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My husband and I are so lucky to be the parents of 3 amazing sons. Two of our children are adults now and a few years back we had the incredible opportunity to adopt our third son. Raising a child later in life has presented its own challenges, along with the fact that our youngest son has what is now termed as Affective Needs (AN).
When I taught school many years ago it was all under the umbrella of Special Education. Fortunately, research in the different areas of child development has given us so much more information to work with. Unfortunately, so many of the school districts seem to be far behind in adopting the needed services for our children.
My goal for this part of my blog is to share our journey, the helpful resources I come across, and hopefully help others by sharing how we advocate for our son.
Here is my first blog post about Parenting and the difficulties we are experiencing with our son’s school. I hope you will follow along and join in the discussion! After my blog posts, I will be adding a list of resources that have helped me in the past and any future ones I think would be beneficial to share.
My Blog Posts:
If your child has any type of Affective Needs, this blog I just found is a great resource! Whether your child has Autism, PTSD, is adopted, or has other life events that affect the way they react to life, this blog can help.
Great Resources for Parents, Caregivers, and Educators:
For children who have experienced trauma, learning can be a big struggle. But once trauma is identified as the root of the behavior, we can adapt (as teachers) our approach to help kids cope when they’re at school.
49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child This is one of my favorite articles from The Mighty, which is also a great place to find information on just about any health topic imaginable, written by people who actually experience them. This specific article is another excellent one to pass on to your child’s teachers and support staff at the school.
Great insights for parents, caregivers, and educators.
Written by the U.S. Department of Education
ACEs Primer A video featuring educational media from Paper Tigers and Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope. From KPJR Films.
ACEs Too High A blog about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences): The research behind it, current news, and resources.
Anonymously Autistic I regularly read this blog written by an adult on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. She gives me such insight to my son and his actions, she gives me a lot of hope also. I know this child’s life may be more difficult than our other children, but different is not always bad.
Aspergers Living A well-written blog on everything about Aspergers from Parenting, Support, and Independent Living.
Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators This is a great resource for educators and parents. This was developed by the NCTSN, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Here you can find information on how to deal with a multitude of traumatic events that a child may experience. Anything from the death of a pet, natural disasters, terrorism, as well as dealing with children who suffer from PTSD due to the environment that they were previously or are still being raised in.
Confessions of an Adoptive Parent This is a wonderful blog that is open and honest about the different issues we face. Their motto is: Offering Hope for Families in the Trenches. Adoption, Foster Care, Special Needs, Marriage Enrichment, and Parenting.
Dispute Resolution for the Colorado Department of Education, Exceptional Students The links on this site offer information on dispute resolution options available to parents and school districts regarding disputes that may arise during the Special Education process. In addition to information on Mediation, State Complaints, and Due Process Complaints, they have resources for early dispute resolution, understanding your rights, and important Special Education laws and regulations.
Grandfamilies.org The Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center serves as a national legal resource in support of grandfamilies within and outside the child welfare system. They provide:
A searchable database of laws and legislation affecting grandfamilies both inside and outside the foster care system for all 50 states and the District of Columbia
Summaries and comparisons of laws and legislation for legal topic areas, including practical implementation and advocacy ideas
Technical assistance and training to state policymakers, advocates or other interested parties
The Center is a collaboration among the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Generations United, and Casey Family Programs
Grand Family Coalition Where Grandparents and Services Connect “Grand Family Coalition is a network of Grandparents and other kin raising kin. Our mission is to promote the unity of grandfamilies by creating a place where grandfamilies and services connect. Through our own experiences we know that resources and services are not always made accessible and often times grandfamilies are not aware of the services that are offered, isolating these families from each other and the resources they need.”
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren If you are just starting to care for a grandchild, these are the basic things you need to know.
iFoster.org iFoster is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing life-changing resources that support vulnerable children and youth. iFoster programs are free to members of the foster, adoptive and kinship communities; youth who are transitioning out of the system or already emancipated; and the organizations that support them.
Key Concepts: Toxic Stress, Resilience, Executive Function & Self-Regulation Videos, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University. These key scientific concepts are the building blocks of the core story of child development. Each page within this section provides a concise overview of a different key concept and aggregates a variety of resources created by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the Center.
“Alcohol and Human Development. No safe amount. No safe time. No safe alcohol. Period.”
Lots of great information, resources, and referral information for you.
Raising Grandchildren: Finding Support If you’re a grandparent caring for a child, here’s how to find the help you need.
Teaching Traumatized Kids Some schools are using simple acts of kindness to support vulnerable students. ” Neuroscience tells us that the brains of kids regularly facing significant trauma or toxic stress are wired for survival and likely to erupt at the smallest provocation. A major study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente found that the higher a young person’s ACEs score, the greater the risk in adulthood of chronic disease, mental illness, and premature death. These children also have a far greater future likelihood of either inflicting or being the victim of violence.” Amazing story of how this school has turned those statistics around, through simple kindness.
If your child has learning and attention issues and is struggling in school, you may be curious about 504 plans. If your child doesn’t qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a 504 plan may be a good alternative.
A 504 plan can give you peace of mind. This is especially true if your child already gets informal supports at school and you want to make sure they continue. But first, you need to know what a 504 plan can provide, what your rights are, how to pursue a 504 plan and what makes a child eligible. The more you know, the better you can advocate for your child
What is a 504 Plan?
This type of plan falls under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This is the part of the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against public school students with disabilities. That includes students with learning and attention issues who meet certain criteria.Much like an IEP, a 504 plan can help students with learning and attention issues learn and participate in the general education curriculum. A 504 plan outlines how a child’s specific needs are met with accommodations, modifications and other services. These measures “remove barriers” to learning.Keep in mind that a student with a 504 plan usually spends the entire school day in a general education classroom. And typically, children who need modifications would have an IEP, not a 504 plan.