Help for your child doesn't start with special ed

Learning follows a developmental process and every child progresses at his or her own pace. All educational objectives follow a range of performance. In order to determine if your child needs instructional support, ask your child's teacher to provide you with the following information: Performance scores on universal screenings Data on classroom-based assessments Behavioral information across educational settings Request a parent/teacher conference to discuss your child's performance, as it compares with that of his/her classmates as well as same-aged students across the nation. There are many ways to get additional support for your child before special education services need to be consid

Trust Your Instincts

Parents have an instinctual advantage on the needs of their children. While physicians, teachers, and therapists can all provide valuable insights, if you don’t feel like you’re being heard, or your child’s needs are being met, it’s very reasonable to seek out additional resources on behalf of your child. When your children are struggling in school, there are simple home supports that can make a meaningful difference: Teach kids that their “job” at school is to learn Distinguish studying from learning Prioritize student study time Provide an optimized learning space for homework Emphasize comprehension as an essential outcome of proficient reading Encourage kids to go “above and beyond” Mak

The Gift of "Support" For Parents

Being a parent is the largest most comprehensive job any person can ever hope to accomplish. It is a 24/7; lifetime role that begins at birth and its end point is undefined. Children come into our lives as these "possibilities" yet to be determined. Will she be a doctor, who will he marry, what college will she attend, who will their friends be, where will they live, and most important, can I give them everything that they need? As parents, we want to give our children "everything"; whether it's the toy that will make them smile or the best birthday party "ever", but with every attempt we question ourselves. The job is overwhelming because it does not have any instructions, so we never kn

Teach "Thankfulness" As A Part Of All Thanksgiving Celebrations

With Thanksgiving approaching, thoughts extend to the affective qualities of being “grateful". As we gather together and talk with our children about the feelings associated with thankfulness, parents and educators must consider whether their children comprehend the feelings associated with this holiday. ​ In this complex society, it may not be reasonable to expect children to understand and demonstrate the behaviors associated with appreciation and gratitude. Some children, especially children with disabilities, have learning profiles that may reflect difficulties with the abstract nature of social emotional development. When teaching abstract concepts, many students benefit from experie

The "Power" of Communication

Never underestimate the "power" of your knowledge as a parent. No one knows your son or daughter in the way that you know him or her; most notably, your student's strengths and capacities for future accomplishments. As an experienced educator, I remember doctors telling my husband and myself about "all of the things that our daughter would NEVER be able to do". We chose to listen, but not to be defined by those limitations; rather, we chose to believe in the "possibilities" that every learning opportunity could provide to her and allow her to grow at her own pace with hopeful optimism. ​ We worked with her school team and held them to high standards of accountability. We communicated on

Plan for a Happy Holiday

Tips For A Happy Holiday Season​ Teach your child names of guests ahead of time: Show your child pictures of relatives and friends before the party starts. Remind children if they have met the guests before and explain their relationship. Create a schedule of events for the party: Show your child photos from last year to provide a visual reminder. Also, create a schedule that will show your child the planned order of events. He or she can even use this schedule to check events off the list after they end. Role-play scenarios: Practice how to receive a gift, how to thank the giver and how to greet guests at the door. Prepare relatives and guests for possibility of unusual behavior by your chi

Celebrate Student Abilities

Kids are "hard wired" to learn, but everyone learns at their own pace and has their own strengths and weaknesses. As we put away the Halloween costumes and prepare for the holidays, parent/teacher conference season is upon us. It is at these meetings that parents first learn about any struggles their children might be experiencing at school. While this information is critically important and parents must be included in the subsequent decision making to support their children's progress, equally important is to discuss every student's strengths because it is through those strengths that progress can be achieved. As families engage in these important conversations, begin with "People-First

Vote For Your Children's Education

As we exercise our right to vote, Bridge Educational Advocacy encourages everyone to consider the impact of government on public education. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (sometimes referred to using the acronyms EAHCA or EHA, or Public Law (PL) 94-142) was enacted by the United States Congress in 1975. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a four-part (A-D) piece of American legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs. In 1990, the United States Congress reauthorized EHA and changed the title to IDEA (Public Law No. 94-142). Our government effects

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© 2018 by Pepi M. Silverman, Bridge Educational Advocacy