Jun / 26

How to Keep Your Child Active and Engaged Over the Summer [IEP 034]

IEPcontent Podcast 0

Summer is upon us and for some students, that might mean an Extended School Year services. For others, it’s wide open for other possibilities and adventure. In this episode, we discuss the various options available for you and your family to keep your child engaged and motivated throughout the summer.

Full show transcript at the bottom of this post.

What We Discuss:

  • What is an Extended School Year and when should it be offered?
  • How to deal with any regression your child might experience over the summer
  • What about students who don’t get offered ESY and don’t have an IEP, how can parents help minimize regression?
  • Kids can remain motivated over the summer by engaging in activities that strengthen their interests and their abilities
  • What about free activities? What’s available?
  • Kids learn from being around other kids
  • You can find mentally stimulating activity ideas on social media platforms like Pinterest
  • The positive benefits of socialization over the summer
  • Why you, as a parent, should have high expectations for your child

Resources Mentioned:

Tustin Legacy – Sewing Camp, Junior Sewing Camp, Advanced Sewing Camp

The Discovery Cube in Santa Ana, CA

Thank you for listening!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every Tuesday.

If you enjoyed this episode and believe in our message, then please help us get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or Google Play. It helps other listeners find this show.

Be sure to connect with us and reach out with any questions/concerns:




IEP website

This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matters, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.

Full Show Transcript

Vickie Brett:                      Welcome to the Inclusive Education Project. I’m Vickie Brett.

Amanda Selogie:              I’m Amanda Selogie. We’re two civil rights lawyers on a mission to change the conversation about education, civil rights and modern activism.

Vickie Brett:                      Each week, we’re going to explore new topics, which are going to educate and empower others.

Amanda Selogie:              And give them a platform to enact change in education and level the playing field. Hey everyone, we’re very glad to have you back. We hope that you, I think when this drops, it will have just been Father’s Day.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, happy Father’s Day.

Amanda Selogie:              Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, we’ve got to make sure we don’t forget them. I think a lot of emphasis gets put on Mother’s Day, and we want to make sure that Dads don’t get left out, even though mothers are important too, we also want to make sure the fathers get recognized.

Vickie Brett:                      They usually just have like a barbecue, because it’s summer, and so it’s like dads and barbecue or something.

Amanda Selogie:              Like Father’s Day and Memorial Day weekend end up being like the unofficial start of summer, which-

Vickie Brett:                      Right, we are in, and it’s hot, or it’s getting hot, it’s supposed to cool down.

Amanda Selogie:              I mean, it was kind of gloomy this morning, and I wasn’t sure, I had to ask my Alexa what the weather was going to be like today, because I was a bit confused.

Vickie Brett:                      Now all these people’s Amazon speakers are going off.

Amanda Selogie:              Sorry guys.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, so today we wanted to talk about summer and what to do in general just with your kids. Obviously in our special education world, oftentimes a child can qualify for what’s called extended school year, and most people think of that as summer school. Actually, extended school year also refers to any time that’s over, I think it’s, don’t quote me on this, I think anything that’s over like 10 days can be considered extended school year. Some districts will have like three weeks of for winter break, and that can be a form of extended school year, if your child is going to regress in any of the skills that they have learned, just due to the nature of their disability or whatnot, then extended school year should be offered.

More often than not, that’s going to be during the summer, so you’ll oftentimes hear districts say, “Oh, your child doesn’t require extended school year,” and you’re thinking, “Well, they’re still behind, like why can’t we do it to get …” It’s different in different districts, some districts will use summer as an opportunity to make up units when we’re in high school.

Amanda Selogie:              Or somehow specific reading programs that kids can be part of.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, specific reading intervention, exactly. There’s one Orange county school district that offered that to one of my clients in an alternate dispute resolution, where I didn’t even realize that they had that program, and it’s reading intensive.

Amanda Selogie:              Yeah, Long Beach used to have an options-based summer, where it included some of the camps that-

Vickie Brett:                      We’re not going to name names, geez.

