Welcome back to the new school year! If your family is like mine, there are varying degrees of excitement in the air. New school supplies are waiting to be dropped off in classrooms. New clothes with tags are ready and waiting for the first wear of the school year. Along with the excitement of a new school year comes the unknown of a new classroom teacher and for many families, the overwhelming feeling of a new Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team including a new Case Manager. Let’s discuss 5 things you should tell your child’s case manager.

For many students and families in our school systems, their IEP team is the lifeline to a successful school year. The IEP is equally as important for student success as their classroom teachers. Here are a few talking points that might break the ice when meeting your child’s IEP Case Manager for the first time. Trust me when I say this will also make you their favorite family too!  

5 Things to Let Your Child’s Case Manager Know

Student’s Strengths

The first of the 5 things to let your child’s case manager know is your students strengths. It sounds a little obvious but sharing areas both academic and nonacademic where your student succeeds helps your child’s Case Manager learn and build a relationship with your child. A positive student/Case Manager relationship is critical to the success and growth of your child. Often academic tasks are hard for students who are on an IEP. Sharing your student’s strengths with their Case Manager it will allow them to be able to introduce academic strategies that emphasis their natural strengths thus boosting their confidence. 

Student’s Areas of Growth

Next, you will want to share your student’s areas of growth in both a classroom setting and non-classroom setting with their Case Manager will help them identify and create plans for success for your child. By having this information before a potential struggle occurs will allow the IEP team to be proactive rather than reactive when a plan needs to be created thus eliminating the potential for student, parent, and school frustration.  

Successful Redirection Strategies

Another of the 5 Things to Let Your Child’s Case Manager Know is strategies that already work. When a Case Manager doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, we don’t want to! If there are strategies that you as a family use at home and are successful, please share the wealth. The more times we can show our students the connection and communication between home and school the more consistent student performance tends to be. It’s very easy for a Case Manager to incorporate school-appropriate redirection strategies into IEPs and behavior plans. They will also share that information with classroom teachers so teachers can set your child up for success and be proactive.

Student Motivators

If I had a nickel for every time another Resource Teacher, School Psychologist, or even Classroom Teacher walked into my office asking about motivators for kids I would be sitting on a beach with my toes in the sand. Because I’m not at the beach I will tell you this is one of the most important pieces of the 5 Things to Let Your Child’s Case Manager Know. 

Behind every decision an IEP Team makes is the success of the student If we as a team and a school know what motivators engage your child then our path to success just became clearer. Having this information up front eliminates a trial-and-error process that hinders student success while we brainstorm motivator factors. This is also another opportunity to show how the communication lifeline between home and school can be seamless and ensure consistency to help foster both social and academic success for your child. 

Health Concerns

Health information is available in the student’s school record. However, it’s always nice when parents personally share this information with their child’s Case Manager. This allows for health concerns to be addressed face to face and questions to be resolved. Allowing life-threatening situations to be avoided. This is also nice to have ahead of time in case a specific school plan needs to be developed or an adjustment made to the school day. 

Sometimes changes in their schedule need to occur to accommodate their health needs. Providing this information to your child’s Case Manager will also allow them to be able to share the details of your child’s health concerns with their teacher(s). In turn, it helps eliminate any potential social pressure your child may endure. Also allowing everyone in the building to be on the same page ensures lines of communication are open and transparent. 

Your child’s Case Manager is your liaison to anything that is written in your child’s IEP. Keeping the lines of communication open throughout the academic year. This will result in the most success for the entire IEP Team including you as a parent or guardian. Best wishes for an outstanding year and remember your child’s IEP is about THEM and THEIR success!

Read our post on Avoiding the Homework Battle for more tips on your child’s education success.

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