April is Autism Awareness Month!
If you type “Autism” in the top of this blog’s search bar, you’ll find all sorts of helpful resources for parents with children that are autistic. For this month we are looking for your contributions on the subject! If you are a trainer, staff person or parent working or living with someone with Autism or hosting / know of a community event supporting awareness for this month, please submit your story or the information (please include photos, logos, or flyers you want included as well as your Twitter handle if available) and we will share it free of charge for the month of April! Email all submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
You know that pamphlet of really tiny writing that you always get at a meeting or sent to you in the mail…..those are your Parental Rights, you need to read them! Every state has them posted on their Department of Special Education website, download them if you threw them out or ask for another copy. This gives you the answers to many of your questions. This tells you what you are afforded under Federal & State educational law. Reading this information will make you a better advocate for your child.
Every time I attend a PPT for a family member or a client, I read these Procedural Safeguards because I want to make sure I know exactly what my loved one or student has the right to receive and what the parent is entitled to ask for.
Outlined in these packets include:
-Explanation of IEP
-Explanation of Testing procedures (timelines, consent, initial evaluation vs. re-eval, etc.)
-Explanation of Special Education services
-Explanation of Due Process (legal process or action you can take if you disagree with the school)
-Explanation if you disagree with school testing and your right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
-Explanation of suspension/expulsion for students with IEPs.
-Explanation of Seclusion/Restraint policy
Again, it is your responsibility to be informed of what your rights are as a parent of a child who receives Special Education services. Be responsible. Read your Parental Rights and always keeps copies of your child’s educational records (IEPs, progress reports, report cards or evaluations). I highly recommend every parent keep a file and organize it by year so that if you ever need to refer to it or if you ever find yourself in a legal battle with your school system, you want to make sure you have all the necessary documents. If you are missing something, ask you school. It is your right to make a formal request of educational records from the school district at any time.
Here is an interesting article I recently found written by an educational attorney regarding when parents question the services their child is receiving in schools. Hope you find it helpful.
Jodi L. Everone, M.S., CCC-SLP