The Power of Authority

When someone you love is sick, the doctor is the one with the perceived power to cure. When someone you love is struggling in school, the teacher is the one with the perceived power to make a difference.

Whether it is the emergency room staff or the IEP team, the ones ‘in charge’ have the power to access, to diagnose, to report and to offer suggestions for moving forward. This leaves the subject and their family in a vulnerable place. Trust is placed in the hands of the professionals. It is an awesome responsibility.

As an child development specialist and as a lay person I have been on both sides of this type of scenario and my recent trip to the vet emergency clinic in the middle of the night reminded me of how it feels to be the ‘parent.’

Read more

The Rowley Standard – Part One

The IDEA Guarantee of a Free Appropriate Public Education
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children that qualify for special education are guaranteed a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The Free, Public, and Education aspects of this acronym are generally not an issue. However, defining “appropriate” is at the core of most disputes between parents of a child with special needs and that child’s school district. If a special education director has ever reminded you that your child need only receive “some educational benefit” or that the school need only provide a “floor of opportunity” or that your child was not entitled to a “Cadillac Education” than you and your child have encountered the Rowley Standard.

Read more