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Gatekeepers - Their Job is to Say "No!"

man and woman in conflict at meeting When you advocate for your child, you are likely to meet gatekeepers.

Gatekeepers limit the number of children who have access to special education services and limit the services children can receive. If you have health insurance through an HMO or managed care firm, you know about gatekeepers.

A Gatekeeper may tell you that your child is not entitled to:

  • An evaluation
  • Any change in the IEP
  • More services
  • Different services

The Gatekeeper’s job is to say “No!”

What do you do when you meet a Gatekeeper? Do you accept "No?"

No! You persuade the team that your child’s situation is different and requires a different approach.

“We Can’t Make Exceptions”

School districts have systems of rules that govern how decisions are made and by whom. As you work to develop an appropriate program for your child, you may run into a Gatekeeper whose job is to uphold the “We can’t make exceptions” rule.

“We can’t make exceptions” is related to “We have never done that before.”

If you prepare and plan, you can usually defeat both arguments.

Last revised: 07/23/08


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