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Book Reviews
Written By Linda M. Olsen M.Ed.

Book - Parents Have The Power To Make Special Education Work: An Insider GuideParents Have The Power To Make Special Education Work: An Insider Guide
By Judith Canty Graves and Carson Graves,
Forward by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq., 2014, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Reviewed by Linda M. Olsen, M.Ed.

In the forward of this book attorney Crabtree writes that parents of special needs children need to educate themselves about their child’s disability, the special education process, and learn how to be an effective advocate for their child. He believes this book is an excellent start to this process! In my opinion the book does do these things. The authors write that when they entered the world of special education in the early 1990’s there was no online sites or ways to meet other parents dealing with the same issues and this is why they wrote this book.
In the first chapter the authors give an overview of the special education process, the referral, evaluation, the eligibility meeting, related services, the IEP (Individual Education Plan), meetings, accommodations and modifications, progress reports, the yearly review, the three-year evaluation process, The Individuals With Disability Education Act (IDEA), and No Child Left Behind, (NCLB).

In the following chapters the authors go into further details of how these topics and the roles of others help to educate parents on how to be strong advocates for their children. One of these areas is school personnel. They write about the roles of the school superintendent, the classroom teachers, physical education teachers, librarian, art and music teachers, guidance counselors, liaisons, para-professionals, aides, teaching assistants, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and adapted physical education instruction.

They also make the strong point of how important it is for the parents to maintain a cordial relationship with all personnel involved in the process.

They clearly describe how to do this. Included in the back of the book is a glossary of the most common special education terms and acronyms.

This is a “must have” guide book for parents dealing with the special education process or anyone else who wants to learn more about the special education process!




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