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 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,


"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!! 



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!!