Your Role As A Parent In Advocating for Your Child With Challenges
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Presently, your child is likely playing on an uneven playing field at school.
If your child is struggling at school, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) may provide you with the federal right to seek an evaluation for your child who has the right to a “fair and appropriate education.”
The definition is intentionally vague; however, a struggling child is entitled to a formal assessment designed to identify challenges and to point the way toward appropriate accommodations.
The school testing and accommodations process is a complicated one, and most parents do not have the time needed to fully understand it.
It is part educational, part procedural, and part legal.
In order to receive a formal diagnosis for accommodations in school, your child must meet the criteria for symptoms outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
An effective diagnosis will use information from multiple sources: parents, teachers, the child him/herself.
It involves completing checklists, and medical evaluation (including vision and hearing screenings) to rule out other medical problems, and your child’s ability to tolerate any potential medications.
With testing successfully in place, your child will have a set of legally binding safeguards that will provide accommodations for the rest of his/her school career.
DO NOT VIEW YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AS NECESSARILY YOUR ALLIES.
MANY WILL PUT THE SCHOOL’S NEEDS BEFORE THOSE OF YOUR CHILD.
This is where your partnership with your advocate/coach is so vital. Your coach is your mentor, guiding you step-by step through a process scattered with landmines that can upend your child’s chances of the support he needs and deserves.
Our process has 49 steps from start to end, and multiple extra steps once an educational diagnosis has been made.
Do not go this alone! Learn how to be your child’s best advocate for the long-term.