Your Advocate Is Not Helping You
Special education teachers and administrators will rarely tell parents when their advocates are not helping their case. There are some excellent special education advocates out there. There are also some who don’t help and can actually make things worse for you. Despite this, special education staff usually will not tell you. Why?
Special education teachers may see you as unapproachable once an advocate is involved.
They believe you will not listen to them or that the advocate will use their words against them.
By avoiding common advocacy mistakes you can avoid this problem.
The Cost of Services
Special education staff will rarely tell you that they can’t pay for what you’re asking. The IDEA mandates that services cannot be denied on the basis of cost, but special educators know the federal government has never provided sufficient funds to implement that requirement.
Special education staff wishes you knew that they have little, if any, say in the budget process. Knowing they can meet your child’s needs in other ways, special education teachers often try to steer parents away from costly alternatives because they have to. IDEA requires schools to provide an appropriate education – not the best possible services.
An IEP Is a Snapshot of Your Child’s Program
Special education teachers teach your child much more than what is on the IEP. The IEP includes specially designed instruction to address needs identified by the IEP team. Those important skills are just a small part of your child’s overall program. To the maximum extent appropriate, special education teachers and mainstream education teachers will also work on the district’s core curriculum standards in addition to the IEP.