Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Our second blog post for back-to-school is all about the IEP (Individual Service Plan).  Ugg, we even hate writing those dreaded three letters, but, fear not, we're here to equip you with lots of tools to get your Rett Girl all that she deserves from school.

Before even getting to the IEP planning stage, however, take time to educate your daughter's team about Rett Syndrome. Use this easy link to our Q&A for Therapists on the PediaStaff website to send out to teachers, aides, therapists, counselors, and even the school principal. The sooner they understand your daughter's complex issues along with her strengths, the sooner you will be able to develop a good plan for her.

The first thing you need to know about an IEP is what one looks like: what are some goals, what do other Rett Girls have written into theirs and what is really important to include?  We have a "bank" of IEPs that are organized by grade level.  Check out our IEP Bank HERE and get some great ideas.  Then, stop by our Example IEP goals and Objectives page HERE for even more ideas!

Communication is always one of the biggest issues with our Rett Girls.  Our girls need to have a way to communicate, they have so much to say and need a way to express themselves.  We encourage you to push your school to allow your Rett Girl to utilize an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) device or system.  Apraxia makes it very difficult for our girls to be consistent which can some times be mistaken as them not understanding.  A couple great resource to use and pass on are Linda Burkharts Multi-Modal Communication Strategies for Children who have Rett Syndrome and this letter from RJ Cooper about Girls with Rett Syndrome.  These may help your team understand your Rett Girl a little better and may be helpful with setting up communication goals.  
Lastly, we all know how social our Rett Girls are so don't forget to include social goals in her IEP.  A great way to help her classmates learn about her abilities and understand her a little better is to send a letter home to the parents in your child's class.  This can help answer lots of questions and make your Rett Girl a little less intimidating to their peers.  We have a sample letter drafted HERE.  

Remember to take a deep breath, try to relax and know that as nervous as you are for a new school year to start your Rett Girl is equally as nervous.  Help her to ease into a new year by being confident about her goals and where she's placed.  If you need any assistance Rett Girl is always here to help!  

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