Education advocates are necessary not only for special-needs children, but also for gifted children. Advocates are well versed in educational policies, legislation and regulations. Their expertise can educate and assist parents with children who may need additional attention in the classroom. The advocate works on behalf of the parents to develop, with the school, a more suitable education program.
Special-education advocates work with parents to help create an education program and guidelines for a child. Some special-education advocates mediate between the parents and teachers to discuss services that the school will provide. Other special-education advocates are knowledgeable about the laws regarding special education. They can work with parents and teachers to ensure that the child receives all benefits that are mandated by law.
Gifted Education Advocate
Teachers are trained how to notice educational progress in their students. If a child is performing exceptionally well, a teacher may request a meeting with the child's parents. A gifted education advocate can be present during this meeting to help guide any future educational programs for the child. The advocate may review test scores and even meet with the child to assess the proper avenues to help the child succeed.
Lay advocates' role is to work on behalf of the child and the parents. The lay advocate may appear at a due process hearing for the child. The advocate can be the parents' eyes and ears during meetings to spot any discrimination or biases. Additionally, if parents feel socioeconomic status, language or cultural barriers will hinder them from successfully representing their child on their own, an advocate can be a valuable resource.
Your child's schoolteacher and principal may consider themselves advocates for your child. However, unlike educational advocates or lay advocates, school personnel are restricted in the amount of assistance they can provide. School advocates may help guide you to resources available through the school district or social services.
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