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January 27, 2011


A. Y.

Hello Mr. Fox,
I appreciate your comments. I am a teacher, serving children with severe emotional and behavioral disturbances however, I have taught children with severe disabilities as well. I am attempting to "cross over" into parent support roles. Too often I feel I am between a rock and a hard place. I wish more parents knew how to advocate for their child successfully and knew how to navigate the system. Kudos to you for creating this comprehensive site! I will be recommending this to my parent friends.
A. Y.

Sue Keller

Spoiler: I'm going to tell it like it is.

I love that professional advocates are all about the positive. "Let's build a concensus. We're all a team here."

Well, I used to be positive and trusting. What happened? The P.S. system made out like a bandit, lying through their teeth.

Then I got knowledge of the law. And I told them when they were out of compliance. And they lied some more.

Then I came to understand the power of a well-placed rant. State the problem forcefully without insult. Announce how angry you are. Tell the "team" you need a break. Leave the room.

Calling a spade a spade can be helpful. Because you have made it clear you're not stupid and you're not going to be screwed over.

So, be positive all day long. But if it doesn't work - take it to the next level. People hate squeaky wheels. They want to appease them to make the discomfort go away.

Anna Koch

I am a graduate student for special education at University of Missouri. I would love to give my two cents in. Another way of creating a meaningful IEP meeting is promoting self-determination in the students by having them lead their own IEP meeting. Any student can contribute, whether they help determine what they should work on or make a video talking about who they are, which is great for the elementary age. For the elementary age, I believe that the self-determination assessment that can be given to the students is a great way at seeing what the student know about themselves, and allowing their dreams and ambitions help guide the future. Allowing students to do this is a great way to advocate for their child, it allows them a chance to be aware of who they are.

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