Conflicting views | ESE 603 Law & Ethics in Special Education | Ashford University


In one study conducted to determine the causes of conflict between the parents of children with disabilities and school personnel, found that 90% of parents felt that “either the school did not view their child as an individual with unique talents and abilities, or it saw their child through a deficit-model perspective, focusing only on the child’s weaknesses” (Lake & Billingsley, 2000, p.244). On the other hand, school personal claimed that the parents were uncompromising to alternative solutions and suggestions. Other sources of conflict between parents and their child’s school, which resulted from this study, included miscommunication, mistrust, limited resource availability and feeling devaluation (Lake & Billingsley, 2009). At any point during the school year, parents may have concerns regarding their child’s academic or social development, IEP progress or other school related problems. Their first point of contact may be you, as the special educator, or the school’s administration for the purpose of setting a meeting date discuss an agreeable solution.

As we have learned through our reading and coursework thus far, a school district is not required to design the “best program,” or to provide “the best education possible,” but to provide an appropriate program or service. Moreover, school districts are given some latitude in deciding on the use of appropriate methodologies and strategies, and in what combination, to meet a student’s unique needs and provide an appropriate program.

During Destini’s IEP team meeting, her parents bring up their concern regarding their daughter’s progress and request that she receive more intense support in the area of reading. In addition, Destini’s parents demand that the district immediately provide a specialized and costly supplemental remedial reading program provided by an agency not employed by the district to support her reading deficits.

Because her parents contacted you after seeing Destini’s report card, you anticipated this topic being brought up during the meeting. Her parents explain that although she is passing the class with a “C”, they feel that she could be earning an “A” if only the district would provide these expensive services which are above and beyond her current level of supports to help her with reading comprehension.

Initial Post: After reading the article Factors that contribute to parent school conflict in special education, you will create an initial response depending on the first letter of your last name.

  • If your last name begins with the letters A – M: You will respond to Destini’s parents request by addressing her parents’ concerns by supporting their request for a specialized and costly supplemental remedial reading program provided by an agency not employed by the district to support her reading deficits. Use supporting evidence from your textbook, assignment readings and your own research to leverage support for your argument. Finally, offer at least two alternative solutions that may be an acceptable option to supporting Destini’s continual reading comprehension. Be sure to consider the categories identified in the article, Factors that contribute to parent school conflict in special education that may escalate the conflict.

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