Tennessee Disability Pathfinder offers a growing library of disability resources available at TNPathfinder.org. In addition to the growing directory of resources on Pathfinder’s website, here are some we’re highlighting this month
It’s very exciting as the new year school begins. Children are returning to school after a very long stint of staying home or hybrid learning due to the pandemic. With the new school season fastly approaching, children are preparing to learn new things and make new friends. However, for some it is not always easy to make friends. So, before the school year starts we want to remind parents, caregivers, teachers, and students, to talk about bullying, what it is, and how to prevent it.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, one out of every five students report being bullied. Students with specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavior disorders, other health impairments, and speech or language impairments report greater rates of being bullied than their peers without disabilities and their victimization remains consistent over time.
Stopbullying.gov provides tools and resources to help combat bullying. Click here to learn how to identify bullying and how to stand up to it safely.
Remember friends, be safe and if you are being bullied please tell someone.
National Center for Educational Statistics, Web Tables
Rose & Gage, Sage Journals
It is hard to believe that summer is nearly over, and students are already heading back to school! The Family Engagement in Special Education team has provided 10 helpful tips to make sure you and your students are ready! If you need help with any of these tips, don’t hesitate to visit https://familyengagementtn.com/ or contact their team at email@example.com.
- Organize your paperwork.
We all know there are so many documents to keep up with in special education. Having a folder or binder to keep all special education paperwork, meeting notices, and IEPs in one place and in order by date can help you to be more organized.
You can also use your binder to keep track of all communications – calls, e-mails, notes and flyers, meetings, and conferences. Be sure to include the dates, times, and subject of these conversations.
- Review your student’s IEP.
Your student’s IEP is one the most important tools on their special education journey, so it’s vital that you know it backward and forward. When does the IEP expire? When does your student need to be reevaluated? Does this IEP still meet your student’s needs?
- Ease back-to-school
Talk to your student to find out how they feel about going back to school. What are they excited or worried (or both) about – new classes, activities, schedules, friends? If your child is nervous, it may be helpful to ask if you and your student can visit the school before the first day.
- Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Talk to your student’s school early and often! Before the first day, share your questions and concerns with the teachers and staff who will be working with your child. But don’t forget you can reach out to them anytime during the year! Staying ahead of the game will help the school staff best meet your child’s needs.
- Start before-and after-school routines.
Talk to your student about any changes to your family’s daily routine that will happen when school starts back. Even better, start using your new schedule, especially morning and evening, a week or so before the first day of school.
- Stay updated on special education news.
Being aware of the latest special education news and laws can help you navigate the special education journey and be a strong advocate for your child! The Family Engagement in Special Education team can help you stay up to date. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check out of webpage for the latest information.
- Be Involved and attend school events.
Plan to attend all the back-to-school events that you can – meet-the-teacher nights, open houses, and parent-teacher conferences. If you cannot attend in person, stay in touch with your student’s teacher regularly through email. Share your child’s strengths and challenges along with any questions or concerns you may have.
9. Have a transportation plan.
Decide ahead of time how your student will get to and from school and share that with your child and the school. Review the details (who, what, where, why, when, how, how long, etc.) with your student so they know what to expect, and if helpful take a practice run before the first day.
10. Allow your student to take part in the decisions.
Encourage your student to be active in getting ready for school to start back. Allow him/her to ask questions and have choices in the decisions being made. Change can be scary, but when we have some say in the changes happening to us, the situation can feel less frightening. For information on supported decision making, please visit https://www.tndecisionmaking.org/.