Fix it once fix it WRITE!! 1 of 3 must reads!!!!


This is a re-print from the old board, so I will copy as I did the original.

14 november 98
Advocate hat on:

Hello all, really feel like I need to seperate the two hats, so when I change hats will let you know.

I have only been here a few days, this site was sent to me because a mom I help saw a mom who needed help.

And she knows I wont let anyone do this alone if I have anything to say about it all.

I lost 3 jobs, a single mom fighting for my son, not that I didnt perform my job well, but I had to miss so much work.
I have been a little overwhelmed by greif in the past few days, and this has been a good place for me to cry, and share. My heart finally has a home.

I cant download all that I know, however because I shared so much of the same experiences, I can look for solutions that work.

Here is one of my major concerns that has a general thread throughout your posts.

Everyone is talking "to" the schools, mental health folks and agencies.

Talking is a good thing... WHEN there are not serious problems, however you can find yourself doing " BUSY WORK " and becoming a a slave to meetings and phone calls.

My district invited me to sit on all kinds of committees, as this nuetralized me, they sucked me in if you will cause i beleived I was an agent for change. And... By doing this it would help my son.

I worked many a night on committee after committtee, we came up with wonderful plans for the district to adopt and implement. I was so proud of my involvement, as I was gonna change the world!

Not one single idea that I was a part of developing ever got implemented.

There are usually only three complaints in every case.

1. Dont have service for my child, no program that fits.

2. Wont do what they are supposed to do or promised in IEP.

3. No service and even when they do they dont!

As you see 3 is really a repeat of 1 & 2.
This is really what it all boils down to, and if your gonna fix it you have to KISS!


1. No service, not appropriate, doesnt work for my child etc. Dont spend time arguing with this in your mind,

EX: that this is really not your problem.... yours is more complex and it doesnt fit you.

The law:

IDEA 97 gives each eligible student the right to FAPE ( free and appropriate public education )The definition of FAPE includes
" special education " and " related
services "

20 USC 1401(18)
IDEA defines " special education " as:
" specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability "
20 USC 1401(a)(16)

Related services are defined as:
* audioligy
* counseling services
* medical services for evaluation purposes
* occupational therapy
* parent counseling and training
* physical therapy
* psychological services
* recreation services
* rehab/voc. counseling
* school health services
* social work services
* speech therapy
* transportation services
This rule is # 34 CFR 300.16

NOTE: You should know that it expressly states that this list is not intended to be exhaustive, and examples cited were:

* music therapy
* art therapy
* artistic and cultural programs
* catheterization
* classroom aide
* tutoring
* interpreter services
* behavior management

And finally 34 CFR.400-452 makes it clear that schools must provide residential when necessary to provide and assure FAPE.

Discussion: this is all you really need, Congress intended this to be plain language.


Each of you are seeking to get programs that meets your childs unique needs.
If you dont understand or think you have something not listed, post it and I will do your argument for you.

I challenge you to tell me something that this list does not include.

This is called a continum of services, what I do is explain to schools that as parents we can tell you the problem, but dont know what service to use to fix it.

An analogy if you will, that I use most is that going to an IEP is like going to a restaraunt hungry.

You come in the door starved and they set you at a table, the waiter tells you " sorry we dont have a printed menu.... but if you smell something that smells good to you, we will get you a plate! "

Schools never show you the menu cause they know you will eat, chow down, take a doggie bag and wont tip! LOL

Heres how:

As soon as you get your invitation sit down and write out a list of areas that need to be addressed ( this was written before I wrote the outline for parent report ) then send back the confirmation that you will attend and attach the list asking that the district list at least 3 options for addressing each concern.

Explain to them that you would like a full and complete explanataion of your rights, and would like them to put in writing what services are not only available, but that will address your childs needs.

This is how you get the menu, and tell them you wont " order" until you do!

* cite some silly truth in advertising law as your basis. LOL

Ok... now you got em, either they gave you the menu, or they didnt, both of which puts them in jeopardy.

If you got the list and it does not address your childs needs, they have failed to provide FAPE.

If you didnt get the list, ( menu ) they have failed to fully inform you of your rights. ( they must explore and inform the "full continum" of services... be sure to ask early what residential facility they contract with for behavior disabled students!!!)

Now is the action part...

Write the complaint..very simple and to the point!

* note under IDEA 97 each state is supposed to have a form for complaints now.

