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Related Services and Parent Training


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Joined: Feb 16, 2012
Posts: 6
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Posted Mar 06, 2012 at 1:33:55 PM
Subject: Related Services and Parent Training

My understanding is that IDEA has provisions to provide "Parent counseling and training (as a) means assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child;"

Does anyone have any experience in these types of services? What types of services are offered or should I ask about it? As a parent if I can educate myself more on the needs of my child I want to do so.

Thanks!

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 267

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Posted:Mar 06, 2012 11:25:07 PM

Look under the more resources section for the PTI information for your state:

http://nichcy.org/schoolage/qa-series-on-idea/qa2

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DRHD
Joined Apr 29, 2008
Posts: 135

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Posted:Mar 07, 2012 8:48:19 PM

Concerneddad,

Your recent posting is interesting. As you have described a requirement of IDEA in quotations please provide the specific subpart of the IDEA that includes this information.

I do not believe that IDEA requires parent counseling and/or training in matters pertinent to their child's disabilities. It has always been the intent within IDEA to involve parents in every decison step as it would pertain to a child's identification, evaluation, provisions of FAPE, and in confidentiality of records pertaining to a child.

States are encouraged by federal language to provide opportunities for parents to be genuinely involved and some states have developed varous formats for training parents in the special educaton process. Many local school districts have also developed parent resource centers to assist parents to understand the special education process. Please note that IDEA does not mandate or require this but does encourage parental involvement.

A related service is a service afforded a child with a disability who is eligible for special education services. A related service is not a service that is afforded to parents. What is provided to parents is an ongoing and high level of opportunity to exercise meaningful participaton and this would involve attending any/all discussions held on behalf of your child.

You are to be commended in your efforts to be an involved parent for your child. I would suggest to seek reliable informaton for those thngs you desire to understand. The school professionals that support your child would welcome your support.

I'm just curious, are you having a bad experience with your current school system? I sense the trust level may not have been satisfactorily achieved from your experience with your previous school system.

DRHD

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DRHD
Joined Apr 29, 2008
Posts: 135

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Posted:Mar 08, 2012 7:48:12 PM

Concerneddad,

The purpose of this message is to provide a correction to my earlier message to you. In fact, IDEA in Section 300.34, (c), (8) does have a provision to provide parent counseling and training to assist in the understanding of their child''s disability and the special education process. However, Congressional intent is intended not to be prescriptive to states or to local school divisions in this subsection.

Local school divisions have numerous resources to assist parents with any/all questions they may have with regard to the special education process and the unique characteristics of their child with a disability. These resources are available as needed and upon request as appropriate.

Congressional intent in this provision is to build bridges among school personnel and parents to be collaborators and partners in a very complex system of mandated procedures and requirements. Many school systems provide this type of assistance to parents upon request through printed media, parent meetings, parent resource centers, and through other effective opportunities for iformation.

Ths subsection is also a best practice provision of IDEA and once again is not prescriptive or incumbent to proactively make available. These services are always available and should be made available to further assist a parent when necessary. Many parents receive a substantial level of support from their child's IEP Case Manager, the Director /Supervisor of Special Education, and other pertinent school personnel like School Nurses, Guidance Counselors, School Social Workers, Speech Pathologists, and School Psychologists. Through these qualified persons, any parent would have at their disposal highly qualified expert assistance.

So please note, I wanted to acknowledge that you were correct with your question and finding within IDEA. However, one would need to understand the context upon which such a provision is available within the statutes. Parents know when they need help and school personnel are always willing to provide the assistance.

DRHD
[Modified by: DRHD on March 08, 2012 07:52 PM]

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 267

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Posted:Mar 08, 2012 10:50:23 PM

Also, you might want to check this link related to PTI for your state:

http://nichcy.org/families-community/states/

You might also want to look for Community Parent Resource Centers, also provided under IDEA. If thy have one for your state they are located on the same link below the PTI.


[Modified by: dhfl143 on March 08, 2012 10:54 PM]

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concerneddad
Joined Feb 16, 2012
Posts: 6

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Posted:Mar 09, 2012 9:00:42 AM

Thanks for the input - I'll share what I find as I explore more into the options.

