I have been playing phone tag with the head of the Special Education Association. He just keeps saying he will call me about how much money is available for my son and his physical therapy or occupational therapy. What can I do to show these people I mean business? I fell like I am being manipulated and I am very frustrated and not sure what to do.
Hi; I am a public school teacher, so am answering from that perspective. Upon reading your question, I noticed that it was tagged as a 504 question. If your child has a 504 plan, the Special Education department is not legally responsible for answering your questions, and so, in all likelihood, will not prioritize your request. 504 plans are legally a GENERAL education function; this is both bad and good news for you. While certain implementations are obtained from the Special Education department's budget, it is the school site's responsibility to request and follow up on these implementations. SO, to make a long story short (too late!), your child's principal is the way to go to get what you need most quickly. If you have already tried this (and I sense enough frustration in your question to think that have probably tried many times), then the best strategy is to send a letter to your state's Department of Education, outlining your list of concerns (including proposed solutions, if you can); the important thing here is to COPY YOUR DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT AND YOUR CHILD'S PRINCIPAL. In most states, implementation of 504 programs is taken VERY seriously, so once your superintendent and principal find out that you have contacted the state, they will most likely respond quickly to stave off any state intervention (the fines for non-implementation of a 504 plan can be very high). Good luck; let us know how it goes!
Here's a great website full of information of how to get help for your child. Now it says "ABA therapy" but it's much more than that. Read through it. It sounds like you need an advocate. I just found a couple of leads through this website. I hope you can look through it. It's a fountain of information!
Put everything in writing, and send it to the head of the special services dept. at your school district, with copies sent to his teacher, principal, and whoever else is involved. Schools must respond to written requests within a certain amount of time. See www.wrightslaw.com for great info on this.
The best thing to do might just be to go to your states Department of Education. My suggestion would be to handle it with as little emotion as possible, keeping a level head and give them the opportunity to investigate the matter. I know it's very difficult to keep emotion out of the situation, but you'll be glad you did and the help will come much easier. Good luck, please keep us posted with what transpires.
Keep extremely good records save everything email, notes of phones call, I save even small things like if my son got a "had a great day" award. It may be useful in the long run. Also, having a communication notebook even if the school doesn't write in it, and you everyday can help.
Then, contact the "Legal Center for disabled and older people" there are few in every state. They are funded by the federal government. Bring everything you have, it can be simple as having the legal center request you child's files for the school to realize that you mean business.
But, the legal center can help if you need them to do more. It was explained to us, that their services are free, or donation, up until you are actually going to court. I really think most schools just don't realize that they are breaking the law. I also think that schools (unknowingly) take advantage of the fact that most parents in our position are tired of fighting, and just tired.