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A Parent's Role

Step one: Review the information on Navigate Your School to make sure you approach all of your interactions with the school in a way that ensures clear communication, creates an opportunity to collaborate with educators, and minimizes the chance of misunderstandings. The steps in Navigate Your School also ensure you will be able to protect your child’s educational rights if you need to pursue a more formal means of resolving a disagreement.

Raising a child with a learning disability can feel lonely and overwhelming at times. Parents may find it stressful to navigate the systems designed to support struggling students in public schools. They may become disillusioned with their child’s school or teachers when progress is slow or the recommended interventions prove unsuccessful. These feelings of confusion and frustration are common. However, uncertainty often subsides once parents gain confidence in their understanding of the laws and policies designed to support individuals with disabilities in both general and special education settings. Read more

You see your child trying to read but unable to do so; it breaks your heart, and you want to do everything you can to make a real difference.  Your goal is to help, and that often begins with talking to the school.  Here are some tips to help you prepare—these come from a combined level of experience–from a pediatrician and dyslexia expert and a mother who has been to more school meetings than she can count. Read more

Effective Advocacy

A must-read with fantastic advice from an experienced parent:! “As we armed ourselves with education about dyslexia and the law, many times we were the most experienced people in the room during IEP or 504 meetings. Remember to stay gracious with educators and administrators, share reputable resources, and look for ways you can engage and problem-solve with your campus and district without becoming contentious… Read more

When I started writing about this topic there was little to no advice about how to advocate for students with dyslexia. Today most of the advice out there is about what to do and how to do it, but how about what not to do? Here are some brief tips of what you want to try, really hard, not to do. Read more

Whether you are new to special education or an experienced advocate this book will provide a clear roadmap to effective advocacy for your child. You will use this book again and again. It includes how to create a simple method for organizing your child's file and devising a master plan for your child's special education. You will understand parent-school conflict, how to create paper trails, and effective letter writing. This book includes dozens of worksheets, forms and sample letters that you can tailor to your needs. Purchase here

Explore effective ways to navigate through conflict by learning the importance of framing a conflict event, identifying underlying interests, and other collaborative communication skills. Self-reflect on conflict styles and biases as the speakers presents skills and strategies for effectively managing conflict. Links here to Recording, Powerpoint

One in 5 students in the United States have learning and attention issues. Despite often having above average or average intelligence, the majority of these students are achieving below grade level. This equates to millions of students across the nation whose strengths and potential are going untapped.


We captured what general education teachers currently know and believe about teaching students with identified disabilities and/or learning and attention issues.


  • Many teachers are concerned about their level of preparedness in teaching the 1 in 5. Only 17% of teachers surveyed feel very well prepared to teach students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. 


  • Many teachers feel overwhelmed and unsupported in teaching the 1 in 5—but they are interested in improving their practice. Only 30% of teachers surveyed feel strongly that, when they try their best, they can be successful with the 1 in 5.

Since 70% of students with learning disabilities and ADHD spend at least 80% of their time in general education classrooms, we partnered with classroom teachers to understand their experiences and insights. And we identified actions that you—the most important adult in your child’s life—can take so that teachers will successfully reach and teach your child. Read more

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Find an Advocate

This PDF is stored in our website’s File library. Use this resource to understand an advocate’s role, identify your top concerns, and consider questions you should ask when interviewing potential advocates.

The special education and IEP process can be stressful and confusing. Many parents turn to a special needs advocate to guide them as they seek services for their child. But how can you find the right advocate? Unlike attorneys, anyone can call themselves a special education advocate. And while there are training programs for advocates, there’s no formal licensing or certification. That’s why it’s important to do your research before hiring someone… Read more

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Send an email to to request a current list of advocates used by neighborhood families.

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