Amanda Selogie:              Well, it was a good program. There was a program with Cal State-Long Beach that was really great, and it was like a summer camp but it was also educational. It was really great, a lot of these families took advantage of that, and then a couple of years ago, the district decided they were no longer going to offer all these, because I think there were a number of options. Like you could do the summer camp, you could do, I think there were like athletics, like reading programs, so you could choose. Parents were able to choose, if their child qualified for ESY, you could choose, and now-

Vickie Brett:                      I mean, even for general education students, sometimes districts don’t offer summer schools, you know because we’ll get a district say, “Oh yeah, your child doesn’t require extended school year,” and a parent will be like, “Well, I want my child to be in extended school year,” and it’s like, “Oh, well your kid is in a gen ed class, we only have a special day class,” that’s not going to do them any good.

Amanda Selogie:              Right, that’s not appropriate.

Vickie Brett:                      It’s not appropriate.

Amanda Selogie:              Even if we want to prevent regression for that kid in gen ed, it’s not appropriate to put them in a class where the curriculum is going to be far lower than where they are, even if they’re a little behind, and they could-

Vickie Brett:                      It’s really, you know the basis behind it is to maintain. Yes, all children will regress to a certain point over summer, I mean it could be almost three months where they’re completely off and just having fun, hopefully they’re outside, they’re not inside watching TV, but that is something that districts always love to point out, is that, “You know, we’re just trying to maintain, because we already have built into our curriculums that the first three weeks, we’re catching everybody up.” That’s important sometimes, to have that gen ed teacher in that classroom and say, “Hey, where are your kids at when they start 5th grade, are you going back?”

Amanda Selogie:              Or in the IEP.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, well that’s what I’m saying, in the IEP, to ask the gen ed teacher, “Hey, at the beginning of the year, are you working on a bit of, ‘I know all these kids regress, so we’re … ‘” Most often, they say, “Yes, we are working on things that they learned last year.”

Amanda Selogie:              Yeah, a couple weeks ago, we talked about you don’t have to say yes to ESY, and if you’re offered ESY, you can decide to do something else. This episode is really for the kids that don’t get offered ESY or are in gen ed, or maybe they don’t even have IEPs. Any kid we want to make sure has a good summer, there’s that balance between giving them a break because they work hard all year, but also still maintaining, because any kid could possibly regress. It’s just like we say with foreign languages, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Same happens for kids with math, sometimes with the vocabulary, so it’s important for any kid to consider what should they be doing over the summer.

I mean, even kids not on IEP, so when we look at what’s a reason for a summer program, and oftentimes we have parents that say, “We want to maintain structure, we want them to be doing something not just now in this day and age, we don’t want them to be playing video games, staying outside.” Our parents will always say, “You know, in my day, back in my day we just hung around in the neighborhood and we went and played all day long.” Well, reality is that doesn’t really happen now, so we want to make sure that these kids are active over the summer, and we want to make sure that they’re doing something that’s going to stimulate their mind. Then also for working parents, it’s helpful for them to have something to do, so they can work over the summer.

Vickie Brett:                      If you can afford sleep-away camps, that’s always something that people say is great, but you want to look for some key things. The arts are being cut from a lot of the schools, so maybe summer is a time where your child is going to go to theater, you know the science camps and the music camps … Well, not so much science, but the science camps they make more fun more than like just a general kind of like you’re learning things, but music camps and theater camps, and like superhero camps, there’s baseball camps, there’s all sorts of different … They can be day camps too, they don’t have to be sleep-away.

Amanda Selogie:              Yeah, and I mean sometimes the camps are really good in the sense that we talk about all the time, a lot of times kids need motivation for school because not everyone loves school. In fact, the majority of kids don’t love it, they tolerate it, they do it because they want to please their parents and they want to meet expectations, but it’s not always areas that they enjoy. It’s good to have a motivator, so it’s in the summer, we can hit on some of those motivating subjects that they’re not going to get as much in school, the athletics and the arts and the music, and even some of the science. If we can give them that motivator by helping strengthen not only their interest but their ability, because that may be something that they get into later, or helps them motivate.

