Comments: The Elephant

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linda , fort worth tx   12/09/02
No cookie cutter mediations allowed!
I am a special education mediator hired as independent contractor to provide mediation for special education disputes. While most disputes between parents and school districts are similar from the standpoint of the alphabet soup language of the education world, there are no two parents nor school district representatives alike. However, it appears each camp falls into categories...low functioning, borderline functioning, and mid-range functioning. I use these categories not so much as judgemental attitudes but more as gauging my pace and style for the mediation. With a low functioning parent/school district, I do more on the intake process to prepare them for the mediation and probably less on intake with the mid range parent/school district and more at the mediation during opening statement portion. Regardless, of category each problem is unique and requires I bring all of my mediator tools the most important being the tool of "HOPE" and the second tool "Appreciation". With the goal in mind of helping all present to remember the future of a child's education is what is at stake.