Often times, I'm called in as a parent's last resort before legal counsel. It's my job to repair the communication breakdown by ensuring the individualized education plan (IEP)/504 Plan/Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is specific to the child's needs. I take great care in meeting and observing a child before I take a case to ensure we have the resources that child needs.
Advocates have a reputation for demanding curriculum when its simply a modification in the approach due to a lack of understanding of the child and/or their disability. However, many times asking for the curriculum doesn't solve the problem because a solution isn't readily available or one-size-fits-all.
I work with Special Education Directors and have gone into the classroom and have had the opportunity to provide holistic solutions for the child's, teacher's, and school's success. By building a collaborative, comprehensive solution we ensure all stakeholders can achieve their goals.
As a special education teacher, I'm a unique advocate because I advocate for the child and not the family. I have had occasion to provide coaching to families on how to best manage their child and their disability/needs. When everyone is working together, we achieve incredible results toward a child's educational success, social/emotional well being, and increased independence.
Educational success is critical, but so is ensuring a child can make healthy connections with their peers. We have many options available to help the "whole" child.
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