Articles & Tips

Ensure the Implementation of your Child’s IEP

Faith-Mischel-Golden_NEWHave you considered employing a case manager to monitor the implementation of your student’s IEP? There are lots of reasons why this might be beneficial to you and your child. Most parents put a lot of weight on the actual writing of the IEP, making sure it is a compliant document and addresses the entire student’s strengths and weaknesses. The goals must be relevant to the Common Core Curriculum and must be individualized for each student including all necessary accommodations and modification. your_childs_education

Most parents breathe a sigh of relief once the IEP document is finished, agreed upon and signed. Often once it’s signed, the document is put in a file and ignored until the next annual meeting. But, really, once the IEP is written, it is time for it to be implemented in other words providing the student with the special education and related services listed in the IEP. This includes all supplementary aids and services as well as program modifications the IEP team has determined are necessary. This will hopefully allow the student to advance appropriately toward achieving the IEP goals, to be involved and progress in the general curriculum and to participate in other school activities.
1. Every individual involved in providing services to the student should know and understand his or her responsibilities for implementing the IEP. This means the IEP document must be available to all of the student’s teachers and service providers. Once your child is out of elementary school, it is a good idea to check with each of your student’s teachers within the first two weeks of school to make sure each one has received a copy of the IEP and understands their part in its implementation.
2. Teamwork is very important in carrying out the IEP. There may be many professionals involved in providing services and supports to the student. Sharing expertise and insights can help make everyone’s job easier and improves the results for your student.
3. Communication between home and school is essential. Many parents ask for monthly or bi-monthly meetings of their child’s “team” to share information and keep everyone “on the same page.”
4. It is helpful to have someone in charge of coordinating and monitoring the services the student receives. In addition to special education, many students receive a number of related services. Having an outside “case manager” in charge of overseeing that services are being delivered as planned can help ensure that the IEP is being carried out and carried out appropriately.
5. The law requires regular progress reports to help parents and schools to monitor the child’s progress in his/her annual goals and education. It is important to know if a child is not making progress as expected or is progressing faster than expected so changes can be made as they become evident.

An IEP is an educational plan that might need changes throughout the school year to adjust it to the student’s needs. Therefore the “case manager” and/or parent must monitor the child’s progress monthly or bi-monthly throughout the year. Without this oversight, many parents are surprised to find out at the end of the school year that their student has made little or no progress during the school year. By then it is too late to make any changes and an entire school year can be lost. Remember that your child’s IEP is only good if it is implemented, and you, the parent must monitor the implementation to ensure your student’s continued progress.

Please keep me informed of what you are doing to ensure the implementation of your child’s IEP.

For more information or case management, please contact me at or 818 995-9757.

Pacifier Weaning in Six Easy Steps

pacifierTaking candy from a baby might be easy, but pacifiers are another story entirely. If you have a toddler or even preschooler who loves his paci, you’re in good company. Pacifier weaning is a common challenge for parents. Most parents find that pacifier weaning is easier between the ages of 12 and 24 months, when your child no longer needs the extra sucking. If you wait longer than this, the pacifier becomes a habit that will be harder to break, and if used during the day, can cause dental and speech problems. For a smooth transition, try these six easy steps to pacifier weaning.


  1. If your child isn’t already attached to a blanket, stuffed animal or other transitional item, begin giving him one with his pacifier. Pairing these two items months before you plan for your child to give up his paci will offer your child security when the paci is gone.
  2. A few weeks before Paci Departure (“Paci D”) Day, tell your child that he will be giving up his pacifier soon. Then limit your child’s pacifier use—first to in the house only, then only for sleeping, and finally only at bedtime. This will be easier on you and your child than the cold-turkey method.
  3. One week before Paci D Day, tell your child that when the garbage truck comes next, it will be taking away all of his pacifiers. Remind him all week whenever the pacifier is in use.
  4. On Paci D Day, hunt for all the pacifiers in the house. (You’ll be tempted to keep one just in case, but don’t do it. Both of you will be better off later on if there are no pacifiers in the house.) Once you have all the pacifiers, tell your child that he can say good-bye to his pacifier(s), then have him put the pacifier(s) into a bag and walk it outside to the trash or dumpster shortly before your garbage collection time. When the garbage truck comes, watch as the pacifiers get scooped up into the truck.
  5. Later that evening, when your child asks for the pacifier, remind him that they are all gone, that the trash men took them away. Reassure your child with some extra love and attention that he will be fine without his pacifier. If your child has a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, etc., this transitional item will help your child feel secure without his pacifier.
  6. Congratulate yourself on your great parenting skills.

How did you wean your child from their pacifier? We want to hear from you.

Happier and Calmer Mornings


Happier and Calmer Mornings

Our daily lives are filled with stress from the first second our little darlings open their eyes in the morning until we see their angelic little faces peacefully asleep at night.   Our mornings usually set the tone for the entire day.  If mornings are chaotic and frustrating, usually the rest of the day will feel that way, too.

Wouldn’t it be great to start your day peacefully and relaxed?  Impossible, you say!

It actually is possible with some pre-planning, limit setting and consequences.

So, how does this transformation take place?  It starts with some work from you.  Let the kids know that Mom and Dad are no longer going to nag and yell to get them ready for school.  Tell the kids that they will now be responsible for getting themselves ready for school in the morning (of course, young children will still need help).  It is important to teach the children the new routine before you implement it, so you might want to practice the new routine on a weekend.

