How an Advocate Can Help

An advocate is someone who acts on your behalf. Here are some reasons you might want to use an advocate at your next meeting:

Objectivity - An advocate is not emotionally connected to your child. An advocate can keep an open mind and help parents make important decisions regarding their child’s education


Experience - An advocate has experience working with the local school districts and understands how the IEP process works. An experienced advocate uses her knowledge to your child’s benefit by securing an appropriate placement, developing appropriate goals, and ensuring that necessary supports and services are in place


Interpreting Assessment Results- An advocate has extensive experience with interpreting often confusing assessment results from both school assessments and those done privately. An advocate can help a parent understand the connection between the assessment data and how that translates into creating appropriate goals for the child, based on those results. An advocate can also recommend when outside private assessments are necessary and how to obtain those at no cost


Knowledge of the Law - A non-attorney advocate understands special education law, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and its regulations. An advocate can help you to identify when a school district is out of compliance or not living up to their obligation to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). A non-attorney advocate can help you to determine when the next steps need to be taken (filing for due process or mediation)

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