"IDEA does not require that a school either maximize
a student's potential or provide the best possible education at public
expense… The goal is more to open the door… to
handicapped children on appropriate terms than to guarantee any
particular level of education once inside." [USA judge
William Knox of the Western District of Missouri]
Special Ed Advocate Web site by Peter and Pamela Wright
includes very helpful articles on IEPs, and a guide to IDEA,
the USA special education regulations. See also their From
Emotions to Advocacy site for extensive resource listings.
Their books rate a unanimous "5 stars":
To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your
Child: A Field Guide For Getting Effective Services For Children With
Special Needs, by Gary Mayerson, an attorney who has a
child with autism.
Buy it from Amazon.com
- Understanding the Individualized Education
Program (from the Learning Disabilities Association of America)
- Concord (MA) SPEDPAC (special
education parent advisory council) is an impressive example of how
parents can organize to support each other and to improve their
school's special education services
Guide is a document explaining
the IEP process, and a parent email support group
Policymaking includes "'Partners in Education,' a three-hour
self directed e-learning course to help parents with children with
developmental disabilities better understand and maximize the benefits
of special education services and inclusion for their children."
- Special Education from The
Empowerment Zone has answers to many special education
frequently asked questions, and sample complaint letters and due
process appeals. There are many other documents worth reading, too.
(Some information is specific to California.)
- University of Virginia Special Education
Web page has numerous links to legal resources, other universities
(helpful for finding therapists), government agencies, education
Behavioral Intervention and Supports describes how to address
problem behaviors (includes links to University resources in several
Special Education Resources lists professionals and has
articles on special needs topics
See also listings of special education attorneys and
advocates. Ask your elected
representatives to help you find resources or
overcome bureaucratic obstacles - they are supposed to work for you.
Special Ed Advocate is Pete and Pam Wright, P. O. Box 1008,
Deltaville VA 23043, (804)257-0857, email@example.com.
The words "gold mine" are an understatement--if you ever have or intend
to have any contact at all with public schools, you must read their
articles. Their Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities
is a directory of special education and disability resources by state.
- AboutAutismLaw.com covers
IDEA, IEPs, and special education services, with a focus on autism
- Disability Resources lists and
links a great number of disability-related resources (USA only)
Federation for Children with Special Needs is a national
advocacy organization based in Boston
Crabtree & Strong (a Massachusetts law firm) has many
excellent articles on special education including a series Mistakes
Mayerson, Esq. is a New York special education attorney who
has a child with autism, and a lot of experience arguing for ABA
programs. Many legal resources, including a digest of court decisions.
source for specific information on some "well-known" expert witnesses
used by schools (Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Bryna Siegel, etc.).
Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights, a national
organization, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis MN 55437-1044,
(952)838-9000, (952)838-0190 TTY, (800)537-2237
Martin is a West Virginia
attorney specializing in special education law. His Web site has a lot
of information and some support services.
- ABA legal briefs,
contributed by attorney Mary Jane White. "This will be
helpful for families to download and take to their local counsel--a
good personal injury trial lawyer could read this stuff and begin to
make a very credible case of it. You can find a good trial lawyer by
looking at the IDELR, Individuals With Disabilities Law Reporter (in
the law school library) and seeing who is representing parents in your
state. The names of the lawyers and their cities are given at the
beginning of each case--a reference librarian at the law library can
help you learn where to look. If you can't find a good special
education lawyer, contact a member of ATLA, Association
of Trial Lawyers of America--these are the plaintiffs' trial
bar--the really good litigators, which is what you need."
(350k). (Part of the
"zipped" reference file set.)
- From another parent: "There
is an excellent
small handbook from the Center for Law and Education (Cambridge Mass.)
entitled Educational Rights of Children with Disabilities:
A Primer for Advocates by Eileen Ordover (attorney) and
Kathleen Boundy. ISBN #0-912585-06-4. The book is concise and provides
the framework of IDEA and section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For a family filing a complaint, which
every parent can do anonymously for any violation of IDEA
or 504 by a school district, this book makes it easy."
The Center for Law and Education, 197 Friend Street, Boston MA 02114,
- How to Avoid Parent Demands for Lovaas
describes what you may be offered if you recommend an "ABA" program
Where should I live? (US)
very difficult to compare the quality of special education services in
different locations. There are pronounced regional and state
differences, but because almost all services are provided by local
school systems, families living less than al mile apart can have
dramatically different experiences - and with no remedy except to move.
Even within a "good" school system in a "good" state it's possible to
find both good and awful schools, solely because of the beliefs of the
those specific reports, you might consider a state's overall commitment
to children (and families) by looking at measures of child-related
policies and practices.
This document is rsaffran.tripod.com/specialeducation.html,
updated Sunday, 26-Oct-2014 20:32:27 EDT
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