Overwhelmed and intimidated: That's how many parents feel when they're dealing with the complex special education system. How can they transform themselves into confident, knowledgeable advocates and get their children the free appropriate public education they're entitled to? Give them the answers with this empowering survival guide, the book with the straight talk parents want and the encouragement they need as they work to get the best services for their child.
A comprehensive update of a resource parents have relied on for more than 17 years, this no-nonsense guide cuts right through the myths and obstacles that block the way to better education for a child with special needs. Veteran advocacy expert Barbara Cutler directly addresses parents with empathy and candor, drawing on 30 years of professional expertise and her deep personal insight as the mother of a son with autism. Share this book with parents and they'll have the step-by-step, real-world guidance they need to
... proactively participate in IEP meetings to secure more and better services for their child
... develop productive assertiveness that gets real results
... arrange, prepare for, and conduct a classroom observation
... recognize and defeat the popular arguments against inclusion
... communicate and negotiate effectively with school personnel
... learn how to say no and fight for the child's rights if an IEP is not acceptable
... make the most of support from personal advocates and parent and citizen organizations
... fully understand their legal rights and the elements of a free appropriate public education and least restrictive environment
... monitor IEP implementation and intervene if the school doesn't deliver agreed-upon services
Going far beyond abstract advice, Cutler makes successful advocacy come to life through sample letters and dialogues, realistic vignettes, practical materials like a detailed classroom observation checklist, and solutions to large and small problems that might arise.
One of the most important books a parent will ever have, this is an essential resource for every professional to share with the families they serve. Parents will discover how to become strong, independent, and effective advocates--and their children will get an inclusive and appropriate education that helps them reach their full potential.
"Not sure how to challenge your child's placement? Need to prepare for an IEP meeting? Unsure of your rights? You will find everything you need to know in the pages of this common-sense guide. It will have you feeling empowered, informed, and even inspired!"--Paula Kluth, PhD, educational consultant and author
Table of Contents
About the Authors
Foreword to the Revised Edition
Paula F. Goldberg
Foreword to the 1993 Edition
Rosemary Dybwad and Gunnar Dybwad
1. It's About Rights
2. Keeping Up with IDEA
3. The Myths Stop Here: Substituting Fact for Fiction
4. Services and Snow Jobs: Understanding Your School System
5. Using Your Everyday Skills: "Hey, I Can Do That!"
6. Getting Inside Your Child's School: What's It Like for Your Student
7. Getting the Right IEP
8. Confrontation: When Nice Guys Finish Last
9. And the Beat Goes On: The Need for Constant Advocacy
Append A. Parent Information Centers
Append B. Resources
312 pages. 2010