8 Tactics School Districts Use to Prevent Parents From Winning Special Education Disputes!

Are you the parent of a child with autism or a learning disability receiving special education services? Are you new to the special education arena and would like to be educated on some tactics to look for? This article will be discussing 8 tactics used by some special education personnel, to prevent parents from being equal participants in their child’s education.Tactic 1: Intimidation, bullying and lying! Some special education personnel try very hard to be intimidating, so that parents will not fight for services for their children! Intimidation could be loud voices, threats, condescending to the parent, or making the parent feel inadequate or uncomfortable!Tactic 2: All of the above; but with a smile on their face! It absolutely gets me when a special education person opens their mouth and states something not truthful, when they are smiling! I wonder if they think that the lie will not be realized by the parent, due to their facial expressionsTactic 3: Quoting laws that do not exist, to make it seem like they have more power than they do! As an educational advocate and parent I have seen this many times myself. Example: Mrs. Jones the law allows us to not give services to children if we run out of money (not true)! Or Mrs. Jones the law says that we can suspend your child for as long as we want to due to their behavior (not true)!Tactic 4: I have heard from many parents that their special education personnel have actually changed educational records so that they could win a dispute with the parent! What I have seen is records added to a child’s file (that the parent did not know about) to document things that have happened. This is why it is critical that parents get copies of their child’s entire educational record (especially during a dispute) and keep it for future reference. If you end up in due process with your school district check all records that they are using to make sure that they match the records that you have!Tactic 5: Refusing to identify, and accept disabilities in a child that make them eligible for special education services. Many parents must get independent evaluations (at their own expense) to prove that their child actually has a disability, and is eligible for special education services!Tactic 6: Misinterpreting test data to show that the child does not need special education services! I have heard many special education personnel state that they do not believe low test scores and that the child does not need services because of their low test scores. This is untrue; whenever a standardized test shows that the child is below their age and grade appropriate peers in an area, the child should receive special education services so that they can make progress in their education.Tactic 7: Use delay or deny tactics. A lot of special education personnel try and delay the parents request for special education and related services. They may ignore parents request for testing for eligibility, or just use any tactic available to delay the request! When delay no longer works many personnel just say no; which is of course is denial! Stand up to these tactics by documenting all requests in writing!Tactic 8 (this happens to be my favorite): Exaggerate or make up discipline problems so that they can change the child’s label or placement! Some school districts want to put Emotionally Disordered or Behaviorally Disordered labels on children so that they can put them in alternative placements, and deny needed special education services.Parents need to keep the focus on the child’s academic and educational needs, and not give in to school districts focus on behavior only. If a child is struggling academically it may show in their behavior!By understanding these tactics you will be on your way to being an effective advocate for your child! They are depending on you!

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