As an advocate, my role is to help parents get from Point A to Point B to Point C. I work with client families in many ways including but not limited to:
Reviewing evaluations and other school records
- I review all existing educational records of concern
- I explain the results of evaluations across all areas of eligibility and clinical domains
- My philosophy is that the greatest gift we can give to every child is to understand how that child learns, feels, thinks and communicates
Assisting parents with writing letters to request…
- An evaluation for your child for special education programs and services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) and your State Rules
- An evaluation for a 504 Plan,
- An Individualized Education Program (“IEP”) Team Meeting
- An Independent Educational Evaluation (“IEE”) at Public Expense
- A review of existing evaluation data meeting
- Mediation with a school district
- Information through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and Famly Education Rights Privacy Act (“FERPA”)
Attending school meetings
- I attend any and all meetings with school districts to assist parents with their child’s educational needs
Filing complaints with the state Department of Education and Office for Civil Rights
- I assist with the crafting and filing of written complaints to the Michigan Department of Education and State Departments of Education across the U.S.
- I assist with the crafting and filing of complaints with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, Department of Justice and the Family Policy Compliance Office pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”)
Helping define parent concerns, identify next steps, and prepare meeting agendas
- As your advocate I am here to “educate, empower, validate that you are not alone, provide catharsis, push for the “I” in your child’s IEP, work always for a “Free Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”)”, and fight hard for accountable Federal and State laws, rules and policies
- Listen closely to your concerns and assist with defining them to be fully understand by your school district and child’s IEP team
- I am here to assist parents in understanding every step in your child’s education, Birth- 21 (26 in Michigan) and Post-Secondary
Connecting families with other resources (e.g., consultants, evaluators, tutors, therapists attorneys)
- I have an ever-growing “toolbox” of resources that not only include every type of “person” necessary to meet a child and family’s needs, but also the books, journals, articles, online resources, state and national organizations, community resources, parents groups, that you need to meet your child’s unique and individual needs.
- If I don’t have a resource, I will locate it.
Participating in mediation and in due process hearings
- I attend and participate in formal mediation sessions scheduled with your school district.
- I am a non-attorney lay-advocate and cannot represent families in a legal capacity in a due process administrative hearing. I work with and can recommend attorneys specializing in special education disputes and discipline hearings.
- My motto is simple. I will teach you all that I can and all that you want to learn while we are working together. Parents of children both with and without special needs will find themselves on many different roads and journeys. I am here when you need me.