Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy

The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam Wright & Pete Wright

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The Lighter Side

“Good humor is one of the preservatives of our peace and tranquility.”
-Thomas Jefferson

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Humor and laughter have a positive positive impact on mind and body.

Having a sense of humor is great, but maintaining one is not always easy. In that spirit we welcome you to the lighter side of special education advocacy, a new section of Fetaweb.com.

Attorney Aimee Gilman begins our new section with a series of "Lighter Side" articles and warns us..."If you are among those humor- challenged individuals who believe there is absolutely nothing funny about disabilities, then I urge you to stop now and go back to biting your nails down to your elbows."

The Lighter Side of Special Education: The IEP. One of the things I find most amusing about being both a parent and an attorney for families is the IEP process. When you appear for the meeting, you will again be reminded of the peripheral nature of your participation when you discover that the school has rented a small baseball stadium to accommodate all the members of your child's team.

The Lighter Side of Special Education: Parents and Kids. There are 2 kinds of parents of disabled children: moms and dads. There is a very important distinction between these types and one could never be confused with the other.

The Lighter Side of Special Education: My Law Practice. Several years ago, I must have sustained a major head injury (so bad I can't remember it) because I suddenly came home one day and told my husband I wanted to open my own law practice.

The Lighter Side of Special Education: Mediation. Special ed mediations must always occur at the district board of education office so that parents and their advocates are the only ones inconvenienced (and intimidated) by the location. Initially, the parties convene in one room, then separate into two rooms because by the time mediation is necessary, they can no longer stand the sight of each other.

The Lighter Side of Special Education: The Due Process Hearing. I love filing requests for hearing because they invariably produce the same response every time - that is, the district is befuddled.

Schools Say the Darnedest (Craziest, Meanest, Most Ridiculous...) Things. Why can't schools just provide the information a parent needs? Schools telling parents what they don't have to do certainly gives us a unique view of what so many schools are like. Can you make sense of these ridiculous things schools have said to parents?

Top 10 Signs of Special Education Advocate Burnout! Check out these top 10 signs you might be suffering from “special ed advocate burn out” - submitted by one of our favorite Texas advocates.

25 Things My Mother Taught Me. Pam's 87 year-old mother forwarded an email to her circle of friends and family. When read it, it was familiar - and strangely comforting."25 things" includes many of the funny, wise lessons I learned as a child from my mother and father.Perhaps you are passing these lessons on to your children.

2nd Graders' Tribute to Moms. When 2nd graders were asked about their moms, they had some unusual reponses. Some new, some you've heard before, but all will bring a smile to your face.

Education Buzzwords: Image and Reality. Here is a quick guide (with a healthy dose of dry humor) of some of the wonderful-sounding phrases used in schools such as "kinetic wellness" to mean "gym class".

IEPs According to Dr. Seuss. Do you like these IEPs? - a parody on Dr. Seuss by an unknown author.

Experienced Advocacy: What I Rely on Most. Recently, we heard from an experienced advocate in Vermont who shared some insight about his years as an advocate and what has served him well. We thought we would share, and also say “thank you” for the recommendation for Wrightslaw.

Like Mother, Like Son. We hear many stories about struggling special ed students so we're always happy to hear the amusing stories that make us laugh. In this article, a SC advocate and mother shares two stories about her sons (we'll call them [Jim] and [Bob]) - "incredible self-advocates."


"Thank you! This website and newsletters are a life saver! This is a wonderful resource and I recommend it to everyone I know who has a special needs child or a child with an IEP. Your seminars are so empowering. The newsletter last month with Aimee Gilman was priceless! Ms. Gillman had me laughing so hard I was crying! Thank you again for providing this excellent resource!" - Arlene S from FL


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