Dispute Options

Dispute Options

No One Enjoys Conflict (Do They?)

We all want to believe that when we send our child to school, every adult in the building makes sure that every child, regardless of disability, is given the support they need to access their education. If you are looking for an educational advocate right now, it is likely you have experienced things differently. You can hopefully identify at least a couple adults at your child’s school who do seem to care and want to see your child succeed. This is probably someone your child is comfortable with and who is advocating behind the scenes for extra supports. If you can’t, we encourage you to try. There is at least one.

Even with a team full of supportive teachers, a single person at the table can cause a meeting to go sideways. Don’t let that person be you! We will teach you ways to productively disagree with members of a school team, but harsh words and veiled threats will never get your child what they need. Whether it is one person or the entire team you disagree with, there are dispute options available to handle matters above the school and even school district offices if necessary.

Always Be Prepared For Due Process

You may have heard about Due Process.  It is the extreme option for solving special education disputes.  It is expensive, time consuming, and difficult to win.  It is, however, an option and occasionally necessary.  Fortunately there are many less drastic options that can be utilized before the need for due process.  Because every case has the potential to end up in due process proceedings, you will need to keep your child’s educational history well documented and accurate.  You will also need to ensure your communications with the school remain professional and direct. If your dispute goes before a third party, your words and actions will be scrutinized.

Depending on the details of the impasse, other avenues are often more advantageous for settling your disagreement or complaint. Your advocate will explain those options to you and inform you of the various potential benefits and drawbacks, including timelines, costs, deadlines, and possible outcomes.

The site cannot and does not contain legal or medical advice. All information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only.