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Big sister with disabled brother in whee


You are entering a new period of change for both you and your child.

For many parents the first major transition will be from home-based and family-centered early intervention services, to an individualized education plan for your child in a classroom environment.  It cannot be overstated the importance of gaining the knowledge and skills needed to most effectively advocate on behalf of your child.  


  • Learn as much as possible about your child’s diagnosis.  Their abilities are yet to be discovered.

  • Build and maintain relationships with physicians, schools, therapists, teachers, provider agencies, and your neighborhood community groups.

  • Get to know who your local and state officials, legislators, representatives and senators are and how to contact them.  Investigate how programs are funded.

  • Check your local school and provider agencies for parent support groups, educational workshops, and/or parent advisory councils.

  • Register with your local police and fire departments, and let them know you have a child with special needs living in your home.

  • Get to know Oklahoma's laws on public education; make sure you have a clear understanding of your child’s entitlements and your rights and responsibilities as the parent.

  • Make sure that your budget includes out of pocket expenses for medical therapies, babysitters, advocates, legal and financial services and other unexpected expenses.

  • If there is difficulty in working with your public school system to provide supports and accommodations for your child to thrive, don’t be afraid to hire an advocate / attorney to help guide your negotiations.

  • Review your current financial and estate plan at least every 3 to 5 years, as well as any time your situation changes.

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