When the School Ignores Your Requests for Help
by Pat Howey
have asked and asked the school to give my child extra help. The school
never does anything."
The Parent Report
that parents always prepare for IEP meetings by writing a report to
give to the IEP team members.
Next, make a list of things that are difficult for your child. Here are some examples:
struggles in reading, science, and math
a list of what your child needs from the school. Look at your
lists of strengths and challenges. Make your list of needs fit the strengths
and challenges. Here are some examples:
needs special help in reading, science and English
Write only what is most important. Your goal is to get the IEP team to focus on the important areas. You can also write goals in your report.
Make enough copies of your report so everyone who attends the IEP meeting has a copy. After you think you've made enough copies, make a few more. You want to be sure you have enough copies of your report to go around.
tips about how to prepare for meetings, how to use a Parent Agenda and
an IEP Meeting Worksheet in From
Emotions to Advocacy (Chapters 25 and 26).
Patricia Howey has supported families of children with disabilities since 1985. She has a specific learning disability and became involved in special education when her youngest child entered kindergarten. Pat has children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who have a variety of disabilities and she has used her experience to advocate for better special education services for several of them.
Pat began her advocacy career as a volunteer for the Task Force on Education for the Handicapped (now InSource), Indiana’s Parent Training and Information Center. In 1990, she opened her advocacy practice and served families throughout Indiana by representing them at IEP meetings, mediation, and due process hearings.
In 2017, Pat closed her advocacy practice and began working on a contract basis as a special education paralegal. Attorneys in Indiana, Texas, and California contracted with her to review documents, spot issues, draft due process complaints, prepare for hearings, and assist at hearings. In January 2019, she became an employee of the Connell Michael Kerr law firm, owned by Erin Connell, Catherine Michael, and Sonja Kerr. Her duties have now expanded to assisting with federal court cases.