Before dinner and after homework, all notes from school should be given to you to sign.  All items needed for school the next day will be put in a designated place by the door.  If your child forgets something he or she needs for school, let the child take the natural consequences of forgetting.  Yes, even a sweater or jacket. All clothing for the next day will be laid out and rooms straightened up before going to bed.  Younger children should be given a choice between two outfits, not their entire closet.  Each child should have an alarm clock in his or her room.  Place it on the other side of the room from their bed and make sure it is loud enough.  If the children don’t get ready on time, ignore them, don’t nag or take notice, just tell them to get in the car when it’s time to go.  They may still be in their pajamas and unfed, but once they know you mean business, they probably won’t persist in their old habits for long.

When the kids get themselves ready in the morning, they feel proud of themselves.  The household is calm and everyone is ready to sit down for breakfast and enjoy each other’s company before a tough day in the outside world.

Faith Golden lives in Encino with her husband, Avery.  She has two grown children.  Faith has a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in Home Economics and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education.  She also holds an Early Childhood Special Education Credential.  Faith has experience helping over 2400 families with parenting tips and skills.  For more information on Faith and her company, It’s Aparent, Parenting and Behavior specialists, please call 818.222.2606 or visit


It’s Aparent
23962 Craftsman Rd.
Calabasas, Ca 91302
p. 818 222-2606  f. 818 222 3886

Six Steps for Teaching your Preschooler to be a Problem Solver

IMG_0360The Preschool age is an important time, when children learn many of the social skills that will carry them throughout their life. These skills must be taught, learned and practiced over and over and over again.  Here are 6 steps for you while guiding your child through a social conflict.  The steps also teach your child to problem solve and think independently.

1)    When you see a problem occur between a peer and your child, draw your child’s attention to it by saying something like, “I see that you and Johnny both want the boat and are fighting over who is going to play with it.”)

2)    If your preschooler is very upset, encourage him to calm down before continuing. Tell your child to take a few breaths to calm down. You know your child, so use what works best for him.

3)    Have your child tell their peer in their own words what they think the problem is, or why they are upset. Even though you may see what the problem is, allow your child to use their words to express himself (you already know how to do this) give your child the opportunity to learn. You should repeat what your child said to enforce that he is being heard. (Ex: “Oh, you both want to use the red truck, but there is only one”)

4)    Encourage the children to come up with a solution (Ex: “What do you both think we can do about this?”) Any idea they come up with should be acknowledged and welcomed. The idea is to get them thinking. Help them generate a reasonable solution.

5)    Once the children have agreed on a solution, walk away and let them try to implement the solution on their own.

6)    Check back on the children to make sure they are able to implement the solution.  Reinforce how great it is that they found a solution. (Ex: “I am so glad the two of you decided to get an extra truck out of the toy box and play together.”)

Usually, the hardest step is number 2, calming your child down when he feels he has been wronged or hurt. These tips, when used consistently, will get easier for your child to do on his own. Ultimately you will be giving your preschooler the ability to think and solve problems independently, which is what growing up is all about.

What Do Your Discipline Techniques Teach Your Children

By Faith Golden, Child Behavior Specialist @ It’s Aparent Parenting

When we take our baby home from the hospital, no matter how long we look, Baby lying on soft cover.we won’t find an instruction booklet that goes with the baby.  When I first became a parent, there were plenty of people giving out advice on how to properly raise my kids. Some of the advice was helpful, but some of it, not so much.  I’m sure  you can relate to this. Parenting is not “one style fits all.” While friends and family may have good intentions, and their methods may have worked for them and their child, it may not fit your unique relationship with your child and parenting style.

Over the years I have witnessed parents grabbing their children, screaming at them, demeaning them, using physical discipline, bribery, threats, and other methods to try to get desired behaviors from their children. Parents who use any of the above methods to get their children to “behave” soon find that their children’s behaviors don’t get any better, and usually get worse. The children DO learn that big people can use physical force, bribes or threats to get a smaller person to do something they don’t want to do. Many of these children become bullies themselves. They see that their parents are out of control but expect them to control themselves with no example of what “being in control looks like.  Some of the children do learn to fear their parent (s). Although there is no such thing as a perfect parent, there are strategies, that when used consistently, can help parents to teach their children to follow family and social limits and learn to self-discipline.


Here are a few tips to make sure your parenting style is on track for developing healthy, well-rounded children.

First, set age appropriate limits.  The limits you set for your 18 month old will be different than for your 6 year old.  For example, the 18 month old will be kept away from stairs and dangerous objects that the 6 year old is able to access freely without supervision.

Second, be consistent. From an early age your child needs to know what he/she can expect from you. Being consistent helps your child develop a trusting and secure relationship with you so he knows that you will always keep him safe and protect him.  When boundaries constantly move, a child feels insecure, stressed and unloved.

Last, make your expectations of your child very clear so your child knows what is expected of him. Your child is more likely to succeed if your expectations are clear and developmentally appropriate.  Consequences for actions should be natural or logical.  If a child spills a glass of milk, the child should clean it up, not be sent to bed without dinner.  The consequence should fit the crime.  Giving children choices then allowing them to take the consequences of their choice teaches children to make good choices as they grow up.  We all learn best when we are allowed to fail and know we have support as we make amends or get back on our feet.

Choice examples:  Do you want to walk to bed on your own, or do you want me to walk with you?  You can play when your homework is done.  Take as long as you want, it’s up to you whether you play or not.  Dinner is on the table.  You can choose to eat or not, it is up to you, but there will be no more food until breakfast.

I realize this is easier said than done. Every parent has room for improving their parenting skills and every parent needs help from time to time.  It’s best to ask for help when the issue is small, before it gets out of control. Perfect Parents do not exist; there are only good enough parents. If you are interested in more parenting techniques and tips that can be used in your unique family situation, read more on the It’s Aparent website, under quality parent coaching or call (818) 995-9757 for a consultation.

© Faith Golden 2012. This material may not be copied or used in any manner without the express written permission by the author.

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