Pop-Up IEP for Parents/Advocates

Are you dreading your next Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting? Are you already in disagreement with your IEP team or your school staff over needed services for your child? If so, you are not alone. Below are some "conversation stoppers" that parents may hear when advocating for their children. Knowing what the "real" issues might be, some respectful but effective responses, and what the laws say about educating children with disabilities can assist you in getting your IEP team meetings moving again in a more positive direction! Click on the link below to find some helpful tips.



Statewide Family Support Center



Serving Kentucky’s Families of Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
K.S.D., P.O. Box 27, Danville, KY 40423

The Statewide Family Support Center is a resource for each and every family in Kentucky with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. This unique center offers services that will enable you to better meet the needs of your Deaf or Hard of hearing child. The SFSC:

  • Promotes family involvement in the child’s education
  • Provides opportunities for networking with other families who also have a deaf or hard of hearing child
  • Provides resources, referrals, information, and workshops for families related to a wide variety of topics including communication, language, literacy, amplification, and technology
  • Provides early intervention services for families across the state along with information for the professionals who work with them
  • Provides Family Education in the Central Kentucky area by the Family Support Resource Specialists

The staff of the SFSC believes families should have access to resources, support, and education which will enable them to make informed decisions. The SFSC wants to support families in their hopes and dreams for their child’s future.

SFSC also provides materials and information to teachers and other service providers about a variety of topics including communication, family dynamics, impact of hearing loss on a family, and other resources. Some of these resources include the following:

  • Newsletter: SFSC publishes a bi-monthly newsletter for families and professionals on a variety of issues concerning deafness, deaf culture, language development, literacy, social/emotional issues, examples of events at KSD through the KSD Happenings section and highlights of events through-out the state of Kentucky through the Statewide Happenings section. Archived newsletters can be found on the web at www.ksd.kyschools.us under the Outreach page.

  • Instructional Materials Resource Center (IMRC): Our free-loan lending library provides materials for parents and professionals across the state.

  • Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP): Information about the Described and Captioned Media Program which has free-loan educational media that is described, captioned, and available on the Internet and through the U.S. mail.

  • Family Learning Vacation (FLV): A weekend retreat for families across the state who have a deaf or hard of hearing child or children which provides resources, strategies, and information specifically targeted to the deaf population. The entire family including parents, all siblings, and other significant family members are encouraged to attend. FLV provides workshops and panel discussions with deaf and hard of hearing individuals to allow families to learn more about raising a deaf child. Families also participate in regional parent meetings and small group discussions. The children participate in a program filled with engaging activities and learning opportunities.

What happens if I do not sign my child's Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

Article on what to do when you don't agree with the school about services offered for you child.



Under 34 CFR §300.503(a), the school district must give you a written notice (information received in writing), whenever the school district: (1) Proposes to begin or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to your child; or (2) Refuses to begin or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child or the provision of FAPE to your child. The required content under 34 CFR §300.503(b) is listed below in this model form. The school district must provide the notice in understandable language (34 CFR §300.503(c)).

RIT - NTID - Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

Hands and Voices

Hands & Voices is a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them. We are a parent-driven, parent/professional collaborative group that is unbiased towards communication modes and methods. Our diverse membership includes those who are deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing impaired and their families who communicate orally, with signs, cue, and/or combined methods. We exist to help our children reach their highest potential.
Hands and Voices Link

Self-Advocacy: A Must-Have Skill

Self-advocacy in children with hearing loss will permeate many aspects of the child's life. Once it has been determined that the family's desired outcome is to have their child take advantage of the technology that is available to them, fostering self-advocacy can be woven into the routines of every day family life as well as into early childhood curriculum. As many parents of children with hearing loss will attest, the introduction of the amplification system, either hearing aids or cochlear implants, can be a frustrating time in the journey. Even though logic dictates that the more the child wears the device, the sooner the child will recognize its value, and the sooner he/she will accept the amplification and begin to embrace its use, for many families it is a difficult time.

Practicing the 3 P's can prove helpful: Persistence/Patience/Positive attitude

Persistence refers to the hundreds of times a day that the child will remove the device or it will fall off on its own.
  • Simply put it back with a smile on your face and a word of praise or encouragement.
  • This is not negotiable (many parenting decisions you make will be non-negotiable).
  • Once your child realizes that you will continually replace it, one (or both) of two things will happen: The child will give up and leave it alone AND the child will begin to understand that life is different (better!) when it is on.
Patience refers to the parents' ability (and willingness) to accept the fact that this is a phase and that "this too shall pass." Patience also refers to the realization that this, as with many things, is a process that will take time and effort on everyone’s part.

Positive attitude begins with you!
  • Your attitude about your child's hearing aids will be reflected to them.
  • If you are positive, upbeat and approach hearing aid use as part of the routine, they will adopt that attitude.
  • If you approach it as a chore and something that needs to be done, it will just delay their acceptance.
Positive attitude also refers to pairing early use with a positive experience.
  • A gradual introduction can be accomplished by stipulating that if you want to watch TV, your hearing aids need to be on. It will be more fun, too!
  • If you want to play with playdough, your hearing aids need to be on. If the hearing aids are removed, the fun activity is over until the hearing aids are put back on.
  • Involve children in hearing aid care early, to the safest extent possible (button batteries should not be accessible. The button battery hotline should be posted: 202-625-3333 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-625-3333 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-625-3333 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-625-3333 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-625-3333 end_of_the_skype_highlighting).
  • Choose/select/decorate/shop for a special container to place the hearing aids in at nap and bedtime.
  • Give the child a choice of which hearing aid will be removed/checked first.
  • Teach the "pinch & pull" method for removal by modeling it for the youngest user, providing hand-over-hand guidance for the older toddler and encouraging proper removal for the preschoolers. Pinch & pull involves slipping a finger under the earmold, pinching the earmold itself and pulling it by the earmold, not by the tube.
  • Talk about what you are looking for while you visually inspect the mold for dirt and wax; gently wipe off the mold.
  • Listen with a stethoset and give an exaggerated happy expression when you hear the sound. "That sounds great!" "Wow! That sounds nice!" Replace the device (or put it away for the night).
  • Once the child has accepted the device and has begun to use it regularly, when reinserting the aid or reattaching the coil, do it in the "off" position and prompt the child to "Listen!" as you turn it on. This is a good first step in raising a child's awareness of the function of the device.
Self-Advocacy for CI users
Self-advocacy for cochlear implant users can be developed in a similar manner. Using proper terminology for the parts of the device, encouraging the child to use it by sharing your excitement for listening and by practicing the 3 P’s, your child will soon be asking for the cochlear implant!

As with so many aspects of childhood, routine and expectation lead to predictability and security. Competence and confidence in amplification care will result in greater self-esteem about themselves and their hearing loss. It's never too early to start!

Submitted by
Jeana Novak, M.A., LSLS Cert. AVEd
Early Intervention Coordinator
Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech

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Alexander Graham Bell Resources for Parents of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

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