Special Education Teachers Share Their Most Powerful Tool In The Classroom

2positive language special ed teacher picBy: Meena Tadimeti, MBA
Contributor to specialneedsinmycity.com
@SNinmycity twitter logo

Students in special education spend 6 hours a day, ten months a year for 22 years of their lives with teachers who are responsible for strengthening their academic, communication and life skills. Since language is one of the most powerful tools available to teachers, we asked some amazing special education teachers to share with us how they harness the power of their language in reinforcing, reminding and redirecting students in the classroom.

Establishing and using positive language with children has to be purposeful and routine before it can become a habit. As one Turlock special education teacher adds,” a learned skill that requires both parents and teachers to establish”.  Next time you visit your child’s classroom, ask your child’s teacher what specific positive language she/he uses when your child has a difficult time understanding or completing a task.

We thank all teachers who shared their knowledge and expertise with how they motivate their students with learning disabilities. Thanks to special education teachers who continue to have high standards for their students and work tirelessly to help our children Teacher praising studentreach their full potential with patience, kindness, and respect.

Here is a list of positive approaches/language used by our teachers.

Meena Tadimeti is mother of a child with special needs, advocate for children, mentor, speaker & volunteers teaching special needs children – reading, math and use of technology. 

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Have Delicious Pizza And Support Your Child’s Teacher With Classroom Needs

3 post sylvan teacher training fundraiserYour child’s teacher may never tell you, but he or she is taking on the burden of buying classroom materials with their hard-earned money. With school budget cuts across the nation, school teachers are on a budget.

According to a recent survey conducted by SheerID, last year, teachers in the U.S. spent an average of $514/year of their hard-earned money to improve student learning.  When teachers were asked what they primarily spent on, topping the list were instructional materials and classroom supplies; followed closely by books for the classroom and professional development.  Ask your child’s teacher how you can help. Bring your family and friends out for a pizza night on the following days and 20% of your total purchase will help our teachers and children!  Thanks for your support!

Round Table Fundraiser Flyer


Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , | Leave a comment

3 Reasons Parents Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Out-of Home Placement For Their Disabled Child, Hear From An Experienced Father

By: Stephen Gallup

My developmentally disabled son Joseph is 29 years old, and for the last nine years he has lived in a licensed residential facility. Earlier, as a little guy, he had been the focal point of a very, very, very intensive home therapy program managed by his mother and me. So I can speak from experience about both hands-on and more passive involvement.

Joseph and Steve Gallup

Joseph and Steve Gallup

Now, I do believe in making extraordinary efforts to help a child with problems, provided that you have a good reason to believe those efforts will be effective and that you are able to do so. However, those two conditions are often not met. Parents can and do hurt themselves–their personal health, their relationships, and their finances–by pinning their hopes on intervention beyond the point of reason.

If you reach a point where placement is an option being considered, the following thoughts may be helpful.

1. You absolutely must take care of yourself. I admit to being slow in reaching this perspective. When my wife Judy and I were investing virtually every waking moment in the quest to help our son, I had a dim view of parents who had not made the same choice. But now that I’m older and less energetic, I know that kind of effort would be impossible for me. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it was too difficult for Judy even then. Over a period of time she became extremely run-down, emotionally and physically, and then she became very ill. An advisor offered the reminder that it would do Joseph no good at all for us to self-destruct. In other words, everyone has limits to what they are able to handle. We need to recognize and honor those limits.

2. The process of growing up inevitably takes a child out from under the parent’s wing. My son Joseph has a roommate and a social life outside the family, and that is as it should be. Parents often have trouble letting go, even when their child has no developmental issues at all. But letting go is what we are supposed to do. This is a gradual process, of course. There will still be visits and opportunities to spend time together. We remain available to help as needed. And if at some future point it’s appropriate for junior to return home, that’s an option too. These decisions are seldom irrevocable.

3. Guilt accomplishes nothing. Granted, placement was not the future you had in mind when you brought your beloved child into the world. I certainly had other goals in mind for Joseph. I would not be honest if I pretended otherwise. So there is regret, yes. I also still cling to hope that things may improve. The science and practice of medicine continue to move forward, and I continue to watch for news that could make a difference for him. What I don’t do is kick myself over matters beyond my control. Granted, emotions can have a life of their own; you may understand this on a rational level and still feel conflicted. And if you decide that this is not the time to place your child, well, that’s okay too. Placement is simply an option, and having options is good.

