Schools and parents of special needs kiddos can often be a frustrating experience. I have spoken to a couple of my special needs families and here is my advice to you on what you can do to better the experience.
If possible, try and make your kiddos teachers your ally. If you make them care about your child and give them reason to like you they are going to be much more inclined to push and fight for your child’s best interest as well. Also, it would be good to speak to someone who is going to be there with you at your individual education plan meeting before the occasion arises. Once again having allies at this time is very helpful for your case.
During the meeting, be sure to ask questions and make your self more then just a face in the crowd. The key is to MAKE them care about you. Sad stories isn’t going to work here, but showing who you are and that your kid is unique and cant just plug into the “standard plan” is what you need to bring to the table.
Ask them what CAN they provide for your child. School boards are very dollar focused, making demands of what your kid needs over what the other kids have isn’t going to win you any points. See what is feasible and possibly try and bring some cost affective solutions to the table. The thing is is that there is more then just you at this meeting, your needs don’t go above the “good of the schools” needs and you need to approach it in that way. Unless you have a pocket full of cash and good lawyers on stand by, fighting may just not be an option for you. So going the “nice” route would probably work out best for the time being.
If the school and teachers are definitely NOT your ally and going against you every step of the way then you need to provide proper evidence of them not being able to support your child’s fundamental needs. Proof of abuse or neglect would be highly effective if you have it. Then of course comes the fighting for your child to follow.
But for those going the nice route, you need to keep in mind that this is a process. Not everything is going to be solved in this one meeting, there will be more and hopefully you will in the long run get what’s best for your child.
Good Luck! 🙂