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professional advocates


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Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 1
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Posted Jan 09, 2008 at 11:18:03 AM
Subject: professional advocates

Has anyone used a professional advocate from outside the school system ? My grandson who is fifteen and severely dyslexic is having an even worse time now he is in high school. His parents are at their wits end and are considering hiring an advocate. Any observations ? Thanks.

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Jan 09, 2008 7:11:28 PM

I paid for an educational advocate and it was worth every penny. Sometimes having that "outside professional" can really help turn things around in a meeting.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 265

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Posted:Jan 10, 2008 1:00:46 AM

Here's a link to help you with finding one.

http://www.copaa.org/find/index.php

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cissie
Joined Apr 18, 2008
Posts: 5

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Posted:Apr 19, 2008 9:46:00 PM

I hired an advocate for my 1st grade son and it was well worth it. As soon as I informed the school that I wanted to record the meeting and that I was going to have an advocate present the number of people invited to the mtg. went from six to fourteen. The District's Special Ed Administrator tabled the first meeting because she said they didn't have a leg to stand on. The school was given less than one week to honor my request for a full evaluation and present the results. They were also ordered to provide a one on one para for my son until all evaluations, results and a new IEP was written.

My life was a living nightmere prior to hiring an advocate. Unfortunately some teachers, principals, etc. have a tendency to make parents and children with special needs feel inferior. My son was suspended in and out of school 15 times for petty things from Sept. 5 thru Dec. 21, 2007. Accommodation/modifications that were written in his IEP were ignored. He was not permitted to use the restroom outside the classroom for 2 1/2 months. Once he actually had an accident because he couldn't hold it. His teachers informed me that he deliberately wet himself.

All I can say is thank God for advocates!!! We met for five days (approximately 20 hrs.). His IEP was rewritten, he has a one on one para, a BIP was implemented, he's permitted to take a walk or go to the gym whenever he's feeling a little too antsy,etc. My sons teachers, the principal and assistant principal are pleasant and more respectful now.

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Apr 20, 2008 3:04:31 AM

I agree with the others. It is SOOOOOO worth every penny.

The thing is, it's all about power and control in most cases. I brought a private therapist/LD specialist, so they brought in their meanest, bitchiest program specialist (please excuse my language), so I hired an advocate, then they brought in an extra program specialist AND the special ed director. That is standard operating procedure, however, that she attend IEPs with advocates. There is a reason for that rule. The reason I say it is about control and power is because something happened at one of our meetings. We wanted to agree to one part of the IEP, which was an increase in services, but we did not agree to all parts, so the advocate started writing on the IEP signature page "Parents consent to..." and the program specialist told her "you can't write on that. Only the parents can write on that." and she looked right at her and said "I'm representing the parents." Another incident was when my advocate interrupted the Spec Ed Dir and she said to the advocate "excuse me, you're interrupting me" and my advocate said to her "you've interrupted me several times". Then finally, at the last meeting (yes, there were several) the advocate was once again writing on the IEP "parents neither agree nor disagree to the notes." and the special ed dir once again got upset saying "this is a lie. The parents heard us read the notes and we made changes per their request. You can't write this." and she stood her ground saying "I can write that and I write it all the time." I was trying to smooth things over a bit at times, but then I realized that it's like 2 male cats marking their territory. Whoever backs down first, loses and by trying to intimidate us they are trying to make us back down so that they can maintain control.

The other thing is once you hire the advocate and get what you want for your grandson, you can keep the IEP as it is until he graduates from high school. So, it might be a bit expensive, but it's not someone you need to hire on a monthly basis. Get the IEP the way you want it and you never have to change it. Once he gets accomodations or modifications or the placement that you want, you'll be all set. They can never force you to change the IEP or drop it ever.

And, one thing I learned this year, depending on his disability he can qualify for special ed services in college if he wants to go to college. But you want to get that classification in high school if that's what you're looking for.

Kathryn

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mikethedj
Joined Jun 19, 2008
Posts: 19

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Posted:Jul 13, 2008 5:06:02 PM

I could use an advocate for college

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Jul 27, 2008 3:09:21 PM

beh, Mikethedj, i love ya honey, really i do.... I just want to say something and please don't take it wrong. You are a grown up. You need to learn the skill of advocating for yourself. They need to offer courses in this somewhere. But those of us with LD, truly NEED to learn this skill. No one is going to be there next to us through our entire lives to advocate for us with the waiter at the fancy restaurant that gave us pasta rather than fries to inform them we wanted fries with that or what ever.... Please understand when i say you don't need a professional advocate, you need lessons in self advocacy. I know you can do it.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Jul 27, 2008 3:09:28 PM

beh, Mikethedj, i love ya honey, really i do.... I just want to say something and please don't take it wrong. You are a grown up. You need to learn the skill of advocating for yourself. They need to offer courses in this somewhere. But those of us with LD, truly NEED to learn this skill. No one is going to be there next to us through our entire lives to advocate for us with the waiter at the fancy restaurant that gave us pasta rather than fries to inform them we wanted fries with that or what ever.... Please understand when i say you don't need a professional advocate, you need lessons in self advocacy. I know you can do it.

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Michele McCloud
Joined Jul 16, 2008
Posts: 3

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Posted:Jul 28, 2008 4:07:06 PM

I am a special ed. teacher and I highly recommend that you hire an advocate. You do need to advocate for yourself and your child, but some districts make CSE meetings intimidating and confusing for parents. I have seen it happen. I have worked with a few students who have had an advocate and it also helped me because they shared things that the parent forgot or didn't think was important. A team approach is the best way to go.

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