2. You got the list, you ordered from the menu, and you designed the most perfect IEP that you could imagine, you even took time off from work, gave up some R&R for yourself, spent money on child care, drove 30 miles etc. etc ....

Your as pleased as punch, and you nearly get ecstatic that fianlly.... after all this your child has it all!!!!!!!!!!

SUPER PARENT.... has done it again... saved the day!
Wait... what?....NO!!!!!!!..........
It cant be.....
Dont even tell me............
Oh gosh!
But its in the IEP!!!!
I have a copy!!!!!!
Im gonna call them right now......
Why is this happening?
Honey, should I just drive over there...
No I will call......
They cant do this to my kid!
They dont know who there messin with.....
Its the first time you realize that they are not doing what they said they would in the IEP.

This is called non-implementation of the IEP, commonly referred to by parents as being lied to.

And you can still do what you have always done or you can restore Peace and tranquility, and Fix it once and Fix it WRITE!

I swear some parents get a check from their SD for all the work they do for them.

If you get paid then by all means keep it up, and tell me where you live, cause I am gonna pack and move there tonite!

But if your like me, you have this silly notion that the SD is supposed to work for you and your child... you know that whole tax dollar thing!

Lets go back to talking to them, I know you may like your childs teacher, and he/she may be very nice.

But you think if you call it will get fixed, perhaps in many cases a call does fix it and there is just an oversight, somebody made a mistake, no need to get all this formal stuff involved.

Well... alot can be said for " talking it out " however as an advocate I can tell you that most parents get stuck in this trap until it gets ugly!

Then they call me and want public hangings, or to be on a firing squad!!

Fixing it once and Fixing it WRITE means:

Write the complaint... simply state the district is not following the IEP...( this is not supposed to be a legal breif so KISS it)

Send a copy to the SD and the ISD or whoever your state has determined should investigate complaints.

Example complaint:

Dear so & so,

My difficult child is supposed to have red crayons to use during his bathroom breaks, so he can express him self on the bathroom walls, per his IEP dated 3-12-99.

On 3-14-99 the school made him use green ones cause they didnt have red ones, and they didnt have enough money to buy new ones.

This is non-compliance with his IEP, and prevents my difficult child from expressing himself appropriatley.

Please investigate this, and make them buy red crayons.

Thank You,

Mr. & Mrs. difficult child


Now what? Go back to your life, dont call, trust the system in place.
Many of you express a need for peace and tranquility and the greatest injustice is the level of fighting we have to do for our difficult child, let alone with them.

Its a simple concept... Fix it once and Fix it WRITE!

You can still talk to them and even withdraw a complaint, but by beggining at the complaint process, you get speedier results.

I do it all the time, write the complaint, then they call....... I am not getting their voice mail, and the run around, and they are anxious to "RESOLVE" things as soon as possible.

* some SD's freak the first few go-rounds.. but their trainable. hehehehehe

For me its the difference between slavery and doing nothing cause your too overwhelmed.

Hope this helps.

Hugs N Love!!!


5 kids, no medications,2.5 difficult children,Founder PRIE: Parents Rights In Education, volunteer parent advocate. 1 difficult child in prison.

[This message has been edited by Jerri (edited 10-03-1999).]

Thanks, Jerri!

Your know-how has really been invaluable.

We're headed for a big "pow-wow" next week with foster parents, therapist, psychiatric worker, case worker, etc., and I'm going to try and get something to have ready for the meeting. I'm fighting desperately to at least have difficult child get some time with a counselor or Special Education person at school, since he can't be in a gifted class right now.

Wish me luck!!


Spork Queen
Ok, Ladies...(and a few men). If someone has a few spare moments, I could REALLY appreciate someone putting this in a MS Word format and sending it to me to include on a permanent place on That way it wouldn't have to be posted over and over again.


Site Administrator
16 year old male difficult child; Conduct Disorder; no medications
You name it...we've done it.


New Member

I had previously copied Jerri's text, edited it (*legal secretary doing what she does naturally*) and converted it into a notepad text file so I could work with printing it on two sides of my paper (conserving trees!). I'm sending it to you as a text file. I can't convert it to a MSWord file because I'm a WordPerfect holdout; have tried Word and just get too frustrated.

Hope this helps.

Kathy B
12 yo son difficult child ADHD, depression, possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and/or bipolar
9 yo son easy child
24 years with- husband (ADHD?)
2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 bunnies, & 8+ koi