Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Michele Pena

Michele Pena- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison- Casper Area

As a parent going into the Special Education process for the first time can be very frightening. There is so much to learn as far as knowing and learning about the rights of your child. For instance when starting the IEP (Individualized Education Program), you are told by the LEA (Lead Education Agency) who may be your school district or a local child development center that they are considering the LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) for your child. These acronyms are just a few that may be used during the Special Education process by teachers, service providers and principals.

Unfortunately many of us do not realize that parents starting this process may not know what we are talking about and parents are often afraid to ask. It’s easy to use these acronyms and forget about parents who are just entering Special Education with their child are most likely overwhelmed with all the information they are being given.

As advocates when we are supporting parents through this process it is our job to help them understand the acronyms being used and where to find the information. My favorite website to use for this is Wrightslaw.com. This is a wonderful website with up to date information and help with specific information.

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Comments on: "IDEA Soup and Things to Remember as an Advocate" (5)

  1. Tammy Wilson said:

    Michelle good job! your blog brought back alot of memories of how over whelmed I felt with those first IEP meetings for my daughter.( And all those acronyms.) I wish we would have been around then. Im glad we are here now.

  2. Jennifer said:

    The acronyms are endless in special education. Your article is a good reminder to use everyday language to explain special education instead of letters. We will be having a workshop in Rock Springs on November 16 at the Senior Center to help parents understand some of these terms and their rights and responsibilities under Special Education Law. I hope to see many parents there.

  3. Stephanie Harris said:

    Great points Michele! There is so much to IDEA–it took me a couple of years working full time in special education before I fully understood all of it–and even then there’s always more to learn. That’s why PIC is such a great resource–parents can come and have someone who has been there explain things in plain English!

  4. Blanca Moye said:

    thanks for your support for families, is great what you are doing

  5. What a great reminder of how frightening that inital IEP meeting can be for parents who are new to the process and all those acronyms! When I am advocating for a parent in an IEP meeting I will ask, for the parent, what an acronym stands for as a gentle reminder to the team that this parent is new to the process.

    Great job Michelle!

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