CADRE’s new FAQ page found within our For Families page is intended to direct families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities to our most valued parent and family-centered resources. The questions are organized into two sections— one for families of school-aged children and youth and another one for families of infants and toddlers (birth through age 2).

For Families of School-Aged Children and Youth

Establishing Positive Relationships

What can I do to build a positive relationship with my child’s teachers?

CADRE developed an online learning series for both families and educators. The Working Together Series contains five courses. While each course covers valuable information, Course 2- IEP Meetings and Beyond, addresses behaviors and strategies to create better home-school partnerships. Course 3- Listening and Responding, also has tools to maximize communication.

Families may also find the publication, Steps to Success: Communicating with Your Child's School, a valuable tool for improving relationships with educators. This document offers specific communication skills to support families as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child's school.

How can I communicate with my child’s school?

Families may find the publication, Steps to Success: Communicating with Your Child's School, a valuable tool for improving relationships with educators. This document offers specific communication skills that support families as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child's school.

Another CADRE resource families may find helpful is, A Tale of Two Conversations. This two-part video demonstrates varying communication styles and the impact they have on the outcome of a conversation. The video highlights behaviors that make communicating more challenging, as well as effective skills that encourage productive communication.

CADRE also developed an online learning series for both families and educators that may be helpful. The Working Together Series contains five courses. While each course covers valuable information, Course 3- Listening and Responding, has information you can use to improve communication between you and your child’s school.

Where can I learn more about developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency for myself or within my child’s school community?

CADRE has compiled a list of resources to support families interested in equity initiatives and developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency personally or professionally. The Equity and Cultural & Linguistic Competence - Resources to Consider link provides suitable resources for states, parent centers, teachers, and practitioners.

Support for the IEP Process

Where can I learn more about developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency for myself or within my child’s school community?

CADRE has compiled a list of resources to support families interested in equity initiatives and developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency personally or professionally. The Equity and Cultural & Linguistic Competence - Resources to Consider link provides suitable resources for states, parent centers, teachers, and practitioners.

How can I help my child understand his/her/their disability and IEP ?

CADRE has a free online learning series designed to support students in learning about their disability and advocating for themselves. The Your Journey to Self-determination Series is specifically for youth and includes six interactive courses. These courses introduce concepts and skills students need to engage in their educational planning. Although the courses and lessons are self-directed, they are intended to compliment other activities, discussions, and practice opportunities necessary for students to develop self-advocacy skills. A facilitator guide with supplemental activities and resources is available to assist teachers, parents or guardians, and mentors in furthering student learning.

Where can I learn more about preparing for an IEP meeting?

To feel more prepared to participate in your child’s IEP meeting, you can begin by reviewing CADRE’s Working Together Series. CADRE developed this online learning series for both families and educators. The series contains five courses. While each course covers valuable information, Course 2- IEP Meetings and Beyond addresses what you can do before, during, and after an IEP meeting to be sure you are able to participate fully in the process.

If you need additional information and support, you may want to contact your local parent center.  To find your local parent center, click here.

Additionally, if circumstances prohibit participants from attending an IEP meeting in person, technology may be used to allow participation through the Internet or telephone. CADRE has collected resources, tips, and strategies to support meaningful participation in virtual meetings. The following resources, produced in collaboration with the Center for Parent Information and ResourcesFamily Network on DisabilitiesNational Center for Systemic ImprovementPROGRESS Center, and Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support, may be of particular interest to families:

Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets

Participating in Virtual Meetings Infographic (Español)

Sample Virtual IEP Meeting Agenda (Español)

To view all virtual meeting resources CADRE has compiled, go to:

Virtual Meetings: Strategies, Tips and Resources

Managing Disagreement and Understanding Dispute Resolution Options

What can I do if I do not agree with the decision made at my child’s IEP meeting?

CADRE encourages resolving concerns at the local or district level whenever possible. A common initial step to take for resolving a disagreement is to set up a conference with your child’s school staff to discuss your concerns or speak with an administrator within your district. You may also consider reaching out to your local parent center to get additional support. To find your local parent center, click here.

