Special Education Advocacy Tips for the 2020-2021 School Year

Amanda Bailey, Family Support Specialist
Blog Post

Here are a few special education advocacy tips from AANE as students head into an uncertain learning environment this fall. Whether they attend school in-person, hybrid, or remotely, we can help you set your child up for success. 

While some kids thrived remotely with reduced social pressure and self-paced work, others floundered with whole-class online meetings and new executive functioning demands. Document in writing what did and did not work with remote learning. Share that information with your child’s team. Be solution oriented–include what would have helped! Don’t be afraid to request those solutions be implemented moving forward.

We encourage you to review the most recent IEP progress report for your child in order to have a sense of where they were with skills prior to school closure in the spring. Now is a good time to revise your parent concern or parent input statement in your child’s IEP. Consider any regression your child experienced. Ask that the updated version be included in the IEP.

An easy way to help new staff support your child is to develop a one-page profile. The profile may include basic information about your student, your contact information, your child’s strengths and interests, what they are working on at school, and how staff can support them. This tool, in addition to their IEP or 504 plan, can then be shared with anyone interacting with your child.

Seek your child’s input about what would help. Consider their needs within the in-person and remote learning environments. Social needs may include facilitating peer connections or assistance using the chat function. Additional mask breaks or being allowed to turn off gallery view during whole-class meetings online may alleviate sensory demands. Consolidating assignments to one platform or teachers CCing parents on communications to the student may help lighten the executive functioning load. 

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AANE can assist you during this time through an IEP Review or Parent Coaching.

  • Our IEP Review service entails reviewing your child’s recent evaluation reports, IEP, and transition plan (if 14 or 16+). We then meet with you over the phone or online to go over the IEP line-by-line and make suggestions.
  • A one-hour Parent Coaching session with our staff helps you come up with an action plan to address challenges like identifying remote learning accommodations, implementing structure at home, and balancing sibling needs. Whatever you need, we are here for you. 

You can find out more information or book an appointment on AANE’s Contact Us page. You can also email us at info@aane.org or give us a call at (617) 393-3824

Special Education Advocacy Tips

Student Profile PDF