Parent Advocacy

I am a special education advocate who follows a collaborative approach. In my experience, schools generally work in good faith, although they sometimes make mistakes in the special education process, have misconceptions and misunderstandings about some of the regulations and required procedures, and get bogged down in bureaucratic maneuvering.

I advise parents about the best way to make suggestions to the IEP team, and I provide advice about how to avoid pitfalls and common mistakes that sometimes plunge an IEP team into controversy and disarray. I advise parents about additional steps to take when consensus does not appear possible. Because parents are outnumbered at IEP meetings, it is easy to feel intimidated. A trained advocate can help even the playing field and help parents obtain all the services a child is legally entitled to receive.First, I listen. Then I help parents navigate the special education maze of regulations and procedures by:

  • Advising parents of their rights
  • Providing guidance regarding:
    • Evaluations and re-evaluations
    • Eligibility determinations
    • IEP plans and strategies for effective meetings
    • Provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE)
    • Section 504 accommodation plans
    • Manifestation Determination meetings
    • Disciplinary matters for students eligible for special education
    • Dispute Resolution – state administrative complaints, mediation and due process complaints
  • Reviewing draft IEPs and offer suggestions
  • Attending IEP meetings with parents
  • Assisting in the drafting of letters or complaint forms
  • Researching legal citations relating to the federal and state regulations and reporting this information to parents