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ARWBrown Educational Coaching Services, LLC.


 From ​the Desk of ARWBrown

"By over-responding instead of overreacting, you evolve." 


Good Morning Lovelies,

It is a beautiful morning and I wanted to drop a few words to start your day...

By overresponding instead of overreacting, you evolve. Let me repeat. By overresponding instead of overreacting, you evolve. Responding and reacting may sound like the same thing but they are most definitely not. See, if someone upsets you at the office, in traffic, or at the grocery store today your first response maybe to get angry, take offense or just blatantly cuss them out. That is reacting, unconscious and in the moment, or better yet, "in your feelings. " To respond is to access the situation, its long-term effects and choose the best response for the situation. That's even if one is needed at all. When parents are raising children with special needs sometimes people are ignorant, inconsiderate, or sometimes downright mean. I know how this may feel but just take a moment and gather your composer. Choose a beneficial response to the situation. Your child with intellectual disabilities needs you. Most of all, we are the only buffer they have at times from the harsh realities of the world. Respond but don't react. Continue to evolve into the best parent you can be. I know you can and I know you will...

Educational Life Coach,

Angela West Brown 

“What will I do when my child gets out of school?”



"Transition" is the process teens with special needs and their families use to think about life after high school. Planning for the future of a student with disabilities can bring about fear of the unknown. Asa a result, parents delay addressing needed issues and instead focus on the present moment. Nonetheless, parents/siblings should start thinking about ways to ensure a meaningful outcome for the student. Regardless of the severity of the disability, parents should have access to a transitional process for their child during the high school years to provide a foundation for the adult world. This transitional process will include planning for the future and should be fully understood by everyone involved each step of the way. Above all else, I want to help students with disabilities and their families think about their life after high school and identify long-term goals when designing their  high school experience to ensure that students gain the life skills and the social connections they need during the transition process. Planning for the future is an investment in a your child’s well being. Let me help you prepare your child to be the best he/she can be in spite of their disability. 


Educational Life Coach and Consultant,


Angela West Brown 

6 tips on how to manage the stress of being a sibling of a special-needs sibling



She is an adult now. A young woman living with intellectual disabilities, myy baby sister.

“Talk about your heart, walking outside of your chest. This is the epitome of it!” I've experienced the same feeling after giving birth to my children, but this feeling is unmatched. It's a different kind of love. You wish you could protect them forever. She’s facing so many obstacles and challenges.. . You scream to the top of your lungs, inside that is…. Once you tell them she's over the age of 18, everyone you reach out to for help seems to have an invisible stop sign.

I’m not the only one going through this. I want to share some advice, one sibling to another. Here are 6 tips I've learned along the way.

The first thing I decided to do was to build a strong support system. It takes a team to provide all the support your sibling needs. You need a strong support system as well, supporting you, as you support your sister. A network of support.

Tip 2 If your sibling is still in middle school or high school, make sure that you are apart of the decision-making process in regards to your brother or sister.

Tip 3 Reach out to others. The worst thing you can do is to seclude yourself. There are so many others out here fighting the same fight you are. Fight passed the guilt and shame.Seek out others. Find an online or local support group.

Tip 3 Set aside time for your sibling. Before my sister started running away, I would take her to the movies and have pamper me days. I would do her hair , by her cute outfits and fix her makeup. Sometimes we'd head out for lunch. I miss those special moments with my sister.

Tip 4 Set aside special time for you. Self-care is the best care. No matter what that looks like for you, make sure to schedule time for you.

Tip 5 Focus on how your experience as a sibling of a special-needs sibling has helped you to evolve.

Did you grow as a person? Did you become more resilient, sensitive, tolerant, and/or loving.?

Tip 6 Stop comparing yourself, your siblings, and your family to others. Only you get to decide what normal looks like. This is “your”normal. Every experience is unique and different. Designed by god, just for you. In the great words of Dr. Martin Luther king,” We are all created equal.” His words transcends race and reaches over into intellectual and developmental disabilities as well. Your siblings disability does not define you or your sibling. Write your own destiny starting today!

I hope these six tips have helped you. If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences. I would love to hear from you,

Angela


"Start living your life by design."​


Happy Monday Everyone!!

I hope your Monday is off to a good start?... I just wanted to stop by and drop a few words for you to chew on with your morning coffee.

"Start living your life by design." Living a Life by design is living with intentionality, not by default. You are the co-designer of your life. When you give thanks to God for what he has already done and pray on the things you hope for and have faith (believe) in the things not seen through your faith, you are designing the life you want. Not only the life you want, but the life you want for your child with intellectual disabilities. What kind of life do you envision for your child? Let me help you get there. Click the link in my bio to get started.

