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Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition By Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition By Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright

It is the night before Jessica's first big IEP Team meeting, and her parents are scrambling to find something--ANYTHING--that can help them prepare for the meeting. Try Wrightslaw. Sally's advocate is packing her briefcase as she heads out the door for the IEP Team meeting. She checks for her most critical resource. Wrightslaw. Susan, a school district attorney, checks her bag before heading off to her next meeting. Yup, you guessed it. Wrightslaw. Is there anyone who hasn't heard of Wrightslaw?

Actually, we are sure that many readers have not, so we are reviewing two new books from Wrightslaw. Both are second editions of books Pam and Pete Wright first released several years ago. The Wrights have updated both books to reflect the 2004 changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations. We use both books in our regular course of business and highly recommend them to parents, educators, advocates, attorneys, and anyone else who has a need for quick but comprehensive manuals on special education law.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition (Wrightslaw) is a wonderful and ready resource for all who want to be able to find and then quote chapter and verse of IDEA law and regulations. The book includes the complete text of all four parts of IDEA as enacted in December 2004. Wrightslaw also contains the complete implementing regulations for IDEA that became effective in August 2006. These texts alone are worth the cost of the book.

But Wrightslaw does not stop with the IDEA statute and its implementing regulations. Wrightslaw also includes the complete text of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); the text to Section 504 (the Rehabilitation Act of 1973); and the text of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. These inclusions ensure that Wrightslaw users always have the key educational laws right at their fingertips when needed. We have cited our Wrightslaw at IEP Team meetings, due process hearings, client meetings, and the like.

Pam and Pete Wright make Wrightslaw even more valuable by including commentary on how to apply the included laws to typical special education circumstances. They talk about the No Child Left Behind Act and show how it fits into the special education law scheme. They cite and include the text of the major court cases that have shaped how special education law should be interpreted and implemented, and they have included a glossary of special education terms and acronyms with a user-friendly index.

We regard Wrightslaw as an essential resource in our law practice. We believe the book should be part of every parent's (educator's, advocate's, and attorney's) special education library because of its rich and vital contents.

We also heartily recommend Pam and Pete's second book, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition. The Wrights call this book "The Special Education Survival Guide." And it certainly is. The Wrights designed this book primarily for parents who need a one-stop, how-to resource that will teach them to be strong and effective advocates for their children.

We cannot say enough about the contents and organization of this book. The Wrights have divided it into five sections. Section One helps parents to organize their thoughts and ideas, creating a mindset for them in their undertaking as advocates for their child. Section Two highlights the practice of advocacy, outlines the players, identifies common traps, and provides strategies for resolving conflicts and managing crises. Section Three gives parents nuts and bolts information needed to make them experts on all facets of their child's education, from file organization to testing to writing strong IEPs. Section Four walks parents through the broad principles found in IDEA's major provisions, touching on Section 504 and the No Child Left Behind Act. Finally, Section Five shows the now well-prepared parent how to advocate in the trenches-while at the IEP Team meeting, while collecting and documenting information, and while managing and winning disputes.

We like From Emotions to Advocacy because it is loaded with sage advice that most parents will find easy to understand and apply. We especially like that the Wrights pull no punches in telling parents what they are in for as their child's advocates. Their "Rules of Adverse Assumptions," discussed in Chapter 21, are particularly powerful and to the point eg. don't expect others, especially educators, to see things your way and plan and prepare to win your case on your own, using your own wits and resources. They then show you how.

Through Wrightslaw and From Emotions to Advocacy, Pete and Pam Wright have provided a great service to parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys, providing them with hands-on resources that pack power to the punch. We proudly award both books the EP Symbol of Excellence.

Calvin and Tricia Luker collaborate on all facets of advocacy and awareness activities for people with disabilities and their families, including Calvin's law firm, The Respect ABILITY Law Center; Tricia's role as EP Editorial Director of Organizational Relationships; participation in Our Children Left Behind; and raising their four children. Their passion is to advance civil, service, and support rights and opportunities for people with disabilities and their families.
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition
Author:Luker, Tricia; Luker, Calvin
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2007
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