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Part 2: Working with the School District

If at all possible, you don’t want to be involved in a legal process. From the beginning, form the habit of working well with your child’s teachers and administration. Most people go into teaching because they want to help children, not because they hate them. Having a good relationship with your child’s teachers and administrators will help you solve problems early. Read the Wrights’ book, From Emotions to Advocacy. You may be able to resolve problems at an early stage on your own.

If you are having problems with what the school is doing, try to work with your school’s administration, or the school district’s Special Education Director. This may be successful, especially if you have built a good relationship.

Document everything carefully. If you have to make a formal complaint later, it is much easier to win a legal complaint if you have good documentation. Understand what you do and don’t have a right to ask for, by doing your background research or consulting with a legal professional. 

Keep pleasant, even when you are frustrated. If school personnel perceive you as obnoxious, they are likely to penalize your child for it, consciously or unconsciously. Even when you are frustrated, never be disrespectful. If you are helpful and supportive, you are more likely to be able to negotiate an acceptable solution. 

If the school doesn’t seem to want to play nicely in the sandbox, what are your options?

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