After my first book was released in 2007 I was humbled by parent’s reaction to the book! I received many E-mails telling me how much they appreciated the honesty—and how come nobody wrote a book about special education lies sooner? I really am not sure why, but it is my belief that this book was meant to be written by me, because I had finally heard enough lies and wanted to shine the spotlight on these lies (as well as teach parents how to overcome these lies)!
A parent from Texas E-mailed me (shortly after the book was released) and said that I had saved her sanity because she knew something was wrong in the special education system, and with her child’s education, but could not put her finger on what it was! She stated very eloquently how relieved she was when she realized that she was being lied to. It took her several years of assertive and persistent advocacy, but she eventually overcame the lies, so that her child could receive an appropriate education!
Below are the reasons why I finally decided to write my second book (with a ten step roadmap).
1. Many parents appreciated the awesome honest information in my first book but wondered what to do with the information. I was asked many times to develop a roadmap that parents could follow —so I did!
2. I have learned so much since 2007 that I wanted to share with parents so that they could use this information in their advocacy. For example: my first book did not discuss Private Schools at Public Expense (or Charter Schools, prospective education etc.) and I had learned a lot about this to help parents since 2007. Parents need options when the school absolutely refuses to give their child an appropriate education.
3. Since 2007 I had become much more educated about Section 504, OCR, and the ADAAA—–and I wanted to share this info with parents to empower their advocacy! Also, since the due process procedure is so onerous parents can file OCR, FERPA or ADAAA complaints instead.
4. Many parents have questions about IEE’s and IEE’s at public expense and I wanted to make sure that these subjects were covered in an honest way. My new book includes one chapter on IEE’s and one Chapter on IEE’s at public expense—to include questions to ask evaluators, red flags to show that the parent should find a different evaluator etc. Also covered is ways to find a truly non-biased child friendly evaluator!
5. I wanted to encourage parents to use the dispute resolution processes such as state complaints, due process, OCR complaints and FERPA complaints. Many special education dragons put their foot down and absolutely refuse to listen to parents and give children needed services so understanding and understanding and using the dispute resolution processes can empower a parents advocacy!
6. I have been extremely touched by how much more difficult the special education fight has become for parents, since my children graduated several years ago! Special educators used to at least listen to parents, but I find now from other parents and even in my own advocacy that many educators refuse to listen to anything—independent evaluators and even quotes from federal and state law! It amazes me how bold and brazen many special educators are in denying and delaying needed services sometimes for many years.
7. Lastly I would like parents to know that they are not alone that many of us are fighting daily for the rights of children with disabilities! As parents it is your job to advocate for your child for as long as possible to ensure that they are prepared for adult living!
As a parent it is your job to advocate for your child’s education! While the fight has become harder, with honest advocacy information and your assertive/persistent advocacy it is my belief that you can prevail for your child’s educational benefit! Good luck!