The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
June 25, 2002

Issue - 169

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Message from the Editor - Advice About Summer Break

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started

Strategies for Success - How I Learned to Get Services by Asking Questions

From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise II - January 15-20, 2003

Summer Reading Program

Mistakes People Make - Parents, Schools, Advocates, Evaluators

New Reviews of FETA - "This is it!"

Subscription & Contact Info




t Wrightslaw, we help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.

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.

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help!


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.

Read 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.

If you take these steps now, you will be in a good position when school starts again.

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.

On your journey from emotions to advocacy, you need to learn about your child’s disability, educational and remedial techniques, educational progress, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and how to artfully advocate.

You need to learn how to present your concerns and problems in writing, prepare for meetings, and search for win-win solutions. You need to use your emotions as a source of energy and power, and how to focus on getting an appropriate education for your child.

Read Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started


Learn more about Advocacy at:


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."

"I was surprised when the "powers that be" would not provide the services and supports I requested for my daughter."

" What was I doing wrong? What did I need to do differently?"

If you 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.

Read How I Learned to Get Services by Asking Questions:


4. From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise II - January 15-20, 2003

Do you want to learn more about special education advocacy? Will you need a break from the winter doldrums by January?

Join Pete and Pam Wright on the From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise II - A Very Special Cruise Seminar and Fund-Raiser for Special Education.


On Wednesday, January 15, 2003 (the day before sailing), Pete and Pam Wright will conduct an advocacy training program at the Radisson Resort Hotel in Port Canaveral.

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.

For more information, visit the FETA Cruise Page at:


What can you expect on the From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise? Read The Inside Story of the 2002 FETA Cruise.


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.

Embark 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 Advocacy Bookstore.


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:


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.

Read Mistakes People Make: Independent Evaluators at:


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

"This book provides a clear roadmap to effective advocacy" - DD Quarterly

"To comprehend the importance of testing and what the results tell us, read Chapters 10 and 11 about Tests and Measurements, and Chapter 12 about SMART IEPs - this information is essential for parents and professionals." - Hands and Voices Communicator

In Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide, you learn:

• How to become an expert about your child’s disability and educational needs
• How to organize your child’s file
• How to use information from tests to understand your child’s disability
• How to use test scores to monitor and measure your child’s progress
• How to write SMART IEP goals and objectives

Read what people are saying: https://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/feta/feta.reviews.htm

Learn more about Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy:


Order Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy:


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. 

To subscribe. Read back issues of Special Ed Advocate.

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- More than 1,000 sites link to Wrightslaw. If you want to spread the word about special education advocacy, download a banner or image.

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ISSN: 1538-3202
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