From Emotions to Advocacy
The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam & Pete Wright
Planning is the Key to Success
"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." - John Wooden, basketball coach
Can you imagine educating a child with a disability without a master plan?
You do not know about the child's disability, how the disability affects the child's learning, or how the child needs to be taught.
You do not know what services and supports the child needs. Is it reasonable to think you will figure this out as you go along?" (Chapter 2, Creating Your Master Plan, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy)
If you are like many parents, you are
confused about your role. What do you need to learn? How can
you ensure that the school provides your child with quality, appropriate
special education services?
need to make long-term plans for your child. You are the constant
factor in your child's life. You represent your child's interests.
If your child does not receive an appropriate education and master
the skills necessary to be an independent, self-sufficient member
of the community, you will deal with the outcome.
Your Program of Self-Study
aside time to organize information about your child, make long-term
plans, write goals with timelines, and build working relationships
with school personnel. View your job You will negotiate with the school
on your child's behalf. Your goal is to get the school to provide
your child with a good special education program.
You need to learn about the law, the nature of your childs disability, how your child learns, and how your child should be taught. Your program of self study includes several steps.
About Your Child's Disability
The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDAA), 4156 Library Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15234. (412) 341-1515.
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA), 8600 LaSalle Road, Suite 32, Chester Building, Baltimore MD 21286. (410) 296-0232. (Formerly the Orton Dyslexia Society, named after Dr. Samuel Orton who helped develop the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory method that was used to remediate Pete Wright during the 1950s.)
Children and Adults with ADD/ADHD (ChADD), 8181 Professional Place, Suite 201, Landover, MD 20785. (301) 306-7070.
The ARC (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens), 500 E. Border St., Suite 300, Arlington, TX 76010. (817) 261-6003.
The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH), 29 W. Susquehanna Ave., Suite 210, Baltimore, MD 21204. (410) 828-8274.
United Cerebral Palsy Association, 1660 L Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. (800) 872-5827.
National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS), P.O. Box 4542, Oak Brook, IL 60522-4542. (708) 325-9112.
Autism Society of America, 7910 Woodmont Ave, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814-3015. (800) 3 AUTISM or (301) 657-0881.
The Tourette Syndrome Association, 4240 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, New York 11361-2820. (718) 224-2999.
Alexander Graham Bell Association, 3417 Volta Place, N.W., Washington, DC 20007-2778. (202) 337-5220 (Voice/TTY).
comprehensive list of organizations and information groups, please refer to the Directory
of National Disabilities Organizations and Information Groups. on the Yellow Pages for Kids site. For state and local information, please check your state page on the Yellow Pages for Kids site.
Learn About Special Education
accurate information about how your child learns and how your child
needs to be taught. With the Internet, you can find answers to many
of these questions. Here
is a short list of sites we recommend.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, National Library of Education (NLE)
Families for Early Autism Treatment - FEAT publishes an excellent free newsletter.
LD Online is a huge site with hundreds of articles about disabilities, remediation, IEPs, legal rights and responsibilities, and links to other resources.
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY). NICHCY is an excellent resource, offering dozens of free publications that you can order or download from their site.
School Psychology Resources Online is an excellent site with hundreds of links to resources.
Work with a Private Sector Expert
an independent evaluator or educational consultant to work with
you and your child.
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition
This article is based on a chapter in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition by Pete Wright and Pam Wright (ISBN: 1-892320-09-6, 338 pages, perfect bound, $19.95). Learn about Wrightslaw publications and products.
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