Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Jan 03
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by Dennise Goldberg

Happy New Year everyone…what a week it’s been in Washington D.C.!!  It’s only January 3rd and our elected leaders have already begun the same way they ended; fighting over what they want to do with the country.  Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent I’m sure you are just as unhappy with what’s going in Washington as I am!  Our elected officials are there to serve the American Citizens, not their own interests.  However these days, it’s hard to tell those who are self-serving and those who serve the people…..do they cast their vote just to save their political position or to help the citizens of this country?  I think this week we saw a mixture of both. 

To keep our country from falling off the fiscal cliff both Democrats and Republicans had to make comprises; some might even call it “a painful pill to swallow.” For the time being that crisis has been temporarily averted, with many more battles in the near future.  Some of you might be wondering how this relates to Special Education…well I’ll tell you!!

Because we all know it takes a village to raise a child!   This requires schools and parents to come together and develop an IEP that will ensure the child is receiving a Free Appropriate Public Education; an education that is also designed to assist them in all their areas of need.  I truly believe it requires both the school and parents working together to address the child’s needs; not what the school or the parents want.  Many times I have sat in an IEP and I hear both sides talking about what they want, without referencing what the child needs.  For example, the school might be looking at the student as a budgetary responsibility that they would like to get rid of and the parents are looking at their child’s needs through rose colored glasses, not truly acknowledging all the hard work that lies ahead.  When this occurs, the child’s IEP will most likely be ineffective.

We know many people in this country have suffered financially in the past few years; individuals as well as institutions.  As a result, we may not always get all the services we would like from our school district and some school districts may have to provide additional services for those students who have more severe needs.  As our elected officials should do what’s best for the citizens of this country without their own agenda; so too should school districts and parents do what’s best for children with disabilities. Both sides need to make decisions based on a child’s needs not on what the adults in the room want.

As usual in Washington, there’s always another battle to be fought down the road; no different when it comes to a child’s IEP.  The needs of the American people are constantly changing, just as children with disabilities.  There are times when both sides must comprise……only to battle another day.

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