Family & Self-Advocacy

Tips for Teens: Learning How to Advocate for Yourself

Self-advocacy is a key step in becoming an adult. It means looking out for yourself, telling people what you need, and knowing how to take responsibility.

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Your IEP Meeting: A Great Place to Practice Self-Advocacy Skills

Self-advocacy is a key step in becoming an adult. It means looking out for yourself, telling others what you need, and knowing how to take responsibility. No one is born knowing these skills. Self-advocacy skills are needed over a lifetime, and everyone has to learn them. Here is some great information that can start you on your way!

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Age of Majority

Age of majority is the legal age established by state law at which a person is no longer a minor and has the right and the responsibility to make certain legal choices that adults make. The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) affords parents certain rights to ensure their participation in the educational process for their child with disabilities.

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Communication Tips for Parents & Educators

Sometimes it can be difficult to communicate your feelings about your child's education with their teacher. Try using some of these communication tips so next time you can focus on your goals, effectively set your expectations and not get too emotionally overwhelmed.

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You Are Not Alone: Information for Parents

This is a great resource for parents who have recently learned that their child has a disability. It is written from the personal perspective of a parent who has shared this experience and all that goes with it.

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children's Education Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal privacy law that gives parents certain protections with regard to their children's education records, such as report cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact and family information, and class schedules. As a parent, you have the right to review your child's education records and to request changes under limited circumstances. To protect your child's privacy, the law generally requires schools to ask for written consent before disclosing your child's personally identifiable information to individuals other than you.

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Communication Matters

What do we do when communication isn't working the way we want it to? Or when disagreement or conflict makes it particularly difficult? Here are some simple strategies that we can all learn to use to improve communication.

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Parent Guide to Educational Advocacy

Advocacy comes in many forms, ranging from friendly, gentle persuasion to aggressive, in your face confrontation. The form or style that is most effective often depends on the type of advocacy you are pursuing. When it comes to parent advocacy in education, there are extremely important considerations: the long-term working relationship between you, as a parent, and the educators who have a continuing role in your child's educational development, and how that relationship may affect your child's educational environment.

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The Three Principles of Self-Advocacy

Self-advocacy is all about letting people know what you want or need. You can communicate what you want in many ways like having a conversation, or writing an email. Whatever way you use to communicate with others, try to say exactly what is you want or need.

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Improving Communication: Tips for Educators & Parents

Tips for educators and parents to improve communication.

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How Can You Help Your Child Learn to be a Good Self Advocate

It is never too early to start teaching your child how he or she can advocate for himself or herself. Like many other important life skills, self-advocacy is a critical tool your child needs in order to achieve goals, increase self-sufficiency, and become a successful young adult. It is a life long process that begins with your child learning by watching you, as a parent, be a good advocate.

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This guide is designed as a resource to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and their guardians and family members, in finding the information and supports they may need. It may also be helpful to stakeholders throughout the Iowa service delivery system to better identify and address gaps in resources, or otherwise assist persons living at Woodward or Glenwood State Resource Center or in the community in accessing needed services and supports. Please share this guide with anyone who may benefit from its contents.

Read the Iowa Department of Human Services PDF