From Emotions to Advocacy

The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam & Pete Wright

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Getting Started

Kids Smiling"A good education is the next best thing to a pushy mother." - Charles Schulz, cartoonist

Good special education services are intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. If you have a child with special needs, you may wind up battling the school district for the services your child needs. To prevail, you need information, skills, and tools.

"On your journey from emotions to advocacy, you will learn about your child's disability, educational and remedial techniques, educational progress, Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs), and how to artfully advocate."

"You will learn how to present your concerns and problems in writing, prepare for meetings, and search for win-win solutions. You will learn how to use your emotions as a source of energy and power, and how to focus on getting an appropriate education for your child." (From Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam and Pete Wright).

Resources by Chapter

In Chapter 1, you learn what advocates do. We give you a list of supplies to help you get started.

In Chapter 2, you learn about master plans, independent experts, and support groups.

You will meet Steve and Laura and learn how they plan for their son who has autism. We offer practical advice about how to find and work with an independent evaluator or educational consultant.

You will learn strategies to find a parent support group and contact your state Parent Training Information center and disabilities information groups.

Chapter 3 is about planning, preparation, and your role as project manager.

Because advocating for your child can be difficult and frustrating, we offer some tips about taking care of yourself.

Links to FAQs, Articles and Sites

Here are links to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), introductory articles about advocacy, planning, and managing your child's special education, and some good sites.

FAQs from NICHCY

About Special Education

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started. Good special education services are intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. If you have a child with special needs, you may wind up battling the school district for the services your child needs. To prevail, you need information, skills, and tools.

Assertiveness and Effective Parent Advocacy. Short article by parent and advocate Marie Sherrett describes joys and challenges of parent advocacy.

Planning and Preparation: Keys to Successful Advocacy. Learn why planning and preparation are important; learn about the parent's role as special education project manager.

Special Education Self-Help Advocacy Tutorial. In this tutorial by Dr. Leslie Packer, you learn about the personal qualities of an advocate, legal rights under the IDEA and Section 504, Eligibility, Evaluations, Eligibility Meetings, Components of an IEP, Procedural Safeguards (designed to protect your and your child's rights), and discipline. The tutorial includes sample letters and forms, a glossary of terms, and links to other information for parents. Links for new parents.

Recommended Sites


National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY). NICHCY hosts a huge site that contains thousands of articles, including articles that focus on information from parents.

LDOnline is a good source of information for parents of children with learning disabilities and ADD/ADHD.

Leslie Packer's site has hundreds of links to information about children with disabilities.

International Dyslexia Association (IDA).  For information about educational methods and techniques designed to help children with language learning problems, contact the International Dyslexia Association (formerly the Orton Dyslexia Society).

Now it's time to read articles in Advocacy 101. You'll learn about "the rules of the game", obstacles to success, including school culture, emotions, parent-school conflict, and how to deal with a crisis.


Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition- The Special Education Survival Guide (ISBN 1-892320-08-8) by Pamela Wright and Peter Wrighthas hundreds of tips, strategies, references, warnings and Internet resources.

This practical, user-friendly book includes:

  • Sample Letters & Logs
  • Checklists and Forms
  • Worksheets and Agendas
  • Companion website at www.fetaweb.com
In this comprehensive, easy-to-read book, you learn to:
  • Develop a master plan for your child's special education
  • Organize your child's file
  • Work with consultants and evaluators
  • Write SMART IEP goals and objectives
  • Use test scores to monitor your child's progress
  • Resolve parent-school conflict early
  • Write effective letters and create paper trails
  • Use parent agendas to improve meeting outcomes

 

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