I just got the Supreme Court’s decision and multiple new articles relative to yesterday ruling regarding programs for a disabled child in the educational system. I want to devour that stuff before I make many comments. When I started receiving multiple posts on various list servs with headings like Parents Have the Burden of Proof yesterday afternoon ..my first reaction was what else is new.
Parents have always had to fight to demonstrate that they know what their child needs and can do. In her wonderful book, A Thorn in My Pocket (Future Horizons 2004), Eustacia Cutler shares her struggles to get appropriate education for her daughter, Dr. Temple Grandin, in the 1950’s. We have a similar struggle now except that she fought with private schools and supposedly our children have a right to free and appropriate education now. We still have to prove they can benefit from those programs and are eligible for them.
Team building advocacy when you want to punch the lights out of some professionals works better than lawsuits.
The documentation system contained in Parenting Your Complex Child (AMACOM Books April 2006) will help with that burden of proof both at the IEP meeting stage and if you have to prove it in court.
I am going to write more on this topic in the next few days after I read more on the Court’s decision but I did not want you to think I was ignoring it.