First, I wanted to explain how I learned about this concept. Back when Ellie was just a wee babe, I went to an event that our local group DSNO hosted on Person-Centered Planning and the One-Page Profile given by FACT. FACT is an amazing local organization, their mission says it all: "Our mission is to empower Oregon families experiencing disability in their pursuit of a whole life by expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families." Empower. And that exactly what they do. I went to this event on a whim, more for the companionship of other parents and maybe some wine, and I didn't expect to be so inspired so early on in Ellie's life.
I fought back tears as I listened to Roberta Dunn, the founder of FACT, talk about her son who is now a young adult. She shared his Person-Centered Plan with us, and it was full of positive information about him. She explained that his whole team would come together, and they would talk about what worked and why, and they would build his plan based upon his strengths. I don't know why but it hit me hard that night, it was so uplifting and positive! It gave me such hope for Ellie's future. I remember trying to envision what Ellie's plan would look like. I never imagined our girl would be heading into a gen-ed preschool, reading like a champ, with lots of friends, and be a lover of Taco Bell and rap. Yes, I included that info, because that is our girl.
Last Tuesday I had a mini panic attack. Ellie had her "transition meeting" that Friday. The premise of the meeting is to get her whole team together to discuss her move from specialized preschool to the general ed preschool. And the gen-ed preschool is the same school her big bros go to, and she will have the same teachers they had! Her teachers, therapists and future teachers were all going to be at this meeting. I had nothing prepared whatsoever (three days before!!!) so I posted a plea for help in our private "Oregon Parents of children with T21" group on Facebook. Speaking of which, my BFF Jos and I just started this group, if you are in Oregon and are a mom or dad with a kid with DS of any age, let us know and join us! So far it has been amazing being able to share and learn from other parents on the same journey!
I received some awesome input on what to expect, what to do, and was reminded of the One Page Profile and Person-Centered Plan. I went to FACT's site and looked at the all of the examples and pulled together Ellie's document. I ended up using a site called Canva. This site is a graphic design website (and they also have an app) and it's AMAZING.
Before I list the steps on how I created the One Page Profile, I thought I would also share the video I watched a couple of times before her transition meeting. This video was made by NWDSA and All Born In, two more wonderful local organizations, and it made a huge impact on me. If you are starting on the journey of advocating for your child's education I recommend you watch this video!
We All Belong
And now here are the steps to create the One Page Profile:
1. Go to Canva's site.
2. Navigate to "blog graphic":
3. The "blog" templates will pop up, scroll down until you see the one with a pink background called "sweet carol's velvet cupcake".
**Note: if you don't see it, try typing in "cupcakes" or "sweet carol's" in the search bar and then click "layouts".
Please feel free to use any of the verbiage I used if it fits what you are looking to do. Last year when I attended the DSDN Rockin' Mom retreat we had a guest speaker named Laura Buckner. I remember there wasn't a dry eye in the house, as she explained the vision statement she brought to all of her son's IEP meetings. Her son is now an adult, who lives a happy and productive life. She is an amazing advocate and mother. She told us to get out our pens and to write it down, this is it in it's entirety:
We envision Ellie living a life of choice.
We envision her having relationships she finds meaningful.
We envision her spending her days at work and other places that she enjoys and finds productive.
We envision her living with people she chooses to live with in places she chooses to live.
A life of choice, this says a lot doesn't it? I really loved the vision statement and tweaked it a little for this meeting, she's only 4 after all :) But I plan on editing it as she grows, but it will always remain that we envision her living a life of choice.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions. I hope this helps you, and remember our kids are entitled to an education in the "least restrictive environment".
For this week's post, since I talked about being so emotional so many times I decided to pick an emotional song! There's just something about it that fills me with all the feels, like you want to raise your hands up and close your eyes, it's one of my all time faves:
The River - Leon Bridges
|Ellie's first day of school - age 3!|