Advocacy Vs. Feelings of Defeat

By: Tammy Cyra, M.Ed

As a parent, it sure can be intimidating to hear all of the different unknown acronyms during an ARD meeting.

Having an advocate to assist in troubleshooting and bridging the line of communication is often key. It also helps to empower the parent and provide them with a sense of validation.

Often times, you see a shortage of staff throughout a variety of school districts when it comes to more time for inclusion support or within related services.

A conglomerate of excuses comes into play from the school administration as to why the district is unable to provide more time. This is not acceptable and an advocate will not tolerate it.

Unfortunately, this is often the common theme and by having an advocate, there can be a stop to it.

This is where an advocate can lay down the law and pave the way for the parent to receive more time in related services or inclusion support as it directly pertains to their child. The idea of a cookie cutter approach has to be eliminated.

The law states that every child needs to be in the least restrictive environment and why not provide that with supports that are going to set a child up for success. Therefore, having an IEP that allows any child to be successful in their instructional setting is key within the educational realm.

An advocate can help maneuver the road map to success within a school system.

If you are uncertain about whether or not your child might have a disability, contact a special education advocate to see what your next step might be.   The advocate is able to look at work samples, classroom observations, benchmark data, and other assessments to determine whether or not a child needs to be referred for special education testing.

As a parent, you have a lot of rights within a school setting. If you suspect something is not right, go with your gut feeling and contact a special education advocate. By doing so, it will put your mind at rest and allow you to ensure that your child is receiving the appropriate services necessary to thrive within their school setting.

Let’s work together to make this happen!


By: Tammy Cyra, M.Ed