The Joys of Counter Arguments


My first years advocating for my daughter were some of the most difficult and frustrating of my life. Every time I made, what I was certain, was a valid, reasonable point about my daughter’s education, I would get push back in some form or another. It was really like a nightmare. I was trying to help my daughter, and it felt like they were purposely stymying  all my requests and suggestions.

It took a couple of years and studying the IDEA and ADA law before I realized that two can play that game. So, when they gave their rote nos and used their delay tactics, I would turn around and ask them about their actions’s compliance with IDEA law and show the folly in their arguments.

Here are just some that I remember: Me “I would like to go into my daughter’s class to observe.”  School: “No sorry, we don’t allow parents into the class”  What I wish I had said (in writing) “In order to be a full and equal participant in my daughter’s PPT, I need to observe her in class, as all the other members of her team have been able to. Are you saying I am not considered an equal member of her team?”

School “We can’t hire this service provider to do your daughter’s Independent Evaulation. The provider has a history of advocating against school districts.” Me: “What policy states that you have the authority to refuse an evaluator because of a history of advocating for a child with special needs. Where can I find this policy?”

School “We can’t provide physical therapy to the extent that you are asking – to help your daughter be able to walk. That is a medical issue, not a school/educational issue.” Me: “Are you saying that walking is not educationally relevant? It is my understanding that one of the expressed purposes of IDEA is to help a child become an independantant and productive member of society. Is it the team’s opinion that walking would not increase my daughter’s independence?”

I hope you get the point. Almost any bogus excuse for denying your child can be dismantled in this way. I have to say, this is actually fun when a district is behaving badly.


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