Educational Life Coach,

Angela West Brown 

IEP's and Private schools


Hello to all my beautiful moms, amazing dads, and super-siblings,


I have encountered numerous questions about whether or not a private school will use the IEP to guide the educational needs of their child. I understand that parents automatically assume that all schools follow the IEP. I share with many parents that this is not the case. Unless the child is transferring from a  public school and the private school is used as "placement". The public school is still responsible for maintaining the IEP.  It gets tricky. 


 IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided a Free Appropriate Public Education that is tailored to their individual needs at a Federal level. Private schools are not covered under IDEA, the special education law. Public schools receive funding from the federal government. Private schools do not receive this funding and are not required to provide free appropriate education or an IEP. Private schools are obligated to abide by Section 504 and cannot discriminate against a child with a disability. They are responsible for providing modifications, accommodations, and access to educational opportunities.  

Hope this helps!!  


Angela West-Brown

IEP Life Coach and Consultant

IEP vs. 504 and Transition Planning for teens with special needs


Hello to all my beautiful moms, amazing dads, and super-siblings,


Today's IEP Tip of the day took a closer look at the differences between the 504 plan, the IEP, and how it relates to life after high school for your teen with special needs. The IEP is a legally binding document created to provide a unique special education experience designed for your child. Whereas the 504 plan is designed to meet the educational needs of general education students with learning barriers beyond the qualifying 13 disabilities for IEP's. Nonetheless, both programs end after high school graduation. Civil Law section 504 kicks in. Depending on whether or not your young adult will continue educational or employment endeavors determines the route you may consider next. If your teen would like to attend college, the first step after admissions and financial aid is to reach out to the college disability services for accommodation requests. If your teen has goals of obtaining employment, vocational rehabilitation is the way to go. Although the IEP and 504 plans are designed for K-12 only, the respective programs still use these documents as foundational evidence for eligibility requests for various programs and accommodations.

Hope this helps!! 



ARWBrown

  

The Parent Input statement is more important than you may realize...


Today we talked about the value of the parent input statement and how it is the key to getting the IEP TEAM onboard with your hopes, dreams, and desires for your child. Above all else, this is the foundation for meaningful IEP goals😉

Feel empowered at your next IEP TEAM meeting with the few tips listed below.

Grab your child's IEP and take a look at the parent input section. What do you see there?  Email me what you have listed there before the suggested changes below to [email protected]

Here are a few areas to focus on when writing your parent input statement. 


Student Strengths: (describe your student's social and educational strengths)


Behavioral Performance: (describe behavior at home or school and list specific examples of behavior that interferes with academic performance)


Social Interaction: (describe the student's interaction with parents, siblings, teachers and other students including specific incidents where ever possible)


Please describe your concerns for your student (including future goals)


Please describe areas that you feel your student needs assistance


last but not least, describe any concerns that your student may have about the school. 


Hope this helps!! 



ARWBrown

  


 COVID-19, IEP's and Digital Learning

Your local school is still responsible for providing your child a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) in accordance with your child's (IEP) Individualized Education Program during the digital learning transition.


Schools across America are closed and kitchen tables are now becoming homeschool meeting sites lol. I want you to know that your local school is still responsible for providing your child a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) in accordance with your child's  (IEP) Individualized Education Program.


Are you receiving online/virtual special education instruction, telephone calls, virtual therapy sessions during our school closures?


 Have you scheduled a Virtual IEP meeting with your child's IEP Team in order to create an effective distance learning contingency plan added to the IEP?

 Did you know? LEA’s will not be able to use IDEA part B funding to administer future COVID-19 vaccinations to children with disabilities. If you're an advocate for vaccinations or not, I still believe you should know what's going on around you. 

Hope this helps!! 



ARWBrown

  


8 Ways to provide emotional support to your child during this time.

In these times of uncertainty, How do we protect ourselves and those we care about? How do we maintain some sense of normalcy for our children? Here are eight tips I'd like to share. I hope you find them helpful.

1. Don't avoid talking about the coronavirus. Avoiding conversation may make your child worry even more.

2. Make sure to keep the lines of communication open. Let your kids know that you don’t have all the answers, but you will share important information once you know more.

3. Be prepared to answer your child’s questions, but don’t force conversations when they aren’t ready.

4. When your children hear news about COVID-19, they may worry about getting sick themselves or you or other loved ones becoming sick. Remind them that children, even if they get the virus, "usually" have mild symptoms.

