Friday, May 13, 2011

Parents of School Age Children with Disabilities, Limitations or Challenges Pt.2 of 2 by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Parents of School Age Children with Disabilities, Limitations or Challenges Pt.2 of 2 by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

In today’s post, Part 2 of Parents of School Age Children with Disabilities, Limitations or Challenges, ten tips are being offered to assist you with navigating and advocating on behalf of your child/ren in Education.
1.      Questions are often raised regarding educational evaluations. Two separate evaluations completed by separate entities are often the recommendation. Perhaps, the school (often free of charge) and one private evaluator or two private evaluators. It is advisable that the evaluations not be shared until both have been completed.
2.      Learn your rights as a parent of a child/ren with disabilities, limitations or challenges (some sources from which you can obtain this information is from your school, school system and online at the US Department of Education).
3.      You are to be a part of the committee that plans your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and are to be notified of any change(s) to that plan.
4.      You can have certain information added and/or removed from your child’s school records
5.      Document, ask for copies of written reports and keep notes and records of your child’s education experiences.
6.      Hearings are available and can be conducted by non-school officials/personnel. You must make the request.
7.      By having knowledge of the proper procedure, you can obtain information from your child/ren’s records even when school officials say, “NO”.
8.      Inclusion; I do not know the present status as it applies to Parents and schools. What I do advise; become knowledgeable and well-informed about the Education process. Understand the pros and cons. As a Parent, you should play a major role in deciding what is in the best interest of your child. Full inclusion is not for every special needs child; what works for one child may be detrimental for another child.
9.      Attend local and state board of education meetings, as well as their Instruction Committee Meetings. Such provides an excellent way to discover the educational programs which the school system contemplates adding, cutting or modifying.
10.  You must have a support group. Get to know other parents, locate or form a Parent Group with those of similar concerns, goals and objectives; work together. Disability Advocacy groups abound, but most are in the information and lobbying business; most do not provide legal representation to individuals.

If change is to occur, Parents you must become knowledgeable and well-informed about the Education System and leaders in the quest for change in Education. You sometimes have tough or difficult choices to make. Finally, to those parents who exhibit untiring patience, fortitude and steadfastness as you attempt to meet the special needs of your special and unique child/ren, we commend, salute and encourage you to continue to keep the faith upon which many of you have come to depend.

Note: Tips reprinted from the March/April 1996 Newsletter by the Co-founder of the Organization, Parents Focused on Education Newsletter with minor revisions.
Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder & Author
Parents Taking Charge in Education

No comments:

Post a Comment