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What Is An Advocate?

You may be thinking about hiring a special education advocate to help your child get the services he needs in school. Knowing what an advocate can do for you is the first step.

Special Education Advocate

  • Represents the best interests of the special needs child.

  • Can help deescalate contentious relationships between parents and educators.

  • Has a working-knowledge of State and Federal laws governing special education.

  • Helps parents understand and enforce their rights.

  • Conducts a client interview and reviews the student's complete file before the meeting.

  • Will research a specific legal issue or case, if needed.

  • Drafts letters and other written requests to district officials.

  • Prepares parents for the IEP or 504 meeting.

  • Accompanies parents to meetings and provides emotional support.

  • Helps parents effectively communicate their concerns.

  • Suggests appropriate goals, services, accommodations, modifications and placement to meet the student’s individual needs.

  • Helps to secure appropriate eligibility, services, accommodations, modifications or placement.

  • Helps interpret reports and explain their significance.

  • Reviews IEP documents before you sign them.

  • Drafts formal complaints to the state department of education or office of civil rights and attend mediation.

  • Empowers families by helping parents and students develop their own advocacy skills.