5. Kids feel empowered when they know ways to stay safe. Frequent hand washing, avoiding crowded places, and following the 6-foot rule are ways to reassure them they are taking the necessary precautions to be safe.

6. Follow established routines. Routines are quite comforting in times of uncertainty.

7. Practice self-care so you can care for your family.

8. As a family, take time together for outdoor play, calming activities like meditation or quiet music time, and opportunities to be creative or play games.


Angela West-Brown MALS CLC

Individualized Education Program Life Coach

Adult Transition Planning Specialist

Email your questions to [email protected]

Or call 404-301-9077

Visit angelawestbrown.com

https://m.facebook.com/ARWBrownECCS

Twitter @arwbrowneducat1

Instagram @arwbrowneccs1

Grab your copy of "Lost and Found" Educating Parents of Intellectually Disabled High School Students how to Navigate Through College and Beyond available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com 📸 @bellerougephotography 💄

Hope this helps!! 



ARWBrown

  


Yes, things are starting to feel like the twilight zone

Yes, things are starting to feel like the twilight zone (my favorite show by the way) Instead of watching the characters, we have become the characters. We're waiting on the end, which always leads to some jacked-up, twisted, philosophical meaning to life as we know it. Guess what?! it will. You will re-discover you. The many hats of you. Your family and even your friends as you press through this time. Some things you will like, some things you will dislike, while others will seem like a reacquainted friend who's come to say "hello" again.

Relax. Breathe. Don't stress out. ( I told myself this very thing two weeks ago I was spiraling out of control with anxiety)

Now is not the time to miss the lesson. We have been told to have a seat. Several seats actually LOL and now is the time to pray, meditate and do some self-care. This is why I want you to download my parent self-care program. Click the link https://linktr.ee/arwbrowneccs1. It's FREE 99 by the way. Invest in yourself and see the world around you change.

Angela West-Brown MALS CLC

Individualized Education Program Life Coach

Adult Transition Planning Specialist

Email your questions to [email protected]

Or call 404-301-9077

Visit angelawestbrown.com

https://m.facebook.com/ARWBrownECCS

Twitter @arwbrowneducat1

Instagram @arwbrowneccs1

Grab your copy of "Lost and Found" Educating Parents of Intellectually Disabled High School Students how to Navigate Through College and Beyond available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com 📸 @bellerougephotography 💄

Hope this helps!! 



ARWBrown

  


What are some of your biggest fears, concerns and worries as you raise a black child with special needs?

What are some of your biggest fears, concerns and worries as you raise a black special needs child?

Special needs moms, dads, siblings, caregivers and beloved friends,

These past few days have been very overwhelming for us all. After the brutal killing of George Floyd and so many others before him, my heart was beyond heavy. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Where would we be without cell phone footage to capture the inhumane acts happening around us?!… No more cover-ups or denying the truth. We have proof of what we’ve been screaming for decades. Police brutality and race discrimination has happened and still happening in real time. It has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Everyone handles things differently. I for one, had to take a step back, dig deep in my soul and connect with God for mental peace and clarity  during these unsettling times. I needed clarity on how to best serve the needs of my community.   I am a Black mother, wife and special needs sibling. I have given the “talk” to my son long before he turned 15. I’ve felt the intense fear at the pit of my stomach each and every time the cops pull us over. I’ve gotten the call (from police) so many times when my special needs sister was a runner and I didn’t know what was on the other end of the phone. It rips my heart apart to think about what could happen to us in the world we live in today. Black lives Matter at all cost. Being black in America should not be an automatic death sentence. I am so proud of the unity and solidarity I have seen worldwide. My prayer is that we continue to fight and push for a new world. Filled with love, peace and togetherness. I am hopeful from what I have seen over the past few days. Thousands and thousands of people of all races have come out to support us. All four cops have been charged and arrested. I pray Gods protection over each and every individual that protests. The fight for lasting change is not a race but a marathon. While police continue to show their lack of concern for basic human rights, we will continue to use the power of our voice. Special needs parents and caregivers, I understand the added fears you may have if your child is black and has special needs when planning for life after high school. We all know that Black boys are more likely to be suspended from school, misdiagnosed due to behavioral issues, or misunderstood by police. Preparing your child for a successful transition into adulthood undeniably includes preparing strategies and solutions when faced with racism, discrimination and ableism.

What are some of your biggest fears, concerns and worries as you raise a black special needs child?

If you are an educator, advocate or in any way connected to the black special education community, what are some of your worries or concerns at this time?

Have you implemented/ cultivated cultural and racial diversity in your field? 

