Saturday, May 26, 2012

8 Tactics School Districts Use to Prevent Parents From Winning Special Education Disputes!

Are you the parent of a child with autism or a learning disability receiving special education services? Are you new to the special education arena and would like to be educated on some tactics to look for? This article will be discussing 8 tactics used by some special education personnel, to prevent parents from being equal participants in their child's education.

Tactic 1: Intimidation, bullying and lying! Some special education personnel try very hard to be intimidating, so that parents will not fight for services for their children! Intimidation could be loud voices, threats, condescending to the parent, or making the parent feel inadequate or uncomfortable!

Tactic 2: All of the above; but with a smile on their face! It absolutely gets me when a special education person opens their mouth and states something not truthful, when they are smiling! I wonder if they think that the lie will not be realized by the parent, due to their facial expressions

Tactic 3: Quoting laws that do not exist, to make it seem like they have more power than they do! As an educational advocate and parent I have seen this many times myself. Example: Mrs. Jones the law allows us to not give services to children if we run out of money (not true)! Or Mrs. Jones the law says that we can suspend your child for as long as we want to due to their behavior (not true)!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

7 Issues For Parents to Know in Special Education Settlement Agreements

Are you the parent of a child that has a learning disability that has filed for a due process hearing? Has your school offered a settlement, and you wonder what to do about it? Do you want to make sure that the settlement is enforceable in state or federal court? This article will discuss 7 issues that you need to keep in mind for a special education settlement agreement.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act there are 2 types of settlement agreements.

1. A written settlement prepared at a resolution session, after due process is filed.
2. A written settlement prepared at a mediation meeting by a mediator.

Keep these things in mind when preparing and agreeing to a special education settlement agreement:

1. Read the settlement agreement from beginning to end. Consider showing the agreement to a special education attorney or an experienced advocate, to ensure that it is a fair agreement.

2. Only settlement agreements prepared at a resolution meeting (after due process is filed for by the parents), or a mediation are enforceable in state or federal court. So be careful!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

5 Top Parental Special Education Advocacy Tips to Benefit Your Child!

My top 5 advocacy tips:

1. Trust your instincts. If you think, your child has disabilities in certain areas trust yourself. No one knows your child like you do, and you are the best judge of what will help your child learn. It is my experience that special education personnel may try and tell you that your instincts are wrong, but only accept this, if there is concrete evidence to back it up. You are the only advocate that your child has, and they are depending on you to advocate for needed related and special education services.

2. Important educational issues need to be handled by letters not telephone calls or e mails, so that you can begin developing a paper trail for documentation, you may need in the future, to help you in a dispute with special education personnel. As far as sending e-mails to special education personnel, I do not like to use e-mail, as e-mails are kept in an electronic record, and not in the child's written educational record.

If you have a verbal conversation with school personnel and want to document the conversation, you can always write a short letter to the person that you had the conversations with. Try and keep the letter to one page, date it, and give a summary of the conversation. Also, keep a copy for yourself.