I originally posted this over two years ago, and like my last post thought it would be worthwhile to reprint it as many parents are preparing for IEPs.
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“Men must attend IEP meetings.”
This advice comes from Charles Fox at the Special Education Law Blog in a Father’s Day post discussing the role of fathers in the advocacy process. A short excerpt:
Fathers and men too often fail to realize that sometimes just showing up at a meeting in support of the child can make an enormous difference. In my list of essential advocacy points, I list that “men must attend meetings.” [number 11] I was actually accused of being a male chauvinist for stating this position at a parent training.What was lost in translation was not that women are incompetent advocates because nothing could be more untrue; rather, that the dynamic of the meeting can often go differently if the father, uncle, grandfather, brother or even male co-worker or friend comes to a meeting or mediation.
His list of 16 basic principles of advocacy is well worth reading, printing out, and keeping in IEP file to help you prepare each time you must go through the process.
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I’ve also written about my own experiences as an autism dad with IEPs, and as a dad in general. I’ve been lucky, but I know this isn’t always the case. What have your experiences been?
One thought on ““Men must attend IEP meetings” (reprint)”
I completely agree. I missed the first IEP meeting, well, I didn’t even know what it was. My son was in preschool for a speech delay, not for PDD. After that, when I showed up, the mood in the room changed. I like to believe that I intimidated the staff, who had previously intimidated my wife.
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