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I'm so f@${ing Frustrated!

"Please excuse my language, but I am so f@${ing frustrated!"

After the pleasantries, the get-to-know-you small talk, and the basic facts, this is what my clients tell me. By the time parents or guardians get to the point of seeking out an advocate, they have no patience left. They've been steamrolled, gas lit, and side-lined. Their child is failing, their self esteem run into the ground. People don't seek advocates for the fun of it!

So, why do parents get to this point? Here are a couple of the most common reasons parents and guardians seek advocacy:

  1. Their child does NOT have an IEP or IAP and is failing. They've asked and asked for an evaluation, but to no avail.

  2. Their child DOES have an IEP or IAP and is failing. They've asked and asked for a meeting, but to no avail.

Either way, there is a way to go about asking for a meeting and/or evaluation that will have the recipient sitting up and listening.

If you are requesting a meeting, do so via email. Make your first attempt with the teacher. If you gain no traction with the teacher, make your request again and include the principal or department head. If this does not get you on their calendar, make your request with the Request # in the subject of the email, i.e. "Request #3." You may also include wording such as, "I would like to schedule an SBLC meeting to discuss my child's progress and lack of progress since xxx." Using the jargon lets the school personnel know that you know something about what happens at a school, even if you are just faking it. By the way, SBLC stands for School Building Level Committee and is the committee that meets to discuss student performance.

If you are requesting an evaluation for your child, your wording needs to be crafted a little more carefully. Let the school know that you know your rights. Wording such as, "I understand that once I sign consent for evaluation the district has sixty school days in which to complete the evaluation. I am happy to sign additional consent for the assessors to contact my child's physician and will provide any other assistance I can." If you need help with the wording, I have a template that I happily share with my clients.

No matter what you are requesting, you don't have to do it alone! I am your friendly special education advocate and would be happy to help!


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