Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education.
Summer school for parents; learn about legal rights & responsibilities;
find help in your community; join a parent group; take action, help others,
start a FETA Study Group; what people are saying about Wrightslaw books;
Scratch n' Dent Sale; Reading Recovery & IEP problems; Wrightslaw
programs in Sacramento & Grand Rapids.
1. Summer School for Parents
In the last two issues of The Special Ed Advocate, you learned steps you can take this summer to prepare for the next school year.
In part one of Summer School for Parents, you learned about taking care of yourself, preventing burnout, writing thank-you notes, developing a master plan for your child and honing your negotiation skills.
In part two of Summer School for Parents, you learned about evaluations, how to measure educational progress, how to write SMART IEP goals and objectives, and how to use your state academic standards to negotiate a better program for your child.
In this last
installment of Summer School for Parents, you'll learn about legal
rights and responsibilities, finding help, joining a parent group, and
2. Learn About Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities
Read (or reread) the following sections of IDEA. Use a highlighter. Make margin notes. Use sticky tabs to mark areas that are of interest.
1412: State Responsibilities (Catchall) - Private placements, parental
to the special education regulations. Appendix
A includes 40 questions and answers about IEPs, progress in the general
curriculum, parental rights and responsibilities, and preparation for
life after school (transition). The answers to many questions parents
ask Pete and Pam are in Appendix A.
3. Find Help in Your Community
Establish a relationship with a child psychologist, educational diagnostician, or educational consultant who can advise you about appropriate goals and objectives for your child.
A consultant is a valuable source of information and help. Read Your Partners: Independent Evaluators and Educational Consultants
Finding Evaluators & Educational Consultants
Finding Attorneys & Advocates
4. Learn From Others, Join a Parent Group
Join a parent support or advocacy group. When you join a parent group, you will meet other parents who have traveled down this road. Learn from them. In addition to emotional support, they will teach you the "rules of the game."
How do you find a parent group?
To find the
right group for you, read Advocacy
Strategies: Learn From Others, Join a Parent Group.
5. Take Action, Help Others: Start a FETA Study Group
Taking action is a great way to overcome sadness, loneliness and self-pity.
Chuck wrote, "Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, energized me and gave me direction. I learned why parent support groups are so important."
"I decided to start a FETA study group for parents of children with special education needs. Parents can come together, learn information and skills, share concerns, and support one another? Do you have advice about how to start a FETA Study Group?"
We liked 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.
to start a FETA group - pitfalls and strategies, how to get free publicity
- and change your school's culture in Take
Action, Help Others: Start a FETA Study Group.
6. What People Are Saying About Wrightslaw Books
Special Education Law, Standard Edition - $29.95
must have book for anyone who works in Special Education. Margaret
J. Kay, Ed.D. Psychologist
No Child Left Behind with NCLB CD ROM - $29.95
& Exam Copies
Copies - Teachers in colleges
and universities around the country use Wrightslaw books in their
education, special education and special education law courses. Learn
7. Doing Your Homework: Reading Recovery & IEP Problems
Leslie writes, "My child has Down Syndrome. Although the school offers a program called "Reading Recovery," they said my child cannot have this program because he has an IEP. I am also worried because we do not have a signed IEP for next year . . ."
Recovery & IEP Problems, research editor Sue Heath answers questions
about Reading Recovery, research based instruction, IEPs, and offers advice
about long-term planning.
8. Join Pete & Pam Wright for an Advocacy Training Program: CA, MI
a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or
guilty because of all the things that have been done or not done. This
time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"
9. Subscription & Contact Info
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.