Provide Parental Support

One night while sleeping in my bed, I had a beautiful dream that all the people of the world got together on the same wavelength and began helping one another. Now in this dream universal love was the theme of the day: peace and understanding. And it happened this way. People of the world all had it together--had it together for the boys and the girls. And the children of the world looked forward to a future. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, people! Time's tickin' away. Remember that tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, people! Time's tickin' away....

--Jimmie & Stevie Ray Vaughn, "Tick Tock" from Family Style.

IDEA 97 highlights the importance of parent particiaptions in the special education process. Communication is crucial to the successful working relationship between parents and schools. Sometimes communication breaks down during the special education process. I believe the working relationship between parents and schools could be improved if both parties followed certain rules of engagement:

For Schools

Always treat parents with respect. They are the team members with the most knowledge about the child in question. Listen to their desires for their child's education and think about how to program for the child with this in mind.

For Parents

Remember this: The school must provide your child with a free appropriate public education. They do not have to give you every bell and whistle. To measure this the Rowley Standard applies. The Supreme Court has held that, in reviewing whether a proposed program is appropriate, the district court’s inquiry generally should focus on two issues:

  1. whether the State has complied with the procedures set forth in the IDEA, and
  2. whether the particular individualized education program (IEP) developed through the IDEA’s procedures was "reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits".

Board of Educ. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 206-07 (1982).

These links have more information.

starResources from ED's Office of Special Education Programs, including technical assistance and dissemination.

star This is an excellent site from the law offices of Herbert Monheit, Philadelphia, PA.

Nine 'Rules of Thumb' for Parents by Robert K. Crabtree.

star The family education network is excellent.

Exceptional Parent has long been a source of information for parents and advocates.

Family Village School Inclusive has Special Education Resources.

The Children, Youth and Family Consortium's Electronic Clearinghouse (CEC) is an electronic bridge to information and resources on children, youth and families.

The mission of The Parent Institute is to encourage parent involvement in the education of their children.

Parents Exchange--Information is POWER!

Kidsource is the source for in depth and timely education and healthcare information that will make a difference in the lives of parents and their children.

Inclusion International defines inclusion as the opportunity for persons with a disability to participate fully in all of the educational, employment, consumer, recreational, community, and domestic activities that typify everyday society. Inclusion International is a human rights organization with 169 member organizations in 105 countries.

Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Groups in the United States listing Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI's) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the United States.

Including Your Child covers the first eight years of your child's life. It gives information that may answer some of your questions.

Inclusive Education lists the whats and how tos of inclusive education.

The Circle of Inclusion is for early childhood service providers and families of young children. This web site offers demonstrations of and information about the effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from birth through age eight.

The Inclusion Network has news and provides help on inclusion.

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Employment Organizations Support for People with Disabilities
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