Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy

The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam Wright & Pete Wright

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Success Stories

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Welcome to Success Stories, a new section of Fetaweb.com. Learn how other parents are using common sense and resources and training from Wrightslaw to resolve school problems and get better services for their children. Do you have a success story?

Josh Won! Compensatory Education and an IEP. Josh (2007) was a seventeen year old with Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and LD. The school district refused to provide an IEP or a 504 plan. Josh (who represented himself) and his family used reports, evaluations, observations, research reports, and independent experts from the private sector as proof and evidence when they filed a due process complaint against the school. They prevailed! Note: We marvel at Josh. On February 22, 2012, Pete met with Josh and interviewed him.audio podcastListen to the interview about Josh's success and find out where he is now.

Teaching My "Unteachable" Daughter How to Read. Being the Special Ed Teacher that I am, I did not believe a word the school told me about my daughter's reading ability. Hooray to your article "Waiting to Fail" Instead of Teaching a Child How to Read. I took a summer off to Teach My Unteachable Daughter How to Read.

Setting High Expectations and a Strong Work Ethic by Ann Marie Agnello. Setting high expectations and a strong work ethic is really important for the success of our students with special needs. My late husband and I always instilled in our children the value of doing a complete and good job.

AT Solutions: Persistence (and Effective Advocacy) Pays Off. My son was entitled to assistive technology services. I used the law and effective documentation strategies. By persistence and continued advocacy for my child, I worked with the school to solve each problem they presented. Now, we have a workable solution.

From a Victim to a Might Force: The Numbers Do Not Lie. Susan sent an email in which she ranted (her words) about her children's school system. When she received our auto-response, she replied with "thanks for another door slammed in the face of my child." Then Susan received a personal reply from Pam Wright. Pam suggested that she stop playing the victim and do what was necessary to be an effective advocate for her children. And that's exactly what she did!

How I Got a Private Placement by Using Documentation and Telling Our Story to the School Board by Kim Riley - "Two weeks after I made this presentation to the School Board, the district entered into a settlement agreement with me. My son is allowed to attend a great private school where he is making tremendous progress."

How I Got 140 Hours of Compensatory Education for My Son with Autism. "One evening my wife mentioned that the school released the special ed kids earlier than the regular ed kids. In fact, the school released our son 27 minutes earlier than they released non-disabled students -- every day. What did I do? How? What did I accomplish? What did I do wrong?" Read story

How I Used the School's Test Scores to Get ABA Therapy. "When we recently moved to a new town, our new school district was not familiar with ABA therapy. The staff were skeptical about our ABA program. I had to persuade them to continue my child's ABA therapy program. . . " Read story

How My Son with Down Syndrome Passed High Stakes Tests. "My son Dylan has Down Syndrome. I wanted him to be re-evaluated every few years. The IEP team tried to talk me out of having him take any standardized tests. This year, he took the high-stakes tests . . ." Read story

Overcoming Roadblocks to Extended School Year (ESY) Services. The school told us my son didn't qualify for these services. Not everyone in the room is a roadblock, but we found out by doing our research how we could get around the ones that were.

How I Learned to Get Services by Asking Questions. "When I began to advocate for my daughter, I supported requests with tons of documentation. I was surprised when the "powers that be" would not provide the services and supports. Why was I having this problem? What could I do? Then I realized that the educators viewed me as a 'Know it All Parent' . . ." Read story

How Parents Can Become More Effective Advocates by Marie Sherrett. "In my work, I find that parents of children with special education needs come in several categories. Which are you?"

How We Got an Appropriate Program and Avoided Due Process. "After struggling with our school district for over a year to provide services to my disabled child without success, I knew I had to educate myself on the law." Read story

Plans are Our Safety Net - Laura and Steve explain how plans help them to stay focused, anticipate problems, prepare for the future - and keep them sane.

How I Got Extended School Year (ESY) Services After the School Said "No".
We realized that the school team had made their decision before the meeting, without any input from us. We did our research, asked questions, did not accept everything the school told us. By the end of the meeting, the team agreed to provide our child with Extended School Year Services.

Special Education Journey from Emotions to Advocacy by Becky Milton. "Our special education journey began ten years ago at a small rural county in southeastern Georgia. My son had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at age 5 . . . "

Win-Win Solutions: How I Persuaded the School to Change My Son's Program & Placement. "My 7 year old son has autism. Let me tell you how your advice helped us get the services he needs . . . "

Saving a Class, Saving Our Children. When administrators announced a plan to change a successful program for exceptional students - parents, kids and teachers were shocked and devastated. They implemented a campaign to save this class - and their children using story-telling and oral persuasion. What happened after the campaign ended?...Read story

Don't Get Mad, Get Information. Disheartened and nearly worn out by our interminable tug-of-war with the local school system over special-education issues, I decided to take up a new weapon: our state’s version of the Freedom of Information Act - a useful tool for prying the information you need out of a recalcitrant bureaucracy.

A Success Story: Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. If you are frustrated or discouraged in your dealings with school personnel who have low expectations for your child, you need to learn about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.


Do You Have a Success Story?

We are collecting stories about successful advocacy from parents and advocates. We will post some of these stories on Fetaweb.com, the new parent advocacy site as time permits.

If you are interested in submitting a success story or strategy, please send an email to: success@wrightslaw.com 

In the Subject line of your email, type SUCCESS STORY in all caps. You will receive an autoresponder email with details about our submissions policy.

Please do not send an article until after you read and review our Submissions Policy for Success Stories.


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