Special Needs

10 Steps To Planning For Our Special Needs Son

I received an email today asking for me to meet and set up next year’s IEP (individual education plan) for our son, Elisha. At first I was a little bugged because we just started our summer break and I have so many things other than school on my mind.  Not to mention the fact that our teacher that we are accountable to is already off somewhere on vacation.

I guess it threw me off because every year (for the last six years), the IEP has not happened until the fall and sometimes even into the new year. I understand that our DL (distributed learning) school is trying to be more organized and yes we do get funding that pays for our TA (teacher’s aid) and our OT (occupational therapist), but still.

Here I sit with a house full of sleeping children and a quiet moment to write and I couldn’t get the IEP planning meeting out of my head.

So preparing for this meeting means that I need to:

  1. write a list of all the things I need to do to prepare for the meeting (you are reading the list)
  2. dig through my email’s and pull out a copy of last year’s IEP
  3. pull out the notes I took at last week’s meeting with the OT
  4. prepare my goals for Elisha for NEXT year
  5. plan my special needs order for NEXT year (I haven’t even ordered my materials yet)
  6. go over those with Jonah and see if he has anything to add
  7. go over the goals and order with the OT when she comes on Friday and have her write it in the proper lingo for the IEP
  8. contact the reporting teacher who is vacationing somewhere that I would like to be and let her know we need to arrange a meeting with the special needs coordinator
  9. arrange a time to meet the reporting teacher and the special needs coordinator
  10. write a blog post about it

One of the things that I am always telling people is to make blogging fit your life, not your life fit your blogging. Use your blogging to help you accomplish goals that you are already trying to accomplish in your life. I started thinking about how I could use my blogging to fit my life in this instance and you are reading the result of that. I have my to do list. You have a blog post to read.

I am linking up to Hip Homeschool Moms and Top Ten Tuesday.

How do you prepare for your special needs students?

What extra steps do you have to take when planning for them?

How do you use your blogging to accomplish your goals?

Top Ten Ways The iPad Has Changed Our Homeschooling

As most of my regular readers know, our oldest son has autism. A few months ago my husband and I came across an article that discussed how the iPad was having an impact on a family that was affected with autism. We researched the iPad and how it was impacting families and then we spent several hours looking through the iTunes store at all the apps.

We chose to spend some of our special needs funding for this year and go out on a limb and purchase an iPad for our family. We have had it for 5 days and it is changing the dynamics of our homeschool.

Here are just some of the ways that it is being used:

  1. During math, Elisha was able to write out math problems using a drawing program and his finger and then write the answer into his workbook. The work went significantly faster.
  2. Moses was able to draw out math problems, using the same drawing program,  with his finger tips. He was able to get through more of his work in one sitting.
  3. Elisha was able to write a simple and focused report in Pages.
  4. We used the iPad to play a quick game when we transitioned between subjects. We were able to find some great two player games that I played with the kids when they finished their subjects -chess, checkers, boggle, hockey, and connect 4.
  5. The iPad was a perfect transition tool to help us move from child to child.
  6. The iPad is a great tool for me to hand the kids if  I need to step away and tend to another child, or answer the phone (or the door).
  7. I have had the kids begging to do school because they get to use the iPad.
  8. Moses and I used the Blue Letter Bible on the iPad to quickly flip from scripture to  scripture and we were able to highlight the passages that we were reading which helped the text to stand out on the page.
  9. The iPad is the perfect way to practice spelling words (again in the drawing program) using finger writing.
  10. The iPad is fast, lightweight, compact, and quick to use.
  11. And a bonus for mama – I can check twitter, facebook, emails, and write blog posts while the kids are working beside me and switch between those apps and anything the kids need the iPad for in as quick as two clicks.

I am linking up with Top Ten Tuesday.

Disclosure: We purchased the iPad using our special needs school funding and we were not required to write a review.

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