Why do I need to hire a Michigan special education advocate?

All of our Michigan special education advocates have been in your shoes countless times.  We have been denied parental participation and told what our kids can / cannot do.  We’ve felt the stress of waiting for the day of our child’s IEP without knowing what was going to happen, with whom and how.  We had no idea how to prepare.  It felt like it was us against them.  That is not how an IEP was designed to progress.
You hire a special education advocate to make sure your voice is heard the first time.  The most important person on your child’s IEP team is you – the parent.  Parent participation is one of the most important aspects of a successful IEP.  Our job is to provide parents with information, guidance and support throughout the IEP process.  We encourage individual, informed, data based decisions that meet the needs of your child.  We also encourage positive relationships with your child’s school staff.
The why is simple… NEVER IEP ALONE.  You will hear this over and over throughout our community.  Hiring an advocate has been proven to be difficult in the past.  Some experienced special education advocates are available, but charge over $300 per hour!  Michigan advocates are very few and far between, especially well informed advocates.  Our goal is to solve this problem with an affordable solution.

How to Hire Our Team

Your first step to hiring us as your IEP team is to register for an IEP audit.  The audit cost is $99.  Once your audit is complete, let your personal special education advocate know that you would like to sign up for the advocacy retainer.  They will then send you a contract to be signed and invoice you for $30.00 per month paid through Paypal.  The contract is for 12 months.  The monthly fee will cover three hours of advocacy work (including attending your IEP) for one year.  Additional fees after the three hours per year will be determined by your personal advocate.

Warning Signs

A word of advice … from a fellow community parent and Michigan special education advocate.  Be careful — VERY CAREFUL — of advocates who:
  • Promise specific results
  • Shut down home / school communication
  • Make threats, name call or insult
  • Encourage parents to withhold information
  • Change the focus of the discussion on him / herself
It is important to maintain a positive, working relationship with your school.  (Sometimes different personalities make this very hard.)  If you hire an advocate with claws already out and he / she promotes accusatory / negative communication, you and your child will deal with the repercussions for the rest of your child’s school career.  Only hire advocates like this if it is absolutely necessary.
On another note, we do not put out fires.  We prevent them.  So if you already have this type of relationship with your school, we are not the right advocates for you.