If you have tried resolving your concerns with your school and district but are still not in agreement, you may want to consider accessing one of your dispute resolution options. For general information about dispute resolution options available under IDEA (mediation, written state complaints, and due process complaints and hearings), as well as IEP facilitation, view CADRE’s parent guides and companion videos. Another resource families may find helpful is CADRE’s comparison chart. It lists each process in an organized table and compares and contrasts resolution options to help you decide which one may be the best option for your specific concerns.

Are there any trainings for parents about communication and conflict resolution?

CADRE’s Working Together Series is a free, online learning series for both families and educators. The series consists of five courses with great strategies for working together and through conflict.

Course 1: Introduction to the Working Together Series
Course 2: IEP Meetings and Beyond
Course 3: Listening and Responding Skills
Course 4: Managing and Responding to Emotions
Course 5: Focusing on Interests to Reach Agreement

CADRE also hosts many webinars with a variety of topics. Click here for a link to some of our most popular webinars for families. Click here for the full webinar archive.

I want to file a complaint but do not know how?

If you have tried resolving your concerns with your school and district but are still not in agreement, you may want to consider accessing one of your dispute resolution options. CADRE developed parent guides and companion videos on each of the dispute resolution options available under IDEA as well as a guide on IEP Facilitation (not IDEA required but may be available in your state). Be sure to check with your state education agency or parent center to learn more about the dispute resolution options available in your state.

Do you have information on hiring an advocate or attorney?

Navigating the special education system is challenging and many parents rely on family friends, advocates, or attorneys for support. While many families can find the support they need from their local parent center, others may choose to hire an advocate or attorney. CADRE does not keep a list of advocates or attorneys, but we do have some resources for families looking to hire an advocate or support person.

The Guiding Principles of Collaborative Advocacy provides a framework that CADRE believes will lead to problem solving strategies which  place an emphasis on the child’s needs and maintaining a positive relationship between families and educators.

CADRE also developed Educational Advocates, A Guide for Parents as a tool to support parents as they look to hire an advocate.

Although it may be challenging to find free or low cost special education legal services, your state education agency can supply you with a list.

Resources in Other Languages

Do you have resources available in languages other than English?

Many of CADRE’s resources are available in multiple languages. Some of our most popular print resources, such as our parent guides and Steps to Success, are available in 13 languages.

Parent Guides

The IEP Facilitation parent guide is available in EnglishSpanishArabicChinese (Simplified)HmongKoreanRussianVietnameseBurmesePortuguese,
 
Japanese, and Somali. The companion video is available in English and Spanish.

The Mediation parent guide is available in EnglishSpanishArabicChinese (Simplified)HmongKoreanRussianVietnameseBurmesePortugueseJapanese, and Somali. The companion video is available in English and Spanish.

The Written State Complaint parent guide is available in EnglishSpanish, ArabicChinese (Simplified)HmongKoreanRussianVietnameseBurmesePortugueseJapanese, and Somali. The companion video is available in English and Spanish.

The Due Process Complaints/Hearings parent guide is available in EnglishSpanishArabicChinese (Simplified)HmongKoreanRussianVietnameseBurmesePortugueseJapanese, and Somali. The companion video is available in English and Spanish.

The Resolution Meetings parent guide is available in EnglishSpanishArabicChinese (Simplified)HmongKoreanRussianVietnameseBurmesePortugueseJapanese, and Somali. The companion video is available in English and Spanish.

The Expedited Due Process Complaints parent guide is in English only. Information in this guide can also be found in the IDEA Due Process Complaints and Hearings Parent Guide, which is available in multiple languages. The companion video is available in English and Spanish.

CADRE also has a separate page of resources in Spanish. Click here to view the En Español page.

Additional Assistance and Information

Who can I contact if I need more help resolving concerns about my child’s education?

CADRE encourages resolving concerns at the local or district level whenever possible. With that in mind, there are times when additional support may be needed in which case, contacting your state education agency or your local parent center for more information could be helpful.

How can I stay up-to-date on information about special education dispute resolution?

You can sign up for CADRE’s newsletter and stay up-to-date on activity and helpful information about Dispute Resolution.

Where can I learn more about developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency in my own practice or within my child’s school community?

