ADVOCACY

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Whether you’re a parent who is new to special education and advocacy, or a parent who has become acquainted with the process and procedures, TECA is here to help you to advocate for your twice-exceptional child.

The Basics

Although gifted education mandates vary from state to state, twice exceptional children cannot be denied special education services for their areas of challenge or deficit, regardless of their strengths and ability.  In the United States, federal law states that FAPE applies to all students nationwide.

What is FAPE?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that all children with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). All eligible students with disabilities will be educated at public expense (at no cost to the parents) and are entitled to an education that is individualized to meet their academic, social and emotional needs.

Students with learning disabilities have the right to be educated in a public school setting or in a private setting under the supervision, and in many cases at the expense, of a public school/district. Qualifying students will receive an education that includes services as outlined in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

What is an IEP?

An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is a legal document that:

(A) Describes your child’s learning needs.

(B) Identifies areas of strength and difficulty.

(C) Outlines services to be provided by the school.

(D) Provides a description of how progress towards goals will be measured.

What does LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) mean?

As required by federal law, students with disabilities receive their education, to the maximum extent appropriate, with non-disabled peers. Special education students will not be removed from regular classes unless, even with supplemental services, education in regular classes cannot be satisfactorily achieved.

If you believe that your child is struggling academically, socially or emotionally, you may initiate the IEP process at any time by sending a written request to your school district’s special education chairperson.

Target

Although many issues can be addressed and resolved between parents and school personnel,
sometimes outside intervention is necessary.

TECA can refer you to a certified Parent Advocate who can advise you as you collaborate with your school district for services for your child. TECA Parent Advocates have experience participating in district meetings held by the Committee on Special Education, both personally, on behalf of their own children, and professionally. From reviewing and helping you organize your documentation to running an IEP pre-game strategy meeting to attending and taking notes at meetings, TECA Parent Advocates help ensure that you are prepared for meetings (including IEP meetings) and that you can effectively advocate for your child’s needs.

TECA Parent Advocates are independent contractors who charge for their services and will negotiate fees based on your individual situation. TECA members are eligible for a discounted rate. For more information please contact us.

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