RESPECT Training to be held in Wapello & Oskaloosa

RESPECT is a free, four-day workshop focused on training participants in relationship building and conflict resolution. The skills and strategies taught at this training workshop can be applied universally when addressing professional and personal conflict.


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Iowa Family & Educator Partnership Newsletter – November 2016

Iowa Family & Educator Partnership

Iowa Family & Educator Partnership/FEP works to develop and sustain effective partnerships between families, educators, and community providers to promote the success for all children and youth with disabilities. Click here to view their November Newsletter

This issue includes:

  • Easter Seals Lending Library
  • Wapello RESPECT Training
  • Oskaloosa RESPECT Training
  • Navigating the Transition Process Planning for Educators and Families
  • Free Apps for Families
  • Parent & Educator Connection is not Iowa Family & Educator Partnership
  • and much more!

FEP coordinators work with parents, educators, and local school districts to provide FEP programs, services, and activities; they are also parents of children or young adults with special needs. Learn more at

New Year – New Ideas! Join us February 18 for The Behavior Doctor

2016_Feb_behavior_doctor_flyer_jpeg_32836547A437FAre you working with parents who are struggling with their child’s behavior who could use new strategies to help at home?  We have just the workshop they may be looking for.

The Behavior Doctor is coming back!

GPAEA Parent Educator Connection will be hosting an evening for parents.  Educators are Community Service Providers are also welcome.

Thursday, February, 18, 2015
6:00 – 8:00 PM
with Question/Answer session to follow
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, 200 N Main St, Fairfield, IA 52556

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What Matters Most: Research on Elevating Parent Expectations

Annette Clarahan, Parent Educator Coordinator

Mt Pleasant Transition Planning

Secondary Transition Planning for Educators and Families

Family Involvement is a greater predictor of successful outcomes for youth than income or social status.

So how do we help families recognize the importance of Secondary Transition planning?   By training educators and parents the importance of planning for Secondary Transition early on. In Mt. Pleasant on November 16 – 17th the Parent Educator Connection (PEC) sponsored a Secondary Transition Family Planning with GPAEA Transition Coordinators presenting the four PACER Modules for Secondary Transition.

  • From Disability to Possibility
  • Road to Discovery
  • Taking the Next Step
  • Exploring and Preparing for Work as an Adult

Participants are able to take the curriculum back to their district and share the information with parents as appropriate. Others have partnered with a parent in hosting a Secondary Transition Night for parents with service providers present. Parents are also sharing the information at Parent Support groups.

We can help families learn the importance of high expectations for their child at an early age and help in making sure those involved in their child’s life have the same expectations.

If you are interested in attending this 2 day class we will be offering it again in Albia on April 18 & 19, 2016. 


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What’s That One Thing We Can Do? (Continued)

Annette Clarahan, Parent Educator Coordinator

MR / College Park, Maryland Center for Young Children, laboratory school within the College of Education at the University of Maryland. Full day developmental program of early childhood education for children of faculty, staff, and students at the university. Parent  who also volunteers at the school, has meeting with her child's teacher. They are reviewing some of his class work. MR: Cas8 Wri4 © Ellen B. Senisi

Imagine being in a meeting with two people who were discussing a topic you knew nothing about. Do you think sometimes we have parents who feel like this at school meetings when we talk about test scores or use acronyms?

Think about successful school meetings with a parent, such as a conference or an IEP meeting. What happens in those meetings? Are parents asking questions? Is there a relationship between home and school? Are school and AEA staff doing That One Thing?  Was there a personal attempt to get mom or dad there?

Now think about those difficult meetings that were successful. What happened in those meetings that attributed to a positive outcome? What’s That One Thing? Did it feel more like a conversation than a routine meeting? Were parents engaged or were they spectators? Were test scores explained to the parents at a level they could understand? Were acronyms used? Did the pace of the meeting slow down?

We’ve all heard the saying “Kids do well when they can!” I believe this applies to parents as well. What’s That One Thing We Can Do?

What’s That One Thing We Can Do?

Annette Clarahan, Parent Educator Coordinatorparent - child

I recently attended a family wedding in Illinois. The mother of the bride has a brother with Down Syndrome who was sheltered living at home with his parents, until the recent passing of his mother. His mother did what she felt was right by keeping him at home and protecting him from others. Taking him out in public was not always greeted with kindness. The stares and comments of the community hurt her feelings, and she didn’t want her son to feel that hurt. Now, his siblings are taking him to community events and gatherings where he is experiencing many firsts. This was his first wedding and after the father of the bride gave the toast, he and Mark sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to the guests. Everyone cheered showing their acceptance of him. It was fun watching Mark with his family and the guests engaging with him as they all danced the night away. The next morning the mother of the bride told me she was in awe of how her brother was treated and she appreciated that kindness towards him. Continue reading