Can Old School Ways Help Us Embrace New World Rehabilitation Realities?

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“One faces the future with one’s past.” Pearl S. Buck

So, how’s the IEP (or any other planning) process treating you? Are you excited for the annual meeting or have you been dreading it for weeks?

Do you ever really get what you want from an IEP?

Most likely your answer is both yes and no. The outcome most likely depends on you, the parent of a special needs child. Schools often have a cadre of well-intended professionals dealing with the challenges and pressures to meet the needs and demands of all their students. In today’s world, education, the traditional rock bed and center of our children’s life is facing the same instability and change of being experienced by other changes in our communities and human service systems.

And, you and your family are in the middle of it. You are the fulcrum balancing both your own and your child’s needs in a world of constant change. And, more change is on the way.

Despite the chaos surrounding you, there is hope. Somewhere sitting in an office, walking down a corridor, someone wants to be your champion, to make a difference and help. The key for you is to look beyond the obvious. Look and you can find them by their smile, the nod hinting at understanding   or even by a touch of their hand. They connect and more importantly, they take action. Seek these gatekeepers out and invite them into your world.

As the 21st Century gallops forward, pressures in the classroom are significant and daunting to many education professionals. Sequestration, the government shutdowns and potential special education budget cuts are creating additional pressures in the classroom. As a parent, you have to be present to get what you need at those IEP meetings. You need a strategy and plan

When systems of support for special needs kids developed in the last century we learned just how capable and competent people with disabilities can be given the chance at real education.

Every day mothers and fathers of special needs students are taking to Google, Bing, Twitter and Facebook to understand and navigate the education system being restructured even as they tweet. Our education system is shifting, restructuring and we need to know how it will affect us and our special needs child.

Parents have been advocating for their children for eons. It’s in our DNA to protect our children, fight for them, and love them. That will be no different now or in the future. What you will need to be a successful advocate in the coming years? 

Let us know your strategies by commenting on this blog post.  Do you know a family or a person with a disability caught off balance by these changes? Would you like to help make a difference in their lives? Share this blog and the four following blogs with them.  You might just change their lives.