with a hammer in their hands. Somebody taught them the skills of driving that hammer. In the same way, we also need financial advisers to teach us the right way to building our wealth.

Top Special Educational Advocacy Tips for Parents

Most parents who have a child with special needs want to home school their child. They choose to do so in order to keep their child safe from peer pressure and close to themselves, for their child’s safety. This can be a daunting process, if you choose to educate your child yourself. However, it is not insurmountable. Check out the following steps that can make the process easier:

1. Know what suits your child best

You as a parent know the best for your child. If you feel that your child has a certain disability, you can help them cope with it. You understand your child best so you decide better what can help them learn. You can use different visuals, cues and other fun learning ways to educate your child.

2. Use letters to communicate important matters

Communication through email or telephone doesn’t work really well. Letters help you keep track of the entire history of communication. You may need to look back at your child’s documents later in case you fall into a disagreement with the educational advocate. You may create “minutes of the meeting” and send a copy to the personnel later, in case you have a face-to-face conversation.

3. Ask the educational advocate if you feel something is wrong

Your child’s advocate may suggest something that you may disagree with. You have all the right to ask for the details about the policy regarding that matter. It is important that all parents know about the policies for children with special needs. If need be, you can also ask for proof of the policy that your child’s advocate may suggest, for the benefit of your child.

4. Know the special education and disability laws in your state

It is important that you know all the laws related to special education and disabilities. This is important for your child’s education and future. You can avoid going misinformed by the special education personnel. The personnel may not communicate important matters that can affect your child’s education process.

5. Know the rights that your child has under special educational services

It is essential to know what sort of special care and service your child is entitled to. You can talk to your child’s advocate; do some self-research too, in order to provide the best education for your child. Educational advocacy services are of great help, as they make sure your child’s needs are fulfilled and your child receives proper education.

7 Easy-To-Use Health Education Tips for Families

Do you know that one family that always seems to keep so healthy and trim? What is it about their lifestyle that you are not doing to keep your family fit? More often than not it is simply a matter of having a more thorough health education. Here are seven ways you can educate yourself and your family to make health and fitness a priority.

1. Work as a Team

In order to get the whole family involved, you need to increase their buy-in. Giving everyone a voice leads to greater participation. Sit down as a family to discuss your lifestyle choices and set some healthy goals you can work towards as a team.

2. Don’t Starve

Most diets are very restrictive, and result in people simply eating less. When you do not eat right, your body initiates production of the hormone Ghrelin which causes you to become insatiably hungry. The result is that you end up over indulging on unhealthy foods when you could have simply had plenty of healthy snacks, such as almonds or carrots, throughout the day.

3. Automate Meals

As Americans, we are infamous for skipping the most important meal of the day. The reason breakfast is so important is because it is the first thing you have eaten in 8-9 hours, and determines your hunger levels throughout the whole day. Instead, pick a few staples for breakfast and lunch that are quick and easy, and eat those every day. Use dinner as your meal to get creative.

4. 30 Minutes a Day

Try to get 30 minutes of exercise every day, if you can at your home. If you have to drive somewhere to exercise, you make it more difficult on yourself to keep up with it every day. If need be, split up the 30 minutes into two sessions of light, gentle exercise like walking, running, cycling, body weight resistance exercises, and weight training.

5. Be The Decision-Maker

When it comes to food, whatever you buy your children will eat. If you buy them chips and cookies, they (and probably you, too) will eat them. After this, if you try to restrict them, it will cause them to crave those unhealthy foods even more. Instead, avoid bringing those foods into the house to begin with. Keep fresh fruit and vegetables chopped in the refrigerator, and have nuts, pretzels, and other wholesome snacks on hand.

6. Eat Dinner Together

The simple ritual of sitting down together as a family for a nightly meal places a priority on nutrition and proper eating habits in your family values. Additionally, this simple act has been shown to improve parent-child relationships, and increase academic performance.

7. Play Together

An important part of your exercise regime, should be pure, unadulterated play. Whether that means putting on music and dancing around, kicking a soccer ball around, rough-housing or anything that brings out your inner child.