Would you like to learn about 3 important areas where you need
knowledge to effectively advocate for your child? Would you like
resources to find more information on these areas? If you are the
parent of a child with a disability, you need to have information in three different areas to help your child receive an appropriate education. This article will discuss these three areas, as well as give you easy to use resources.

Area 1: You must know the educational laws that will help your child receive an appropriate education. The laws are: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which is the federal law governing education for a child with a disability, your states law that must comply with IDEA, and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). IDEA can be downloaded at www.idea.ed.gov. The Web address for your state board of education can be found at www.google.com. Your state board of education's Web site should allow you to download your state regulations, or at least give you a phone number or address for your state board of education, so that you can get a copy.

Area 2: You must learn advocacy skills to help you learn how to
advocate effectively for your child. My book Disability Deception has advocacy techniques throughout the book. An organization that gives losts of helpful information is the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY); they can be found at www.nichcy.com.

Area 3: You must have knowledge about case law in special education that affects your child. For Example: if your child has behavioral issues, you should learn what due process and court rulings have already been made in this area. A wonderful organization that you should join is the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).

There is a small membership fee, but it is worth it. COPAA can be
found at www.copaa.org. COPAA has a membership area (after you join), where you can find case law, on many special education subjects. By learning these three areas, you will well be on your way to being an effective advocate for your child. It will take you time to learn about these three areas, but it will be worth it! Remember, your child's life is at stake!

Author's Bio: 

JoAnn Collins is the parent of two adults with disabilities, has been an educational advocate for over 15 years, an author, as well as a speaker. JoAnn teaches parents advocacy skills to overcome disability educator’s deceptions, and help their child receive an appropriate education. Her recently released book: Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parent’s Can Beat Them at Their Own Game helps parents develop skills to be an assertive and persistent advocate for their child. For a free E newsletter send an E mail to
JoAnn@disabilitydeception.com. Check out her Web site at: