"Our bottom line is parents are often ineffective at advocating for their child because they don't know their rights," said Jennifer Laviano, co-author and special education attorney. "We see it time and again: The child doesn't get what he or she needs because the parents don't know what they don't know. This book looks to change that," Laviano added.
Your Special Education Rights demystifies the federal laws related to public school children with disabilities and explains how school districts often ignore or circumvent the law.
"We're passionate to pull the curtain back on the realities of special education - and tell parents the truths that school districts don't always disclose," said Julie Swanson, co-author and special education advocate, who's also the mother of a child with a disability. "Our message to parents is - plain and simple: Know your rights or run the risk of being taken advantage of," Swanson added.
Your Special Education Rights provides parents with vital information and specific guidance to address key challenges - including: How to respond to special education "urban legends" like your child is "too smart" for services; how to avoid "toothless" language in a special education plan; and overcoming discrimination and low expectations. The book also explains why now, more than ever before, parents must be vigilant to protect children's rights - and how recent Supreme Court case law and changes at the federal level impact children with disabilities.
Though Your Special Education Rights is for parents primarily, educators and administrators can also learn how difficult it can be for parents to understand the special education system, which hopefully helps schools and parents work more closely.