At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. For parents, obstacles to effective advocacy include lack of information, isolation, and emotions. This issue focuses on parent advocacy and empowerment.
Highlights: Empowerment and how to start a FETA study group; "Get the Word Out" Advocacy Campaign; Game Plan for New Parents; advice about power, trust, meetings; how to find an educational consultant, advocate, or attorney; advocacy programs in in SC, MD, ND, OK, and CA.
on April 2, 2002: 40,365
From the Editor
"If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."
As the parent of a child with special educational needs, you are on a journey. In the beginning, you are likely to feel overwhelmed, confused and lost. As you learn to control your emotions and gain knowledge and skills, you will feel strong and empowered.
In this and future issues of The Special Ed Advocate, we will discuss effective parent advocacy, empowerment, and the journey from emotions to advocacy. More info about parent advocacy
Empowerment: How to Start a FETA Study Group
Chuck wrote, "Your new book, Wrightslaw:
From Emotions to Advocacy, energized me and gave me direction.
I learned why parent support groups are so important."
We like Chuck's idea. After all, the
purpose of our websites and books is to teach skills and empower parents
- to help parents grow from emotions to advocacy. We want to encourage
parents and groups to start FETA Study Groups.
Get the Word Out Advocacy Campaign
If you are like many parents, you feel
helpless and powerless. If you think, "I'm just a parent - what
can I do?" you need to join our Get
the Word Out Advocacy Campaign. A great way to combat negative emotions
is to help others - you become empowered.
Wrightslaw Game Plan for New Parents
Each week, we receive dozens of requests for help from new parents.
"My son is 8 years old and in the second grade. He is diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD. He is in a self- contained reading class because he cannot read or spell. Where do we start?"
"My 10 year daughter has been in special education classes for three years but she isn't learning. When we asked for more help, school staff said she was doing fine. What should I read to become a better advocate for my child?"
Are you confused about special education? Overwhelmed? Not sure what you should learn first? You need a game plan that helps you focus on what is important. Download the Wrightslaw Game Plan for New Parents.
If you know other parents who are struggling,
please forward the article to them!
More info about
Advice: Power, Trust & Meetings; How to Find Help
Parent advocate Pat Howey offers good advice about parental expectations, power struggles, school meetings, and trusting the system to do what's right.
Help! How to Find an Educational Consultant, Advocate, Attorney Strategies and suggestions about how you can find an educational consultant, advocate or attorney who represents children with disabilities.
Pete & Pam Hit the Road - Training Programs in SC, MD, ND, OK, CA, IL
In April and May, Pete and Pam will do
advocacy training programs in South Carolina, Maryland, North Dakota,
Oklahoma, California, and Illinois. We hope you will join us for a one-day
advocacy program or a two-day intensive Boot Camp. Learn about our advocacy
On April 13, we do a full day of advocacy training in Montgomery Co, Maryland, just outside of DC (University of Maryland - Shady Grove). Note: Register soon - this program is nearly full.
On April 26 & 27, we do a
Boot Camp in Minot, North Dakota. The training is sponsored by Pathfinders
Services of North Dakota.
On Saturday, May 11, we will do one-day
advocacy training program in Sacramento. Details will be available
soon. If interested, please check our schedule page over the next few
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