Angela West-Brown MALS CLC

Individualized Education Program Life Coach

Adult Transition Planning Specialist

Email your questions to [email protected]

Or call 404-301-9077

Visit angelawestbrown.com

https://m.facebook.com/ARWBrownECCS

Twitter @arwbrowneducat1

Instagram @arwbrowneccs1

Grab your copy of "Lost and Found" Educating Parents of Intellectually Disabled High School Students how to Navigate Through College and Beyond available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com 📸 @bellerougephotography 💄

Hope this helps!! 



ARWBrown

  


“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase”

Martin Luther King Jr.


I think about my journey as an author. I wrote my book over two years ago with the goal of sharing my story to inspire, encourage and inform special needs families around the world who felt just as lost as I did as a sibling, of a special need’s sibling. I felt so vulnerable. I didn’t know if people would understand. I didn’t know if anyone would take the time to read it since it wasn’t about sex, lies and deceit to be honest… I had to fight through the feelings of potentially being judged and allowed the idea of saving at least one family from the heartache we endured to propel me on. I put my first book out there (I’m in the process of writing my second book) and began the work. I connected with anything minutely connected to the special need’s community. I didn’t know exactly what, who or how to spread the message, but I knew there was a burning desire to help other families like mine. I knew the lord gave me this mission and I knew he would guide my footsteps along the way. I’m glad that I stopped battling in silence. I decided to be the voice of an area in special education people rarely talked about, (Transition planning) Life after high school for teens with special needs. I have connected with special needs siblings, educators, advocates, medical professionals, and supporters all over the world. Sometimes I wondered how all my experiences would come together to support my mission and now it all makes perfect sense. This past week, all the pieces to my life's puzzle came crashing together so beautifully. Families First and GACRS hired me to train over 60+ Georgia foster and adoptive families on adult transition planning for teens with special needs. Almost two years ago, my husband and I completed our adoption journey of my beautiful niece (raised as one of our own). Families first and GACRS assisted us along our journey as well and now I am able to give back in my own special way. Talk about full circle!! I’ve learned that although I didn’t have all the pieces when I began my journey, all I needed to do was take the first step in faith. I started moving in the direction of where I wanted to be. I started surrounding myself with like-minded people. I prayed before doing anything and I asked Christ Jesus to help me make wise decisions business/financial. I am so thankful and I know there is more great things in store. Make sure to follow me on Instagram @arwbrowneccs1 and visit my website www.angelawestbrown.com

Angela West-Brown MALS CLC

Individualized Education Program Life Coach

Adult Transition Planning Specialist

Email your questions to [email protected]

Or call 404-301-9077

Visit angelawestbrown.com

https://m.facebook.com/ARWBrownECCS

Twitter @arwbrowneducat1

Instagram @arwbrowneccs1

Grab your copy of "Lost and Found" Educating Parents of Intellectually Disabled High School Students how to Navigate Through College and Beyond available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com 📸 @bellerougephotography 💄

Hope this helps!! 



ARWBrown

  


Thank you for allowing me to support, serve and guide you along this journey. I thank God for you!!

Dear Special needs moms, dads, siblings, aunts, uncles, educators, therapist and the entire special needs community all over the world,

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for allowing me to support, serve and guide you along this journey. I thank God for you, for you being here, showing up, and trusting me to help navigate you on your special education journey.

If you're reading this email, you sit at IEP tables throughout the year with strength, courage, and determination.

From parent-teacher conferences to writing SMART goals, you give everything you've got to help every child become prepared for life after high school.

You pour out your heart and soul into making sure the world is a better place for our next generation of unique and diverse learners.

Thank you. Not just for being here, with me on this journey to adulthood for teens with special needs, but for breaking boundaries, having hope, and never giving up.

Now go eat too much turkey or watch too much Netflix or zone out scrolling through Instagram... do whatever you gotta do to give your brain a break. You deserve it!!!

Oh, and if scrolling Instagram is the way you take a break, find me here @arwbrowneccs1 and send me a DM to let me know you got this email and say HI!

I'd love to connect with you today!

XOXO, Love & Gratitude,

Angela “Angie B” West-Brown, MALS, CLC

www.angelawestbrown.com

  


Still feeling the love?!

After my radio interview Saturday morning with Rick Knight of YANA Nation - Serving the Special Needs Community as a special guest to talk about the transition planning process, I gave myself a little self love and rested. I think I slept all day. Actually, the entire weekend. I’m still feeling the love from allowing myself to rest. My husband set up a mani, pedi, ordered my favorite foods (Krab Queenz Seafood) and I went back to sleep. I wanted to work on my new projects I have in store for you. I think about you all so much. I decided to charge up so that I can continue to be the best mom, wife, employee and Adult Transition Coach I can be. We have to give ourselves moments to pause. What did you do this weekend?

