Empowering parents to get the services and supports their child needs at school is one of my passions.  That’s why I created the Empowered Parent Advocate Bootcamp.  This 8 week on-line training and coaching program teaches you how to rewrite your child’s PLAAFP and Goals so that you can effectively advocate for more special education services at school.

However, the links below can help you too.

Learning the rules

Texas project first– a Texas specific, parent friendly website about the world of special education 0-21: written by parents for parents

Legal Framework this website from Region 18 provides a somewhat friendly guide to the rules governing special education in Texas. It is in English and Spanish, and has a separate section for parents and educators.

Texas Side by Side this is a free, downloadable document that places the federal IDEA law, the state special ed law, and the Texas Commissioner Rules into a columns side by side, so that you can easily see where the differences are.  Very useful for ARD meetings when the staff are telling you that something is not in the law.

Commissioner’s Rules on Special Education the actual rules, but it can take a little digging to find what you need here

www.wrightslaw.com a great, general special ed website run by a lawyer who received special ed services as a child.  A wealth of information about every IDEA related topic that exists.

The Center for Parent Information and Resources  a national source center on children with disabilities with a wealth of information about disabilities, public education, and research based educational practices

 Parents Guide to the ARD Process  from Texas Education Agency (available in English and Spanish. 

Vaccine rights information: Texans for Vaccine Choice

The Texas Educational Service Center (ESC) are regional training hubs for educational staff and parents.  There are 14  regions, and each one has a specialty focus, some even offering conferences:  positive behavior supports, transition, autism, dyslexia, etc.   Parents are welcome at most of the trainings.   Click here to find out about the Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training.

If you’re thinking about homeschooling your child. . . .


When you a very specific question about the rules or need to find someone to help

COPAA; a national organization filled with friendly and knowledgeable parent, advocates, and attorneys who can answer questions and direct you to resources.

Disability Rights Texas.  (they are limited on amount of help and types of cases that they can take).

Partner’s Resource Network the IDEA funded parent education organization for Texas.  They offer training, webinars, and answer questions.

The ARC of Texas has local chapters throughout the state that offer training in topics related to special education.  To find one near you click here.

What’s the difference between IDEA and 504?

There are many great FaceBook groups.  Do a search to see if your school district already has a parent group started.  If not, why not start your own?


Special Ed specific to Autism in Texas

Texas Autism Supplement;  for all children in Texas who are eligible for special education under AU (autism) the considerations listed in the document must be considered.  The supplement does not add to special education under IDEA2004, but rather clarifies considerations unique to children with ASD.

Texas Statewide Leadership in Autism–Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) autism initiative run by Region 13. The “training” section lists all the autism specialists at each of the 20 regional education service centers (ESCs). The “manual” lists a compilation of teaching methods supported by research.

Texas State Autism Conference– The next conference is for Dec 3-5, 2009. There are trainings from past conferences available on DVD that can be checked out from your local ESC.


General Disability Education Conferences

Many local parent groups sponsor annual resource fairs.  Check the “how do I connect with parents?” section to find a local group near you.  Also, check with the special education director in your district, because they are supposed to be keeping up with community resources for parents in the area.  You may be able to attend a conference as a part of the parent training requirement of the autism supplement.


Texas Parent to Parent Annual Conference

504, Dyslexia, & Autism Conferences sponsored by the Council of Educators for Students with Disabilities,

Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference