This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, February 6, 2012

ORGANIZE - how do you keep organized?

Primarily I use a 3" 3 ring binder with front and back pockets and a clear covering that I can drop things into.

It's divided into sections with tabs. I add to the sections by putting the most recent information in the front of each section.


SPINE- I've dropped in a label with the child's name - since I've got 2 kids), but I also made sure they were different colors so I could recognize a child's quickly.

FRONT I drop in business cards so I don't lose them.

BACK I have a beautiful crayon sketch done by my mom of my daughter. For my son I have a photo of him. I've found some people in the IEP meeting forget we're talking about MY child, even though my child is usually present I find this important.

(I generally try to keep things in chronological order - most recent items in front - unless it's a summary or needs to be in the front because we use it a lot)

Front Pocket - I keep a copy of her most current IEP since it's too big to fit in the binder sections.


Current Meds and Diagnosis page.

Plus, I have some blank ruled paper for notes.

TAB 1. Medical - (this includes copies of discharge paperwork from psychiatric hospitalizations), a current med list, a med list with all the meds they've ever been on (including when they took it and why it was stopped - if I know), immunizations, hearing and vision, and reports in chronological order of any significant medical issues (surgeries, test results and reports...)

TAB 2. Psych evals - (this includes the school version of a psych eval - called an FIE at our school). I like to use big paperclips to keep each report together rather than staples so they can be copied easily and so I can flip through quickly.

TAB 3. School - this has copies of important e-mails, IEP meeting invitations, printed out attendance, behavior reports, grades... I keep the most recent IEP in a pocket in the front of the binder because it's WAAAYYYY too big to fit in the binder. I only have room to keep a "summary" of important stuff in there (she's had 6 IEP meetings this year), so older stuff from past school years usually gets filed away unless it's really significant. A copy of the Procedural Safeguards.

TAB 4. Legal- this is different per child. For my daughter we filed due process against the school (kind of like a lawsuit) so I keep this information here. Including recommendations of the therapists and psychiatrists regarding her school placement. For my son, it's more about his involvement in the judicial system. This would also be where we'd put

TAB 5. Adoption - just some legal documents needed sometimes because our kids were teens when we finalized, their names are different on documents from before their adoption (my daughter's first AND last name changed from her birth name).

Back Pocket - odds and ends. 

I also have a separate file folder for "current stuff." Stuff I haven't had time to hole punch, stuff that doesn't actually belong in the binders, info on programs we're considering, a calendar, "to do" stuff... whatever.

I bought a pretty, STURDY bag/briefcase that has room for the binder, the folder, a pencil bag and a photo "brag book." It has handles that fit easily over my shoulder since it's HEAVY! It only holds one binder, but carrying 2 is impossibly heavy anyway. My current one is RED so I can find it easily. These totes/bags only last about a year before the weight kills them.

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