Advocacy and Learning Disabilities
The need for Human Services professionals to assist parents in advocating for their children to receive appropriate services and to assist in the process has become a necessary task. This paper will discuss the role of the advocate in assisting parents through the difficult process of an IEP and to ensure that the child receives the services and resources needed at the school. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities (IDEA, 2004). Since most parents are not familiar with any of the laws this places more pressure on parents to fight for the needs of their children, and may always requires assistance from an advocate. The IDEA process follows a child through graduation; therefore, making certain the process is done fairly, the parents are then told that they may request an advocate if needed (IDEA, 2004). Advocates
Advocates are helpful to parents and guardians who have a child with disabilities as they attempt to find their way around the complicated system. Advocates will ensure that the proper services and resources are readily available to meet the goals and needs of the child with the disability or special needs. An advocate will first assist the parents in obtaining any written statements from the child’s file and will try to gain access to the student records. The parents have the right to review the records under the law (IDEA, 2004). Schools are rarely compliant; therefore, the advocate will help the parent to write letters to achieve the best results. When the advocate has the records, then both advocate and parents can review them to see if anything might be missing. As the informed person, the...
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