Are you a parent of a special needs child who has been told things
that are not true about your child’s education, by disability
educators? Are you a parent who is afraid to stand up to the
deceptions? Would you like to learn six disability advocacy tips, for
standing up to some educators who are not truthful? This article will
teach you easy to use parenting tips to help you in your fight for
your child’s educational life. These tips along with knowledge ofthe
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will help you in
your disability advocacy journey.
I will give an example of a common lie that is heard by many parents,
and follow up with six tips.
Lie: “I am sorry, we cannot give your child speech therapy, because
the category your child receives special education under is a learning
disability.” (Be sure that your child is tested in all areas of
suspected disability! Some school personnel deny services without even
testing the child, to see if the child needs services in a specific
area such as speech).
Tip 1: Ask for, in writing, a copy of the state or federal law that
the school person is using to deny needed special education services.
(IDEA does not allow school districts to base services on labels, only
educational needs). For example: “Could you please show me, in
writing, the state or federal law that states that you have the right
to deny my child an educational service that they need.”
Tip 2: If the disability educator made this statement in a verbal
conversation, as soon as possible after the conversation, write the
educator and quote what they said. Also, keep a copy. It may be
necessary to write the special education person a couple of times, to
get a response.
Tip 3: Use the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to
strengthen your position. For Example: “IDEA states that the purpose
of the law is to ensure that all children with disabilities have
available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes
special education and RELATED SERVICES designed to meet their UNIQUE
NEEDS . . .Section 1400 Purposes.”
Tip 4: Tell the disability educator, in writing, that since they are
not able to show you a state or federal law that states that your
child’s label determines service (it doesn’t), that you stand by your
position that your child needs speech therapy. Remember to be
assertively persistent! Also, use testing to prove that your child is
below age and grade equivalents to justify related services.
Tip 5: Consider getting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE),
for your child with a qualified person. In the above example, you
could take your child to a qualified Speech and Language Pathologist,
and have the child tested. Make sure they are willing to write a
detailed report to include recommendations.
Tip 6: Send the independent evaluation report to school personnel, and
ask for an IEP meeting to discuss the evaluator’srecommendations. If
possible, have the evaluator participate by telephone.
This article has given you six parenting tips that you can use to
successfully overcome disability educator’s deceptions. You have the
right to hold special educational personnel accountable for giving
false information. Good luck in your advocacy journey!