How to overcome special education personnel's money complaints

By: JoAnn Collins

This article will help you learn how to respond to special education personnel when they claim lack of money to give your child needed educational services.

Are you the parent of a child with autism that has been denied needed
educational services, for your child? Have you been told by school
district personnel, that your child cannot receive a certain service,
because the price is too high? This article will discuss ways that you
can overcome these tactics used by some school personnel, for the
benefit of your child.

The purpose of special education taken out of The Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is to ensure that all children with
disabilities have available
to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special
education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and
prepare them for further education, employment, and independent

IDEA does not allow, school districts to use the money card, to get
out of providing needed educational services to children with
disabilities. The reality is that many school districts try this
tactic many times a day. And the sad things is, that many parents
believe them. Do not fall for this tactic! Stand up for your child, as
you are the only advocate that they will ever have.

For Example:
School administrator: "Mrs. Jones we would love to give Mary 90
minutes of speech therapy a week, but our district is small, and we
cannot afford it."
Bad reply from the parent: "Oh I totally understand, I didn't mean
to ask for so much."
School administrator: "Oh I am sure that you didn't. But you have
to understand that we have a lot of children in our district, and we
want to help them all. How about 30 minutes a week?"
Parent: "30 minutes will be fine."

The problem with this conversation, is that the parent should have
discussed the evidence of her child's need. The parent also did not
clarify, that the amount of time offered was for direct service. Many
times special education personnel will write down consultative
services, rather than direct services; without the parent being aware
of it.

Same Example:
School Administrator: "Mrs. Jones we would love to give Mary 90
minutes of speech therapy a week, but our district is small, and we
cannot afford it."
Good Example from the parent: "Mr. Parker, my daughter Mary needs
90 minutes of direct speech language therapy per week, to make
progress in her education. As you will see from the Independent
Educational Evaluation that I have here, the registered
Speech/Language Pathologist recommends 90 minutes of direct service
per week. I am not concerned with the school districts budget, but
what I am concerned about is Mary's right to receive a free
appropriate public education."
School Administrator: "Why would you go and get an independent
evaluation, don't you trust our speech /language pathologist to
recommend the best for Mary."
Parent: "The Speech/Language Pathologist that works for this
district, is only recommending 30 minutes direct service per week,
despite Mary's low test scores in areas of receptive and expressive
language. Mary needs 90 minutes of Speech Language therapy per week,
if you refuse to give it to her, I will consider filing for a due
process hearing."
School Administrator: "Oh, you don't have to get nasty."
Parent: "I was not getting nasty. Due process is my right, if I
disagree with your decision, which I do."
School administrator: "We will consult with out speech language
pathologist, and consider giving Mary the 90 per week of direct speech
Parent: "Thank You."

By standing up to tactics used by some special education personnel,
you can ensure that your child receives a free appropriate public

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has been an advocate for over 15 years, helping other parents. She is the author of the book Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game. For a free E newsletter send an E mail to: For a link to more free articles, go to:

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