In this space, SchoolFamily.com brings you the expertise, opinions, and thoughts from a variety of guest bloggers. Please feel free to comment on each of their blog posts. If you have someone you'd like to see featured in this space, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog was originally published by Gary G. Brannigan, Ph.D. & Howard Margolis, Ed.D in www.reading2008.com/blog. They co-authored Reading Disabilities: Beating The Odds, a book to help parents identify reading difficulties, understand special education laws, work with schools, and, if necessary, challenge them to get their children needed services. It's available at www.amazon.com & www.reading2008.com . Also look for their forthcoming book, Simple Ways To Maximize Your Child's Potential, due out in mid 2011.
Parents often ask us for the names of experts to evaluate their children or help them develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Often, these requests come from parts of the country with which we’re unfamiliar. In such situations, we generally make these suggestions:
Once you have the names of experts, interview them. Assess their knowledge, openness, availability willingness to listen, and interest in helping. Ask about their fees. Ask to see samples of their reports or IEPs (with names omitted). Ask how they conduct evaluations or help to develop IEPs and how, if needed, they’ll follow up.
Before interviewing experts, learn what a quality evaluation or IEP should look like. For information on reading evaluations, read chapter 5 of Reading Disabilities: Beating the Odds (www.reading2008.com). For information on developing IEPs, read chapters 8 through 13.
Are these suggestions foolproof? No. But they can help you find experts who will make a positive difference in your child’s life.
If you have other ideas about finding experts, please put them in a comment on our blog. Your ideas may help many of our readers.