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“Sometimes it helps to be organized…and sometimes it’s essential! When life goes along, day by day, in a very predictable manner, being organized is like an insurance policy. It’s there when and/or if you need it! But when life catches you off-guard, and you’re blindsided by an unexpected event, you can be sure a lack of organization will take you down!”

Quote from Ellen Kazanoff, Organization Coach, Clean Slate Solutions

Communication Log

Families with children or youth with special health needs or disabilities interact with multiple systems and providers. The Communication Log is a convenient and portable resource to help families capture important information, prepare for meetings, or support family-school communication. Suggested uses include, but are not limited to:

Parent Record Keeping

  • Record contacts with medical or service providers, program staff, schools, insurance, etc. Include the date, name of the person you spoke with, contact information, and a brief summary of the conversation.
  • Write down questions or comments in advance of meetings, to help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish.

Parent-School Communication

  • Determine what information should be shared between home and school to support the student. Positive information should be shared as well as concerns.
  • Examples might include communicating about behaviors, homework assignments, current or upcoming events at school or home that may impact the student’s behavior or attendance, and student medical or other appointments.
  • Include use of the Communication Log in your child’s IEP or 504 Plan.

Please contact SDPC at 800-640-4553 or if you would like to receive the Communication Log or any of our other valuable resources.


The Folder of Information and Life Experiences (FILE) helps you organize the information you gather, the information you need and the information you share with others along the way. This system of record keeping was developed for parents by parents and professionals. Included in the system’s carrying case are 10 folders with simple instructions to help you maintain each folder.

The folders include: Family Records, Developmental History, Medical, Therapies, IFSP/IEP & Notes, Letters/Contact Info., Evaluations/Consents, Respite Care/Child Care, Transitions, and Legal and Life Planning.
View a video presentation about the FILE

The FILE System is available to South Dakota families who have a child or children with a disability or special health care needs. Contact us at (800) 640-4553 or for your copy.


Keeping records is an essential part of life. Keeping organized records will help youth become more independent. The MyFILE system was developed through a collaborative effort to help young adults maintain and organize information. The MyFILE is a compact, portable storage system for keeping important records.

This recordkeeping system helps sort and retrieve information related to these topics:

High School
Post-Secondary Education and/or Training
Support Providers
Current Bills
Emergency Preparedness
Social Security
Family Services
Tax Returns/Legal Papers

Each folder contains a business card holder to note and keep track of individuals who have been helpful. Oftentimes, it is more comfortable to deal with the same professional in repeated interactions to establish a relationship. Three blank folders are for topics important to youth.

An important note about confidential information: Protecting confidential information and records is a very important skill for young adults to develop. Parents and professionals are understandably concerned about a young person disclosing or losing confidential records. Use of the MyFILE provides ongoing opportunities for youth to have discussions regarding confidentiality issues, practice maintaining safety and privacy of documents, and rehearse responsible and appropriate disclosure of confidential information — all with coaching and support from the adults in their life.

Featured Resource

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Take advantage of our most recent publication “Preparing For The Future… Understanding Guardianship and Alternatives”

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