CADRE has compiled a list of resources to support families interested in equity initiatives and developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency personally or professionally. The Equity and Cultural & Linguistic Competence - Resources to Consider link provides suitable resources for states, parent centers, teachers, and practitioners.

For Families of Infants and Toddlers (Birth through age 2)

Establishing Positive Relationships

What can I do to build a positive relationship with my child’s provider(s)?

In CADRE’s webinar, Playing Nicely Together: Family-Centered Practices to Help Practitioners and Families Work Together, the presenters share information on building blocks of relationships, family-centered practices, and examples of exemplary family-practitioner collaboration.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) has several relevant resources here, Teaming and Collaboration Practice Guides for Families, which include Participating on Your Child’s Team; Family Members Working with Other Team Members; and Sharing What You Know with Professionals. The guides are available in English and Spanish. Content is also available in video format.

CADRE developed an online learning series for both families and educators. Families of infants and toddlers may benefit from this series, however, the setting in which collaborative problem solving and conflict resolution takes place within this series is typically the school or IEP meeting. The Working Together Series contains five courses. While each course covers valuable information, Course 2- IEP Meetings and Beyond, addresses behaviors and strategies to create better home-school partnerships. Course 3- Listening and Responding, also has tools to maximize communication.

How can I communicate with my child’s school?

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) has several relevant resources here, Teaming and Collaboration Practice Guides for Families. These guides include: Participating on Your Child’s Team; Family Members Working with Other Team Members; and Sharing What You Know with Professionals. The guides are available in English and Spanish. Content is also available in video format.

CADRE developed an online learning series for both families and educators. Families of infants and toddlers may benefit from this series, however, the setting in which collaborative problem solving and conflict resolution takes place within this series is typically the school or IEP meeting. The Working Together Series contains five courses. While each course covers valuable information, Course 3- Listening and Responding, has information you can use to improve communication between you and your child’s school.

Another CADRE resource families may find helpful, is A Tale of Two Conversations. This two-part video demonstrates varying communication styles and the impact they have on the outcome of a conversation. The video highlights behaviors that make communicating more challenging, as well as effective skills that encourage productive communication.

Where can I learn more about developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency in in myself or within my child’s early intervention community?

CADRE has compiled a great list of resources to support families interested in equity initiatives and developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency personally or professionally. The Equity and Cultural & Linguistic Competence - Resources to Consider link provides suitable resources for states, parent centers, teachers, and practitioners.

Support for the IFSP Process

Where can I learn more about preparing for an IFSP meeting?

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center’s (ECTA) has several resources here, Teaming and Collaboration Practice Guides for Families can help families prepare for and actively participate in their child’s next IFSP meeting. These guides include: Participating on Your Child’s Team; Family Members Working with Other Team Members; and Sharing What You Know with Professionals. The guides are available in English and Spanish. Content is also available in video format.

If you need additional information and support, you may want to contact your local parent center.  To find your local parent center, click here.

Additionally, if circumstances prohibit participants from attending an IFSP meeting in person, technology may be used to allow participation through the Internet or telephone. CADRE has collected resources, tips, and strategies to support meaningful participation in virtual meetings. Although the following resources produced in collaboration with the Center for Parent Information and ResourcesFamily Network on DisabilitiesNational Center for Systemic ImprovementPROGRESS Center, and Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support, were specifically designed to support families of school-aged children, they may also be of interest to families of infants and toddlers:

Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets

Participating in Virtual Meetings Infographic (Español)

Sample Virtual IEP Meeting Agenda (Español)

To view all virtual meeting resources CADRE has compiled, go to:

Virtual Meetings: Strategies, Tips and Resources

Where can I learn more about developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency in myself or within my child’s early intervention community?

CADRE has compiled a list of resources to support families interested in equity initiatives and developing or improving cultural competency personally or professionally. The Equity and Cultural & Linguistic Competence - Resources to Consider link provides suitable resources for states, parent centers, teachers, and practitioners.

Managing Disagreement and Dispute Resolution Options

I want to file a complaint but do not know how?

