Q: What is advocacy? Do I really need it? I do not want the school to think of me as a troublemaker or refuse to help my child.
A: Advocacy is a way to level the playing field so to speak. We help you to define and describe how you want the program to work for your child. If you have ever been told that the school can’t or doesn’t do something, your child has as much of a program or service that is possible with his or her level of functioning, or your requests are unreasonable, we can support you. We know the law, we know assessments, we know your rights, and we know how the system should work together. If you are reading this page, you would probably benefit from our services.
If you are having difficulty getting the school to listen to your concerns or questions about your parental rights, child’s services, programs, evaluations, or teachers, we are happy to either arrange a consultation or attend ARD meetings with you. We are a great alternative to lawyers and sometimes more well received by school districts. Adina Rich practices collaborative advocacy. Her goal is to see parents as partners with the school rather than adversaries.
Q: What makes you the best advocates for us?
A: With experience in evaluation, programming, transitions, mediation, conflict resolution, coaching, facilitation, and communication strategies. we are truly experts at what we do. Because we provide a seasoned set of eyes and ears, parents are empowered to advocate for their child. When you hire us, you know you will be supported through all layers of the process and your voice will be heard.
Q: My child is struggling in school but the school says my child is too young to be evaluated, and they want to wait until he is in second grade. Can they do that?
A: The short answer is No. If you suspect that your child has a disability that is keeping him from learning, you have a right to ask for your child to be evaluated under Child Find.
Q: How long does the school have to test my child and in what areas will my child be tested?
A: Federal law dictates that school has 60 calendar days to test your child and 30 days from that date to call an ARD/IEP meeting to discuss the results and to determine whether a child meets eligibility criteria as a student with a disability under state and federal guidelines. If your child does meet eligibility an Individual Education Plan must be developed including specific goals and objectives designed to remediate your child’s progress. In Texas, the school has 45 school days from the date of consent to test your child and then 30 days to call the ARD/IEP meeting to discuss the results and determine whether a child meets eligibility for services as a student with a disability under state and federal guidelines.
Q: What is inclusion and should my child have that?
A: Inclusion is time spent in a general education classroom with neurotypical, same-aged peers. The short answer is, again, yes, although there are many factors that could influence or support how inclusion looks for each child. We are going to help you advocate for the best program for YOUR child and we will discuss all of the options with you.
Q: I don’t think my child’s IEP is appropriate. There are things written in the IEP that aren't being followed. Can you help with that?
A: Yes, we can. It helps if you can highlight areas of concern or provide anecdotal records or other documentation.
Q: Can you help students on 504 plans?
A: Yes, we can assist you with the development of 504 supports, teacher accommodations, learning interventions and more. We attend 504 meetings as well.
Q: My child has been labeled as a discipline problem. He/She needs supports that are not in their IEP or 504 plan. What do I do?
A: There are ways to address discipline issues or to get to the root of the problem. Our consultants will develop a plan for evaluation or to help determine the function for the behavior and add accommodations that are appropriate.
Q: My child is being bullied. What do I do?
A: We can help you with strategies for reporting to the school and making your child feel safe at school during the process.
Q: Do you help students that haven't been identified under Special Ed or 504?
A: Yes! We attend discipline hearings, appeals, or parent/teacher conferences.
Q: My child needs additional behavior or discipline supports, but the school says it’s not necessary. Do I have other options?
A: Absolutely! Parent input and participation are key elements of the ARD/IEP process.
Q: Do you ever go to training or continuing education to learn about changes in special education programming and legal requirements?
A: We attend workshops and meetings regularly. All of our staff are trained annually in legal requirements, have specializations in assessment, behavior plans, disability requirements, assistive technology supports, IEP documentation, inclusion support, goal writing, and monitoring of objectives. We are also trained in best practices for bullying, restraint, positive behavior supports, discrete trial, and social skills training. We have extensive training in conflict resolution, mediation, and IEP facilitation.
Q: If we want to hire you to help us, how does that work?
A: Contact us to request a consultation. We meet with you, discuss your concerns, review paperwork, and determine the best course of action. We offer several options for our families, including hourly rates, retainer contracts, and payment plans. We can talk you and walk you through or assist you with parts of the complaint process. We also can refer you to a knowledgeable attorney if the need arises. We require a non-refundable deposit of $225.00 to be applied toward advocacy services when booking your consultation. In the event that your meeting is canceled or otherwise re-scheduled, the fee can be applied toward future meeting or consultations. Unfortunately, unless prior arrangements have been made, in the event our services are not needed, we are not able to offer cash or credit refunds.
If your question isn’t listed, call or e-mail us and we’ll be happy to help you.
The answers presented here are intended only as a guide, and may not be appropriate for all situations. If you need help with a specific situation or conflict, please contact us directly.