How many of you have Spring ARDs for your kids coming up? I know I do, and I am sure many of you are very organized and plan out every detail! I try to be like that as much as possible, but it just seems like this year, I am EXHAUSTED!!! It also seems like the stricter ESY rules are making it pretty hard for all of us that know our kids need ESY, but are almost too tired to fight for it.. Just know that we are all in the same boat, and we all have to sit through ARDs, and most of the time we all have hear d "no". Remember that YOU are your child's advocate and NUMBER ONE FAN!!!! My kids' well-being drives me, and even though ARDs are rough, and tiring, and can wear you down, it is what we must go through to make sure our kids are getting what they need. I want to give you all some encouragement to stand strong, smile sweetly, and think about the angelic face of your child while you are talking to the ARD about your child! Hang in there parents!!!! Good luck with your up-coming ARDs!!! Here are a few ARD tips:
1. Be prepared. Make yourself an "agenda" of things you want to discuss with the ARD committee (if possible, get the members of the committee a copy of this before the ARD so they will be ready to answer your questions and address your issues.) Also, if there is specific data or work samples you need to share, take that in too.
2. Breathe, and be calm. I have cried in WAY to many ARDs... especially when Mason was 3, 4, 5, 6... and I skipped a couple, then cried in 3rd and even this year in 4th.. so I guess I am preaching to the choir about being calm. LOL
3. Go in with a positive attitude. Going in mad, demanding or bossy is probably not going to get you too far, it stresses you out and nothing gets accomplished through anger. You will get much more accomplished for your child if you can remain calm. (No one is perfect though... I have lost my cool before.. and it didn't help my child ONE BIT..) If someone ticks you off, squeeze your hands together under the table or start taking deep breaths to calm down. Try to be calm before speaking. Ask for a break if you need one.
4. Always ask questions if you don't understand something. Always stop someone if you are "lost", because you will be signing off on everything when the ARD is finished, and you want to be able to truly understand what you are signing.
5. If you need to have a staffing meeting about your student to follow-up, be sure you ask during the ARD, alot of times, while everyone is there together, they can go ahead and set it then.
6. SMILE!!! :) You are advocating and helping the committee get the best possible services and goals for your child. You are on the same team, even if you feel defeated sometimes Hold your head up and speak up for your child.