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Linda S. Buchanan, M.Ed.  
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When Do You Need An Advocate
Research shows that there is no better advoicate for a child than his parents. Special Education law is a complex field and there will be times when you need help.

  • You need an advocate when you have an M-team meeting scheduled soon and you are concerned that the school district will not provide the services you believe your child needs.
  • Your child's school district has not properly identified his disability, therefore, he is not making progress.
  • Your child has an IEP that her school is not following.
  • You want to place your child in an appropriate special day school because your child is not benefitting from the public school setting and your school system refuses to pay for the private school.
  • Anytime you feel that your child isn't receiving a free, appropriate public education despite your best efforts to communicate your concerns to the school district.

How To Select An Advocate
A parent has the right to bring anyone they choose to an M-team meeting. This may include your child's therapist, a former teacher, or a supportive friend who knows your child. It can also include an attorney or a non-lawyer advocate. If you are dealing with issues which were not resolved at an M-team meeting, it may be even more important to have someone assist you.

Unfortunately, most state and federally funded advocacy groups often hire staff with very little experience in special education law.


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