Vickie Brett:                      When you have a bit older kids, it’s the exposure, you know they’re not getting internships or anything like that, but work-based things. For instance, you know a culinary camp, like maybe the kid wants to be a chef, so you don’t have to wait to go to fit them after high school. Sometimes there’s like, I think at [Tustin Legacy 00:08:06] there’s a fashion camp at the district, and they offer year-round programs, but they do three summer programs, it’s called sewing camp, junior sewing camp, and advanced sewing camp. Basically it’s just like a check on a career track, you know maybe your child’s super interested, but like are they?

Amanda Selogie:              Well even, you know the White House and congress and the FBI have like high school internships that you can do, and that if you do one of those, like your ability to get into colleges or even apply for those jobs, it goes up like crazy. I mean, I wish I knew about some of those when I was in high school. Not necessarily that I would have done them, but you never know.

Vickie Brett:                      If your kid wants to be a vet, okay, in Huntington Beach, which we’ve dealt with all about horses, so they obviously have just different, their summer day camp is structured where the kids learn how to care for horses and riding, and just all the responsibilities of being kind of like on a ranch, but not really. There’s plenty of dude ranches out in San Diego county as well that focus on that ranch life.

Amanda Selogie:              Well, and even, okay, so we talked about a lot of things that cost money, so what if you can’t afford something like that? Well, for our middle school and high school students, they can go and volunteer. That was something that I did a lot all through my childhood, because I was in Girl Scouts. When I got into middle school and high school, I did a lot of that over the summer. They can become camp counselors, that’s free and sometimes they get paid, they could get a paying job, or they could just volunteer, so volunteering at the local animal shelter, volunteering at a local nonprofit, a food bank.

Vickie Brett:                      Well, a lot of these camps are sometimes nonprofits and they offer scholarships.

Amanda Selogie:              That too.

Vickie Brett:                      Just because it’s not necessarily … Some of them do advertise online, but most of them, you know they don’t want to advertise it because they can’t give scholarships to everyone. Even if you’re sitting here and you’re just like, “Okay, this all sounds great, but yeah, I don’t have money, and my child still can’t be a camp counselor, she’s eight.” It doesn’t harm to ask.

Amanda Selogie:              Right, to ask or to see if there’s … You know, we talk about scholarships for college, but there’s also scholarships for, like there will be organizations that will give out scholarships for kids to go to camp, so it may not be that actual camp. Then let’s say you’re going to go, so this is what I did over the summer, is like I never really went to sleep-away camp or anything like that, I went to a one-week camp every summer, but I went to my grandparents’. My brother and my sister and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents over the summer, so one thing that my grandma made sure of was that we were always doing something.

Once a week, we went to the beach, our beach was Carpenteria, because that was up in LA/Ventura counties, but we would also do things that stimulated our mind. My grandma was big into crafts, so we always were doing craft projects, and that’s something easy, it’s simple, it’s cheap, go on YouTube, find ideas. My grandma’s garage was basically a Michael’s, so that made it easy for us. Then we got activity by going swimming as well, so there’s things that like if the child is going to be home because you have the benefit of having a family member that’s going to watch them, there’s a lot of structure that you can still put in place that’s fun but still educational.

Vickie Brett:                      I mean, obviously we’re having a theme here, we don’t want the kids inside on their computers, in front of TVs, we want them outside. Lake Forest actually has a lot of different parks, and a lot of different cities have different programs that sometimes they’re free, and it just depends. Lake Forest, like I said, has different skate parks, so it’s like the kids are learning from other kids, it’s not necessarily there’s like camp counselors showing people, but it’s literally just getting out there and being able to interact with other kids in a non-structured school setting.

Amanda Selogie:              Right, because we’ve said this before, “Kids learn a lot from other kids.” If they can be around other kids in a setting that is not so strict and structured, and … You know, I was in an IEP a couple weeks ago, it might have been a couple months ago, we were trying to figure out mainstreaming times for a child, and I was bringing up different times in a school day. Because like when I worked at a school, that wasn’t even that long ago, it was maybe 10 years ago, and I remember there being all these different times in the day where kids were working together, or they had some free time to play a game, or you had rainy day recess where you played board games, stuff like that.