I wanted to share with you 5 tips to fall in love with the Adult Transition IEP Process.

Tip 1: Invite Local community agencies ( Vocational Rehab for example) to the next transition IEP meeting.

Tip 2: Ask for a draft IEP 3-5 days before the meeting.

Tip 3: Download and take the adult transition planning checklist with you.

Tip 4: Review the checklist, along side your child's existing IEP 5 days before your meeting.

Tip 5: Book your FREE 20 minute coaching call to get started.

P.S. Just in case you were not able to download last weeks indicator 13, here’s the link to grab it.

Indicator 13 (mailchi.mp)


I'd love to connect with you today! Send me an email at [email protected]

Stop by and say hello if nothing else my love. 

XOXO, With Love, Peace & Gratitude,

Angela “Angie B” West-Brown, MALS, CLC

www.angelawestbrown.com

  


Why do you need an Adult "Transition" IEP Coach? 

I was sitting here drinking my breakfast blend coffee and lighting a few candles to get started on content for the week and it hit me. I have talked about transition planning for so long, but what if parents don't know which transition planning process I'm talking about? Let's take a deeper dive.


We have transitions inside the classroom (Virtual or face to face), school to school, program to program, school to college, etc. Although I've updated my title to include "Adult Transition" IEP Coach, I still wanted to take a deeper dive with you to help you understand the importance of "Transition Planning" in special education and how it looks in the grand scheme of things. But first, let's talk about the transition timeline.

We have Birth to 2 years old, (HeadStart) 3 to 5 years old, (Kindergarten to Secondary Education) 6 to 16 years old,

(Transition Planning for adulthood) ages 14-16, and (Transition to Secondary Education (16 to 21 years old).

Adult Transition Planning covers the last two transition phases on the timeline. When a student turns 14, transition planning must be in place by age 16. Transition planning is necessary to prepare your child for employment, secondary-education, independent living and community participation.

Transition Planning is a part of the IEP process and IEP goals must match the overall transition goals for the student. At the age of 18 or when your child graduates from high school (age 21) the IEP ends. This is why it is so important to have an Adult Transition IEP Coach to help you create a smooth transition plan into adulthood for your teen with special needs. I am ready to support you through the transition process, answer your questions and help you make sense of it all. If you're ready to take the first step. Let's get started today before the next IEP meeting.

P.S. Always remember, half the battle is won just by taking the first step. Let's do this!!!!!!! 


I'd love to connect with you today! Send me an email at [email protected]

Stop by and say hello if nothing else my love. 

XOXO, With Love, Peace & Gratitude,

Angela “Angie B” West-Brown, MALS, CLC

www.angelawestbrown.com

  


"What you need to know about Transition Assessments"

The transition planning process is just that, a process. It’s not something that will happen overnight. It's a journey that has very important steps along the way that must be completed and done with timed accuracy along the way. I want to share with you the most important step in building a firm foundation during transition planning….

Its “Transition Assessments”

Transition Assessments provide a working framework of your child's unique needs, preferences, strengths, and interests. Let’s not forget transition assessments can be formal or informal. Informal assessments can be interviews, paper/pencil tests, and functional skill inventories. It is recommended that IEP Teams use a variety of evaluations.

Here are a list of the different types of Transition Assessments:

Adaptive Behavior Assessments

General and Specific Aptitude Tests

Interest and Work values inventories

Intelligence Tests

Achievement Tests

Personality and Preference Tests

Self-determination assessments

Career maturity and Readiness

Work-related temperament scales

Transition planning inventories

If your child is 14 and the school district has not started the transition evaluation process, please submit the request in writing. You have the right to make this request in writing. Sometimes you may have to take the initiative even when you believe the IEP team is on top of it, stay three steps ahead. Even if you preface it with, hey quick reminder…… ( have you reached out to? Which tests are we starting with?) to make sure everything is on target.

I have a few resources and trainings coming up this week, so make sure that you’re following me on IG @angelawestbrown.com

Have a fabulous Weekend and lets make the best of every moment GOD has given to us.


P.S. I'd love to connect with you today! Send me an email at [email protected]

Stop by and say hello if nothing else my love. 

XOXO, With Love, Peace & Gratitude,

Angela “Angie B” West-Brown, MALS, CLC

www.angelawestbrown.com

  

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