The Origin Story of Confidently Parenting

I was having my first parent teachers conference at my daughters new private school and I was told my daughter needed to be placed in a group for reading comprehension. I couldn't understand what the teacher meant since she was reading and from my standpoint she could tell me what the story was about. The teacher assured me that all kids develop at different rates and they have placed her in group that would support her reading comprehension skills. I felt as though maybe I messed up because I taught her how to read.

The moment I started to doubt myself and decided to leave my child's education to her teachers.

For 5 years I had a feeling that something wasn't right with my daughters performance in school. Homework that should take her 30 minutes to complete would take her an 1hr in a half. I would ask the teacher what they thought and they always said its developmental or just a general “We don’t do that” .

By 8th grade my daughter would tell me she's working real hard but she feels like she was letting me down and started to show signs of depression. I went on my computer and just started to type in symptoms . I discovered the type of testing that she needed and my daughter ended up having ADHD and Dysgraphia. Unfortunately, by the time she was diagnosed she was not offered a high school seat at their school

I felt so guilty as a parent. If I had only trusted my gut. I was anxiously running around trying to fix my mistake of trusting teachers over myself.

I took back control of my child's academic journey

I had a short amount of time and had absolutely no idea where to start. Other than ADHD I didn't even understand what Dysgraphia was. The only thing I knew was that they have schools that addressed her diagnoses. While my daughter could not understand why she couldn't take meds and stay in the school. I had to look my daughter in her eyes and explain to her that I didn’t know about her diagnoses and the school was not giving her anytime to figure it out. With each word I could see my daughters world being taken away.

I felt so bad. I messed up. I flash backed to different times that She would be doing her homework and her pencil would stop and she would zone off. My daughter was overwhelmed with the changes in her life and decided to go live with her biological mom

During the same time I received a call from my sons school that they can’t understand him when he speaks do I understand him? At this moment I told the truth and I said “ No , I don’t”  Stepping out of the ideal of being a prefect parent and into a world of testing that required me to be honest with myself about my child's development.

I stepped into the world of advocacy.

When my son went to a new school, this time I knew what type of test to ask for. When I received his test results I highlight everything that he scored low on and contacted therapist and read books. By the time I sat down to review my sons evaluations I knew more about his results than his schools team. They politely shut down all of my suggestions and gave my son a Individual Education Plan  that would have him always 2 years behind his peers. I knew that was not acceptable. I took my sons tests to a psychiatrist who took one look at his report and told me my son had pervasive Developmental Disorder. I had absolutely no idea of what that meant. She told me to go home and look it up. In my research I found a parents blog that described a day in the life of her son. As I read her blog I saw my son. With his diagnoses I was able to get him all of the accommodations he needed and within 2 years he was not only on grade level but he was also 2 years ahead of his classmates.

The only thing that keeps us from advocating confidently is having the information that's needed and time. I created Confidently Parenting to give you information that you may not have time to find. Join my Facebook Group Confidently Parenting Special Needs Kids to gain access to resources and information.

Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse Movie Outing

Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse Movie Outing

When you take your child to see the most popular cartoon for the holidays Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse and they have autism spectrum disorder.

Back-to-School Thoughts

Back-to-School Thoughts

It's August! Back-to-School is right around corner. This is the time that most of us parents start to prepare for the new school year. I start to think about how I can make my boys school year better beyond getting school supplies and  clothes. For a parent of boys who have IEP's I start to prepare for the upcoming school year by doing the following:

  • Review the current IEP and the progress reports- this will allow me to know which IEP goals have been successful and which ones they are still working on. This is a key time to review the goals that your child has not made any progress with and ask the question "Why?" and if it should be revised. If they have completed the goal then think about new one's, find ideas in the IEP Bank . 
  • Organization - its time to reflect on the schedule your children will have during the school year. It's the time think about bedtimes, therapy schedule, extracurricular activities, screen time and homework. 
  • Academic Support- draft a letter to your child's teacher to introduce your child to them and outline your child's diagnoses to open the door of communication. Also, because you will not meet to discuss your child's IEP until a month later after school starts. Opening the dialogue will also smooth your child's transition with new teachers.
  • Lunch!! It's easy to say I'll just have my kids eat school inch. But my youngest son has food sensitivities and will literally not eat. I have to start meal planning !! It's the only way to ensure your child is getting the nutrients they need, and will eat.

Since I'm starting to prepare for  back-to-school  I'm going to post this month about preparation ideas and resources. To stay in the loop sign up for the email list.

How To Get Your Kids To Talk To At The Dinner Table

What is your family dinner type like? Is everyone either watching TV or on their cellphones? Does this sound familiar? My mom turns on the TV and the boys watch TV while their eating and my brother will sit down and try to engage them in conversation to see how their days went. They don't answer him or give him half answers. Why? Because their watching TV!! Let's be clear we all can agree screen time consumes us all and guess what were missing out on? Bonding and getting to know our children! Here are few benefits of family conversation:

  • Develops stronger bonds between family members that increases children's self-confidence.

  • Develops children social skills that increases insight, empathy, and acceptance.

  • Develops children problem solving, analytical skills, and negotiation skills. improving your child's overall academic performance

I am one to honestly say that I turn the TV off and I find starting a conversation with my 9 and 5 yr. old outside of how is your day kind of awkward. Today we discovered table topics !!  A game that provides cards with random questions on them to initiate conversation. I discovered some awesome things about my boys and we had fun! I suggest either buying the cards or check out the samples and make your own. Hey have the kids chime in!  Commit to having at least 15 minutes screen free dinner time 3 times a week. Have fun!  Bask in your FAMILY!!