IEP/504 Student Success Guide – $45.00

This is a must have binder for parents if your child has an IEP or 504 in school.  I was so excited to review this product.

The Pro-Family Advocate IEP/504 Student Success Guide Includes:

    • Step by Step IEP Success Guide
    • Meeting and Contacts Notes Organizer
    • Check Lists for Meetings and Documentation
    • Letter Templates
    • IEP Related Document and Records Filing System
    • 504 Related Document and Records Filing System
    • Nationwide School District and Resources Directory
    • Understanding Test Scores Tutorial & Chart
    • Special Education Definitions and FAQ
    • Durable and Attractive Hardcover 3 Ring Binder

Just looking through the binder there is such helpful information especially if you are a parent just starting out in the special education arena.  I wished I would have gotten this 3 years ago.  I can not wait to use it for my son’s next annual IEP meeting in March.

My son is 6 years old and not only do I have folders of paperwork from IEP case conference notes to goals etc.  It would be so nice to keep it all in one place.  Plus the forms are so helpful to keep your thoughts, meetings, followups in one place.

The Special Education Definitions are invaluable, and ones that every parent needs to get themselves familiar with.

The Parent IEP/504 Guide is a collaborative effort of information to serve as a resource for parents. This Guide contains the most current and accurate information available regarding the special education system. It is the hope of Pro Family Advocate that this publication will educate parents and assists them in advocating for their children and in obtaining the supports and services that their children with disabilities need to succeed in school.

Mindy Schneider has over 18 years of personal experience in the field of Family Advocacy. Following her immense struggles with getting an appropriate education for her daughter Mindy took her deep rooted belief and passion that every student deserves a free and appropriate education where they can thrive and founded Pro Family Advocate.

To find out more about this binder and Mindy’s services click here.  Please make sure to reference the SpecialMoms Special Needs Holiday Gift Guide.

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Disclaimer: I received the above product(s) at no cost to me by the company or representing PR agency. All opinions are my own. You may read more of my disclosure here.


Introducing Your Child to Their School With a Student Snapshot

Beginning a new school year can be overwhelming to any child and their parents, but if your child has special needs it’s even more nerve wracking.

As the expert on your child, you as the parent or caregiver have valuable information that needs to be shared with the school community.  Who is the school community; these are people that interact with your child during the school day, besides their IEP team, it may include office workers, nurse, playground assistants, aides, teachers, bus drivers, or cafeteria aides you want them to know more about your child in order to assist them during their school day.

This is where a “Student Snapshot” can come in handy.  If the only information people have about your child is a special education label, they may make their own assumptions about your child that may be inaccurate.  Let’s say your child is on the playground and the aide, keeps calling your child to come in but your child doesn’t respond.  The aide may get frustrated with your child, not realizing your child has a hearing impairment.

This is where the “Student Snapshot” is perfect; it’s a simple, quick, concise way for you to share information quickly and accurately without long emails, missed phone calls or relying on others to relay the information.  This one page snapshot is more likely to be read and remembered.  Click for  Student Snapshot


  • Keep it simple, like 5 bullets
  • Keep it short (one side)
  • Bulleted lists are easier to read
  • Avoid medical terminology since some people may not understand that important detail (layman’s terms)
  • Prioritize – just a few of the most important considerations that all staff should be aware of don’t duplicate the IEP.
  • Personalize it – put a photo on it so people can recognize your child
  • Decide who will need a copy of the “Snapshot”
  • Distribute it at a back to school night event, IEP annual conference and make sure to give a copy if any of these personnel change


How did you introduce your child to their school, teachers, students, etc?

Introducing Your Special Needs Child to the School Community

School has already started for us, but in some states your school may be just beginning.  So have you thought about how you can share your child with school personnel?  Ok well what do I mean by that.  Let’s say your child has an instructional aide or some person who supports them during school.  What happens if that aide is absent or goes on vacation and the school brings in a new aide that has never met your child.  What plan do you have in place or does that teacher have in place to acquaint the substitute to your child?

I came across this very situation the other day.  I always walk my son to his classroom and get him ready for his day while waiting for his aide.  But today I noticed there was a new girl that came to the classroom looking like a deer in the headlights, and the teacher asked her who she was.  She said she was the substitute aide.  So the teacher proceeded to ask her if the aide left her any notes about my son and she replied “no”.  So it got me thinking well there needs to be a piece of paper that tells about my son’s routine, schedule, personality, likes/dislikes.

I talked to an advocate who has helped me in the past with my case conference if she knew of anything that people have used, and she forwarded me the attached. FAST -introducing your child to the school community

Here is a blank form for you to fill out and give to your child’s aide, teachers, school personnel etc.  Just save it on your computer and fill it out as needed. Student Snapshot

I think this is a great form to fill out and either keep in your child’s backpack or have the teacher keep in a folder in the classroom.

Hope you find it helpful.