Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Start with Strengths

Does your son or daughter’s IEP meeting always begin with a laundry list of all their problem areas or deficits? If so, you need to check out the Disability is Natural website ( and read Kathie Snow’s article entitled Start with Strengths! Kathie shared this article in her latest E-newsletter and in it she quotes Robert Conklin who said: "If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weakness, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities."

Kathie Snow, the founder of Disability is Natural, has a knack for pointing out the obvious in ways to show how absurd are many of the commonly accepted approaches to treating people with disabilities. In her "Strengths" article she begins by asking you to very quickly think of three wonderful things about a person with a disability in your life. Kathie says that when she asks parents, teachers, service providers and therapists to do that, most can’t, but they can easily reel off a list of the person’s deficits. Kathie states, "If you were known primarily by your perceived problems and your medical diagnoses, you wouldn’t be very successful either."

This article is a guide that helps the reader understand the differences that can be made in a person’s achieve-ment when their service planning begins with strengths instead of deficits. Kathie’s examples of real individu-als including her own son, illustrate how this works. A quote from John Lancaster Spalding sums it up, "Those who believe in our ability do more than stimulate us. They create for us an atmosphere in which it becomes easier to succeed."

To read the article, click here. If you are unable to access the internet to view the Disability is Natural website, you can call Family Matters tt 866-436-7842 to have a copy of the article mailed to you.

If you are concerned about your child's IEP, Family Matters can help.  An Information Specialist will review your child's records for free and help you pinpoint areas of concern.  We can help you develop more measurable and specific goals, as well.  Contact us at 866-436-7842.

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