Navigating the School Dispute Escalation Process for Youth with DD

Guidance on managing conflicts within educational settings for youth with developmental disabilities.

You are your child’s biggest advocate! We understand that navigating the education system, ensuring that your child's rights are being upheld, and securing the resources they need can be a daunting task. But, we are here to help! This course is here to help you untangle the options you have when there is a dispute with your child’s school or school district.

If you feel like your child is not getting what they need to be successful in school, you have options to address the issue with the school. This course explains the process of escalating a dispute and focuses on the most important part: finding a solution that is best for your child.

This no-cost, solutions-focused training reviews:

  • An overview of educational and procedural rights your child has;
  • How the special education system works;
  • Best Practices on effectively addressing an issue with the school;
  • TOOLS to help you document and communicate;
  • Key people to engage;
  • The spectrum of escalation steps;
  • Outcomes that can result from escalation; and
  • State, Local, and National resources available to help.

What to expect:

  • A 60-minute, self-paced, video slide-based presentation;
  • Instructors: Petri Brill, Anna Cafaro, Tom Walsh, Hanni Raley, and Jeff Fernengel;
  • Downloadable TOOLS including 504 vs IEP chart, Issue Resolution Flowchart, Super Log, Preparing for Negotiation log, Arc Chapter Map, Glossary of Schooling Terms;
  • Closed captioning in English; and a
  • Digital Certificate of Completion for entire course achievement.

Who should take this course:

  • Parents of children with disabilities;
  • Professionals who work with children with disabilities; and
  • Disability advocacy organizations.

This work is made possible through support from the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, arc Thrift Stores, Developmental Pathways, and The Arc of Aurora.


Due to the varying requirements of different organizations and disciplines, THINK+change does not seek prior accreditation of educational courses for CLE/CEUs. Please consult the rules of your organization regarding the procedures for receiving continuing education credits. This course may qualify for up to 60 minutes of CLE/CEU. You will also receive a digital certificate verifying your completion of the course to submit. If you require further verification or have other questions, please contact us.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical or legal advice. You should consult your own medical or legal advisors for specific and personalized advice.

Your Instructor

THINK+change Team
THINK+change Team

THINK+change offers solutions-focused training and education that change knowledge, attitude, and behavior to ultimately improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). THINK+change is a training and education program of The Arc of Aurora which was incorporated in 1975 as an advocacy organization for people with IDD. Since the inception of THINK+change in 2017, the education program has been a trailblazer in disability education and has trained and brought together thousands of people with IDD, their families, and the professionals in their lives who want to keep up with trends and developments in the disability field and grow professionally. All people with disabilities deserve respect and deserve better.

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