Parents, however, may have to strongly advocate to ensure that their child’s rights are met at school. It is the parent’s right and responsibility to see that their child has an appropriate educational program, and it is certainly acceptable for parents to advocate for their child.A parent’s relationship with the school/ school board is not a social relationship. It is a business/legal relationship with the goal of getting the most appropriate education for your child.
Most effective parent advocates share a combination of important knowledge and skills:
• An understanding of special education regulations and rules
• An understanding of special education law
• A sense of what I call procedural advocacy – how to act and conduct yourself in your interactions with schools.
• A realistic sense of what they want and how to work with staff to achieve their goals.
In the course of the next months we will explore all four of these skills in some detail. We will start with basic regulatory right all children with learning needs have in Ontario.
“No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to get my child’s teacher to understand who my daughter was…
“How do I work with my child’s school?
Where can I find information about what my child has a right to?
“I don’t understand why I have to go through the same process year after year.
“All I want is the best for my child!”
“When I’m on my way to a meeting at the school I feel a tightness in an throat as I run through my head how the meeting will go”
Advocacy is about securing, protecting and advancing the rights of one’s self or others. Special education students have rights codified in Ontario Ministry Of Education regulations and the Ontario Human Rights Code and further developed in Court and Tribunal Decisions.
I taught a workshop in the durum region on Saturday and came across a form that was functioning as an IPO see statement of decision that literally had no space for a list of strengths and needs as it is mandated in the regulations provincially. I’m sure at the end of the day there is an explanation for this but it is curious that a board generated Form would miss this.
For the record, for an IPRC to be an I PRC there has to be a discussion of strengths and needs and the statement of decision given to the parent must include a list of strengths and needs, the rationale being that how could a parent agree to a placement or exceptionality if there was not sufficient clarity of their child’s strengths and needs.
Recently I’ve had some profound phone/tech issues and have realized that I have missed attempts to contact me over the past few weeks. My tech problems are solved and I am asking that if you need to get hold of me regarding advocacy matters just reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 9059066021