If you have tried resolving your concerns with your lead agency and provider but are still not in agreement, you may want to consider accessing one of your dispute resolution options. CADRE developed family guides and companion videos on each of the dispute resolution options available under IDEA. Be sure to check with your Part C early intervention lead agency or parent center to learn more about the dispute resolution options available in your state.

Are there any trainings on communication and conflict resolution for families?

CADRE’s Working Together Series is a free, online learning series for both families and educators. Families of infants and toddlers may benefit from this series, however, the setting in which collaborative problem solving and conflict resolution takes place within this series is typically the school or IEP meeting. The series consists of five courses with great strategies for working together and through conflict.

Course 1: Introduction to the Working Together Series
Course 2: IEP Meetings and Beyond
Course 3: Listening and Responding Skills
Course 4: Managing and Responding to Emotions
Course 5: Focusing on Interests to Reach Agreement

CADRE also hosts many webinars with a variety of topics. Click here for a link to some of our most popular webinars for families. Click here for the full webinar archive.

What can I do if I do not agree with the decision made at my child’s IFSP meeting?

CADRE encourages resolving concerns at the local level whenever possible. Common initial steps to take for resolving a disagreement are, setting up a conference with your child’s lead agency, provider, or team to discuss your concerns. You may also consider reaching out to your local parent center to get additional support. To find your local parent center, click here.

If you have tried resolving your concerns but are still not in agreement, you may want to consider accessing one of your dispute resolution options. For general information about dispute resolution options available under IDEA (mediation, written state complaints, and due process complaints and hearings), view CADRE’s family guides and companion videos. Another resource families may find helpful is CADRE’s comparison chart. It lists each process in an organized table and compares and contrasts resolution options to help you decide which one may be the best given your specific concerns.

Do you have information on hiring an advocate or attorney?

Navigating the special education system is challenging, and many parents rely on family friends, advocates, or attorneys for support. While many families can find the support they need from their local parent center, others may choose to hire an advocate or attorney. CADRE does not keep a list of advocates or attorneys, but we do have some resources for families of school-aged children looking to hire an advocate or support person. Families of infants and toddlers may also find these resources helpful:

The Guiding Principles of Collaborative Advocacy provides a framework that CADRE believes will lead to problem solving that places an emphasis on the child’s needs and maintaining a positive relationship between families and educators.

CADRE also developed Educational Advocates, A Guide for Parents as a tool to support parents as they look to hire an advocate.

Although it may be challenging to find free or low cost special education legal services, your 

Resources in Other Languages

Do you have resources available in languages other than English?

CADRE family guides have been translated into several languages.

The Mediation family guide is available in EnglishSpanish, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese.  The companion video and resources are available in English and Spanish.

The Written State Complaint family guide is available in EnglishSpanish, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese.  The companion video and resources are available in English and Spanish.

The Due Process Complaints/Hearings—Part C Procedures family guide is available in EnglishSpanish, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese.  The companion video and resources are available in English and Spanish.

The Due Process Complaints/Hearings—Part B Procedures family guide is available in EnglishSpanish, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese.  The companion video and resources are available in English and Spanish.

CADRE also has a separate page of resources in Spanish. Click here to view the En Español page.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) Teaming and Collaboration Practice Guides for Families and companion videos are available in Spanish:

  • Participating on Your Child’s Team (En Español)
  • Family Members Working with Other Team Members (En Español)
  • Sharing What You Know with Professionals. The guides are available in English and Spanish (En Español)

Additional Assistance and Information

Who can I contact if I need more help resolving concerns about my child’s education?

CADRE encourages resolving concerns at the local level whenever possible. With that in mind, there are times when additional support may be needed and contacting your Part C early intervention lead agency or your local parent center for more information would be helpful.

How can I stay up-to-date on information about early intervention dispute resolution?

You can sign up for CADRE’s newsletter and stay up-to-date on activity and new or helpful information about Dispute Resolution.

Where can I learn more about developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency in for myself or within my child’s early intervention community?

CADRE has compiled a list of resources to support families interested in equity initiatives and developing or improving cultural and linguistic competency personally or professionally. The Equity and Cultural & Linguistic Competence - Resources to Consider link provides suitable resources for states, parent centers, teachers, and practitioners.