  Stephen Gallup is the author of a memoir, What About the Boy? A Father’s Pledge to His Disabled Son. Visit www.fatherspledge.com for updates regarding What About the Boy? A Father’s Pledge to His Disabled Son

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Top 100 Positive Words To Use With Your Special Needs Child

Positive Words Article Pic

by: Meena Tadimeti, MBA
Contributor to specialneedsinmycity.com
@SNinmycity twitter logo

Countless books have been written on the importance and benefits of using positive language with children to help them build confidence, self-perception and self-control. However, as parents, we all know how easy it is to slip into using negative and angry words to deal with our frustrations and feelings of helplessness when taking care of our children, especially ones that need more patience, more care and more compassion.

Incorporating positive words regularly and using clear and direct language without the sarcasm or hurt is key to maintaining calmness and respect in those overwhelming parenting moments.  The combination of pleasant tone of voice, proper body language and powerful words truly allows children to internalize themselves as capable individuals; while minimizing power struggles between parents and children.

We created a list of 100 positive words/approaches for you to use to remain calm and respectful when parenting your special needs darling.  This approach, of course, will also help your child solve problems and communicate more effectively in the process!  Please let us know what positive words you use with your child to reinforce positive behaviors by using “leaving a comment” link below . If you would like to print or share this list, look for the buttons at the bottom of the list. Remember to use at least one positive word/approach  a day!  For a list of positive words used by parents , CLICK HERE

Meena Tadimeti is mother of a child with special needs, advocate for children, mentor, speaker & volunteers teaching special needs children – reading, math and use of technology. 


Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Resilience In Action, Hi-Tech Solutions In Full Swing

Picture of sailing Often, as parents, we don’t consider certain sports for our children with disabilities for obvious reasons. But here is an inspirational video that will capture your heart and attention.

Moreover, it offers hope that our children could explore certain sports that we may have thought were impossible.  And showing them how others rebound in the face of adversity,  given the ever-changing advances in technology, will positively influence their beliefs, in the way they perceive their own abilities.  Take a look!

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Give Thanks By Giving to Others!

colorfulpumkinsHere are some wonderful volunteering opportunities for families looking to assist local organizations that help our Communities during this Thanksgiving holiday.  Great way to give thanks!


Before/On Thanksgiving Day

Contact Details

Days of Hope in Turlock Christopher Scott at 209-304-4291
Modesto Gospel Mission Garrison at (209)225-2951
Salvation Army Modesto Citadel  Barbara Borba 524-1307 ext. 113 or bborba@uwaystan.org
Senior Facilities  Barbara Borba 524-1307 ext. 113 or bborba@uwaystan.org
Treats for Troops 866-842-1050
Turlock Gospel Mission stephany@turlockgospelmission.org
Turlock Together (209) 678-5333
United Samaritans (209) 668-4853 or ask for Paz
Westside Ministries (209) 667-5333

Thanksgiving wishes

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

IEP Team’s Obligation To Meet Communication Needs of Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities

Students with disabilities, like all students, must have opportunities to participate in school. And an important part of this participation involves communicating with peers, teachers or school staff.   With this in mind, this November, all three Federal offices, Office of Civil Rights Division (Department of Justice), Office for Civil Rights and Office of Special Education/ Rehabilitative Services ( U.S. Department of Education) jointly issued guidance about the rights of public elementary and secondary students with hearing, vision and speech disabilities.

kids with picture boardAll three Federal laws, the IDEA, Section 504 and Title II, address the obligations of all public schools, including charter schools, to meet the communication needs of students with disabilities, but do so in different ways. To view the frequently asked questions on effective communication for students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities in public elementary and secondary schools. Click here.  

Appendix B (page 27) in the above link covers student rights on communication needs under IDEA as well as an overview of an IEP, IEP team and the process of conducting assessments.

Furthermore, Appendix B also explains the role of assistive technology in schools; meaning “devices and services to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities” (source: idea.ed.gov). Remember, if your child’s IEP team (including you)  determines related services or supplementary aids and services are required as part of FAPE, the school district also must determine whether the child needs assistive technology devices and services to enable the child to receive meaningful educational benefit.

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment