Parents of children with disabilities have extensive interaction with school officials,
special education teachers, and school district administrators. With the assistance of
representatives from the school district, parents are expected to navigate the complexities of their children’s special education services. Meeting with school officials and teachers can be an intimidating experience: the use of technical jargon during meetings, multiple assessments from different parties, and the multitude of placement options often leaves parents feeling overwhelmed and unlikely to question what they are told.
16 Communication difficulties are only exacerbated when parents come from disadvantaged backgrounds and do not have the resources to speak confidently about what they think is best for their child.
17 Parents, who are often poor or undereducated, may not even have Internet access to find online resources to build an adequate knowledge base to assist them in conversations with school officials.
18 Moreover, parents from any socio-economic background may lack the emotional wherewithal to speak to school officials about their child’s needs.