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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
November 13, 2002

Issue - 187

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

When Parents & Schools Disagree

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started

Learn About Advocacy - Start a FETA Group

Need Help? Use the Yellow Pages

Mistakes People Make: Parents, Schools, Evaluators, Advocates

How to Put on a Special Education Case

Boot Camp! Oklahoma
(Dec 6-7, 2002)

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Dear $subst('Recip.FirstName'),

At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we look at effective advocacy for children with disabilities.

Highlights: When parents & schools disagree - advice from an independent educational consultant; advocating for your child - getting started; learning how to advocate - start a FETA group; help from the Yellow Pages; mistakes people make - parents, schools, advocates, independent evaluators; how to put on a special education case; two-day boot camp in Oklahoma City.

Online version of newsletter:

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.

Help others learn about special education law and advocacy - download and distribute your state Yellow Pages Flyer from

1. When Parents & Schools Disagree by Ruth Heitin

Ruth Heitin, an independent educational consultant, describes common areas of disagreement between parents and schools and offers suggestions and strategies to handle these problems:

Does the student have an educationally-related disability? Does the child's disability have an impact on his/her educational performance?

Does the child require special education services? Are the special education services effective?

Dr. Heitin writes, "I often tell my clients that if my own parents were alive, they would never understand what I do for a living." Read When Parents & Schools Disagree:

If you enjoyed this article, you may want to find an educational consultant, advocate or attorney who represents children with disabilities. Read Help! How to Find an Educational Consultant, Advocate, Attorney at:

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.

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started at:

To learn more about advocacy - read articles, success stories, cases, and download free publications and resources, visit the Advocacy Page at:

3. Learn About Advocacy - Start a FETA Group

Do you want to learn advocacy skills? The best way to learn is by doing - and by teaching others.

Learn how to start a FETA group, how to recognize and deal with pitfalls, how to get free publicity for your group, how to manage emotions, and stay on task in How to Start a FETA Study Group:

  "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." - Confucius   

50% Discount on Wrightslaw Books

Interested in starting a FETA Group? You can save 50% on bulk purchases of Wrightslaw books. For more info, go to:

4. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages!

"I need to find an educational consultant - I live in Oregon."

"I need to find a reading tutor for my child - I live in New Hampshire."

"I am looking for a parent support group in the Richmond VA area - can you help?"

Yes, we can help. We built the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities so you can get information and support.

When you visit your state Yellow Pages, you will find many different resources - evaluators, tutors, advocates, consultants, programs, attorneys, and support groups.

Yellow Pages Applications

Do you provide a service to parents of kids with disabilities? We are accepting applications from evaluators, educational consultants, tutors, advocates, attorneys, support groups, and others who help parents get services for their children. Learn how to apply for a free listing on your state Yellow Pages:

Yellow Pages Flyers

To get the word out about the Yellow Pages, we designed a general Yellow Pages Flyer and flyers for each state. Please distribute your state Yellow Pages Flyer at schools, day care centers, libraries, doctor's and psychologist's offices, community centers, and hospitals.

Download flyers:

Do you have a website? Please link to your state Yellow Pages! Download Yellow Pages images:

5. Mistakes People Make: Parents, Schools, Advocates & Independent Evaluators by Robert Crabtree, Esq.

Parents: Because the stakes are so high, it is difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need. Learn about Mistakes People Make - Parents:

Schools: Anything a school system does that undermines parents' trust creates a climate that is costly in dollars, time, peace of mind, and the quality and success of services given to the child. To learn the most common mistakes school districts make, read Mistakes People Make - Schools:

Advocates: Because the non-lawyer advocate plays an extremely important role in the special education process, advocates must be mindful of their power and the trust parents place in them. The more serious mistakes advocates may make are generally ones of excess . . . "

Read Mistakes People Make: Advocates:

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. To learn about mistakes independent evaluators should try to avoid, read Mistakes People Make: Independent Evaluators:

Do you want to learn more about advocacy? Visit, the companion website we built for our book, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy at:

If you have a copy of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, get the Owner's Manual at:

6. How to Put on a Special Education Case by Sonja Kerr, Esq.

Parent attorney Sonja Kerr has good advice for the attorney who is preparing for a due process hearing. Learn why you should not fly solo. Remember whose job it is to educate. This article also includes tips about building the "perfect case."

How to Put on a Special Education Case:

For more articles about special education legal topics, go to:

7. Boot Camp in Oklahoma!

On December 6-7, Pete and Pam will do a two-day Boot Camp in Okahoma City.

In Boot Camp, you learn how to use special education statutes and regulations to get answers to your questions; how to use tests and measurements to measure educational progress and graph out test scores; how to write SMART IEPs goals and objectives; and how to use tactics and strategies to get appropriate special education services.

Our training programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates, and attorneys who represent children with disabilities.
Learn more about Advocacy Training programs:

If you are interested in learning how to bring Pete & Pam Wright to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars.

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. 



Seminars & Training:

Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities:

Link to Us:

Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
ISSN: 1538-3202
Pete and Pam Wright
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Email: Webmaster