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Special Education/being diplomatic with new staff


My school's asst. principal is on leave and there is an interim person in his place. This new person knows NOTHING about my son yet insists on giving me advice and commenting anytime I talk to staff. It is driving me nuts. My son has not been doing well in special ed and I almost feel like someone advised this new person to drive a wedge when I am talking to someone on staff about my son. I also don't appreciate advice from someone who doesn't know my son AT ALL. I don't want to be mean but I am asking for advice on how to handle this nicely.


I recommend you ask for an IEP. As a parent you can do this at anytime. You can tell them you want this IEP because your son has not been doing well. You can request that all his teachers and service providers be present. In the IEP you can ask each of the people individually for their thoughts on what should be done. If the new person tries to run the show, politely say, "I want to hear from each of the staff that works directly with my son." Push them for ideas on how to enable your son to do better. Be firm, in a polite way, to get everyone's help. You can alway say that you have talked to an Advocate who says it is my right to ask each person to give input in the IEP.

If this does not work out, the next step is to get in touch with the Program Specialist from the district and talk to them privately about this problem. Tell then you are talking to them on advice of an Advocate. This person should attend your son's IEP if need be. You can always call for another IEP following the one that did not work out.  

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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