I don’t understand why every time we post an article on Special Education Advisor regarding advocacy or relationships with your child’s school we always get the same type of comments. If the article is discussing how to collaborate with your school or create a positive relationship I receive comments about how utilizing this philosophy would put you in a weak position. On the other hand, every time we post an article about being a strong advocate for your child we get comments about how this is counterproductive to the collaborative nature of the IEP Meeting. Since when did we start living in a universe where you can’t have a positive relationship with your child’s school and be a strong advocate for their needs? You absolutely can do both, but it requires finesse. Before we talk about how to do this I want you to see two of these comments we have received. On the article Top Ten Methods to Foster IEP Team Collaboration we received this comment: Read the rest of this entry →
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Probably the most frustrating part of being the parent of a child with a different ability  is the response from the very organization you hoped you could trust the most to do right by your child – your school district. After all, teachers and administrators are trained to adapt the teaching environment to help my child, right? (No.) I pay my property taxes, so I should be able to control how the schools work, right? (You should, yes, but in reality you don’t.)
So what should I do when the school district won’t do what they are supposed to do for my child? Read the rest of this entry →
On January 24th Disability Scope ran an article, Most Parents Pleased with Role in Child’s IEP. The article stated:
In a study looking at the experiences of families of more than 10,000 students with disabilities, the majority of parents said they attended their child’s most recent IEP meeting. And of parents who attended, about 70 percent said they thought their level of involvement in decision making was “about right.” In most other cases, parents said they wanted to be more involved. Read the rest of this entry →
I read an article yesterday on Forbes.com called, “Are You Using Word Problems to Solve your Business Problems.” At first glance, this article seemingly has nothing to do with special education. The more I thought about this article the more I realized it has everything to do with special education. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Remember those word problems you dreaded in your middle-school math class? “We’ll never use that in real-life” we all thought. Well, we couldn’t be more wrong.
No, this isn’t about figuring out at what time Train A and Train B will meet if they are going 80 miles an hour. But similar types of problems have existed almost daily in all of my businesses as long as I can remember. Everything becomes a word problem.
Should I hire another sales person? Turns into: I have 200 leads a month, with an average lead requiring four hours of time over a six-week sales cycle to covert into a sale, currently working 160 hours a month each. Read the rest of this entry →
When a dispute arises between a parent and the school in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting there are a few methods that can be utilized to work out the disagreement. Most School Districts will have at least one Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR) system in place that can be employed to work out the dispute. IDR will look different in every school district but most likely it will involve a meeting or phone call with a District employee who was not at the original IEP meeting discussing the disagreement and trying to come to a successful resolution. IDR is not mandatory and can be skipped if the parents want to exercise their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) procedural safeguards which could include Mediation or Due Process. Read the rest of this entry →
I remember when my husband and I first entered the world of IEP’s. We were overwhelmed by the magnitude of information, definitions, assessments, etc. Of course, there was also the feeling of helplessness with regards to making sure our son had all the services he needed. Sometimes, when a parent loses control of their emotions that can interfere with their ability to be an effective advocate for their child. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, when we as parents are trying desperately to convince the school district to give our child the services they need. We might exhibit our frustrations through anger, tears, or depression because we are losing the argument with the school district. When that happens, all communication between the school district and the parent’s stops and both sides walk away with resentment and ill will towards each other. Since we are our children’s advocates, we must learn how to accomplish this by using a fact based argument instead of an emotional based argument. Read the rest of this entry →
You have just attended your child’s latest IEP meeting and you are having a disagreement that can’t be worked out. You leave the meeting frustrated with an unsigned copy of the IEP and start calling Special Education Attorneys to see what your options are. Read the rest of this entry →