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If parents are able to communicate effectively and if the school personnel are caring professionals, parents and educators will usually be able to resolve disputes informally and comfortably. Nevertheless, when parents see a problem in their child’s education, they need to prepare for a possible dispute. If the school is ultimately willing to make the adjustments the parents ask for, then the preparation was simply insurance; if the school decides to fight the parents on the issue, however, the parents will be ready for the next step.

When parents are facing a potential conflict with the school, their master file (see Section V) will be a major asset to them because it will have objective evidence speaking to the needs of their child. In addition to making sure that the master file is in order, parents might benefit greatly from reading chapters 21-26 in the Pam and Pete Wright book From Emotions to Advocacy. These chapters describe in detail the successful strategies for dealing with adversity when parents have to face off against a school.

Most importantly, however, parents should seek help as early as possible and certainly before the conflict begins to weaken (or worsen) the relationship between themselves and the school.  


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