Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Advocacy tips for SpecEd Parents

Do you know how to advocate properly and effectively for your kid?

Check out the tips in this week's issue of Pete & Pam Wright's e-newsletter. www.wrightslaw.com/howey/10tips.advocates.htm

What should you do? And not do?

There are many good ideas in those articles. They will work - in an ideal world. However, your kid may not stay in school long enough for you to get many of them into play. After all, kids still graduate at age 18 (and some at 22, after three additional years of "transition" classes). And then you'll be a "non-parent" in the eyes of your school, and all you'll be able to do is watch from the sidelines while other parents fight the same old battles.

I've been told that school folks hate the word "advocate" and that it shouldn't be used by parents or by the people they hire or ask to help them. Oh, yeah? Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't even need an advocate?

Several years ago a Special Ed administrator told me that every teacher is an advocate for every student. Well, you could have fooled me! How he wrote that with a straight face, I'll never know. In fact, I don't know that he did have a "straight face", when he wrote that, since he was sitting at his computer in his own office.

Do you know what happens when a teacher stands up for a Spec Ed student and bucks the "system"? i.e., bucks her administrator?

It's called, "Where do you think you'll enjoy working next?"

And the same with the Spec Ed administrator who fights for what is right - for what a School District is required by laws to do for special ed students. Same question?

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