Murphy’s Law and Tips for Parents by Sue Whitney

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Law 1 – The only tape recording the school will never misplace is the one of you being sarcastic at an IEP meeting.

Law 2 – If you lose your temper and are rude to school staff during a meeting, that person will be connected to your child for the next 1,000 IEP meetings.

Our children need us to learn the skills necessary to behave well when we are in frustrating situations. They cannot afford for us to lose our tempers or learn on the job.

You need to expect that you will be… caught off guard when you don’t expect it.You need to expect that you will get upset. You need to have the skills to manage your emotions before this happens.

These tips (and the articles they are based on) provide alternatives to name-calling, temper outbursts, and other bad behavior that you will regret later.

Tips for Parents

1. Virtually nothing that happens during a school meetings needs an immediate response from you.

If you have a school crisis, you need to focus on short-term problem solving and long-term planning. Read Crisis Management, Step-By Step at

2, Avoid making decisions or taking action when you are angry and frustrated.

In From Emotions to Advocacy: The Parent’s Journey, Pam Wright describes roadblocks and obstacles parents face as they learn to be an effective advocate for their child.

3. Being assertive is not the same as auditioning for the bombastic Hall of Fame.

In Assertiveness and Effective Parent Advocacy,  advocate Marie Sherrett explains how to be an assertive, effective parent advocate.

4. Disagreements between parents and school personnel are normal.

Problems arise from the manner in which disagreements are handled. As Pat Howey writes, “there are better ways to obtain positive results than roaring through meetings like a Mack Truck.” Read Advocate Pat Howey Talks about Reasonable Expectations, Power Struggles, and Perspectives


    My child has a genetic disease known as BBS its a non curable disease due to it being genetic she sees numerous drs. This disease affects many organs such as her eyes in which she is legally blind in her r eye. Affects kidneys liver pancreas. Spleen heart bones brain etc. She also has a major learning disabilities her academic level is on a 3 gr. Level she is 15 yrs old n loves school however she is in high school due to the 9th gr campus did not have the program she needed. She is in a self contained classroom. Where they teach how to live on your own and function in the real world however if u don’t have basic job skill how r u expected to get a job. Before this she had been doing school work such as math reading spelling etc. I’m very upset she is a straight A B student has been on honor roll since she stared school.

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