If I periodically remind my son's IEP committee that we're all on the same team, I find that he's more likely to get the services he needs - and I'm more likely to get answers to my questions. When there's a gap between what my child needs and what the school offers, I say, "I'm not drawing the same conclusions. Would you please explain why it must be done (or not done) that way?" At the end of every meeting, I'm always careful to thank all those who have worked with my child.
It's also important that we teach our children to advocate for themselves. In class, they can say, "I need a quick break to move around. May I deliver something to the office for you?" Teachers often respond better to such requests when they come from students rather than from their parents.
- Jackie, Virginia