|Liz West on Flickr|
Parents of children with special needs end up with lots of
paperwork. We have medical reports, school reports, IEPs, therapy bills, insurance forms, etc.
so we can refer to them when needed. However, some parents are not aware of the need to establish a paper trail.
Why should special needs parents make a paper trail?
- Make a record of any requests for information or documents
- Confirm the main points made at any meetings about their
- Document any requests made to children’s schools or
- Confirm actions schools or medical providers agreed
- Summarize and confirm important information related to you
by the school or medical providers
if everything is working well at the moment, special needs parents must prepare for potential problems. When these
problems arise, having a paper trail helps:
- You remember what you and other parties said
- Remind you of any issues raised with children’s schools or medical providers
- Identify actions your children’s school or medical providers
were supposed to take
- Recall requests made to your children’s schools or medical
How do I make a paper trail?
- The main points of any school meetings, including IEP
- Any action teachers or schools tell you they are going
- Concerns you express to your children’s teachers or schools
- When a doctor, psychologist or other medical provider tells you
they will send you a report or educational information
- Actions you ask schools or medical providers to take
- If schools do not take actions they said they would take
- Symptoms and other information you give to your children’s
- Disagreements with teachers or schools
- Disagreements with medical providers
letter by mail, also send the letter by fax or email. Then, print the fax report or email showing the information was
sent. Use certified or registered mail for letters discussing very important issues. If you do not document an action or issue using a letter or email, keep a log of your phone calls and conversations. In the log include:
- Date of contact
- Type of contact
- Names of people involved
- Reason for contact
- Any action you or the other party is supposed to take
You can download a PDF of the contact log here.
©Mary M Conneely T/A Advocacy in Action