IEP meeting? STOP! Before you do anything else, do this:
For the price of 2x Lego Minecraft Cave sets; for the price of 1x Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare2; for the price of 1x Littlest Pet Shop Pet Jet; for the price of 2x bottles of
Nitty Gritty California Merlot;
FOR THE PRICE OF YOUR SANITY… ORDER THESE TWO BOOKS!
I don’t want to give away my strategy… as any competitive, ego-centric human I’d love to hold the power. So, before you continue reading just promise me you won’t tell any educators ;) that you learned this secret from me.
One of the best compliments I received since working in advocacy was from a mother for whom I could not attend her child’s IEP. However, I prepared this mother ahead of time just as I do with all of my “IEP parents.” The day after the IEP meeting the mother called me and said “the teachers were crying happy tears because it was a relief for them to work with a parent who was well prepared, knowledgeable, and they were inspired by seeing me advocate for my son.”
You may be wondering, what is the secret? Listen, I understand how overwhelming the IEP process can be. We want the absolute best for our children and will stop at nothing to achieve that yet we get lost in administrative vernacular and IDEA law sound bites. In IEP meetings our emotions send us for an anxiety ridden roller coaster while teachers and school administrators sit opposite from us. To we parents the educators and administrators appear as a towering wall of all-knowing experts. Meanwhile, in a state of panic and fear of not knowing what the real options are for our children, we scramble to listen, grapple with acronyms, and second guess our instincts.
I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. When you enter the IEP process with
knowledge of your parental rights, Knowledge of your child’s right to Free Appropriate Public Education, and compassion, great things can be accomplished and you lead all stakeholders into being contributing members of your child’s IEP team.
Stop what you are doing, and order these two books NOW. I mean it. NOW. When I started out along the IEP journey I was lost and confused. Then a friend recommended these two books which finally set me on the path toward true strategy and preparedness. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you obtain these two books and use them as your springboard.
So, What books are you referring to Faye?
- “From Emotions to Advocacy, second edition” by Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright (January 2006) is an easy quick read that sets the stage for understanding the basics of IDEA law, your organizational strategy, and long-term vision. $12.86 on Amazon.
- “Special Education Law, second edition” by Peter W. D. Wright, ESQ. and Pamela Darr Wright, MA, MSW, includes text of key laws and regulations. It is critical that you purchase these two books together. Reading the text of IDEA law will give you leverage and courage to stand up for your child’s rights. $22.21 on Amazon.
We exhaust hundreds if not thousands of dollars on services and supports for our children with disabilities. For the price of 3 Barbacoa burrito meals with chips salsa and drink at Chipotle, you can bring some peace, knowledge, and power back into your life. Oh yeah, and that mom I mentioned in paragraph 2? I gave her a copy of “From Emotions to Advocacy” (sorry! It was an extra I had lying around!)