An A+ Special Needs Resource
The IEP Success Kit by SpecialEducationAdvisor.com
When I first stumbled upon this special needs resource by the good folks over at the Special Education Advisor website, I was skeptical. It promised a lot, and the price tag meant that many special needs families I know would find themselves priced out of the resource.
But I was already familiar with the website, and I knew them as advocates who truly know what they are talking about. And I know a lot of special needs parents who could use this kind of resource, $39.95 price tag or not. So I talked with Dennise Goldberg, founder of the site and one of the developers of the kit, to see if I could review a copy. (The new digital version is downloadable awesomness and only runs $14.95)
First True Cafe Review – Useful Resource for Special Needs Families
I have to say, I have been invited to do other reviews, and I have sought out a few others, because I want to start providing you guys with some great reviews of resources that mean something to you.
But I haven’t been quite as excited as I was when I received that large binder in the mail and started looking through all the different parts of it. It seems fitting that the IEP Success Kit is presented to you as my first review, because I can honestly say, after reviewing it, I find it to be an A+ resource, and well-worth the initial price tag.
I don’t say that lightly. Not all my reviews will be so kind *grin*
Let’s take a closer look at what the IEP Success Kit promises and what you will receive with it, so you can understand why I think so highly about it.
1. Teaches as it Compiles Information
What this means is that the Success Kit literally leads you, carefully, through Federal Special Education law, the IDEA legislation that seems like Greek to so many trying to wade through the process. It doesn’t treat you like a dummy – it assumes you can understand the basics of special education legalities, and that you want the best for your child.
Aside from the Federal IDEA information it includes throughout, one thing I found impressive was the extra resources that make this kit truly worth having … in the additional CD, you’ll find resources and further information on the special education law for every State. Wow! I know a lot of more expensive resources that don’t provide their users with this kind of comprehensive coverage.
Anyone who understand advocacy knows that you have to understand the nuances of the special education law in the State you live in, since every State has different legislation in place for their special education students.
This Kit takes nothing for granted, and provides you with a lot of information packed into a fairly easy-to-understand resource. This is why I recommend this to parents. Special Education Advocates will find the refresher on IDEA and the included State by State information well worth having on hand for reference.
2. Delivers on its Promise, and then Some
Here’s the thing, having the information you need, and understanding how it applies to your child are only part of the puzzle, you also have to understand how to put all your child’s information together, and you need to know how you can reference it when you need it.
Here’s one area this kit excels.
If you are a parent, especially with more than one special needs child, you quickly find yourself drowning in papers and forms, reports and evaluations. You know your child’s strengths, and you understand if something isn’t working … but how do you use your papers to prove it?
Well-organized parents can tell you that you have to organize all portions of your child’s educational record and you have to have a system in place so that you can easily reference any part of it needed, at any time. Huh? That can be difficult if you are a bit challenged in this area *raises hand*
Even as an advocate, I’ve had trouble putting all the different bits of information together in one place so that I always have everything on hand needed to advocate well for a given child.
This kit helps you find the information needed, helps you organize it, and helps you understand where each part fits together in your child’s special education puzzle.
It’s the rare parent who has been able to surpass the kind of organization I see possible with this kit (though I have a few friends especially good at this … and I admit to a certain bit of jealousy as a result!).
In this, the IEP Success Kit delivers well on it’s promises.
3. What if There is a Problem?
We want to assume that we’ll never have trouble with our child’s special education needs – that the school will always meet their needs and be perfectly accommodating for all the needs our children have. But that doesn’t always happen.
Either because they’re human, because your child’s needs change, or because they don’t understand their responsibilities under IDEA and your State Special Education Law, sometimes school just don’t get it. They don’t agree with you about things, or they just aren’t rising to the challenge of taking care of your child’s needs.
What do you do?
I know I’m not the only parent who has had to do searches to find sample forms, letters, resources, and more, to pull in at the last minute to convince the school to listen to my concerns, or to simply understand that I know my child’s rights.
Again, this Kit delivers – included in the IEP Success Kit are an assortment of samples of forms, letters, and resources that will help you meet your child’s needs, make the school take notice, or just help you and the school find the same page.
A Special Needs Resource that Delivers
After reviewing this resource, I am convinced that it is a bargain at the $39.97 price tag, considering all the information you get, the additional resources for ensuring you have all the information you need on hand, and the binder, CD with extra forms, and additional sample letters.
I’m excited to say that Dennise, who helped create the IEP Success Kit over at the Special Education Advisor website, has agreed to give away one IEP Success Kit to a lucky Kat’s Cafe reader. I will be posting a short interview with Dennise about the kit, her site, and her own passions in life, as I release the special widget that will allow you to enter this giveaway.
In the meantime, if you have specific questions about the IEP Success Kit, what it includes, what it might help you specifically put together for your child (or children), please reply in the comments and I will be asking Dennise those as well.
The IEP Success Kit – Awarded my A+ Kat’s Cafe Cup of Approval!
Originally Published Dec. 2, 20122 – I’m republishing this review to recognize the new electronic/digital version of the IEP Success Kit now available!