Tips for Effective Special Education Advocacy

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A student struggling in school may be entitled to an Individualized Educational Plan, or IEP, a legal document that creates goals and structural school support for a student with special needs.

The law is complex and difficult to navigate so parents and guardians may find themselves confused or unfamiliar with the legal process that goes into creating an IEP. To help, here are our top 3 tips for effective special education advocacy from Law Foundation attorney Julia Souza.

1.       Put all requests to the school/school district in writing. It’s best to have regular communication with your child’s teacher and school. However, it’s important that your requests, especially for additional special education services or testing, be put in writing. Keep copies of all letters or emails that you have sent.

2.      Bring a friend or family member to IEP meetings. Think of it like a complicated doctor’s appointment. Schools use a lot of technical language, and they sometimes move quickly. The meetings can be more exhausting than you might think, and it helps to have someone else remember everything that was said.

3.      Call an education attorney for help. If your school district is not meeting your student’s needs, and you need more support, call an education attorney.

*The tips above are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.