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The Special Ed Advocate

From Emotions to Advocacy - The Parent's Journey
by Pamela Darr Wright, Wrightslaw.com

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This newsletter is a 3 minute read (662 words).

Good Thursday Morning. Today is National Bacon Lover's Day!

Back to the business of special education during the COVID-19 era. We have a few questions for you to consider. . .

Can you imagine educating a child with a disability without a plan? You don't know about the child's disability, how the disability affects the child's learning, or how the child needs to be taught.

You don't know the steps you should take to ensure that your child receives the services and supports they need. You don't know if your child is making progress. You aren't aware of obstacles you may encounter or how to resolve problems.

Is it reasonable to think you'll figure all this out as you go along?

If you are like many parents, you are confused about your role. What do you need to learn? How can you ensure that the school provides your child with an appropriate special education program?

You are the constant factor in your child's life. You represent your child's interests. You need to make long-term plans. If no one makes a long-term plan, you will deal with the outcome.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, we will . . .

  • walk along with you on the parent's journey from emotions to advocacy;
  • share 10 tips for hiring an advocate;
  • recommend a terrific success story; and
  • offer an emotional reset -- Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy will help.
Link to this newsletter: https://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/20/nl.0820.htm

1. From Emotions to Advocacy: The Parent's Journey

Worry. Sadness. Fear. Guilt. Helplessness. Anger. Confusion. Disappointment. More anger.

Parenting has always encompassed difficult periods -- times when parents feel concerned and confused -- sleepless nights when they worry about how they are fulfilling their responsibilities to their children.

Raising a child with special needs "ups the ante." Meeting the complex needs of the child with a disability can be extraordinarily difficult, frustrating, emotionally draining -- and expensive!

Are your emotions a source of energy? Or your Achilles heel?

Learn the antidote to feelings of helplessness, anger and frustration in From Emotions to Advocacy - The Parent's Journey.


2. 10 Tips for Hiring an Advocate

Many parents do not realize that special education lay advocacy is not a true profession.

  • Advocates are not required to have any formal training, education, or experience.
  • Advocates are not required to read, know or understand the laws.
  • Advocates can charge parents any amount they want.
In short, anyone can hang up a shingle and say, "I am a Special Education Advocate."

An advocate may hold your child's future in his or her hands. As a parent, you must carefully choose the person to whom you give this responsibility. In 10 Tips for Hiring an Advocate, Pat Howey provides you with basic principles that may help you on this journey.


3. Success Story: From a Victim to a Mighty Force by Susan Bruce

On a cold wintery night, Susan Bruce knew she was fed up with her children's school. She was angry, very angry. Susan sent an email to Wrightslaw to share these angry feelings. When she received our auto-response, she replied, "Thanks for another door slammed in my child's face."

Then Susan received a personal reply from Pam Wright. Pam suggested that she stop playing the victim and do what was needed to be an effective advocate for her children. And that's exactly what she did!

In Susan's success story, From Victim to a Mighty Force, she inspires us. As COVID-19 continues to turn our lives upside down and inside out, we think she may inspire you too.


4. Need an Emotional Reset? From Emotions to Advocacy May Help!

Our book, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, is available in several formats:

  • a print book,
  • a print book & e-book combo,
  • a Kindle edition (text-to-speech enabled)
  • an e-Pub edition (text-to-speech enabled)
You'll find this and more great deals in the Wrightslaw Store!

Note: If you order the From Emotions to Advocacy E-book and Book Combo, you'll receive a link so you can download the E-book immediately.

Revised: 08/20/20

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