For parents of children with exceptionalities like Tourette Syndrome, OCD, ADHD and mood disorders, classroom strategies are a very popular topic. Parents are eager to understand how their child’s education team can help remove roadblocks to learning, but it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the information, terms, resources and texts out there.
This blog series will help breakdown this information into easily digestible chunks. It is by no means exhaustive, but it will assist you in your effort to build a strong knowledge base. It features:
- Part 1 — an overview of key terms
- Part 2 — classroom strategies and specific supports for students
- Part 3 — answers to frequently asked questions by parents
- Part 4 — expert advice from the creator of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada’s e-learning program Advocacy to the Rescue, Dr. Norm Forman
The parent training program in advocacy that I developed for TSFC is unique in Canada. Based on my book Exceptional Children — Ordinary Schools, it’s designed to “level the playing field” between the school and parents who have children with special needs, particularly TS. It is accessed via a TS web-based distance learning platform in individual units on topics which include: IEPs, IPRCs, Legal Rights, Test and Assessments and General Principals of Parent Advocacy in the School.
The name of the program highlights rescuing. I receive calls from parents all the time describing their feelings of being “out to sea” and, in effect, asking for help in being rescued. Parents at school meetings often face difficulties when seeking changes to their child’s programs or services. School parents require resources and opportunities to network with one another to share their experiences and tips. They also need the opportunity to share their experiences in dealing with schools.
With this in mind I have helped develop a website which seeks to remediate the problems that parents encounter. The site, nse.zerofusion.com, is designed to offer a hands-on approach to problem-solving including such features as an IEP template so that parents can familiarize themselves before any meeting.
It’s urgent for parents to prepare themselves in dealing with the schools by learning as much as possible about the system, how it works and how to manage within it. This is what school parent advocacy is all about. The TS training program presents the perfect opportunity to learn these important skills. It is done online and I am available to assist participants in the process.