Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Angry Face

As a parent who has to attend many IEP (Individualized Educational Program) meetings, I am constantly advised to remain calm – be professional and assertive, not aggressive. In fact, I advise many of the families with whom I work to do exactly the same thing, telling them that collaboration is the preferred method for obtaining results for our children’s educational programs. That’s such difficult advice to follow though when the school members of the IEP teams laugh at your suggestions, ignore you completely, or send out the message that you are “just a parent”. Disagreements often turn into major battles, lawyers are summoned, and litigation further delays our children receiving appropriate services. Just how can a parent remain calm and professional under those circumstances? Well, maybe we shouldn’t.

Check out this article from MSNBC that suggests getting angry can actually make us more analytical and better decision makers - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19172819/ .

So, while collaboration may still be the preferred route, for those of us who sometimes find ourselves in situations where collaboration just isn’t working, maybe we need to pull out our angry faces...

1 comment:

Attila The Mom said...

Arrgghh!!! You know, I worked as a volunteer advocate for many years---going with parents' to the IEPs to make sure their kids' rights were being respected and that parents had input.

Any parent who has problems in this area can contact their local ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) or ACL (Association for Community Living). They often have advocates on staff just for this---free of charge.

It doesn't matter what your child's disability is. These people are fabulous!