Help Your Child Now! Maureen Dempsey (760) 479-1851
Board Certified Educational Advocate
Fellow of the National Special Education Advocacy Institute
What Parents Should Know
By the time you are thinking about hiring an advocate you have either had your child in special education for several years and are frustrated with the attitude and lack of appropriate services for your child, or you have a newly diagnosed child with a disability and do not understand how to navigate the special education process and the regulations and protocols associate with it.
You may have also attended IEP, 504, or SST meetings and felt intimidated and emotionally drained. You may have accepted the decisions of others even when you disagreed or wanted a different outcome for your child.
An experienced Advocate can assist you in understanding programming possibilities that are offered by your school district, articulate your concerns, develop an appropriate IEP /504 Plan to meet your child's unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.
Select a trained, experienced advocate who stays current in the field by receiving updated training and education through workshops, conferences, and continuing education programs. Select an advocate with special education experience. Experienced advocates can often help you obtain the educational services your child needs. Advocates have specific skills and knowledge about evaluations, various disabilities, IEPs, educational negotiations, behavioral supports and discipline, document management, fact investigations, and other areas. They should know and understand IDEA and other laws/regulations affecting the education of students with disabilities.
Select an advocate who understands your child. Your advocate should be able to explain to you how your child's disability will affect him or her at school. Advocates are not diagnosticians and they are not educational evaluators. A working knowledge of your child's disability, or a willingness to become educated about your child's disability, is a quality a good advocate should have.