10 Common Q&A about Private Schools and IEPs | Special Education

10 Common Q&A about Private Schools and IEPs | Special Education

Private Schools and IEPs This topic makes me sad. Because it’s so super deflating for parents. Many times, attending a private school is a tradition for families. Then, they have a child who requires an IEP. That brings on their private school reality check, as far as private schools and IEPs and special education. So…

Due Process Hearing in Special Education | 6 Tips from a Hearing Officer

Due Process Hearing in Special Education | 6 Tips from a Hearing Officer

Can you Win a Due Process Hearing without a lawyer? We’d do anything for our kids. Anything. And since some of us have been dealt a less than a favorable hand, that can mean doing battle with your school district over what type of education your child receives. And sometimes that battle leaves us no…

What to Do About IEP Retaliation Including When They Call CPS.

What to Do About IEP Retaliation Including When They Call CPS.

The school called CPS on me! Sometimes I hear the stories and think “How, how did we get here?” And, many times I’ve seen a parent seek assistance and many parents chime in, “That’s illegal, they can’t do that!” Sigh. I wish it was that simple. Yes, it is illegal. But IEP retaliation happens. School…

Due Process Special Education | 6 Critical Points to Consider Before Filing

Due Process Special Education | 6 Critical Points to Consider Before Filing

Due Process Special Education Should I file for special education due process? Special Education Due Process is one of a parent’s rights in Procedural Safeguards. It is very serious, and in my opinion, should only be done as a last resort. This means that you have exhausted all other means of the IEP process including…

Removing IEP Services | 5 Red Flags from Your Team + How to Prevent

Removing IEP Services | 5 Red Flags from Your Team + How to Prevent

Can the School Remove Supports and Services from the IEP? This is probably the number one reason that parents dread IEP meetings. Right? For the most part, we expect to be told “No” when we ask for something to be added, even if we have the data. But the school removing items…yikes! It’s a major…

What to Do When your School Keeps Calling You to Come Get Your Child.

What to Do When your School Keeps Calling You to Come Get Your Child.

My son keeps getting sent home from school! We all know the feeling. Your phone rings. You look. It’s the school phone number. A zillion thoughts run through your head as you answer. “Hi, Mrs. Smith? This is ‘school personnel’ and we need you to come pick up Jacob. Yes, he had quite a tantrum…

Advocate’s Tip: These Few Short Sentences on your Child’s IEP Could Prevent Suspensions.

Advocate’s Tip: These Few Short Sentences on your Child’s IEP Could Prevent Suspensions.

Important items that must be on your child’s IEP. “I got a call to pick up my daughter today because she put a child in a choke hold.” And of course this child with an IEP was on her way to a suspension. That’s what one of our group members posted recently. Sounds awful, right?…

Can a School Suspend a Student with an IEP? | 5 action steps, with or without an IEP or 504 Plan

Can a School Suspend a Student with an IEP? | 5 action steps, with or without an IEP or 504 Plan

Can you Suspend a Student with an IEP? It happened again. You were at work, in the middle of…working. And the phone rings again. You look and see the dreaded phone number-it’s the school. And you know what is ahead. You have to go pick up your child because they’ve been suspended. Again. Here is…

Manifestation Determination Meeting | What It Is | How to Prepare | Examples

Manifestation Determination Meeting | What It Is | How to Prepare | Examples

Manifestation Determination Speaking to you as a parent, I hope that you never have to know what a Manifestation Determination is. Or that you never have to request or attend a Manifestation Determination Review Meeting. But, here you are. You searched and found this article, so you need to know what a Manifestation Review is….

Understanding the Emotional Disturbance IEP Category | Criteria | Accommodations | Strategies

Understanding the Emotional Disturbance IEP Category | Criteria | Accommodations | Strategies

Emotional Disturbance Emotional Disturbance Category on an IEP is one of the most misunderstood categories. In my professional opinion, it is one of the most overused and abused categories. I find that school staff often look to address Emotional Disturbance Disability with the mindset of “won’t” rather than “can’t.” Or, slap the ED label on…

Does my child have to ride the Special Ed Bus to get Transportation on our IEP or 504?

Does my child have to ride the Special Ed Bus to get Transportation on our IEP or 504?

