The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
August 12, 2004

Issue -
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Back to School: Get Off to a Good Start

Planning is the Key to Success

Success Story: Plans Are Our Safety Net

Assertiveness & Effective Advocacy

Managing Your Child's Documents

The Beacon: Paper Chase

Wrightslaw Training in IN, CT, VA, OK (Fall 2004)

Help from Yellow Pages for Kids

Subscription and Contact Info 

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education. In this Back to School issue, we help you get off to a good start this school year.

Highlights: Planning is key to success; success story - plans are our safety net; assertiveness & effective parent advocacy; managing your child's documents; paper chase in The Beacon; advocacy training programs in Indianapolis, Hartford CT, Virginia Beach, & Oklahoma City; help & helpers in the Yellow Pages for Kids.

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." - John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach

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

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (Alexa rankings)

1. Back to School: Get Off to a Good Start

Good special education services are intensive and expensive. Resources are limited. If you are like many parents, you are confused about your responsibilities and your role.

You are the constant factor in your child's life. You represent your child's interests. If your child does not receive an appropriate education and master the skills necessary to be an independent, self-sufficient member of the community, you will deal with the outcome.

In this Back to School issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we help you get off to a good start. Learn steps you can take to ensure that your child receives quality, appropriate special education services.

2. Planning is the Key to Success

What do you want your child to achieve this year? What are your long-range goals for your child? What do you want your child to be able to do when he or she leaves the public school system? What steps do you need to take to help your child meet these goals?

What are your child's strengths and weaknesses? How does your child's disability affect his or her ability to learn? You need to plan for your child's future.

A master plan helps you stay focused, anticipate problems, and prepare for the future. Your master plan will include goals for your child in academic and nonacademic areas – hobbies, interests, sports, play, and friendships. Master plans are clear, focused, concise, and flexible.

In Planning is the Key to Success, you learn why you need to plan for the future, elements of a master plan, and how to write a master plan for your child, step-by-step.

Learn more about effective parent advocacy.

3. Success Story: Laura & Steve - Plans Are Our Safety Net

Laura and Steve have four children. Justin, a child with autism, is their youngest. Laura and Steve describe how plans keep them on track - and sane.

"We started out, as many parents do, with goals and aspirations for our son. With the diagnosis of autism, we had to modify what we saw as the path for his future. Developing a plan and thinking about his future helped us to heal and to adjust our perspective in a positive way."

"What keeps us sane? Planning! I cannot emphasize this enough . . ."

In Plans are Our Safety Net, Laura and Steve explain how plans help them to stay focused, anticipate problems, and prepare for the future.

When you run into an obstacle, you are not alone! Learn how other parents resolve problems in Success Stories.

4. Assertiveness & Effective Parent Advocacy by Marie Sherrett

In Assertiveness and Effective Parent Advocacy, parent and advocate Marie Sherrett describes the joys and challenges of parent advocacy and shares observations about categories of parents.

"I find that parents of children with special education needs come in several categories:

  •  Pacifists or those who gets things done;
  •  Clinging vines or parent advocates;
  •  Silent victims or fighters;
  •  Dreamers or crusaders;
  •  Waiters or initiators;
  •  Bombshells or assertive parents;
  •  Appeasing compromisers or action heroes.

Which are you?"

Learn how assertive parents differ from nonassertive parents, and how you can You can make things better for the next generation without filing for due process. Read article

5. Managing Your Child's Documents by Bob Crabtree, Esq.

If you have kids with special education needs, you can be overwhelmed by the paperwork in no time. In Paper Chase: Managing Your Child's Documents, parent attorney Bob Crabtree tells you what documents are important and how to organize your child's documents.

Learn how to use a log and create documents to prevent problems and get better services for your child. Read article

Advocacy 101: Documents, Records and Paper Trails

Learn more about letters and paper trails.

6. The Beacon: Paper Chase

Paper Chase was the theme of the Fall 2001 issue of The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law & Practice. The issue includes articles about how to organize, manage and use documents in special education litigation. Although each contributor developed different approaches, they agreed on several key points.

Read the Fall issue of The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law & Practice.

Read more articles in The Beacon.

7. Put Wrightslaw Training on Your To-do List - IN, CT. VA, OK (Fall 2004)

"The Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar in Michigan was a tremendously rewarding experience and will forever change our practice." - Bryan I. Eder, Esq., Chudnof & Eder, PLC

Wrightslaw legal advocacy programs focus on four areas: special education law, rights and responsibilities; tests and measurements to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.

September 17: Indianapolis, IN (Advocacy Training Program)

September 21-22: Hartford, CT (Mini Boot Camp - 9 hrs)

November 12-13: Virginia Beach, VA (Mini Boot Camp - 9 hrs)

December 4, Oklahoma City, OK (Advocacy Training Program) - FREE to Oklahoma parents & educational caregivers

Participants at these training programs will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and From Emotions to Advocacy, as part of their registration (Value: $59.90).

"What a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or guilty because of all the things that have been done or not done. This time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"

If you are interested in bringing Pete and Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars. (We are now scheduling programs for 2005 and 2006.)

8. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

If you are looking for help - or a helper - visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities. Your state Yellow Pages has many resources - evaluators, speech language therapists, tutors, special ed schools, advocates, attorneys, organizations, and support groups.

These articles will help you find help:

What to Expect from an Evaluation of Your Child

Working with Independent Evaluators and Educational Consultants

Strategies to Find a Support or Study Group

Free Listings in the Yellow Pages: If you help parents get services for children (i.e., an evaluator, educational consultant, academic tutor, advocate, attorney, special ed school, etc.) or you facilitate a support or study group for parents, submit an application be listed in the Yellow Pages for Kids. Send an email to app@yellowpagesforkids.com for an application. Listings in the Yellow Pages are free.

Help Others: Please print and distribute Flyers for Your State Yellow Pages for Kids.

9. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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