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#216858 - 10/20/05 10:40 AM Advocating for Children in Public Schools
SNC_Editor_Pam Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
I read an excellent article this month that may have been written for moms of children with special needs, but is a wonderful piece for anyone advocating for children in public schools.

"An Effective Complement: Advocacy & Forgiveness"
http://www.disabilitysolutions.org/blog.htm

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Pam
_________________________
Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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#216859 - 02/15/06 09:14 AM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools
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BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
Children in private schools, and children who are homeschooled also benefit from the efforts of advocates who deserve the support and encouragement they need in difficult times.

Remember that there are many ways to get around, under, through, and over obstacles that are greater challenges than most children's diagnoses. You know your child, your family and your community best, so don't hesitate to call upon resources that are not specifically for children with disabilities and their families.

Wishing you all the best,

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Asking More from Medical Professionals
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Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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#216860 - 08/30/06 09:07 PM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools
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BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
There's a good article out of New Zealand this week - I love the caption of the picture: Stand by me.


Parents of disabled pupils put together Code of Rights
article at Stuff.co.nz - Wellington, New Zealand
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3780522a11,00.html

Enjoy!

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Thanks to Chris
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Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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#216861 - 09/12/06 10:54 PM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools
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Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
The first weeks of a new school year should be filled with photo opportunities, getting to know classmates, teachers, and how to get around the school building.

Many children have had sleepless nights worrying about whether their clothes and hair styles will be acceptable to their peers, how difficult their lessons will be, who will seek them out on the playground, and whether they will be chosen last in P.E. class. This year children are supposed to have healthier choices in the lunchroom.

Teachers have spent a great deal of time setting up classrooms and creating lesson plans that will help their students learn, hoping that their behavior management skills allow for a safe, peaceful and vibrant classroom.

Parents are hoping for good communication between school and home, academic growth for their children, and a positive atmosphere at meetings where they will find excellent or at least adequate supports and encouragement for their sons and daughters.

Wishing you all the best for the 2006-2007 school year.

Pam W
SE of Seattle
Editor, Special Needs Children site at BellaOnline.com
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#216862 - 11/08/06 11:45 PM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools
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BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
Just a note to say how thankful I am that so many families are carrying on the tradition of advocating for their sons and daughters in public schools, finding the best opportunities and continuing the legacy of hope and determination that have brought us all to where we are today.

You may falter, be so discouraged you need to take a break, or go through a bad spell where you have no support or encouragement, so remember that we have all gone through those tough times. We are thinking of you and wishing you well.

I'm sending virtual Ben & Jerry's (my long time therapists of choice) to celebrate your accomplishments and empathize with your continuing struggles.

Mainstream classmates and their families and others in our communities have learned to be advocates and better friends because of the work you are doing.

There are teachers, staff and administrators everywhere who help our children and families from the inside of the system, without fanfare or recognition, and others who are heroes who stand with us despite the difficulties that may cause in their own careers and work environments.

I hope you find one another.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Disability Advocacy and Awareness
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art35878.asp

Advocating in Multicultural Communities
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art11304.asp

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Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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#334740 - 08/19/07 09:49 AM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools [Re: SNC_Editor_Pam]
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BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
When our children are included in regular classrooms, it's more likely that we will become advocates for all children, and their teachers.

Parents can request or insist upon support and staff training that teachers may be discouraged from expecting. We have our child's best interests in mind, where teachers must divide their efforts between students and administrative expecations.

Some teachers may occasionally feel inadequate to the demands of their students, administrators and parents - and like all of us, could often use a little encouragement and help. Just as a well trained or talented aide in the classroom can free up the teacher to work with individual students, parent volunteers who work with small groups or individual students in their child's classroom can free up some teacher time for a child with special needs.

It can also be interesting to see how much of our own child's troubling or perplexing behavior is age appropriate, working with their mainstream peers.

I'd be interested in learning how other parents advocate for children in public schools - both regular and special education.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Inclusion of Children with Disabilities Benefits Classmates
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Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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#401216 - 03/31/08 09:59 PM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools [Re: SNC_Editor_Pam]
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BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
Spring is here and many families are preparing for IEP meetings to plan next year's school placement and transitions. Some children are moving from early intervention to preschool; some preschoolers are heading for kindergarten!

Don't forget to enjoy and celebrate each milestone ~ participate in school and classroom events and invite mainstream as well as special needs classmates to graduation and birthday parties. This is a special time for all your children's peers, and not as many as you imagine have had the experience of being recognized and included.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Editor, Special Needs Children site at BellaOnline.com
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Edited by SNC_Editor_Pam (03/31/08 10:04 PM)
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Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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#404142 - 04/08/08 06:02 AM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools [Re: SNC_Editor_Pam]
jmcbride Offline
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Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 8
Loc: CA
Wow! well put
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#404471 - 04/08/08 09:31 PM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools [Re: jmcbride]
SNC_Editor_Pam Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
Originally Posted By: jmcbride
Wow! well put


Thank you. I have found that my son's mainstream classmates needed to feel welcomed, admired and appreciated as individuals, too - it might be even more so now with so much attention being paid to tests and scores. Children seem to learn more, and learn it on a deeper level, when they are not distracted by worries of being different and/or incapable. They each have so much potential for growth and connecting with their communities, we just need to give all of them the opportunities and support we can.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Universal Design for Learning
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#412495 - 04/28/08 11:02 PM Re: Advocating for Children in Public Schools [Re: SNC_Editor_Pam]
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BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 1427
Loc: SE of Seattle
Families of children with special needs should be aware that 'kindergarten roundups' and other events are happening in public schools to pre-enroll four and five year olds in kindergarten and help mainstream students with transitions to middle and high schools.

Students with special education IEPs or 504 plans are entitled to participate in these events but may not be invited as events specifically for special ed students are often counted as substitutes for the mainstream opportunities. Have fun with it!

For those who have IEP meetings in the Spring to plan for next year's placement and support, this is an ideal time to think about what you would like your child to experience on the first day and first week of school next Fall.

Good luck!

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Back to School with Diabetes
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