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  • Writer's pictureLori Sheerin

Nurturing Your Child: Batteries Not Included

Children do not come with batteries.

It is not as simple as turning on a switch. Instead, most parents discover early on that children with challenges require a more complex approach than the flick of a switch can offer.

Children with challenges require nurturing, and coaching, love and expectations, limitations and optimism, experiences and the gift of time that allows them to grow into independence and happiness. Unfortunately, most parents put more time into organizing the yearly family vacatIon than they do into discussing and planning for their child’s future.

The parents of children with challenges do not have that luxury; they must become the advocates for their struggling child. Without learning how to be advocates and coaches, parents of struggling children are rolling the dice with the future of their child.

The biggest challenge for parents is the changing nature of the “village” that in the past was there to support them. The cohesiveness of the village is seriously frayed; parents often now have less time to spend on their child’s needs than before because of the pressures of work. Grandparents live far away. Schools are not their child’s allies. Doctors are overwhelmed.

We need to create new frameworks where parental challenges are shared. At IEP Parenting Virginia, we recognize four essential elements that offer the best hope for success for your child that is struggling with school and life:

  • Support for the growth of your child as a student and a person,

  • The existence of an accepting culture within your child’s school,

  • An insistence on high expectations for academic and behavioral growth and,

  • The presence of committed parents that support and advocate for your child.

Building such a framework of success for your impacted child does not happen overnight.

However, it is never too early to build a circle of support, your own village, that your child will need for success going forward. Our focus at IEP Parenting Virginia is in helping create that circle of support for the family. It may be just family and friends; it may need to include professionals;

Essential to your child’s success is the role of the advocate and coach that has the professionalism and empathy to provide 100% commitment to the child and parents. Bottom line is: you cannot do this alone; you need the village. At EP Parenting Virginia, we teach you to advocate.

ad-vo-cate-Verb, transition

To speak, plead, or argue in favor of

A supporter

What is Your Role in the Village?

  • You are the natural advocate for your child.

  • You will be involved with your child for life.

  • You must learn that accurate information translates into power for your child

  • You must ensure that the school gives your child an appropriate education.

  • You must build a working relationship with medical and teaching professionals

  • You must tactfully help teachers by educating them on your child

  • You must build a strong partnership with us at EP Parenting Virginia

What is Our Role?

  • We show parents how to advocate with schools, doctors, etc.

  • We ensure parents are provided with accurate information

  • We guide you regarding your child’s legal rights as a student

  • We partner with you before, during, and after the testing and IEP process

  • We monitor school for you to ensure that your child’s IEP plan is working

  • We help you to focus on the strengths of your child

  • We provide you with support in working with your child at home

  • We teach you to coach your child positively and effectively

  • We coach you in the privacy of your home using phone/ video

  • We do not blame and shame you as a parent; We support you 100%

  • We gather all needed information and do research on specific issues

  • We help define problems at school and discuss solutions

  • We always seek a win-win solution for you with others.

In partnership, we build that village that has the welfare of your child, you as his parents, and the rest of your family at its core.

Contact us-one call may change the arc of your child’s life.

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