Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2016

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Page 16 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 17 • Programs for ages 2 to 4.5 years • Full & part-time programs • Extended hours before & after school • NYS Dept. of Education & OCFS approved program • Master level teachers & certifi ed teaching assistants 40 Park Ln., Highland 845-883-5151 Come learn about the Early Education Center... the fun place to be! Enroll Now of your child's teachers, including specials or non-academic subjects. Getting feedback from every teacher who works with your child will give you a better sense of how she does not only in core subject areas but in more creative or physical ones, like art and gym, and can give you a more holistic picture of how your child is doing. The mission of an IEP is more than just academics That's important, Phelan says, because an IEP is not set up just for academics. An IEP is designed to help your child progress in four ma- jor categories: academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. If he often comes home upset or unhappy, acts up in class or asks to leave the room often, those could be flags that the IEP needs to be revisited. In addition to monitoring social and emotional well-being through teacher communication, Phelan suggests keeping in touch with the parents of other students, who might get the scoop on what happens in the lunchroom or at recess when teachers aren't around. "My child would often come home and tell me about how the neighbor's child was doing, and then I passed that infor- mation on to her," Phelan says. Find support to help understand your child's IEP The process of understanding IEP's can be intimidating for parents, says Sandra Oglesby, the Executive Director of Empowering Ellenville, a community agency focusing on students with special needs. She recommends bringing an advocate or friend into the meeting who can "maintain decorum, composure and is not emotionally wrapped up in the worry of understanding every detail." she says. Ultimately, the IEP is a work in progress, says Oglesby. "It's a fluid document that changes and must keep pace with the student it is de- signed for." Elora Tocci is a freelance writer born and raised in Newburgh. "An IEP is designed to help your child progress in four major categories: academically, socially, phys- ically, and emotionally." PATTI PHELAN Special Education Lawyer

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