Where do you find advocates for kids with learning disabilities?

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

My adopted son just turned 7 in April and is going to be entering 1st grade. In March 2009, we were told that the school wanted to increase his time in the SPED room. They never told us that it would be almost 100% time in the SPED room. He was only allowed to join the rest of his kindergarten class for recess. He was having issues with compliance to adult directives. He had been in a preschool SPED room for 2 yrs. He has soiling issues that we are trying to address. The school does not like to deal with the soiling. Since being assigned a 1 on 1 in 2007, he had 4 associates and multiple subs.



We have been trying to find the correct doctors and specialists to help him be the best he can be. It seems like no matter where we turn, we are coming up against brick walls. It's my understand that we should have had a IEP meeting to discuss the upcoming school year-that did not happen. We do not agree with total isolation. He went from a little boy that loved going to school to a little boy very difficult to get ready in the mornings and not wanting to go to school.



Where do we turn? We don't even know if he will have the same 1 on 1 in the fall. Don't we have a right as parents to know what is being planned for our son? Where do I turn?

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Marne - posted on 06/27/2009

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You not only have a right to know what is being planned for your child, you have a right to help determine what will be done for your child. Just for starters they are violaing the tenet of minimully restrictive environment that you are garuanteed under IDEA and FERPA. www.fape.org helps spell out your rights under IDEA. The language is very legalese though. The wrightslaw website is invaluable for advice and guidance on these issues. It was set up by special education attorney advocates to help parents in these situations. They can answer specific questions and give you places to go to find advocates. You can request an IEP meeting AT ANY TIME to address questions and concerns you have. There is also a spot on your IEP forms to state that you disagree with the IEP, are not giving permission for its implementation (they have to have it) and are requesting mediation.This would be an outside expert that would come in at the schools expense to review the IEP with everyone and try to determine what would be best for the child. And if they held an IEP without giving you both a chance to attend and 4 weeks notice of the date of the meeting then they are in violation of the law.

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Melissa - posted on 06/29/2009

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I believe that you are your child's best advocate. Do not take no for an answer. Talk to the teachers. If you are not satisfied, go to the principle. Still not working? Go to the school district office. Make it clear to all parties involved that you will not give up until you start getting some cooperation. Yes, you should have had an IEP meeting. It sounds to me like they are having a hard time dealing with his issues, that is not your problem it's theirs. They need to find someone who can deal with it, because he has just as much a right to go to that school as anybody else does. If you allow people to push you around, so will he. Teach him how to get answers, by demanding them yourself. I am not saying to be aggresive, I'm just saying to be assertive. You not only have a right to know what is being planned for your son, but you also have a right to plan it. They need to cater to your wants and his needs, not to their comfort level and desire to do so.

Yvonne - posted on 06/29/2009

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hi my name is yvonne i have a son with learning disabilites plus other things aswell
just worning if u have a social worker in the disabilites team as they can help u aswell. my son is 17 and before he went in to six form we had a eeting cuz they was not sure that they could cope with him as he too needed a 2-1 cuz he is in nappys and cuz of his age some of the works would not change him. plus he could not do half the things that kids do in six form like work exp and go two days a week to coll aswel so we had to fight for him to stay at the school and i asked why they could not do a timetable for him and they said they need more money to fund it. so the head of the school had to aply for a bigger grant for him to stay there which in the end was granted but i would push for everythink ur son needs and if u need a advot then i would look in ur phone book as they are in there. and even look on line aswell

Susan - posted on 06/27/2009

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In California we have a monitoring system for IEP's called SELPA. I am sure that there is a similar program where you live. They can help explain your rights as a parent with a child in special education.

We also have a program ALTA California Regional Center that offers help in various areas including advocacy groups.

It is difficult to say what local agencies are available to you not knowing where you are from, but I am sure there are similar organizations close to you.

Maria - posted on 06/27/2009

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Hello My name is Maria and I agree with Marne. Their is something called OrPti and it's statewide. The website is: www.orpti.org or you can email: info@ orpti.org.If you click on resources and links it should have a topic that you might be looking for. Also, wrightslaw.com and another parent gave me this information it's an IEP website. It's called PAL.org. I have other websites of resources, but I live in Salem Oregon. I hope this information helps.

Maria

Heather - posted on 06/26/2009

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Try Easter Seals- I'm in Massachusetts and was told by our contact that they provide child advocates. Also, contact your superintendent's office, or state dept of edu. they should have info on how you can contact an advocate. Also, if your area has school choice, take a look at the other school system's special ed programs. Good luck!

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