Help Your Child Now! Maureen Dempsey (760) 479-1851

  • NSEAI CertificationBoard Certified
    Educational Advocate

  • Fellow of the National Special Education Advocacy Institute

Determine Need for Advocate

Responding affirmatively to some of these questions may help you identify areas where the expertise of an Educational Advocate can help your child.
Problems can be solved!

Eligibility for Section 504/Special Education:

  • Have you been told you child's grades are too high for an IEP/504 Plan?
  • Have you been told that your child needs to be a least two years behind academically to qualify?
  • Have you been told, "This is a Charter/Magnet school, we don't do IEPs/504s!"?
  • Have you been told you need to get a medical diagnosis for an IEP/504 Plan?
  • Has the school district refused to assess your child for eligibility under either Section 504 or Special Education ( IDEA)?
  • Has the school District said they cannot assess your child for Special Education/ Section 504 until they have first tried a Response to Intervention? (RTI)
  • Has the school district or teacher said,"Your child is fine. They'll catch up if you pay for private tutoring."?
  • Have you been told, "Dyslexia isn't a learning disability that we recognize here."?
  • Has it been suggested that your child's problems at school are the result of poor parenting skills and not the result of a disabilty?

IEP / Section 504 Meetings

  • Do you feel as though you are not treated as an equal at the IEP/504 meeting?
  • Do members of the IEP/504 team talk down to you as though you don't have any knowledge and blindly ask you to trust them?
  • Is there a clear difference between what the team is recommending and you opinion of what your child needs?
  • Is it difficult to obtain copies of the reports/assessments/draft IEP well in advance of the meeting so that you can come prepared?
  • Are you having trouble understanding the IEP/504 process and specific timelines?
  • Do you feel intimidated by the school, scared to speak up at meetings because they will hold it against you and your child?
  • Is it difficult for you to get your point across at IEP/504 meetings because you get emotional?
  • Do you feel your child is not making meaningful progress in their current program or towards their IEP goals?
  • Does your child need tutoring?
  • Do you walk away from a 504/IEP meeting feeling dissatisfied with the outcome?
  • Have you been told that a Behavior Support Pan is only for kids who misbehave?
  • Has the school district said, "We can't do that!"?
  • Do you feel at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding the "lingo" of Special Education or Section 504?
  • Have you been told that the IEP team cannot authorize a service for your child?
  • Have you been told that your comments weren't added to Parent Concerns on the IEP because the school district disagrees with them?
  • Have you felt pressured to sign the IEP/504 as soon as possible?

Assessments and Evaluations:

  • Are you unclear about the types of tests the school will administer to your child and for what reason?
  • Are you unsure of how to interpret school evaluations, progress reports and other data and how it applies to your child?
  • Does your child exhibit behaviors at school that impact his/her learning and you feel the school district have not tried everything they can to help?
  • Do you believe that your child could benefit educationally from more services or accommodations at school?


  • Is it difficult to communicate with your child's case manager?
  • Is the school refusing to speak with you unless at a formal meeting?
  • Do you feel "in the dark" about what's happening at school?
  • Do you email or call the school regularly regarding your child?
  • Are there many different people reporting to you?
  • Is communication becoming negative?