E+R=O: A Special Education Mindset

E + R = O: A Special Education Mindset

Fighting for an individualized and appropriate education

Let’s imagine you are not receiving progress reports on your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). You have that parental instinct that something isn’t right. How do you stand up to district administrators, who are specifically trained in the field of education? Do you “let it go” and just hope everything works out? No! 


Urban Meyer led The Ohio State University Football Team to a National Title using this simple equation, E + R = O. The equation comes from the book Above the Line, coauthored by Meyer and Wayne Coffey. (Highly Recommended by #teamAW!) The book is not a focus on football, but on mindset and taking action. Which is what we need to do when advocating for our kids. Special Education is full of unexpected, emotional, and confusing events. From initial diagnosis to having a gut feeling that your child is not receiving the correct services to meet their individual needs. Now what?


It begins with a simple, powerful equation that affects everything we do.

EVENT: There are often unexpected, emotional, & confusing events

RESPONSE: Advocating for your child, by choosing your response

OUTCOME: Control of your child’s education is the outcome


The R factor is the most important. R is your response to the event that occurred at school, or your response to the feeling that your child is not thriving. Here are a few appropriate responses in the realm of Special Education:

  1. Do your homework and research everything you can before walking into any meeting;
  2. Understand the acronyms, and that an ETR and IEP can come down to semantics but have major consequences;
  3. Be ready to justify what you are fighting for;
  4. Be your child’s best advocate; sometimes you need help understanding, interpreting, and navigating the special education process. Whether it is you or you combined with an advocate for your child, make your response! 

In special education, the response can change the outcome of your child’s educational future. Advocate for your child. If you are told no, think of another response to control the outcome. 


Questions? Call us. 614.745.2001. We have the Special Education team to support you.

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