Special Education Transportation “It’s the bus. It’s always the bus!” My former supervisor used to say that so often. So many issues around a school bus ride. Lots of kids, no seatbelts, unstructured time, no one watching them (because we want the driver watching the road, right?). And it goes on. This post is long…

IEP Laws and Regulations for all 50 States | Spreadsheet with Links

IEP Laws and Regulations for all 50 States | Spreadsheet with Links

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Several years ago, I was at a fundraiser. It was for an agency that assists disabled people. So, naturally, they had a few people who used the agency speak and give testimonials about how much this agency means to them. I will never forget the story that this one…

Can a Parent Record an IEP Meeting? | Recording Laws for 50 States

Can a Parent Record an IEP Meeting? | Recording Laws for 50 States

Recording School IEP Meetings Can you (audio) record your IEP meeting? It’s a question that I’ve seen parents and advocates discuss quite a bit. And like all the other parts of the IEP, there are no easy answers to the question. In deciding whether or not to record your child’s IEP meeting, there are many…

IDEA Procedural Safeguards | The IEP Parents’ Rights Document that most Parents never read.

IDEA Procedural Safeguards | The IEP Parents’ Rights Document that most Parents never read.

Special Education Procedural Safeguards Ok, finger-wagging time. Because I know that a very large percentage of parents are not reading your IEP Procedural Safeguards. I can tell by the questions you ask. Because many of the questions I am asked to answer (as an advocate) are very easily answered by looking at Procedural Safeguards. I’ve included…

IEP Unilateral Placement | What is it? How do I do it?

IEP Unilateral Placement | What is it? How do I do it?

IEP Unilateral Placements One of the greatest IDEA misunderstandings among parents is the concept of Unilateral Placements. There is a lot of misinformation about them, how to do a unilateral placement and so on. A lot of this is due to IDEA itself. It doesn’t define this right much. Unilateral Placements are mentioned in the…

Understanding IEP Eligibility | A Guide for Parents | Flowchart

Understanding IEP Eligibility | A Guide for Parents | Flowchart

IEP Eligibility Your child has an IEP. Or they do not. Perhaps they were found ineligible. Maybe you were offered a 504 or RTI instead of an IEP. Or, maybe nothing at all. You were just informed that your child does not qualify for special education and that’s it. In this post, I’m going to…

Why IEP Parents Should Never Agree to the “Let’s just Wait and See.”

Why IEP Parents Should Never Agree to the “Let’s just Wait and See.”

Let’s Just Wait and See. I’d be willing to be my house and my car that 99% of all IEP parents have experienced the “Let’s just wait and see.” It’s one of the most common and most effective stall or delaying tactics when a parent asks for something on the IEP. It goes like this….

Can a Parent Refuse Special Education Services? What happens next?

Can a Parent Refuse Special Education Services? What happens next?

It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but this Special Education Stigma scenario still happens. It goes like this: Parent recognizes that their child is struggling at school. They reach out and ask for help. The school agrees and draws up the IEP. Parent waffles and does not want to accept the IEP…

When your Charter School Rejects your Child based upon their IEP Needs.

When your Charter School Rejects your Child based upon their IEP Needs.

Charter Schools and IEPs-Special Education Charter Schools and IEPs or Special Education is a very misunderstood concept, even though the law is pretty clear. Some of the confusion comes from the charter schools themselves. They send a consistent message based on previous practice, and not necessarily on what is right or legal. This post about…

Restraint and Seclusion of Special Education Students: Essential Resource Guide for Parents.

Restraint and Seclusion of Special Education Students: Essential Resource Guide for Parents.

Restraint and Seclusion in Schools “Every child deserves to be treated with dignity, be free from abuse, and treated as a unique individual with individual needs, strengths and circumstances.” US Department of Education booklet, 2012. More often than I would like, a parent in our Facebook group asks, “My child was restrained today. What can…

Yes, your child with an IEP can go on the field trip.

Yes, your child with an IEP can go on the field trip.

Excluding Students from Field Trips Imagine this–your school is planning a field trip. But, they call you and say “Oh, I’m sorry, your child cannot go because he is African-American.” Or, “We’d love for your daughter to join us, unfortunately we are not equipped to bring Jewish children on this field trip. We just don’t…

What to Do when your School or Teacher is not following the IEP.

What to Do when your School or Teacher is not following the IEP.

My school is not following the IEP! It’s a common parent complaint. Your school, teacher or IEP team is not following the IEP. In non-compliance. Here are some steps that you can take and I’ve sort of listed them in order of how you should proceed, though some may overlap. (Note: For the purposes of this…

PWN in Special Education: The little known game-changer in the IEP process.

PWN in Special Education: The little known game-changer in the IEP process.

Prior Written Notice-PWN How many times have you heard phrases like these, at IEP meetings, when you’ve suggested something? I don’t think he/she needs that. Why don’t we ‘wait and see’ and talk about it in a few months? I have to discuss this with {someone with more authority} and then I’ll get back to…