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Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education

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Many readers have questions about special education issues - accommodations and modifications, advocacy, damages, discipline, due process hearings, progress, reading, parent-school relations, high-stakes testing, retention, No Child Left Behind, and other topics. You will find answers to many of your questions here.


Advocates & Advocacy
How can I find an advocate or attorney?

Do you have advice about filing a complaint with the state?
How to deal with jargon in IEPs?
What do you know about training and standards for advocates

How can I start a study group for parents?
What can one person do? (Do YOU have a free hour?)
What do you mean when you talk about advocacy and empowerment?
Why are Wrightslaw programs held during the day?
More about advocacy

Can the school expel my child who had ADHD & learning disabilities?

What can we do about about teachers who diagnose children with ADD/ADHD?
More about ADD/ADHD

What do you think about Lovaas v. TEACCH for educating kids with autism?
More about Autism

Behavior & Discipline
The school wants to expel my child - can they do that?

Do you have advice for grandparents who are raising kids with disabilities?
What are school's obligations to kids with emotional and behavior problems? (Pete's answer stirs up controversy)

More about behavior & discipline 

Confidentiality & Privacy
Aren't IEPs confidential?
The school taped my child without my consent and won't let me see the tape.
More about privacy and records

Why did you put a damages case against a teacher on your web site?
More about damages

Due Process Hearings

What do we need to know about 10-day notice letters?
How do you prepare for a due process hearing
? (advice from a Vermont advocate)
Can school districts recover fees from attorneys who represent parents in due process hearings?

What is it like to go through a due process hearing? (excellent advice)
What is it like for a child to go through a due process hearing?
More about due process

My Child is Being Evaluated - What Tests Should I Request?

Do scores from a private sector evaluation belong in the IEP?
Independent Educational Evaluations: What? How? Why? Who Pays?
IEEs: Must Parents Chose Evaluator from School's Approved List?
More about evaluations

Free Appropriate Education (FAPE)
My child's test scores are flat - what should we do?
Should I request a "paraprofessional," not an "aide"?
What do you think about educating children with autism - Lovaas or TEACCH
Who is responsible when a child does not receive an appropriate education - the school or the parent who signed the IEP?
What does the law say about grades for children in special ed?
We can train Shamu but we can't train a kid to be compliant or read? (a special ed director's rant)
More about FAPE

High-Stakes Tests
How exit exams can be optional if you plan ahead.
What about accommodations on high-stakes tests?
More about high-stakes tests

IDEA 2004
How will IEPs change under IDEA 2004?
Can school districts recover fees from attorneys who represent parents in due process hearings?

Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs)
How will IEPs change under IDEA 2004?
How can we resolve concerns about our child's IEP?
How can I get my child's s IEP revised?
Is there a limit to the number of goals in the IEP?
How do you write IEP goals and objectives?
How can I get good goals and objectives in my child's IEP?
How can I get the IEP team to answer my questions?

More about IEPs

What is mediation? What should parents do to prepare for mediation?

More about mediation

How can parents who move find a good special ed program?


Note: Congress has reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the statute formerly known as No Child Left Behind. The new statute, Every Student Succeeds Act, was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015.


No Child Left Behind
How will NCLB affect you?
How will kids be tested under NCLB?
What does NCLB say about school choice and tutoring?
What does "Adequate Yearly Progess" mean?
Do the legal definitions in NCLB apply to general ed programs?
More about NCLB

Parent-School Relations & Conflict
My child's test scores are dropping - what can I do?
How to deal with a hostile environment at school

What can parents do when the school balks?

How can we resolve a placement dispute about our child with autism?
How can we resolve concerns about our child's IEP?
Child has asthma, school sent him home, then reported him truant. What to do?
Our relationship with the school is not good - do you have any advice?
You say "put it in writing." Won't that make relationships worse?
Why Do You Instruct Parents to be Against Special Ed Teachers?
Don't parents realize the dangers of blind trust?

More about advocacy

Q&A with Pete Wright: 'Kids are...Teaching-disabled'
My child can't read - what can I do?
How can I get a trained, certified reading teacher?
Is "Reading Recovery" a research-based program?
How can I get help for my child with reading problems?
My dyslexic child's IQ scores are falling - what can I do? 
My child can't read - should he get special ed or Reading First?
Where can we find tutors who do research-based reading instruction?

We can train Shamu but we can't train a kid to read or be compliant?

More about reading

Can the school use a single test to retain my child?
More about retention

Section 504 & Discrimination
Who is eligible for protections under Section 504 - but not under IDEA?

Child has health problems, school reports him "truant" - what to do?
My child with ADD was kicked out of an afterschool program - don't they have to include him?
Children with disabilities are sent home early - is this legal?

Am I a "Highly Qualified" special education teacher?
How can I help teachers who are being pushed out of their jobs?
Should I request a "paraprofessional," not an "aide"
How can I get a trained, certified reading teacher?
Where can we find tutors who do research-based reading instruction?
How can I learn about certification in research based reading programs?
Is "Reading Recovery" a research-based program?

Copyright © 1998-2006, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

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