Archive for February, 2008

Strategies for IEP Goals Autism Experts Recommend Most

Posted in Health & Fitness, Living on February 21st, 2008

The IEP goals autism sufferers typically attempt to achieve include more effective learning, minimized symptom behavior, and an individualized understanding experience. 

An IEP is the individualized education plan created for your child’s learning experience at school. The IEP provides a uniquely tailored document that steers the educational development for the individual child, allowing teachers, parents, and experts to recognize whether or not progress is truly being made. 

The IEP goals parents are seeking are an overall outline that includes measurable elements so that progress – or lack thereof – may be recognized.  No two plans are the same and they each have their own individual purpose and steps for achieving further educational development. 

Parents often wonder exactly what role they play in the development of their child’s IEP, its goals, and its practice.  Fortunately, there are many resources that help to guide parents along this sometimes daunting road.

The first thing parents should do is sit down with their child’s instructor(s) to discuss their child’s needs, challenges, and various autism symptoms and behaviors.  This will help to ensure that their child’s IEP and its goals are indeed laying a practical, workable foundation for the educational services that he or she will be receiving. 

It is vital that the parent understand exactly what the IEP means and how it will be impacting the autistic child’s learning.  Therefore, parents should always feel encouraged to do their own research, ask for second opinions, and pose as many questions as necessary until the IEP is fully understood. 

Experts recommend that parents think of IEP goals as a process and a document to be set, instead of a vague indefinable concept.  This way, parents are better able to learn each of the parts of the autism IEP and its goals throughout the creation of the final document.

With each new school year, parents become more familiar with the various steps to writing IEP goals their children will be working to achieve.  They learn many important tips and strategies for getting the most out of the IEP meeting to draft the document such as:

1. Before the meeting occurs, review your child’s information, including that provided about home, the community (such as doctors, tutors, therapists, etc.), and schools.  If you find that the information fails to show the complete picture, make an effort to fill in as many of the missing pieces as possible.  You want to be certain that the picture you’re painting of your child’s unique situation is as accurate as it can be.  Bring your records to the meeting, including pictures your child has drawn or painted, any work your child has done, audiotapes, and/or videotapes that demonstrate any insights or specific concerns that you would like to share.

2. If your child will be in attendance for all or a portion of the IEP meeting, make sure to let him or her know in advance exactly the way the meeting will function.  Inform your child that it is a very important meeting and that any ideas or opinions that he or she may have to contribute will be helpful.  You may need to prepare your child about every part of the meeting and that he or she may need to speak up.  Speak with your child about the ways that he or she can express feelings and ideas.

3. Brainstorm with the people who know your child well – family members, friends, teachers, therapists, tutors, and consultants, for example – to get some ideas to bring to the IEP meeting.  Write everything down so that you won’t forget.

4. Ask questions to any team member at the IEP meeting so that you always understand.  Never hesitate to request further explanation.  If you don’t agree with something, ask more questions and request backup information that will support that person’s claim.  If you have information that states something different, don’t hesitate to share it.

5. Be thorough about your efforts at the meeting.  Make sure that you agree completely with what is being suggested, and with all of the language used in the document.  Before any of the IEP goals autism processes are finalized, make sure that you’re certain your child’s unique needs will be met and that you haven’t left any doubts in your mind.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to guide you and your child through setting up IEP goals autism strategies and for information on other autism resources please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

How to Modify Your Diet for Acid Reflux

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 1st, 2008

Bananas and many other foods are a safe and beneficial part of a diet for acid reflux.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all foods.  There are many types of foods that can trigger or make acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn, worse.  The following is information regarding five common types of foods linked to acid reflux, as well as suggestions for acid reflux friendly alternatives.

Fatty foods – Foods high in fat (I.E. red meat, sausages, bacon, ham, fast food, most processed foods) tend to be harder to digest and remain in the stomach longer.  The longer food stays within the stomach, the higher the risk of acid reflux because there is a delay in the stomach emptying its contents.

Alternative:  You need to avoid fatty foods and eliminate them whenever possible from your diet.  Opt instead for lean white meat, fish and eggs, instead of red meat, and if you eat meat on occasion, eat only a small portion of lean meat that is grilled or baked - never fried!

Fried and spicy foods – Spicy foods (I.E. black pepper, Chile peppers, Chinese, Indian and Mexican cuisine.) and foods that are deep fried, fried in butter or stir fried (I.E. potato chips, fried tortilla chips, French fries, fried rice, etc.) can be hard to digest, increase acid production, and relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), all of which increases the possibility of acid reflux.

Alternative: Use herbs to add zing to your meals and limit the amount of spice you put in your food. Instead of deep or pan frying, bake, steam or grill most of your food.

Dairy products –Dairy products (I.E. milk, cream, butter, cheese, ice cream made from real cream, etc.), especially when consumed frequently or before bed, tend to encourage acid production and can cause heartburn.

Alternative: If you are not allergic to dairy products, you can still enjoy them in moderation, but they should be consumed in small quantities during the daytime.  If, on occasion, you wish to have a glass of milk at night, accompany the milk with a food high in carbohydrates (I.E. bread) to help speed up digestion and minimize acid production.

Caffeinated and carbonated beverages – Carbonated beverages (I.E. soda and carbonated water) trigger burping, which, in turn, can encourage acid reflux. Caffeinated beverages (I.E. soda, coffee, tea and decaffeinated coffee) also encourage acid reflux because they cause the LES to relax.

Alternative:  The ideal beverage is plain water.  However, if you would like to include a warm beverage in your diet for acid reflux, warm water with honey, herbal tea, or caffeine free coffee are ideal options.  If you wish to drink soda, drink non-caffeinated soda and let it go flat before drinking to reduce the carbonation.

Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits (I.E. oranges, pineapples, lemons, limes, etc.) trigger acid reflux because they stimulate acid production in your stomach.

Alternatives:  Although citrus fruits should be avoided, there are many other fruits   such as bananas and apples that you can eat, and are considered very beneficial at suppressing acid and treating acid reflux symptoms.  Other fruits that can be added to a diet for acid reflux are berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Keep in mind, though many of the alternative food suggestions are suitable for the majority of acid reflux sufferers, every person responds differently to food.  Therefore, it is important that you find out which foods trigger your symptoms so you can limit and avoid these foods when creating your diet for acid reflux.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about following a diet for Acid Reflux and for information on acid reflux foods to eat please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now.