I was talking about opportunities like that, to be able to have this child be mainstreamed. The school looked at me and was like, “We don’t have any free time. Every minute is planned out,” and I go, “That is just awful,” but that is kind of what’s come with these common core standards. It’s like it’s important for the kids to have high expectations, but when we talk about those students’ ability to just have like a free conversation, it’s not always going to happen during recess, because recess, they’re probably playing a game. How often are they going to have a conversation? During those conversations, a lot of times they learn problem solving skills, they learn communication skills by doing.

Any opportunity your child has over the summer to be able to hone in on those skills where they’re not in such a, “Well, you have to do this thing, and then this thing, and then this thing,” all day long, it’s going to give them more of those opportunities.

Vickie Brett:                      Definitely, and the discovery cube here in Orange county in Santa Anna, they have like a bunch of different summer camp options. They have this thing called Zoomazement, which is at the Santa Anna Zoo, they have a dinosaur adventure camp, they have a computer-centric like coding constructor’s camp, a mission to Mars, which is cool because that’s in partnership with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they have a G-girl’s cyber STEM camp, which is in partnership with the Orange County Regional FBI Office, and just like so many, which basically that one, that FBI, they introduce girls that are either entering 6th grade, 7th grade, or 8th grade to internet safety, cyber investigations, and careers in FBI.

Amanda Selogie:              Interesting.

Vickie Brett:                      That’s something where if you’re going to be able to get to that age of a pre-teen girl where they are using the internet for whatever reason, social media just dominates, and your kids are going to want something for the ‘Gram anyway, so you want to be sure that they’re somewhere in the summer. I mean, just like Amanda was saying, just even trips to the beach, like you could make things, Pinterest has so many different ideas for different kinds of curriculums that make learning about biology and learning about rocks or different seashells and stuff like that, to just like find it.

Amanda Selogie:              Well, even like going camping for the weekend, you’re teaching skills, you’re teaching how to take care of the environment around them.

Vickie Brett:                      Well, you’re telling them, “Figure out what you need to pack, [crosstalk 00:15:01] …”

Amanda Selogie:              Right, what food do you need, [crosstalk 00:15:02], how do you cook, how do you create a campfire, cleaning up after yourselves, taking care of the environment, not to break down the tree when you’re hanging the hammock from it.

Vickie Brett:                      Right, just like different things-

Amanda Selogie:              That actually sounds like a lot of fun, go hang a hammock and go camping?

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, and I mean I remember in like 2nd grade, the teacher telling us like, “You’re going to write directions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” and I just remember thinking like, “That’s so easy, you just make it like whatever.” She’s like, “No, like step by step, like you have to get bread. If you don’t have bread in the refrigerator, you have to go to the store, you have to get the peanut butter, then you have to get the jelly.” It’s like 11,000 steps that you have to take to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but like even that young, just having that moment of like, “Wow, there’s so many steps that you have to get to even before you [crosstalk 00:15:51] open the jar of peanut butter.”

Amanda Selogie:              That teaches a kid not to take for granted that peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Vickie Brett:                      Right, exactly, especially if they’re doing it.

Amanda Selogie:              What their parents went through to make that peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Vickie Brett:                      Exactly, so just kind of taking those little things, even just bring your kid to the grocery store. Yeah, you can do all this stuff during the school year, but they got all their activities that they’re doing anyway, [crosstalk 00:16:12] and if you’re lucky enough to have different types of-

Amanda Selogie:              You’re busy.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, different types of activities over the summer like swim, the local community pools obviously also do swimming lessons. Like Amanda said, you know if you can’t afford that, junior lifeguard, I know one of our colleagues from our law school was like a junior lifeguard well through, like he would go home every year for the summer, like in law school still-

Amanda Selogie:              That’s crazy.

Vickie Brett:                      Was still, not a junior lifeguard at that point, but it was something he enjoyed doing and it got him out, and it was the furthest thing for sure when we were in law school from the law, but it was just an opportunity that he was given when he was a kid, and really followed through.

Amanda Selogie:              Well, and it gives us better socialization too, [crosstalk 00:16:57] especially-

Vickie Brett:                      That’s what we miss, is a structured every school day.

