Date Published: May 31, 2001
UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy
Rosenbaum, S.A.
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Article focuses on advice to parents in working with schools to develop and implement IEPs.  Author states that resorting to litigation has been increasingly unsuccessful, especially in the 9th Cir. where courts have repeatedly held that parents must exhaust all administrative proceedings and options under IDEA first.  Advises parents to focus on one or two goals instead of many, for higher chance of success.  IEP meetings should be short and focused, and plans should be written so they will be easy to follow.  Parents should think about how their child will fit into the regular classroom and affect the education of the other children, to enhance bargaining power during IEP meetings and mediation.  Cites comments from parents expressing frustration with schools’ failure to comply.  Parents express feelings of alienation from education professionals who often appear condescending, but the author encourages them to be respectful and receptive to the specialists and teachers.  Parents should focus on articulating the parental perspective instead of trying to be educational experts.  Author advises parents to use mediation and other forms of ADR, especially with systems-wide problems