Friday, February 22, 2013

Wrightslaw Books Helped Me Navigate IEP's| An Event by @SDAutismSociety @CatamaranResort

Earlier this month, some friends of mine and I from Orange County took a mini-trip to San Diego to attend a Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar hosted by Autism Society San Diego. We were planning this for months because Wrightslaw Seminars are hardly ever in SoCal. The event was sold out within 2 months!
Don't worry - I'm not going to get into it with law terminology, because it might not pertain to you. I'm just going to share how these books have helped my journey and why this Seminar added value to having those books.

"A good education is the most important gift you can give to your child."
- Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy


Wrightslaw Books

Wrightslaw books are very popular in the world of Special Education. I first learned about them in preparation of my son's first IEP meeting (Individualized Education Program) with the School District not 3 years ago. It was an intense time for us as we were newly diagnosed with a special needs child and shortly after as he was turning 3, we had to transition from Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC) services to the School District. I literally had only about a week to prepare.

The three books that were highly recommended to me from various sources were: (1) Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, (2) From Emotions to Advocacy, and (3) All About IEP's by Peter Wright, ESQ. and Pam Wright, MA, MSW.
  • Special Education Law, 2nd Edition
This book is like the Bible of Special Education Law. It's such a good reference book that helps you quickly find the laws that you're looking for with definitions. Note: You don't have to read it in its entirety. Just be familiar with it and bring it with you to all meetings so you know how to easily reference the laws.
  • From Emotions to Advocacy
    I used this book the most when I crammed for our meeting. It's really easy to read and it breaks it down for you - learn how to advocate for your child, how to have a healthy relationship with your school district by being a team player, learn what you're dealing with, how to find the gatekeeper or decision maker on the team, and more.
  • All About IEP's
    In this book you can find answers to frequently asked questions about IEP's with sample letters.

Wrightslaw Seminars

Can you imagine how overwhelming it is to look at laws and regulations for the first time? The seminar moved rather quickly through the three books, but the most valuable thing we all walked away from is hearing the author point out, highlight, bullet point his own work so that you can quickly reference them later. I'm not kidding. They even gave us a pen with a highlighter attached to it at the beginning. Our seminar came complete with the three books mentioned above.



"Parents are natural advocates for their children...You know your child better than anyone else. The school is involved with your child for a few years. You are involved with your child for life."
- Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy

Peter Wright, founder of Wrightslaw and author of the books.

What We Had for Lunch

Lunch was included in the seminar tickets. We had lunch by the water at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa. You can read more about our stay from a previous post.



Wrightslaw CD

For those that really wanted to be there, you're in luck! They sell the presentations on a CD for around $50, and if you also need the books, there's a combo on their website here for around $90.

There's also a lot of info on their website. I'm signed up for their newsletters which features a topic every few weeks or so and they send me promo codes when their stuff goes on sale. You can sign up for their newsletters here:  www.wrightslaw.com.

Thanks, Autism Society San Diego!

It was a great seminar! It was a lot of information crammed in one day, but Peter Wright was very entertaining, and thank goodness he broke it down for us. With his guidance, I feel really empowered for my future IEP meetings. I'm also so glad they offer the CD for those that couldn't make it or for those that need to listen to his lecture all over again. Thank you, Autism Society San Diego, for hosting a well-organized informative seminar!


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More about Peter Wright, Founder of Wrightslaw
Pete Wright is an attorney who represents children with special educational needs. Pete struggled with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD. His determination to help children grew out of his own educational experiences. In October 1993, Pete successfully represented Shannon Carter before the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on Shannon's behalf in Florence County v. Shannon Carter. To learn about Pete, read Three Generations at the Supreme Court and The Untold Story.

More about Autism Society San Diego
The Autism Society San Diego, a non-profit organization, originated in 1966 as the National Society of Autistic Children. It served to unite and inform parents on new revelations concerning intervention therapy. Today, the Autism Society San Diego serves as the voice and resource of the local autism community. Autism Society San Diego members include parents, relatives, friends, advocates, medical professionals and educators throughout San Diego County and beyond. Our Board of Directors composed primarily of parents of individuals with autism and experts in the field of autism serve the chapter on a volunteer basis.
www.sd-autism.org


Disclosure: This is a non-sponsored post. All opinions are my own. All images (c) Let's Play OC! 
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