Documentation Is Key For Special Education – Parents

After attending a meeting at my daughter’s school today I learned the value of documentation when it comes to special eduction needs. As a parent who has been waiting to hear about my daughter’s initial evaluation for eligibility of ESE for months, I finally had the meeting I was hoping for.

And the documentation I had with me made the meeting gave me the confidence I needed. It also helped provide answers to some of the lingering questions that the district had – one that is not very organized. My paperwork actually gave the district information that they needed!

Special Education For Parents BookHow I Document

I use emails or letters to correspond with the school, district, etc. If I receive or make a phone call, I request something in writing. I still write down in a special note pad, the date and time of the call, who I spoke to and what was said.

I request a “notice in writing” for all meetings, which includes an invitation (what the meeting is for, who is attending, the date and time) and followup notes from the actual meeting. I also write down any questions during meetings so I don’t forget to ask them.

What I Document

I document everything. Every phone call, spoken word from someone at the school, district, state, etc. If I’m on the go, I use my phone to record notes to write down later.

The Reason For Documentation

Not only do things get confusing as you go through the maze of special education for your child, if you have a dispute or have any type of concern, your documentation will assist you to be the best advocate for your child. You’ll have the knowledge at hand which supports your child’s case.

Recommending Reading – You, Your Child, and “Special” Education: A Guide to Dealing With the System

Do you document for your child’s special education program?

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Connie Roberts

Professional Blogger
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I'm lucky enough to see beautiful sunsets almost every day. Although life can be difficult at times, focusing on the positive and being with my family is what gets me through.

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  1. Yep. And by law they are suppose to document every phone you have with them. You shouldn’t have to request it (however, continue to do so if they aren’t providing it)
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  2. connie you should write a book. i’m sure there are other moms out there who have suggestions on what and how to document.
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  3. Yes, it’s true, the school should already be documenting things. However, I’m sure that parents keeping their own documents is a great idea too. That way, if there is any confusion on the school’s part, then you have a copy. Plus, I’m sure it keeps you (the parent) better organized and feeling more confident. Wonderful post!
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  4. So true! We deal with 504 as we have a son who is dyslexic. Documentaiton is a must!

    Do not sign conference/meeting documents that are not worded the way you want them worded, including lack of detail. Document every detail possible!

    Great info, Connie.
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  5. This is true in everything…keep a notebook and document everything!
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  6. You know, your school is supposed to keep a document of every communication you have!
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  7. Great info. I have a family friend that has a child with ADHD and the school told her that if hes not taking any SOL tests that he needed to stay home because they couldn’t do anything with him. One day he spent the day with the janitor cleaning up! What the heck!
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  1. […] situations, is to get assistance from your local Parent Center (it’s free), to persevere, to document everything, and to make appropriate complaints when necessary. Try to work on the local level within your […]