Amanda Selogie:              Right, because there is, there is opportunities, and then for kids who need help with socialization, that can really give them that boost. We oftentimes have kids that come back from one school year to the next, and people will say, “Wow, they’re just a different kid,” and that really will depend on what happens over the summer. Their motivation to get started at the beginning of the year could depend on what they did over the summer. It’s always good for them to be able to come back and be excited to share what they did over the summer.

Vickie Brett:                      That’s just fodder for them when they come back too, so that they can engage with other kids that did go. I know that, I mean it would be such a mess to go to Disneyland, but I know some parents get the passes, and then it’s just like, “You know, we’re taking the bus,” like figure out how to take the bus to go to Disneyland or go to the beach. For us, it’s easy because we’re lucky enough that there’s a couple different streets like Beach that you could once you get to Beach, then take that one bus all the way down. I think that’s pretty much our main plug for the summer.

Yes, extended school year exists, you know if they’re saying your child doesn’t “need it”, I think it is something that you should question just in case. Definitely get to know the program, I know that for a recent IEP that I went to to, they wanted the child in a particular type of extended school year, but mom was like, “When she went last year, she was like, ‘All we do is watch movies, and you know we …'”

Amanda Selogie:              Sometimes it’s like daycare.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, and that’s fine if you need that, but that’s not the purpose behind extended school year. They actually should be trying to … Yes, it should be fun, so like if every Friday they’re doing a movie and it’s in the summer and they get ice cream, okay fine, they’re trying to make it fun, but it’s like Monday through Thursday should actually be working on skills. I’m not saying like skills that they didn’t have before [crosstalk 00:18:57], but just to maintain.

Amanda Selogie:              It doesn’t need to be hard work, it just needs to be some semblance of keeping their brain rejuvenated.

Vickie Brett:                      It just depends on their disability too.

Amanda Selogie:              I mean, your brain is an organ and a muscle, you need to [crosstalk 00:19:10] exercise it.

Vickie Brett:                      To work it out, yeah.

Amanda Selogie:              Just like the rest of your body.

Vickie Brett:                      Right, and I think that that’s oftentimes what gets lost when parents are like, “I just want it because it’s there.” It’s like, it may not be appropriate.

Amanda Selogie:              It may not even be good, they may not even enjoy it, to be honest.

Vickie Brett:                      Exactly, and sometimes they do need that break. Oftentimes we’ll have parents that say, “Oh, should I go to a type of educational therapy over the summer?” Summer is a good time where, yeah, they’re not going to school for six hours, but do you need to go every day for four hours to tutoring? That kid’s, there’s only a certain [crosstalk 00:19:45]-

Amanda Selogie:              They’re going to be burnt out.

Vickie Brett:                      Threshold that that child, like [crosstalk 00:19:48] they barely made it-

Amanda Selogie:              Like maybe think about one to two hours a couple times a week, if you think that that … Now, if we’re talking about a kid who has severely regressed, and we really need to bump up an intensive program, sometimes that’s appropriate, but I wouldn’t recommend it every summer.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, and I have some parents, they do it every summer, and halfway through the year, the kid’s totally done with school. It’s hard, because if that family is using that money that they would have gone on a vacation to try and get that kid to a certain level, in their mind, that they think is going to be great, there’s a lot that you can do in the summer, but you’re not going to get a year’s worth of progress in any summer program, [crosstalk 00:20:31] that’s just not possible.

Amanda Selogie:              Yeah, I mean only if you’re doing super intensive four hours a day four days a week for six weeks.

Vickie Brett:                      I mean, you’ve got to understand your child and their disability, because if anybody is promising you a year’s worth in a summer program, like I would really take that with a grain of salt. Yes, maybe there are some cases out there where that has happened, but maybe the disability wasn’t as severe, or they really weren’t that far behind.

Amanda Selogie:              Or we’re only focusing on one specific thing, so we’re only working on reading fluency, that’s the only thing.

Vickie Brett:                      Right, yeah, if you were just working on that, but all things cannot be isolated that well.

