As a parent, you will agree that the special education and IEP procedures are quite stressful. In such cases, special education advocate and disability rights come in handy as they can offer you guidance as you seek services that best suit your child. Here are guidelines that you should bear in mind when looking for the right special education advocate.
It is vital to have reasons that propel you to looking for a special education advocate and disability rights. You should know the type of problems that you are facing in your child's educational experience. Assessing the problems will guide you on the potential advocates who are capable of resolving them. Regardless of the situation, you are in, it is vital to have a clear idea of why you should have an advocate. At the same time, you should know that not all situations will need assistance from an advocate, you might need to seek legal help from a lawyer.
You should also have a list of priorities you cannot afford to compromise. It is vital to look for an advocate who has an understanding of the local policies relating to special education. Also, the advocate of your choice should have good relationships and connections with notable individuals in local schools. Most importantly, they should be capable of solving the problems you are facing; you should be as specific as possible. a reliable advocate is one who is willing to help you understand the child's evaluation process and can be present during the IEP meeting with you.
You should also come up with a list of all the potential advocates. The easiest way to make the list is by looking for recommendations from parents, families, friends, specialists, and teachers. to be on the safer side, as them the reasons why they think the recommended advocate is the right one for you. You should understand that the fact that a particular advocate was excellent in a particular case cannot make them the right option for you and your child.
Using your list of potential advocates, schedule an interview with each of them. While interviewing them, get to know their training, experience, qualifications and whether they are certified by the relevant bodies and the state. The advocate of your choice should be one who has all the skills needed to solve the issues at hand. Also, ask them to give a proposed plan of what they will do, the fee they require and the services you are guaranteed to receive through the fee. Check on their willingness to inform you of every step they make. Also, go for one whom you can trust and freely hold conversations.
Cost is a crucial factor. As much as hiring an advocate is costly, you should never ignore the chances of getting less expensive options or discounts. If the prices are way above what you can afford, consider looking for an advocate who is charging a lower fee. Choose an advocate who has a negotiable fee. However, the price should never be the major factor to consider when selecting the right special education advocate.
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