Sample Letter to Request an IEP Meeting

When a student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), their IEP team is required to meet and review the program at least every year. The annual review date is listed on the cover page of the IEP document. Family caregivers can request additional meetings, and this article includes a sample letter families can use to Read More

Steps to Read, Understand, and Develop an Initial IEP

A Brief Overview A first-time IEP document is a lot to absorb. This article provides tips to help family members read through a draft IEP and prepare to participate on the IEP team that finalizes the Individualized Education Program before services begin. Remember, the school’s first version is a DRAFT, and family members of the Read More

What Parents Need to Know when Disability Impacts Behavior and Discipline at School

A Brief Overview Full Article Behavior is a form of communication, and children often try to express their needs and wants more through behavior than words. When a young person has a disability or has experienced trauma or other distress, adults and authorities may need to put in extra effort to understand. Missed cues and Read More

Tips to Organize Your Child’s Medical and School Documents

A Brief Overview Keeping track of important documents for your child’s health can save you time and give you less stress. Take advantage of technology! If you choose to build a digital storage system, integrating it with your smart phone will make it easy to share information on-the-go with doctors, day care providers, school staff, Read More

Mental Health Education and Support at School can be Critical

A Brief Overview Alarming statistics indicate the pandemic worsened many behavioral health outcomes for young people. Governor Jay Inslee on March 14, 2021, issued an emergency proclamation declaring children’s mental health to be in crisis. President Joe Biden issued a Fact Sheet about the nation’s mental health crisis on March 1, 2022, as part of his State Read More

Sample Letter to Request Evaluation

A Brief Overview Full Article When a student is struggling in school and there is reason to suspect the challenges are disability related, anyone can refer the student for an educational evaluation. If the evaluation shows that the student is eligible, services are provided through an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Washington State requires special education Read More

Sample Letter to Request a Functional Behavioral Assessment

When a student’s behavior gets in the way of their learning and/or the learning of others, the school is responsible to figure out how to support behavioral expectations. One way to do that is to assess why the student might be acting out and use that information to consider how positive behavioral interventions might teach Read More

Why Get Help from PTI?

Why Get Help from PTI? Parent Training and Information (PTI) is federally funded to support family caregivers, youth, and professionals. We know educational systems use a lot of complicated words and follow procedures that can feel confusing. We do our best to provide tips for communicating as members of a school-and-family team that develops a student’s Read More

Civil Rights Protect Language Access for Parent Participation in Child’s Education

Under state and federal law, all parents have the right to information about their child’s education in a language they can understand. This information is translated on handouts in multiple languages from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Language access includes translated documents and an interpreter for meetings and conversations. Parents have the Read More

Tips for Communicating as a Member of the IEP Team

A Brief Overview Full Article Whether on Zoom or around a conference table, sitting down with a team of professionals can feel intimidating to families. When a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is on the agenda, emotions can overtake a meeting. Getting defensive or angry does not usually help, however. This article provides tools for Read More

Key Information and Creative Questions for Families to Consider During COVID-19 Closures

A Brief Overview Districts are responsible to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students within their boundaries with known or suspected disabilities that significantly impact access to learning. Read on to learn more about FAPE and student rights. Federal and state requirements to ensure that children with qualifying disabilities can access early learning Read More

Social Emotional Learning, Part 2: Trauma-Informed Instruction

A Brief Overview Understanding trauma and providing consistent skill building in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) can improve outcomes in education and elsewhere. Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction provides free SEL training materials for educators and families on its website: k12.wa.us. Trauma-informed adults can use specific strategies to help children understand their emotions, describe Read More

Help for Military Families: Tips to Navigate Special Education Process in Washington State

A Brief Overview PAVE offers this article specifically to assist families navigating special education systems when they are new to our state, or if they have a child or youth who now needs special education The information in this article is available on a downloadable two-page handout. Families can get individualized help by filling out Read More

Quick Look: How to Prepare for a Virtual Meeting

Schools and families continue to meet virtually to discuss special education services during the closures related to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are tips to help family members prepare for remote meetings to discuss a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), a Section 504 Plan, evaluation for special education services or something else related to a special Read More