Wrightslaw

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
July 2, 2003


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ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue . . .


Senators Listen to Parents & Advocates About IDEA

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started

Assertiveness & Effective Parent Advocacy

Learning the Rules of the Game

Fall Schedule: KS, PA, VA, NC, MS, NY

Managing Your Subscription

Subscription & Contact Info
 

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Summer is a great time for needed vacations. Summer is also the time to fine-tune your advocacy skills and prepare for the whirlwind of activities when school starts in the fall.

Highlights: Senators listen to parents & advocates about IDEA; advocating for your child; assertiveness and effective advocacy; learning the "rules of the game," Pete and Pam are coming to KS, PA, VA, NC, MS, NY; managing your newsletter subscription.


1. Senators Listen to Parents, Advocates About IDEA

On June 25, 2003, the Senate HELP committee approved S. 1248, the Senate version of the bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The Senate bill is very different from H.R. 1350 passed by the House of Representatives a few weeks ago. The Senate listened to concerns expressed by parents and advocates in crafting this bill and made several important changes to it.

To learn about the Senate bill and what happens next, please read Senators Listen to Parents, Advocates at: http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/2003/idea.senate.0702.htm

For more IDEA news, resources, alerts, please visit the IDEA Reauthorization Page:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/news/idea2002.htm


2. Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started

Good special education services are individualized, intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. Schools often balk at providing intensive services. What can you do?

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. Read Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started at:
http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/advocacy.intro.htm

Please visit the Advocacy page for dozens of articles, free books and newsletters and other resources.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.index.htm


3. Assertiveness and Effective Parent Advocacy

In this short article, advocate Marie Sherrett describes joys and challenges of parent advocacy. To be a good advocates, you need to be aware of your interpersonal style. Which category do you fall into?

* Pacifists or those who gets things done;
* Clinging vines or parent advocates;
* Silent victims or fighters;
* Dreamers or crusaders;
* Waiters or initiators;
* Bombshells or assertive parents;
* Appeasing compromisers or action heroes.

Read Assertiveness and Effective Parent Advocacy at:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.parent.sherrett.htm


4. Learning the "Rules of the Game"

When you learn the rules of the game, you will be a more effective advocate and negotiator for your child. Learn about gatekeepers, special education teams, and one-size-fits-all (OSFA) programs. This article by Indiana advocate Pat Howey will get you on track - http://www.fetaweb.com/02/rules.howey.htm

Learn About the School

The mission of public schools is to provide students with a standardized education. Standardized educational programs are not individualized, nor are they designed to meet the unique needs of the child with a disability. Read Learning About the School at -http://www.fetaweb.com/02/about.schools.htm

Advocacy 101

If you want to be a more effective advocate for kids, check the articles and resources on the Advocacy 101 page - http://www.fetaweb.com/101.htm


5. Fall Schedule: KS, PA, NC, VA, MS, NY

Pete and Pam Wright are scheduled to do advocacy training seminars and programs in Wichita, Pittsburgh, Annandale, Charlotte, Jackson, and Syracuse, NY this Fall. The programs in Wichita and Jackson are 2-day boot camps.

Wrightslaw seminars and training programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.

"I have never learned so much useful information at a workshop - thank you for having a heart for kids and the head for the Law." - Susan from Texas

August 25-26: Wichita KS (Boot Camp)
http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.08.ks.htm

September 20: Pittsburgh PA
http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.09.pa.htm

September 23: Annandale VA (Northern Virginia/DC area)
http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.09.va.htm

September 26: Charlotte NC
http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.09.nc.htm

November 7-8: Jackson MS (Boot Camp)
http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.11.ms.htm

November 15: Syracuse NY
http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/03.11.ny.htm

For information about other Wrightslaw training programs that are scheduled for the 2003-2004 year, please check our Seminars & Training page: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm

If you are interested in learning how to bring Pete & Pam to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/faqs.htm


6. Managing Your Newsletter Subscription

Publishing an issue of The Special Ed Advocate every week is a big job that takes a great deal of time. We publish often because many people write that they are more effective advocates because of the newsletter, the Wrightslaw site and the Fetaweb site.

We need your help! Some Internet Providers (including AOL, Earthlink and Juno) block Wrightslaw newsletters as sp*m because we publish newsletters to nearly 50,000 subscribers. If this happens several times, our newsletter delivery system automatically unsubscribes those email addresses. If you stop receiving newsletters from Wrightslaw, you need to re-subscribe. http://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Please empty your email box often. The newsletter system deletes subscribers who are consistently over their message quota. If you stop using an account, please unsubscribe that old account.

With several hundred emails a day, we cannot personally respond to every message. If you send a question or request for help, you will receive an "auto-responder" message that we wrote to answer frequently asked questions. Thanks for your help and understanding.


7. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library - http://www.wrightslaw.com/law.htm

Advocacy Library - http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc.htm

Free Newsletter - http://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Newsletter Archives - http://www.wrightslaw.com/archives.htm

Seminars & Training - http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/index.htm

Yellow Pages for Kids - http://www.fetaweb.com/help/states.htm

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com


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