Facilitation is a voluntary process that can be used when parties in an IEP, IFSP or other meeting agree that the presence of a neutral third party would facilitate communication and problem solving. It is most often used when there is a history of contentious interactions between the family and school, the participants anticipate that they will be unable to reach agreement on critical issues, or when a meeting is expected to be particularly complex and controversial. Facilitators often serve as special education mediators in their state and have received additional training beyond that which they received to become mediators. Additionally, many school districts have specially trained staff members to serve in their own schools, districts or regions, or to assist in others, to more effectively facilitate problematic IEP meetings. 

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