Tips for Parents: Advanced Educational Advocacy
Sinclair, E.
Davidson Institute for Talent Development

This Tips for Parents article is from a seminar hosted by Dr. Esther Sinclair, a UCLA educational psychologist who specializes in advocating for appropriate education for children with special needs (including gifted students). She shares 10 advanced tips on how to advocate for the educational needs of profoundly gifted students.

  1. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is reauthorized every five years. IDEA was last reauthorized in 2004 and is due for implementation July 1, 2005. This represents a nationwide funding statue.

  2. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, also known as Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability. For example, a child with disabilities must be allowed to go on field trips. The act prohibits retaliation for exercising one's rights.

  3. If a parent disagrees with an IEP, the parent can file for due process. Often interim or partial agreements will be reached. Most final agreements include a waiver of all claims up to that point.

  4. What does Due Process Relief mean?

    • Reimbursement for Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
    • Reimbursement for all services needed to convey educational benefits.
    • It is not necessary to use a certified provider.
    • Homeschooled children - parents can determine the cost of their parental time.

  5. Compensatory Education refers to remedies for what did not happen. There has been a lost benefit due to the lack of early intervention. As a result, the child needs more service now.

  6. Compliance Complaint - The district is now following the IEP or agreed upon contracts. This is equivalent to a slap on the wrist from the State Department of Education and may result in loss of State funds.

  7. Other school districts within the state must honor another school district's IEP. The District is obligated to implement the existing IEP as far as possible. Long term plans need to be discussed within 30 days. However, if the child moves out of state, they are starting over.

  8. It is very useful to tape IEP meetings. Parents need to provide written notice 24-48 hours in advance.

  9. School districts may take a family to Due Process for failure to sign an IEP and provide services. However, before this can take place (it is extremely rare), the District must provide parents with a written offer.

  10. It is often a good idea to request that the Gifted Coordinator attend the IEP meeting.


Contributed by: Advocate on 5/25/2005
This article is brief, but explains some very important topics that will help parents advocate for their gifted child. I think this is a great article for parents as well as teachers.

The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.

Close Window