What’s New

Do you have the right to request an IEP Meeting at any time? You may be surprised to learn that this right is not explicitly mentioned in IDEA. So where do you turn if your school tells you that you are entitled to only one Team meeting a year? Read our latest article, What Gives Parents the Right to Request a Team Meeting, to find out, (9/16/2018)

Your child is on an IEP, but is the school following it? A new study, published in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, raises some disturbing questions that parents need to understand and be prepared to address. Read Is the School Following Your Child’s IEP? to find out more. (7/1/2018)

What rights do students on IEPs have to participate in sports activities? Read about a dispute between a special education student and the state athletic association over his eligibility to play football in our article: Athletics and IDEA. (6/3/2018)

The website is back up. You may have noticed that this past weekend, our website was unavailable. This happened when a plugin update crashed the system. We are grateful for the help of the person who initially set up our site for restoring things (that’s you Trevor!). Currently, we are considering whether to reinstall the offending plugin, which allows you to share our blog posts, or leave well enough alone! (5/14/2018) 

How can you find an outside professional who has the freedom to write objective evaluation reports and advocate for your child? Read about possible conflicts of interest for outside professionals and how to find one who is truly independent in Conflicts of Interest: Part 2 – Outside Professionals. (3/3/2018)

School personnel are often faced with a difficult situation: Do they advocate for a student who may need expensive services, knowing that there may be personal consequences for their advocacy? The real client of any school employee working with your child may actually be the school district, not you or your child. Read about these potential problems in Conflicts of Interest: Part I – Schools. (2/6/2018)

Texas Update: While the state of Texas removed the illegal “cap” on the number of students to whom it would provide services, it still lags far behind the rest of the nation in identifying those who should be eligible. See Texas Update… Not So Great. (12/3/2017)

Thanks for all the support! This past week, the Parents Have the Power to Make Special Education Work website had over 18 thousand visitors and over 20 thousand page views, an all time record. Visitors came from all fifty states and 58 foreign countries, indicating the importance of, and interest in, accurate information about special education. (11/16/2017)

Between 2004 and 2017, the state of Texas managed to keep a quarter of a million children with disabilities from receiving special education services. Read how they did it and what the implications are for every child in America who has learning disabilities in our article Gatekeeping: Texas Style. (7/3/2017)

The vision statement is one of the most important and overlooked parts of the IEP. It serves as a guide for developing special education services and goals that will help your child throughout his or her remaining school years, and ultimately, life after graduation. Read about how you can help your Team in Writing a Strong Vision Statement. (6/19/2017)

Read our guest blog by attorney Robert Crabtree, on his acceptance of the Diane Lipton Award for Outstanding Advocacy from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. This title of his presentation was: “Advocating over the Long Haul: Handling Stress and Staying in the Game.” (3/23/2017)

In breaking news, the US Supreme Court today raised the standard for the education of children in special education. In a unanimous decision, the court wrote that a child’s “educational program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances” and that “every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives.” This is some of the best news for parents with children in special education that we have seen in a long time. (3/22/2017)

Education is the foundation of a productive and fulfilling life. But what happens when a child with disabilities is denied an appropriate education? We explore this topic in our latest article, The Tragedy of an Inappropriate Education. See what we mean when we write that society has an obligation to educate children of all abilities! (2/22/2017)

IEP goals that are only vague statements of what the IEP Team would like a student to be rather than define a path toward a specific accomplishment don’t provide guidance as to how the student is going to accomplish that goal. Read more about this all too common problem in our blog article: Avoid “Feel Good” Goals. (1/10/2017)

Your Team members may be fond of you and your child, but their decisions about your child’s education can be controlled more by the school budget than your child’s needs. Read more about why you should regard Team meetings as a business negotiation rather than a confrontation in our article: Have a Business Relationship With Your Team, Not an Emotional One. (11/27/16)

We gave a presentation on Writing Effective IEP Goals for Special Education Surrogate Parents, Foster Parents, teachers, and social workers at the Making a Difference Conference in Marlboro, MA on November 15. See pictures and a write up on our events page. (11/20/16)

The Early Childhood Education Degrees website has endorsed Parents Have the Power to Make Special Education Work as one of the 50 Best Books on Special Education, writing: “…this is one of the most powerful books on your bookshelf.” You can find out more about this worthwhile group and read their full review by clicking on the links above. (7/26/16)

Exceptional Parent Magazine is featuring our article, “8 Special Education Evaluation Essentials,” on the cover of their annual “Back to School” issue for September. We are very excited by this honor and hope that the information in our article will benefit the many parents who read it. If you are not a subscriber to this excellent publication, you can sign up for a free preview at this EP Logo