Tips from Parents to Help Their Children Succeed in Special Education

Are you the parent of a child with special needs who has been misinformed by disability educators about your child’s education? Are you a parent who is too cowardly to confront the lies your child tells you? Are you interested in hearing six suggestions for advocating for people with disabilities, particularly in situations where you must confront dishonest teachers? In this article, we’ll go over some simple strategies you can use to help your child succeed in school. Advocate more effectively for people with disabilities by using these strategies and your understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

First, I’ll give an example of a lie that many parents have probably heard, and then I’ll offer six suggestions for how to deal with it.

Saying something like, “I’m sorry, we can’t give your child speech therapy because the category your child receives special education under is learning disability,” is a lie. (Get your kid tested for any and all possible disabilities! Some school staff members refuse to provide necessary services (such as speech therapy) without first determining whether or not the student actually requires them.
First, if the school is denying special education services on the basis of a state or federal law, request a written copy of that law.
(The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does not permit school districts to base services on labels, only educational needs. Asking, “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?” is one such question.

Another piece of advice is to write the educator as soon as possible after the conversation and quote them on what they said if the disability educator made the statement verbally. Be sure to hold onto a copy for your own records. It’s possible that you’ll need to send the special education coordinator an email multiple times before you get a reply.

As a third piece of advice, you can bolster your case by referencing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (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 emphasises special education and RELATED SERVICES designed to meet their UNIQUE NEEDS…Section 1400 Purposes.”

Tip 4: Write a letter to the disability educator explaining that you disagree with their assessment and that you believe your child would benefit from speech therapy regardless of the label assigned to them (because it wouldn’t). Always keep pushing forward in a confident way! You can also use tests to show that your kid is behind in school by showing they are below age and grade equivalents.

Fifthly, think about having an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) conducted by a trained professional on your child. If you were in the situation described above, you could have your child evaluated by a Speech and Language Pathologist. Be sure they can and will provide a comprehensive report that includes suggestions.

Sixth Piece of Advice: Have the independent evaluator’s report sent to the school and request an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting to go over the report’s findings and recommendations. Have the evaluator take part over the phone if at all possible.

This article has provided you with six strategies for parents to use against the lies that disability educators may tell their students. If a special education teacher or administrator gives you false information, you have the right to demand accountability. I wish you the best of luck on your quest for justice.

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults who were born with disabilities; she has also worked as a speaker and writer in the field of special education for over 15 years. In her new book, Disability Deception: Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game, JoAnn provides parents with the tools they need to become strong, persistent advocates for their children.

2022-09-27 11:15:00