Amanda Selogie:              No, we couldn’t learn, like let’s say you missed the entire 2nd grade, you wouldn’t learn everything that you would have learned in 2nd grade, no. It’s like very specific based, so those are just some food for thought, in terms of any kid over the summer, what should we be thinking about. Most importantly, they deserve to have some fun>

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, just like any other kid.

Amanda Selogie:              Just like you deserve to have some fun.

Vickie Brett:                      Well, yeah.

Amanda Selogie:              We all deserve to have some fun.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, but they all can’t afford just to hop on a plane and go to the-

Amanda Selogie:              The beach is free.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, that’s true. Well, parking.

Amanda Selogie:              I’m sorry for anyone that’s not living in California, who it’s not as easy to go to the beach.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, but they have like forests and stuff.

Amanda Selogie:              Or like go to the lake, go to the mountains, take a hike, hiking is free. Camping, for the most part, is free.

Vickie Brett:                      Well, not super hot.

Amanda Selogie:              It’s expensive hiking if it’s hot?

Vickie Brett:                      No, I’m just saying if it’s hot, I’m not going to want to go hiking.

Amanda Selogie:              Well, I’m not suggesting going hiking in Arizona in 100-degree weather, [crosstalk 00:21:59] although-

Vickie Brett:                      Right, that’s why I’m like, “Mm …”

Amanda Selogie:              Last year, my brother and my sister and I Father’s Day weekend, we did do that. [crosstalk 00:22:02] it was like 95, I know. We’re not doing that this weekend, I’m not allowing it, I’m going to be in the air conditioning.

Vickie Brett:                      You can hike inside.

Amanda Selogie:              I’m going to get a StairMaster and be like, “I’m hiking.”

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah yeah yeah.

Amanda Selogie:              That would be funny, that would be good for the ‘Gram.

Vickie Brett:                      That would be good for the ‘Gram, [crosstalk 00:22:20] Arizona, but yeah, that sounds like fun. [crosstalk 00:22:24] I made a face. Yeah no, and I mean sometimes the complex that you live in has a pool. Tell your kid in the morning, go do [crosstalk 00:22:32] some laps. Yeah, or you have a friend, like we’re trying to give you a lot of ideas here, because this is the number one question we get from parents. Ultimately you’re the parent, you’re going to do what’s best for your child, but like Amanda said, this is some food for thought because we’re at the beginning of summer. We thought it’d be nice to kind of … Obviously, all those summer camps and things like that were very much Orange county-based, that’s where we’re at, but I can’t imagine that your local library isn’t doing something over the summer.

These libraries, we go to a lot of networking events, and at some of them we’ll see the public library, and they get a lot of funding to do things, [crosstalk 00:23:13] [crosstalk 00:23:16] [crosstalk 00:23:18]-

Amanda Selogie:              [crosstalk 00:23:16] Get grants to put on programs.

Vickie Brett:                      Like make your city work, like there’s so many things, [crosstalk 00:23:22] and if you don’t know, you don’t know.

Amanda Selogie:              I mean, honestly I’m just going to stress the importance of looking for something, but like there’s free things. Like having your kid volunteer, it’s never too early to volunteer, you can have a 2nd grader that’s volunteering at the animal shelter, volunteering at a homeless shelter, and guess what? Everything that we’ve talked about today is a learning opportunity, that is too, because you’re learning inclusion, you’re learning empathy, you’re [crosstalk 00:23:46] learning caring for others.

Vickie Brett:                      Don’t be self conscious about your child if they’re having behaviors in the classroom. Guess what? They’re having behaviors in the classroom because they don’t care about science, like they don’t care about math, but if they like dogs and you’re like, “Well, we’re going to go and we’re going to help out this animal shelter,” like that’s a great idea, because that behavior is, they’re going to be doing something hopefully that’s preferred. I had a client years ago who trained therapy dogs, and she actually also owned a ranch and owned a couple of horses. Her child had behaviors, and the district said he had all these behaviors, he was probably the most just well-put-together and thoughtful horse stable boy, [crosstalk 00:24:29] because he cared about his horses.

