Offering Assistance to Parents & Educators

for 30 Years


Dyslexia and the Advocate: What is THE tipping point?

It can be a dilemma. Not only is it important to carefully select an advocate, the decision is really first whether to spend the money for an advocate. Or, when to spend the money.

So, just what is your tipping point?

I have read pleas for information all over Facebook and then seen horribly useless and, what’s worse, terribly wrong information posed as answers to sincere requests for assistance.

I have seen requests for assistance posted on a Facebook page with some very good—on occasion—advice. Advice that would require some effort and time on the part of the posting parent, but good advice just the same. In fact, that is what made it good advice. By following the suggested approach, it was actually showing the parent an action to take that would have enabled the parent to be a great advocate. But that was not to be.

The next day I happened to visit another favorite FB page only to find that the good advice had been totally ignored and the original posting reposted on this new group page! And, yes, I checked, it was indeed posted on a different date from the initial posting.

Here is another worrisome observation. A parent was seeking, genuinely looking for, assistance. The kind that would take three pages to answer correctly. There was a response from an advocate, apologetically selling their services, because, like the rest of us, she saw the desperate need of this parent and wanted to help. The reply? And I quote “We just aren’t in a position to take your services now.” So sad, until….

Until, on yet another site, I read that this family was going to take a two-week vacation at Disneyland. Hmmmmmmmmmm Don’t you just wonder? I mean, what does it take to make a decision to seek out and then hire assistance? What level of need must a child have in order for that tipping point to be reached?

I have a friend who does all that can be done to ensure that the children, one who has a disability, is in receipt of the right schooling and education.  This person’s spouse, however, cannot justify the expenses. (By the way, I purposely did not want to indicate what gender either spouse was). That spouse was far more concerned with purchasing tech items that showed off the family status. I can only imagine the dinner time conversations.  And in case you were wondering, this is also a true story.

Last story. The parents saw a problem the school refused to “see” and secured the services of a professional to conduct an expensive evaluation. The report recommended the school provide accommodations, but provided none in the report—yes, a less than mediocre evaluation, to say the least, and a chapter in an upcoming free eBook.

One of the parents posted a request—on a Facebook page—for a list of accommodations for children with dyslexia that they could include in their child’s IEP. I was told that the parents were offered (for hire) services to review the report, analyze its contents, highlight in the document key points where goals should be created from, to create applicable goals matching them with applicable accommodations along with the rationale and then to review everything with the parents and to prepare them for presenting the information to the IEP meeting.  The reply was “We can’t afford the services at this time.” Wait, what? They just purchased a less than stellar report and now you have no interest in…okay, I’m sure you get the point.  “Well,” I said, “I understood” …but, I’m telling you that I really don’t

At what point is it, where the child’s needs dictate the next steps to be taken? When does an investment in a child—one that will have long term benefits throughout his or her adult life—outweigh the short term and, often, not so good decisions?

You could hire an advocate, or, you could-take a course, or training, or, even, hire a mentor, so that you could be your child’s best ever advocate? When does that become worth the investment and the better decision over accepting free and often times inadequate “advice?”

And, so I ask, what is THE tipping point?