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I have inadvertently sparked a lively discussion! Yes, parents are an important part of the team. While many parents are knowledgeable and skillful, there are parents who are not. They often come to meetings with little or no knowledge of special education, or have been misinformed. These parents learn alot at meetings and become better prepared to be part of the decision making process, and more effective advocates for their child
I retired from a school district as a CSE Chairperson. Prior to that position, I taught special eduction classes for over twenty years. I have always been an advocate for my students and their parents. Now, in private practice, I continue to tutor students and consult with their parents.