Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Price of Advocacy

Yesterday I called a Special Education Advocate. Thinking, that if I can't find an attorney - I'll use an advocate for my Turning 5 meeting.  

Curious to know how much an advocate will cost?  Let me break it down.  

The Consultation - $450.  It's a 3 step process:
  1. A face to face meeting.  
  2. A review of all documents. 
  3. Discussion of retainer and other fees.
If you don't wish to retain the services of an advocate, you also have the option of using them for one CSE meeting.  The fee? $750.  And there are no guarantees.  You may still need an attorney if it gets to an impartial hearing.  

Every day I realize more and more, that Norrin's future is completely in my hands.  And mine alone.  Without the aid of a Special Education Attorney or an Advocate.  I have to be both.  I need to be Wonder Woman. 

If it means interfering in an ensconced, outdated system, to help just one woman, man or child…I’m willing to accept the consequences.” -Wonder Woman #170

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  1. And you will be. But you won't be alone; you have a community of other parents willing to listen and be there and to share their experiences, too.

  2. I think there needs to be more affordable resources for children with special needs b/c not everyone is blessed with the income neccessary to be able to afford a lot of the services needed. We are the only real advocates for our children good luck with the process don't hesistate to tell any of them at that hearing where to go if need be when the time comes.

  3. There is an organization in Oregon that provides special education advocacy training for parents — they have a trained network of volunteer advocates and will provide one free to accompany you at IEPs. It might be worth contacting them to see if they know of any similar resources in your state [not sure where you live].

    Also, this site

    lists parent training centers in other states.

    Good luck.

  4. Actually, just found the list for New York:

    Advocates for Children of NY
    151 West 30th Street, 5th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    Fax: 212-947-9790
    Serves: Five boroughs of New York City

    116 East 16th Street, 5th Floor
    New York, NY 10003
    Fax: 212-254-4070
    Serves: New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)

    Sinergia/Metropolitan Parent Center
    2082 Lexington Avenue, 4th Floor
    New York, NY 10032
    Fax: 212-643-2871
    Serves: New York City

    United We Stand (CPRC)
    91 Harrison Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11206
    Fax: 718-302-4315
    Serves: Brooklyn

  5. Thank you all so much for your words of support!

    Sarah - many, many thanks to you for taking the time to find these resources and include them here!! We are in NYC. We don't qualify for Advocates for Children. I am familiar with Resources NYC - I've attended a few parent seminars. They are on my list to call. I didn't know about the last 2, so thank you again.


AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.