My name is Craig, and I am one of the faces of this group. There are several of us working together as a team, and individually, to help families involved in any level of special education because of their child or children.
The group is forming and we will be introducing ourselves as time goes on. Three of us have been advocates, we have a lawyer on the team for our consulting, or yours, we have a current assistant superintendent for student services for a medium size school district, and some other support.
I personally have been advocating for severely disabled students for twenty-one years. Not all of that professionally … I have two severely disabled children. I learned about advocacy the hard way, on my own. In the beginning there was no one to hire, to consult with. Even the school district was new to special education, they had sent all the special needs students to another district. It was the year my daughter started that they brought it back. I have been helping other families for several years, have studied the laws, and have the backing of our own school district’s administration for advocating with the districts other families! That is the best endorsement I can have, they know I know the law, they know I know how to work with them, and they know I will not stop until everyone has a fair deal and what the child needs. But it is with mutual respect, and being right.
I will be blogging on when and why you need an advocate. On how to best prepare yourself (and your child) for the road ahead, how to make sure your child gets the legally required “free appropriate public education” (and what that even means), and how to navigate this new, and often difficult, path you are on.
It does not need to be difficult. You do not need to be alone. Let us guide you, stand next to you, and stand up for you when needed. Your child deserves no less.