He knew that they needed to be fed, and he needed to pick up after them. It was just it was very [crosstalk 00:24:36] structured-

Amanda Selogie:              They need to find something.

Vickie Brett:                      Exactly, and she didn’t treat her kid any different than any other kid that she would have had. I think oftentimes our parents get frustrated or they don’t know what to do, and so, “My child’s different, so I have to treat them different.” No, you don’t have to treat them different. Yes, in certain circumstances [crosstalk 00:24:57] allowances, yeah. It’s one of those situations, yeah, where if your level of expectation is that, “Hey, you’re going to be living in this world and I’m not going to be here forever, and you need to learn at least the basic …” More than we’ve always said, like 90, 95% of the children on IEPs can be independent individuals living in our society. There’s only a few of them that are very severe and that we believe that our state should take care of.

Amanda Selogie:              As long as they get the right intervention, they can get to that point. That’s why we emphasize so much the early years is so important, but we talk all the time about making sure your school has high expectations. You should have high expectations for your child as well. There’s nothing, I don’t care what any test says, if you place a high expectation on your child, they just might rise to that expectation, you don’t know until you try. It’s just like if you put a fish in a bigger tank, they’re going to grow, but if you didn’t put them in that bigger tank, they don’t have the opportunity and they don’t have the motivation to grow, they don’t need to. We really need to be placing those high expectations, we need to stop saying the word “can’t” or “won’t”.

Vickie Brett:                      Like I said, it all falls back on learning about your child’s disabilities, but [crosstalk 00:26:18] sometimes-

Amanda Selogie:              And abilities.

Vickie Brett:                      Exactly, and sometimes you don’t know where their potential will plateau, or if it will ever plateau. Now, don’t get so crazy and set, you have these like crazy-high expectations, but I think that there’s a happy medium there, and it’s hard because we don’t know. We can only do so much with the independent evaluations that we have from our experts, we can only do so much and gather information from the school districts because one child with down syndrome can be completely different from another, just like any child … I like now saying, “It’s not just autism that’s on the spectrum, but dyslexia,” it’s just this umbrella term that we use, and there’s just so many variances between. It’s not just this like, “I reverse my B and my Ds,” you know there’s just so many [crosstalk 00:27:05].

Amanda Selogie:              Well, just like abilities in sports or cancer, there’s not just one type of cancer. One person could have breast cancer and another one could, and it’s very different [crosstalk 00:27:16]-

Vickie Brett:                      Completely different, yeah.

Amanda Selogie:              Anything is different, and we need to … That’s why there’s individualized education. We want to focus on making sure our kids are growing up to be the best versions of themselves that they can be, because we want to focus on getting that community, that inclusion, that opportunity, and really building a better country and a better society, because our kids right now are going to be running that society and building that society, growing that society. We need to be focusing on them, it needs to be important.

Vickie Brett:                      Exactly, and you can start this summer.

Amanda Selogie:              Coming this summer-

Vickie Brett:                      Put them outside, they need sun, they need Vitamin D, okay? These kids [crosstalk 00:28:00], and I don’t care if he’s going to be a coder, get him outside for like 10 minutes every day, just so he can get his Vitamin D, or she, because coding is becoming a bigger thing for girls, which I appreciate, but hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode. If you didn’t, I don’t want to hear about it, but if you did-

Amanda Selogie:              Go message Vickie all the time if you didn’t like it.

Vickie Brett:                      Message, message if you don’t, or just stop listening, I don’t … You know, at this point.

Amanda Selogie:              No, but like let us know, I mean we are trying to really take your suggestions seriously, we have a long span list of ones that we have on our docket, like we’ve said before, but if there is a bunch of people making a plea for a certain topic, we’re really trying to do those sooner. Comment on our Facebook page, comment, send us a message on Instagram, comment on our Instagram page, and our soon-to-be-coming Facebook group. Let us know, because for the IEP goals, we got several people commenting, “Yes, please do goals,” and so we did it right away.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, that’ll be the next [crosstalk 00:28:58] episode you hear. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk to you next week.

Amanda Selogie:              Bye.

Vickie Brett:                      Bye.


Leave a Comment