The Wrightslaw Way

to Special Education Law and Advocacy

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Can an Outside Professional Be Part of the IEP Team?


The school said, “I am not sure if you are aware, outside professionals are not considered a part of the IEP team. Your doctor really cannot participate. Parents use professionals to bounce ideas off of, however, the school will set up services based on the IEP we write.” Check the federal statute and federal regulation.  […]

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We Need a Transition Plan with “Hands-On” Experience

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It’s now second semester of my son’s junior year and no attention has ever been paid to a Transition plan. The school has no vocational training, internships, or apprentice programs for any student. My son needs hands-on experience in his current school program. Shouldn’t the school provide these services? Transition planning is an IEP team […]

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Effective IEP Teams: Reality or Impossible Dream?


When parents build an effective team with the school, what does it look like? What happens at IEP meetings when staff and parents come together to develop an effective plan for a child with disabilities? It is basically the same set of people.  What is different about an effective team? 1.   Parents will get more […]

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Tongued Tied at IEP Meetings


Do you get tongue tied at IEP meetings, not knowing what to say at times? Here are some answers to questions and comments that have worked for me that I would like to share with you. 1.   “We don’t have to write that down. We automatically do that for our students”. What do you say […]

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IEP Team Members: Should We Replace the General Ed Teacher?


My son is 11, his academic skills are at the 4-yr old level. He gets one hour a week of APE, but we do not have the APE teacher on his IEP team. A general classroom teacher is part of the team, but my son does not receive inclusion services. Is it advisable to replace the general […]

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I Get All Kinds of Special Ed Questions from my Patients…


As a pediatrician, I get all kinds of questions from my patients.  Can you help me answer these two special education questions? 1.  A teacher in a school system wants to sit in on the IEP meetings as the student (family’s) advocate (not as a county employee). Can the school system refuse, saying it is […]

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Do Parents Have to Excuse Members of the IEP Team?


The bottom line is no.  If you do not agree, a required member of the IEP team may not be excused. If the school asks you to consent to excuse a member and you don’t agree, write a short polite letter to explain that you don’t consent because the individual has valuable information and insights […]

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Can School Attorneys Legally Attend IEP Meetings? – Jeff Responds


In November, I offered to research an issue and write a legal memorandum about whether an attorney for the school can legally attend an IEP team meeting.   Thank you to all who posted comments on my article Can School Attorneys Legally Attend IEP Meetings? I am finally out of finals and through the holidays and […]

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Can School Attorneys Legally Attend IEP Team Meetings?


Pete and Pam Wright were adjunct professors at William & Mary Law School where they co-taught a Special Education Law class and consulted with the PELE  Special Education Advocacy Clinic. Clinic students assist children with special needs and their families with eligibility or Individualized Education Program meetings, discipline matters, mediation, and administrative hearings. Clinic students […]

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Parent Involvement in Placement Decisions


My child attends school ‘out of district’ because our district had no program for a multiple needs-high needs student. He has one year left of school (age 20). Now the home school district wants to save money by making a new classroom for this program. My son will need to move and adjust to another […]

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