My Life As A Master IEP Coach®
In January 2019 I began my journey when I decided to join the Master IEP Coach® Mentorship, with Catherine Whitcher. Years of personal struggles and the desire to assist other families fueled my decision and the results were epic! Not only did the program increase my knowledge in the IEP process but I became part of a network of coaches AND started a purposeful business that lights my soul on fire EVERY day!
Why I Do It
In our Master IEP Coach® Network you’ll hear a wide range of personal stories about why they joined the program. There are special needs moms, special education teachers with non-special needs kids or no kids at all! Some of us had little to no experience in special education and some had many years in the classroom or worked in other areas with special needs kids and their families.
My story started when my youngest of three sons was diagnosed with Autism, ADHD and Tourette’s, with a spattering of other isms and syndromes. So not only was our world full of doctors and specialists, we were also plunged into the world of special education when he entered kindergarten. My older boys had already graduated high school and other than the occasional call from the principal their school years were conventionally uneventful.
My first IEP meeting was like sitting through a foreign film with no subtitles and I came out of there with more questions and confusion than when I entered. I sat at a table with 8 other people that I had NO idea who they were, was given a tower of paperwork that I had NO idea what to do with and felt like I was on a runaway train with NO idea when it would stop.
After the initial shock I crammed every available minute with learning about the system and the IEP process, I actually became quite confident in my ability to navigate the IEP waters and even managed to negotiate alternative placement for my son when it became obvious the district school couldn’t offer him what he needed. But in between there were a few years of nastiness, years I’d like to forget, years I don’t want any other family to endure a minute longer!
How I Do It
The single most important tool I have in my Master IEP Coach® toolbelt is the Master IEP Coach® Network. The Network is a group of Coaches just like me who have been through the program and join together to brainstorm, collaborate and continue our training. Catherine keeps us updated on all the new training she develops for the Mentorship as well as offers us a place to mingle as a community and work with each other everyday!
I’ve chosen to start a website, www.dianaprowitt.com, along with social media, like Facebook, Instagram to connect with clients. I also send out a newsletter with new info, tips and resources to anyone interested in what’s happening on the website, you can sign up at the bottom of the page.
I also have a favored set of resources, books and websites that I refer to often for the best and current legal advice. I want to make sure the info I’m giving my clients and the public is current and truthful!
My Daily Routine
I try to spend at least 2 days a month connecting with people in the community who have questions, concerns or just want info on IEPs. I usually set up in a local coffee shop for informal “coffee talks” or sometimes a group will invite me to come in to talk to their members. This is something I do free, to educate and spread awareness in the community. I’ve met so many wonderful people this way and gained a few clients as well. This is something that brings me a lot of joy because I know I’m making a difference for these families and starting them down a path of easier and more productive IEP progress.
Most weekdays are spent in my office responding to emails, messages and phone calls, writing advocacy letters, doing research for clients or just working on my business. Occasionally I’ll have a meeting to attend with a client that will take me out of the office but most of my clients are scattered across the country so I can attend those meetings by telephone conference in my yoga pants and messy bun (shhh, don’t tell).
Ultimately my business schedule revolves around my family’s needs and mine as well. My household is very busy and complicated with three generations, a special needs son with a busy schedule and my own chronic illness. I make it work for us, it helps me live a purposeful life and I’m making positive changes in the IEP community one family at a time.
How You Can Join Me
A new Master IEP Coach® Mentorship will be starting soon (or get on the waitlist!) and you can join this elite group of parents, teachers and community members dedicated to making positive changes in the world of special education. You don’t need any other experience or training; it ALL happens in the program with Catherine Whitcher and your fellow coaches. Catherine covers everything you need from starting your business, to finding clients, to becoming an MVP in the world of IEPs within this program.
You’ll also have the opportunity to join me in our Master IEP Coach® Network where you will work alongside some of the best coaches in the business. I’ve been so blessed by the community and friendships that I’ve made and hope that you’ll join us, if you feel this is something that calls to you. If you would like to get more information, or to sign up, you can find that here at Catherine Whitcher, Master IEP Coach® Mentorship. I’d also love to hear from you and answer any questions you have for me personally. Contact me here anytime!
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