Highlights: Advocating for your child - getting started; strategies for success - how to get services by asking questions; join Pete & Pam on the From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise II; mistakes people make - parents, school districts, advocates, evaluators; more great reviews of the FETA book.
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Do you want to learn more about special education advocacy? Learn how to start a FETA Study Group.
1. Message from the Editor - Advice About Summer Break
Summer is here! You can take a break from advocating for your child - right? Nope!
Experienced parents know that summer is planning time - this is the best time to plan for the coming year.
Organize your child's file. Schedule a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation of your child by an expert who is independent of the school district.
articles on parent advocacy. Read two or three books in our Summer
Reading Program. Plan to attend an Advocacy Training Program. Start
or join a FETA Study Group.
2. Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started
Good special education services are intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. If you have a child with special needs, you may wind up battling the school district for the services your child needs. To prevail, you need information, skills, and tools.
journey from emotions to advocacy, you need to learn about your childs
disability, educational and remedial techniques, educational progress,
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and how to artfully advocate.
3. Strategies for Success: How I Learned to Get Services by Asking Questions
In the last issue of The Special Ed Advocate, you learned how one parent used the school's test scores to get an ABA program for her child with autism.
In this issue, you learn how a parent got the services her child needed by asking the right questions.
"When I began to advocate for my daughter, I felt insecure. Because I felt insecure, I supported my requests with tons of documentation --articles, reports and recommendations from experts, test results, and information about specialized equipment."
was surprised when the "powers that be" would not provide
the services and supports I requested for my daughter."
are battling school personnel to get services for your child, you
need to read this article! Learn about perceptions, "Know-it-all
Parents", and simple strategies you can use to improve your relationship
with school personnel -- and get services for your child.
4. From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise II - January 15-20, 2003
want to learn more about special education advocacy? Will you need
a break from the winter doldrums by January?
On Thursday, participants will board Carnival Cruise Lines' "Fantasy" for a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. The ship will leave Port Canaveral, Florida on Thursday, January 16 and return on Sunday, January 20, 2003.
information, visit the FETA
Cruise Page at:
5. Summer Reading Program
To be an effective advocate, you must must learn new information and skills.
You must learn about your child's disability. You need accurate information about what works - effective educational practices. You need to learn about rights & responsibilities.
You need to learn how to measure your child's educational progress - this means you must learn about tests and measurements. Since you negotiate with the school for services on your child's behalf, you must learn to negotiate and persuade.
on an intensive program of self-study. Read one new book a month.
Select books in areas where you do not have expertise. You will find
dozens of good books in the Wrightslaw
6. Mistakes People Make by Bob Crabtree
Many people have written to ask for links to all the "Mistakes People Make" articles by attorney Bob Crabtree - here they are.
Parents. Because the stakes are high, it is hard for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need. Don't shoot yourself in the foot!
Read Mistakes People Make - Parents by parent attorney Bob Crabtree at:
Schools. Why are parents so angry? Parents are angry when school personnel take actions that undermine trust, create a negative climate that destroys peace of mind, and deliver inadequate services to the child.
Read Mistakes School Districts Make by attorney Bob Crabtree.
Advocates. Because the non-lawyer advocate plays an extremely important role in the special education process, advocates must be mindful of the power of their role and the trust parents place in them. The most serious mistakes advocates make are generally ones of excess . . .
Read Mistakes People Make: Advocates at:
Independent Evaluators. To make their case for services or a specific program for their child, parents usually need a competent, credible independent evaluator. Serious mistakes by evaluators can make undermine their credibility or render their opinions powerless.
7. New Reviews of FETA: "If I had to choose just one book, this is it!"
"If I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy skills, this is it!" - Suppport for Families of Children with Disabilities Newsletter
book provides a clear roadmap to effective advocacy" - DD
How to become an expert about your childs disability and educational
people are saying: http://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/feta/feta.reviews.htm
8. Subscription & Contact Info
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources. Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.
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