Are you the parent of a child with autism or dyslexia that is sick and tired of not getting your child special education services they need? Would you like to learn 8 ways that you can win a dispute with your school district, and finally get your child the educational and related services that they require to benefit their education? This article will help you learn 8 things that you can do to finally get your child the services they need!
I recently was asked by a parent if it is possible for a parent to ever win a dispute with special education personnel! The good news is that yes many parents win special education disputes and are able to get their child needed special education services.
To win a dispute a parent must:
1. Have a change of attitude! Tell yourself over and over in your head that you have the right to advocate for your child, and no one has the right to tell you to stop! By changing your attitude you can finally be in a place to get what your child needs!
2. Along with a change of attitude, comes a priority that your child’s need for special education services, is stronger than your desire to be nice! I am not telling you to be mean or to use curse words. What I am recommending is assertive persistence!
3. Go outside of your comfort zone! Speak up and be assertive; no longer sit at meetings and say nothing. Ask lots of questions and ask for a lot of explanations. Give your opinion about what services your child needs. Remember your child’s life will be ruined if you do not advocate for them-go outside your comfort zone-for the good of your child!
4. Stand up to lies and bullying by some special education personnel! If you allow special education personnel to continue to tell untruths and do not call them on the untruths; they will continue to lie! In my opinion the situation will get worse as many school personnel will just escalate the lies, due to the fact that the parent is not stopping them!
5. Be willing and able to spend money to win the dispute. Even though the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act states that a child has the right to a free appropriate public education, parents know that they must spend money in order to ensure this! What is the money used for? Iindependent educational evaluations, due process expenses, advocate, attorney etc.
6. Be willing to get other people and agencies involved with the dispute. What other people and agencies? Evaluators, state board of education (by filing a complaint, or due process), media, etc. I heard about a story where a young boy with disabilities was abused on his school bus. The parent tried everything to get punishment for the employees, but the school district still refused. A brief report by media on the news as well as in a large newspaper was all it took; the employees were fired! Consider going to the media, especially if it is about abuse!
7. A working knowledge of state and federal special education law! You will not win a dispute unless you understand what the law is and how special education personnel are violating the law!
8. Consistent and continuous advocacy until the situation is resolved. I have had some disputes that have taken over a year of hard advocacy to resolve. Be assertively persistent for as long as it takes to positively resolve the dispute for the good of your child!
While the playing field is not level between parents and school districts; parents can win disputes for the good of their child! If your child is not ready for independent living, and post school learning they will not be able to have a happy fulfilled future! Good luck!