Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of special education laws as a reference? If it were only that simple, right? Special education is complicated and so many laws are applicable. The problem is most parents don’t know anything about special education law or where to start.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW
Just reflect on that first IEP meeting. I remember it well. I did not understand about 80% of what they were talking about. They used all these words I had never heard before. They just told me how it was and what they planned to do and I trusted them. That worked in our first school but when we changed schools, I realized how much not understanding what was going on in those meetings was hurting me and ultimately my child. I came to the conclusion that I really knew nothing about IEPs and what was going on. I really had no idea how much I didn’t know, especially about special education laws.
GETTING SPECIAL EDUCATION HELP
When parents hire me as an advocate, I not only represent them in meetings, but I make educating them about the special education process and related laws a priority. As we encounter different situations, I share legal references and resources to increase their knowledge. The system is strongly stacked against parents if they don’t understand their rights and the law. Did you ever think you would need a law degree just to get your child an education? Well, I didn’t, but here I am always studying laws to advocate for my own child and children of my clients.
While some parents are not ready to work with an advocate, they still want to learn as much as possible about special education laws and their rights. I truly support this and by providing lists, special education resources and information about laws, I can help parents learn more. It’s my goal to have all parents be able to advocate independently for their child.
LIST OF TOP SPECIAL EDUCATION LAWS
Some of the same laws come up very regularly when advocating for my clients. Since there are so many special education regulations it can be overwhelming. This gave me the idea to compile a list of very common special education laws that parents should learn about. Knowing these laws will help you advocate better for your child in your next IEP meeting.
MORE ABOUT SPECIAL EDUCATION LAWS
There are both federal and state laws for special education. State laws will supersede federal laws, but you need to learn about both. Federal laws are governed by IDEA. Michigan’s state laws are governed by MARSE. When you have questions, these links should be where you go for information.
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Since I can’t be at every IEP meeting with every parent, I want to continue to provide valuable resources to help with advocacy. As a parent, you need to question things that you don’t understand or that don’t make sense. Usually if something doesn’t seem right, your intuition is correct. Don’t go to your next IEP meeting unarmed and unprepared. Continue to seek information to help you fight for your child. If you need guidance, support or representation for your child’s 504 plan or IEP, contact me!
Keep advocating like a mother!