HelpNewTitle  Get The Help You Need

You need to get some help and build a team.  Don't try to go it alone. When we met with the school we should have had a special education professional on our side in the very first meeting to help us navigate this process, and we didn’t have one.   But how were we to know? 

• Step One - Building a special education team starts with hiring an advocate.  The role of an advocate is to speak for children with disabilities and special needs.  They will help you plead your case with the local school in an informed and professional manner.   A good advocate also supports and guides you through the process; you won’t be alone.   You can go to www.yellowpagesforkids.com and look for advocates in your state.  Also, visit www.thearc.org  which is the largest national community-based organization advocating for special needs people and their families.  They have organizations in all 50 states and local state chapters.  Depending on where you live, advocates may charge for their special education services or The Arc may help you find an advocate for no charge.  You will have to research what is available in your particular area.


• Step Two - The next step in building your special education team is to join a parent organization for children with learning disabilities or special needs.   You can get advice from other parents who have received special education services for their child.  Some of the previous websites mentioned such as www.yellowpagesforkids.com can help you find parents’ rights groups in your state.   Another site to consider is www.taalliance.org  which is a national directory of Parent Training Information Centers.   Also try Parent to Parent USA (www.p2pusa.org) to see if they have a chapter in your state.  


It can be very tempting to try to handle this proceess on your own, that's the initial route we took.  Please learn from our mistake and start building your special education team right away. The school has a tremedous informational advantage over the parents of a special needs child...especially parents just starting out in the process.  The school administrators understand the rules of the game and parents need to be informed and prepared in order to protect their child.


Click on the images below to visit the various stops on the map.



  1. Something's Not Right



   2. Get Your Child Diagnosed


   3. Educate Youself



     4. Get the Help You Need


  5. Prepare for Conflict


    6. Create a Master Plan


Build your team, the special education journey is too complicated to go it alone. 


"I didn't even know I needed to get help" 

Read more coments like these in the Stories from Parents section under the Resources tab.