If circumstances or other decision-making groups have moved away from your child’s vision for their future, you may need to become “That Parent.” That Parent is the one who insists the IEP team focuses on your child, not the status quo. That Parent is an advocate.
To be an effective advocate for your child, you will need knowledge. The more you know, the better advocate you will become. Do you know your rights? Do you know your child’s rights? Feel like you need a GPS to navigate the planning process?
In addition to this website, here are some additional resources to get the information you need:
Ask for a copy of the agenda a few days before the meeting. This will give you time to review when discussions should take place. If discussions fall out of order, guide the ARD/IEP team to the agenda. Then change the conversation.
SASs support a child with a disability, so they are educated with nondisabled children to the fullest extent possible. Your child’s IEP team must specify the SAS to be provided to or on behalf of your child. These services will guide your child’s success! Make sure they are written into the IEP.
Taking on an advocacy role in your child’s IEP meeting may be scary at first. Don’t let fear stop you. Your confidence will increase over time. You can take a friend to the meeting with you for moral support. They don’t have to participate other than introducing themselves, but it can be good to just have them there with you. There is strength in numbers!
When our kids start school, they might need to be assessed for special education services. Sometimes this isn't needed until they've been in school a few years. The school district must identify and evaluate all children with disabilities. Once identified, they must be provided a Free Appropriate Public Education or FAPE.
Categories: Education & Schools