Educational Advocacy Resources

by Bob DeMarco •
There are several organizations out there that have published materials my family have found useful in working with schools. I’d like to share some of them with you.

If you need assistance navigating the waters of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC) is an excellent resource. They offer many training oppportunities, tools you can use to facilitate the conversation with your child’s school, individualized coaching, and topic-specific assistance.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is an excellent resouce for parents and anyone touching the life of a child who has been traumatized. The general website is here: Don’t miss their educator toolkit and one-page educator fact sheet. You can download these resources for free, print them, and give them to your child’s teachers. I recommend you spend some time looking through the wide array of wonderful information available here.

One of our favorite books for parenting children who have experienced trauma is The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Karyn B. Purvis. Dr. Purvis recommends parents copy chapter four of her book to give to their children’s teachers. That chapter is titled “Disarming the Fear Response with Felt Safety.” The basic premise is that your child will be best poised to learn if they feel safe in the classroom. That chapter provides real world help. The rest of the book is great, too!

Another book we recommend is called Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families by Jane Schooler. Chapters nine and ten deal specifically with maltreated children in school and interventions for teachers that work. The book provides good education as to why one might see a particular behavior. It also emphasizes the importance of the teacher/child relationship, something we have found to be essential to any kind of success for our kids.