From Emotions to Advocacy
The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam & Pete Wright
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Year in Review Series
and Effective Parent Advocacy
I find that parents of children with special education needs come in several categories:
Which are you?
are not assertive if they:
What do you do?
Does this describe you?
Advocacy helps you get services for all special education children in the least restrictive environment. Then you can participate, plan for educational programs, and get legislation passed.
opens new doors so children may become part of the community. Advocacy
knocks down barriers and prepares children for independence.
To meet others, you can
of this is easy but the rewards can be fantastic!
can make things better for the next generation without filing for
due process. How?
Now these things cannot occur overnight. But if a parent says to me, "What can I do? I'm only one person," I say, "You have no idea the power you have."
five years, our Chapter made local and state changes. None of our
parents felt alone.
I asking a lot? Yes, I am.
MARIE A. SHERRETT is Past-President of the Prince George's County, MD, Chapter of the Autism Society of America.
She is or has been a member of many advocacy-related organizations, including MD Education Coalition; Parent Information Network; Parents Place of MD; Parent-To-Parent Connection; Family Research Council; FIAT; ARI; Center For Autism Study; Society For Auditory Integration Training; Georgianna Foundation; Family Voices Coalition; CAN!; National Association For Year Round Education; Family Education Center of Southern MD; National Association of Child Advocates; NPND; CEC; MD Committee For Children and Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. She currently assists a P.G. County Chapter of MD Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc., and Independence Now, Inc. of P.G. County.
makes presentations to local and national groups, high school and
college tudents, teachers and school board members about autism,
pervasive developmental disorder, Supplemental Security Income,
child safety, school system and recreational budget issues as they
relate to those with
Marie was a member of the parent panel about "Advocacy For Systems Change" at the Autism Society of America Conference in Atlanta, GA. She hosted foreign exchange students from the Republics of Abkhazia and Georgia and the Country of Japan through Youth For Understanding.
Marie speaks to local and national members of the media, giving radio, TV and newspaper interviews on child support, special education and working women matters, particularly with regard to issues of single parents of those with developmental delays.
Marie has been a legal secretary since 1972. She is the parent of Mark P. Sherrett, 20, who had autism, and Daniel V. Sherrett, 18, who joins the Navy in the Fall of 2001.
You Have a Success Story?
We are collecting stories about successful advocacy from parents and other advocates. We will post some of these stories on the Wrightslaw site and others on a new parent advocacy site.
you are interested in submitting a success story or stategy, please
send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Subject line of your email, type SUCCESS STORY in caps.
You will receive an autoresponder email that contains details about our submissions policy.
Please do not send an article until after you read and review the Submissions Policy.
your success story or stategy by email to: email@example.com
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