I did find an interesting article I thought was worth sharing: http://thecoffeeklatch.com/parent-counseling-and-training-in-an-iep/

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concerneddad
Joined Feb 16, 2012
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Posted:Mar 09, 2012 9:08:38 AM

Another interesting blurb from Wrights Law:

Parent Counseling and Training

Parent counseling and training is an important related service that can help parents enhance the vital role they play in the lives of their children. When necessary to help an eligible student with a disability benefit from the educational program, parent counseling and training can include:

"Assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child;

Providing parents with information about child development; and

Helping parents to acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child's IEP or IFSP" [Individualized Family Service Plan]. [Section 300.24(b)(7)]

The last aspect---that of helping parents acquire necessary skills to support the implementation of their child's IEP or IFSP---is new in IDEA '97 and was added to:

...recognize the more active role acknowledged for parents...[as] very important participants in the education process for their children. Helping them gain the skills that will enable them to help their children meet the goals and objectives of their IEP or IFSP will be a positive change for parents, will assist in furthering the education of their children, and will aid the schools as it will create opportunities to build reinforcing relationships between each child's educational program and out-of-school learning. (U.S. Department of Education, 1999a, p. 12549)

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/relsvcs.indepth.htm

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DRHD
Joined Apr 29, 2008
Posts: 135

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Posted:Mar 09, 2012 7:26:25 PM

Concerneddad,

I read your responses and the purpose of this message is to further clarify the IDEA provision 300.34 (c)(8). The intent of this provision is that when appropriately determined and needed, parents of children with disabilities may need assistance in the understanding and enhance skills necessary to assist with the child's disability. Please note for emphasis is the language of this response "...when appropriately determined and needed.." This is the nexus of whether parent training and counseling may become a related service.

If you recall, I stated in an earlier message that special education and related services are exclusive to a child identified with a disability. One cannot receive a related service if there is not a need for special education. Therefore both the need for special education and a related service are determined only through the IEP process to achieve the requirements of FAPE and LRE and for the purpose of meaningful benefit to the child.

As for parent counseling and training, these are readily available in a variety of ways. Please note:

1) The parents may request of the school division to provide them with information, consultation time with selected qualified professionals on staff to explain the nuances of their child's disabilty or other concerns. These requests will likely be welcomed and made avalable. It's just best practice to help a parent and the right thing to do for the parent.

2) Parents may also seek the assistance from the school division's Parent Respurce Center if one is available for as much information that is possble. Parents may also attend as many seminars and training sessons made avalable by the various support groups that may also be available in your living area.

3) Finally, to the extent that a parent may contend that their need for counseling and training is so compelling to assist their child, this request may be considered and reviewed by the IEP Team. Please understand that that parent counseling and training would only become a provision within the IEP if the child's IEP Team determines that is is necessary for the child to receive FAPE. That is the nexus of parent counseling and training to be a related service. This is consistent with my earlier statement that only a child with a disability is eligible to receive special education and related services when deemed needed and appropriate. In my experience, I have had to address this particular issue only in cases where the need was so compelling that the parents were as much in need of assistance as their chld.

I have enjoyed our "conversaton" regarding this issue and I hope my responses have been helpful. You also mentoned Wright's Law in your message. I have had the opportunity over my career to have had conversations with Peter W.D. Wright of Wright's Law and I hold him in highest of esteem. He provides quality information on his website and through all of his publications.

Finally, I wish to reaffirm my earlier statement that IDEA and it's statutes and regulations are subject to a wide variety of interpretations by parents, advocates, attorneys, and the courts. At the end of the day and when all the dust has settled, one clear fact remains: IDEA is about the child and the child's right to receive an equitable and appropriate educational opportunity as their non-disabled peer. Until they reach the age of majority, you as a parent have a plethora of procedural safeguards to ensure that your child is afforded the full entitlements of what was intended by federal and state regulatons that govern special education programs and services for your child.

DRHD


[Modified by: DRHD on March 09, 2012 07:31 PM]

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 267

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Posted:Mar 11, 2012 9:44:17 PM

Thanks concerneddad for posting that article. It is a good read and has some excellent information to share with others.
[Modified by: dhfl143 on March 11, 2012 09:45 PM]

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