Parent Pulse

The struggle is real...but also rewarding.

Welcome to the Parent Pulse Newsletter!

The struggle is real but it's a little easier with someone by our side. This newsletter is intended to provide straightforward, applicable information and resources for parents (and educators) navigating the special education process.

My name is Heather Hutchison and I'm excited to serve as the Parent Mentor for Wayne, Holmes, and Ashland counties. IEPs and 504s aren't what we first envision for our kids, but it doesn't have to be confusing, lonely, or unfair. I look forward to listening to your unique situation, supporting and empowering you, and learning alongside you as we navigate the special education world.

In each quarterly newsletter you will find resources and events within our communities that support families of children with special needs. Please feel free to share this newsletter with anyone who could benefit from this information!

Diversity In Our Schools & Special Education

How is diversity understood in your school? Often, when we think of diversity, we think of cultural or racial diversity. However, as this image illustrates, diversity is much more expansive than these typical definitions. Check out this article on the topic of neurodiversity and how one teacher adapts her lessons to include this population!

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Tips to support my child's learning and IEP goals at home.

  • Emphasize Structure (even if your child objects). They will become accustomed and even rely on this structure. Include some down-time to decompress from school.
  • Communication (with teachers and your child)
  • Improve Functional Skills (build some time for your child to help with food prep, cleaning, laundry, budgeting, etc.)
  • Movement (people need movement for their bodies and brains to be healthy)
  • Emotion Temperature (Ask your child a specific question about their day and how they felt. This is a great time to teach kids how to navigate a range of emotions.)
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How to get the most out of my PT conference


1. Gather info/review IEP

2. Create list of questions

3. Prepare notes to communicate to teacher (upcoming life events, vacations, births, moves, etc.)


1. Ask important questions first

2. Refrain from becoming defensive or apologetic

3. Ask For Clarification


1. Talk to your child

2. Get resources to help

3. Stay consistent and monitor results

When the News Isn't Good

Stop, Listen, and Ask

When first hearing about possible problems, parents should listen carefully and hear all of the information from the teacher and then ask questions such as these, suggested by the National Association of School Psychologists:

  • How long has this problem been observed?
  • When did the problem start and when does it happen (i.e.,on what sorts of assignments?)
  • How different is the child's performance from that of others in the class?
  • Are there similar or different problems in other subjects?
  • How is the child's attention in class?
  • Is the child willing to participate in classroom activities and discussions?
  • What are the child's strengths?


Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities:

Upcoming Events:

  • Parent Lunch 'n' Learn:
Oct. 19 11:00 - 11:45AM Virtual Link:

Oct. 21 11:30A - 12:15PM Virtual Link:

  • OHuddle Mentorship Training: Nov 22 (Wooster); Dec. 2 (Orrville)

  • Boys & Girls Club Wooster: Before/After School Care (ongoing)

  • Family Support Groups: (See Family & Children First Council - links below)

  • Siffrin Academy Open House: Oct. 22 at 11AM (see link below for more info)

  • NAMI Family Support Group: Nov. 2 at 6:30PM (see link below for more info)