The special education process provides critical rights for neurologically-impaired children. However, because these children are unique even among special education students, what was a complicated and intimidating process becomes exponentially more so for the families of these children. While normal ARD meetings last from 15 to 45 minutes, ARDs for these kids almost always take several hours. AFNIC attends ARDs with the parents and advocates for the rights and needs of the child. We understand the special education process, we are not intimidated, and we can bring a sense of objectivity that is hard to have when your own child is involved.
AFNIC’s philosophy is to work with the school, not against them. Although strong advocacy is often necessary, unless all involved, including the parents, have a mutual trusting and respectful relationship with the school, the child will not be served. We often tell parents that winning at a due process hearing does not help, because coercing a school to do something with these kids will almost never work; it is only when you convince them to adopt a particular approach that you will see success.
We constantly advocate against the zero-tolerance policy at school when it comes to these kids. That is, we know these kids will make mistakes, so we want the schools to cut them some slack. As you know personally, dealing with a neurologically-impaired child is extremely difficult. We as parents make mistakes too. Just as we want to cut the children some slack when they make mistakes, and just as the parents need to cut themselves some clack when they make mistakes, we need to cut the school some slack when they make mistakes.
We do provide advocacy services at ARD meetings by attending in person or by phone for members. These services can include reviewing your concerns and provided you with a clear understanding of your options, help get the special services needed, develop or revise a behavioral plan, help interpret IEP goal progress or lack of progress, help write new goals or correct existing goals so they are objectively measured, and help write correspondence on your behalf to the schools to express concern. We provide other advocacy services as needed.
If you would like to enquire about having us advocate for your child, please contact: Philip Ferrara, 972 264-7983 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, however, we do not provide any legal advice. If you seek legal advice, you will need to hire an attorney. If you would like to review what a lawyer who advocates for special education children says about the law, click on this image
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