From Emotions to Advocacy
The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam & Pete Wright
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Year in Review Series
Obstacles to Successful Advocacy
As your childs advocate, you will negotiate with your
school district. When you negotiate, you will encounter obstacles. If
you recognize obstacles, you can take steps to prevent problems.
The mission of public schools is to provide students with a standardized education. By definition, standardized educational programs are not individualized - standardized programs are not designed to meet the unique needs of the child with a disability.
School culture includes the beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes of people who work in schools educators, school psychologists, administrators, and other personnel.
culture often acts is an invisible wall and prevents parents and school
staff from working together. When you advocate for your child, you need
to understand the power of school culture.
School culture is not unique to you, your
child, your school, your school district, your state, or region. Although
school culture feels personal, in most cases, it is not personal!
Beliefs affect the decisions we make and
the actions we take.
If you are like most parents, your obstacles
include isolation, lack of accurate information, your personal history,
As a parent, your emotions may be your Achilles Heel. To be an effective advocate, you must control your emotions and use them as a source of energy.
recommend that you to join
a parent support group.
Your Personal Experiences
Many parents feel anxious and intimidated at school meetings. Your personal school experiences will affect your feelings about schools, teachers, and school meetings.
Common Emotional Traps
When you advocate for your child, you need to be aware of common emotional traps and pitfalls:
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