Date: Mar 20, 2006
Issue: 345
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. Parent Observations v. Confidentiality: P2 Answer Your Questions

2. Mistakes People Make: Parents, Schools, Advocates, Evaluators

3. Ask the Advocate: Feel Guilty About Asking for Special Ed Services?

4. Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

5. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in AZ, PA, OH, MA, NY, DE

6. Subscribe & Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the confusing, changing world of special education.

The Special Ed Advocate 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. Thank you!

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1. Question of the Week: Parent Observations v. Student Confidentiality

"Do I have a right to observe a class before agreeing (or not agreeing) to a placement for my child? The special ed director said I cannot observe the class because of confidentiality issues with the other children."

What can parents do if school administrators bar them from observing their child's classroom or a proposed special ed placement?

In Classroom Observations v. Student Confidentiality, Pete and Pam offer strategies to deal with administrators who take positions that are not based on law or common sense.

More frequently asked questions.

2. Mistakes People Make: Parents, Schools, Advocates, and Evaluators by Robert Crabtree, Esq.

As IEP season arrives, it's important to avoid unnecessary mistakes. Parent attorney Bob Crabtree offers advice to all the players in his "Mistakes People Make" series.

Mistakes Parents Make

"Because the stakes are so high, it is difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need." Learn how to avoid these pitfalls - read Mistakes People Make - Parents.

Mistakes School Districts Make

"Anything a school system does that undermines parents' trust creates a climate that is costly in dollars, time, peace of mind, and the quality and success of services given to the child." In Mistakes People Make - School Districts, Mr. Crabtree describes common mistakes schools make. This article should be required reading for all special ed administrators.

Mistakes Advocates Make

"Because the non-lawyer advocate plays an extremely important role in the special education process, advocates must be mindful of the power of their role and the trust parents place in them. The more serious mistakes advocates may make are generally ones of excess ..." Read Mistakes People Make - Advocates.

Mistakes Independent Evaluators Make

"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." Mr. Crabtree describes Mistakes People Make - Independent Evaluators.

Learn more about effective advocacy.

3. Ask the Advocate: Feeling Guilty About Asking for Services?

In Feeling Guilty About Asking for Special Ed Services? advocate Pat Howey describes lessons she learned from her child's due process hearing. She describes how parent advocates can force the system to change and how this benefits many other children whom you may never know - and their teachers.

Pat is an advocate who has helped parents obtain special education services for their children with special education needs since 1986. Pat answers questions in Ask the Advocate:

Making Threats: Refusing to Sign the IEP  - Pat's advice to a parent who is refusing to sign the IEP until the school provides the services she wants.

What to Do When the School Ignores Your Requests - Pat offers advice to a parent who is frustrated because the school ignores her requests for help.

Read more questions (and answers) by Pat in Ask the Advocate.

As a member of the Wrightslaw Speakers Bureau, Pat provides training for parents, educators, and others who want to ensure that children receive quality special education services.

4. Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

"I started watching the DVD while walking on the treadmill. It was so fascinating that I increased my time from 30 to 60 minutes - I couldn't bear to turn it off! - Ann

If you are thinking about requesting a due process hearing, you need to know about the federal law and your state special education law and regulations.

You should also watch Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board.

Surviving Due Process
is an award-winning DVD based on a true story of a young child with autism. With different evidence and witnesses, this could easily be the case of a child with a different disability and a different legal issue.

See direct examination, dramatic cross-examination, objections, and arguments between counsel. View the trailer with Quicktime or Windows Media Player

Learn more about Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board:

Trailer (Quicktime)  l Trailer (Windows Media Player)

Read the Story l Meet the Cast
 l Internet Orders l Fax & Mail Orders

5. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in AZ, PA, OH, MA, NY, DE

If you want to attend a Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Program before the 2005-2006 school year ends, you need act now. The last Boot Camp for this school year will be in Lancaster PA on April 7-8!

April 7-8: Lancaster, PA
- Special Ed Law & Advocacy BOOT CAMP
. Register Online. Download the Conference Brochure & Registration Form

Please contact Amy Koring at 717-431-9600 or by email at amkoring@ptd.net.

March 30: April 2: Phoenix, AZ - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training at the Annual Conference of the Council of Parents Attorneys Advocates. Speakers: Pete Wright, Pam Wright, Wayne Steedman, Pat Howey.

April 25, 2006: Cleveland, OH
- What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 CAN Hurt You! FREE PROGRAM!

May 11: Springfield, MA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training

May 17: Rochester, NY - Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by Greater Rochester SAFE. (Details soon)

June 14: Rehobeth, DE -
Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by The Arc of Delaware Parent Mentor Program (Details soon)

2006 Schedule l Wrightslaw Programs

6. Subscription & Contact Info

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

Contact Info

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