Special Education Success Strategies
Welcome to the 7 Special Education Success Strategies.

Although it's summertime, school will be right around the corner before you know it.  Over the next school year you will have the chance to make a difference in your child's education.  Preparation for that change happens now. 

Take time to review the 7 strategies necessary for every parent to implement if change is desired.  I've had the honor to use these strategies with parents for the past 12 years and encourage you to reflect during this month on how you are going to make a positive difference for your child's long-term achievements.

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1. Take Responsibility

It's time you take responsibility for your role as your child's voice in their education and of the state their education is in.  This does not mean that you are solely responsible for mishaps, but if we are going to move forward with you becoming an equal member of the team, you must know your role.

From this point forward you will be responsible for consciously choosing the most effective action in any special education situation.  You will be in charge of increasing your credibility and influence with the team.  You will develop behaviors and actions that will not only improve your own effectiveness, but you will strengthen the entire special education team.

2.  Create a Mission

Every parent is given a voice in their child's IEP.  It's time to use yours effectively and strategically.  No longer will you hesitate on your input into the IEP.

It's time to create your child's Education Mission Statement.  This will include a clear definition of educational outcomes at the end of their school career.  Included in your plan are descriptive qualities of your child's education that will assist them in achieving their outcomes.

3. Plan for Success

Educational success and mastery does not happen by accident.  Only using consistent approaches when collaborating with the IEP team will  produce results.  You must create a systematic approach that works for you in becoming an equal member of the IEP team.

It's time for you to gain a reputation for excellent follow-through and superior input on your child's top educational priorities.  By developing and communicating priorities within the IEP, you will see consistent movement and progress towards the desired outcomes.

4.  Develop A Winning Strategy

Team collaboration for IEP success is mandatory.  Every team member needs to clearly understand both short and long term education goals. Everyday must be a new effort to achieve.

As an equal member of the team, you can find ways to share recognitions of success without fear of diminishing the weaknesses which still need to be addressed.  It's time to create effective, long-term professional relationships with the IEP team.  With mutual respect between IEP team members, the child wins.

5.  Listen, Learn, Teach

It's your turn to listen, learn and teach.  Listening to IEP team members with an open-mind to their perspective can bring new insights to your role on the IEP team.  Learning from IEP team members will broaden your information for decision making.  Teaching the team your knowledge and expertise about your child will keep the focus on your child's unique needs.

Listen, learn and teach are skills which require practice and adjustment within each team.  However, when these skills are mastered you will have greater influence to lead your child's IEP team.  You also will develop faster problem solving skills.

6. Cooperate

Understanding differences and how the contribute to innovative and better solutions is key to IEP team success.  You never will agree with every team member.  Your child needs you to develop the skills to cooperate with their team to create a better program education program.

The action of cooperation includes learning how to value other team members, their knowledge and their participation on your child's team.  The goal of cooperation is to integrate every team member's best idea.  With integrated solutions, a special education program has the potential to be much greater than an individual strategy.

7. Maintain Accountability

Accountability of all team members, including yourself, is key to long-term success.  The purpose of your child's IEP, as stated by IDEA, is to prepare for Further Education, Employment and Independent Living.  This is not a sprint of learning, but a marathon in life preparation.

By practicing these 7 strategies consistently you will bring your child's education to a higher level than ever imagined.

Copyright 2009, Precision Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
"Providing you with the information and help you need to change your child's special education outcomes."

Precision Education, Inc. www.precisioneducation.com  (815) 302-1273 / (800) 432-0170

Info Provided by:

Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed

Nationwide Special Needs Consultant - Speaker
800.432.0170  -Toll Free Phone/Fax