Every time I begin to see Valentine emerge at the stores, I know that it is nearing Conference time.

I know!

Doesn’t it seem like we just visited with the teachers and talked?

But here we are again.

1. It is time once again, to take a good and honest look at how your child is doing in school this year. Ask yourself these questions. 

-How is your child doing with his/her peers?, stressed? scared?

-Do they struggle with social situations more than before? Or are things going pretty well?

-Are they able to do the work required even if it is modified? Or do they need more help and modifications?

-Does your child hate going to school? Cry when they have to go?  This is something important to bring up.

2. It is also time again to re-read your child’s IEP ( Individualized Education Plan)because:

– It is so important to see how your child is progressing towards the goals listed and if not, then it is important to ask “why not?”

-It is important to share any positive you may see at home towards their goals and share it with those at the school

-It helps to be well versed on the IEP, simply to be the best advocate for your child.

3. It is time to bring up any concerns that may have been tabled from the last conference time…you know things to “watch“.

-Sometimes things get put into a “watch and see” file especially if there is the hope that maybe through therapy or special attention at school, it will abate.  Examples would be such as fear of entering the lunchroom if it is noisy or maybe speaking up in morning circle time.  Really anything should be addressed now.

4. It is time to share with the school any new concerns as well as things you are working on outside of your child’s school time.

-Bridging the two worlds, school and home, only helps the child.  Getting everyone to understand everyone else’s work and efforts only helps the child.  So if you have papers/work/testing from other sources, please share it with those at the school.  It helps with any planning or expectations so very much.

5. This conference time will be important as we all enter what is called “IEP season” or Spring.

-Getting a good and full understanding of your child from those working with her as well as a good review of where things stand on the IEP will help you. Because, soon you will begin to plan and address the IEP that will need your attention and work in the not too distant future.

Even though Elizabeth, my beautiful daughter with global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD) is now 22 years old and past conference time needs,  I wanted to share what we did because I hope that it may spark a thought for someone and maybe offer a bit of help.  After all, we are all in this thing called life together, and we want the best for our special children.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of:

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues