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Parents are natural advocates for their children. After all, who knows your child better than you and is more concerned about their future? Parents don't have to go it alone, though. There are many resources for parents to help them be effective advocates for their child's education.

 

 

starParent Training and Information Centers (PTI) 

Parent Centers provide training and assistance to the families of the nation’s 7 million children with disabilities. These are funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Every state has at least one PTI, and those with larger populations may have more. 

 

Parent Centers serve families of children of all ages (birth to 26) and with all disabilities (physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional). Parent Centers provide a variety of services including one-to-one support and assistance, workshops, publications, and websites. The majority of Parent Center staff members and board members are parents of children with disabilities so they are able to bring personal experience, expertise, and empathy when working with families. 

 

Parent to Parent is Georgia's Parent Training Information Center. Call 800-229-2038.

Read more about Parent Training Information Centers.

Find the PTI in your state.

 

 starHiring an Attorney 

Sometimes an attorney may be necessary to help settle a dispute with the school system. A licensed attorney can offer advice and represent your child  in court and in due process hearing.

 

Contact Parent to Parent of Georgia at 800-229-2038 for a listing of Georgia attorneys that specialize in education.

Guidelines for Choosing an Attorney

 

starFree Legal Services

Free legal services may be available to low-income families that require the services of an attorney through legal aid.

 

Contact Parent to Parent of Georgia at 800-229-2038 to find free legal services for low-income families in Georgia.

 

 

 

 

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star Hiring an Educational Advocate

Parents sometimes choose to use a special education advocate to support them in special education disputes. Educational Advocates are not attorneys and do not have a license to practice law. They may or may not charge fees for their services.

 

Contact Parent to Parent of Georgia at 800-229-2038 for a listing of Georgia educational advocates.

Guidelines for Choosing an Advocate

 

starTips Before Hiring an Advocate

- Contact Parent to Parent at 800-229-2038 for information on parent rights and having successful school outcomes for your child.

- Ask a friend or relative to go to the IEP meeting.Its helpful to have another set of eyes and ears. They can take notes for you and help you remember what was said.

- Take a "buddy" to the IEP meeting. A "buddy" could be another parent who also has a child on an IEP.  In turn, you could attend their next IEP meeting and you will both learn form the experience.

- Get some help from the Parent Mentor in your school district. Parent Mentors are employees of the school system that help parents understand the system and school districts understand the parent perspective.