If you are like many parents, understanding the special education process is overwhelming. Many parents find it helpful to use an educational advocate to navigate the maze of special education, education law, and reduce the intimidation that parents can feel at school meetings.
My role as an education advocate is to speak for children with disabilities and special needs who are unable to protect themselves. I use my knowledge and expertise to help parents build a healthy working relationship with schools and resolve problems with schools by attending meetings, writing letters, and negotiating for services. Through my support of families, I help to ensure that the school provides your child with a free and appropriate public education.
What does an advocate do?
- Advocates gather facts and information about the child’s disability and educational history.
- Advocates know the procedures that parents must follow to protect their rights and their child’s rights. Advocates also educate themselves about the school district.
- Advocates plan and prepare by being knowledgeable of special education laws and regulations.
- Advocates keep written records, make requests in writing, and document events, discussions, and meetings.
- Advocates are not afraid to ask questions and listen for answers.
- Advocates define problems, and use their knowledge to develop strategies and problem solve.
- Advocates seek win-win solutions that satisfy the interest of parents and schools. Advocates use their skills to negotiate for special education services to meet your child’s unique needs.
The goal is to build a healthy working relationship with the school. Building that working relationship makes it easier to negotiate for special education services and supports. My focus is on solving problems and getting an appropriate education for your child.