The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
May 10, 2005

Issue - 309
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. How to Solve Parent-School Problems & Protect Relationships

2. How to Disagree with the School - Without Starting WW III

3. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004

4. Crisis! Emergency! Help!

5. The Art of Writing Letters

6. Updates in Schaffer v. Weast: Decisions, Amicus Briefs

7. Mistakes People Make - Evaluators & Advocates

8. Wrightslaw Programs in IL, MI, HI

9. Subscription & Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the changing world of special education.

Highlights: How to solve parent-school problems - and protect relationships; how to disagree with the school without starting WW III; coming soon - Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004; crisis, emergency, help!; art of writing letters; updates in Schaffer v. Weast - decisions, amicus briefs; mistakes people make - independent evaluators & advocates; Wrightslaw programs in IL, MI, HI.

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. We appreciate your help!
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. Newsletter Archives

1. Question of the Week: How to Solve Parent-School Problems -- and Protect Relationships

"Our seven-year old has autism. After his aide told us he has not received all the speech language and OT sessions called for in his IEP, we wrote letters demanding that the school make up the missing sessions."

"The teacher is angry and told the aide she cannot talk with us. Doesn't she have a right to communicate with us? Is there any law we can refer to?"

In How to Solve Parent-School Problems -- and Protect Relationships, Pete and Pam Wright answer these questions and offer advice about how to resolve parent-school problems while also protecting relationships.

Learn why Pam says, "You need to view your relationship with the school as a marriage without the possibility of divorce." Read article.

More Frequently Asked Questions

2. How to Disagree with the School - Without Starting WW III

In How to Disagree with the School Without Starting WW III, Pete answers questions from parents about how to disagree with the IEP team. Learn about the Rules of Adverse Assumptions, how to use tape recording and thank you letters to clarify issues, and how to deal with an IEP team bully. Read article.

In Learning to Negotiate is Part of the Advocacy Process, advocate Brice Palmer describes the negotiation process in special education, explains the rules, and offers excellent advice about tactics and techniques.

More articles about special education advocacy

3. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004

We are working on Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 (ISBN: 1-892320-05-3), a new publication that includes the full text of Parts A and B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004), extensive commentary, discussion of changes from IDEA 97, and cross-references. The format, layout, and statutory explanations are similar to Wrightslaw: Special Education Law.

Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 will be available before July 1, 2005 when IDEA 2004 goes into effect.

Subscribers to The Special Ed Advocate newsletter will receive advance notice before Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 is available to the public. Watch your email box - we'll keep you posted.

Learn more about IDEA 2004.

More Wrightslaw publications - and one cool DVD!

4. Crisis! Emergency! Help!

Every day, we receive dozens of emails from parents (and teachers) that begin with the word Help! In many cases, these folks have damaged their credibility - and the child's case - by assuming that they must DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!

If you are in a crisis, Crisis! Emergency! Help! is a "must read" for you. If you want to avoid a crisis, read this article - it will help you deal with problems when they do come up.

More articles about special education issues.

5. The Art of Writing Letters

If you have concerns about your child's program, you need to put your concerns in writing. The Art of Writing Letters teaches you how to write letters to the school. Learn about the Blame Approach and the Storytelling Approach, the sympathy factor, first impressions, letter-writing pitfalls, and the powerful decision-making Stranger. 

12 Rules for Writing Great Letters includes rules for writing letters and editing tips.

Learn more about letters and read sample letters.  

6. Updates in Schaffer v. Weast: New Amicus Briefs, Decisions

The Schaffer v. Weast page has been updated. The page now includes the background of the case, the question presented to the U. S. Supreme Court, links to the U. S. District Court decision, and the Joint Appendix filed with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Schaffer v. Weast also includes links to amicus briefs file on behalf of Brian Schaffer on behalf of law and disability advocacy organizations, and the brief filed on behalf of several autism organizations.

To get the latest news and download briefs in this important case, go to Schaffer v. Weast.

More special education news.

7. Mistakes People Make: Independent Evaluators & Advocates by Bob Crabtree, Esq.

Mistakes People Make: 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 article

Mistakes People Make: 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 this article.

Learn about parent advocacy in Advocacy 101.

8. Coming Up! Wrightslaw Programs in Illinois, Michigan, Hawaii

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education laws including significant changes in IDEA 2004; how to use the bell curve to measure educational progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.

Springfield, IL - May 13-14, 2005 (Boot Camp)

Oakland Schools, Waterford, MI - May 24, 2005 (Special Education Law & Advocacy Training) - Attorney Wayne Steedman and advocate Pat Howey present a full-day Wrightslaw training program - NEW!

Hilo, HI - July 29, 2005 - LDA Conference (Keynote Speakers & Presenters)

Hilo, HI - July 30-31, 2005 - Boot Camp

Schedule l Programs l Speakers l FAQs

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 2004 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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