Special Education Survival Guide; Online Training;
Teach a Man to Fish

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July 25, 2007

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 398
Subscribers: 52.017

In This Issue:

The Special Education Survival Guide

Coming Soon! Online Training from Wrightslaw

Teach a Man to Fish: Start a FETA Study Group

ISO Success Stories

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Special Ed Law and From Emotions to Advocacy - Combo #1

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Wrightslaw Special Education Training

Success Stories


We are collecting information about educational advocacy groups around the country.

Do you have a success story to share?

Your Feedback

If you participate in an educational advocacy group or FETA Study Group ...

What is it like?
What do you study?
How often do you meet?

If you plan or facilitate an educational advocacy or FETA Study Group...

How is the group organized?
Do you have a plan of study or syllabus?

How many people attend the group?

Please drop us a line at fetaweb@wrightslaw.com and tell us what you're doing to train and empower parent advocates.

We'll share your success stories with others.

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043


Copyright 2007, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

Do you know what FETA is? (Hint: it is not a cheese) At Wrightslaw, we talk about FETA every day - it's shorthand for From Emotions to Advocacy.

This week, we'll tell you about FETA - The Special Education Survival Guide and the companion website at www.fetaweb.com.

Because so many people want to attend Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy programs, we are developing online WebEx programs that you can use to increase your knowledge and skills. Finally, we describe how you can join others to hone your special education survival skills in FETA study groups.

forward to a friendThrow a lifeline to someone you know who may be struggling to get a quality special education program. Share FETA survival skills with them by forwarding this issue of the Special Ed Advocate.

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The Special Education Survival Guide

"If I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy skills, this is it!" - Support for Families of Children with Disabilities

"One of the most important how-to manuals ever written for navigating your way through special education ..." From Emotions to Advocacy

Pam and Pete wrote a wonderful book, From Emotions to Advocacy, and dedicated the book to parents.

This great guide for surviving the challenges of special education teaches you how to use your emotions as your energy source, not your Achilles heel.
This parent-friendly guide teaches you:

  • How to become an expert about your child's disability and educational needs
  • How to organize your child's file
  • How to use information from tests to understand your child's disability
  • How to use test scores to monitor and measure your child's progress
  • How to write SMART IEP goals and objectives.

Chapter 1: Getting Started l Chapter 12 - SMART IEPS  l Skim the book

Symbol of Excellence

EP MagazineExceptional Parent awarded their Symbol of Excellence to Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA):

"The Wrights have provided a great service to parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys, providing them with hands-on resources that pack power to the punch."

Read more reviews of this excellent resource.

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Coming Soon! Online Training from Wrightslaw

"I want to attend a Wrightslaw program but the programs are too far away. I need to learn how to be my child's best advocate. What can I do?"

"I attended a Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy program a couple of years ago - it was great! I need a refresher course now, especially since IDEA was reauthorized. Any suggestions?"

Many people can't attend Wrightslaw training programs. Obstacles include distance, time, expense, work and family obligations, lack of child care, and other constraints.

You advised us of these obstacles and asked for alternatives. We worked to develop online, web-based training programs so you can learn to be effective advocates for children with disabilities, regardless of where you live. These online programs allow you to work at your own pace -- on a schedule that meets your unique needs.

The first four programs will be available in August. These programs incorporate the content of one-day Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy training programs, and are divided into four segments. Two segments focus on the law; two segments teach the knowledge and skills for effective advocacy.

  • Special Education Law 1 (1 hour, 15 minutes)
  • Special Education Law 2 (1 hour, 44 minutes)
  • Special Education Advocacy, Part 1 (2 hours, 7 minutes)
  • Special Education Advocacy, Part 2 (1 hour, 30 minutes)

    Other web-based training programs in the works will include topics like these:

  • How to Organize Your Child's Special Education File
  • How to Use the Bell Curve to Understand Your Child's Disability
  • How to use Tests and Measurements to Measure and Monitor Your Child's Progress
  • How to Develop SMART IEPs
  • Paper Trails and Letters: How and Why
  • How to Prepare for School Meetings
  • School Meeting Survival Strategies
  • What Does Your Child Need? A Section 504 Plan or an IEP?

    If you subscribe to The Special Ed Advocate newsletter, you'll receive an announcement when these programs are available - it won't be long, so watch your email.

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Teach a Man to Fish ... Start a FETA Study Group

"If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."

What a wonderful concept! To advocate for someone is good. To teach someone to be an effective advocate for themselves and their children is even better!

After reading From Emotions to Advocacy, Loni Allen, an educational resource specialist at Parents Helping Parents, decided to start a FETA Study Group.

Using From Emotions to Advocacy as the text and Fetaweb as a workbook, Loni has helped hundreds of parents at the Parent Training and Information Center in Santa Clara, CA learn invaluable advocacy skills.

Many trained parents now serve as "parent partners" for new, inexperienced parents at IEP meetings.

Loni shares the secrets of organizing and facilitating the group in How to Start an Educational Advocacy Study Group. Read Loni's description of the program, slide show, and handouts.

Learn how you can start a FETA study group - strategies and pitfalls, how to get free publicity - and how to change your school's culture in Take Action, Help Others: Start a FETA Study Group.

The purpose of our websites and books is to teach skills and empower parents. We encourage parents and organizations to start FETA Study Groups. You can do it!

We can help! Wrightslaw furnishes books, DVD's, free publication information, and other training materials at great bulk discount rates.

Don't just give a fish - start teaching and learning to fish today!


What People Are Saying About The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter

"Thanks for the trustworthy information and support you provide through the Wrightslaw website and newsletter. You helped our family act when we needed to - we are thriving now."


Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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