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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
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The important thing for parents is to build a network of people. Keep a listing of these names in a file with other necessary paperwork on your child’s disability. If you meet someone from the Client Assistance Program, take their card home and staple it to a page in your notebook or copy the information. If you meet a person in the IEP meeting, either a special education teacher, school psychologist or even your child's teacher for that year who you think really understands your child's needs, ask for their business card or that they write down their contact information. It will take 30 seconds or less. Over the years. you will collect a lot of contacts who can be resources for you.

Identify resources early in the child’s life, including school and community options. Write down contact information for any resources, even if these are for supported employment and your child is four years old. Your resource list needs to be established early and continually reviewed and updated. 

It would also benefit yourself and your child to get involved in community support programs or active in community coalition or boards. Not only can these support groups and coalitions have more effect on the school or community than one person acting alone, but you will also gain valuable information about your rights, your child's disability, available services and, need we say it, more contacts. You will also gain more knowledge on how to better assist your child in living life more independently and productively.

With a referral process and community support system in place, the individual with a disability will have better chance to live independent and productively.

NEXT arrowParent involvement: Tips from Staff

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