Parents in Colorado have the benefit of the ability to see how other parents in certain school districts are struggling and what / if the state decided to do anything about it.
Information important to parents are the decisions made by the Colorado Department of Exceptional Education, Dispute Resolution Services. It is intriguing to analyze how some districts have multiple complaints filed by parents over the years.
Strategizing for an effective position to file one of these complaints may be important. Contact this non-attorney advocate for information. http://www.theiepcenter.com
More and more I see parents of children with disabilities who have been bamboozled by the inflated egos of certain public school administrators. It seems the status quo is what the system seeks for their student, although the parent assumes and expects that “specialized” instruction is being provided to the “special” child.
The first quarter of a school year has passed; here’s some recent observations:
- a second grade students’ mother learned the specialist who was suppose to meet quarterly with the girls’ teachers had not done so.
- A first grader who was suppose to have someone assist him on/off the bus due to neurological problems supposedly had someone watching him from afar.
- Another school district tells parents that their student gets “full direct supervision” in response to a parent requesting an aide for the student (what student in a public school doesn’t get “full direct supervision”?).
- A dad indicates to a school that he wants his child to be “more independent”. The school interprets this to mean less support from the paraprofessional; as a result the student lags further behind academically.
- A district claims they use research-based curriculum for a specific group of children; however, the district cannot provide documentation that the curriculum they allege is used was purchased by the district in years.
No longer can parents trust that their child’s needs are adequately addressed at the school; the system responds to parents who know what to ask and to whom/when to ask it.
Private advocates are available to Colorado parents who are serious about their child’s education. We can participate in IEP meetings and mediation.
Complete the form below for more information.
An advocate will contact you shortly. If your child has an IEP, please be willing to share so that we may examine it.
We are not attorneys and this not to be considered legal advice. We are not licensed to practice law in any state.
Private advocates at specialeducationrights.com provide consulting services that require a signed service agreement and prepayment through secure Paypal.com.
Parents are arranging for advocates to participate by telephone in their IEP meetings with the school. IDEA allows for parents to participate by telephone as well.
Advocates, with enough advanced notice, can participate in the IEP meeting. Parents who have never before involved an advocate in the IEP process are finding the tone of IEP meetings to be more congenial, and, at times, more substantive.
Working the process is more than just attending a meeting however. Advocates share strategies with parents before the meetings that helps the parent work the system. This includes paperwork that helps to make the system accountable.
Advocates at theiepcenter.com are participating in IEP meetings with Colorado parents via telephone.
Parents are arranging for advocates to participate by telephone in their IEP meetings with the school. IDEA allows for parents to participate by telephone as well. Advocates, with enough advanced notice, can participate in the IEP meeting. Parents who have never before involved an advocate in the IEP process are finding the tone of IEP meetings to be more congenial, and, at times, more substantive. Working the process is more than just attending a meeting however.
Advocates at theiepcenter.com are participating via telephone in IEP meetings with Colorado parents.
More parents are “homeschooling” children with special needs as a result of the public school not addressing the student’s unique needs. How a parent uses the term “homeschool” may affect their child’s status with the “system”.
Here are some thoughts to consider when “homeschooling”:
* Check your state special education regulations to see if “home school” is considered “private school”. Many states deem students who are home schooled to be private school students and, as a result, the state and school districts have no requirements to consider them as a public school student. Thus, the parent may have no standing to pursue actions under IDEA against that school district/state.
* If you pulled your child with disabilities out of public school, be sure to be familiar with the special education law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) where a parent is expected to provide a ten-day notice to the public school that the parent is pulling the kid out since the public school isn’t providing an appropriate education.
* If you pulled your child with disabilities out of public school because it wasn’t providing an appropriate education, and you intend to pursue an action to get the system to “work” for your child, consider how you refer to what the child is currently doing at home. Some parents call it “enrichment activities” since they are not officially “homeschooling”. And, some parents, since they do not intend to be homeschoolers refer to their child’s time at home as “enrichment activities” since they don’t want to be perceived as private schooling.
* Consider letting others know that the public school has failed the child by not addressing his/her unique needs. Perhaps documenting your efforts to get the school to provide appropriate programming for your child should be brought to the attention of state legislators, the state special education division, your state’s special education advisory panel members.
Parent’s may unknowingly jeopardize their status with the special educators at the public school if the wrong words are used. Parents need to do research and consult advocates for support.
I am not an attorney and do not give advice, legal or otherwise. Copyright Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC, 2009.
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Parents will want to consider these tips when preparing for an IEP meeting for their child at the public school:
1. Never go alone; always take someone with you. It’s important to have another set of eyes and ears. Its tough to be discussing your own child’s needs. Someone else can help you pick up on what is going on. You can also take those who know your child; babysitters, fellow classmates, relatives.
2. Arrange weeks in advance for an advocate to go with you. Schools often become defensive if you take an attorney; find an advocate who can support you at a grassroots level. This way, the advocate can do the legwork and, if it ends up that you use an attorney later, the advocate will have prepped the scenario.
3. Have your requests ready. Have a prepared list ready to give to the “IEP Team” that specifys your child’s needs, strengths and deficits. If you want your child to learn keyboarding, mention he can now type letters a,s,d on the keyboard. If you want him to learn how to velcro close his shoes, mention he can now put on one shoe. An IEP advocate can help you prepare this list. 4. Do some research. Find out about the programs offered by the school; see if the “program” exists. Look on the internet about the data the state dept of education has about your school district. Ask the state dept of education for copies of “child complaints” filed related to your school district. Talk to children who attend at that school and what they see happening. Search on the internet for support groups in your school district; it can be amazing to learn what other parents in your area know about the schools. They may refer to you an advocate they used.
5. Take someone to the meeting who will take notes; someone who knows shorthand is a good choice. Often a school district person is taking their own notes; ask for a copy of theirs at the end of the meeting. If they refuse to give you a copy, hand them a handwritten request that is dated and signed.
6. If testing/evaluation is to be discussed, be sure to know which kinds of tests were done by the school in the past so that they can be done again; this way you can compare your child’s progress in a consistent manner. If they come up with different “brands” of tests, it is problematic later when trying to see your child’s performance. An IEP advocate can help you figure this out.
7. There is no duty on the part of the parent to let the school know they are going to bring an advocate to the IEP meeting. Some schools put up a brick wall if they learn an advocate is coming. IEP Advocates play a crucial role in helping parents prepare for an IEP meeting; don’t hesistate to consult with one well in advance of any upcoming school meeting.
I am not attorney; this is not intended to be advice.
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