Q: I’m not sure if I should try to get a 504 plan or an IEP for my child. Help!
A: This is a common situation – you’re not alone! Right now, we aren’t able to advise you on this decision. Soon, we will add in content to our parent support tool that can help you think through the pros and cons of each option.
Q: My child’s teachers are really great, but I don’t think they quite understand my child. How can I help them understand?
A: You are not alone. Despite teachers’ best efforts, parents often wonder if their child is truly known and understood at school. Our parent support tool helps address this problem by bridging communication gaps between you and your child’s school. We make it easier to know what to say and how to say it – all for the benefit of your child.
Q: I like the look of your tool, but my child’s exceptionality is not supported by it. Are you adding new exceptionalities?
A:Yes we are! Look for many more exceptionalities to be supported starting in Fall 2017. Sign up here to get ExceptionALLY updates.
Q: Why do you use the word “exceptionality” instead of “disability?”
A: The word “disability” carries a lot of negativity with it. Yes, children with disabilities do have some limits that their typically developing peers do not. But “disability” doesn’t honor the unique and amazing strengths that special children have!
We prefer the term “exceptionality” because we see children with special needs as exceptional, not disabled. They have exceptional abilities – for better and for worse. They deserve to be fully known for everything that makes them who they are, not just for one aspect of their development.
Q: My local district and state are really tough when it comes to special ed. Do you take this into account?
A: The many differences between states, districts and even schools are a big part of what makes special education so complicated. As we grow, we will continue to add more and more content specific to local situations. Currently, our parent support tool relies on information that applies to all children under IDEA.
Q: I’ve got a really terrible IEP situation at my child’s school. What should I do next?
A: If your child is ever in physical or emotional danger, we encourage you to reach out to a special education advocate or attorney in your area. As we grow, we will aim to support every family – no matter how severe their situation is. Right now, we aren’t yet able to give personal advice on extreme situations (such as those that would lead to impartial hearings/due process scenarios).
Q: I often feel alone, powerless and vulnerable in my child’s IEP meetings. What can you do to help me?
A: Our mission to help parents like you feel powerful and knowledgeable in the special education process. Everything we design is created to serve this mission. Right now, our parent tool helps you know what to say and how to say it. We’ll help you “speak the school’s language” and raise your voice to become the champion your child needs.
Q: My children attend an independent school, but I’m still concerned about whether they are getting the right supports. Can you help me, or this only for children in public school?
A: Our parent support tool can help any parent trying to communicate their child’s goals and needs to an educator or caretaker. While many, many parents struggle within the IEP process at traditional public schools, parents in charter and private schools also struggle to help their children succeed.
We’re here to support all parents raising children with special needs.
Q: My child has a lot of supports outside of school – therapists, tutors, even babysitters. Can you help me communicate with these professionals, too?
A: Yes! The Exceptionality Action Plan helps you communicate with anyone who supports your child. Why leave anything to chance? Your unique child depends on you to share their needs with the world, and we’ll help you do that.