Monday, August 14, 2006

Back To School on Inclusive Education!

Now's the time (Yes, during the summer) to get the final planning done for students with disabilities to be successful at the upcoming school year from day one! Don't wait till there is a problem, or set students up to fail. Cross your i's and dot your t's and start the year off on a positive note. Find out what activities are happening those first few days. Give your child or student a preview, if appropriate, practice vocabulary, create picture schedules, visit the school and practice. Make sure every person knows their role in supporting the student, who is responsible for what, and that all team members have the means to communicate with each other. Request an informal team meeting with key IEP members the first week to discuss what is working and where there needs to be problem solving, Preplanning, collaboration and communication are key to creating successful inclusion for students with disabilities. By being proactive, not only is the student more likely to succeed and have fewer behavior issues, in the long run it is less work for everyone. Do it right from the beginning, be positive and solution oriented and its a win/win for all, the school, parents but most important the students!

Don't forget to visit Kids Together, Inc. for lots of inclusion tips and resources, and of course The Parent Side for you products to help spread the word about acceptance, diversity and inclusion! The "Celebrate Diversity" design on posters, buttons and magnets has been a huge success. There is now a large selection of disability rights t-shirts, and other products such as mugs, hats, totebags, cards, bumperstickers and more! Great for self-advocates, advocates, family, friends and professionals.